Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Djokovic Denies Federer at Flushing Meadows

Hey guys, another Slam Final loss at the hands of the Djoker as he took down Roger 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in 3 hours and 20 minutes to win his third major of 2015 and 10th career Grand Slam in what has been a hugely impressive season.

Yet again Djokovic showcased his supreme defensive capabilities, making Federer play one more ball time and time again, saving 19 of 23 break points in the match and winning virtually all of the important points on the night to come out on top.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Djoker USO 2015

Federer won the toss and elected to serve; soon finding himself in trouble having to save 3 break points before holding to lead 1-0. Djokovic then held to love and broke Federer at 30-40 after a long rally. The Serb however could not consolidate, dropping serve to love and taking a nasty fall in the process. Both players then exchanged holds but at 3-3 Djokovic again broke through and this time consolidated, saving a key break point to lead 5-3. Djokovic then served out the set 6-4.

Roger needed an immediate response in set 2, and in the second game we got the first SABR of the night, that helped created 3 break points for the Swiss but again he couldn't convert any of them as Djokovic made deuce and then saved 2 more break points to hold.

Both players then exchanged holds, Fed only dropping 3 points on serve as he moved into a 5-4 lead. Here again the Swiss had chances, holding 2 set points on one of which he missed a routine forehand into the open court before Djokovic held. Fed then held for 6-5 and finally got the breakthrough, leaning into a backhand to fire a cross court winner at 30-40.

Set 3 saw Roger hold to 15 to kick things off but at 1-1 he was broken from 40-15 up. He was again able to break back to level thanks to Djokovic hitting 2 double faults in the game. At 2-2 both players had won exactly 90 points apiece; Roger then held to love and created 0-30 on the Djokovic serve with another SABR return. Djokovic held, and after the Serb again saved 2 break points at 3-4 he broke Federer from 15-40 down before saving 2 break points en route to serving out the set 6-4.

A hugely disappointing set meant the match was all but over and Djokovic immediately broke in game 1 before holding for 2-0. Roger had a break chance at 2-3 but missed wide with a forehand and then dropped serve to slip 5-2 down. Serving for the match saw Djokovic drop serve to 30 and Fed then held for 4-5. Stepping up for the second time to close it out saw Djokovic once more slip to 15-40, this time he clawed his way to deuce, saved another break point and then delivered two good serves to take his first match point and win his 10th Grand Slam title.

Match Stats

Stats Novak Djokovic Roger Federer
Aces 3 11
Double faults 5 5
1st serves in 96/155 (62%) 87/137 (64%)
1st serve points won 63/96 (66%) 62/87 (71%)
2nd serve points won 32/59 (54%) 23/50 (46%)
Fastest serve 124 MPH 125 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 115 MPH 115 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 90 MPH 95 MPH
Net points won 21/32 (66%) 39/59 (66%)
Break points won 6/13 (46%) 4/23 (17%)
Receiving points won 52/137 (38%) 60/155 (39%)
Winners 35 56
Unforced errors 37 54
Total points won 147 145
Distance Covered (Feet) 10744.5 10962.3
Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet) 36.8 37.5
SABR 0 4/6 (66%)

Highlights

REMOVED

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Djokovic US Open Final 2015

Yeah. A lot of opportunities miss the. If it's backhand, forehand, volleys, it doesn't really matter at the end of the day. I know why I lost the match very clearly the moment I sat down at 5-2 down in the fourth or after the match was over. So something I will work on, and keep moving forward, you know. It's no problem for me.

So where to begin with this one πŸ™‚ I'm not going to really bother with the niceties of it's great Fed is still making Grand Slam finals etc. etc. as that simply goes without saying. Nothing has changed on that front; whenever Fed steps on court something special invariably happens and the fact he's made 2 Slam Finals this year and won multiple titles is definitely a big achievement.

But in terms of last nights final it has to go down as a bit of a blowout. Djokovic was expected to win, he's 6 years younger and has made the finals at every tournament he's played this year from the Australian Open onwards. But whilst the outcome was the one that was supposed to happen, Federer kinda chucked it way, or at the very least prevented himself from making it way closer.

There were a few key moments in the match for me – first up was dropping the first set, it just set the tone for the match and meant Fed had to play catchup from the word go. Second was the failure to win set 2 in easier fashion, Fed had to spend another 20/30 minutes to box it off 7-5 when he should have broken way sooner to take it 6-4; it's just wasted energy both emotional and physical. And then finally the failure to convert break points at 4-3 in the third. Plus all the other wasted break points thrown in their for good measure πŸ˜†

Roger was 4/23 for break points on the night and only converted 1 break point of 11 when facing second serves. He really needs to do better there and even though SABR won him some points, it seemed to put more doubt in his own mind rather than his opponents last night as he didn't play with the same level commitment on the bigger return points or when up against 2nd serves.

Maybe I haven't played this offensive for a very long time, and that's maybe the reasons, as well, why maybe I was slightly shaky when it came to the crunch on the break points. Who knows?

Do you agree with his assessment? I agree he was definitely shaky on the big points, never seemed able to play committed tennis which he talked about in earlier matches, either going too safe or going big but with that hint of hesitation which never ends well. But as to why? I'm not sure, perhaps it was more about Djokovic making him doubt than him playing too aggressive. Either way the forehand leaked a lot of errors.

As for Djokovic – he was solid without ever being brilliant but just found that little extra on the big points. Notably the point at 40-30 with Federer serving at 4-4 in the third set before going on to break, just extra effort to win that point and then coming up with more crazy defensive work on break point at 30-40 5-4 in the very next game when he served it out. 2 points that made a big difference and ultimately he won 147 points to Federer's 145 in the match. I guess we really are in the era where defence can overcome attack on the biggest stage.

So overall same story as Wimbledon – good tournament on the whole, but not a great ending and it all boils down to just a few points here and there. Hard not to feel a tad disappointed if you were pulling for a Federer victory but there's not much you can do about it. Will he come out on top in one these matches before he hangs up the racquet? Your guess is as good as mine. Next stop Geneva for the Davis Cup πŸ™‚

Federer vs. Djokovic

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

Wasterer

Too many missed chances on the big points.

User Rating: 2.34 ( 12 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and 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 Fed and tennis in general.

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201 thoughts on “Djokovic Denies Federer at Flushing Meadows”

    1. Spot on in thoughts Jonathan…Fed did play some break points with lot of hesitate and probably he knew that as stated in press…definitely 4-3 on third set decided the outcome….And for Novak’s credit some of points he made Roger hit 3-4 (alomost)winners but ball been sent back for play….

      Still Final is mostly its missed opportunities for Roger on his racquet… As you said hard to not feel disappointed when you support for Roger…

      However he seen more devastating loses and still comes back with good and put him in position for winning, hopefully he does that again too….we also hope he can find way to jump last hurdle in Grandslam yet again…

  1. How disappointed a man can be… I’m not mad at Roger, but it’s time and again that I think “this was his last chance for numer 18”.
    So I keep holding on to the fact that he’s proven me wrong a couple of times – there were new chances. So Australia will be next for that matter.

    Credit to Djokovic too, by the way. He kept Roger on the baseline in many rally’s.
    The SABR did do its work – after Roger first used it Djokovic’ service-numbers dropped.
    But the breakpoint conversions… Or, better, the lack of it… Reminds me of a Roland Garros final against Nadal in which he had also numerous of them and didn’t convert them.

    Oh well, I sigh deep and wait for the Davis Cup matches (against my country the Netherlands) and after that we carry on in chase of at least another tournament victory.

    1. SABR was good, it won him points. But looked to me like it added an element of doubt into his own plans on the return – Do I? Don’t I? kinda thing, he ended up doing something half hearted and ended up losing the points.

  2. Mixed feelings here, happy he still playing at high level reaching 2nd GS final. Sad that he missed so many opportunities to get a W here. Djoker is just too solid and makes Roger doubt himself. Consolation he still pushing Djoker at age of 34 unlike rest of top ten players. Only slight positive from this increase BP oppty but unable to convert them 4/23 vs 1/7 at Wimbledon. Can we count that as slight improve maybe it is and SABR does help to add into his overall game but sometimes just makes him overthink but my take its an arsenal to use it occasionally. Serve deserted him again or more of Djoker reading his serve well. I think Roger can only beat Djoker in faster court and over 2 sets. Anything at GS level, probably lower chance of winning. At least I know he will be back next year. I continue to dream he will one day get 18th, he has to continue to push himself. He can still compete well against top dogs, I will still support him till he retires. On to Davis Cup next weekend. Lastly thanks for a great post Jonathan, your site is one of the best.

    1. Cheers Dippy.

      Tough match, SABR is good but why he no use it on bigger points. Simon was right, didn’t bring it out on the big ones. Yeah you look like a clown if it goes wrong but better than playing it safe…

      1. I was wondering that, too. Do you think Novak lobbing him on two consecutive attempts early on created some doubt in his own mind?

  3. I think everyone has somehow forgotten that Djokovic is now confirmed to finish the year as the number 1 ranked player. He has also breached the 16000 mark which is the highest ever point tally surpassing Fed’s 2006 tally of 15500. Somebody really needs to step up and stop this machine soon !!

    1. My thoughts exactly, Ajay. Some other records are in danger as well: number of weeks no. 1 (still some years to go, but nevertheless); most year-ends as number 1, not to mention the number of Grand Slam victory’s.
      Nadal used to be the danger for all this, but it’s now the Djoker. And I can see nobody else than Roger defeat Djokovic. No Nishikor, no Murray, no Nadal, no whoever.
      Where is the next generation?!?

    2. I read this on Twitter

      paraphrased somewhat
      “Roger pushed Djoko at his peak, to his limit , playing well below his very best . Honour to him. ”

      Thankyou for all your efforts dunno how you do this Jonathan.

  4. I woke up early to watch the watch the game but darn the rain the match began 2 and a half hours later. I recorded the match but i dont have plan of watching it now. I was monitoring the score while working and i keep banging my head on my desk everytime roger dont convert the break point! Can you imagine my head now? oh roger the things you made us go through…sigh…πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺ

      1. Any suggestions? The ones you had were already private by the time I attempted to look at them, and now they’ve been taken down. Yawn …

  5. Wretched from Federer. Absolutely no positives to take from this match. Djokovic is in Federer’s head and he makes him nervous as hell. This is the ceiling people. Djokovic is the fucking ceiling for Federer 6.0. Maybe even the new Nadal.

    On to Geneva then. For me, literally so. Traveling there to watch the man live for the first time after watching him on TV for 12 years. Here is to hoping he plays doubles with Stan and provides some value for my 3 day pass !

    1. Congrats Daya for going to watch the legend live! Otherwise – I wish you to get more inspiration from him at looking on positives in the challenging aspects of game of life. The negativity is creating bad moods which even don’t have realistics in them. He played fantastic, and he is probably doing that in Geneva as well.

    2. Don’t put your hopes up too high, Daya. The Dutch ‘best’ players have withdrawn from playing next weekend for various reasons, meaning that guys ranked number one zillion six hundred thousand and worse are the players sent by the Netherlands…
      So doubles… I doubt it.

      1. Yeah I’m aware of this. But then Stan and Roger might want to play doubles at the Olympics and that might make them play. Also, they don’t really lose anything I guess by playing doubles.

        Slim chances Ofcourse but I’m hoping for some luck !

    3. No positives from this match ?
      I disagree.
      Definitely Roger played much better than he did at Wimbly this year.
      23 BPs created compared to Novak’s 13. Who is more dangerous on the return games ?
      Unlike in Wimbledon, Roger put Novak on the back foot just as well as Novak moved Roger around the court but unfortunately Roger missed the final shot of many rallies from an attacking position.
      He is going to work on that and I am sure that if they meet at Aussie Open, Roger will play even better.
      The more they play, the more closer Roger is getting to Djoko’s level at the slams.

      1. Creating 23 break points is a positive, but not converting them is a big negative. So Djoker is clearly more dangerous on the return as he makes the returns count. Return points for show, break points for dough.

  6. Jonathan you are spot on.Great analysis.Did you hireΒ  someone to writeπŸ˜ƒ.
    I guess my instinct told me that Fed would win in straight sets.But just after 1st game I thought that this is going to be joker’sΒ  night.Federer fought back as he always does ,always showing a glimmer of hope and in the middle of third set I thought Fed had this match.i don’t want to talk what happened next. Roger doesn’t deserve the criticism that we shower on him.Fed could have retired,would have been right now enjoying with family,going for vacations and just sitting on the couch and relaxing.But this guy chooses to play,work hard,travel the whole year and and give his all for us.Everytime Roger loses a close match I don’t know why but I start loving him more and deep down in my heart I am so happy heΒ  is still playing.I guess I was a bit dissapointed with this loss because more than usΒ  he needed it.
    I was just thinking would a 34 year old joker have 23 breakpoints against 28 year old fed.πŸ˜€So guys we should just appreciate the fact that Roger is playing and let’s celebrate a grandslam final rather than defeat.He could have taken an easy route and retired after 2013 but he came back.
    I cried after that 4th set but I can’t be more happy that he is there playing for us.So In the twilight of his career lets just hope Fed remains healthy and strong .I am afraid these kind of losses don’t break him apart.Fed -we love u and as always u will come back and show us unreal tennis.
    But the fact is that third set will forever be etched in my memories and I guess will haunt me for a long time.
    This blog is great,people love Fed here and Jonathan huge credit to you for this.

    1. So well said there is such a rich matrix of opinion, knowledge and love for Fed on here heartwarming

      We just got a new Prime Minister in Australia weird day!!

      1. Yes Katie this whole leadership spill couldn’t have come at a better time as it distracted me quite a bit. As a result I wasn’t ‘grieving’ as much as Wimby two months ago.

    2. Cheers Pranshul.

      Yeah I agree, I don’t mind about the loss. It’s annoying yes, but Fed is still delivering top quality tennis, just missing out on the trophies it seems. Maybe it can come good, or maybe it won’t be possible. It’s fun watching him try though that’s for sure.

    3. Nothing to worry Pranshul.
      Roger is showing improvements in small increments every tournament he plays in.
      That could well be attributed to him getting more and more used to his larger racquet.
      Its only a matter of few matches time before Roger catches up with Novak’s level and surpasses him.
      Cheer up! Its not all bad. A lot to look forward to.

  7. Pssh. Not the result anyone wanted really but I just want to give a shout out to old man Rog and everyone here- (I don’t say it, because it’s always implied every time I write something here)- thank you for being so awesome. There’s so much love on this blog that it’s a place we all can turn to when we need a place to be.

    To Roger, thank you for giving us all 3 AMAZING months (bar two disappointing matches). The last month has been tough on me with college essays (applications), my best friends (and flat mates) having to shift to different cities and the decision of whether to stay on in Delhi or go home. And you guys gave me the best distraction possible. It helped me crack my GMAT and got me through a good part of my apps. I was in a great place mentally. Now that the distraction of the US Open is gone, and with the result that no one really wanted (but everyone kinda expected), it’s gonna be a lousy few days for me (us) but it doesn’t change the fact that for the rest of the last 3 months, it was all up up and up!!

    Maybe we’re wondering “Why on earth does he have to play like this only in the finals and like an absolute legend in every other match!!”. I think I just have 2 points to that:

    1) He’s up against a guy who is going through an unbeatable patch. The only way someone is going to beat him is IFF you’re a Roger Federer, or a big hitter having his day. Which brings me to point number 2.

    2) Let’s not forget that even though Fed knows he can beat him, he does know that he’ll have to play really well to beat him. So that’s pressure aspect 1. But add to that the second (and I feel the real reason) pressure aspect- that every time he reaches a final of a slam, no matter how he’s been playing up to that point, at the back of his mind surely he’s thinking, this is it. I’m 34 and I probably don’t have too many other shots. That pressure can be tremendous- knowing that you have to make it count. Combine it with the fact that he’s playing a guy who is deservedly the World No. 1, and it’s no surprise the result we’ve had in the last 3 slam finals. Djokovic doesn’t have that pressure. He has the confidence of having time on his side. He’s won 2 slams this year. So what if he doesn’t win this one. He’ll pick up the next one. The same feeling that Fed and us fans had when lost in the 2009 US Open. Eh. Who cares. Winning Slams was just a formality. If not this one, then the next. That’s a big advantage for Djokovic.

    Anyhoo, thank you Jonathan. Write ups like this can’t be fun. I admire you tough-ing it out. Thank you everyone. Thank you Rog. I guess it’s time to turn off the internet for a while and give the eulogies time to fade away. And then come back to watch old man kick some butt indoors!!

    1. I agree about the time factor. I feel that, in the GS finals, Fed kind of creates this pressure on himself which prevents him from playing his most free flowing game, which is maybe why the FH and the serve are not as perfect as in earlier rounds, and which is why the UE count creeps up, especially on the big points. His game has always been predicated on assurance, the less assured he is, the worse he plays (unlike, say, Nadal or Nole, who are marked more by determination). Earlier, he had the assurance of time, so he played seamslessly from SF to Finals of GS, never dropping form. But, despite al the disappointment (crushing as it is), it’s still a joy to watch him.

    2. That really was a cool comment Gaurav – and exactly right. πŸ™‚

      A real bummer this one. Once again I really thought this could have been the one. But I think you’re right – real pressure on ‘the old man’ as he now has so few opportunities to grab one more; and Djokovic *is* top dog with time on his side. Every dog has his day they say – I hope our ‘old dog’ gets one more chance. πŸ™‚

      1. See that’s the thing. “Just one more chance”. That’s exactly what, I feel, is causing the additional pressure on Roger.

  8. Lovely post J, as always, a great few weeks for you too and for that we thank you!

    – This is the 3rd slam final in a row now where Djoker breaks Fed 15-40 down in a key game that ultimately decides the match. What gives. No excuses for the BP conversion. We joke about it a lot but that huge regular occurrence that is wholly part of Roger’s game came back and cost him the match. If this match solidified anything about the sport it’s that # of points won means nothing if not the right ones.
    – Lucky Fed got that 2nd set regardless of it taking extra time otherwise I fear that botched FH would’ve caused him PTSD.
    – Novak didn’t play amazing but his defenses were a huge reason Fed failed to execute. Another huge season for him and without any rising opposition on the ATP, there’s a possibility he could catch Nadal and Fed. Also what a lead in the rankings, another record of Fed’s that is in danger. I don’t like how people are saying he was one match within the Grand Slam. If Novak won in Paris, that doesn’t mean he would have won in SW19 or Flushing?
    – I must ask, Fed dominance on serve in Wimbledon and USO throughout the tournament- a blessing or a curse? Fed strolls through his service games for 6 matches only to come up against the ultimate returner in the final and cracks under the pressure.
    – I guess this slam final loss feels a little more uneasy because Fed wasn’t outplayed. Feels like we’ve been here with Nadal. Fed gets himself into winning positions but mentally just not good enough when it matters. This brings me to my next point.
    – Djoker did unbelievably well to withstand the crowd but now that he’s snatched up 3 slams from Roger, don’t expect the crowds to get any friendlier. And that is the Federer effect my friends.

    I was pretty upset as soon as Djoker won and my heart sank seeing him celebrating with his team whilst Roger was in the chair thinking about what went wrong but it didn’t last long. 5 minutes later he got up from his seat, waved to the crowd and with a smile said “I’ll see you next year.” And that’s why we’re on this beautiful journey that is Roger Federer. Slams come and go but “genius is not replicable.”

    1. Always remember Roddick saying how considerate Fed and crew were when he lost. Novak lapses so easily on the charm and poise front sadly.

      . How about Malcolm Turnbull Alysha, ? – spin machines in overdrive and I am still obsessing about Fed’s loss.. God they can talk, a change from Tony Abbott but quite a surprise . Must be those stars.

    2. ” I must ask, Fed dominance on serve in Wimbledon and USO throughout the tournament- a blessing or a curse? Fed strolls through his service games for 6 matches only to come up against the ultimate returner in the final and cracks under the pressure.”

      I thought about that a min ago, 2012 we had that Benneteau test early. Seemed to steel him for the later rounds. Who knows… kinda beyond his control as to if an opponent plays out of their skin. Maybe he should play 1 match in a slam where his opponent gets a set head start πŸ˜†

      1. Here’s the thing! I don’t mind the BP’s so much but I struggle with the two crucial games he lost on serve from 40-15 up. Those two lapses cost him the match and he knew it. Always seems to overreach on serve v Novak… Nervous of the return? Or knows Novak reads his serve pretty well…either way, those 2 games were a dagger to my heart and Feds chances…

      2. Didn’t I suggest that an early challenging match in a slam might do him good? I seem to remember the idea being pooh-poohed πŸ™‚ Like my suggesting that meeting Djokovic in the SF might be easier … (*how* long is Roger guaranteed the No. 2 spot for?)

        I was surprised to hear that Novak had done the clambering-up-to-his-box thing again. When he didn’t do it at Wimbledon, I decided he was remembering how it was to be sitting there all forlorn having lost the RG final, and would have more compassion for his opponent this time. I obviously overestimated him.

        And I agree with Susie: those two service drops were pretty pivotal. It’s not like Roger. But then, nor was serving below 50% FS in set 1, either.

      3. I thought Djoker would’ve changed his ways after the FO final but he really needed to show the crowd who was boss. I have to laugh though at him playing with his own face on his shoes. I thought Fed’s “15” jacket was dumb but this was just a whole new level of stupidity.

  9. Oh well, bad luck to Fed. He had his chances and couldn’t take them.

    Also here’s something for Federer personally to add among many in his lustrous collection which I’m sure many of you won’t be happy about:

    He set a personal record for the most break point opportunities wasted (19 of them!); beating out 17 in the US Open 2009 Final. πŸ™

    1. Yes, but as I recall Del Potro would blast aces to save those break points. Novak was daring Federer to come in with a bunch of second serves and Roger WRONGLY didn’t jump at the chance. To be 1/11 on BP on 2nd serves is just horrible. I am too upset right now. This shouldn’t have happened.

      Roger should never outchoke Novak Chokovic, yet that is presicely what happened.

  10. Just too good. And I thought too many UFEs from Roger, though now I see Djokovic’s ratio was actually slightly worse. Those second serve won #s, just as many of you said before the match…

    The worst part of the failure to convert break points was that whole clusters of them were from 40-15 up or so; and Djokovic still brought it back to deuce.

    What a match though! (After getting past that abysmal start.) At the end, I was actually sitting there giggling & shaking my head, saying God, you did a good job, these guys are amazing, watching some of the scrambling out there. And I was able to enjoy much of that, which I attribute directly to the discussion here before the match; so thank you Jonathan & all for that.

    Hope you have a fabulous time at Davis Cup Daya – will you give us a fan story ?? (!!)

    1. It was an up and down type match. Djokovic trying his best to lose it, Fed doing his best to decline the offer πŸ˜†

      Just too solid in the end from Djoker despite giving Fed many chances, never made it totally easy for him and that proved good enough which was shame.

  11. I gave him 20% chances of winning so I shoudl not be overly disappointed….but the way he lost make it tougher to accept. The serve strated clicking only by set 2 which for me is the reason why he lost set 1.
    4 points :
    1. Djoker was truly amazing in terms of consistency on the base line, a nadal like performance the ball was coming back again and again.
    2 Fed is so nervous, I cannot understand why with all his experience but the result is all this hesitation on key points, easy shots missed, bad decisions etc This is the biggest question mark for me, afraid to win the 18th ? or aware that djoker is superior from the back of the court ?
    3. Rarely seen a worst performance on forehand, I guess it was just a bad day for him but certainly cost him the match on break points. You cannot help but thinking what if just had his usual forehand ?
    4 Fed made great returns especially on first serve which – with his own serve in sets 2 and 3 – made me think he could still make it but sadly, the nerves caught him up and djoker was so solid…
    At one point Djoker looked his team with the finger near his head, I guess it sums it up quite good. In the head Djoker was the winner. Congrats to him!

    1. For your question #2, I am no expert but it definitely feels like Roger does seem to put him little bit extra pressure on himself thinking about 18 when he starts..very rare for him to slow start like last 3 GS finals…

      Those breakpoints also feels same as he thinking about closing it there considering Novak’s relentless reterival ( similar to Rafa matches)…

      Who knows really, Roger did said in presser he knew what went wrong and what to work on which is always great to see even after tough loss..

      1. OK, so next time (there *will* be a next time, won’t there?) we hypnotise him to make him believe it’s only a SF πŸ™‚

    2. Aging sports stars do seem to handle nerves less well, seems to be a trend across the board. Dunno if accurate though. Mayweather is 38 and still close to the top of his game.

      1. ha, I indeed though about writing how bad Sachin got into managing his nervous in last few years and withhold to write there, seeing your thoughts similar way, he is indeed best example…

        Mayweather?? I am not even sure he should be included in that category, did he ever get into match without knowing he win in last few years??

      2. Well with boxing whenever you step into the ring you’re taking a chance, 1 punch can make the difference. So it takes a lot of bravery to get in there.

        The thing about Mayweather, regardless of his lifestyle, attitude etc. etc., is that he’s mentally so good, ring IQ like no other, reads his opponent so well and always finds a way to win. That’s why he’s been at the top of his game for so long, obviously along with his conditioning, he could box 30 rounds that guy. Definitely one of the best sportsmen of all time.

  12. I hope Roger keeps up this great play for the remainder of the year and can win the WTF- Djoker been hogging that one for a few years, time to take that back I think. Also that’s a wrap on the slams! I know it didn’t go our way but to everyone, what was your favourite slam this year/moment/match? Mine was probably Fed vs Murray at Wimby and Stan winning RG.

  13. I thought how can Wawrinka – who is not the player Roger is – take the one opportunity he gets beat Djokovic in a slam final, while Roger fails on three straight occasions against the Serb? It seems Roger is crushed by the weight of his own and others’ expectations that he will win. He still has the game – and the heart – but his nerve fails him on the biggest occasion. It is painful to see such a crucial weakness so cruelly exposed.

    But of course the game is no longer simply about ability. Recent reports from cycling and track and field show that international sport is still rife with doping. Tennis will be no different. We cannot know whether we are seeing a genuine or fair contest out there. I think the Federer of 2015 would have beaten the Djokovic of the years before 2011 – as he usually did. We can easily forget how Djokovic then transformed himself overnight from a very good but certainly beatable player of dubious stamina and mental strength into the near-invincible “Serbinator” he has since become. How the world can change! I take everything that I see now with a grain of salt.

    1. Back to doping πŸ˜†

      It happens for sure, but who knows to what extent, and who is culpable. No way of ever finding out when the organisations who promote the sport are also the ones in charge of keeping it clean.

    2. Stan had absolutely nothing to lose. Novak had huge pressure a la Serena in NY. Stan swung freely all match, no demons, in the zone.

  14. Hi, Jonathan and hi, guys! I read the post as well as all the comments and I agree with everything.

    To me, apart from the enormity of the occasion, which got to Roger, especially in the beginning, I have to say that Roger really really beat himself,

    And I think that the problem with Roger was and is that somehow he believes that he NEEDS to hold serve in order to play attacking tennis on the return. If you’ve been listening to him closely, especially during that 28 straight set win streak run prior to the final, Roger has been saying how when he holds serve, it frees him up and it allows him to play attacking tennis. Well, there it is.

    Take his serve and he folds. That’s what most disturbing to me. Look at the stats. Pretty much on all the stats Roger is better than Novak. Most shockingly he actually won more points on the return than Novak but still managed to botch it.

    Why is he able to attack and create so many break points yet when it’s time to take them, he doesn’t. Especially being 1/11 on BP on Novak’s 2nd serves. Why??? That’s just embarrassing! You have to jump on them, hit a wild shot, surge to the net, do something! He kept cupping and engaging in those long rallies and he didn’t win a single of those rallied. He would do the SABR to create the BP but he wouldn’t do it to take the BPs.

    If there is ONE thing that Roger needs to learn from this experience is that attacking tennis Should not only depend on you holding serve. It should be there when you are winning and when you are losing. You have to be willing to live by the sword and by the sword. If it’s break point, dirge the net and let Novak pass you. If he does, it’s better than losing a 20 shot rally. Rather get passed than engaging in a losing battle. Overall that is the one thing that Roger must learn. Attack no matter what – no matter whether you are losing or you are winning. It’s bold and risky but I guarantee you that if he did that his BP conversion rate would be way better than 17%…

    Anyway!

    1. It’s easy to say all that in hindsight. You could say, what if Roger has used SABR on all of his 11 breakpoints? He could’ve won a fourth of those, and the title with them. What if he had run around and been aggressive on all of them, or chipped and charged, or drop shot all of them?

      You can’t think like that. You play each point in that moment. These players don’t have the advantage of knowing how many break points they will see throughout the night. In fact, they may be thinking that I may not see any break points at all after this one.

      That’s why break points are so mental, so important. Your opponent is going to play break points much better than any other point. You never know how many of them you will get. You never know how quickly they will go away.

      1. Don’t disagree Sid, but it is significant that the only BP he won on on 2nd serve was at net. If you replay some of the others he did hit some great groundies which Wld hv given him time to get in, getting a less than threatening shot back back from Novak but he chose to stay back and it killed the point once he continued to rally. And he knew it when interviewed,

      2. I think Djoker killed some of Fed’s confidence at net in the first set and after those crazy lobs. Same thing at Wimby, Djoker comes up with a few decent passes and scares Fed to rally on the baseline. I’m only annoyed that on some second serves Fed decided to chip the ball and let Novak get first foot in dictating the rallies.

  15. A complete choke job from Federer here. Djokovic was trying his best to give the title to Fed and was choking himself quite a bit (multiple brainfart moments, double faults, loose games etc.), but Federer somehow managed to outchoke him. A guy with 17 slams and nothing to lose really, turned into a Safina/Anderson/Verdasco headcase in yet another major final.

    4/23

    1. As much as I am a FedFan and want to disagree with you, I simply can’t.

      Roger outchoked Novak “DjokerNole” Chokovich. It is what it is. We can’t sugarcoat it anymore!

      1. In other words, all things being pretty much equal in the match

        6/13 vs 4/23.

        There you go! Roger should have been at 10/23. Then he would have won!

      2. And to rub more salt in the wound, the skies are blue and the sun is shining today! Simply reduculous and disgraceful!

        I suppose next year is the Olympics so we can always look forward to that and U.S. Open roof will finally be complete but who knows!

        Onwards and upwards I guess. Might as well forget it and move on. No point in dwelling on it. Whatever! Choked, not choked! Whatever! He’s playing in a week so he’ll forget this one and move on. Still much better than last year. He made the final…

    2. [ A guy with 17 slams and nothing to lose really]

      Jesus! How do you cultivate that kind of thinking, Leon? The bigger his legacy, the more Federer has to lose. Roberta Vinci in her first slam semi-final, playing Williams, that’s a nothing to lose situation. The match last night, not at all.

      Aren’t you the one who yelled, “Fuck you, Federer” on chat last night? I know you were kidding, but that kind of attitude makes you a glory hunter. For the last time, Federer owes nothing to you, me, or anybody here.

      You have irrevocably Ruaned your reputation, Leon. πŸ™‚

      1. Well, what did he have to lose really?
        He has won everything in tennis, including 5 USO titles, and was playing Djokovic. He wasn’t the favorite in the final, so the pressure shouldn’t have really been there.
        Fed started the match timidly and was very nervous. For Christs sake, it’s your 27th major final. No need to be ultra nervous.

        Fed choked, plain and simple. I’m just very annoyed because Djokovic choked massively as well, but Fed somehow managed to beat him in that department.

      2. Of course F*** you Roger wasn’t serious. He owes us nothing. Still, it’s pathetic seeing 17 time major champion choke like an 18 yo youngster in his first slam final. That’s all.

      3. Remember how Djokovic choked in this first slam final at USO 2007? Now, that’s a choke. He choked away a plethora of first set points. Are you seriously comparing what Roger did last night, to that?

        I still don’t get it when you say he had nothing to lose. The more these great guys win, the more they have to lose. Not sure how you will ever understand that.

        A choke really is when you are up in a set, especially at the business end, or a match, or serving for a set etc. When was Federer ever up last night? He had a really bad break point day.

      4. I agree with both Sid and Leon in different ways. Fed did to a extent “choke” away the opportunities he had. 1/11 BP on 2nd serves is pretty unforgivable and Djoker was having a horrid day on serve. However, if Fed didn’t have anything to lose, I doubt he would still be playing. He doesn’t owe anyone anything for sure but the fact that he’s so committed to the sport at this age and putting himself in slam finals says he’s out there fighting to prove something.

  16. Thanks Jonathan for the post. I feel the delay played a big factor in the match. Fed had too much time to sit and think about what was ahead. He had a horrible start with little confidence. Waiting around can drain you in an emotional way.

    For me, this loss is a difficult one to process. He could have had the match on his racket but blew all those chances.

    Does anyone have the link to the presser?

      1. I felt Fed really started off badly on the wrong foot last night. Something the radio commies said struck me: they commented that a) the powers that be were in a rush to get the players on court and b) that Roger seemed to take quite a while turning up. I did wonder if he’d got a little flustered, and wasn’t quite settled by the time the match started – he’s always said he likes to be ready in good time for his matches.

        But yes, the conditions were of course the same for both players.

        I’ve wondered several times in the last 24 hours whether the result of Wimby 2013 would have been different if the match hadn’t been played in 40Β°C. Am I right in thinking the last 3 slam finals Roger has played against Novak have all been in similar conditions – relatively cool, around 20Β°C, and maybe not sunny either?

    1. No doubt the conditions aided Djoker but Fed had way too many opportunities to get ahead in the match to suggest the delay had an impact. Fed wants another slam so bad that I think his nerves would’ve been the same regardless of when they started.

    2. Yep, as soon as it rained, conditions, timing, all went against him, and yes he made a horrible start. First set FH and serve just off, and court much slower, allowed Novak to get rhythm, hit deep ( always an issue with Rog as he is so up on the baseline), and run Rog out wide on that FH side, just as he did at Wimby.

      However, the match was lost in 3rd set. Second game alone, 5 BP’s…. That was the game to be brave and he wasn’t.
      My hope it that he pulls out of this flipping IPTL, gets his Aus Open prep right ( came in tired last time) and really goes for it, hoping he is still no 2, and that Novak beaten early……. Bit worried that Fed handing slams to Novak so fast…..

      Final thought. Hoping WTF court plays fast cos Sabr Wld be fun to see there…. Can’t wait!

  17. roger gets nervous because his game is reliant on precision and artful construction and serve. He can’t play like the youngish types. Playing against a highly athletic baseline defender with very nice shot making abilities (for his style) who never wears out and never misses will make it seem like you’re nervous when missing some routine shots or double faulting here and there. Roger went overboard with the unforced errors, but he also missed the crucial shots while having Novak a bit on the ropes…why this is, why he decides to blast a shot directly at novak when the correct shot is elsewhere is a probably a sort of nervous problem for roger at his age and on this stage. He can get into an incredible groove where he seems clearly the superior player, and then when it matters or it’s time to put the finishing job on novak he waivers.
    This is because his game is far more mental than Novak’s. It is more trying and cumbersome when you have to be cerebral on the big stage. The moments begin to wear on you after your brief period of dominance in the match. Where as Novak is primarily a workhorse and a brick wall, waiting for the cerebral Fed to create unforced errors.

    1. Interesting ideas Steve.

      It is obvious that Fed is very cerebral in his game, the way he adapts his tactics, the unique ability he has to mix it up, to find the weaknesses of its opponent etc. He is a complete master in this particular area, totally unrivalled.

      It is only against nadal that he never found the solution. Against Djoker he has it as we could see even in yesterday match. Ironically, Nadal, to the opposite, cannot adapt his game the slightest…

      This being said, does it really explain the nervousness ? Not sure.

      One thing is certain : to play at his best, fed needs to be relax and let it go, that is the essence and beauty of his game. Fluidity is vital for him to execute his shots properly. Unlike most players starting with djoko and nadal who feed on stress to hit as long/hard as possible. In that sense, it sounds logic that the challenge of a final impacts fed more than them. But after all this time, is it too much to ask that he leaves the final and titles aside and just play his game? He has 1000 atp matches for christ sake!!

    2. I am no sure if all you say is because if Roger getting old or simply because the losses are taking a toll on him.

      To me, physically he is still there. Maybe his mental resolve and clutchness have taken a hit through all these losses.

      All I know is that Djokovic didn’t win this match. Roger lost it and gave it to him. Instead of playing risky on the break points, Roger almost always settled for the rally. And he lost 90% of those rallies. To be 1/11 on 2nd serve return on break points against a decent but not great 2nd serve is annoying to say the least.

      I would much respect if Djokovic if he aced his way out of trouble or if he came with some amazing shots. All he did is lay it for Roger and Roger just sat there waiting for the mistake which would never come.

      There were couple awesome Federer forehands that went wide – one was at 5:4 for 6:4 in the 2nd and also at 4:3 going for 5:3. If both of these forehands had gone in, Roger wins this match. But whatever!

      I hope that Roger learns from this and tries again. If he can maintain this level, I can see him getting one or 2 more chances. We shall see. Let’s hope for a strong end to the year at least..

    3. “All he did is lay it for Roger and Roger just sat there waiting for the mistake which would never come.

      There were couple awesome Federer forehands that went wide – one was at 5:4 for 6:4 in the 2nd and also at 4:3 going for 5:3. If both of these forehands had gone in, Roger wins this match. But whatever!”

      Bit contradictory πŸ˜† which one was it?

      You’re making it sound like Djoker gave him a free pass on every break point and he blew it. It wasn’t quite so straightforward, Djokovic didn’t miss, he made Federer miss. There were some very small windows of opportunity that Fed needed to take and for whatever reason he couldn’t find that winning move.

      1. I guess but you’d think that Novak would save a break point with w great serve. But no, he kept missing 1st serves and still Roger couldn’t get it done..

  18. It’s taken years and many a devastating loss and now I’ve finally come to the realization that Federer will never win #18. It’s just not going to happen. The game is there. The fitness is there. Those two things declining would be the indicator of age catching up, but they haven’t really declined. At the very least, he had the fitness to win in 4 sets and he played well enough to win. What isn’t there is the mentality – the mental strength to come up big when it really matters. 8 years ago Federer wins this match. Not because he played better then, or because he was younger and fitter, but because then, he had the ability to come up big when it counted and win the points that really matter. Nowadays, Federer doesn’t have it when it comes to the matches that really matter. Nowadays, Federer misses a make-able shot on set point. Nowadays, Federer just doesn’t quite get the ball where it needed to be on break point. This seems to only apply to Grand Slam Finals.

    It’s frustrating because I feel he should have won this match. If there was ever a final Federer would win his 18th, this was it. And he came up short. And time and again, we hear that he’s gotten more confidence from it, or he knows how to fix the issues, so why is it always the same old story?

    I believe will reach more slam finals. But I don’t believe he’ll ever win another. The mental game is just not there, and it’s so annoying I just want to give up tennis. Of course, if he does reach a Grand Slam Final, like the fool I am, I’ll be getting excited again and get my hopes up, only to see them shattered yet again as Federer, yet again, comes up short.

    It’s devestating. There’s no two ways about it. of course it’s amazing he’s still getting there. But I half-heartedly wish he wasn’t, because then it would be easier to rationalise and take. I can say he played a poor tournament and moved on. Here I can’t. He played a fantastic tournament, and messed up yet again when it really mattered. I’m heartbroken. I don’t know how many more of these I can take before I just give up on tennis. I love the sport and I love watching Federer play, but man can it suck at times.

      1. That’s not the point I was making. Sure, he was better and quicker in his prime, but my point was that I don’t believe that is what is causing him to lose these finals time and again. You’re right in that it does play a part in the mental side, but I don’t know, I think he’s quick enough, fit enough and still has the game to win a Slam, so mentally that should be a good thing for him. Yet whatever it is, blips in concentration, pressure getting to him, he just seems to not have that mental strength to come up with the goods in the really big points.

      2. I think it has to be a factor. Just a touch slower to the ball, a tad less explosive. The margins are so thin… look at Nadal right now for example.

      3. Federer definitely way better in his prime, no question about it. Look, he appears quicker, and fitter, in so many of the points compared to Djokovic. But that’s not how a tennis match is won. Displaying those things in key moments is what wins it for you. Sadly, Federer wasn’t up to it last night.

        I agree about Nadal. He is losing, maybe the score would look a bit lop sided at times, but the margins are still really thing. Sometimes it’s a single shot, or a single pattern you need to overcome, and suddenly the results turn around.

    1. “And time and again, we hear that he’s gotten more confidence from it, or he knows how to fix the issues, so why is it always the same old story? ”

      Of course, Roger is fixing the issues but so too is Novak.
      Novak’s level of play is improving all the time.
      However, i think, Roger’s level of play is improving faster than Novak’s.
      It is only a matter of few more matches before Roger’s level surpasses Novak’s.

      Roger’s game is good enough to beat everybody convincingly except Novak
      I think Roger has the ability to further improve his shot making by working more on his baseline game.
      He should play more on slower courts to improve his ground game and perfect his point construction.
      Just give him a bit more time to practice with his larger racquet and you will see even more precise shot making and all those Unforced Errors will turn into winners.

      1. I know keeping things simple is a good approach, but practice some more on slower courts and suddenly he’s improving his ground game? It just won’t work like that. Federer has been hitting tennis balls virtually every day for the last 28 years.

        The improvements Fed makes right now aren’t born from just hitting a few balls, it’s about trying to eek out that bit extra or find that one play that can make a difference when he needs it most, like on the break points last night.

      2. Of course, Roger has been practicing and playing tennis for 28 years.
        But 26 of those years, he played with a smaller racquet which limited his abilities.
        For example,
        do you think Roger would be able to SABR with the smaller racquet better than his larger racquet ?
        Was his BH with the smaller racquet better than with the larger racquet ?
        The larger racquet is giving him something new, something which he did NOT experience until 2014 and that completely changes the dynamics of his play.
        I can see the little improvements in his shot making.
        Every tournament, there is a slight increase in precision of his shots with NO decrease in power.
        He was NOT shanking or framing the ball last night.
        Unlike in Wimbledon, he did NOT miss as many FHs on the run when he was moved side to side.
        Many of the shots, he was only missing by a few inches.
        I think the best way to correct those errors is to play long rallies on slower courts.
        He knows he can and will improve further in a few months time and become good enough to beat Nole in the Majors.

      3. He would be more than capable of doing SABR with a smaller racquet, the 90″ is a control orientated racquet so it’s made for those kind of shots in the first place πŸ™‚

        I agree with you about him making improvements with the new frame all the time. But can he improve enough to beat Djoker in the slams? Perhaps, he had to improve to beat Agassi, Henman, Hewitt and Nalbandian. But gains were much easier then for him… still possible I guess to find that extra something and we’ll no doubt find out in the next few months whether there is a noticeable difference…

        Although his forehand yesterday was misfiring badly, it’s also easier to hit a forehand on the run on a hard court because of the bounce. On a grass court you’re hitting from much lower in most circumstances which makes the shot much harder.

      4. [Eek out that bit extra or find that one play that can make a difference when he needs it most]

        That’s it. And nobody gets it. He is only, just behind Novak in five set matches at this stage.

    2. Overall, if we have to judge so far in comparison to 2014, Roger is clearly playing better tennis this year than last year. The results have shown it. He won Brisbane. Last year he lost it. He won all the tournaments he won last year. He made all the finals he made last year pretty much and he got to 2 Slam finals this year as compared to last year.

      But Djokovic improved more and was just the better player this year.

      Maybe the turn may come at the WTFs. It’s best of 3 and if Roger can win there, there might be flickers of hope. He has to make that next step.

      You know that in tennis confidence is everything and confidence comes with winning – and with winning the BIG matches and the BIG tournaments. Roger pretty much beat everyone he was supposed except Novak.

      And if we go by the premise that his fitness is still there, there is no reason not to believe that Roger may get another shot or two. He made 2 slam finals this year – better than in 2012 and better than in 2014. And Roger is playing way better than in 2012 when he actually won. The difference is that Djokovic has also improved and tremendously at that.

      But there will be a letdown sooner or later. Novak won’t be able to escape from this much longer. Whenever you give the opponent 23 chances to break you, clearly you are not playing at your best. His mental toughness got him through this one. But his days are numbered. I am telling you. Roger will strike again before it’s all is said and done.

      You have to remember that Roger outlasted Nadal and he will outlast Djokovic. Mark it and book it! This is Roger Federer, ladies and gentlemen!!!! :-)))

      The Greatest!!! Don’t lose hope!!!

      1. Ah, Vily, now I know you again. Getting more positive :-))
        I do think Roger came closer to Novel’s level, especially this summer. That’s promising for the next couple of months.

        However… One thing is bothering me a bit. Novak isn’t sitting still either. As he said he it’s working on his volley skills. That would add another aspect to his game which could prologue his dominance even more…

        And as I stated earlier: away from Roger I don’t see anyone getting near him.

    3. Not sure you have watched Rog enough in his prime. He was quicker, no doubt, particularly laterally. His movement is still great , particularly going forward, but Chriiiist he is 10-12 yrs older. And lateral movement against deep baseline hitters is exposed. And he does tend to camp out slightly left of the centre allowing Djoker to attack the FH line, where he is at his most vulnerable. Watch Wimby 2015 final.

  19. It is better to have fought and lost
    Than not to have fought at all

    Fed lives to fight another day
    Will happen soon come what may

    And that is the problem, against Novak, Fed is only fighting. It happened earlier against Rafa. Soon it will happen against say Kyrgios or Kokkinakis.

    However, keep at it Fed. Nadal is done. Novak is not gonna replicate the same next year. Andy is your bunny. So the future is not bleak.

      1. At the rate Fed handing Novak slams, won’t be long before we are cheering Nadal to another slam….. To break the momentum! Hahahahahaha!

    1. Cannot deny it’s hurts
      The final broke our hearts
      Fed gave us so much hope
      In the end the reality told us nope
      The 18th yet again
      Will never gain?

      He will try again that all matters
      No matter how many times the door shutters
      He will fight till end
      That’s he we all admired
      Win another or not, I no longer care
      So long as he’s got peRFect hair!

  20. Woke up to check the results. And BOOM. Roger fucking loses again. And put me in a proper downer for the rest of the day. Personaly I blame the Atp for making nearly all the tournaments fucking slow apart from one or two. This is why djokobitch won because of his illegal CAVC Egg to cheat and heal quicker for 5 setters. Plus that Ginger bloated coach for giving on court coaching and hidden signals and claps. (FYI Boris ‘ Karloff’ Becker).
    I remembered a recent tennis docu that were talking about cheating and on court secret coaching. And they mentioned Ion tiriac at Boris ffirst title win that Ion and his other coach gave him so many on court coaching including in one match when Boris was losing and was going to shake hands but they persuaded him to continue and the rest they say is history. Therefore throughout Boris career he was known for him and and all his coaches to give him soo many illegal on court signals, coughs finger pointing etc etc etc thathe won alot of big titles because of it. Nowfforward 25/30 or so you got him giving Djokobitch his hidden aura and lack of talents and grooming him to a champion that nobody likes. In fact I prefered the Djoker without Boris. This is why there was a big hurrah about Boris secret coaching because of his well known past. No instead of gaining more public support and attention Djokovic is vast becoming more and more hated player. No matter what he tries he will never be liked. And for example when djokovic starts crying and breaks a racquet for losing a set to a lower ranked player shows Boris influences on him. The cock sure and arrogance of defence bullshit game that no offence player can win is absolutely unbelievable. ( fault At fucking P.)
    And so another gs loss . Flipping heck federer why do you always play fucking shit in finals at least Stan the man gives his all and win. But no go and build up millions and millions people hopes up to be crashed and stamped on. Thats it he will never win another because these last 3 defeats have mentally got him. And then will come the World Tour Finals and Federer will do the same thing and he will crap his loads and give false hope and once again Djokovic head will bigger and won’t be able to walk through the door. Typical Boris will think of some new jedi mind tricks which currently are working on federer.
    Man Boris ‘ karloff” Becker has a face you want to punch and so does Djokovic for that matter.
    I leave by saying it serve the fucking atp Right for changing the conditions so much that no young teenagers can break through or players with serve volley. That bullshit defence style you mays of wells play the wall as skill no longer matters. Just run and cheat to win. Wtf is going on? ???

      1. Sorry. You can tell that I am upset. I really thought he would win. The heart ache goes on and on. Damn you Djokovic, Damn you all to hell. You maniacs. Lol.

  21. A bottle of wine and your post, that’s all I needed to move on.

    One of the finest posts, no doubt, Jonathan, the blog man. Many thanks for the great job. Both Fed’s and your hard work deserve our greatest praise.

    And all commenters and contributors, so much fun sharing the joy and the pain as a Fedfan as well as the knowledge of tennis with you guys. So thanks!

    1. Right you are! I have subscribing to Jonathan’s blog for quite some time now, and I always feel a thrill to see a new post in my email inbox. It’s so nice to read Fed’s well-wishers celebrate his victories, console each other in his defeats, and also reminisce about his past. For me, because I missed watching Fed in his prime, and only saw him for the first time in the 2007 US Open Final and fell headlong and forever in love with his style of playing, this blog is just like soul food. I read tennis.com also and its just so exhausting reading the sparring and endless GOAT debates and venom-spewing by the Rafa/Nole/Roger camps. This is so much better. Whenever Fed loses a GS final, I somehow brim over with disappointment (because I feel so deeply that he could have won almost every one of the 10 finals he has lost, except a few in RG against Nadal), that I haunt the net for support and closure. Jonathan’s post and the comments give me both. Thank you all so much for being such a wonderful group of diverse people united by your love for Federer’s game (and Federer’s hair…sorry, couldn’t resist that, just feeling cheerier now after moping around the whole day).

      1. That is a really great point you bring up about missing Fed’s prime. I find a tonne of people who support Roger now have joined him on the latter stage of his career hence take these losses particularly to heart (maybe more than Roger himself). But that is the beauty of sports and to get the happiness we have to go through the heartbreak as well.

  22. What can I say. I was supremely confident Roger will win it in four. And on a different day, that’s exactly what may have happened.

    As Federer mentioned, in matches as long as the one last night, there will be plenty of ups and downs. That’s where Federer cannot go toe to toe with Djokovic. That just ain’t going to happen. As another reader mentioned about the quote from McEnroe, that at 34, it’s not the physical part, but the mental part that deteriorates. Part of it as someone mentioned is the thought in the back of Roger’s mind that, “This could be it. I may never be here again.”.

    Djokovic dodged a bullet, virtually from point blank. Did he deliberately play sub par, knowing that he is doing enough to deal with Roger? He did win those two key defensive points that I believe decided the outcome of this match. Would he have taken his game to the next level, had Roger shown more resistance? What if…what if Djokovic had actually played in beast mode?

    That my friends, is a scary thought.

    Other than that, I pretty much agree with the overall sentiments that Roger completely threw this away. One more break point conversion, just one more, and this match would’ve had a different complexion.

    But there is no, “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” in tennis. It’s those moments that you seize, or you don’t. Djokovic may have been outplayed in this match, given Roger played at least 15 more receiving points, and generated ten more breakpoints, but he seized the right moments, and deservedly won. Very soon, he will be in the GOAT mix. In my book, he is already a more accomplished player than Rafael Nadal, and now without a doubt, significantly owns the greatest rivalry in the sport of tennis.

    As for Roger, what can we say except, “Thank you! Thank you, over and over again!”. Records will show him 17-10 in slam finals, and having lost three straight finals for the first time. What they will not show is that in those three losses he was well beyond his prime, and battled the best player of his time. As a fan, regardless of these heartbreaking defeats, I’d rather see him in slam finals, than not see him there at all.

    1. Yeah agreed.

      Some Fed, better than no Fed at all.

      And it seems Djokovic is the only one capable of giving him any trouble whatsoever, virtually the only guy to beat him all year. Who will come along and knock Djoker off his perch?

    2. Back in 2013, almost everybody thought, Roger was NOT good enough anymore to beat top 10 players in Majors.
      But ever since he switched to the larger frame, he eliminated the advantages other players had over him in terms of easy power and a more forgiving (harder to shank) larger sweet spot.
      The more he got used to the larger racquet, the better he played, his BH improved, his serve improved and he soon turned the tables on players like Berdych and Murray.
      Today, Roger’s level is good enough to convincingly beat the World Number 3,4, 5 and other lower ranked players at Majors.
      What makes you think Roger’s level is NOT going to improve any further ?
      I think Roger will play much better in Aussie Open and probably beat Novak, if they meet simply because he will have practiced and played for 4 more months with his larger racquet and as a result his shot making will be even better.

      1. Ok, well 2013 was the back issue. But I agree the racquet has helped, larger sweet spot is a myth as there’s no difference between the sweet spot on a 90 or a 97. But there is more margin for error with off centre hits which is why the backhand is performing better.

        And I’m not saying Roger won’t improve. But I think there’re more to it than just hitting a few balls…

      2. I was definitely one of the people who thought Fed wouldn’t get another chance at a slam after Wimbledon 2014 but he sure as hell proved me wrong. If he can keep playing at this high of a level consistently and is healthy, you’d be a fool to count him out. Not having Nadal in the picture this year opened the door for Fed in a big way but maybe now he’s gotta avoid both Novak and Rafa for it to happen through a mental perspective.

    3. A great comment, Sid. How ironic is it by the way that today is simply sunny and nice in NYC just to rub it in.

      I think this loss sulk actually be a positive for Roger. Like I said before, clearly whenever you are giving the opponent 23 chances to break you, you are not playing well at all. I just feel that Roger is so much more clutch on break points whenever he is ahead in the score. He is just not a great comeback player. That’s why if there was ONE I wanted him to take was the one 4:3 in the 3rd. Who knows what would have happened. Roger plays so much better when he is in the lead. And it was there for him.

      But oh well. I am sure that he will learn from this and go from there. Last year when he lost in the semis it left a sourness in the mouth but this year it’s more of a disappointment with the believe that he’ll do better next time.. If there is a next time, right. I somehow feel that he’s playing way too well for it to be no next time. I am sure that he’ll get another shot.. I don’t know when but it will come. For all we know he could go on a tear like he did in 2011 in the indoor season.. We shall see!!! :-))

    4. “As a fan, regardless of these heartbreaking defeats, I’d rather see him in slam finals, than not see him there at all.” Sid, that’s so so nicely said, thanks for that!

    5. If Djoker wins the French, I think I would also put him above Nadal. Now has more HC and grass slams YECs, will probably overtake M1000 and weeks at no.1 over him.

    6. Seconded a million times. Have to say after the first set, I feared a battering but luckily Fed did raise his game. Don’t hv to like Novak but got to admire him…… No question.
      My concern is yours. Who the hell can stop him on a regular basis, cos no way Stan is going to get consistency at this stage of his career, Muzza busy going backwards away from attacking tennis, and where is the next generation. Guess we need Kyrgios/Kokk/Coric generation to come thru because as sure as hell the Kei/Raonic/Grigor generation won’t……already doomed…..

  23. I’d like to add – thanks to everyone who has commented here over the last few tournaments. It feels like there’s been a sustained level of great comments and debate on the blog recently. There has been ever since the first few comments to be honest but especially over Wimbledon, Cincy and now the USO there has been a lot of insightful stuff added and some funny ones too πŸ˜†

    And of course thanks to everyone who reads too but doesn’t comment, you are still very much part of the blog πŸ™‚

    1. Of course, Jonathan. Thank you being open to new faces and new ideas. I appreciate that you are letting me spill all my frustration. It does make me feel better when I can express and share how I feel. Thank you!

    2. The number of comments and sensible discussions generated on this blog are huge.
      I think this is the most famous RF blog out there
      Jonathan you can bring the stats out there.☺
      So congrats Jonathan .πŸ‘πŸ‘
      Sid’s comments are great.I enjoy reading them.πŸ˜†
      Like Viley,this place let’s me know that I am not the only one who is heartbroken and sad.😯

      1. Yeah, I wonder who scared her off. Sid was it you?

        Or is Katyani being a lurker? “Oye Katyani!! Where art thou?”

      2. I know Katyanu. Sorry to bring this up again but as far as I know she was banned from Ru-an’s blog after being labeled a Fed Fanatic. As many others, including me I suppose. I hope she comes back here.. I’m sure she would be welcomed.

    3. No, thankYOU Jonathan for creating this awesome community. Even in a painful loss, it’s so great to see the Fedfamily unite and bring perspective. I learn something new almost everytime I click onto here. Fed staying in the game means this site does too. Respect.

  24. Ugh, he was so nervous and then even when Djoko played crappily (let’s face it, his service was off all night) Fed would make an UE. Whatever. I think 18 is not gonna happen as long as Djoko is in the final and it’s infuriating because he really has little variety, not a great serve, just great groundies and defense (and cake-walk draws). Not interesting or pretty at all but somehow effective. On to Davis Cup, and whatever else: Shanghai, Basel, Paris, London? Who is signed up for Shanghai?

    Regardless, he is still a clear contender, #2 and none of these top guys now will even still be playing at that age. And even though he made more $ in two weeks than I’ll see in a lifetime, I feel sorry for him and am in a funk today myself.

  25. Seems like everyone here is going through the various stages of the grievance process – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Difference is most of us end up on one further stage – optimism. Vily you are prime example!

    Roger seems to run through all of these in about 5 seconds on the face of it at least.

    I think its ok, incredibly disappointing of course but we still have a lot to look forward over the next 2 years. Someone said he’s the only person beating Djokovic but the reverse is true as well. Thank God he is still around to put up some resistance.

    Couple of random thoughts:

    Sabr is a good weapon – it destabilised Djokovic’s serve for the rest of the match at the beginning of set 2 but I think Roger became self conscious of being made to look a clown after those 2 inch perfect lobs and became uncertain about it himself

    Part of the reason for the worlds love affair with Roger is his fallibility. A lot of aging players feel the love as they try to rekindle past times but Rogers had it early and bizarrely he can thank Nadal for that. People dont love winning machines and wont warm to Djokovic. The only time that has happened were his tears at RG

    1. I was gonna say:

      Who else will step up to the plate and help Roger out! He’s the only one who is challenging Djokovic right now. At 34! The rest of the ATP tour should be ashamed of themselves. You are just gonna let this DjokerNole Chokovic to rule without standing up to him. Only Roger!!! Come on – let’s galvanize the troops and topple this regime.. LOL!!!

      1. Who else will step up to the plate and help Roger out?

        Nobody. Every one else is too busy banging somebody’s girlfriend.

    2. Novak denying Fed more slams gonna make him even more unlikeable from a crowd perspective. Probably one of the most fascinating things in this sport is how protective people from all corners of the world get when it comes to Roger.

  26. By the ways, if you care to read Ru-an’s latest post you will get your blood boiling. Even the first comment was from a Federee fan who frankly called Ru-an a turncoat.

    I know that most of us don’t need to get more upset than we already are but this guy is something else. A true Anakin Smyealker turned into Darth Vader.

    And I am not sure if there will ever be a redemption for him. He has sold us all out with his venemous blasphemy.

    It was absolutely horrible. He even called the U.S. Crowds disgraceful and uncultured or something of the sort… Man, wow!!!

    1. As much as I do love a Fed crowd, the NY one was pretty bad. Cheering when a player misses a 1st serve or DF is poor form. Although Djoker makes things worse when he provokes them. He’s just always going to be one of those players the people love to hate no matter how much he accomplishes it seems.

      1. Criticizing the crowd is stupid, unless they start crossing the line. That’s what a crowd is supposed to be, partial, biased. The trick is to win the crowd. Djokovic hasn’t found a way to do that. Don’t blame the crowd.

      2. The crowd did cross a line though. If this had been reversed, I know many people here would be upset as would I. People need to respsect both players no matter who they support. If you read his interviews after his win he said he just imagined that the crowd was cheering was screaming his name instead of Roger’s and it seemed to work pretty well. I’m not going to feel incredibly sorry for someone who just won another slam. Djoker is never going to win the crowd. Not in NY at least.

  27. At least some one is standing up to this asshole;

    Dave on September 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm
    I have a question Ruan, do you think Djokovic will be playing at the same level as Federer at 34? There seems to be an underlying theme to your articles now. Kind of given up on Federer at the end of his career, I remember your post at the 2011 French Open semifinals when Federer defeated Djokovic with the famous Ali standing over Liston with you saying β€œstay down bitch”. Do you remember that! Deluded fans? Just who do you think you are? I will not be reading your blog any more. Seems you have lost a lot of readers anyways. Have fun with the Djoker fan. I like how an amatuer/ pro tennis player who couldn’t hack it as player but settled for writing and arguing against soccer moms and senior citizens about tennis and who the GOAT is. In my mind Federer is the greatest not because of what he had done but what he keeps producing. He lost to a player in his prime and also having the best year in his career and Federer had still defeated him twice and pushed him at Indian Wells and lost by several points here. I applaud Federer for his efforts. Maybe when he retires, you will say something nice if you’re not too busy worshipping the new ” GOAT β€œ.

    [Reply]

    Reply

    1. Haha that senior citizens line made me laugh.

      But enough of this Ultimate Tennis Blog stuff now. There was enough about it on the previous post, which is fine, it was a talking point as there are naturally many joint readers between our blogs.

      However there is zero point commenting here laying into him or slating his posts. It looks rather bitchy. And it also turns the comment section into some dumping ground where you go read a post on his site, then come moan about it here.

      If you have something positive or negative to say about a post on there, then leave it in the comments on his blog so he can read it and respond should he want to.

      1. HAHAHAH. I think the reason people are venting here is because the dude deletes all their “not-so-nice-comments” :p

    2. Ha aha. I can’t believe I just found mention of a Ru-an over here. I met him about a month or two ago. I have been writing about the game for a bit, tennis fan for 30+ years. Ru-an and I had our back and forth and I think he banned me. Ha ha ha. He must have seen some of this former readers in my comments? I’m not a Djokovic fanboy?

      This kind of insane fanboy crap is bizarre. Read his current post. He says something along the lines of “I like Djoker now,” yet a sentence later he says his is an unbiased blog. Not sure if he knows he sounds so lost.

      Either way, great to see others seeing the same thing. And I’ve only known of him for a cup of coffee. Short and sweet.

  28. …And another one slips away. When that third set went the wrong way I knew it was over. Roger probably knew it too, but at least he gave us glimmers of hope, fighting till the end and making Novak work very hard for it. Can’t really say I’m surprised. I always knew Djoker was the favourite and I didn’t fall into the trap of thinking that Roger was somehow destined to win here. Djokovic is in his prime and it was kind of a small miracle he “only” had one title at US Open, so this one was in the cards.

    I tried my best taking the advice of not letting the outcome of the match affect my ejoyment of it. Just gotta be greatful he’s still able to play at this level. I frankly would have considered it a good result if he “only” reached the semis. Still, when he makes another final it’s hard not be disappointed, especially after pissing away so many break points. It was hard to go to sleep after the match, all the thoughts churning through my head “what if…” and “if only…”. But oh well. No point dwelling on it too much. Just hope we can enjoy watching him play for a long time to come. Finally I have to thank Jonathan for the speedy write-ups and all the work running this blog.

    1. I had a headache and it was about 4am. Sleeping after the final was a dream πŸ˜† in fact my thought before I drifted off was, why didn’t you lose in three Roger?

  29. The worst thing about of this result is that I don’t win a Color 13 shirt! πŸ™ Was in the top five until after the final πŸ™

    1. Conal Wimby cost me an iPhone! I was no. 1 up till the final πŸ™ I thought by not picking him this time something majical would happen!

  30. Roger needs less talent and more bottle. I wish could put Ali, Jordan or even Sampras’s head on his shoulders. It’s a shame he is weakest where it counts the most.

    1. Agree, Richard. I argued the entire match would come down to mental fortitude. Tennis-wise, Djokovic has him on consistency maybe, second-serve, defensive mastery, etc. But the tennis is comparable really. It’s the ability to capitalize, close, execute that’s so mental. Pete was a beast. That’s all Nadal has had on Fed too. You think Nadal’s tennis has been at Fed’s level? Nope. He beats him mentally.

  31. I have figured out a way to beat Djokovic: put a tennis racquet in Justin Gatlin’s hands. I am sure Gatlin is also gluten-free…

  32. We all appreciate this blog, Jonathan. We have somewhere to go where people understand our passion.

    I wonder if Djokovic didn’t hire Becker we would be celebrating GS # 20.

    1. The weird thing is Becker was brought in to improve Djoker’s net skills but haven’t really seen it effectively translate that much, yet he still has 4 slams to his name with him. Edberg was brought in to do the same for Roger in ending points quicker and he has done so with immense success and reinvention but still 0 slams together. Just boils down to mentality yet again.

      1. Not so sure. Netplay yes, but Was mainly mental and it is clear that he has helped enormously. Becker has made him battle hard, bit like Lendl did temporarily for Murray. Stay in the moment, forget the crowd, just basically be prepared to die fighting, but like Connors in the old days. Don’t worry about being liked, just win! It’s very interesting listening to Fed in pressers of late. Talks a lot enjoying the crowd enjoying his tennis, his shots, loving the applause ( I don’t say those negatively), about various shots, how well his serve is going, whilst I am just wanting him to slay, kill the oppo and be brutal/ruthless on court. He was at Cincy but last 3 Slam finals, less so. Looking back Wimby 2014 he was closest ( and I still remember that botched overhead in 5th set).

        Anyway, random thoughts, and in the meantime, can’t complain about the season so far. Seeing a lot of Rog on court, at business end of tourneys, still in the mix, still no 2 and still winning titles… Rock on Rog!

      2. Fed has made 9(!) finals this year, winning 5 and losing the other 4 to Novak. What else do you say there? Definitely rock on Rog indeed, what a guy.

    2. Sue, without Becker, Roger would’ve won all three finals. I have no doubt about that. Even a self destructing Roger like we saw last Sunday, would’ve been good enough.

      A lot of people underplay the effect Becker has had on Djokovic. It’s not just about how he play, but how understands his opponents.

      1. So true, Becker has done a massive favor to the Djoker. Never did like him.
        Edberg must feel lousy, trying hard to help Roger get #18.

      2. I think that Becker does have an effect though. He knows how to pump Novak in “Us against the world” kind of way.

        Did you read his Tweet before the final?

        “Let’s have some fun with the SABR” What a douche?

        I only wish that Roger would have been bold enough to try it on that last break point at 4:5 in the 4th. If you die, you die. But I think he would have broken. Anyway, what’s done is done.

  33. Ohhhhh – I Looong for the day not to have my eyes offended by the ATP-pages and Tournament Fronts with Novak’s ugly triumphing face – if it wasn’t for their glad showing photos of Federer at any possible occasion, I would stop frequenting them – at least as long as Novak has his prime…Come on, take Novak down, he is not THAT impossible to beat!!! – Just too good at winning πŸ™

  34. Jonathan a very late thank you for all your great work day in and day out, offering us such a wonderful place. I really enjoy your articles, other peoples thoughts, discussions, rants, poems and everything else. You guys are awesome!

    Enough have been said about the final. Like someone mentioned I’ve gone through the five stages of grieving in a day, maybe not so much getting the optimism yet, but Roger will, I will too.

    The only emotion I can’t get rid of is the hate towards Djokovic and his camp. I find their ego and Becker’s cheap tactics with the media very unbearable and annoying. I almost punched my laptop off the table when they showed Becker’s face just after the match yesterday!

  35. Oh, I can’t wait for Shanghai to start. That will be the best way to get over this loss. Until then visiting this page helps also in my mourning process. Thanks for facilitating that, Jonathan.
    And Shanghai…? Let’s hope Roger will meet Djokovic in the final again so he can beat him in exact the same manner as he did last year.
    (Yeah, I know there’s some Davis Cup this weekend, but you can’t call that serious tennis – my country showing up with the number four hundred something and two debutants of 18 and 19 years old…)

  36. I know that that was a terribly missed opportunity by Federer, but somehow I feel there may be yet another chapter or two left in the book. This loss wasn’t devastating. It was more disappointing if anything.

    I am sure that Roger will learn from this experience. He really had the Djoker at his mercy several times but yet couldn’t capitalize. The shoreline looks very one-sided but if Roger took his chances, he would have been victorious. He has to keep telling himself that. I am sure that Roger will get better.

    Clearly, this is the way to go forward. I think that if Roger takes the appropriate breaks between tournaments and keeps himself fresh, he’ll contend next year.

    I wish that he would just win already so that he and We got that matter can wind down and relax. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. But there are new tournaments, new mountains to climb. Next year is an Olympic year and it will be full of highlights..

    Anyway. This year is not even done yet. Let’s hope that Roger stays motivated. Sooner rather than later there will be a Djokovic let down. He can’t stay at this level forever.

    1. Whilst Djoker is the most consistent and dominant player at the moment, I don’t really feel his level is something of astonishment like it was in 2011. It’s more about there being a combination of lack of competition (especially in Nadal and Murray) and being mentally resilient.

      1. And this is definitely “lack of competition” one of main factor in this tournament..Its like he didn’t need to play best or mentally spent until he plays to Roger….he didn’t even need a second gear to get into final..He is not even played single opponent who had won against him until final… Where as in FO he had to deal with Nadal and tough Murray in SF then couldn’t get it done on Final against Stan….

      2. He is more consistent now but I don’t feel that his level playing wise is that much better. No beast mode Berserker Djokovic. Maybe he hasn’t needed to go there which is scary to think off. No one really has pushed him to the edge. But maybe it’s not there and that would be a good sign. Hopefully he’ll start declining now. But that’s more wishful thinking more than anything.

      3. I hear a lot about Fed’s weak era now from when he won majority of his slams pre-2008. I wonder if we will hear the same thing later down the track when it comes to the slams Djoker wins from here on out.

      1. At least we got to double digits wins with Nadal. It seems that for the time being we are stuck with 10. Not that I care.

        Some people try to pay way to much attention to the H2H. It was everyone’s understanding that as long as Roger continues to play, he may lose some of that H2H record, especially eith Djokovic, for example. But if he manages to get his hands on Number 18 or maybe on a 7th WTF title or an Olympic Gold, it would be all worth it…

      2. Indeed, too much attention to the H2H. If you look at the W-L to surface, Roger, of course, takes a beating on clay, but the duel gets a lot more even beyond that.

        And Roger’s longevity, as you say, along with Nadal’s periodic “retreats” from the tour affect the H2H in rafa’s way. It’s overplayed.

  37. Well, has anyone here done 4 SABR’s in a single game? I was 3/4 tonight in one, and about 8/12 in four games in the closing stages of the match. Basically, I made more SABR’s in four games than Roger made in the entire final. Watch and learn, Roger! πŸ™‚

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