Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Dimitrov Surprises Federer To Make US Open Semi Finals

The back troubled Swiss fell to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 2-6 loss to bow out in the last eight.

Grigor Dimitrov is through to the last four at Flushing Meadows after coming from two sets to one down to surprise the five-time champion Roger Federer 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The Swiss, heading into the match with a 100% record in the H2H against his opponent was a big favourite and after moving up two sets to one looked a solid bet to make the semi-finals. 

However, Dimitrov was able to disrupt Federer from the baseline and it became increasingly clear that the 3rd seed was not in his best shape physically, later admitting to tweaking his upper back earlier in the day.

The result was a considerable number of mistimed and shanked balls that produced 60 unforced errors from the Wilson Wand and a less effective serve that allowed the Bulgarian to take advantage to come through.

Quick Match Recap

Federer USO QF 2019

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. The Swiss kicked off with a hold for fifteen for 1-0. Dimitrov then hit two double faults at 15-15 and 30-30 before going long with a forehand to drop serve.

Roger quickly consolidated to love for 3-0 to get off to the perfect start. The Bulgarian was then immediately down 0-30 but won four consecutive points to get on the board for 1-3. More solid serving from Federer saw him hold for 4-1 despite being pegged to deuce.

Another 15-30 game had Dimitrov under more pressure, but he held from deuce for 2-4. Federer then had his trickiest service game with a big point at 30-30, but he reeled off the next two points for 5-2.

Game eight saw Dimitrov slam down a more comfortable hold, but Federer closed out the set to love in impressive fashion to take it 6-3, landing 74% of first serves and converting his sole break point chance of the set.

Into set two and Grigor kicked off with a confidence-boosting hold to love. The Bulgarian then fashioned 0-30 with some flash groundstrokes and was able to hold his first breakpoint at 30-40. Federer saved it with an ace before holding for 1-1.

A second love hold from Dimitrov moved him up 2-1, and he was beginning to find some success backing Federer up in the rallies. However, Federer stayed strong on serve, throwing in a love hold for 2-2.

In game five, Federer was able to fashion thirty all but Dimitrov held for 3-2. Roger's accuracy on the first serve went off in game six, and he was broken to thirty.

Dimitrov consolidated the break for 5-2 and was scrambling well from the baseline to pressure Federer. However, Roger held firm to fifteen and asked Dimitrov to serve it out.

The 2017 Tour Finals champ quickly slipped down to 15-40 and despite saving the first break point with an ace was broken back when he double-faulted.

Federer was quickly up 30-0 in game ten, but some hesitant play allowed Dimitrov to reel off four straight points to level at one set all.

Set three kicked off with the pair exchanging holds for 1-1. Game three saw Dimitrov hold to love, and Federer's timing was all over the place with shanks galore.

A love hold steadied the ship as Federer levelled at 2-2 and the Swiss finally found some crisp groundstrokes to fashion 0-40. However, he failed to convert as Dimitrov escaped the game to lead 3-2.

Federer needed an immediate response after failing to break, and he held to fifteen for 3-3. A forehand just long from the Bulgarian then gave the Swiss 15-30, and a slick move in behind a second serve to set up a breakpoint at 30-40. Dimitrov then double-faulted to give Federer a break.

A superb backhand down the line kicked off game eight to give Dimitrov 0-15, and that was soon 15-40, but Roger dug in his heels, making deuce then coming up with a sweet half volley on game point to lead 5-3.

Buoyed from consolidating the break, Federer then moved up 15-40 thanks to a ridiculous forehand lob. Dimitrov then netted a backhand, and the Swiss was up two sets to one, landing 64% of first serves, making 76% of returns in play against the first serve and winning eight of eight at the net. 

Into set four and some meaningful returns from Dimitrov saw Roger slip down an immediate break. Federer's timing again went off in the return game and Dimitrov consolidate for 2-0.

Federer was then under more pressure, getting pegged to deuce before holding for 1-2. However, he couldn't make any inroads on the return as Dimitrov held to lead 3-1.

A hold to thirty kept the Swiss in touch and in game six, two drop shots helped him create 30-40. A missed forehand return got Dimitrov to deuce and he dug in to hold for 4-2.

Game seven looked like it would be a game to forget for Federer as he slipped to 0-40 but he recovered to make deuce and saved another four break points in a lengthy twelve-minute game that reminded me of one against Murray at the Masters Cup in 2008 to hold for 3-4.

Not perturbed by failing to break in the last game, Dimitrov held to fifteen to put himself one game away from forcing a decider. Roger then held to love for 4-5 to ask Dimitrov if he could serve it out.

At 0-40 it looked as though Federer had the game in the bag, but he played timidly on the breakpoints to allow Dimitrov to make deuce. Two more breakpoints came the five-time Champions way, but he squandered the first by failing to take advantage of a short ball and the second with more tight looking play. Dimitrov then held to force a fifth set. 

At the set changeover, Federer left the court and when he returned it was announced the physio had been called. An off-court medical timeout followed.

Upon resumption Roger dropped serve and soon found himself down 4-0, winning just four points to Dimitrov's sixteen. The Swiss did finally get on the board, at 1-4 and 2-5 but Dimitrov was now comfortably in charge, and he served it out efficiently to make the last four.

Match Stats

 R. FedererG. Dimitrov
Aces66
Double Faults17
First Serve % In88/144 (61%)90/130 (69%)
Win % On 1st Serve65/88 (74%)67/90 (74%)
Win % On 2nd Serve28/56 (50%)21/40 (53%)
Net Points Won36/56 (64%)13/20 (65%)
Break Points Won4/14 (29%)5/15 (33%)
Receiving Points Won42/130 (32%)51/144 (35%)
Winners4035
Unforced Errors6041
Total Points Won135139
Distance Covered10508.9 ft10669.2 ft
Distance Covered/pt.38.4 ft38.9 ft

Highlights

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Dimitrov US 19

Well, I just needed some treatment on my upper – what is it – back, neck. Just needed to try to loosen it up, crack it and see if it was going to be better. Yeah, but this is Grigor's moment and not my body's moment, so… It's okay. Had a little bit this afternoon. That's it. I was able to play. It's okay. It's how it goes. I tried my best. By far not too bad to give up or anything. Grigor was able to put me away. I fought with what I had. That's it. So it's okay. I thought he was tough off the baseline. He mixed up well, which gave me all sorts of problems with the rhythm. Could never really feel comfortable off the baseline. That's something in the past I've always been able to dominate, I'd say. That was not the case tonight. He did a good job there. Federer on his loss to Dimitrov

Another tough loss at the final Grand Slam of the season here for Federer and yet again the US Open proves an unhappy hunting ground.

Like most of his losses, it wasn't a terrible performance, and he had opportunities to come through but ultimately never had that cutting edge on the night to get over the line.

If you look at how the match panned out, Fed played a decent first set but was gifted the break and most of his chances on the night came from Dimitrov's shaky play on serve rather than his own creativity. Some good moments and sharp points from both guys but the match was never the highest quality over a sustained period.

In fact, Federer's first three breaks of serve were all courtesy of double faults, and it wasn't until game nine of set three when securing a double break that he had to put a ball in play to do so. The fourth set saw Dimitrov offer up six chances for Federer to break back, but the Swiss never had the conviction to his game and rather than jumping over short balls, he played too safe. Had he got back level in set four, he might have been able to squeak it out, but it wasn't to be.

As for Fed's now confirmed back problem, I first got wind of the issue when Darren Cahill picked it up on ESPN in the first set. It wasn't immediately clear there was a big problem, but after the first set, the pace of Federer's play seemed to drop off. Dimitrov was able to get more of a foothold in the rallies and was able to back Federer up on the baseline. From there Fed seemed to go through periods where he was able to strike the ball well, then tighten up, start muscling the ball and shank it galore. 

Once that became the pattern of play, it became more about if Dimitrov could play well enough without getting tight or clowning up and he was up to the task. While not at the same level of the top guys, Dimitrov is more than good enough to compete against a fully fit Federer, so any sort of physical issue closes that already small gap, and that's what we saw tonight.

As for Dimitrov, you can only say well played, Fed took to the court, so he was fit to play and after a pretty dreadful season, he's in the last four of a Grand Slam. I don' think he played brilliantly, but he moved speedily and did an excellent job of putting Federer in some awkward spots and is deservedly into the semi-finals.

A devastated Roger Federer said to me: «I have a good idea what the injury is. It’s something that will bother me today, tomorrow and the day after tommorrow. Then it will be okay. That makes it even more disappointing that I didn’t find a way today.» Federer speaking to Simon Graf in Swiss Press after the loss

What did you guys think of the match? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs Dimitrov US Open 2019 Rating

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

DISAPPOINTING

Unfortunate loss and one that goes down as a missed opportunity. Had some chances but wasn't at full flight and never had good timing from the baseline to trouble Dimitrov.

User Rating: 3.38 ( 6 votes)

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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138 Comments

    1. Well, now that I finally have some time…
      Three aspects of Roger’s loss:
      1. Personally I’m very content. Of course I’m disappointed for Roger. Really wanted him to win the title. Thought he had it in him. However, I didn’t feel bad at all and just gone to my morning routine and had a great day. In the past I had a bad day after a loss in a GS or a heart breaking one like IW 2018. I feel I have matured in that sense. Highly recommended for Fed fans ;).
      2. I think we forget how hard it is to win a grand slam. Not only Rafa and Novak are both playing well, but you have a lot of quality players who can catch fire. You have to go through at least 3-4 tricky to hard (to almost impossible) opponents and take three sets. Doing that at 37-38 when your back can suddenly decide he’s having a bad day… Yeah, Roger played with back issues in the past. But in his 20’s he could hide it. Now he can’t. Has to be 100% fit to beat a top player.
      3. Records and stuff… 2019 is the year that pretty much guarantees Roger will lose both his big records – GS and world no 1. He should have won Wimby this year and it makes that loss sting a bit harder. But it is what it is. I hope he can have the stars align for him just one more time. I hope he feels the joy of winning a slam again because he really deserves it.

      Overall I’m really impressed by the level of play Roger can still produce. Disappointed it didn’t translate to another two or three big titles. I’m hoping for a strong finish for the year.

      1. Beautifully written, Shmeltz. I totally agree. Thank you.

        On my side,  each time our Swiss hero loses at a stage we would like him to go beyond (USO 18,  Indian Wells 19, RG19, Wim19, USO 19), I re-read the article below which I consider as a perfect summary of Federer’s renaissance… and it cheers me up !

        OPINION / 24 NOVEMBER 2017, 1:40PM / MORGAN BOLTON

        But my pick belongs to a “half” South African… my pick for Sports Person of the Year goes to the effervescent Roger Federer. The Swiss tennis maestro is now the grandmaster of the sport and many earlier this year believed that he could not win another Grand Slam. He would go on to win two.
        Since 2013 there has been much heartbreak for Federer. During those four years, he managed three Grand Slam finals but always come up short. No matter.

        Picking himself up, dusting himself off, always a paragon of sportsmanship, he continued believing, never losing sight of his objectives. He must have faltered, there must have been self-doubt, but instead of giving up, he handled each loss as another bump on the journey, each victory becoming all the more sweeter. He did so with a statesmanship that is sorely lacking in several parts of the world, always tactful and sensitive. He shook the hand of those who vanquished him, gave praise when it was required, showed emotion and passion.

        Last year he finished 16th in the rankings. This time around, at 36, he is ranked No 2 having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, as well as seven other ATP Tour events. If he wishes to retire now, all power to him.

        He reminds me of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy behind the art form is to embrace those flaws – the breakage itself – mending it together to recreate the old with streaks of the new, something that has withstood the test of time highlighted by imperfections to tell the whole story.

        The cracks and repair are proof of life, an event rather than an end. And although the object was once broken, through meticulous labour it is reforged and is made all the more special, all the more beautiful, all the more memorable.

        The Star
        X

  1. Oh, well… Fed lost. Never mind. Let’s just hope the physical issues are nothing serious.
    Best wishes for Grigor for the remainder of the tournament.
    (just remember that each loss makes you appreciate the next win more )

      1. Yes and thanks to Jonathan writing on tough losses never easy, just continue to support Roger and stay positive , we never know ! He’s still great to watch and I cherish him more each event win or not, valuing his presence anytime!
        Sad he was so sad tho but by the crystal ball comment he seemed to reframe his outlook with hope in the response! Resilient Roger, ultimately his go to setting for continued success! Bless him.

  2. Too gutted as another good opportunity goes sailing by. You wrote a good summary and assessment Jonathan and we’ll never know whether it was the injury itself that stopped him or what it did to his head and confidence. All 3 I guess but its just too shitty to worry about now and its not a serious issue so hey ho. I think it will depress his form over this end of the season tho. Deep disappointments when overall he’s playing really well has to deplete the motivation banks.
    Maybe LC will cheer him up if the craic is good. Im going so I hope so

      1. The most Roger eas making unforced errors the best Grigor played. In normal situation Roger could be won from him

  3. I think Fed should shut his season down here. Mentally, I still think he needs to recover, and now physically. Yes, there is Basel, and Laver Cup, 2 Masters and the World Tour Finals to come, but none of them are Grand Slams. I’d hope to see him come back in Aus fresh and recovered both mentally and physically, this season has busted out at this point.

    On the loss, not surprised. I said before the tournament that I didn’t give him much of a chance to win here, and I held that belief even after Djokovic retired. I don’t think Fed, right now, is in slam-winning form. He wasn’t for much of last year, and while he was briefly this year he didn’t get it done and his level is not high enough. It’s not just about the overall level of his tennis, but where his head is at too. If nothing else, he isn’t at the level to win here, where he hasn’t won for over a decade. It’s at the point now where the US Open may be his worst slam these days.

    Despite all this, I don’t think he’ll shut his season down. We’ll see if that’s a good decision or not next year I guess. As for the year overall, I’m going to give it a C+, potentially rising to a B if he closes out the year strong. If the goal now is all about winning slams then it’s a failed season, no matter how close he came. That said I think there were enough good points to not make it a bad season, but not enough to make it a great one. Better than 2018? Nope.

    1. It’s not over yet. And I don’t think it quite appropriate giving marks to a maestro like that, who are we here? He made a fantastic half year, Wimby included.

      1. It’s because of who he is that I grade him harshly. I don’t believe in grading Fed against anything less than the highest standard. Some fans like to make excuses, or grade softly thanks to his age, but right or wrong that’s not my opinion. I think it’s a testament to Fed that I believe in holding him to this high standard. But that’s a different matter entirely.

        I disagree on the half year being fantastic. We’re not talking about some journeyman enjoying the summer of his life here. We’re talking about a twenty time slam winner, who by many, including myself, is considered the best to ever play the sport. Now he doesn’t “need” to win slams for the sake of his legacy, but I think he has earned to be held to a higher standard than a participation trophy. At the end of the day, he lost Wimbledon. It doesn’t matter how close you come, if you don’t get it done the end result is the same. I would even go so far as to argue that the manner of his loss was even worse, but that’s also a seperate discussion.

      2. Ryan: OK I respect some of – no, of course ALL you say from your point of view. Just this: I don’t grade with marks, I “grade” with enjoyment of artistic effort. Of course the higher the expectation, the deeper the disappointment, from this angle the disapp. in Wimby 19 was HUGE! But the potential is still there, that hasn’t suffered much. Even not a bit. Or maybe just a little bit. We don’t know for sure – he has surprised us so many times. But still – this grading or degrading – I personally would like it to be confined to us setting stars (or not) up just under Jon’s stars-putting – more elaborated “grading” is really not interesting for me – I get this as if our task was to be his censors for his passing some examination, up – or downjudging his effort.
        To me, the t.matches are a drama with many aspects, where creativity, beauty of play, emotional capacity and many more come in play. And Roger is for me the brightest star for this – sometimes with more shine than other times, but this is to be expected. He always does what he can at the moment, and always with some brilliance to it. Just who wins as the ONLY parameter is too boring for me, even if I like VERY MUCH RF to win of course. More interesting how doing it or why not, and the special excellent beauty with which it is done – or not, — to the joy of the crowd and us other spectators

      1. Back injuries tend to linger for a while and the only way to fix them is long periods of rest. Given that we have about 10 weeks in the tour calendar left, with maybe 5 tournaments worth playing, he isn’t going to get the chance to rest it until the offseason, and you don’t want that break disrupted by recovering from injury. Factor in the mental fatigue from bad losses and I think a long break will do him some good.

        Now he says it takes 3 days to recover from, and I’ve no reason to doubt that. But we’ve seen it work for him before, and now we’ve had back to back years defined more by frustrating losses than anything else. I dunno, I think he needs to change something up to get over the line and win more slams.

      2. Come on Ryan, he is doing what he can at age 38… He competed very well at the FO and almost wins W. That’s not bad at all for a 38 years old man.

    2. Sorry what a load of rubbish!for heaven sake he has had great wins and one so near Grand Slam which he won on overall points anyway he has had disappointments yes but he is 38 and done a fantastic job ! If not gorbhis back he would have taken out Grigior easily, the fact he went 5 sets in pain is a miracle no walking out or returning for Fed far too gutsy how about appreciation for once !so stop your negativity towards him and ridiculous point scoring !
      His head is probably in a better place than yours right now.
      B
      B

      1. “for heaven sake he has had great wins and one so near Grand Slam which he won on overall points anyway”

        He didn’t win the slam. That’s the bottom line. Most points won is a meaningless statistic that only gives us some idea of how the match actually went, the only statistic that matters is the final box score, and it was Djokovic 3, Federer 2. You don’t have to agree with me, and if you take consolation from other stats then that’s fine, but I don’t.

        “but he is 38”

        I’m tired of his age constantly being used as an excuse. Yes, he’s 38. I think Fed deserves better than being treated like he isn’t still one of the best players on tour.

        “If not gorbhis back he would have taken out Grigior easily, the fact he went 5 sets in pain is a miracle no walking out or returning for Fed far too gutsy how about appreciation for once !”

        Probably, but injuries are a factor in any sport. Sure, he gets credit for toughing it out, but if he made it worse in the process? Nope. Fact is Dimi beat him, fair and square. 2019 was a slamless year for Fed.

        “so stop your negativity towards him and ridiculous point scoring !”

        I’ve gone over my grading above, but I don’t think I am being particularly negative. A C isn’t a bad grade. That means “Good” to me. But the expectation here is winning slams, and the factvhe didn’t win any this year means I can’t give him an A. And I don’t think his quality overall has been high enough to get a high B, so B is the best I can give him for this year. I think that’s fair.

        “His head is probably in a better place than yours right now.”

        I would certainly hope so.

  4. You were right Jonathan,nobody does beat Dimitrov nine times in a row😎
    Yes the USO is not a happy hunting ground for Fed.
    As for Grigor he is a very talented player who somehow has never quite achieved his potential.
    Perhaps he is a late developer and good things will begin to happen.
    Bit of a grim night for the Swiss all round.
    Stan seemed flat as a pancake against Medvedev,certainly not the same player who knocked out the Djoker.
    It would be very nice to see a new face holding up the trophy.Danil seems the real deal,but does he have enough to play
    two more matches?.I guess we shall see.

    1. Musér love how you put this exactly how I feel with Roger our there I just marvel at what he brings or doesn’t no point castigating him or holding him to the 5 in a row era & wanting to be angry with him or wanting to be disappointed life is over ? He’s bound super upset and deflated enough and at 38 he can’t be 25 physically and now he has to suffer a hit court and a slow court plus a

      Roger was trying to impress uoon Grigor it was now a seize the day situation, would be so great if he finally did get the belief to win a major and a USO as a first!

    2. I heard Stan was also sick, flu or something, he couldn’t give his best. Needs to be on song to beat Meddybear as he’s not got that plan b / variety to throw him off.

      1. Yes, apparently. In fact, as far as I can see, the only SF-ist who hasn’t had quite a bit of luck getting there is Berrettini!

  5. I thought at the start of the tournament that I would actually be all right with all of the Big 3 being knocked out and someone else winning. I still think that – I just don’t know whether anyone can take out Nadal!

    I hope Bencic can go on flying the Swiss flag for a bit longer …

  6. I’m shocked with this loss. Roger always dealt very easily with Grigor. I don’t know why he has had such bad results in the USO compated to other slams.

    This was a huge miss opportunity as Medvedev looks pretty bad physically so the final should have been very easy to reach.

    Now the trophy has RN written all over the place. If he is able to secure the tittle that will be huge huge. 19 GS and his 5th year end No 1.

  7. Thanks Jonathan for a sober and filling report, giving good answers to natural questions, thus making our reasonable disappointment easier. Wondering if I should enter replay of this match from Eurosport, as I subscribed yesterday to watch at least the brilliant 4. round in replay. I expected the quaterfinal an entertaining performance with fun from those two tennis-kinsmen and friends, but I guess maybe not enough to spend your time, knowing the outcome and pain?

  8. I’m devastated, it was a big chance to redeem that Wimbledon tragedy.
    If he had defeated Dimitrov, probably Medvedev would retire and then he’d have 4 days to recover… Nadal has a cakewalk.
    It’s just one after another, I can’t take it.

  9. Thanks Jonatan for your report. Now I understand. Best wishes for Fed. As he said there is no crystal ball so no one knows if he will win again or forever lose. He will continue and we will see.

  10. It’s so ironic; Roger rarely has injury issues but they appear to have put paid to his chances for maybe his last slam, especially with Djokovic gone, whereas Nadal, who is always having injury issues (we are told …), is strolling towards a likely 19th slam without fuss. The tennis gods are against us.

    1. I may be a dreamer but I believe in my bones he can win Wimbledon again I really do maybe I am a positive person and have more faith in him than others
      B

      1. Even so, getting to the latter stages of a slam is difficult enough (unless your draw falls apart!), so it’s frustrating to see this happen.

        Actually, the more I think about it, the more gutted I feel for Roger: I wouldn’t have expected him to have a particular problem with Dimitrov (Medvedev might have been a different matter, admittedly) – but it never occurred to me that he might get injured! Incredibly frustrating, given that I thought he had a reasonable draw, and then Djokovic got knocked out as well 🙁

  11. The struggles Roger had ended up losing him the game. His opponent has won due to this. A congrats goes out to him to reach a mile stone but his coaches didn’t even come to support him. I’m sure they R very thrilled by the outcome at Rogers expense. I wish Roger success in the rear of this year with finishing up strong.
    It was heard to watch but very obvious he was not his best only hoped in the end he would win. So on to some rest and looking forward to his next tournament.

  12. Last 2 years were – for different reasons, including bad time of some of his biggest rivals – a kind of “too good”. And he was, respectively, 1 or 2 years younger. Every year means a lot if you are close to 40 and play so physical sport like tennis.
    It’s not going to be better. Next year he will be 39. He can still have highs and win big titles. But it’s not going to be easier.

    He cannot expect, next year suddenly all potential rivals, old and young, to have bad year.
    So the army of those able to beat him on their day, will grow. Is this not normal in sport?

    You can dream, you can believe, whatever you want. But YOUR dreams will not change HIS reality. Be aware of that and you will be still happy seeing him play, won or lost, superhappy, when a big win comes.

    Forget the argument, he was so many times written off and still able to come back stronger. Respect this. And don’t expect (but why not dream or believe?) this to happen every year to come.

  13. Fed like that in the title image of the post needs and deserves your support more than when everything goes well and he easily and happily wins. Give it him the way you want and like 🙂

  14. I think he needs a long vacation. His body only resents the wear of the calendar as time progresses.
    The main reason of the success in 2017 was the freshness of his legs, that allowed him to stand well on the court throughtout the match and to hit those rocket backhands. His goals are the Grand Slams, not the tour, he should focus on them now.
    That tour to Latin America was the worst decision he could made.

  15. Three years in a row Rog was hampered by injury at USO. Did someone jinx him or what. Such bad luck for Stan and Rog to be in poor physical condition before stepping on court. I was thinking both have good chance to reach the semis. This is one strong witch doctor.

    Not taking anything away from Dimitrov win, he needs 5 sets to beat an ailing 38 year old player. I am amaze with Roger really, he played till the last point. What a warrior unlike a certain no.1 who retired when down in the 3rd set. If it was a healthy Roger, it would be a win in straight sets. Dimitrov was running around like headless chicken just keeping ball in play and hit hard. Roger is not able to play freely with pain upper back hampering his movement and not striking his shots with confidence. An ailing Roger still able to create so many break points. That is why he is my no1 and fan favorite, people willing to pay good money to watch him. Roger hope you recover quickly in time for Laver Cup.

  16. Another lost chance at the blasted USO. Looks like the curse is not over even after 10 years 🙁
    Why can’t he wait for another week to tweak his back? Looks like an easy 19th for Nadal. Don’t see him missing out any of these easy pickings.

      1. Easy pickings? He had to beat in the 3rd and 4rd the same players Roger beat in the SF and F of the AO 2018 lol

      2. There’s no better way to let people feel old and tired – and their friends – than repeating picking on age and how fatal impact their age has. I’m going to count every time this kind of fiendish invocation come up – Is it perhaps the intention to give room for the younger ones? Don’t tell me it’s the “fact” – the fact is this repeating on it for some reason. Young ones have injures as well! Roger had back issues also when younger!

  17. What comes to mind is with these injuries and losses, it becomes harder and harder to remain motivated to continue playing at all. The mountains of home are calling louder and louder.

  18. It has been a rather strange Slam,with many surprises and upsets.
    Nadal still has to play Schwartzman,who may not beat him but is often difficult to put away.
    There is also Monfils and Berretini in his half.I don’t know the latter but Monfils has played very well here before.
    Of course he may just roll over or if he wins give Nadal a walkover but perhaps not.
    Then perhaps Medvedev in the final,again who knows.Or Dimi,who gave Nadal a real tough 5 set battle a couple of years ago.I don’t think any of these are easy pickings..
    But hey,why are we worrying about Nadal.If he wins,he wins.Or not.
    Fed is the focus,shame to go out after those two excellent performances but tennis players are very injury prone,especially as they begin to age.
    Further up the thread someone pointed out that it still took the much younger man five sets to put an injured Fed away.
    That is a positive thing to remember.I think he did well.

  19. Personally, if Fed can´t win, I hope Dimitrov can. He deserves this. After defeating the GOAT (even an injured one) he winning is a heck of a lot better than Nadal.
    RIP Fed.
    However, at least Federer finished out the match, unlike someone I could mention….

    1. Take it easy. Such respect-less remarks never help. Dimitrov was not so good. Look at Jonathan’s notes. DISAPPOINTING. He was disappointing in finishing out the match. Starting new stats for Federer? Lost but an least finished?

      Your name riddle was so sophisticated, you needed to solve lit yourself. Annoying.

  20. Djoko and Fed were both disappointing only because they played a long and tough Wimbledon19 final. Its a proof no player 30+ of age can withstand the after effects.

  21. Could not believe my eyes when I woke up this morning. Feel so sorry for Fed with his back injury. Really had a chance here. Bad luck. An other opportunity gone by 🙁

  22. Such a sad ending but what a difference a MAN makes!
    One finishes with injury so his opponent can get the win he deserves and the headline says so: “Grigor defeats Federer”.
    The other retires knowing he is going to lose and deprives his opponent from a similar headline, instead it’s “Djokovic retires with injury”
    So sad for Roger. I also suffer from back stuff and it is so true, one minute it’s fine and then bang you’re out of commission, then it’s back to normal. Figuring out why is still a mystery. Anyway, I’m sure Fed will be back and threatening again.
    BTW Sue, loved your fan story, and I envy you so much that you have seen Roger play more than once.
    Thanks again to you Jonathan for all the quick write-ups. Do you ever sleep?

  23. Well played Grigor !! I think the entire tennis family is delighted for him, Roger being no exception, and probably because it’s Grigor makes a disappointing loss that little easier to bear. Not a heartbreaking loss in itself, more of 2019 as a whole as in my opinion Roger has been in a really good place all year, played with freedom and confidence, and yet will look back at what should have been, but wasn’t. A truly cruel loss and I feel he’s taking it easy at the moment, choosing not to fully engage with tennis as it would bring back the memories. What 2020 hold…

  24. Thanks Jonathan for yet another good post. I’m so sad that Roger
    finished his US Open with yet another back injury. I can’t imagine
    what it must feel like to play five sets knowing that you don’t have
    the tools to win. I applaud all the players who do this. is it sensible
    that’s up for debate, but he gave Grigor the joy of putting his
    hands in the air and taking the applause from the crowd so forgive
    me if I have a sneaky admiration for that performance. Who will
    end up with the most wins means nothing to me I didn’t follow
    Federer because of numbers, I think the whole subject is toxic so
    much hatred between fans….in this I think tennis is the loser.

    1. I agree Elizabeth, and that’s a very healthy attitude. Admirable indeed that he made it to the end, and I’m sure it meant the world to Grigor to be able to win the last point.

  25. The one bright spot of the nightmarishly heartbreaking Wimbledon final is that nothing can come close to comparison in terms of disappointment.

    1. At this point …getting soundly beaten in the quarters of the USO without the false hope of 40-15 & two CPs at SW-19 over his 2 greatest rivals for #21 being dangled before my cardiac arrested heart …

      … well it feels like he just won Stuttgart.

      1. But who else is there besides Zverev to take the mantle from the Djoko/Nadal. Because of this Djoko and Nadal are having a free reign. Federer did not have that luxury when he hit 32. This is the saddest part.

  26. Disappointing loss. Good comments, don’t expect much from Roger for the rest of the year. This has been a great tournament for Nadal, he has been relentless and shown a genuinely nice side of himself (video with the crying kid). I predict he prevails over Medvedev.

  27. More than 24 hours later and I still haven’t accepted Fed’s loss to Dimitrov.

    I agree with your caption Jonathan it’s soooo disappointing and was close enough despite a blooming back injury that it does feel like another opportunity missed. At least there were no match points lost, the stuff of nightmares!

  28. Roger’s problem is that he wears the wrong kind of shirts. He needs to wear the sleeveless variety like Nadal. That means he would then be able to power the ball endlessly from any part of the court, without his body failing him – like it seems to do these days. The intimidation factor would work for him as well – although it would be in reverse from Nadal; none of his opponents could believe that those skinny old arms could hit forehands like he does. Of course he would also have to go train in the seclusion of Mallorca, since that goes with the whole “physical” package. Then he would need a Spanish team of doctors, coaches and physios – because that’s part of the deal for becoming physically ageless. So Severin and Ivan would have to go. Sorry, guys. But the change of shirts is the first step for Rog. You watch on Sunday – the “formula” (cough) will work like it so often does for Nadal.

    1. Of course, if Nadal loses, this USO will quickly be forgotten by us fans. And frankly, Fed would get crushed by Rafa in this form, and I much prefer an earlier loss to Dimitrov to that. Quarter, semis, runner-up, all irrelevant, and Fed had a big hill to climb. But, it was in reach, and in a final, with the crowd, it could’ve been interesting. What a shame.

      I’m still waiting for his apology to fans about Wimbledon, but Roger’s just too imperious…

      1. Apology? For what? For playing better than his opponent? Aaaah – I guess – for not winning… to meet the fans’ needs. GOSH!

      2. muser, Fed didn’t need to win that one for himself? You think that wasn’t the most meaningful (okay, say top three) matches of his career? Guess what, Djokovic won all of his most meaningful matches. How can he retire with his legacy intact when he can’t ride his enormous experience and surge of inevitable crowd support to victory in so many important matches now? Yes, the fans would’ve passed out in delight, but Roger could’ve ridden off in the sunset after a victory in that match. This USO loss would’ve been meaningless. Instead, he’s hobbling along,for 16 months now, occasionally eking out a fortunate draw into a masters title, but, battered and seemingly fated to lose anytime a match is in the business end (Laver Cup notwithstanding). That is really upsetting.

      3. Holdco. Tennis is not a shop. It is is more to be compared with a lottery, although for us with many more prizes than fans of players further down the ranking list, not to say the “real” lottery about money.
        We have no right to win every time – not to say any time. It is a delightful bonus when it happens.
        I was’nt fan until 2014, not even a fan of sports at all (but of performing in other arts), when a friend told me about Federer’s beauty of playing, and his seemingly effortless mastery. Then I watched curiously, and was enchanted. I have been grateful for his being in tennis ever since.
        Other fans of performing artistry are fan of RF too. I don’t think his legacy among us can ever be spoilt by some numbers happening now or later.
        Sports is a drama. I’m delighted when he wins, and sad when he loses, but still very delighted to share support with other fans in such times.
        The hardship now doesn’t seem as grim as it was in 2013 and further, then culminating in the close losing a major to Djoko, followed shortly by the the knee-injury in 2016.
        In such hardships fans may chose to turn our CRAVING for wins to AVERSION to the disappointing idol, feeling offended by him – or we can chose to support him in our gratitude for former delights and hope for more in the future. This kind of SUPPORT I’m so grateful to many fans here on Jon’s blog to share – and Roger expressed his gratitude for the support from other thousands of fans too, during his recovering time. – The turning to aversion to and degrading Federer’s performing and personal competence and will to “deliver” is – opposite the shared support – making me sad and frightened for his stopping and hanging up his racket too early, thus depriving us for future possible delights, and so also the aversion to the much needed shared support in times of small og bigger failures. Isn’t it making you sad too?

      4. Muser, I’ve been a fan of fed for more than a decade longer than you, and so the historical “commitment” on my end is greater, and I think maybe the resultant disappointment deeper. I disagree that tennis is a lottery (I played D1 tennis in college, obviously a shadow of the pros, but it never felt like a lottery when the best in our groups were playing; I can’t see how wins in big matches turn on luck, unless roger was cursed somehow to lose at the worst times of late), and also feel that 2013 and 16 were just lost seasons, where expectations quickly plummeted and it was just a question of comebacks. I don’t recall ever getting mad at a hurt and clearly struggling fed back then. These recent and recurring losses are singly much more painful than those seasons of failure as he is top 3 and valiantly competing but coming up short time and again. Sure, I appreciate the insightful notes on here time to time after matches, but I don’t think roger gets a pass for poor performance on account of past greatness. I don’t want him to win all the time, just when he is supposed to, moments when he is the only thing in his own way. If he won in July and said he was done, I’d have smiled and shed a tear and been ecstatic at how he went out. Instead, I see him failing time and again and breaking hearts, marring a triumphant history. We just approach this differently. I am happy for inter fan support and I’m not mad at fans here of course, just at Roger’s maddening play at the worst possible times. If he beats Novak somewhere big again ,maybe wins a slam, I’m sure the perspective will change. I hope he can do it.

      5. Thanks, Holdco, for maybe softing a bit your indeed very harsh and hurting comments. No, tennis is not a lottery, but not a shop either where you can expect same quality every time for your money. We don’t know, why Roger failed the 2 last tours, surely tennis in top is no easy dance every time, and some bad days may occur in periods. We don’t know either why he missed his 2 matchpoints in Wimbledon, could be some sudden strain, an insect in the eye, some whatever…
        It still seems to me, that you reproach him to not doing well as if he is doing this to you deliberately, and getting criticised (harshly by you), he might improve? Nobody knows the reasons for the failing, but it is for sure not his intention to make his fans sad, so the reproaching IMO is misdirected, and adding to the sadness.

      6. And just 1 more…RF is not on the tennis court for you and me and other fans – we may greatly add to his motivation, but he’s there because he likes to play. And as long as he likes it, it’s for me, and others I guess from their comments, still a unique pleasure to watch him perform – win or lose – (regardless the losing hurts a bit. But this is not deciding our fan-motivation – it is his way, unique for him, more or less successful)

    2. Those vests/shirts are seriously uncool.
      No Fed will just have to retire gracefully in those slightly less uncool baggy things he wears these days.😆

  29. Oh well,I guess we have all thrashed it out now.
    I think American Open is a brutal sort of tournament.
    So who will win the semis?
    I am going for the Mad lad and then Nadal.

  30. Hmm, from what the radio commies are saying, this SF has one player who has played by far the better, got the better stats, yet the other one is winning the points which matter and, seemingly, likely to win the whole thing. Sound familiar?

  31. I think the first set will be tight but Nadal will get it and then as we all know,resistance is futile.
    Actually I think he (Med) didn’t play that brilliantly in the first set against Grigor,so even the first set may be easy for Nadal.
    I would very much like to be wrong.

      1. Why “afraid”? The better should win, no? Even if it’s not Fed.
        BTW – when Nadal lost the slam final it was always to Federer or Djokovic. Only once to Stan, but Stan was then 30 and very experienced and established top player..

        Of course no historic stats cannot be broken sooner or later.

        If Medvedev wants to win, must win in 3. Even winning first set does not help much.

      2. Yes Dolores I agree.
        I rather like the Nadal fans exaggerating Medvedevs chances,so it seems like a great
        victory for their idol.
        I don’t think the Mad Lad has a hope in hell this time.
        In the future who knows.

  32. Fed deserves continued criticism for failing to down dimitrov. The latter bent over for Medvedev who I can’t believe is a pro. Who taught him to avoid the net like the plague, esp against someone like nadal who has to be deprived of time? Med goes to net but muffs volleys like a club player. His decisions are often terrible otherwise and his strategy seems to be to loop balls back and forth instead of taking charge. WAtching him start to run up on a good approach only to pedal back is sickening, over and again, as are his drop shots, which he doesn’t know how to hit. What idiot coached this dumbass to play this way against nadal? Fed would’ve handled med, and I take it back, Rafas form today sucks and fed would’ve been better than even to win if healthy. Another chance blown.

    Nadal easily passes fed with slams to spare. With a big h2h plus and only a lack of a wtf final title, the case is made for nadal as a greater player, something that seemed even in 2018 to be impossible.

    1. No, it doesn’t. It may make a case for him being a more successful player, but that doesn’t mean greater. Otherwise, why would Rod Laver still be in any discussion about GOATs?

      1. If X has more GS than Y
        If X has more M1000 than Y
        If X owns Y in the H2H
        And in the same era (mostly)

        X is more successful/better/greater than Y

  33. Fightback is commendable but a unclutch Medvedev stretched nadal to five. How would fed have fared against this level of nadal on a court like this?

    The kid is like a caveman, he can’t see his droppers mostly fail, his touch is awful, and his decisions on big points are staggeringly stupid. Yet he refuses to do anything differently. How many times has he started an approach only to bike back, or blow an easy overhead ten feet out? Totally donated two breaks in the fifth. No sugarcoating, nadal was average and kid was a failure when it mattered,

    1. Agree. Nadal was maybe less than average. The Med is messy, misses basic skills – they call it unorthodox and artistic. Hahaha …
      Gilles Cervara, his coach (???) says, he often does not understand, what his pupil is doing, but somehow he wins a lot (this year .- I guess, this will not be long-term).

    2. You clearly didn’t watch the match. Medvedev is a tremendous player with the heart and the mindset of a champion. I had never seen a player vs Rafa (when he is controlling the match) refusing to loose the way Med did.

      And he showed his clutch gene on his first GS final against the most fierce player of all time.

      1. Everything all right, but … Medvedev has no skills and will not survive his own success.
        “When he is controlling the match” – Rafa was not controlling own serve. In this day he could only win against such a mean player as Medvedev. He would maybe lose to Rublev or Khachanov – both are fighter but unlike Medvedev have some skills.

      2. Rublev or Khachanov? I wonder why they did not reach the final of Washington and Montreal, win Cincinnati and reach the USO final. Hilarious.

      1. Nadal was not average in Paris. Nadal was average in New York. Where have you found in this discussion, that Rafa was average in Paris?
        Then – I don’t understand, why are you calling Thiem in this context. But when you do – here’s the answer (you know everything about Rafa but nothing about Thiem).
        Nadal was prime in Paris and had easy way to the final and he didn’t need to play 2 days in a storm. Nadal had a free day between every 2 matches. Thiem did a 5-setter against Djokovic (ever heard the name?) and after this match had no free day for recovery before the final. Still Thie was able to take one set from Rafa.
        Nothing to compare with Medvedev. Thiem defeated Nadal and destroyed Medvedev in Barcelona.
        Nobody says (including Thiem), Nadal is no more the King of Clay. Just the opposite. Ask Thiem. “Prince of Clay” is the right and respectful formulation. “Le Petit …” is not respectful and Rafa would never call him like this. But you are not Rafa. You are not even someone, who can represent Rafa on any blog. Where is your’s?

      2. Correction. Thiem did play a 5 match setter against Nole but during 2 different days which is a substantial difference to what you are implying. Besides that’s just a bad excuse, he is 25/26 and really fit. Do you remember the 2009 AO SF and F? that was really demanding (or the 2017AO SF and F).

        ““Prince of Clay” is the right and respectful formulation.” With no RG tittles (or at least challenge the champion) he can’t be called like that. A champion outside of his prime btw.

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