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Djokovic downs Federer in Abu Dhabi Exhibition

Well it's been a while since we last saw Federer play, since his World Tour Finals Victory in fact, but I have to say I wasn't looking forward to this match in the slightest and it was justified from the performance and result. It was a pretty boring match, Djokovic struck the ball very cleanly, whereas Fed made tons of errors, served badly and returned awfully to to lose 6-2 6-1 in about an hour.

I have to reiterate though – this match means nothing. I noticed some fans already basing his Australian Open chances on this result alone and practically writing him off, which I think is ridiculous considering he's coming off the back of a 15 match streak in competitive play.

This tournament is used as nothing more than a tuneup, nothing is at stake, and I don't think there is much advantage mentally in it, sure, a win can only ever give you confidence, but a loss here isn't likely to derail a players season. My main beef would be if I'd paid for a ticket – as the tennis sucked and was done in an hour. I think even Fed felt a little embarrassed as he apologised afterwards, and said he'd be in better form when he plays Nadal in the next match. Nadal lost to Ferrer, I didn't watch, but it's one that gives the crowd the matchup they want. Who knows if it's pre determined.

Unfortunately, it was a short-lived match but we know he is a very good front-runner.

Anyway, the real season starts in Doha and that's when I'll actually look forward to watching, I think Roger should treat Doha as another practice session though and get matches under his belt for the Australian Open which starts on the 16th of January. He won Doha last year, but by the time Aus was finished nobody remembered that and it will be the exact same this year.

As far as the Australian Open goes, you have to put Djokovic as favourite for it in my opinion, although I didn't read into todays match after the shambles that Fed produced, Djokovic still hit the ball sweetly off both wings and hit a lot of winners and that can only ever be a good thing.

The guy tracks balls down for fun, and makes Fed play one forehand too many. If they meet in Australia Roger is going to have to pull out a ton of variety and keep changing the pace of the ball constantly.

But – here's a stat – every time Roger failed to win an Exho match – he went onto win the Australian Open. Long may that continue!

Until Doha…

About 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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5 comments

  1. Didnt see the match myself but as you say, it means nothing at all – just like pre-season soccer friendlies. A good result for Djokovic though, who signals his return to some sort of form following a poor (relatively speaking) end of 2011.

    Let the games begin in Doha – MB

    • Not surprised you missed it – you had about a 45 minute window! haha.

      Djokovic hit the backhand sweet as down the line. Fed timing way off, half court balls getting the treatment.

  2. This exhibition tournament means a lot more to Djokovic than it does to Federer. Novak feels the need to get some quality matches under his belt after the end to his 2011 season, whereas Roger is taking this as simply match practice. We must also remember that Roger was playing his first match, albeit an exho, with his new racket so he is probably still find his rhythm with it.

    Looking forward to Doha, and before that I hope Roger gets a win vs Rafa in the 3rd place match.

    • I guess, I kinda think it’s equally unimportant for all players, but with this matchup – a shot maker vs a consistent baseline grinder with great defense, then if both players aren’t taking it too seriously – a grinder is going to win. If you play aggressively like Fed, you can’t play half heartedly because you will lose. Fed lost serve, gave Djokovic a lot of freedom to play shots and the rest is history.

      New racket in terms of style, but it isn’t a new racket though really, it’s just been sprayed up to match the new model they’ve brought out…it’ll still be the same custom one Fed has used for some time. I’d love to get my hands on one, pity he doesn’t throw them in the crowd!

      • Are the new rackets even out for sale though yet? And I won’t get into this debate again as I’ve had it too much but I’m almost positive that Fed hasn’t used the same racket for the past 8 years or so….

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