ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger FedererWestern & Southern Open

Djokovic Routines Federer to Win Maiden Cincinnati Masters Title

No Cincinn8ti for Roger Federer as Novak Djokovic comfortably won his first title at the Western and Southern Open with a 6-4 6-4 victory in 1 hour and 24 minutes.

The win sees Novak record his third straight victory over the Swiss and move to 24-22 in the H2H. Along with that he's also now won every Masters 1000 which is a pretty big deal. I'm not sure where to rank it in terms of his career achievements but it's certainly up there as aside from Lendl nobody else has managed to do it with both Federer and Nadal two titles short.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Cincinnati Final 18

Federer won the toss and elected to serve; after playing two sweet points for 30-0 he was soon facing break point, that was saved with a good serve and a second break point snuffed out with an ace en route to holding.

Djokovic responded with a love hold for 1-1 to put the pressure straight back on the Swiss. However, he was able to reel off a love hold of his own winning the game with a nice backhand drive + backhand smash combination. The pair then exchanged comfortable holds but in game seven a costly double fault handed Djokovic break point which he converted; Roger was left swishing at thin air and receiving an audible obscenity warning after the ball skipped through off the line.

That one break proved decisive and Djokovic went onto serve out the set 6-4 losing just two more points on the return. Into the second set and Federer needed to snatch momentum, a hold to 30 got him on the scoreboard and a Djokovic wobble from 40-15 including a double fault on break point put him up 2-0 against the run of play.

The Swiss had been impenetrable on serve during the week but two loose points saw him slip to 0-30 and he again fired down a double fault to give Djokovic break point which he duly converted. A love hold put Djokovic back on level terms and like the first set in game seven, he took charge, once again taking advantage of a Federer double fault to break for 4-3 and cruise to the title to take it 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 24 minutes.

Match Stats

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer
Aces 4 11
Double Faults 2 4
1st Serve 66% (35/53) 58% (45/77)
1st Serve Points Won 71% (25/35) 67% (30/45)
2nd Serve Points Won 78% (14/18) 47% (15/32)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/1) 50% (3/6)
Service Games Played 10 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 33% (15/45) 29% (10/35)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 53% (17/32) 22% (4/18)
Break Points Converted 50% (3/6) 100% (1/1)
Return Games Played 10 10
Winners 12 22
Unforced Errors 16 39
Net Points Won 1/1 (100%) 58% (14/24)
Service Points Won 74% (39/53) 58% (45/77)
Return Points Won 42% (32/77) 26% (14/53)
Total Points Won 55% (71/130) 45% (59/130)

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Djokovic Cincy Final 2018

It was definitely not my best day on the return. That's it. It was just awful. But it's okay. He served well. But missing every second serve on the forehand side, I don't know what that was about. I don't even want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It's okay. Good week, but I'm happy it's over and I need to rest. So it's all good.

An uninpspired performance from Roger here and he was second best in all areas. It was always going to be a battle of what comes out on top: Djokovic's defense or Federer's attack and it whilst it was certainly the former, Djokovic was dominant in all areas. Just a very efficient match from him after playing four three-setters in a row; he was solid off the baseline, defended well, served consistently and was basically untested throughout. If you can't put pressure on his serve then he's going to double down in his return games and cause way too many problems.

As for Roger what can you say, it was one of those matches where it never rains but it pours. I'm hard pressed to find any real good moments in the match; some nice points in isolation but in terms of it being competitive or high quality then it wasn't. Looking at the numbers they make pretty terrible reading with Djokovic having 72% of his second serves completely unreturned. Combine that with 39 unforced errors (20  of them off the wobbly forehand wing) and a double fault in every game he was broken it all adds up to a miserable day at the office.

Explanations? Who knows but I think his level has dropped a bit in recent months. Fitness wise he's looking great but his tennis hasn't been as strong as in 2017 or earlier this year. A bit too early to be writing an obituary for his game of course so I think he just has to keep plugging away and see what happens at the US Open. The good news is surely he can't return as poorly as he did last night, or can he? 😆

What are your thoughts on the final? What are your expectations at the US Open? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Djokovic Cincinnati 2018 Rating

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

POOR

Pretty poor performance from Roger especially on the return, allowed Djokovic to play virtually pressure-free and that meant he was the one having to work harder to hold.

User Rating: 0.54 ( 8 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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97 Comments

  1. So disappointed but Federer didn’t play a winner’s game… Into the USO now but I admit I don’t have much expectations…

      1. Nor do I. I can’t remember feeling this discouraged about Fed. I have no expectations for anything. I hope he can still manage to get 100 titles before the end of his career, but even that may be difficult.

      2. I can, Hartt. I can remember at least 2 separate instances on this blog – one being 2013 – when people started going “He’s awful”, “He should retire”, “It’s all over” and so on, and then look what happened.

    1. I saw a lot of mental scar tissue from that Australian Open beat down he got in 16 and also those 2 Wimbledon & Us open lost. Unlike Nadal, he has not figured out the the Djoker puzzle. Like all the other losses I just mentioned, the match over before it started!

    2. I think it’s hard to have too many expectations for USO anyway, not been a happy hunting ground since 2008 really. 2015 was good but that’s about it…

  2. I think it’s a matter of lack of focus. If the legs are there, there’s nothing else to blame but the mind, that vicious trickster.
    Hats off to Jerk-o-Tronic.

  3. Clearly outplayed in all areas – not that I really suspected otherwise, having listened to the radio commentary. If Roger doesn’t know what the matter is, I find that worrying. However, it did occur to me that the last time he beat Novak was 3 years ago – and the last time they played was AO 16. So he didn’t get to face “wobbly Novak” at all. I wonder whether he’d actually forgotten the reality of playing Novak, and/or had expected it to be easier, given the way he’d been playing the rest of the tournament, and then went into the “deer in the headlights” mode that someone mentioned “overleaf” as a result. It’s amazing what a bit of panic can do to your thinking ability, and the commentators did mention numerous times that he seemed flustered, or rushed.

  4. I think Novak is a clear favourite at the USO.Fed could meet Novak early at QF or so on ,as fed will be seeded 2nd while Novak 6th.Fed’s level has definitely dropped since IW finals against delpo.But his 20th GS at Australian Open and reaching world no. 1 at Rotterdam,has certainly been the highlight of the season.He was the world no.1 until Wimbledon.I certainly believe he can win his 100th title by the end of season.Basel definitely but the next one not sure about it😅.
    USO expectations:Novak to win his 14thGS.Nadal,Federer and Delpo strong favorites.

  5. Roger didn’t have any answers for why he played so poorly, but I think the obvious one is that Father Time is finally catching up to him. As Jonathan said, Roger’s tennis hasn’t been as strong over the past few months. Some time ago Rod Laver talked about how difficult is is to play well as an older player. One day you can play the way you did in your prime, and in your next match, for no apparent reason, you can’t do anything. I’m afraid we will see more and more of those days when Roger can’t do anything.

      1. How I hope that our fears are belied once again! But if not, then it’s ok, too, it’s usually always been a joy to watch him play, win or lose (barring exceptions like this match).

      2. Yes, I understand that, but the reality is he is now 3 years older than he was in 2014. There have been rough patches before, 2013 being a prime example. And I did reach a point where I doubted he would win another Slam. But this is the first time I have felt this discouraged, where I am doubting whether Roger can find his form again. I hope he can win 2 more titles and get to 100. Other than that, I just hope he continues to enjoy tennis and continues to play as long as he wants to, without injury. I don’t have any sympathy for the chorus of “he should retire” that has started up again.

    1. I do believe age is one factor but the fact that Novak,Rafa and Delpo have been playing at a higher level than Fed, could be the main reason why his form has dropped off.
      Fed definitely needs to avoid Novak ,if he is to reach yet another final at USO.I really wish Roger meets Rafa this year at USO. Ironically,it could be the first time that fed and Rafa will be playing each other at USO.
      #Fingers Crossed

      1. Do you really want Roger to play Rafa in the USO? Fed can handle better the Serbian. I believe Nadal is the favourite this year.

      2. Ya Rafa definitely the favorite along with Novak. Roger and Delpo just below them.I think Stefanos Tsitsipas will have a breakthrough USO this time.The way he played against Djoker in Toronto definitely shows he’s future top 10 for sure.

      3. Alternatively, he lost first round in Cincy. And USO is best of 5 sets. I think it may be a little while yet …

      4. Pablo, I dunno, Roger playing Rafa at the USO would mean he’d got to the final. At the moment, that sounds like quite a result.

  6. I mean everyone goes through bad periods of form. If this is Fed’s then it could be worse frankly. I don’t tjink this is some sort of envoy of the end for his career but I do think his game isn’t where it needs to be to win the US Open. So I don’t expect anything from there. As for this match it is what it is – Fed isn’t as good as Djokovic right now, I think he would have lost to both him and Nadal at Wimbledon too.

  7. Well, the age factor is mentioned again and again but I think the story is different.
    Roger’s level in Q1 of the season was OK.
    He wasn’t brilliant as the parallel period in 2017 but did the job, played well on the big points and managed to get a W after W all the way until coming to IW still unbeaten in 2018. After that heart breaking lose that, until the point of dumping three MP, was very much 2018 Roger – doing just enough to win – he just had some sort of a mental recession.
    After another annoying loss he skipped the clay again just to find out upon his return that he doesn’t really miss tennis that much.
    He had said several remarks, like the one in end of the quote in this post, that their subtext was “I’m really tired of playing tennis, I’m glad to go back home and not doing what I’m doing now.”
    And that’s the killer. Mentally he’s exhausted. He wins games because he still serves well and can hit shots that the B or C tier players of the tour can’t answer. But since his return to action in June, in most cases where he had to dig a little deeper to find the answers he just couldn’t.
    It reminds that I once dated a very cute girl for a few months and we had a good time together. But when I went away for a couple of weeks and didn’t miss her, I realized that it’s over. I think Roger is in the same situation of not missing tennis, but he isn’t doing anything about it. He just goes through the motions. I’m not saying he should retire.
    Maybe he should do a change in his team, maybe he should take a couple of weeks off (of everything) and go hike the alps and clear his mind… I don’t know. But he has to do something to wake himself up. I think he has some good opportunities in the next couple of years to do more extraordinary things, but he must want it.

  8. I think Nadal is missing 3 Masters, Miami, Shanghai, and Paris. I always wanted Roger to take a stab at MC or Rome in the few yeard past, but it struck me that he never cared so much about completing his Masters trophy case. I still hope that he will have a big win over Novak at some point this year.

      1. I don’t understand that. Shanghai has been around for more than a decade, and Nadal has been around for all that time. Who cares what things used to be? Fed won a few Hamburg events back when it was a 1000, and that doesn’t work to the exclusiom of other events. Nadal doesn’t have three Masters events.

  9. I still don’t understand why everyone thinks Roger needs to win more GS. He is friggin 37 people and even though as Allison stated people rode him off in 2014 he was 4 years younger. Age matters, I am sure Djocovic and Nadal the way they play will be looking to retire in two years. Meanwhile I really think GS are over for Roger, but he still can play to win tournaments and increase his lead in that category. As I have been stating there are over a lot of 250 ATP’s left this year, Roger can win easily 2 of those to get to his 100. I really think people need to get there heads out of there butts and be logical. HE IS 37 PEOPLE AND HE CAN NOT TURN THE CLOCK BACK. He will lose his motivation and retire soon if he keeps losing finals. I believe his only motivation is going after the Jimmy Connors record if he breaks it great but if not he tried. Roger is a winner and finishing second is not something he is used to. So unless he wins finals he will lose interest and retire.

    1. With the right draw Federer can win the USO. His B game is better than most players A games. Maybe he does not need to face Nole or Rafa

      1. Ya Man definitely,Fed needs an easy draw at USO.But even then he has struggled against the likes of Anderson,Cilic and Borna Coric.I guess,he should have played at least half of the clay court season this time.This would have given him decent number of matches and helped him in second half of the season.None the less,I still hope Roger reaches SF’s(at least)of USO this year.

    2. @Paul: I don’t think Roger is the kind of player who will find this a feasible career option. He is spectacularly stubborn, so it will take him a while, and a few more humiliating losses, before realising that he no longer has it in him. He will go through a period of depression, but eventually his millions and another set of twins will cure him of it. Sans his millions and twins (, we fans will only have his legacy to fall back on to cure ours.

  10. Thanks Jonathan for the write-up and all the comments thus far from our illustrious group. My take away is that we have to assess Fed’s level tournament by tournament and see if a trend of decline develops. I worry about the comments above that maybe he is not enjoying the tour as much as before and is lacking the passionate desire to win. But we are also admonished not to write him off too soon like 2014, hope you are right Alison. So … today was an awful match that we will assign as an aberration for now absent more empirical evidence of decline.

  11. Well it could have been worse,it could have been 6-0,6-0.!
    I think Alison made an interesting point that Fed never got to play the ‘wobbly’ Djokovic,so in his mind he is still the one he
    can’t beat,in slams.What does worry me is the increased tetchiness,actually downright bad temper.Audible obscenity used
    to be Murrays forte it is very rare for Fed.He has seemed sub par all week,the will to win that both Nadal and the re-invented Djokovic have in spades.,is missing.It is too early to write him off for the USO.As Pablo said he may well not have to play either Nadal or djokovic.There are dangerous players around such as Delpo,Warwinka,even some of the New Gen who could pose problems.However they could pose problems for Fed too.Perhaps what made this particularly difficult to
    watch was that it was on such a fast court,which should mean advantage Federer.Disappointing but no need to panic yet.

  12. I just want to point out one final point. That picture at the top that Jonathan has is showing a smiling Federer shaking hands with Joker. Here is what I know what Roger is saying in his mind “Congrats on the win but are you getting 350 million from your sponsor as I am?”

    1. Perhaps he was smiling because they’ll team up soon at the Laver Cup. They were both full of praise for each other during the trophy presentation, too, weren’t they? That smile was companionable rather than competitive, perhaps!

  13. Another valid point on that picture above. Djocovic is saying in his mind “No matter what I do the crowds will always love you more than me”. That is going to always bother both Nadal and Joker they will never have the fan support Roger has an always will have over the both of them. As a fan Roger I thank you for the greatest enjoyable moments I have ever had watching my favorite sport you are a class act and you will always be the fan favorite. Jonathan thank you for developing the best website for any fan of any sport and your comments have always been spot on. Best wishes to all and remember to always cherish your fond memories and Roger has given us many.

  14. I think it was more a question of execution on big points. There was one stretch where Federer has 12 points in a row on serve. The problem was he missed several put away shots. He had bad luck on a volley that clipped the tape and then Djokovic’s pass also hit the tape. The forehand was off and the return very poor. Then giving up the break in the 2nd set was very disappointing and that basically ended the match.
    Djokovic’s defence really throws Federer off, you have to hit 2-3 winners just to win a point. He was forcing Federer to hit extra shots all the time and it’s exhausting.
    Also FEderer was stubborn not to stand further back even during the baseline exchanges. Djokovic to his credit was overpowering him with length on his groundstrokes. Every ball was reaching the baseline.
    Federer showed a lot of guts to come back on Friday vs Stan, so I don’t think he is mentally giving up or anything. He was just out of gas having played 4 matches in 3 days. Movement wise he looked decent, but his timing was off especially on the FH.
    Ljuibicic was not there this week, but will return next week. I think he’s a good tactician and presence in the box and I think that will relax Federer a bit.

    Last year remember FEderer’s back was screwed up and he ended having 5 set matches vs Tiafoe and Youzhny. So I’m hoping he can get through to the 2nd week without wasted energy. He will run up against Del Potro, Anderson, or Wawrinka for sure by the time of the QFs and even Djokovic. So a QF would be a good result.

    1. “I think it was more a question of execution on big points.”

      Yes (but not only big points?) Was that mental, physical, or both? If I’m not careful, I shall be starting to recommend a sports psychologist again. Actually, come to think of it, one of the aspects the commentators brought up a couple of times was Roger having too many options, and not knowing which one is the right one to choose. He too has mentioned that before.

      1. The thing is that Djokovic really puts you under pressure. Federer would hit a great serve and then the return is on his shoes. Or you get a midcourt forehand to crush and you overthink it because you know that ELasticman will somehow bounce it back. Also Djokovic was nailing some 2nd serves down .
        I’m just disappointed that Cilic and Raonic could take him to 3, but Federer cracked in that 2nd set under the pressure.

        I agree with what people say about motivation , but once he’s in New York and in a Slam with the atmosphere and tension again I think he will be back. He just looked a bit annoyed out there (there was a moment where he said something to someone in the crowd ‘ What did you say?’ and Luthi was also looking around. Federer just looked grumpy out there, and who can blame him with 4 matches in 3 days…

  15. Very poor performance from Roger. I hope it is just a bad day at the office and not a total lack of confidence against Djokovic. I don’t think it was a good quality tennis from either one, but Roger managed to suck real bad on his returns and totally lacked his usual confidence in his service games. I don’t see him as one of the favs for US Open. I hope someone new wins USO this year. If Roger is not going to win it, next best hope is that it is not Dull or Djokovic. It’s about time for one of new guys to break through anyway.

    1. I agree with you man.It’s high time for next gen guys to breakthrough. Stefanos Tsitsipas could be the one this year.

  16. I see combo of :

    Dreams realized: with #20 and a return to #1 this year, Fed is satisfied that at 37 he’s done all he could really need/want as a legend of the game.

    Age: he’s old as dirt and the cost of focus and effort is getting to be really rough for him physiologically and psychologically against the best.

    Desire: he has tasted long stretches of post-tennis life and he likes it.

    All 3 are symbiotic. And the combo is killer.

    If I had to guess, I would say retirement is within the next 15 months.

    1. Alb I totally agree with your analysis. Don’t forget the huge 350 million contract that secure several Federer kids and great grand kids futures.

    2. Although fed has achieved almost everything ,I think he might play on till 2020 Tokyo Olympics.He will be 39 by then.Let’s hope for the best.

  17. If your a true Roger Federer fan you believe that he is the GOAT and he has proven it time and time again. 20 GS is more then enough. 98 victories on the men’s circuit is great. Longest consecutive Number 1’s. Longest number of weeks as top 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. 2nd among most aces. And 16 years consecutive a fan favorite. Tennis will have a hole which can never be replaced by what I think was the greatest top 3 players in the history of tennis.

  18. Fed to win us open and then calendar grand slam and career masters in the next 12 months. nadal and djoker fall to 217 and 218 in the world.
    no worries guys
    any day I get to see Roger play is the best day! despite the conditions.

  19. Season’s greetings, Roger…

    End August is the time of the grape harvest
    The fruit may, this year, not taste that delicious
    Eighteen may not seem the finest vintage
    But no shame to compose a light wine at your age

    September will send back students to  benches
    All of them, as a homework, whatever their ages
    Should reflect on your deeds, read your recent pages
    And understand that sport, as life, is not an ease

    The year is not over : soon, a Slam – worth playing
    Then, other challenges, as autumn is glowing
    Please be sure that in you, your faithful fans believe
    As you’ll still be dancing like glorious waltzing leaves.

    Your Fan4ever

  20. Speaking as one of Federer’s greatest fans over a long time…..
    This was what happened at the US Open last year against The Slug. Balls either in the net or out of court. No precision. Poor serving. I don’t think even Fed knew what had happened this time (he said).
    And why does he speak about needing rest after a week of tennis? I think all this talk of being old and only having a limited amount of time left to win tournaments, especially the latter, has made him lose his wonderful freedom of shot-making.
    At least he got into the final this week, that’s an achievement, yes? Maybe we expect too much of him at every match. He’s still No. 2 after all and has won three tournaments this year plus the Hopman Cup. Who else has done that?
    Chum jetze.

  21. Just listened to Rogers press conference and he seemed relaxed,positive and composed.Said very nice things about
    Djokovic too.Lets just wait and see what the USO brings.

  22. I really feel the biggest thing Roger will miss more than winning is the roar of the fans. It has to make you feel good that when you play the other guys you always seem to get the biggest cheers. Roger did seem very relaxed at the press conference. I’m sure he understands no matter what we love and appreciate his willingness to keep on going and entertaining us with his play.

  23. I don’t recall such a poor rating from Jonathan. Yikes, it was poor. And the Serbian fans were so rude and obnoxious. I felt miserable after the loss at Wimbledon. But here, not as bad. I feel I am preparing myself for an inconsistent ride into retirement.
    No matter, always love his style. Nike when is Roger getting his RF back?

    1. Sue, I think we were all shell shocked at how poorly he played and how inferior he looked to Novak. I believe it was the degree of the loss that makes this one different. I suspect Jonathan wants to give this one more time to heal. Not for sure about Nike, but he is still wearing their shoes … maybe he can cut a shoe deal for the RF. On a separate note, my guess is the folks at Uniqlo want Fed to make it to the Olympics in 2020 and have him keep some level of consistency until then.

  24. This sucks. Let’s blame Nike! But tennis without him would be far worse. No, I never prepare for the ride, Sue. Guys, he won a slam this year and went back to World No.1. I am forever grateful what he has been giving us, even heartbroken losses. Yes, his press was a nice therapy. Thanks and well done, Jonathan for the superman work in a very difficult schedule. Take care!

  25. You know how us fans say ‘This man is just ____ (insert superlative). I just want to see him play’. We clearly don’t want to just see him play. Be honest, we want him to always win. See how much a loss hurts. But what if this is the start of a permanent decline and he just won’t ever bounce back? He’s 37 for God’s sake. How do we start of make sense of more losses?

    Amazingly I found this loss much easier to accept than the Anderson one and the IW loss. He was way below par and it was almost a beat down. He never had a chance. I think he accepted it even in the match and he appeared quite relaxed and no bitter feeling in the ceremony too. Which is good. I reckon it’s a combination of many things that have been affecting him and I believe he and his team know exactly what they are. Hopefully he can fix them for USO but otherwise I still feel the old man has a few more titles in him before he finally calls it a day

    1. “I reckon it’s a combination of many things that have been affecting him and I believe he and his team know exactly what they are”

      Hope so but who knows.

  26. I think we all fear that 20 GS isn’t enough we are afraid that Nadal will surpass him. I have a scenario for everyone and this is my personal opinion and has been for a very long time. I think after the USO, I think Roger and his team will determine what is best for Roger to go on next year. Personally I feel next year to train for GS is a huge waste of time. he should train for 250’s and 500’s and leave the rest alone. You can say it could be a goodbye tour next year but he would be winning many of these tournaments and maybe possibly end up with most wins in a career. Djocovic has something I doubt anyone will accomplish in the future. Right now Federer has the lead in GS. But should Nadal take over the lead that record will be something I doubt will be broken in the near future. Roger has many records but should he end with most wins and most matches won that also is a record I doubt will be broken in the near future. That is what I am saying training for GS at 37 it is a big waste of time even Roger placed Nadal and Djocovic ahead of himself for the USO. Roger is very content (unlike many of his fans) where he lies in the Legends of tennis. The only thing that gets him motivated to work out is he wins in the finals not second place. I would prefer Roger winning 2 more tournaments this year to enjoy his 100th. And the best way to do that is to be smart and train for events he knows at age 37 he can win. People he loves his life and his life is not all about tennis and training for GS is brutal why else has only 3 men dominated it for so long, Amen!

    1. Roger’s motivation comes from the big stages.
      The atmosphere and the crowd of a slam or a big tournament like IW is uncomparable to a small 250.
      I don’t see Roger do that. If he thinks he has no chance at the big tournaments he’ll retire.

      1. Yes, I too don’t see Roger being satisfied just clocking up the wins at “mickey mouse” tournaments, as some would call them, just so that he can get past 100/109 or whatever. That’s assuming he actually won them, of course. He needs a challenge.

      2. I guess Roger should return his Mercedes Trophy and the 2018 Mercedes car he won in Stuttgart, Germany in June that was a ATP 250. I disagree with anyone that doesn’t not understand that the 5 years difference with Nadal and Djocovic is a huge deal. I think Djocovic with block Nadal from achieving 20 GS. And the way they both play I doubt they have more then 2 years left to possibly dominate. Roger needs to focus on the one thing that he can accomplish from now to the end of his career and that is total number of victories. I am just logical with my opinion and we will see what Roger accomplishes at the USO. That will either acknowledge my opinion or prove me totally wrong. We shall see!

      3. Paul, please don’t take it so harsh.
        Since Brisbane 2016, the Mercedes Cup is the only 250 he played, and that’s because he had to get the most out of a very short grass season. Because he wants to be ready for Wimbledon.
        Brisbane is a good example of Roger’s mindset.
        As a preparation to the AO you can play only 250’s. Or… you can play the Hopman Cup, which doesn’t give any points but is a bigger and more lucrative event. Guess what Roger’s doing in the last couple of years… and he also commited for 2019.
        Now, as a preparation it has it’s logic. In the Hopman Cup you’re guaranteed to play 3 singles matches (unless you’re injured), and usually the opponent level is quite fair. Plus it’s pressure free for Roger and he enjoys it more. As for AO preparation, he has won the event in these two years of playing the Hopman Cup, so it probably was good preparation.
        The big tournaments, the slams especially and also the masters, are the events everyone wants to be a part of. Not the 250’s. I’ve read an interview with Dr Ivo saying that as long he can reach the big events he wants to continue on the tour.
        Don’t get me wrong. A 250 somtimes can be a nice thing. But to expect Roger to make the 250’s his prime goal is as unrealistic as to expect him to win the calender grand slam in 2020.
        It won’t motivate him enough and he’ll get tired of it quite fast.

        By the way, you said something about a double negative in my comment that annoyed you. I don’t understand where’s the problem. I’m not a native english speaker, so I do my best, but I know that I’m probably making a mistake here and there. So feel free to correct me but be specific please. Thanks.

    2. Also, you could have said it in 2016 and it would have made sense back then as well.
      Roger couldn’t breach the Novak/Rafa barrier and because they are 5/6 years younger it would seem that Roger’s chances for another GS title are slim.
      But here we are and Roger’s got not one but three additional titles in the bag.
      Look at last year’s USO. Was Rafa at his best? Absolutely not! But he got such a ridiculous route to the title that all he had to do was to play his C game and enjoy the ride.
      Things can happen in GS. All the Tennys Sandgrens of the tour are there waiting to upset a top seed.
      So all Roger needs is a solid and steady tournament and some luck and he has 21.
      In a way, the GS are much easier than the Masters. You don’t get to play the best players already in the opener or second match. Next year there will be only 16 seeds but still, no top guns until 4th round and they have to win three matches to get there.

      1. The double negative was what I wrote not you Shmeltz. Well as I stated it is my personal opinion and when people state that 250’s are meaningless then why do they even have them. I can also say why don’t women play best of 5 in their GS they get the same winning amounts as do the men. I think Roger will play the same schedule as he did this year. I just don’t expect a 37 year old tennis player to dominate as he did at 35 in 2017. To me 2017 was the most amazing feat from any tennis player in history and especially how he dominated Nadal. Will see I do hope he can win his 100th this year no matter what he plays.

    3. I think vulturing smaller events just to tally up some more titles is kinda pointless. Won’t add to his CV. Would be good for fans I guess but I’d rather see him play on the seniors tour lol. Imagine that, be winning every set 6-0.

      1. Well when it comes to Roger Federer I am just a fan, your the talented programmer that put together an amazing website in his honor. I do wonder when the NexGen will step up and show us if there is going to be at least one exciting consistent player.

  27. Winning titles has become a nightmare for RF. Lost 3 finals so far in 2018, one too many. Its not like he will get other chances very often. As long as he has some backup plan for USO’18, its all good.
    These losses dont hurt anymore since Father Time has come knocking at RF’s door. I still hope for RF to get to 110 titles. Just 11 away. He can do it.

    1. I agree with you Claud winning tournaments is what matters and even if they were all ATP 250’s so be it. Roger’s team needs to accept the facts of his age and I know that he can win a dozen more tournaments if he is smart.

  28. So excited to have a FedFinal this past Sunday. 6-4 6-4 sounds closer than the match seemed and the stats are clear on that. I’m always hopeful with Roger, as are the commentators and the fans. We always think he’s going to pull it off. Maybe some of you guys are right, the head to head says he’s not figured out Djokovic. Yet. Although Roger wasn’t looking great all week Djokovic did have him running all over the place. Sad to watch him lose at any time though 🙁 He’s gotten to 6 finals and 3 titles already in 2018 🙂

    Why does losing the final seem so hard though????

    Cross fingers for US Open coming soon …

  29. Here is an article about what other players think when facing Fed.
    http://insider.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24265016/andre-agassi-grigor-dimitrov-other-tennis-pros-dish-to-play-roger-federer

    Is it our business dictating what Roger should play or not play? Next year shall he play Winston-Salem and fly home to rest and skip the USO? It’s his life and career. I don’t think he has any intention of beating Connor’s record, which I believe is filled with small wins not really considered APT quality.

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