Djokovic Denies Federer To Win Indian Wells Title
Hey all, just enough time to squeeze in my Indian Wells final post before Miami starts and it was another successful tournament for Fed.
Not the result he would have wanted of course but he backed up his performance from Dubai with some more stellar tennis and there is definitely more to come.
As for the final itself it was extremely close and the result boiled down to a couple of points plus Djokovic hitting a purple patch towards the middle/end of the match.
Any final you lose 7-6 in the third is bound to hurt a little bit but I don’t think Fed can leave with too many regrets. On another day or a quicker court he most likely gets out of that one on the winning side so it’s a positive match in my opinion. Bit of a weak tie break when he’d been mentally great up until then but I think Djokovic made it difficult by hitting with a lot of depth and serving accurately. Let’s take a look at the match…
Quick Match Recap
As I expected Roger started the match brilliantly holding to 30 and then breaking to lead 2-0. The chip charge move he made at deuce was peRFectly executed and had Novak somewhat bewildered.
With Djokovic being the best returner in the game you always expected him to create some chances but he couldn’t even create a single break point chance in opening set.
At 4-2 he had 30 all but Roger hit the slider out wide into the deuce court then boomed one down the T. It was just extremely clutch from Roger who served out the set to love 6-3 without every really looking in danger.
As far as dream starts go this was it as Roger hit 74% of first serves with 12 winners to 9 unforced errors. Novak didn’t get a look in.
The second set was always going to be about whether Fed could maintain his level and what Djokovic would do. Would he up his game or let his shoulders slump like he did briefly against Isner?
As it turned out Fed went off the boil and Novak started to improve. At 2-3 Roger serving the Serb started to return better and it felt like he was slowly finding his form.
That came to fruition in Roger’s next service game as a lucky lob landed on the line and Roger went wide with an inside in forehand to fall 3-5 behind. Poor choice of shot here and a very low percentage one at that.
Fed then had half a chance in the next game with a 0-30 opening to break back but Djokovic composed himself to take it 6-3. The numbers in set 2 reversed with Federer only making 54% of first serves and hitting 5 winners to 11 unforced errors. Unfortunately for the Swiss he let his level drop and that allowed Novak to find a way in.
Third set and with momentum on Novak’s side it was a crucial opening game for Federer. I thought when he played a ridiculous dropshot on game point and then faced a break point the winner of it would decide the outcome of the match. As has been the case all week Roger was extremely solid and refused to back down hitting some massive forehands to hold for 1-0. It was a huge hold under big pressure.
I thought that could have been crucial but he just couldn’t shake Djokovic off and in his next service game he again faced break point. This time he couldn’t fend it off missing with an inside out forehand. It was a bad miss considering he didn’t need to paint the line but as always it’s fine margins.
Both players traded holds until 5-4 when Novak had the chance to serve for it. As we know all players get tight when serving for a match and Fed used that to his advantage here, mixing it up and drawing Novak into the net to break back to love. It was another great show of determination from Roger and it’s definitely a good sign he’s digging in right till the end. No looks of resignation, he goes point for point and backs himself to turn things around.
He followed up the break with a love hold which meant he’d won 14 of the last 15 points to lead 6-5. Momentum had shifted here but Djokovic steadied the ship to hold to 15 and force the tie break.
It was a disappointing return game from Roger at 6-5 as I figured he’d just go for broke on returns to pile on the pressure but it was pretty passive. Fair play to Novak though as he served smartly to take it into a shootout.
Into the tie break and Roger immediately went down a mini break. He had a chance to level things quickly but played a timid lob that he had way more time to execute. 3-0 soon became 5-1 and Djokovic was virtually out of site. A forehand error handed Roger one mini break back but then he missed a regulation forehand of his own to give Djokovic 4 match points. He saved the first on his own serve with an ace but Djokovic wasn’t to be denied closing it out 7 points to 3 to take home the trophy.
|Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic|
|1st Serve %||63%||65%|
|1st Serve Points Won||45/64 (70%)||47/62 (76%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||21/37 (57%)||17/34 (50%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/6 (67%)||1/3 (33%)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|1st Return Points Won||15/62 (24%)||19/64 (30%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||17/34 (50%)||16/37 (43%)|
|Break Points Won||2/3 (67%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Total Service Points Won||66/101 (65%)||64/96 (67%)|
|Total Return Points Won||32/96 (33%)||35/101 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||98/197 (50%)||99/197 (50%)|
Thoughts on the Match
A positive week with a disappointing end is the best summation I can give. Definitely not a step back for Roger as I think he showed his tennis is right up there and he has way more to come for the remainder of the season.
The final was great viewing and if Roger hadn’t made a couple of key errors then he could have been holding the trophy quite easily. Those are all ifs and buts though so I think credit must go to Novak, he is a handful on any surface but especially on these slow hard courts where he can do what he does best.
As soon as he started to return better that’s when the match changed. Roger couldn’t get the cheap points on serve any more as it was impossible to serve through the court.
That meant he was always staring down at 30 all scores and having to dig deep just to hold serve. That is physically and mentally draining so I think that pressure eventually led to the forehand misses / unforced errors which let the match slip away. It wasn’t like those misses just came out of nowhere and were mental meltdowns, it was continuous pressure from Djokovic that eventually had the desired effect.
In the end the tie break was a bit of an unexpected bonus and I thought Fed was going to pull it out the bag but Novak toughed it out; hitting with great depth which made it difficult to dictate or to claw back the deficit. It would have been epic if he’d managed to win the breaker looking back but it just wasn’t to be.
Can’t say I was disappointed for longer than 30 seconds with this one as it’s just the way tennis works especially at the top of the game. Easy to say he should have made that forehand to not get broken in the final set or played sharper in the breaker but I’m sure on another day he will as he’s giving himself chances and putting himself in a position to win which is the most important thing. Last year we wouldn’t have even got close to a final set breaker 😉
Next Stop Miami
Looks like Roger is going to play Miami and the draw is out. Here’s his projected opponents:
- R1 Bye
- R2: Karlovic
- R3: Verdasco
- R4: Gasquet
- QF: Ferrer
- SF: Djokovic – Murray
- Final: Nadal
Full draw post coming soon 😀
The Greek Gambler has defied the odds to take home the trophy!
Well done Greek Gambler. You have won a title a little bit like Stan the man !!!
Thanks Serajul, I m sure its gonna be much easier for Stan to get a second one 🙂
Late again… Grats Gambler!
OMG a 3 horse race. And the Greek Gambler wins by a nose on a photo finish and a stewards inquiry. No more bets please. Lol. Unlucky Ajay and Brandon seriously that was close.
First real insight comment! A nice tourney overall huh Jonathan. Sure, it was a big disappointment the final set tie break but to make a M1000 final and to go from 8 to 5 must be considered a great tournament! Miami has a good draw too! Happy Roger is playing great again, especially after 2013! Add those points and finals and off to my sunny state we go! 🙂
Agreed, big jump in the rankings on a slow hard court tournament. I guess the one negative thing I thought of is Fed won Indian Wells the last time he won a slam. Does his failure to win it this year suggest a slam will be tricky? Not sure on that though 😉 just a question….
Sad first win .. but still first!
I ve always been around just didn’ t have much time to comment. Ok now I ll go put my kids to bed then read and make a proper comment…
Just want to say that I like among others the fact that after a loss Jonathan takes quite a while to post just to make sure that his blood is down to normal temperatures. Very British and very like what we all have to do in tennis and life.
Especially we down here at the south
HAHA! So verry true!
Haha if it hadn’t finished at 11pm and I didn’t have work the next day I’d have posted pretty quick I think 🙂
Finally Federer has a decent draw!!! Miami (and number 4 ranking) here we come! Good times lie ahead. Allez!
Still a good tournament never the less. Hopefully if he goes to Miami Federer can gain spme more match wins and points. I think he will be full of confidence despite losing as he was close. Anyway I still believe Come on Rogeeeeerrrrr!!!!!!
*cries* He was so close :'(
Here are some napkins, sweetheart 🙁
The guy never ceases to inspire. Here’s a 32 year old going on 33, almost geriatric in tennis years, giving the world’s best player (you could argue about the rankings, but he’s now won the last 3 1000s, and the WTF) a solid run for his money on a mind numbingly slow high bouncing excuse for a hard court, where the conditions did him no favour.
At the end, the tie break was always going to be a crap shoot. Credit to him for fighting back and not giving up for the horrible 6-2 scoreline. If anything, the only thing I was disappointed with was his return game at 6-5 in the third, when he had all the momentum. That’s where he let it slip ever so slightly, pulling the foot of the pedal.
All in all the tournament was a success. One tie break and he could have been holding up the trophy, but that doesn’t change what happened over the course of the week. I’m perfectly satisfied.
Very happy too. Said it before, when he plays like this, ups and downs included but he fights to the end then kudos to him. Fans should be very happy. Breaking back to 5-5 was amazing. It is almost as if we have Roger 4.0 now. He doesn’t need to be a frontrunner, the spirit is with him to the end. It was absolutely amazing to watch. If he can only stay positive in the Miami final as well.
I guess he has a shot in Miami with the draw, but beating Djoker / Nadal back to back would be very difficult if they both make it.
Very good write up once again Jonathan . Not much to add. Just felt that Novak is still not at his best.
Then Roger just played his game at the first set mixing it up serve and volleying a lot but then probably cause Novaks game improved (?) the match turned up more of a baseline battle. I was worried then cause that’s not Rogers home territory and at times I was feeling he s getting exhausted . At the third set it almost happened that Fed would win Novak at his game. Now I wonder . Is it that Roger was trying to test something? His racket? His stamina ? his baseline game ability? Is he just too stubborn thinking “ok that’s the way you want me to beat you?” Or is it that Djokovic has too good of a passing game not letting Roger mixing it up buy coming at the net more?
Still believe Novak is not at his best but who knows? maybe Fed also can reach even higher levels of play.
Draw looks good so hoping for the best!
Ps Royal Bank of Augut LOL , I just remembered
Interesting. I too thought he looked weary at one point in mid 2nd set when Novak had him on a string at the baseline but he looked pretty fresh at the end! No doubt the toughest match physically he had all week. But playing slower than slow Miami so clearly up for it! Did us proud! If you look at the stats for both, they are remarkably similar which tells you both played well, both getting a look at the others serve and in the end it was a couple of points! One disappointment was the tame game he played at 6-5! Shld hv piled the pressure on but seemed ok to go into the TB! Most enjoyable moment, immense inside out FH to save breakpoint at 1-1, followed by a guttural roar! Shades of FO 2009!! Loved that he fought so hard, got cross, slapped himself at one point! That feeling of wanting to win badly has fed returned! Crowd just loved him( Novak must just wonder at his popularity, and want him to just go away!)
Happy with the Miami draw! Finally gets Ferrer quarter! Anything here is a bonus in my view !!Allez and Jonathan, you are doing a sterling job keeping up the pace if the GOAT!
Yeah I agree he looked a little flat for some periods, but that kind of coincided with Djokovic finding his feet. Difficult to assess. I think Djoker kinda stopped him playing with his depth and consistency. If he had peeled off 3 or 4 aces, plus some forehand winners he would have got a real boost of energy / confidence. Hard to do on that court.
And RBS – Royal Bank of Agut. Don’t think anybody else picked up on that 😉
Super recap, Jonathan, many thanks as usual. However, I am even more disappointed in knowing that you disappointment lasted on 30 seconds :(; I am feeling very gutted with the result. It was sooooo close! I thought in the final set that Roger did us tremendously proud by breaking back and took it to 6:5, I thought he was almost there. I agree with you that he should’ve piled a bit more pressure on Nole after that and pressed a bit more. Instead, he just let Nole off the hook! As a whole, this year’s IW has been good except for this final result.
Had a quick look at the Miami draw. Roger should reach semi. Are Miami courts even slower than the IW’s?
Miami courts are probably just about the same speed as IW, but there tends to be alot of humidity in the air in Miami, which slows things down further….whereas in the desert of IW, the ball flies through the air relatively quickly.
BTW, first time poster here, Jonathan…awesome blog! #nycFedfan
Welcome Phil. 🙂 To peRFect Tennis and the Federer fan club dedicated to the GOAT!!
True, the humidity hurts. But the courts tend to be grainier compared to IW. Effectively, the Clay season has begun.
Phil, thanks for info on Miami courts. Welcome to the home of Roger’s most dedicated fans 🙂 . I am relatively new myself as well, though I’ve been reading the Jonathan’s blogs and these guys’ comments for years. Jonathan’s blogs are always the first class. Fed fans’ comments/posters here are equally excellent – passinate and hilarious 🙂 . I am taken back sometimes by the impressions that Roger’s fans here have rubbed off a fair bit of class off Roger with well constructed and beautifuafully written posters.
Wish Roger do well in Miami, having let the trophy ‘incidentally slipped away’ at IW.
Welcome Phil, good start with information about Miami, keep that up 🙂
Thanks Gang. I wasn’t disappointed for long. What is there to be down about? There is always a winner and a loser in tennis. More fun than a draw 🙂 and RE courtspeed I agree with Phil.
@Phil, I think Miami is definitely slower because of the humidity and sand paper surface. Ball slows down big time. The final with Ferrer and Murray last year was dire. And thanks for commenting!
Oops has Def returned! Typo!
Miami cld produce some very interesting ranking changes! Ferrer and Fed will change places unless Ferrer makes at least the SF I think, and Muzza needs to make final to avoid a drop to no. 8. If Fed makes a charge here and on the clay he cld push for no 3. All good news!
Ferrer will surely be rusty but he can grind here so I guess he can escape some matches he may otherwise lose against decent ball strikers.
Love this write up!
Novak Djokovic wins BNP Paribas Open — but Roger Federer …
Los Angeles Times-17 hours ago
The grand finale of this grand tournament ended up with Djokovic winning and, somehow, Federer not …
Hopefully this is the link!
I love it 🙂 thx for the share Susie!
I’m so proud of our Roger and like Jonathan my disappointement didn’t last long as it has become clear to everyone that Federer means business this season… He had a great tournament even if it wasn’t the peRFect end. It was the PeRFect manner and form all week however. Hope he carries it on through Miami, DC and the clay season and why not give Katyani the satisfaction of a good prediction come early June 😉
Nice article 🙂
“It was a disappointing return game from Roger at 6-5 as I figured he’d just go for broke on returns to pile on the pressure but it was pretty passive.”
Someone needs to sit him down in front of a recording of the Wimbledon 2012 final, end of second set. Might remind him how to do it.
I was rather disappointed with the result, I have to say. He really can’t rely on being Tiebreakerer at the moment, so he should have tried to push more at 6-5, as you say. But considering I didn’t actually expect him to even get to the final when the tournament began, I can’t complain too much. Hoping he can get well into the draw at Miami. How’s Karlovic playing at the moment? Presumably Miami will take the sting out of his serve anyway.
Stan destroyed Karlovic in Indian Wells. He’s just a serve bot but he can be tricky, took Murray to 5 at Wimbledon before. But on this type of court I think balls will sit up and let decent returners get into rallies which he has no business in. Negative aspect for Fed that too though deeper into the tournament.
What a fucked up result!
The greatest player of all time again robbed of a title by a dull unimaginative grinder robot with questionable aids.
I cried for hours
:))))) such a clean and honest comment!
I think he was being sarcastic, Tilas.
I think I was being sarcastic 2, Sid.
Haha dull unimaginative grinder robot. Harsh but true I guess. Djoker is a machine really.
Question is, if it had been a best of five (as it should be for a 1000), would Roger have won it? I hope so. He has to, if he is going to win slams again. Which, I really hope happens and frequently.
Watched it again. Great match by Roger. If had wanted it as much as Djoker did, he would have won it. Still not there yet. Not yet April 🙂
* If he had wanted
Difficult to say, Djoker over 5 is very tough because he is great physically. But you never know…
Overall satisfied with Roger’s performance except for final 10 mins. He made some key errors which cost him the match but he did push it to TB. Almost stellar performance just a tad disappointed that his serve deserted him a little. I was hoping he pull out of Miami considering that he will be playing at Davis Cup next. Furthermore his record at Miami is always 2nd or 3rd round at best. The draw is a little tricky but considering his current confidence level I think he will tactically exit by 3rd or 4th round – just speculating. I hope I am wrong about this.
Well he’s won Miami twice and done pretty well there I think. He not playing Mickey Carlo so I think he has enough time to rest. Maybe even misses a tournament due to the baby…
Thanks for your post Jonathan, have been waiting all day! Agree with much of what’s been said.
I actually thought Roger himself kind of spurred Novak to remember how to play his best tennis – and unfortunately, Novak remembered just a bit too quickly. Novak has a long history of playing great tennis to counter just the kind of great tennis he was getting there at the beginning of the match, & it’s almost as though some rusty cylinders started firing for him. I saw the dagger look in Novak’s eyes I haven’t seen all season.
I missed almost the entire 2nd set because my stream got clogged with spam. P)($&#)$&)*$&(&. Third set, Roger gets broken, and I’m thinking, you know, he just doesn’t have it. He’s just run out of oomph just a tad before the finish line. Great progress, but still not quite there.
Then he broke for 5-5 and proved me wrong. Or at least, wrong for that moment. I too was disappointed he couldn’t keep that going in the 6-5 game, or regain it in the breaker, but as others have said he had already exceeded expectations for the tournament. (Not hopes, but in Roger’s case, hopes will always be sky-high – because we’ve seen it happen.) I too wondered if there had been a tweak to the racquet that didn’t work out, though I’m not sure I think he’d change anything right before a final.
All told, not his best tennis of the week, but by far his most testing opponent, and he was neck and neck with him the whole way. He maintained good, sometimes sublime tennis through to the finals of singles AND the semis of doubles. If someone had suggested this result to us last year we would have been ecstatic. Onward & upward, Roger!
Agreed, making final is a good a show. Only made one Masters 1000 final last year I think so already improving.
Digressing a bit here, but since this is a predominantly UK-based thread, and someone had referred to it a couple of threads ago: can anyone tell me what Radio 5 Live Extra’s policy/practice is on covering tennis? I was surprised to find they were covering fairly early rounds. Is it just because of the time difference and the fact that there was nothing else on at that time of night? Do they routinely cover, say, M1000s? M500s? Should I remember to switch the radio on more often in the hope that they might be commentating on a match?
Not sure but think bbc does purchase some radio rights! Tweet Russell Fuller and find out!! Me ? I just nagged the husband til he gave in on Sky, much as I hate all the crap and football that comes with! Love Marcus and the team ( although Greg drives me up the wall with his inane comments). Peter Fleming always puts on his bemused face when Greg spouting rubbish!!
I don’t know but they do employ Overend full time who mainly does tennis so perhaps it’s a focus of the radio. Especially seen as though they have zero TV coverage now outside of grass, used to do AO and FO. Maybe the budget was slashed and went to radio.
Rusedski is a clown, who remembers when he said Sampras was a step slow after Pete beat him at USO in 2002 and that he would lose his next match? Ends up winning the tournament 😛
Thought I’d heard that Overend had stopped doing tennis?
Anyway, thanks for the info, Susie and Jonathan.
Thanks Jonathan for your good post, as always! Great consistency, I guess that makes all the difference 😉
Unlike you, I have not been able to get over this one. I don’t know what to think. It’s been a very good week for Roger and it was really encouraging to see him capitalize on his success in Dubai. Of course we have to remember were we are coming from and just be grateful to be able to see Fed back in the mix.
Yet, I cannot help but being disappointed. He should have won this one. Djokovic was far from sensational. Yes from the 2nd set on he was able to improve his first serve %, but Fed was incapable of applying pressure, while dropping his own %. He took the Djoker to 0/30 various times but could not go any further. We got to see a tiebreaker in the 3rd and one could think it was a close one but it was mere luck really. You create your own luck and Roger played well in that game but, again it was more a bad performance from Djoko who could not close it, just as against Isner. Then Fed hold serve but at 6-5 I felt he did not play at all and it seemed as if he was just happy to go to the tie break. And then he never was in a position to win it. Disapointing.
To me, it is due to 2 things:
1/ Roger´s BH was really weak. An early BHDTL winner and I thought: this is going to be good. But it dis not last long. For each winner (it’s not been all that bad), we got the usual mis-hits, but, much worse, too many week, short, and pace-less BH.
2/ Overall, after the first set and especially in the 3rd, he really was not going for his shots and looked rather timid, holding his arm like he was affraid to miss. If he is to win any major title, he needs to solve that.
Maybe I am being blinded by my disapointment. Maybe I am too tough on Roger. What do you guys think?
On the positive side, Roger did not seem too affected by the loss. His runner up speach was great. He spent more time talking and thanking everyone than Djoko! You could see he was enjoying being back and it was almost like he had won it!
Now on to Miami! Allez Roger!
I think one has to accept that Novak really started finding his length and pushed Fed behind the baseline, from where much harder to hit winners. Read the Atp brain game Analysis and stats and it becomes clearer. Let’s be honest, Novak is hugely superior to everyone Fed played earlier. And he reads Feds serve direction better hence the low stats on Feds 1st serve points won. It’s an interesting article, worth a look
Novak always finds a way to win when he’s in choke-ovic mode.
It was fun to watch at the very least. Oh, and the “almost” epic comeback from Federer.. just fell short on the tiebreak.
Not expecting much on Miami though. It’s always a hardcourt favoring grinders.
Yeah after last years final it looks that way. Guess it depends if it plays faster this year.
To be frank, Roger needs a much bigger frame. After winning what, 11 or 12 points or something in a row…he just gave up the strategy that was working. The 5-6 game was a disaster. Federer couldn’t have played it any worse than he did. With what was going on with Djokovic, I was confident Roger was going to get balls in play. After the opening point, where Djokovic served a pretty nasty second serve, Roger simply gifted away two points. Djokovic didn’t earn that game. Roger flushed down all the hard work in a manic five minutes.
And that’s why, Roger needs to be in a bigger and better frame of mind.
To all of you, this was a success. To me, it was a disaster. I’m sure Roger’s hurting too.
I agree with you Sid, I managed to watch the first set where Rog was playing flawless game and he cornered Novak. Then went to bed assuming he will wrap it up and win the second easily.
I was shocked when I saw the result, and I went and saw the extended highlights. Novak did not win the match to be honest, Roger lost it! And this should hurt knowing that he had the match. What Novak did is simply stay in the game, put some more balls on play, with some clutch moment, very few and a key errors from Roger when he had the momentum with him @ 6/5 and breaker
That sums the match.
Should Roger take positive thinking from this match? I guess no, but the entire week, BIG YES.
I guess he didn’t have a great plan B for set 3 🙁
Djokovic managed to break down Plan A and that was all Roger had.
maybe you’re right Conal, maybe that what happened. I also read some comment somewhere about the wind effect. maybe that was the case as well
I think calling it a disaster is too dramatic, AO 2009 was a disaster, this was just a tough match that he came out the wrong side of.
Sid I don´t think Roger is hurting too much. He played a great match, and he knows had he just played some points here and there better he could have won it. But he diden´t, so this is the only thing to be hurt about. He leaves IW knowing his level is very high and he left all out there, and that´s the good way to lose.
I agree. Poor tie break but good tournament.
thats exactly what I said, yes for entire tournament, no for the final match 😉 and to be precise, no for the final game and TB 🙂
Sad. Anyway it’s done and dusted.
I am happy that we will see Federer playing one more master 1000 where he can possibly gain some points and overtake Ferrer as he is going to defend 600 pts.
Hoping for more drama in Miami. Looks like Nadal will be there at the end waiting for Novak/Roger.
Wish Federer win this one. All the best GOAT.
Again great post Jonathan.
I think Ferrer could lose early tbh, not looked good this year.
Great tournament overall for Roger. However, hard to escape the fact that Roger will have a negative H2H with Djokovic overall if he plays for 2 or 3 more years. Fedfans will have to start ignoring the H2H stats against the top players, and just savor the fact that RF is still playing and enjoy the occasional tournament victory and I dare say another slam.
I think that is always going to be the case, Djoker turned pro in 2003, that’s five years after Roger and he’s still only 26!
H2H? What’s that? 😀
I think we should use S2S from now on, that would be what…17-6 right now? 🙂
I have mixed feelings about this match. I suppose it depends on expectations and where he was one year ago. Last year I would have been thrilled with the start of this year. But when you see Roger play lately, more is expected. He can play brilliantly when he’s on.
In his defense, Roger was playing the tie break into the wind. But the game before was a disappointment.
I don’t think we can compare the h2h against players like Djokovic…..he is 6 years younger.
A couple of years ago Fed played a match at midnight against Rochus. He was in JesusFed mode. Fun to watch that one.
Thanks for the link, Susie.
True, tie break the wind was with Djoker so probably worked in his favour for depth of shot.
Such a close match, gutted that Roger didn’t win 🙁 I was secretly following the live scores with my phone at school, even fisted pumped when he broke back at 4-5 in the last set! Shame he didn’t do much at 6-5 and in the the tiebreaker, but it’s still good signs for the tournaments ahead. If he can pick a clay Master 1000, that would be awesome 😀
Hey Conal wld love some highlights from Dubai and IW!! So many already this yr!
Getting a lot more difficult with copyright currently 🙁 Dubai highlights + Indian Wells are very seldom on Youtube because the ATP have finally decided they are going to claim anything video that hasn’t been created without their permission 🙁
And I’m getting busier at school 🙁
I’ll try my best to make another video this year, but due to lack of matches available and increased copyright claims, its gonna be tough! Expect a 15 minute video compared to the 31 minute from last year 😉
Getting a lot more difficult with copyright currently 🙁 Dubai highlights + Indian Wells are very seldom on Youtube because the ATP have finally decided they are going to claim *any* videos that *haven’t* been created *with* their permission 🙁
And I’m getting busier at school 🙁
I’ll try my best to make another video this year, but due to lack of matches available and increased copyright claims, its gonna be tough! Expect a 15 minute video this year compared to the 31 minute from last year 😉
Oh yes please, Conal. I am a big fan of your video 😀
Yeah ATPMedia are clamping down, that’s why I stopped doing as many videos. Shame as it actually promotes the sport more!
I managed to find a couple of recordings of the whole final yesterday …
Nice post Jonathan.
I wonder why the final match was not scheduled in night. Also, the semifinal was a day-match. I think Fed plays better in night matches. The scorching heat and wind disturbes his precision.
There are obviously a lot of positives from this tournament as you pointed out. Apart from maintaning a great level upto final, he almost won against Djoker under the conditions that don’t suit his style….
All the best in Miami…
Don’t actually agree, Fed likes the heat and is a great wind player unlike Novak! I reckon Fed wld hv beaten Djoker in similar conditions to those when he beat The Dog!
The ball flies through the air quicker during the day, which obviously helps Fed. So I’d definitely say day conditions suit him better…also due to the fact the he has no issues with heat, training in Dubai and all. I think night matches have hurt his chances against Djoker/Rafa at the Australian for that very reason, as all of those semis have been played at night.
…as well as the final against Rafa in 2009
Correct. Also, the temperature starts really plummeting at night in Melbourne. Combine that with the fact that it moved from Rebound Ace (fast), Plexicusion (slow), and it’s was sort of like a double whammy. Those who harp about how Dopal got Roger’s number in 2009, ignore the fact that AO was designed, maybe unintentionally, to hurt Roger’s chances.
How would you then explain his indoor successes? In windy conditions, some balls will move faster while some will be slower depending on the direction of wind…it’s difficult to control. A player like Fed who goes for precise line-painting shots, wind should be disturbing…
I think scheduled for day as that’s peak viewing time and best for crowds. Not sure what suit Feds best. I remember some crazy stats that he’d not lost a night match at USO for x years or something. He plays well in both but in Indian Wells it’s probably better during day as balls fly more.
I guess u re all right about the last game of the 3rd set although I didn’t see that while I was watching. I felt like ok going in a TB is still a bonus and Fed always has the upper hand in TBs.
It aint so though cause first and more important he lost his rhythm plus the momentum changed.Plus common Fed load on the preasure , dont let him come up and breath. I read somewhere in tennis and life, when you re given 2 or three chances, forget about the ones to come, grab the first one. Don’t wait for the next that may never come.
But lets not cry over spilt Ouzo, as they say in my country.
Lets move on to Miami
Hope Roger wins it and never mind my gold first comment medal 🙂
After all I m fighting with a bow and arrow against machine guns.
I ve got no twitter no FB i even got a dial-up connection . Rememnber ? the one with the funny sound before you connected . ok last one not true 🙂 but still my win was epic . Just like the 23 GS that Fed will win at the US open when he is 39 dedicating it to the GOAT BB player Michael Jordan no 23
Losing the first point of a tie break against serve is always a bad sign. Even worse if you should have won the point a la Berdych USO 2012 Semi Final when he missed a regulation volley!
Federer loses to 26 year old Djokovic in the final of IW, in the tiebreak of the deciding set, 99:98 points. You better don’t be disappointed more than 30 seconds, or I’ll call you a glory hunter! This is what a credible comeback looks like, and I really enjoy the Djokovic-Federer rivalry! Well done to Djokovic, for finding a way to beat an resurgent Federer while not playing his best tennis yet. 2014 seems to be an exciting tennis year. I wonder if Roger can get his hands on a clay trophy this year (besides the one Katyani tells us he will win). I don’t care about the ranking, I am with Roger on this: only the #1 ranking matters. And talking about credible and incredible comebacks, remember the guy that was out for 7 months with career threatening injuries and came back winning everything in sight? I wonder if they have already reassembled all his parts again, glued the pieces together and filled his tank with some special fuel and additives. Get ready for another clay season and a Spanish Bull converting tennis to gladiator fighting. Wake me up when Wimbledon starts…
Ranking 1-4 matters in terms of avoiding Rafa/Novak in semis that’s all
You know Chris, one of my best movies of all time was Gladiator, and Nadal reminds me of that Maximus where he fights until the end, it’s an epic. Yes, tennis is a game of beauty and that’s why I wasn’t hocked to it when I was kid. I always like fighting spirits games where most of the wining is done on defence! Sure, you need some offense so you win 😉 but you win it with defence mostly.
My best teams are defensive minded teams except for Brazil, which is very wired to be honest 😉
In NBA, you don’t win a championship with offensive oriented team, you win it with defence. Name a team who really win it with offense culture, very few and you won’t find it. By the way, I am big fan of Bulls 🙂
This is my opinion, and I still respect and understand those who still love the game (Tennis) for its beauty aspects 😉
Roger is a gifted, a talented player that does not need to do all the hard work, and his game is very beautiful, but I don’t like it and no offense, I do really admire his achievement and he is the GOAT in that perspective, no doubt
But, for me, when I watch tennis, I love to see fight between two gladiators in big arena, that’s how I see it
so bring in Clay Season 😉
I respect your opinion. Thank God we don’t all fancy the same kind of food, clothes, colors and tennis players, the world would become dull for sure. The tennis career and legend of Federer would only be half the excitement if it was not for Nadal to be a permanent thorn in his side. and yes, I also see the similarities between Maximus and Nadalus, although I think there is some Miraculix in between. That is probably what bothers me most, I can’t really appreciate and admire Nadal for my strong suspicions that something is weird about his performances, but I would love to be proven wrong. If I am, I’ll be the first to apologize for having talked badly about him.
Yes, defensive skills often determine who wins in the end. Still, I always preferred to watch the Brazilians play soccer over the Germans, and once the defensive era started in Ice Hockey and matches went 40 minutes without a goal, I kinda lost interest. Maybe it’s because I still see sports as a game, not as a matter of life and death, and I value enjoyment and playful artistry more than endurance and will to win.
Shamtoot I know what you are saying I also admire fighting spirit and defensive skills.
I remember I hoped for Phoenix Suns and Charles Barkley to beat Jordan’s Bulls. Barkley was a really gutsy player and I admired him for putting ups such a fight against the most gifted player of all times. Now I ve fallen for beauty so I support Roger. His game is the most attractive to watch while now is the time that he has to fight hard to get back to his thrown .
And he has to fight hard against players much younger than him. So that is maybe the strongest reason I m on his side. I never really supported him at his prime maybe because of the reasons you stressed. But now Roger is the gladiator having to put up with all these wild beasts in the tennis court arenas. Having to use his mind, talent and stamina against their raw power. At least that’s how I see it 🙂
So indeed bring in the clay season and lets hope they ll all eat Rogers dust :p
Attack always prevails over defense. At least on courts that are designed for tennis!
You know Shamtoot, Maximum was an honest man, and remained an man of conscience till the very end. Don’t even compare Nadal the cheat with that character. It’s one thing having fighting spirit, it’s another bumping into opponents, and faking injures, and what else…dope, might I add?
Yeah, bring in the gay season!
@Chris, Appreciate your understanding, and that’s why I love this Blog. Very objective and those who comments here are educated and very nice people 😉
@The Greek Gambler, I really feel for you, Sir Charles really deserve a ring but unfortunately, he was competing in an era that Air Jordan was dominating. But kudus to him, I love his fighting spirit
@Sid, I tried to find one comment on the last, I would say, year and half since I post comments here that dose not contain (Dull, Dopal, Doping, Cheat, you name it)! all your comments are pro_Nadal. Sid, this is Roger Federer Blog, and you seem forgetting that 😉
@Jonathan, my comment was general, regardless of the Game, and please keep the good work. You blog is the best 😉
Alright, alright, Shamtoot El Nadal, I am uneducated and not nice 😐
who said that! you are so nice guy and your passion to Federer means you acknowledge good ethics! 😉 which can’t be adopted if you are not educated 🙂
long equation, but yeah you are well educated and nice person 😉
Could’ve have said it better myself Jonathan, great post. Sure it was a disappointing ending and Fed played a poor tiebreak but after surviving 2013 everything can be put in perspective. He’s been so consistent now in the last few stretch of tournaments and he’s challenging the top guys again which is what it’s all about. This week, Fed’s defences were extremely impressive and when he’s healthy it just shows how dangerous he is. I think Roger’s level and serve dropped off in the second set and the game Djoker broke allowed him to get back into the match. Roger though at least stopped him from serving it out and forced the issue, not like we’ve seen previously and didn’t fade. I thought i was a high quality final and that the Novak-Federer rivalry is one of the best on tour, hopefully we will get to see more later this year.
Overall credit where credit is due, I think that was a huge win for Novak, he really needs some momentum if he is to have a shot in the clay season. And well for Roger, I couldn’t be prouder, what a great season he is having so far, these matches early in the season are key if he is to win a slam. I don’t see Ferrer defending his final from Miami last yr so he should be back in the top 4 soon enough. Well done Roger (and Jonathan), keep it up!
Don’t actually agree, Fed likes the heat and is a great wind player unlike Novak! I reckon Fed wld hv beaten Djoker in similar conditions to those when he beat The Dog!
This has landed in the wrong place! Alysha, I agree with all yr sentiments!
Yeah I read your comment first Susie then read Alysha’s thinking there is no mention of wind!
And I agree I reckon Ferrer could bow out early, he sort of guy who needs matches under his belt. I suppose at least in Slowami he can grind his way to wins, even if someone plays real well he can wear them down.
wow, @the Greek Gambler, your post is really funny 🙂 but I hope yeah Fed gets to 23, I know he will get to 20 though, winning 3 slams this year 🙂
Welcome first timer Phil, please keep commenting and join in the competition to win the gold medal by typing ‘first’ once Jonathan posts.
I think Fed missed Stefan during the finals and forgot part of his play. I think he will pick at least three 1000s this year, and I am very positive he will go back to the drawing board.
@ the Indian wells draw, I can’t wait to watch a Nadal vs Hewitt, I hope Hewitt knocks him out.
I will always vote Roger to win any tourney he enters. I’m just blinded as a fan 🙂
Go Roger!!! Allez!!!
Utch, you don’t have tobe blind to root for Roger – I do just that with my eyes widely open aided with glasses. Allez Roger
Not sure Hewitt has the game these days to topple Nadal. But he will fight that’s for sure.
Maybe Edberg was missed in IW but he’s already in Slowami, had a hit with Fed today 🙂
Thanx Utch ! ok may be I exaggerate a bit cause I m so exited for gaining my first and most probably last first comment slam 😀 .
Welcome Phil to the best blog In town. Congrats once again to Jonathan for keeping it up.
Its not just one two or 10 posts its much more then that . its consistency and keeping the level high through thick and nthin. Thats what counts! I m sure the blog will continue to grow bigger and bigger then one day RF will have to show up over here and have a live chat with us !
Just one question for Jonathan or previous winners of first comment competition :
Is this some kind of award I gained ? I mean I get this message : “ Beautiful Czeck Women are waiting for me. Get in touch with them Now!”
You see I am really thankful and appreciative but I m a married man with two young kids. Its not that I m saying no quite yet … cause on the one hand I wouldn’t really mind .. I mean look at Berdych girlfriend …but … hmm… I really don’t know. How long will they be waiting for me anyway ? Till the next post and the next first commenter appears ? don’t know what to do I m so confused…
There is this number account on UBS Zurich, which I manage on behalf of Jonathan. He’ll let you know how much you shall deposit there as your sign of gratitude, for him letting you win this race. Better not be late with the deposit, our Czeck Спецназ (the ones we call ‘our girls’) have a really lousy sense of humor! 🙂
Haha Fed doing an AMA on peRFect Tennis would be sweet!
Google adverts are based on other sites you have visited 😀 so it’s not entirely random. I say fill your boots, if it happens away from Greek shores then it’s allowed right? Different postcode 😉
Jonathan you do a great job attracting great fans who actually read each other comments and debate and respect them! Welcome Phil! This is the place to be!
Fed fans always the most knowledgeable fans out there and the blog is a good meeting point 🙂
Bit late commenting here and it seems to have all been said already. I lean towards being extremely proud of Roger’s achievements so far this year, and in IW. Lots and lots of positives to take away and I’m very pleased to see he doesn’t appear to be down on himself. He did mention in his presser that the wind played a role – helping him to break Nole to go 5-5, and then helping Nole to get the crucial tiebreak points. Other than that though, a few extra errors crept into Roger’s game that weren’t there in the previous 2 matches – maybe due to the wind or heat, who knows. Plus his serve started to let him down. As the difference in points scored was 1 point, I guess you can say that a slightly higher first-serve percentage would have given the match to Roger. I certainly think a Roger of 5/6 years ago would have won this one easily. Maybe reactions a tad slower sometimes, but that’s to be expected. The important thing is he’s up there with the best and at his age that’s not a bad achievement at all. So all in all, very proud of him.
I’m also happy to see articles/comments have been very positive and have largely acknowledged the fact that the match was very close indeed and could have gone either way. Looking forward to Miami now.
Yup not enough cheap points on serve when Djoker started returning better, he is very hard to get the ball past!
Hi Guys, am I the last? Accepting wooden spoon!
Breaking back to 5 all alone made my day. Sure felt rather anti climax soon after, though seeing him so close to win was exciting and encouraging for me. Fed reaching final was, I thought, a bonus in the first place anyway. Should’ve, could’ve, Fed himself knew. It was overall a great tourney for both him and his fans. Not only he played great but also it seemed he genuinely enjoyed being there which I’m really happy for him.
And you Jonathan did also a great job throughout IW, watching, chatting, analysing, writing, posting, reading/replying comments, all that addition to your day-job! No wonder of accelerating numbers for the blog fan. Well done and thank you. Hope you enjoyed as the GOAT 🙂
Interesting draw for Miami. Federer could get Dimitrov in QF (I think he takes out Ferrer). Novak could get Mayer and Gulbis but don’t think Murray will trouble him in QF. Nadal and his only tricky match could be the pre-quarter vs Janowicz or Fognini. Del Po unlikely to reach QF. the 2nd quarter in top half is wide open and though Wawrinka is seeded to be in semi, it could even be Berdych, Cilic or Dolgopolov.
But likely, Nadal vs Stan; Novak vs Roger. Slow courts at Miami give advantage to grinders so it could be 1-2 final with no.2 winning.
Don’t rule out Nishikori either I don’t think. Slow courts suit his style.
Thanks for the welcome guys! I’ve been reading this blog for the past few months, and definitely some good info and analysis here, so figured I’ll chime in. FYI, I’m from New York, see Fed play every year at the US Open, and seen him a few times at Miami as well…and of course try to watch every match of his on the tv/comp.
Rewatched the IW final last night…I must say he was hitting his backhand really well. Going toe to toe with Novak, who has the best backhand in the world, quite often. Of course, he did shank a few which will happen when going against the best, but overall it was a very solid match aside for the last 5-10 minutes. Totally agree with you all that he had to dig in more during the 5-6 game in the third…let the foot off the gas and it cost him in the end.
Lucky you man, never been to USO.
Maybe he went toe to toe too often with Djoker, his best moments came when he mixed it up, dragged him in and hit with spin.
Thats a good point about perhaps needing to mix it up more and not giving Novak that backhand to backhand rhythm. From a confidence perspective though, its a good sign that he was able to come over the bh so often and cleanly (most of the time).
I was onsite at the USO during the Robredo match last yr, but couldnt get into Louis Armstrong cause the line was ridiculous. Ended up watching the match on the big screen on the grounds. Harsh memory!
Hi Jonathan, I have been visiting your blog for quite some time now. I do enjoy your posts and the comments from all here. I too am a fan of Roger and so I am very happy to read all the positive and happy funny comments here. You do a great job. I was a bit gutted about the IW result overnight but overall it was a great week. Looking forward to Miami and reading all your posts. Allez Roger.
Thanks for commenting Maxi and glad you enjoy the blog!
Have you guys seen the long version of Fed’s runner-up presser? A great one as usual 🙂
Thanks for the share, hadn’t seen it.
Good recap Jon as always. How did your play in the wind go?
Federer leaves this tournament with great confidence, he knows he could have won this, he lost by leaving it all out there. He´s defintley on the right path and I´m loving it 🙂 I am already enjoying this season so much because of Feds amazing level, and the best is still to come. And Miami is just around the corner, how sweet is that? 😉
Haha not bad, it was 50MPH winds so not the best conditions and not so many rallies. A few framed serves from me too including one that went up about 40 feet in the air but landed in 🙂
I agree, plenty more to come this year. Allez!
Woow, and it landed in? That must have been a tricky one to return, multiple spin directions :)Do you play on clay outdoors?
Ooh I thought he was going to pull it off, breaking back brilliantly then going up 6/5… a little dissappointing but I think the positives by far outway the negatives. He can be very proud of himself and take confidence from the fact he nearly defeated Djokovic on a slow hard court! You’re right Jonathan, on another day… but nevermind he’s got bigger fish to fry! I would love to see him play Nadal at Wimbledon this year, come on we’ve waited too long since 2008!
Plus he said he hadn’t expected to be playing that well quite so early in the season …
Theo, I do not agree with you. Fed playing Nadal at Wimbledon means Nadal adds more points. I would rather see Fed play Nadal at FO finals and defeating him, and who says that can’t happen… 😉
Boy that would just be amazing, Fed defeating Nadal in Paris…of course that would top everything, but Wimbledon is a much more likely place for it to happen, they’re way overdue playing on Centre Court, it would avenge 2008…And don’t forget Rafa may have got a first rounder last year, but Fed only went one further so they both would get big points for they would surely only meet in the semis of final, I’m sure Roger’ll be back in the top 4 by the time July comes along. Besides that, I think defeating your chief rival is more important than seeing him collect points… But Utch this is of course but my opinion. 🙂
Welcome Maxi, we are one big family *group hug*, I am getting ready mentally for Miami already. I think Fed will try his best here and definitely skip Monte Carlo
Great read, thanks for the share, Ajay 🙂