Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Djokovic Thwarts Federer To Take Fifth Wimbledon Title

Federer saw two match points pass him by as Djokovic won 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3)

Novak Djokovic is a five-time Wimbledon Champion after defeating Roger Federer 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) in a high-quality final at the All England Club.

The Swiss, bidding for his ninth title had two match points at 8-7 in fifth but Djokovic hit back before prevailing in the first twelve all fifth set tie break of this year's men's singles tournament after 4 hours and 55 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Wimbledon Final Runner Up

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. A hold to fifteen with two aces saw him hold for 1-0.

Djokovic was quickly level with a love hold, responding nicely to some well struck Federer returns from the baseline.

Game three started with a classic Djokovic point with his flat backhand working over Federer for 0-15 but the Swiss recovered to hold for 2-1.

Djokovic kicked off game four with a double fault but was quickly ahead 40-15 before Roger took the game to deuce. Two more game points came Novak's way but Roger was able to create the first break point chance of the set. Unfortunately, he overcooked the forehand after getting the ball he wanted off a low angled slice. Djokovic then held to level for 2-2.

At 0-30 that missed chance looked like may play a part but Roger delivered two big serves to make thirty all before winning the next two points to take a 3-2 lead.

Djokovic was again quickly level with a hold to fifteen but Roger went one better with a speedy love hold for 4-3 that featured two successful forward moves to the net.

Another Djokovic hold to fifteen put him level at 4-4 before Roger held to thirty to move within one game of the set.

Two peRFectly worked points then put Roger up 0-30 in game ten but Djokovic knuckled down despite double-faulting at 40-30 to hold for 5-5.

The Serb soon had a half chance of his own at 15-30 after a poor Federer drop shot but Roger came up with some line finding groundstrokes to hold for 6-5. A love hold from Djokovic forced the tie break.

Into the tie break and after winning the opening point Roger should have been up an early mini-break but he blazed a forehand long. Another forehand long gave Djokovic a 3-1 advantage but Federer hit back, recovering the mini-break and taking one of his own en route to forging a 5-3 lead.

Another mishit forehand let Djokovic back in for 4-5 and he reeled off the next three points to edge an extremely close first where both players were hard to separate.

Set two saw Roger break immediately for 1-0 and after consolidating the break he was quickly up a double break as Djokovic's level went off the boil.

Roger then held to thirty to insure the double break for 4-0 before Novak finally got himself on the board for 1-4.

Another hold to thirty put Roger up 5-1 and he was soon level at one set apiece after another loose Djokovic service game saw him drop the set 6-1.

The third set started with a solid hold from the Swiss to fifteen for 1-0 before Djokovic levelled to thirty. Roger then fired down a love hold to put the pressure back on the number one seed but he responded with a hold to fifteen for 2-2.

The pair then exchanged back to back comfortable holds for 4-4.  Into game nine and Djokovic had his first chance of the set at 15-30 but Roger fired down some big serves to take a 5-4 lead.

It was then Roger's turn to fashion 15-30 and even though Djokovic came up with a smarty body serve for 30-30, Federer produced a ridiculous half volley to create a set point.  A line finding serve from Djokovic saved it and another smart body serve helped him escape the game for 5-5.

Roger quickly held for 6-5 but after winning an epic 26 shot rally with a slick backhand pass up the line for 0-15, Djokovic reeled off the next four points to force a tie break.

Into the breaker and some mistimed backhands from Federer allowed Djokovic to establish a 4-1 lead. A lengthy rally won with a trademark Djokovic crosscourt backhand put him up 5-1. Roger was able to recover one mini-break to move to 4-5 but when a slice drop shot drifted wide for 4-6, Djokovic sealed the tiebreak 7-4.

After a brief toilet break for Federer, set four kicked off with a Djokovic hold to fifteen. Roger then had to dig in to hold from 15-30 to level. Novak then delivered a love hold for 2-1 and in game four he was again in the service game forcing deuce but a slick Federer half volley pickup gave him game point and he levelled for 2-2.

A good pass brought up the first point for Federer in game five and after Djokovic double-faulted for 15-30, Roger set up two break points, finally converting thanks to a full-blooded backhand return to lead 3-2.

A love hold consolidated the break and like set two, Federer secured the insurance break for 5-2 when Djokovic leaked some errors from the baseline. 

With Roger yet to face a break point in the match, he faced his first in game eight. He saved it with a backhand down the line after a 35 shot rally but Djokovic was able to convert his second of the game to recoup one of the breaks.

Novak then held to fifteen to get within one game of levelling but Roger wasn't to be denied forcing a fifth, slamming down a love hold to take it to a decider.

The fifth set started with an exchange of holds and in game three Roger had a half chance at 30-30 and deuce but Novak escaped.

The Serb then won the first point of Federer's next service game with a net cord and soon had two break points. Roger saved both hitting a big inside out forehand to make deuce. Another breakpoint had to be saved with an ace before another ace sealed the game for 2-2.

Djokovic quickly moved up 40-0 in game five but Roger reeled off three points to force deuce. A clutch serve from Djokovic gave him game point and he held for 3-2.

Federer then found himself down 0-30 and 15-40 after Djokovic connected on some returns and although he saved the first, Djokovic broke for 4-2.

An immediate response was required from the Swiss and he was able to hold breakpoint immediately when Djokovic double-faulted at 30-30. A forehand sailed long to miss the chance but a second presented itself and Djokovic went long and Federer was back on serve.

At 15-30 in game eight Federer was in more trouble but a net cord of a big inside in Djokovic forehand took the ball wide and he held with an ace to make 4-4.

A drop shot won the first point for Roger in game nine but Djokovic recovered to hold to thirty for 5-4.

Roger then needed to produce some clutch play to hold for five all, hitting a  great forehand and volley for the 40-30 point. Into game eleven and a double fault gave Federer 15-30, Djokovic then produced a diving finish to a lengthy point and went onto hold for 6-5.

A sharp second serve at thirty helped Federer again level but Djokovic reeled off a routine service game to hold for 7-6.

Federer then delivered a hold to fifteen to level and was able to break Djokovic with a good return at 30-30 then a pass for 8-7.

The Swiss fired two aces to bring up two match points at 40-15 but he couldn't find another first serve rushing an approach on the second match point and Djokovic broke back for 8-8.

Novak then held to thirty to put huge pressure on Federer. but Roger held to fifteen for 9-9. The pair then exchanged holds for 10-10.

Federer had a thirty all chance in game twenty but Djokovic held and three quick holds later the match moved into a fifth set deciding tie break.

Into the breaker and a backhand long gave Djokovic the opening point on serve before Roger missed a tricky half volley to slip down a mini break. 

Two smart points on serve gave Djokovic 4-1 lead. Roger won his next two points on serve but Djokovic had the steely focus to produce a serve + forehand combo and then a backhand up the line to lead 6-3.

An acute Djokovic backhand was then called out but a challenge showed it was in, on the replayed point a framed Federer forehand flew miles out of the court and Djokovic had sealed the deal.

Match Stats

  N. Djokovic R. Federer
Aces 10 25
Double Faults 9 6
First Serve % In 136/219 (62%) 127/202 (63%)
Win % On 1st Serve 101/136 (74%) 100/127 (79%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 39/83 (47%) 39/75 (52%)
Net Points Won 24/38 (63%) 51/65 (78%)
Break Points Won 3/8 (38%) 7/13 (54%)
Receiving Points Won 63/202 (31%) 79/219 (36%)
Winners 54 94
Unforced Errors 52 61
Total Points Won 203 218
Distance Covered 5618.9 m 5805.9 m
Distance Covered/pt. 13.3 m 13.8 m

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wimbledon Final 2019

It was one shot I guess, I don't know which to pick your choice. I don't know. I was still happy to be at 8-8, try to see the positives , you try to take it as a good thing, that I'm not down a break in the fifth and the match is not over. If I could have picked it, to be 8-8 in the fifth before the match I'd take but yes, it was definitely tough to have those chances. I know what I did well, how close I was. I think I can be happy with my performance. I don't want to be depressed about an amazing tennis match.  Federer on his loss to Djokovic

Where to begin with this one! Putting the fan business aside of it being awful to see Federer lose tight finals. In terms of tennis, it was a match where there wasn't really anything new to learn.

Instead, it was a match that further confirmed who the best player is in the world right now, a match that further confirmed Federer can still compete for slams but getting over the line is not easy and a match that confirmed that it doesn't matter how many points you win, if you win the last one then you're walking away a winner!

In terms of how it panned out, I'm not hugely motivated to recap it but here are my notes from each set for those interested:

  • First set very close, Federer looking the better player but Djoker reeled off that solid service hold for 6-6. Showed off why is so tricky to beat from the baseline. Federer will rue some of those early tiebreak points.
  • The second set, Djokovic off the boil and Federer able to get on top early and then cruise the set, better in all areas. 
  • The third set, Roger the only guy to hold a breakpoint in sets one and three but lost them both. Very cagey from both guys. Even when Djokovic not at his best, sticks to his game, hugs the baseline and will not miss.
  • The fourth set, not the highest level from both but Federer able to do a bit more damage on the second serve returns and in more of a groove.
  • The fifth set, great fight from Federer to recover from 2-4 down after looking tired at the start of the set. Can't have too many regrets on those match points at 8-7, neither clear cut chances. Not a great approach on the second but it was a risk worth taking, similar to Nadal's last year in the semi-final. Worst moment of the set for me was the missed passing shot on break point at 11-11 as it was very makeable. Tiebreak no complaints Djokovic rock solid and gets it done.

My main takeaway is it was a good match and a great performance/tournament by Roger at 37. But like he said, a missed opportunity which is why it's disappointing. All the talk amongst fans will be mental this, choke that and they are certainly valid points but I thought Roger gave everything he had on the day and unfortunately it wasn't enough.

I said in the comments on my last post if this match was like a chess match then Federer would have to sacrifice the Queen to give himself a chance of winning. You have to be prepared to lose and you either win brilliantly or lose brilliantly. If you don't act, you simply lose slowly with guaranteed certainty. Was it a brilliant loss? Too early to tell and Federer was a little too passive in periods when Djokovic wasn't at his best but I'd take a five-setter over a routine 2, 2 and 2 any day. The problem for Federer is that victory in tennis, like chess, requires solid positional play and Djokovic is a grandmaster.

What are you guys verdict on the match? Are you a fan of the twelve all tiebreak? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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275 Comments

  1. That was the most unfair win ever ! Federer was the best player the whole match I can’t even explain how he lost 😭

    1. Totally agree. Why wasn’t the tie break to ten? Why don’t they enforce the 25 second time limit on Novak? Roger was definitely the better player, and will always herald tennis greatness.

      1. She was so nervous and could be seen uttering OMG when Novak was broken at 8-8 fifth set. Alas, what millions of Red fans were hoping did not materialize!

  2. Couldn’t agree more with your bottom line?
    Am I sad Roger didn’t make it?
    Obviously I do.
    But I thank him as a fan for giving it all out there and playing magnificent tennis this last fortnight.
    He’s amazing.
    Yeah, Novak and/or Rafa might break his slams record.
    Yes, if you look deeply in the rankings you will see that Novak will probably surpass Roger’s week tally as no 1.
    He also gave him four straight GS finals loses.
    But Roger will always be the GOAT, not only in our hearts. Because Novak can win it all, but he will never play peRFct tennis.

    Jonathan, thank you for another excellent coverage.
    Let’s hope you get to post a Federer Wimbledon winning post next year. If Roger can play so good at 37, why not 38?

    1. Yes annoying, with playing so well and still missed it. But a nice and clear and noble presser. I love that he’ll deny being depressed by a loss after having been playing so well. We can be very happy about that, and such a good omen for his continuity.
      And I thought – yes Djoko won – AGAIN! – he’s SO good at winning, truly the amazing master in that. But Roger is getting closer and closer. He was close in Paris, and really IMO so close this time, that it is very surprising he didn’t win. He still takes the challenge, and is improving. Wonderful presser, wonderful brilliance during playing – and observing what is on stake. Huge thanks to RF. He lost, but he won in getting the positive – as usual!

  3. I admire Roger Federer’s grace whiilst surely feeling fury, frustration, sadness, pride, regret… He played so well, fought so damn hard, I just felt he was going to get it done. He deserved it, as did Novak Djokovic, but in a different way. Both amazing tennis players. It’s a terrible feeling right now.

  4. Gutted and devastated. I just hope he has another chance to get that close to get another slam and hopefully that chance is at Wimbledon but we’ll see. Was a poor approach on match point for me, like he hit it just praying Djokovic misses which I guess is fair enough but Djokovic is never missing that pass. Agree on the break point chance, had it on the racket and was surprised he didn’t go down the line with the forehand pass. I think it’s going to take a while for Fed to get over, also physically because of how much tennis he’s played lately and how much more there is to play this season. But I’m devastated, huge chance to beat Rafa and Djok back to back, win in a long final, equal his h2h at Wimbledon against djok and also extend that slam lead. Sucks.

  5. The stats are really rubbing salt in the wound. Every stat shows Federer played better (except UFE), won more points. Except the one that mattered most. Agree with both Jonathan (“Annoying”) and Federer (“opportunity lost”).

    1. Yes, exactly. Sorry, Jon, I didn’t realise you’d already posted here, and posted some thoughts in the previous thread. It may have been an epic match, but I didn’t think either player was playing really well, and did think Fed was maybe letting Djoko dictate too much. Just because you can go toe to toe with him doesn’t mean you necessarily should.

      1. Federer won in all other respects than the match itself. Unfair this? Yes of course. But to find the positive nevertheless, Roger is the master of this art. The most inspiring sportsman for having joy, whatever happens. 😊😊😊 to Roger and to all his fans, what a club for heart’s joy.

  6. This hurts than the 2008 loss to Nadal. Federer was two sets to love down, won only two tie breaks, was never ahead. Plus he was only 26 and you could hope for more. Now he is 37, had two match points on serve (after two aces on the preceding points), won 14 more points. Who knows if he will get another chance?

    1. exactly Raja. Match ended at 2.30am here and I couldn’t sleep after that with me tossing about bed thinking about those “what if” and “near misses” situations.

  7. FH on 40-15 and Duece in 8*-7 game … both of the make-able and he was indeed made similar shots today, but not there when it mattered… And First set TB also felt like so much missed opportunity… Tough tough one to get move on, but Roger always does that fine, so hopefully yet again he does it….. So Close but not Close enough (same applies on NZ also in WC finals).

    1. Another bugging thing is it does felt Novak isn’t his usual Zen like place in most of matches like he usually do against Roger and still Roger somehow let him get away (in first set TB when he was leading, bit in middle of third set, and the last set)…more hurts ..sigh

  8. Has he ever lost a grand slam final whilst serving it out before?

    This is really sad and disappointing. What a fight but he didn’t make it 😭 The wrong player took the trophy. It would have been so special to win Wimbledon and he may not get the chance again

    Perhaps he’s saving it for Flushing Meadows 🤔

  9. WADA should look into what Djoker drank after the second set as he looked like he should have been hospitalized. His smugness after the match was so f’g annoying. Fifth set TB in a Wimbledon final is as wrong as a shootout in a tied game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Idiotic.
    One thing that bothered me throughout the match was Roger’s tentativeness all match long. Looked afraid to go over the ball, particularly his BHDTL. Chipped way too much. Slice was working but should have mixed it up with more topspin.
    I still can’t believe what I watched. Rog always loses when he’s under 50% on 2nd serve pts. The winner today was under 50. I’m just so disappointed for Fed.

  10. Thank you Jonathan for your quick and fair recap of the match. Like so many others tho I am devastated by the result. Mostly because Roger was the better player (in my humble opinion), had so many chances and the fact that I can’t stand Djokovic or his parents. (Have never forgotten or forgiven “the king is dead, long live the king”). Other losses of Rogers, the other guy was usually more deserving but not today. Oh well, life goes on but it’s going to take a while 🥵

    1. Yes,the whole Djokovic entourage are rather awful.
      That Marion Vider person picking his nose on one shot.Particularly edifying.
      Better player but not safer.Thats why the pushers win.

  11. Actually I see a pattern emerging here…Indian Wells he had the match on his racket with match points against Thiem. He should have won that one. When Roger is at last game, especially triple and double match points and all he has to do is close it, he tends to rush into his serves, rush into the points rather than take his time and as a result, he misses easy shots and volleys he would normally never miss. Every time he has rushed to finish it off he has lost the match. One of them notably was a volley he would have been better to take backhand cross court rather than make a forehand (with hardly any room to do it) that went out. I felt he was missing a lot of forehands as it’s usually his strong wing. I also noticed he was playing many points back into Novak’s hand rather than go the opposite side. I felt he should have won it at 8-7 as he clearly had more winners throughout. The level he competed in this 5 set over the top epic match is one to file like 2008 and 2011 and learn from. Hope he will have other chances to clinch more titles. He could have had 5 titles so far this year however has 3 and Novak just tied him with 3 as well. Because the Big 3 don’t have 10 years in their career ahead of them the most important tiles are the GS and that’s the only thing Novak wants as well as the longest #1 run to beat Roger’s records. Once an RF fan always an RF fan and even when he retires (hopefully years from now) I will never cheer for the Joker. It’s time to let the NextGen breakthrough against Novak.

    1. I agree with you there. Indian Wells has been the TRUE barometer of Wimbledon.

      Federer – wins in 2012 – wins Wimby
      Federer – loses in 2014 – loses Wimby
      Federer – loses in 2015 – loses Wimby
      Federer – wins in 2017 – wins Wimby
      Federer – loses in 2019 – loses Wimby.

      It is what it is. Very close yet not enough.

      1. Thanks for those stats…was unaware of them…only observed him playing important matches and losing because he was rushing to finish off and making mistakes or wrong play in the interim…

    2. agreed…
      He choked in the important moments, including the three breakers, commited 8 UE, didn’t find the spots with his first serve, when it mattered most. He should have one the first set. Also even he’d like to forget these kinds of matches, every cell in your body remembers everything – served so fine to get to 40:15 and then again was not precise enough then – this was the third time he lost to Novak in a slam after match points. Very, very sad, and ultimately purely a mental loss.
      He has to work on this mentally. He was the better player, He can also be when it matters most.

  12. Hi Jonathan,

    First of all congrats on his you are able to write about this match after such a brutal loss.

    The thing that stung the most was Roger was almost always playing from behind. He perhaps should have the first set. That would have relaxed him. He did great to win the second. Again, like in 2014 and 2015, he could not deliver the crucial 3rd set so again he was playing behind. I give him huge credit for winning the 4th set in the somewhat comfortable way that he did but that ultimately put the pressure on him again having to serve second in the 5th which almost always sucks.

    After breaking back at 4:2 (which was not a guarantee), I thought that for sure that the momentum would be on his side.

    And than at 8:7 40:15 – WTF?! What does it take to close this guy out already?!

    So frustrating. And then at 11:11 he had another chance to break and missed that too.

    So the 12:12 tiebreak actually sucked because Novak is cyborg and can’t miss when it matters. This is just ridiculous.

    So, overall – a big sad because Roger did everything right – led in all departments on the stat sheet but always would fall early in the tiebreaks and would not recover.

    It is what it is. Novak is incredibly clutch but Federer should have won today. That’s my honest opinion. Strictly speaking, sub-par Djokovic stoke this match. He didn’t win. The tiebreaks saved him.

    Anyway. Very impressed with your ability to write about this match after such a difficult match. A lot of people wouldn’t be able to do it…

    1. Very much agree,these cursed tie breaks.Can mean that a player who hasn’t broken serve through a match,can win.
      Seems silly but that Isner/Mahaut match showed they had to do something.
      Bur knew that when Djoker held serve at the end of the fifth Fed wasn’t going to win in the tiebreak.
      A shame,the better player lost.Only one outstanding point by Djoker throughout the match.

  13. This Novak reminds of the early encounters with Federer when Federer used to just win tiebreaks against Novak at will.

  14. Too much reliance on the backhand slice in this match. Slice is good to mix things up used intermittently but aiding every BH is a bad strategy against Novak.

    1. I was thinking about that. The thing is that whenever Roger would use the backhand slice, Novak will answer with a flat backhand or forehand but not with a slice himself which was depressing.

    2. I was thinking about that. The thing is that whenever Roger would use the backhand slice, Novak will answer with a flat backhand or forehand but not with a slice himself which was depressing.

      Roger would look for the forehand but Novak would not give it to him…

      Stubborn.

  15. Must say I am absolutely gutted tonight, in a bit of a daze. Can’t believe he lost it having the 2 match points on his serve, this will hurt him for maybe the rest of his days, whether he is playing or not.

    He was the more forceful player, and dictated a lot of the play during the match, but there’s no denying that he got tight in the tie breakers and his baseline play broke down. It was such an opportunity because this wasn’t a great Djokovic performance.

    I have to remember the positives of a brilliant win over Nadal which banished a few more demons, and that this is just a sport, and not a matter of life and death. It just doesn’t feel like it though!

  16. Yeah I said in my comment on the previous post that this one is a tough one to take. Nonetheless, I was at least pleased that Roger seemed more philosophical about it, doesn’t seem overly down on himself (unless there’s an interview I haven’t watched yet). There are two ways of looking at it. Either we say that Roger got really close and couldn’t quite manage it, or we look at it this way (the way I prefer to look at it). Roger was within one point of taking the title, against a guy 5 years younger, after beating another one of the greatest players of all time in the previous round, and all that at 37 (almost 38) years old. I don’t believe in negatives when it comes to the whole GOAT argument, in other words, if Roger reaches three more grand slam finals and loses them, that doesn’t take anything away, in fact it adds something because he reached three more finals. Anyway, point is, if he can play like that, why can’t he make a US Open final? An AO final? Maybe next years Wimbledon final? He’s not seeming to slow down, and Roger has always said that as long as he is near the top of the game he won’t retire, and who could blame him? I’m not writing off the possibility of another GS title, and even if he never wins another I still don’t think Rafa or Novak will catch him. And even if they somehow did, Roger IMO is still the greatest unless they win several more because of how many other records Roger holds.

    1. When all the dust settles, and these three are long gone (at this rate this could be next century), people will at some point remember that how you do something is just as important as whether you do it.

    2. Brilliantly said Charlie.

      And just to add to your last line – sometimes people don’t take into account that being the GOAT isn’t just about on-court achievements. It’s so, so much more. It’s about the legacy and impact you leave behind on those around you – the spectators, the up and comers, and all the pretenders.

      And sure, maybe some of the big three will break a few of Fed’s records. Maybe all of them. But they’ll never leave the same mark Federer has left on sport and on the world at large. He is tennis. That’s Federer’s real legacy. That’s what makes Fed the GOAT.

    3. My sentiments exactly.
      I dont want to linger on tallies overly tho’, but whatever the final numbers show, watching Federer at 60 will still be more exciting than ever watching Novak.

  17. Never felt like this after a match before. Roger did everything but win. It almost feels like if I close my eyes he did win.
    Roger is the only one of the top 3 who loses matches like that. He’s the most wonderful player we all love but he ends up losing matches Nadal and Djokovic would always see out. So many times he is serving for it or has match points and loses. His record in final set tie breaks in the last few years has been shambolic.
    What hurts the most is that today is the day his chance to end his career with the Grand Slam record has gone. Nadal will equal him at least, Djokovic could well end up ahead of both. It was a double whammy to be 1 point from being 6 ahead of Djokovic and end up on 4 ahead.
    I feel sick.

    1. I don’t think that today’s win was essential for that record. I actually think that the record will be beaten by Nadal 100%, but it is just a fact and no one can equal Roger as the GOAT in terms of brilliance, talent, intuition and grace.

      1. Hadn’t finished comment sorry.
        It is very difficult to win a grand slam as we have seen today.
        Can’t see Nadal winning another slam unless clay and then he has to win three more RG.
        At age 35 and they are putting a roof in there.No more helpful rain breaks.
        Djoker would have to win 5 more and he won’t always have incredibly easy draws and
        useless as the young ones seem at present eventually some of them will break through.
        They have still it all to do and the clock is ticking for them too.

      1. Djokovic is now almost certain to overtake Rogers weeks at Number 1 total.
        And being only 4 behind rather than 6 behind the grand slam total is a massive swing yesterday. He would have needed 7 more to overtake Roger had Roger won one of those match points, now it is only 5.

  18. Nice recap, it was painful however to read it as I relived those moments.
    I don’t think however that it was an amazing match in terms of quality, and Djokovic didn’t look like he is the best player in the world… He was very beatable today but his incredible mental toughness won him the essential points. Brilliant shots from Roger alternating with easy shots missed, and a very flat Djokovic in sets 2 and 4 produced a lower quality match when compared to the Roger vs Rafa semifinal. Of course, the tension was amazing and that is why it became an epic match.
    Words are not enough to describe my disappointment, still crying like a baby and (unsuccessfully) trying to motivate myself that maybe he will (soon) get his revenge 🙁
    On the positive side, he talked (briefly) about his plans for 2020, so this means he won’t retire at the end of this year <3

  19. And what happened to his first serve in the final set? It felt as though it was almost always missing, although I see he was actually at 60%. I feel a few more points on first serve might have made a difference.

    1. I suppose tiredness was a factor.No matter how fit Fed is he still had far the tougher semi.
      Pushing up on your legs for the serve must be pretty hard in the fifth set.
      I felt that match was lost (with hindsight)in the first set tie break.Those unforced errors on the forehand were very costly.
      But I can’t believe he didn’t serve it out when he had the chance.A great shame.

  20. The way they were playing, I would’ve loved to have seen a fifth set in the old format. The challenge is much more physical at that point since there’s a wider margin for error when you have to win by two games, and I think given the amount of energy Roger seemed to still have at 12-12 I would’ve liked his chances to win the match.

  21. “Such an incredible opportunity lost, I just can’t believe it” said Roger. I think that about sums it up. He was the better player by stats but that doesn’t matter in this sport. I also like his answer on the new tiebreak in the fifth set — which is — it is the rule and although he didn’t say it, I am sure he would also have said that it applied to both players, so it was fair. I think he would also say it was probably fair that women got paid the same for their 58 minute, 16 game final as the guys who went 4:55 and 66 games with 3 TBs, but only in a subsidized sense. I think playing clay was important for him being as “match-fit” as he was. He is taking time off until Cincy, let’s hope he finishes strong this year and sets himself up for an Olympic win in 2020.

  22. It’s a game, for heavens sake.
    Look, people, I hate to go personal but things must be put in perspective: As Fed, I am also a father of four but I struggle every day/week/month to have a decent life, with 2 hours of tennis lessons a week as my sole luxury. My wife is unemployed, my mother in law has dementia. Today I found that my father may have cancer. I carry all this on my shoulders trying to keep a straight face. Would it be right to feel angry because a multimillionaire lost a game?
    I take great enjoyment from watching Roger play and even greater when he wins and even more so when it’s against his biggest rivals. But to let his losses affect me negatively, no. I cannot allow that.
    So, it’s fine to be a little sour about the final. But just a bit. And, PLEASE, stop picking on each other. What’s the purpose in that?
    Now… Cincinnati next! Or which one?…

    1. First voice of a reason here. There will be not many, Rui.
      Most or all of us have actually bigger problems than losing at the Wimbledon final and would be happy with such loss, changing our “meaningless” lives for ever.

    2. Rui, thank you for this. I hope your father gets better soon. Putting this Federer loss in perspective has been harder than anything else but your comment gives me strength and opens my eyes.

  23. Gutted as we all are (I certainly am), I think it helps to put it into perspective. A 38 year old just beat Nadal and was a point away from beating the world number 1 and hoisting the Wimbledon trophy. He played his heart out for 5 sets and 5 hours after playing the world’s best defender 48 hours prior.

    Serving out a match isn’t easy, let alone serving out the biggest match of the year against the best returner in the game. To those who feel he choked – he didn’t choke. As Jonathan said, Federer had to take it to Djokovic. And boy did he do so. And sometimes that strategy helps you beat your biggest adversary in the semifinals, and sometimes it leaves you a point away from the Championship. Had one of those match points landed, we’d have been singing his praise. Let’s not forget the 4 hours prior to that shot – the fight and the spirit and the heart he showed remains the same.

    Roger Federer – you sir are an inspiration. A champion. I don’t know about you guys, but he’s my hero. He has my respect for the way he lay it all out there win or lose. I hope I can have the courage to lay it all out there when all the odds are stacked against me someday.

      1. Yes gorgeous comments Gaurav what Roger did was huge and after Rafa and being past retirement, high risk aggressive beautiful shots, winning huge rallies in both matches etcetc!
        If you’d ever seen Roger before you’d be blown away as to the beauty and quality of what he brings and mostly grace. He is a superb competitor who doesn’t revert to strange antics who always gives you hope he can win and then brings it !
        Of course I’m sad for him and us but it’s a life lesson in so many ways how he plays, how he responds so coolly and graciously and takes it all on as a true leader of his and all sports. Regal and serene so proud of his ability to be there and wow us still after two decades .

    1. My sentiments exactly.
      There are certain things Roger just cannot do as well as he once did and closing out matches is one of them. Ppl like Rafa and Novak are fighting just as hard to stay in the match -as we clearly saw in these 2 matches, as Fed is to end it. He had to go for it and he was red-lining the whole match, being as brave as all hell and sometimes he made a wrong decision – pulled back, wrong shot selection, played it too safe or just executed poorly-but overall and for 5h he pressed the #1 and but for playing just 2 or 3 crucial shots differently, he would have won, after beating the #2. At 38.
      Despite being utterly gutted by this oh-so-near miss, it was glorious to see him play like this. I dont really think , tho of course I dont despair- and havent since AO 19- that Roger at 38 can realistically win another Slam. Rafa and Novak still have a good few years left and other than eachother’s & Fed’s aging selves, have little opposition, so their path – esp Novak’s with Rafa regularly out much of the season, is so much easier.
      Novak had the tougher path to break thru, it’s true, but he had youth on his side (Rafa having started earlier) and it’s paying out now. Fed overall has had the hardest path battling both of them while going thru fatherhood thru their best years and being 5 -6 yrs their senior when age and years of playing became a factor.
      His ability to hang with them, still be 1 of their only 2 real challengers is phenomenal. I am sad for this near miss but am so happy that Fed is still so brilliant and so good.

  24. It took me a while to get over it but I am so I’ll add my two cents. I think Roger was the better player throughout and the stats were nearly all in his favor but at the end of the day, the winner of the last point is all that matters. That was Djokovic today.

    I think had Roger not had Championship points, it would have been easier to digest. But I somehow feel losing to Djokovic is so much more than anyone else, idk why I feel that way but I do. At the end of the day, when all the slams are counted this will be a missed opportunity for #21. But Roger showed he can still compete on fast surfaces with Rafa and Novak, meaning he’ll be a factor.

    It’s not the end of the world. Life goes on, and there are much more important things in life than this tennis match or tennis in general. Onwards toward Cinci and Mew York.

    Here’s a tribute I made. I’ll post it to cheer everyone up:
    https://t.co/qFMoz38lBv

    1. Thank you Brandon for helping put things in perspective. Your tribute is lovely and a great reminder of just how special this guy is; made me a bit teary actually (but with a smile). I have saved it. Thank you.

  25. Hey guys,

    Remember 4 years ago the Wimby 2015 Final between Roger and Novak??
    Remember 5 years ago the Wimby 2014 Final between Roger and Novak??
    Remember the Wimby 2019 Final between Roger and Novak??

    See what I did there?? See the difference in years?? All those who say this was his best chance, he won’t get another final or title again, Roger WILL get another final and title again.

    Having played almost what 1500 matches, he just played 5 hours, at age almost 38, against a player 6 years younger, with less matches, the number one player in the world, the best player in the world, the best returner ever, the unbreakable and unbeatable, who is being called “The Wall”… And Roger still gave him hell.

    Yes, this loss hurt, but I am sooooooooooooo proud of Roger. He should have made the 2 CP. But lets be real… Novak would have been up with 5-2 in the 5th if Roger had not broken him back. The match would have been over in the 5th at the score 6-2 or 6-3, but Roger broke back. Why is it choking for Roger when he failed the CP and not for Novak who couldn’t break Roger in the 5th and needed a TB to do so??

    Don’t get me wrong, I feel so bad for Roger that he is going through this and at the same time I am also mad at him for not winning. But then. like I said during Livechat, I remember that it was Roger on the other side of the net. Not 18 GS winner Rafa, not Murray, not Stan, not Berdy, not Kyrgios, not Nishikori, not Dimitrov, not the players age 30 something, not the players age 20 to 25 to 30, not the players age 17 and up…. No, it was STILL our hero who was in the Final. THE ONLY ONE WHO BEATS OR ALMOST BEATS RAFA AND NOVAK. No one else is stepping up right??
    So… why can Roger not be in the upcoming USO Final, or the AO Final, or the RG Final or the Wimby Final next year??
    We were ALL bitching and moaning that they slowed down the Wimby court so that it almost played like clay benefitting Rafa and Novak. But still Roger made the Final and not Rafa and he almost beat Novak…

    I have said this before, if you were watching tennis for lets say the first time or so and you saw any of Roger’s matches or even the Final from today… would you honestly say that there was an age difference of 6 years?? Roger was the dominating one today, the better player, Novak just played some important points better. Roger kept up with the guy who makes everyone run and tires them out. Who is a WALL.

    I am not perfect, I am a bit angry, also at Roger, but I am sooooooo proud of him. He literally gave it is all. Novak should have won in 3, but he didn’t because Roger didn’t LET him. He fought his heart out and unfortunately doesn’t have a title to show for it.
    But when he is playing like this… Roger CAN and WILL win more GS. I am absolutely convinced about that.
    They said “how will he ever come back from a loss like AO 2009 Final or from a loss like Wimby 2008 Final”? Well, just by getting over them and moving on and making more Finals. At some point he WILL WIN one of those Finals. We are now freaking 10 and 11 years later then in 2008 and 2009. And what is the outcome?? ROGER IS STILL MAKING GS FINALS AND KICKING ASS. Next step…. winning one of those Finals. When he plays like THIS, he will play in his 40.

    Remember that. I believe in him because as he has shown today… HE CAN DO IT !!!
    Jon, I really loved your post today.

    1. My comment is a bit long, but I just wanted to say this. Yes, Roger was not very gracious during the speech because he was disappointed, but Novak saying in his speech that he was glad he came back from having 2 MP was kind of a dig to Roger right??

    2. You are simply the best to make us feel better after such a heartbreaking loss to the worst player I want to see Roger lose to.

      1. I didn’t watch the speeches and so on, was too disappointed. But after having watched the presser, I feel exactly like you Katayany, and my admiring for Roger still rising. Can’t wait to watch him again in Cinci and on. Whatever happens, tennis and all fans are so privileged having him still, and even so solid and fabulously playing – and oh my, what a threat to all in top.

    3. Katyani, I don’t know you in person but I LOVE you!!
      My thoughts exactly!
      USO 2019 champion Roger Federer, I’m telling you! The best at the world right now!

      Also, although he lost 4 straight GS finals to Djoker, let’s not forget he won 3 straight in 2017-2018, two of them were 5 sets were he played 100% clutch!
      Let’s also not forget that apparently it takes 13 games in the 5th set to beat Roger at Wimbledon.

      1. Katyani – I don’t think it’s a punishment to Roger, rather a test, which he returned brilliantly in the presser (I rarely saw similar from anybody being in such situation) – “It is what it is, and I’ll just go on to playing next, and look forward” , – and hopefully in private life too – no more injures of knee from being too annoyed, please! I THINK still that we may be very satisfied that all agree he was the better player (except in…) I’m sure he knows all about it, and will use his great creativity and love of being challenged to train all new possibilities.

  26. very sad and disappointing result roger play good win more point than novak and not let novak win a set by break serve but he miss too many opportunity in big point and play bad in all 3 TB miss chance in MP in his own serve is feel like bad nightmare again
    roger still can play in high level but he will turn 39 next year so not much time left for more slam that make this match is too much disappointing can be his last chance all i can do for now is enjoy his play more than before until he quit because this is all bonus

    1. Hey Maxi, I don’t like Novak at all and I know it was a dig at Roger AND the crowd. He really was saying that as a dig. He could have said it in his presser, but he did it there. Almost to Roger and the crowd, like you see, I came from 2 CP and still I beat him. Ofcourse Roger was not very gracious too, I have to be honest about that too.

      You know what hurts the most… the 4 finals (3 Wimby and 1 USO)… Roger could have and SHOULD have won them all. At age 37 he STILL is a better player than Novak. There …. I said it and I mean it. If Novak is winning all these GS, it is because Roger MADE him like that. In a way, Roger made Novak this unbeatable whose confidence rises with every GS win. He could have won all those 4 finals and should have won them all. I am angry at Roger that he didn’t win them, BUT at the same time I LOVE HIM for not winning them. It proves to me that he is NOT a machine, NOT a robot and that he IS still human.

      He will get over this loss. He got over the losses of 2008 and 2009 when that seemed impossible. Maybe if Roger won all the 4 finals against Novak, maybe he would have gotten bored and decided to do the R-word.
      But he is THANKFULLY arrogant in one way…. HE WON’T LET anyone overtake him. Trust me, he will keep fighting. Surely now that he KNOWS that the 6 year younger best player “ever” needed 5 sets and 5 freaking hours JUST TO BEAT HIS OLD ASS !!!
      Roger will be in a GS final again and he will win it…

      I just wish he would have taken a lot more time before serving for the 2 CP. Even if it was a few seconds more. Take his time and try to hit an ace or something else. He would not have gotten a warning. Why did he rush it??

      1. Love, just love your posts Katyani! Thank you for firing me up! You have cured me of my depression over the loss.

      2. Hey Kat. I am so appreciative of your openess and your overall perspective.

        I absolutely disgust Roger losing to that Serbian.

      3. Hey Miss Elly, if I have cured you from your depression over the loss…. can you do something in return for me?? Cure ME from the depression over the loss 🙂 It hurts so much….

        Hey Maxi, Roger that 🙂

      4. Usually for me it’s a three day slump. After the final, it’s an on-going slump every time I think about it. So, I’m not thinking about it. Will it fade away, hope so.

  27. Still feeling a bit down about the match, actually felt worse for a while, to the point that I even was reluctant to do some video gaming with some friends, but convinced myself to do it as it would make me feel better. They’re not tennis fans, so it was good to have a bit of a time out from thinking about what might have been. Cleared my head a bit. If anyone is looking for anything to cheer them up a bit, there’s a song I’ve been liking lately. More Than A Feeling by Boston, an old one, released in 1976 (way before my time). A good verse in it that reminds me about Roger:

    So many people have come and gone
    Their faces fade as the years go by
    Yet I still recall as I wander on
    As clear as the sun in the summer sky

    No matter whether Roger wins anything else, a lot of people have come and gone, and their faces will fade as the years go by, but we can all still recall the great wins he has had, as clear as the sun in the summer sky!

  28. I remember once to see Joker saying that his team was organising to study how to win from Roger. I think it ‘s time to make real this possibility against Djoker because it’s take time. In Paris He was so near to win from Djoker and today, no words. It was the same thing like in Indian Wells against Del Potro. Match point and loose the match. So sad but , it’s a tennis match and Roger in all the possibilities was best. Only had more unforced errors in crucial moments. That’s all. Thank you Jonathan because I really hope to read your blog when the match is finished because only few people has the exact words to describe what happened.

  29. Federer is definitely the Kasparov of tennis, but Djokovic is the Carlsen.

    I’m still so numb from the whole thing. Insane match.

    How Roger can still keep producing such insane classics, I don’t know. It is crazy how much he must love the game, to come out and go through the grind day in and out, and, at 38 years almost, still be the greatest threat to Novak over and over again.

    Mindboggling.

    Does Novak ever lose a close match on the biggest venue? What the hell is he made of?

  30. After the 2008 Wimbledon loss, with misty eyes, I baptized myself as a Federer fan. Today, with misty eyes again, i reaffirmed that I am a Federer fan forever, and will always be proud of him, even if he does not win another slam. From here on, it does not matter who overtakes him or by how many, to me, he is, and will remain always, The Greatest of All Time!

    1. I agree. It’s a painful loss for sure but let’s not forget that Roger did avenge his loss to Nadal and I believe that he is rid of that demon.

      The new nemesis is Djokovic but I swear to God that Roger was the better player today. And I’ll live with what happened. It reminds me US Open 2011. Although Roger is such a better player now than before. He did let it slip but perhaps he wanted to end the match that he did force it a bit. I mean if your first serve us not going in, you can afford to grind a little. That’s what Djokovic does all the time.

      That’s why he won tenge tiebreaks. He missed a TON of first serves today but he would always grind. Roger would try to finish the point on a second serve with a risky approach and that cost him.

      He needs to figure out HOW to play the tie-breakers better vs. Djokovic. He pretty much had the better of him throughout the match. Just not in the breakers…

    2. Agree too. Nice reading your comments TCT and Vily. This match didn’t reduce Roger’s greatness a bit, on the contrary. The way he play, and the way he handles it all.

    3. True well said, Roger’s so great now his losses are wins too, he gets all the oxygen and glory as he shows us it’s how you play the game of life that counts, and he wins at.that always .

  31. I did not read your article but commenting. I can’t go through the pain again. I was glued to the TV entire match. It has taken a great toll on me. I don’t know by when I am going get over it. It hit me hard. Couldn’t sleep properly. Thanks John for all your great write ups. Taking a break from watching tennis at least for two months. I didn’t read any comment by any one else. It was agony. Victory getting slipped away.

  32. In the end let the fans vote in their hearts who they prefer watching. When Roger does retired tennis will never be the same………PERIOD

  33. There were many achievements by Roger in this year’s Wimbledon. I was impressed that as a player knocking 38 (extraordinary!) he made yet another major semifinal – and in successive slams. He played some spectacular tennis throughout the fortnight and disposed of potentially difficult opponents like Nishikori. I feared another beatdown by a resurgent Nadal but he defied expectation and even prediction to show why he is one of the greatest sportsmen ever. He could not have also been expected to defeat the world no.1 in the final, a player several years his junior. After his gruelling semifinal he wouldn’t have been dishonoured departing after a loss in 4 sets. Instead, he frequently tied his younger opponent in knots and despite early missed chances and later reversals he kept fighting back to do what he should not have been able to do at this point in his career: to put himself in a position when he all but had his hands on the Cup. Against one of the greatest players ever. Yes, Roger was the better player for much of the match but the Serb showed what it is that also testifies to his own greatness; however little some may warm to Djokovic there has never been a greater competitor; fearless, composed, and finding his absolute best at the precise moments he needed. This victory was no brutal and systematic thrashing like his win over Nadal at the Australian Open earlier in the year; Djokovic’s head was in a noose, he knows it, and he will still be feeling the burn marks. There is no great affection between these two but the respect each has for the other is earned. Roger lost by the narrowest of margins but after the match he truly showed he understood Kipling’s phrase, enshrined at the entrance of the court, about treating “triumph and defeat” as the imposters they are. His great matches enter the annals of the sport; they are remembered – win or lose – by those who saw them, and he almost invariably produces the best in his opponents: he makes a greater player of those who find a way to beat him. He is the Everest against those who seek to take him on, whose lofty peaks are the measure of achievement in the sport, and even now, few are up to that daunting challenge. Yes, he lost the match but he added – as he does – to the stature of the sport. That is also a winner.

    1. Roger did say in the press-conference prior to the final that he wanted and wished that he would be able to push Novak to the brink.

      He surely did that. I just hope that it TAKES a lot out of Novak. Even if he won, such wins do take a lot out of you. Sure, losing sucks too but Roger was so impressive physically and mentally. He was consistently great throughout the whole match. Djokovic was only great in the breakers. If Federer was serving first in the fifth, for sure, he would be hoisting the trophy already. I gave absolutely zero doubt about that.

      It’s so much easier to break and win the match vs to break and than have to serve for it. Immensely easier to just break while you are ahead.

      Perhaps also that 12:12 tiebreak rule sucked too. Sure, end is in sight but Djokovic was close to choking already. At 7:7 and than at 11:11. He was ripe for the taking and YET so clutch in the tiebreakers. I guess Roger can manage himself to serve himself out of jam in a service game. He just can’t see to be able to consistently win 2 points in a row on his serve – especially against Djokovic.

      So, it’s all done now. To me though – this result was predetermined when Roger lost against Thiem in Indian Wells. That result sucked…

      1. The IW19 loss to Thiem set the tone actually. These kind of loses are becoming common place for Fed.

      2. Yes that is a very interesting point.Serving first in the fifth is such an advantage because the
        opponent is always playing catch up.So a lot of emotional pressure on them.
        I remember at the Olympic games when Fed played that very long singles match against
        Del Po he was serving second then.Quite emotionally exhausting and I am sure it was the reason Murray had such an easy match next day.Interestingly I think it was Delpo who beat
        The Djoker at the Olympics.😀

    2. Brilliant comment, Armstrong7.
      Especially the last few phrases – “He is the Everest against those who seek to take him on….”.

  34. What’s up with Roger. 4 times now: Delpo, Thiem, Anderson, Djokovic, having match points and loses the match. But other than that, what a match. At 37 playing like that, that’s unreal. He will get to to 21 maybe 22. Love him and his game even more.

    1. Yes. But he’s also won matches after being match points down too. Perhaps not such a grand stage.. He was just unlucky.

  35. Gutted. Feels like someone has been punching my stomach all day long.
    5-3 in the 1st set TB. 40-15 leading 8-7 in the 5th. Fighting for #21. Beating Nadal and Djoko back to back. 9th Wimbledon. That a lot of blows in one day.
    I don’t know if Fed will ever make the final again. But some of the rallies from Fed were breath taking. Superb for a 38 yr old. Always a FedFan for those sweet and painful memories.

  36. Feel really sad watching the greatest ever lose something his close. I remember Roger used to be the king of tie-breaks. Can’t remember when the last time he won a tie-break against the most hated player ever. Oh well. He is playing at this level at his age is good enough to keep us watching tennis. I, for one, do not watch tennis on TV or live if Roger is not playing. Roger epitomises the great sport and shows others how great you can make this look even on courts being made slower as time goes by. It will really be a sad day when Roger announces his retirement. Until that time, let us enjoy the master in action, regardless of the results.
    This one does hurt being this close, but the way he still plays the game makes you want to watch it again. I have it recorded and will watch it again. I’ll just make sure to skip those damned tiebreaks.

    1. Oh, I’ll watch it again (my main recorder was weirdly recording 4 mins at a time and then stopping, but I was doing a backup on the computer just in case!), but I suspect I’ll be deleting it from the hard drive after that, and not because Fed lost – I’ve kept the 2014 final – but because, tension and emotion apart, I’m not sure it was of sufficiently high quality to be worth keeping. It just felt rather flat and uninspired – or perhaps I’ll change my mind when I watch it again.

  37. Well………shee-it. The GOAT question will probably remain unanswerable, just as Fed himself said before. Stats and head-to-head matchup counts do not tell the whole story. Fed definitely wins the “eye test” with his style of play, and that makes me feel betterer.
    👍🏼👍🏼😃

  38. Dear Jonathan and everyone here,
    I have been following this blog ever since Fed won the Wimby in 2012, but have never commented before, though I would come back after every match for Jon’s summary and match report and the most engaged tete-a-tete on tennis. It has become a ritual over the past 7 years.
    Today I had to comment after possibly the most draining day of sport watching in my life which spans more than half a century! (and it will be a longish one)
    I have followed Tennis from 1979 when Borg beat Tanner in a good final, with Indian state TV channel showing just the finals (with breaks for news in between!). Borg was my tennis hero but my first love was always cricket. Over the years I had followed Borg, McEnroe, Connors then Becker Lendl & Edberg, and then Pete & Andre. I lost interest somewhere around late-90s till I watched the 2007 Wimby finals. It was late in coming but I got hooked on to this man when he was just coming off his peak.
    From that time I have followed every match of his going through ups and downs of his, and by Wimby 2012, tennis became my first preferred sport over cricket after nearly 40 years of it being the other way round!
    I have gone through hell and heaven through so many of his matches, that I have lost count of. He puts a fan through the ringer, but we still keep going back to watch the magician.
    Yesterday was another day however. Not the first time he was the better player and still lost, not for the first time when he lost after holding match points. Every time he lost, I will shrug it off thinking ‘tomorrow is another day’. Only this time I don’t know.
    I am thankful that I live in the age of great Fed – he has been an integral part of life for me and my family. A Roger Federer match is the only time when me, my wife and our two boys sit together for hours (yesterday was 5) to watch another ‘fedmerising’ display of his wand.
    He may not remain the greatest champion in tennis when this era gets done, but if there was a greater and a more gifted sportsman, then I’ll eat my hat! Keep bringing it on for a few more years, Fed.

    1. A very interesting comment on your tennis viewing experiences.
      ‘He puts a fan through the ringer’ is certainly a phrase most Fed fans will recognise.
      Fed gave his all yesterday,just couldn’t get over the finishing line.
      He will be back😀

      1. @Annie: Thanks. Should have been ‘wringer’ instead of ‘ringer’…but for the flow of emotions!! We as a family have gone through a very trying time over the last 3 years. The only uplifting moments outside have been the ‘Federer Moments’. This was one was hard to take, and I hope you are right – that he will be back and do a 2017 again.
        @Jonathan: I marvel at you. How could you write such a balanced and detailed review of the match is beyond me! I couldn’t bear to watch the damned 5th set. I was convinced for once that he will win this one, but sadly was not to be. He did play passive in the key moments. For a man who is usually a master of tie-breaks – losing 3 tie-breakers in one single match – has never happened to him before.

  39. The GOAT thing is a bit ridiculous, IMO. The big 3 are great players and the things that separate them are only in a fans eyes. To me, I find that Roger is the greatest player and the most enjoyable to watch. At the end of the day, who cares what anyone thinks about who is the GOAT?
    Yesterday was a classic. I felt so gutted for awhile after but it was an insane match really. Far more of a match than Nadal could have given Djokovic. It was amazing. It truly was. If he’d lost 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, we wouldn’t be able to look at it with any positive sentiment at all. But man, what a fight.

  40. The consolation for me is to have this blog and community.
    You were understandably “not hugely motivated to recap” but you did peRFectly put it together. Well done and thanks for the brilliant work throughout the tournament, Jonathan.
    As for our Fed, how anyone cannot cherish this incredible fighter and superbly beautiful player. It was definitely a brilliant loss.

  41. WHY cant FEDERER close the match when having MATCHPOINTS???

    Its the 4 time he cant against Novak in a SLAM! 4 time, it cant be a coincidence! Fed isnt that good mentally against a beast like Novak, Novak on the other hand ALWAYS plays the BEST when it matter the most, Federer on the other hand lower his level and again this was the match. I am so sad so I cant find words, it will take a couple of years to recover 🙁
    But its horribe for us but i wonder how Roger feel 🙁

    1. I AGREE with EVERYTHING you said! It’s so sad when your favorite player is a choker! He is the the most “talented” tennis EVER..Period! But how u be the “greatest” if always fold under pressure? You think Pete Sampras in that same position serving(40-15 double math point) loses that match? Doubt it! His last two exits from Wimbledon were losses that he had match points in! Then u add the two US Open losses to Novak where he had match points and u see how often he gets panicked & paralyzed he gets in the biggest moments! Its took me years to get over 2008 Wimbledon loss. This one I never will. This was the most important match in History of tennis and sadly I believe he lost the “Goat” title 4 good!

      1. I don’t understand why people keep talking about the 2010 US Open. Novak was serving at 15-40 and totally outplayed Roger on both points. How many times has Roger faced the barrel at match points on his serve only to serve it out? But Novak isn’t allowed the same privilege? If you recall, Novak lost two close 5-7 sets to Fed that match, but won the other two at 1 and 2. Beatings. He was the just winner in that match, and frankly, I’m relieved, because Fed would’ve been a huge dog (given his form at the time) to a beastly Nadal. The 2011 match is another story, and a disappointing one, but it took almost 8 years for a similar situation to play itself out against Novak, and with enough matches, you’re bound to run into the same score and storylines.

        My point is, 2010 isn’t something to be sad about, and 2011 wasn’t too awful (only a semi; Fed outplayed on four straight points, the real shame was how he folded and couldn’t take it to the final breaker). This Wimbledon, however, was a kick in the teeth to all his fans. I would post some video if I were Roger, acknowledging that he blew it to his fans, who are only headed for more heartbreak if they remain so fervently devoted to a fading star.

    2. Markus, you mean vs Djoko of course. Because Fed has won more than 1200 matches having matchpoint. I’m sure Roger is annoyed – very – about this opportunity slipped away. And we fans too of course. But don’t let it shadow all hope and spirit. Roger is very creative and still love his challenge vs Djoko, so change will come for sure. (How many times did Rafa win almost every time? – And what happened from 2017?) Roger will find out this one too. And on the way, there’ll be lots of RF tennis art to enjoy – that strong he’s been all year so far!

      1. I admire your spirit but I cant see the light you see because hes not getting younger and I dont believe he will get the oppotunity again. I understand what you mean against the Nadalfactor and RF turned it around but against Novak its another thing because Novak has a big edge at keymoments against Roger and both know this.

      2. HOLDCO

        I agree with you 2010 isnt the same 2011 is worse yes but in that match the margins was so small, I mean the return from Novak is a good shot but also a lucky one…But fed chocked the next game.

        But this match is something really more worse because its a final and he had his chances, why cant he play better on the imortant moments against novak? He did it against Raffa in the semis where he had breakpoinst and matchpoints…

      3. Markus, Djokovic’s shot in 2010 wasn’t that lucky, if you think about it, and perhaps only in that Fed went the wrong way. How many forehands has Fed taken big out of the air? Most land in the court just fine. Novak is allowed to make that shot too, and yes, he blew the last game (though he could’ve lost the match anyway in a TB), but that was a deserved loss, not really a choke. In 2011, it was a combination of bad luck (Djokovic slap shot, inside out forehand clipping tape) followed by frustration. A real shame, but can happen.

        Yesterday, there’s no excuse. He had to win it. Novak was ready to go, but Roger’s serve failed him and he muffed four shots. He was never in a position to win again. It’s a huge opportunity lost. If you want to look at it objectively, if Novak consolidates his first break in the fifth, the match is over and it’s no more “classic” than any other five-setter at Wimbledon. Fed showed a lot of fight, but couldn’t bring it home. Maybe he’ll get some measure of revenge in a big event in the future. One hopes.

    3. It’s frustrating – true. But he was a bit unlucky and perhaps also his decision making to come in wasn’t correct. I’ll have to rewatch the points. But I am just thinking in perspective – sooner or later he was bound to screw up.

      Again – recap – AO 2017 final against NADAL – serving for it at 5:3 and he actually was break point down – if Nadal breaks there – he wins. Roger saved that break point and ended up winning.

      Wimby 2019 semi-final – against Nadal (3 days ago) – Federer is serving 5:4 in the fourth – also blows an overhead long to set up break point for Nadal – if he gets broken – Nadal would have won that match also. Roger defended that break point.

      So, it finally catches up with you. Roger is up 40:15. Surprising how quickly he got there. And you feel it’s RIGHT THERE and he messes up – ends up being break point down. If he defends it, he’s back to deuce, reset and he would have closed it. But he didn’t, got broken and the rest is history..,.

      1. Agree with you there, the margins are smal yes but I do feel the reason why he wins against Nadal is that he knows he can beat him because he has done it the last couple of years and therefore the selfconfindence is there. Against Novak he has ZERO confidence in big moments because he simply has lost so many times to him in the same situation and Novak ofcourse fell the opposite.

  42. Is there another example of a tennis match lost after winning 15 more points than the opponent? Is there another example of match-statistics where the winner is trailing in each and every row? Fed found a new way to lose!

  43. You said it all Jon. Great effort, compelling drama but you hv to win the last point.
    Nothing to add except had he won that 1st set, we might be talking differently.
    Final thought, loath the 12 all breaker now I hv seen it in practice twice ( dubs too). Seems out of kilter with the weight of the lead up to it, and a horribly abrupt way of ending a match. Works at 6 all but in a final, play it out is preferable. Even a 10 pointer wld hv been better.
    Thoughts?

    1. Yes, in theory I supported the 12-all (if a TB had to be introduced at all), but as you say having seen it in action a couple of times now I do indeed feel it’s too abrupt. But still better than at 6-all, I suppose. And yes, maybe a Champions’ TB would be better – after all, it *was* for the Championship.

      (Actually, yes, why *do* we have the TB won at 7 points? That’s not even the equivalent of 2 love service holds)

  44. This loss hurts. Both players deserved to be winners but tennis is a brutal sport sometimes.

    Federer played better than ever imo which is unbelievable at age 38. His serve, return and movement were incredible but came a bit small in the key key moments.

    On the other hand I think his BH is a real weakness in these kind of matches and ultimately cost him the match. I understand why he played the slice so much and I think he should but I wonder if it would be better to have played it more down the line to try to play more the FH to FH pattern where he is clearly better than Nole. I think Nole is far far better on the BH to BH pattern so I think Roger should have avoided that more.

    1. A few slapped backhands would be winners on a faster grass. But I prefer not to go about the court surface this, court surface that. It’s a never ending discussion and I don’t have the tools to enter it.
      Each Roger victory means that we get to see him playing one more match, so a loss in a final does not count!

      Next tournament, please.
      The more we chew on this one, the worse.

    2. I was wondering about his BH to BH pattern as well.
      Novak is so so good with his backhand that you can’t virtually hit a winner to his BH. His control is so precise it’s scary and I feel that this strength of his has caused lots of trouble to our dear Fed when engaging in this pattern.. And Novak has this uncanny ability to hit wide even from a wide ball on his BH to Fed’s BH which also puts Fed at the back pedal. Even Fed’s BH slices do not present much issues to Novak. Novak’s consistency and precision with his DHBH is more effective than Fed’s single backhand which ultimately would elicit an error or a ball that is short and sits up high for whacking. I know Fed has two CP and the match could have gone either way but I do think that my comments above is one factor that made is so tough for Fed.

    3. Should? This is theory. In the match , which was (against the plan of Fed) basically a baseline game with lot of hitting through the whole court, Roger would not survive, make lots of errors. The only solution was to play backhand slice, which is on of best Fed’s weapons, not working against Rafa but working against most of opponents.
      I would not look for Fed’s weaknesses at all. He delivered more than one could expect. I was surprised, he can play, still on the excellent level, over so long time, with so much running. Add to this the effort to hit backhand topspin and Roger dies after 3 sets-

      He delivered excellent sere, was aggressive all the time. What can you expect more? Djokovic can still play like this over long time – this is basically his game.

      Serve, slice and volley – these weapons made it possible for him to compete so long and still stay upright after the job was done 🙂 Who expected more and looks for failures, is on the false road.

      1. I wonder if Roger should have played his slices more to Djoker’s FH. Bautista was able to get several unforced errors from Nole. His BH side is too solid.

  45. well nobody died, I’m gutted that Roger lost a match he had
    a chance of winning. Don’t know if the age factor plays with
    his nerves when he goes to serve it out, who knows. I am not
    and never was a Djo fan, I just wish he would stop talking
    about the tennis fans now he says when he hears Roger he
    pretends it’s Novak they are saying! It was amazing to see
    a 37 year old play so well after his win over Nadal. Many
    thanks Jon for al the good posts x

  46. After a day to reflect and trying to get over the devastation of that loss. In my opinion, Novaks serve was shocking most of the match and Federer could have won in straight sets but tightened up in the breakers which was where he lost the match. Psychologically the match points he had in 2 semis against Novak at the US Open 2 years in a row could well have played a part when he had championship points yesterday as Novak wont give him an easy game to see it through. I am sure Federer will play a full schedule next year and the fact he was so fit for the final I can see him playing till 2021and have two more cracks at Wimbledon. I really hope he has a good crack at the US Oprn this year and hopefully get some revenge on Novak who is a great player but a boring baseline one.

  47. Hey Jon, I have already thanked you for the post, but hereby again. Thank you. I honestly thought you might make a “Roger choked the match”-post, but you made a very honest post. Roger made good decisions and ofcourse a lot bad ones.
    When I wrote my comment at night, I wrote that I was mad at Roger. I still am… But then I thought… lets be real…. even his OWN box gave up on him after he lost the 3rd set. They were down, not standing up, not clapping, not anything. When Roger got a lead in the 4th, then they came alive. To be honest, I knew he would come back, but… even I for a few seconds thought that this was it. BUT Roger literally is the ONLY one who believes in himself that he can turn it around and win. Which is why I believe that he will win more GS.

  48. Hey guys, two silver linings:

    1) In the same Wimby 2019 when Roger (almost age 38) played the final which took Novak 5 hours just to beat this dinasaur, Marco Baghdatis retired and Mark Phillippoussis played a legend match. How about that !!!

    2) It took Roger a while, but when he “figured” Rafa out, he won like 5 or 6 times from him. TRUST ME, he will figure Novak out the same way. Trust me !!!

    1. Katyani, You give me hope !:)
      25 GS is indeed what RF goes for (and at least one GS having nadal and djoko as pundits at bbc )

    2. It’s all about how to handle the breakers. He can break him and can handle his serve for the most part. But he’s lost like 5 breakers in a row now. Must figure this out.

      1. exact!!! VILY!!!

        He isnt outplayed in anyway but he needs to be good at the important points but he isnt.

  49. More silver linings:

    3) Remember when Novak and Rafa both said that Roger pushed them up to play to another level? That they wanted to get better so that they could beat him? Well, now Roger needs to do the same to them that they did to him. Get better, play at another level, so that he can beat them both !!!

    4) Even if Roger had won the 3rd set in the TB, Novak would not have rolled over. He somehow would have won the 4th set and we still would be in the 5th set.
    I read on TL that Roger should have won the 1st set with the TB. But we all know Roger too well that he would have a 2nd set walkabout (the same Novak had). This was going 5 sets no matter what.

    5) The most important one… we would not be talking about 2 missed CP if Novak had kept the break and made it to 5-2. You see it is not that easy. He would have won 6-2 or 6-3 and we would all be congratulating Roger for coming this far and we would not know about how he had his chances. But Roger broke back and… made it ALL the way to 12-12 TB !!

    1. Winning the 1st / 3rd sets gives you the bonus of serving 1st in the 5th which could have been immensely decisive.

    2. That’s the point. I wouldn’t care if Djokovic won in 3 or 4 sets, it was expected.
      Federer had it on his own hands. A good serve and it was done. One fucking point.

      1. Yes, but given the number of “good serves” he’d gone for and missed, at less-pressured moments, are you surprised he couldn’t find one on Championship point?

    3. I agree with Katyani. Novak could so easily have not made errors in the game he got broken and then by breaking Federer, which he did, he would’ve won the match. But then again, if he had held, Roger would not have felt the pressure of serving for the match and we may have seen a routine hold. And as you said, he may have held after he got that first break.

      As for the serving for the match scenario, Roger did get two aces to get to 40-15, so he picked up his fair share o quick point and it’s not like his first serve was gone. Djokovic was going to put a few balls back.

      Someone complained that serving second was a disadvantage for Roger. Nobody forced him to serve second in that last set. What about poor Roddick in 2009, serving second so many time to stay in the match?

      Yes, it sucks that two match points were lost. But the same argument can be made from the other side. A point or so here or there and he could’ve won in 4 sets or in an 6-4 last set.

      In the end, we can’t just expect Djokovic to beat Nadal in title matches and preserve Federer’s record. He is going to win his fair share of slams. Even if you take Djokovic out of the equation, the difference between Nadal and Federer would still have been two slams. They are all winning, in my opinion, exactly the number of slams they were meant to. Let’s give Djokovic a couple of points in their 2007 US Open final then. Let Soderling vanish in the 2009 French open or have Roger miss that Haas inside out. Let Roddick make that easy put away volley to go two sets to love up at Wimbledon 2009. Give Marin a couple of points n the second set of AO2018. Let Nadal not lose one of those service points to take him to 4-2 in the final set of AO2017. At the end of the day, it’s a point. You win it, or you lose it.

      1. Thank you for the final part of your comment. That is finally going to bring me closure – was agonizing over those match points. As you rightly point out, there have been numerous matches in the past with similarly critical points, and this won’t be the last match where players have those types of opportunities and lose. Hopefully Federer will be on the winning end of one of these (US open maybe? – fingers crossed that he gets redemption there)

      2. Very good point, Sid. Throughout the match, I never expected Roger to win: he was never ahead in the match (well, by dint of serving first in the first set, but you can’t really count that). In the 5th set, I found myself recalling a couple of matches at Wimbledon in 2012: first of all, the final where it looked as though Murray was about to go 2 sets to love up but there was that sudden reversal where Roger snatched a couple of points and then the set – here too, Roger suddenly had a chance (and I actually thought for a moment or two that he might win), but again the match was balanced on a bit of a knife-edge, it’s just that this time Roger fell back off the wrong side of it. The second was that interminable final set in the Olympic semi against Del Potro where he finally broke, only to get broken back immediately: it took him numerous other attempts before he managed to break again and then hold his serve – here, although he was definitely making inroads on the Djokovic serve on several occasions, he ran out of time. In an alternative universe in which we hadn’t had those dreadful marathons last year which resulted in the decision to bring in the tiebreak (ironically a circumstance which could probably have been changed if Fed hadn’t managed to lose that match point in the QF against Anderson!), who knows, the situation might have been quite different. As Sid says, on such small margins can matches turn. But as Roger says, them’s the rules we’re currently playing under, so we’re stuck with them.

      3. Yes agree BUT Federer has done this 21 times, lost after matchpoints…..Neither Raffa or Novak has more then i think 5-6 times done that So Roger is worse. I dont think Novak has ever lost against Fed having matchpoints?

      4. Or, Markus, Roger is better because the other guys never even get as far as match point.

        It’s the same argument as “but he’s missing so many break points!” – the flip side of that is, he’s creating so many break point opportunities.

        Having said that, certainly agree that I could wish for Roger to find whatever his own just-right mindset is on those critical points, because there are certainly occasions when it could make a difference.

  50. I’m usually unaffected by fed losses though I’m a fan but this one sent me into major depression. Couldnt eat or sleep. Never felt this way before, a bit ashamed to feel this way as a grown man. Felt like I wanted to die, but then realized the simple truth-fed is the greatest pure tennis player to ever play, but a mental midget relative to other goats. Sadly flashy talent alone does not win.

    The two championship points he failed to convert him will psychologically destroy him. He is done and will never win 21.

    Djoker though clinical showed his true pathetic self at the end, banging a microphone. He is disgusting and his antics against Thiem at the French showed he is as venal and slimey as ever. I frickin HATE Federer losing to this piece of garbage.

    1. Well losing that USO semifinal twice after having match points didn’t ‘psychologically destroy’ Federer, unless we’re living in some alternate universe Roger won four more slams after that. Why not this time?

      1. Agreed. He’s still got it. He needs to keep finding ways to get to title matches. The primary objective is not to win slams, but to stay ready and win six matches to give himself a shot at the title. He is good enough to get through five and with a bit of luck, may not always have to go through the number one and two players after that (who knows, maybe neither). I have hope. At least a slam, or two. And if he never wins, no matter. We can look forward to the 20 years of Federer by making a U-turn.

  51. I think that he lost because of the dice:
    although he broke first after 6-6 in the last set , djokovich was serving first in this set.

    1. Right. They should ban that new rule at Wimbledon toss a coin to decide who serves first in the fifth set. Pretty unfair rule if you ask me.

  52. I have read all the comments to this post and it is obvious that a loss like this means different things to different people. For some, it was a game of tennis (average, good or great), which is just fine, while for others, it is much more personal. I am thinking that for me, perhaps this is what signifies the mark of a true champion – someone that is more to fans than someone winning or losing a tennis match. There are matches that I am sure all players will want to forget, those they lost comprehensively or those that they were over the line and then let it go, but those losses are not what defines the player, his talents, passion or dedication. Federer is so much more than someone who has lost this one game. Like in life, he will always have some regrets, but the hurt will fade for us all and we will remember him for so many other things he did in his career.
    Thank you, Jonathan and to all those who have commented. Many comments have been so wonderful to read and knowing that one is not alone in feeling a sense of hurt does help … So thankful Roger is still in good health and will enjoy a well-deserved rest before the hard court season. Nothing can beat watching Fed when he is in full flight. No losses or wins will diminish his passion and dedication to the game of tennis. Nothing that any other player can do will erase that from our hearts.

    1. Ooh Lindy, so nice – I agree so much! This little great point lost stealing the matchwin doesn’t mean anything but a great ILLUSION of the winner being a winner! A small annoyance is nothing to the great gratitude we owe to this great tennis, Federer still is treating us with – I want to focus on this true value, not on a trophy more or less ❤️😊

    2. To me the mark of a true champion is not whether he is more likeable by the fans or not. Djokovic does not have the same support as Roger but he is a true true champion (same applies to Rafa). What Nole did with the crowd against him is really remarkable, people understimate how easier is to play with all the stadium supporting you.

      1. I think the thing was that this time Djokovic didn’t let it wind him up that most of the spectators were supporting Roger. He seemed to stay mighty calm to me. But yes, both he and Rafa are true champions, there’s no disputing that. I do think, though, that he’s now got it into his head that if he can’t have the fans’ love the way Roger can he can have their respect, and the way to do that is to beat Roger’s statistics in everything. That to my mind makes him very dangerous.

      2. Djoker said when the crowd was yelling Roger he imagined the word being Novak. People scoff at his guru and his visualizations, but they work. Djoker spent time focusing on the end result of the match and lifting the trophy. Not Roger’s style though, is it?

  53. Folks, you have to call a duck a duck. Fed let us all down big time. With his huge experience, his massive accomplishments, his knowledge that millions of fans were watching and rooting for him, playing on his favorite court, against a clearly below-level Djokovic who was staggered at the moment, the man needed to come up with one good serve. One of those points has to be won. He not only lost both, he then lost the next two in as lame a fashion as one can imagine. I grant you that on the two MPs, he wasn’t in a winning position once they began, and he overpressed (if Djokovic nets the passing shot, we commend Fed for his smart gamble, but the approach was weak), but he had to do better on each. Fed let Djokovic escape, and despite the rhetoric about how amazing Fed is and how his tennis is beyond numbers, he let maybe his last great opportunity escape.

    We are betting on a losing horse, time and again. With each passing slam, Fed’s odds worsen, and the only thing ahead is more heartbreak. Does the scant possibility that he might sneak out a slam at age 38 and beyond justify all this stress, this anger, this disappointment? One wonders.

    1. Holdco: I think I can recall this kind of speculative pessimism from some years ago, where Roger for a long time didn’t seem to win more than 16 majors…? IMO your duck is yours personal and maybe, but also maybe not quack the truth.

      With Roger you never know what happens next. To write him off like that makes me suggest you eventually change your horse to one you really like and trust more.

      1. Muser, if I wanted to change horses, I’d have done so long ago. I haven’t written him off, just hardened my stance and tempered expectations even further. Obviously, that’s just me, but I think it’s indisputable that Fed let everyone and himself down with this failure.

      2. Holdco: It’s indisputable too that coming that close to reach the championship after Friday’s more than 3 hours of high tempo beating no. 2 and back to back 4 hours of playing better than no. 1 was more than brilliant, and not expected by many. Did you? YES, mournful he didn’t take it. He was not perfect in the deciding moment but very close to it. And has great chances further, playing so amazing and strong. Come positive spirit, no reason to be down more than 3 days – and consider some consciousness of the real proportions during this our natural down period (and make it short)

    2. He will come back stronger when 45+ 😉 Never heard about men having life’s crisis around 40 and then getting younger again after 45?

  54. Was reading all the comments, because it’s been a day and I still keep rewinding those two CPs over and over. All these comments seem to reflect the thoughts rushing inside my head, sometimes devastated, sometimes stoic, sometimes consolatory, sometimes grateful. After every Fed slam loss, it takes me three days to get over my funk.
    At the trophy ceremony, Roger said that his kids would not be happy with the plate, they’d rather have that golden thing. Maybe he was projecting his own feelings here, but I also think it’s true that Federer has learned to treat the defeats more calmly more quickly. A younger Fed might have had a meltdown like the Aus Open 2009 (and who could have blamed him?).
    Maybe it’s time I learnt to be calm like him. I’m older than he is, after all.

    1. Nice reminder that we can have MORE THAN ONE FEELING about this whole thing, and sometimes they’ll contradict each other. Thank you.

  55. A big thank you to Jonathan for this blog. Or should I call it group therapy. We all react differently to a loss like this. Like when the family pet dies, some run out and get another puppy, others mourn for months. I find it interesting how everyone here seems to take the loss. Some of us move on right away and others can’t quite yet. No way is the right way. For me, it’s usually three days of sadness and then it starts to fade away.
    How does Mirka feel, she is a huge piece of Roger’s puzzle. Will she say, keep on fighting or I’ve had enough? She was going through the ringer during the match with us.
    Thank you to all the contributors on this blog. So many incredible comments. Truly inspiring to read and help with the loss!
    Yes, our Roger Federer is the “greatest” for so many reasons. How lucky are we to be alive and witness his magic.

    1. Very much agree with you,certainly as to Mirka.
      She looked terribly stressed throughout.
      However Feds box were all so happy yesterday with the decisive win over Nadal,that I think when the
      smoke clears as it were ,they will count this as a very good wimbledon.
      Fed beat Pouille and Nishikori and Nadal.A pretty tough draw that.
      It was always a very tough ask to beat Nadal and Djoker back to back.Perhaps some slight tiredness
      hampered Feds movement slightly in the fifth.Who knows?
      Perhaps next time Fed will have the sort of cakewalk draw the other two get so often.
      He does always seem to have to work far harder for his Slam wins.
      And yes ,thank you Jonathan for this blog and your great write-ups .😀

  56. This lost is the worst ever for Fed. It was his ultimate climax for his career. With the win he would have had 21 GS 6 more then Djoker and 3 more then Nadal. He would have beaten both his rivals at age 38 (3 weeks away). He could have basically retired right after. Djoker would need 7 GS to beat Roger and Rafa would have to win 4 more French Opens. It was a done deal this was the perfect way if he wanted to finally retire in a blaze of glory at the end of this year. This one really really hurts. Believe me this one will bother Roger forever.

    1. Honestly, the way Novak is playing now at 32, you think that 6 more slams is an insurmountable obstacle? He won two last year and two this year (and might win a third). Why not two next year? Why can’t he play until age 38 like Fed for those last one or two slams he ‘ll need? I think the record would be in danger even if Fed had 25 slams. Rafa could easily win a few more FOs, and sneak in another slam for good measure and that’s it. The record can’t be protected, but who cares?

      Here, the key was beating them both, as you wrote. He had an excellent chance against a wounded Novak, and didn’t deliver, not for himself and not for his fans.

    2. I somehow doubt that!
      No one knows the future,thank goodness.
      There was a time when Djoker was winning everything and people were predicting many slam wins.
      Then his game fell off a cliff.Happened once,could happen again.His wife was not there yesterday,something seems not quite right there.
      Oh and I don’t think Fed has the least intention of retiring.

    3. For me, not only will it be his 21st GS but to get win back after losing twice to Novak in 14 and 15. This would be significant in many ways not least to show the future of tennis that Roger do not lose more than twice to the same guy on his beloved grass surface in the finals. And he was damn close. to winning it………..that is what sucks..
      I would personally feel less gutted if the winner wasn’t Novak but someone else like Nishikori or Agut.

  57. Greetings, Jonathan! Many thanks for your write-up of the matches you give us, especially Wimbledon 2019.
    As I fetched my WSJ this morning, the front page shows Djokovich with the winning trophy he won and I must admit, though he earned it, it hurt. Roger, Mirka, his family, his team and all of us throughout the world, do have our thoughts and best wishes for future tennis from the greatest tennis player, our Roger Federer.

  58. One thing I know for sure (sportswise). It is the easiest and the hardest thing to be a Federer fan. And both at the same time.
    And, do you notice…..the media always talk about Fed’s loses. 2008 is the big topic over and over again. What about 2009? Wasn’t that the greatest match of all time? Now, it could be this loss is the greatest. What the ….

  59. Thank you so very much Jonathan for your blog and for your words, appreciate it more than ever. Yes, it was a tough loss. But reading up and down what so many Fed fans have expressed I must say, from my part, that Roger is a true Champion, and will remain so. He has not only taken Tennis to upper heights –I dare say Nadal and Djokovich –would not had reached where they have, if not for Federer. His position as a player, humble in defeat and generous in success has made me think what an extraordinary sportsman he is. Lucky me to have witnessed his achievements, his struggles and also his humbleness. Just hope to keep on having this pleasure as long as possible.
    My appreciation to him, his family and his team.

  60. The one thing that I’ll take positive from this match is that ROGER WAS RIGHT THERE and that he was physically the better player – and that’s saying a LOT. Almost 38 years old, 2 days after a brutal match with NADAL, to play almost a 5 hour match and he had it on his racquet. Djokovic didn’t deserve to win. I am sorry. He managed to cheat his way out to the win by getting himself to the breakers but ROGER was the better player. I feel a bit angry about the loss but I feel that Roger was a beast throughout the match. Sometimes, sports can be very cruel when you are so close the glory – you can almost taste it. But that’s how life is – you have to learn how to move on from such losses no matter how hard it may seem. Perhaps, something nice can be around the corner.

    Who knows – like Roger says it’s about the journey.

    1. Vily, Roger needed to deliver. For himself, for his fans. He needed to find a good serve on those match points, or he needed to find a way to get balls back strong when that game went to deuce. He really let everyone down, himself most of all, and it wasn’t necessary. Djokovic was ready to go. It is a career-marring loss, instead of a career-capping triumph.

      Now, it’s possible that he will have another chance or two, and if he manages then, this will be largely forgotten. But I want Novak in every final against Roger until he retires. He needs to beat him, for his own sake and for the sake of his legacy. This loss was a needless kick in the teeth. It wasn’t bad luck, it was bad decisions, over and over again.

      1. I don’t want to be so harsh on him. Sure, in the moment – I was very mad. But it’s extremely hard. Sometimes, you win those nail biting victories, sometimes you lose them. It’s how life is sometimes.

      2. holdco: “It wasn’t bad luck, it was bad decisions, over and over again.” Really??? Not my impression. I suggest you to consider changing a bit the fully dark tune of horse neighing…

      3. Muser, I’m sorry, you think he made good decisions in that decisive game? I didn’t say he made them in every game, as obviously “over and over” is hyperbole, but once things got down to it (and not just at 8-7), it was bad decisions. We can’t keep making excuses for him when none exist. Tiredness, weather, age, psychological weakness…Fed is so far the greatest ever, he is beyond those things. The greatest ever closes out match point on that stage, especially when your opponent did nothing of note to stop you. I’m just being realistic, as the disappointment will never end if we don’t make excuses for this loss.

        Vily, I would be totally fine if he lost this nail-biting match at Dubai. When he dumped those IW matches two years running, I was mad but in 12 hours it was meaningless. At this point, on this stage, he had to close it out. Only a signature victory against Djokovic (when was his last one against him, hm?) will ever banish the demons of this failure.

      4. holdco,

        You have the right to feel the way to do. It was definitely a gut punching loss, no doubt. Mu heart was racing like crazy when he was at 40:15. It was like a dream. Everything – I mean he had it – one ace, one swing of the racket.

        To me, perhaps, in retrospect, after Djokovic slammed that return to make it deuce – I am not sure if Roger had a challenge to use – I would totally have used one to slow things down. I mean – if my heart was racing like crazy – I can only imagine what Roger was feeling. So, yes, perhaps, use a challenge, slow things down, RESET and thump a DAMN ace already to set up another championship point. But – it is what it is. Serving for a championship IS ALWAYS hard – no matter who you are. It was there – ROGER SHOULD HAVE CLOSED. He didn’t. That’s life. I still love him. I am sure it would have BEEN ABSOLUTELY MONUMENTAL HAD HE CLOSED IT OUT. I am sure we’ll be replaying the sequence in your head for many many weeks to come but that’s life.

        Just imagine howeever – it could have been worse. Imagine a 12:12 tiebreak, Roger has a 6:3 or a 6:4 lead in the tiebreak with 2 serves to come and chokes then. That would have been even more painful…

        So, listen – I mean I know how much WE WANTED THIS. BADLY!!! But it didn’t happen. Just try to forgive and forget and move on. It’s hard for me NOT to want to dwell on it. But Roger is our guy and we need to support him through the thick and thin. That’s how I see it.

      5. I’m with you, Vily. I just wish, for once, Roger would support us and deliver a championship against Djokovic. =)

      6. holdco. He wanted to deliver it too. But we’ve seen this movie play too many times – when your chances comes, TAKE it or lose. In a way, Roger should blame himself. I suppose it played too quick for him. He needed to SLOW things down. RESET, reboot. I mean – clearly losing a point does have an affect on the next one. If you see that things are starting to slip away, just try to concentrate more. Don’t rush into the net like that.

        But it’s over know. It really is like a bad nightmare. I mean – I was already imagining Roger lifting the trophy, the glory that comes with it, etc. – it was such an anticlimatic CRAPPY finish to a great match – I can’t even begin to fathom. WE WERE SO CLOSE…. Also – remember that Roger did also HAVE another break point at 11:11… And he had a decent chance at it also.. I mean NOVAK WAS LITERALLY on the ROPES. Without the tiebreak, the break was coming.

        But it’s all over now…

        Maybe Roger may win the US Open now. Maybe not. Who knows., Who cares either?!

  61. I can hardly read any of this and it is a day later. I made a personal covenant before this match that I had long ago said 21 and done for Fed. That covenant was that if he won here today at Wimbledon, and 21 Grand Slams…….I would finally detach myself emotionally from his matches, and let whatever happen……..happen. It would have been a moment of emancipation for me had he won, because he would have achieve all my of expectations and more. There would be no more pain with a loss…..I would finally have arrived and be free.

    1. Erm… not to deny the pain, which I certainly feel too, but hasn’t he already met all expectations and more? Isn’t it really all gravy at this point? Would 21 really be substantively better than 20? I have to keep reminding myself that we are in a time of truly jaw-dropping excellence and unheard-of feats on the part of THREE players simultaneously, and while one of them is Fed, another one is indubitably Djokovic. His sang-froid is just stunning. I’d rather watch Fed; I’d rather Fed won; but I’m not going to pretend Djokovic hasn’t worked really hard to get here too.

      You know I was thinking earlier that this FELT most like a very different match, the loss to Stakh back in 2013. Now I think maybe that’s not so; that the caliber of the opponent – in this case the ability of the opponent to pull out the very thing, the one thing Fed couldn’t engage – makes it different.

  62. What do you suggest, Holdco? The whole world knows he had the match on his racket serving at 40-15. That fact will never change. If Fed never has a “signature victory” against Djokovic, then what? Fed knows he screwed up but it is what it is.
    Roger needs to be positive to get back in the ring.
    I used to fuss about how many slams everyone had, afraid someone would surpass Roger. That is all the ATP seems to focus on.
    I really don’t care anymore.

    1. Of course, it is what it is, Sue. I’m just saying, we need to maintain a high standard for him, and not give him passes because this or that took place. This is a rankling disappointment and it always will be, unless Roger follows it up with some emphatic, big wins. If he doesn’t, I’m not sure all the semifinal victories against Djokovic a decade ago will counterbalance such a wrenching loss.

  63. Fed will never forget this, the one that got away. The opportunity was there to beat his 2 biggest rivals to win a slam at near 38 and seal his GOAT status for good imo but he blew it big time. Don’t understand why his serve and game deserted him in the TBs and he basically collapsed. Djokovic was a shadow of his 2015 self and was there for the taking all day. His serve was well off and couldn’t get a look at a break for 3 hours and he basically went AWOL for near sets, he must wonder how he won it.

    Hopefully Fed can pull something out at the USO or AO but it’ll take some effort to get over this quick, push on and get over the line. If he does get back to another final lets hope it isn’t Djokovic waiting as I can’t see Fed beating him over 5 sets again now

  64. This is a hard time. As a diehard Fed fan, I am absolutely gutted of that Roger let the 9th Wimbledon trophy slip away from him. My heart is still bleeding. Somewhat he could not quite finish Novack off from such winning position. However, if we are true Federer fans, please try to put ourselves in his position. Try to feel the pains and anguish Roger has been having. Please let’s take plenty of positives. 1) 38 year old Federer is as good as 33 year old Djorkovic, if not better. As time goes, Roger will pass Novack. This is the very best from 33 year old Novack. Some fans here still linger the images of 11-16 Djorkovic. That Djorkovic is gone for good. Let’s wait and see when they meet again. (Indeed, no one knows that there will ever be another time). 2) In most of the games, Roger did very well. As a whole, Roger was the better player. 3) Physically, he has demonstrated once again that Roger can go distance in GS. Having typed these three points, I am having better already. 4) Roger spend several years to figure out beating Nadal. For Djorkovic, Roger will figure him out soon, if and yes IF he will still be there (at top, but I don’t think so).
    Allez Rog!

      1. Yes, too. I’m relieved that at the moment most comments find the realistic positives – THANKS!

  65. It, simply, just hurts! It hurts us, the fans, but imagine how it is to Roger right now, even though he seemed really calmed in the press conference. Why for one can’t he win a match like this one… just for once, for us… anyway as he says, chin up and move on (somehow).

    1. Well – he does, you know. Most obviously AO 17, but really every time HE saves match points. It’s just we’ve had several of these really painful tight losses in big matches against this particular opponent, who, to be fair, has developed phenomenal skills with respect to finding extra resources when playing the big points.

  66. Somebody should just shout ‘You don’t deserve it!’ when he showed up in the balcony. I know I would do if I was there.

    1. Nah, it would be too much trouble.
      The best would to turn just away and go quietly. And leave his algebraic fans bragging about the immense void that are his achievements by numbers and a tennis game incapable of exciting a porn actor…

      1. I’m as gutted as anyone else here, but I don’t understand this argument about not deserving it. Djokovic made zero unforced errors in the tiebreaks, Fed made 11. Djokovic was sub-par throughout the match, but managed to raise his level at the right time. On championship point, Fed’s approach was weak, but Djoker nailed the pass. Why doesn’t he deserve it? It was as brilliant an escape job as I have ever seen in tennis.

      2. Yes Djoko was brilliant at those points, and to win still being subpar during most of the match, is somehow a great (steal)win. And sure is a matchwin no doubt. But anyway many of us don’t want to praise this win, but to forget/pass let it behind (ignore is unfortunately not in question) for more than one reason.

  67. The thing that hurts the most is that to me Wimbledon is Roger Federer, the epitome of tennis. Not seeing the utter joy on his face winning Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic will never represent the class, humility and dignity that Federer brings to Wimbledon. He is a cocky, narcissistic bugger!! I am truly gutted!!

  68. Just to add a bit more perspective here, and dispel some of the myths and exaggerations about Roger in close matches. I’ll consider only GS finals here. I’m only considering matches with clearly bad decisions on key points or terrible execution, not brilliant winners from the opponent:

    2009 USO (poor drop shot)
    2014 WB (missed smash)
    2019 WB (let’s say the missed pass at 11-11 break point, not much Roger could do on the championship points IMO)

    Then let’s contrast that with finals Roger really should have lost:

    2007 WB (tight forehands from Nadal and missed second serve returns early in the fifth set)
    2009 WB (down four set points and Roddick botched a volley in the second set TB, recovered from two break points down in the fifth that would have left Roddick to serve for it)
    2017 AO (down a break in the fifth against his nemesis, Rafa botching a straightforward forehand to go 4-2 up)

    In other words not as bad as people like to pretend. A lot of the other losses people like to add like Wimbledon 2008, some of the early French Opens against Nadal, a couple of other losses against Djokovic like 2015 WB and USO were losses where Roger was never really in a winning position, or was prevented from winning by incredible play from the opponent (nothing Roger could have done at 4-3 break point in the fifth at Wimbledon 2008, wasn’t even a bad return but got demolished by Nadal’s forehand and then an easy smash). If you decide to count those, then I get to add in other ones that are more dubious that went in Roger’s favour like WB 2004, USO 2005, 2018 AO, 2012 WB. So we can either look at it that there are three bad GS final losses for Roger and three brilliant saves, or we can say there are six or seven bad losses and six or seven good saves. If you want to widen it out and come up with a whole list of earlier rounds in GS and non-GS events like Rome 2006 etc we can do that, but again there are many great examples of the opposite, Miami 2005, Wimbledon QF in 2016 against Cilic, and so on and so on. I really don’t know where this myth that ‘Roger can’t close out tough matches’ comes from.

    Just in case people say that Roger loses more than most let’s add in Nadal and Djokovic:

    Djokovic:

    2012 USO (missed easy overhead smash)
    2015 FO (up a set and looked well in control)
    2016 USO (played fairly poorly throughout)

    Nadal:

    2007 WB (four missed break points at the start of the fifth as mentioned earlier)
    2012 AO (missed backhand at 4-2 30-15)
    2017 AO (missing an easy forehand into the tape as mentioned earlier which would have put him 4-2 up)

    TL;DR:

    Roger wins some close matches, he loses some, as do Nadal and Djokovic, nothing unusual about it, and we can stop with this nonsense that Roger is some kind of mental midget, or a choker who can’t ‘get it done’ in important matches.

    1. This is good Charlie, nice argument with empirical evidence. Does not negate that Fed choked in some points on this match, but I suppose, everyone does. Fed is certainly strong mentally. He showed that in the match against Nadal in AO 2017 and in the semifinal on Friday. I hope and think he will use this match to figure out how to dismantle Novak next time. There is no reason he cannot beat him with consistency in the future. Part of it will be in the head and the other in the tactics.

      1. I think Roger can beat Nole in the future but it will be very difficult to do so outside of Wimbledon. Let’s be honest here, Nole is the better player in fact to me objectively (I am primarily a Nadal fan) Djokovic is the best player of all time when you look at his level in all surfaces. He is the GOAT on hard courts, he is a master on grass beating Roger in 3 finals and can put things very difficult for Rafa on clay.

      1. And so? That is maybe what has done and will do. Maybe not. I recommend a focus on all possible possibilities futurewise.

    1. He surely has the game, Alex. He surely does. Roger is mentally tougher now than he was in 2014-15. He is also EXTREMELY physically FIT by being able to go toe to toe with Djokovic for 5 hours straight after having a 3 and half hour battle with Nadal couple of days ago. He almost did it.

      But moving forward, I think the key is perhaps to try and serve to Djokovic’s BODY now and again. He hasn’t tried it and HE SHOULD. He could only benefit from it. Use it as a suprise tactic. Jam the Djoker. Do something. I mean – losing 5 straight tie-breaks to the guy is embarrassing and NEEDS to be addressed immediately.

  69. Historic implications. That is why we are so disturbed by this loss. The future may show us that it was not so, but it sure feels like it right now.

    1. I just wanna kill myself. I imagined everything, Roger with the trophy, the celebrations, Djokovic’s family eating their words, the discuss of the GOAT settled forever.
      All gone in a fucking serve.

  70. TO RUB IT MORE IN (from the ATP Site):

    “First Serves To The Body
    Serving right at the body with first serves is a forgotten tactic of yesteryear, rarely seen on the ATP Tour on any surface. Djokovic might have single-handedly revived it on Sunday at SW19. In an effort to jam up Federer’s forward-moving return strategy, Djokovic aimed right at Federer 10 times in the final, winning an impressive eight of those points.

    Djokovic First Serves To The Body
    Deuce Court = Won 4/4
    Ad Court = Won 4/6
    Total Won = 8/10

    By contrast, Federer served only one first serve at Djokovic’s body in the final, winning the point. Djokovic also hit nine first serves at the body against Hubert Hurkacz in the third round, winning eight of nine. If we start seeing an uptick in body serves in the upcoming North-American hard-court swing, we might know why.”

    Editor’s Note: Craig O’Shannessy is a member of Novak Djokovic’s coaching team.

    WTF?>?!!! Why didn’t ROGER try this???? Why?

    1. Hmm, it seems the lesson to be taken from this year’s Championships is that if you’re (able-bodied?) male and really want to win a title the thing to do is to hit balls directly at your opponent’s body. And if you manage to hit him in the face, neck or where it really hurts and knock him to the ground, so much the better 🙁

  71. I first saw Roger at Wimbledon in 2001, when he had the temerity to depose the reigning champion, the great Pete Sampras. Who was this young upstart! And then we saw him take his first title there in 2003. A very good player even then, but we never imagined the career that lay ahead. How is it possible, that the better part of 2 decades later, approaching his forties, this same player was in yet another final at the greatest tennis tournament and only a stroke away from the title – after having won so many there? He deposed en route one of the most successful and formidable players to ever take to the courts and was a whisker away from adding the other such player to his extraordinary list of scalps. He had no right to any of it – beginning with the Sampras victory, but he has done it time and again. He had no right to be in this final and to have earned (and he did earn) those match points against the much younger player, whose career record approaches his own. But there he was. And then he stuttered, as he was once again about to plant his flag at the summit. We can analyse the reasons why – and there are many – including that he had to forcibly seize the crown from the best returner the sport has ever seen, whose own determination and mental strength is the hallmark of his game. For a moment he doubted – and at that level, it was enough. At 8-7 and 40-15 in the final set we could see him lofting the beautiful trophy once more and we were, in our minds, joining with him in our celebrations. Yet part of me was saying – “this is impossible”, and somewhere deep in Roger a voice was echoing the same. His opponent had no doubt historically contributed to that doubt but Roger’s career has been about delivering the impossible. In the briefest of moments, the burden of that expectation became too much. Roger has been a winner so much and so often in his career that losing in such a fashion seems “impossible” for those of us who are watching to grasp. But we have also seen that, for all his gifts, the moment has sometimes been bigger than even Roger’s ability to deal with it. I remember the loss to Safin at the 2005 AO, after having match points in their semifinal, the loss to Nadal at Rome final in 2006, after having match points – that peculiar kind of vulnerability was always there. Yet he continued to accomplish the impossible. Yes, he “failed” in the final moment of the 2019 final, but as a near middle-aged sportsman he had no right to be there and serving for the title. As he so often has, he gave us what none of us had any right to see in a sportsman, up until the very last moment. Taken in its span of unparalleled achievement, that surely outweighs the fact that in his career, like a great work of art, there was but a flaw in a corner of the work. It is a necessary and unavoidable part of being human and he is just like the rest of us when it comes to being that. We cannot escape it by identifying only with his achievements, and his shortcomings – such as they are, caught in the blink of an eye – remind us what we all share with one of the greatest of champions. And he is always that.

    1. Knowing your fantastic theories and that you are a doping expert with great reliable sources what do you think about the fact that a 38 yearls old guy is playing as good as he ever played and looking better physically than the 2 best grinders of all time who are 5 years old younger.

      Does it ring any of your alarms?

      1. What the fuck is everyone replying to him? The only replies to him should be obscenities.

  72. Thank you again to Jonathan to allow us to share our thoughts (we need this therapy !) and for his deep analysis of the final.

    I dream our beloved champion happens to read this blog and that he can feel the concern and admiration of his fans here.

    All along the 5th set on Sunday, I have been imagining different scenarios of victory and defeat. Such is sport. So sorry GS21 was not won. Tears came when I saw Fed’s Dad sadness at the end of the match.  No dance with smiling Simona at the ball. It would have been lovely. My Monday was a bad day as for lots of you.
    How contrasting with the joy I felt after the semi-final !

    But, go ahead… I only want now to remember how all the emotions Fed’s game, his character and his incredible talent have been sparkling through my TV screen over those two weeks. His discipline to  keep such a fitness at nearly 38 will never be equalled.

    Roger’s 2019 season has been fantastic so far. I have been lucky enough to watch him play at Roland Garros this year, for the first time, and I cherish this memory. If, on May 29, when I witnessed his victory against Otte, I had been told he would play a semi-final at RG and a final at Wimbledon, I would have been happy, I guess.

    Let’s  hope for other emotions at Cincinnati and the US open but a good rest first. We all need it.

    And let’s enjoy 3.27 minutes of grace here :

    https://youtu.be/hn1tXLNpZNk

      1. The late Mister Tolkien perfectly sums up my sentiment in one of my favorite quotes of all time from The Return of the King (LOTR) – “How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep.”

  73. I doubt I will ever get over this loss. I don’t think fed will ever beat Djokovic again, their rivalry is extremely one sided these days. Matches like this will only preserve that mental block. Fed needs to find a way to beat him, maybe add something more to his game, because it has been almost half a decade since he last beat him. If these two are going to be the top two players in the game, that’s just not good enough. It’s not good enough for the sake of their rivalry (see: sharapova and serena) and it’s not good enough for men’s tennis at large (with the top two players having one guy basically own the other on every single court). If Fed isn’t going to get it done then somehow someone needs to replace him because it’s ruining the game.

    1. Maybe me? I have 0:0 record with Djokovic so far, so maybe I’m good candidate to replace Fed?
      What is ruining the game is this dominance of 3. Either some young must finally come and beat them (Thiem, Zverev, Tsitsipas ???) or they should all retire the same day. Why not today?
      Federer has ruined tennis by provoking the birth of 2 monsters with the only goal to destroy his game. Now they are Big3. It’s boring like a hell to see always the same faces in finals.
      Why don’t they organize separate Big3-Circus and play each other all the year? So younger can touch some silverware before getting old?

    2. Well the top 2 players are not Nole and Federer but Nole and Rafa and that has been the case for most of this decade.

      Are these 3 guys ruining the game??? You are out of your mind. These three are taking tennis to a whole nother level. If the young guys can’t beat them so be it, they should go to the practice court and train harder.

      1. Big3 are Big3 for a reason, of course. But they 3 have more money than the rest of the tour. They 3 sell more tickets than the rest of the Tour. They 3 have some special privileges of playing in the best time and on best courts. And many others.

        I don’t want to say, they are not actually the Big3. Yes they are. But they block the road to the top for young, with big talents and yes, working hard or harder than Big3 not only by their top level of the game but also by business-related factors.

        This works just like in the society. Rich get richer, poor get poorer. This is good only for very few and bad for the vast majority.

        I know, it’s not realistic and a kind of provocation.
        Nobody negates, they 3 are the best since long time. But do they really need more money and trophies?

        Remember Kramer Circus before the Open Era. They were (Rod Laver, Jack Kramer, Ken Rosewell, some others) travelling over the world and playing exhibitions. Everything on the highest level and it was perfect entertainment.

        The Open Era (=ATP) made tennis to be money-oriented circus. This will change after they retire (but can still play exhibitions and they get full house in any corner of the world).

        But who rules in ATP, if not just Big3? Young should try to beat them. But they also should fight against their unnatural privileges.

      2. I don’t really follow you. I don’t think they are the top 3 because they have privileges, it is quite the opposite they have privileges because they are the best players.

        There was a time when they did not play in the center courts at the best time. They did earn that. And the fact they keep playing the way they do showing that motivation and passion for the game should be an inspiration for the youngsters.

        They are making the sport bigger in all aspects and that’s why the younger generation should thank them.

      3. Well yes Pablo. That is my point. It’s not the big three’s fault per se, but everyone else not meeting the standard. Whennyou go past the top three the game suddenly looks very shallow and mediocre. I’m saying when the top rivalry in the game is so one sided it’s not a good look for the game.

    3. I’ve heard this before. Roger after AO 2009 loss – he’ll never win against Nadal again..

      Yet, he’s avenged both the Wimby 2008 loss as well as the AO 2009 loss.

      So, Djokovic – sure – Roger beating him at Wimbledon would be ulikely – not because he can’t – YES HE CAN. I just doubt that the opportunity would present itself – either Djoko would fall into a slump or Roger might fall early or who knows. But Roger COULD beat him again – HE JUST NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT how to win in the tiebreaks. The patterns need to change. There has to be more than just lack of luck when you lose 5 straight tiebreaks in a row.. Something needs to change – either employ more serves to the body but something. Roger likes to serve out wide too many times and DJOKOVIC is always ready for it. But in terms of game, ROGER STILL HAS IT. I refuse to believe that he is done. With careful planning, he can peak in the right moments. It’s been tough, however. He was SO SO close.

      1. You realise I agree with you, right? I went on to say something needs to change in his game to make up that gap. Though my own personal opinion is it wont happen because, you know, 38.

  74. “Well the top 2 players are not Nole and Federer but Nole and Rafa and that has been the case for most of this decade.”

    Very subjective, lets not get into some ridiculous twitter style GOAT debate.

    However I entirely agree that they are NOT ruining the game. If other generations of tennis players cannot ask the question the 3 top guys are asking, then they need to look further. The Big 3 strengthen the game by asking the difficult questions with very high levels of mentality, fitness and tennis. Its not exactly a question of whether they need more money and trophies – its just that they produce such amazing results.

    Now if Federer could just win at Flushing Meadows…..

    1. Tell them all, they have to play for free since now and close their abnormal sponsorship agreements and you will see, who stays there to play only for glory.

      I didn’t want to talk about this, but I’m sure, they are mighty enough to manipulate draws so to eliminate early all potential threats. Maybe even use their money to let opponents tank.

      Yes, they produce amazing results … and … ruin tennis at the same time.

      Some young have good H2H against Big3, but not a single slam.

      After every GS draw is released, all FedFans talk about Nadal’s and Nole’s cakewalk, Rafa-Fans talk the same about F. and D. a.s.o.
      Somehow it’s true.

      Draws are build up so, the Big3 never have really tough draws before SF

      In first rounds of every slam and Masters Big 3 play 3-4 round against guys ranked around 100. Meanwhile best youngsters get very tough draws or have to play each other, so when they reach QF or SF, they are done and not many..

      Let’s have (in our heads only, of course) one single tournament, counted for Big Title records with Big 3 going over qualifications. or as unseeded, so they can even meet each other in first rounds. Tell me, which from the Big3 reaches then the SF or higher.

      Maybe you don’t know, but there are playe3rs on tour, who can cause upsets, first-round killers. They are never on the path of Big3. They are always on the patth pf thos younger players, who could challenge Big3, reaching SF. I don’t call names. You should be able to guess them.

      And on the other side imagine (with today’s medicine and the big money in hands of Big3) you can see them all still playing and winning big titles in 5 or 10 years. Metal hip. Metal knees, synthetic muscles, individually designed and produced and not detectable steroids. Never heard? This is available only for those who have 100+ millions or more on their accounts. Not from tournament’s prizes. From appearance fees, often 5-10x higher than the winner’s prize of the tournament. Cosmic sums from sponsors.

      Really young players have only their talents and work. And don’t tell me, they don’t train hard enough.

      Certain young Austrian player is known on the tour for being the hardest worker. And his talent is comparable with Big3. And I’m quite sure, there are more working similarly hard and having big talents.

      After 2-3 years they get frustrated. What’s with Shapo after his initial upsets? Where is Zverev, expected to be No. 1 since 2-3 years. Guess, where will be Aliassime in 2-3 years.

      This is what I mean, when I say about Big3 ruining tennis.

      Take last French Open. The young finalist reaches the final with completely empty tank because of the tough draw and tough weather and tournaments organizers not able to find the way for the final to be a fair affair. An the young still takes Rafa 1 set. And then he is dead. Not his problem. He was very well prepared and still had no chance in the final, just because of some kind of privileges. Federer reached SF to lose to Rafa and the match was low level and Rafa plays the final after having normal pauses between rounds, while Thiem plays 4. day in a row.

      This is ruining tennis, whoiever the player: Thiem, Zverev or another one.

      I don’t call for anything but cancelling all privileges, making the tour double-standard-circus.

      1. What a bunch of non sense PRF:
        “Draws are build up so, the Big3 never have really tough draws before SF”. Top 2 specially will get mathematically on average easier draws than the rest but still will have to face all the seedings from the 4th round. I think the fact that they are so superior to the top10, 18, 23 misleads you. If you just look at this Wimbledon Nadal had to face two of the most dangerous unseeded players back to back. Thiem lost against Querry, oh really bad luck but if Nadal had to face him in the first round and had crashed him the way he did it nobody would be saying how unlucky he was with the draw

        “This is available only for those who have 100+ millions or more on their accounts”. Where do you get that info? You don’t think that Thiem or Zverev are wealthy enough to get whatever they need? Is the cost of those programs on the tens of millions?

        “Certain young Austrian player is known on the tour for being the hardest worker. And his talent is comparable with Big3.” Oh stop it, how on earth you can think he has comparable talents? What did he accomplish? He is been around for a while already in comparison with those guys

        “ He was very well prepared and still had no chance in the final, just because of some kind of privileges” He had no chance because he faced a much superior talent on clay. They played four times in RG already and the set score is 12-1. What are the privileges?

        Talking about privileges there has not been a generation more hyped than the nextgen with no reason. They receive a lot of media attention resulting sponsorships etc, they even created a tournament for them.

        Stop this nonsense, it sounds like conspiracy theories like the fake landing of the moon or the flat earth.

      2. @Pablo
        Yes, conspiracy theories. Ever thought, why do they exist? Because strange things happen every tournament.
        There are conspiracy theories taken from the ceiling or from emotions about own hero. And there are conspiracy theories based on logic. Because you never know, what happens under the table.
        I will stay with my conspiracy theories, because they are not produced by my sentiments to this or other player, they are produced by rational thinking. You call it nonsense. Up to you. You have another logic and another sentiments. And you use your sentiments rather than rational thinking.
        You say – Thiem’s and Nadal’s talents are not comparable. Yes they are not comparable because they started careers in different times and watching results only you can say, what you say.
        This is not the right measure for talents. And you never know, in what extent the results come from talents and from work.
        I tell you more – I respect more results coming from hard work than coming from talent.
        Talent is a gift from Heaven and nobody has deserved his talent. Who has less talent, must work harder.
        Yes, I know, Nadal is a hard worker. If you ask any player, he tells you, he is just working very hard.
        Sure not Kyrgios or Tomic. They don’t work at all, only using their talents.
        Once more – I’m not telling, Big3 are not big. They are.
        But they have privileges and I can kind of prove it (logically, because nobody knows facts about training, using doping, manipulating draws a.s.o.).
        Do you recall the year, when Nadal and Federer were drawn in the same quarter and both were gone in rounds 1-2 respectively? Both were in very good form the year. but this was the year, Murray was set to win. I’m (logically) sure, Darcis and Stakhovsky was allowed to dope to eliminate every threat for Murray. Both giant killers disappeared then from tennis for some longer time. Nobody knows, why? Here comes the conspiracy theory – Nadal and Federer they needed to go early for Murray to have ensured the title. Both giant killers needed to disappear, so people can forget about them and they probably got more money for doping, winning and disappearing, then they would be ever able to earn in Wimbledon or over a year of their careers.
        So if you can use logic, some conspiracy theories are well founded.

      3. You talk about logic and that you proved something and yet I don’t see any evidence of that.

        On one side you talk about the big 3 being doped using programs worth +100m (where is the evidence of that?) and on the other side you said that Roger and Rafa lost in that Wimbledon because their rivals were doped?? so Darcis doped is supposed to beat a doped Nadal?? I don’t get this. Upsets happen in any sport, there is no need to find strange ilogic explanations. Murray was a fantastic players and the fact he won a couple of Wimbledons is no surprise.

        Then you talk about me speaking with a particular player bias and you are the guy telling us that your favourite player has the same talent as the big 3, are you joking? You said that Thiem is the hardest worker on the tour so why does he have 0 GS’s with such a big talent? Why did he take only 1 set out of Nadal in 4 matches at RG? When you compare the talent of a guy with 0 slams (25 years old already) versus players with 16+ the results are so overwhelmingly telling that your position can only come from sentiment with no logic apply whatsoever.

        “So if you can use logic, some conspiracy theories are well founded”. Logic is applied when there are evidences to do so. Your arguments are a matter of faith

      4. @Pablo
        There are different types of doping. You can have an all-year doping program, which is very sophisticated (including custom steroids – look in Google if you don’t believe, such things exist and imagine, how much it can cost for pharma company to develop it for a single player) and you can use one-way (one-match) hard doping drug, which would be easily found by WADA (if it wants to find it).
        This is my Wimbledon story.
        How many players can afford for such?
        You say, Thiem (but you can say the same about others) is rich enough to have this possibility. No, he is not. He has earned less then 20 millions so far and he needed first to refund his parents (who needed to sell their house to finance his early career) and finance the early career of his younger brother). Thiem is happy with this and yes, for sure he has some sponsors with earnings by no mean comparable with those from Big3.
        I don’t know if he would like to use such doping, but for now it’s meaningless – he couldn’t afford for that. Biug3 are not multimillionairs (like Rui called Federer after the Wimbledon loss), they are billionairs.
        Apart of comparing earnings of different players (some simply fight for life) I think it’s a shame, any athlete to get so rich by throwing something or hitting yellow or any other ball. Think about someone who gets Nobel prize in science. How many thousand years would take him to earn a billion? Does someone like this not deserve to earn so much like talented athlete?
        Yes, I cannot offer hard proofs for doping. Just like you cannot prove the opposite.
        What do you think, why Federer fans are 100% sure, Nadal and Djokovic are doping? Federer not, of course. What think Rafa fans? The opposite. This is a kind of logical evidence too.
        How can someone in Federer’s age play 5 hours of an intense, competitive match and not show any signs of fatigue after the match, eating and drinking the same as you or me? Is this only due to talent and hard training? Funny 🙂

      5. Just a little update. Ever heard about Agassi admitting to having doped in his memoirs (of course some years after retired)? Let’s wait, until Big3 retire and maybe some has cojones to tell us the whole truth.

      6. You are not addressing the points we were discussing. Yeah who know if the top tennis players are doped and I’m not talking only about the top3 butalso about the rest of the field who earn millions of dolars every year such as Thiem. But unless someone is proved guilty I won’t accuse him of that.

        “What do you think, why Federer fans are 100% sure, Nadal and Djokovic are doping? Federer not, of course. What think Rafa fans? The opposite. This is a kind of logical evidence too” This is complete generalization. That’s what very few hardcore-fanatics think, I’m a Rafa fan and I don’t think Nole or Roger are doped because I don’t see any evidence of that. Medicine is evolving, preparation is evolving, diets are evolving, in general all the sports are becoming more and more profesional and as a result you can see older players performing at a really high level in many sports.

        And yet you did not address your ridicolous argument that in your mind the big 3 are dominating because of some privileges they have and that por Thiem and others who work harder than anybody and have the same talent as the top3 can’t be more successful because of those privileges you talk about. Where is your rational thinking on this? HOw do you explain the 12-1 vs Rafa at RG?

      7. @Pablo
        First – I don’t say, Rafa is not a great player, especially on clay. It’s obvious, Rafa does especially well in Paris. whatever the reasons..
        Let for a while the doping issue aside and let discuss privileges.
        RG 2019 is a perfect example and a prove, that such privileges exist.
        The weather affected the most just Thiem and Djokovic. Not Nadal and Federer, because the time they playd the storm was not yet so acute. And the result was easy to guess. Federer is happy with SF (after having played some players around rank 100., his fans are happy, nobody expects Federer to beat Rafa here. Relatively short match with low intensity. Same day there is another SF but the storm is going worse. Still they play. Weather is the same for both and organizers have no time for schedule changes. So they play. At the time, when the weather just starts to calm down and is going to get better, Djoker is 0:1, 2:5 = going to be 0:2 and probably lose the match.
        Djoker is BTW the reigning president of Players’ Council and represents the interest of players against ATP and tournaments. Unfortunately Djoker uses this to represent his own interest. It’s not umpire’s decision to stop playing. At 2:5 in the second set, Djokovic simply packs his toys and goes away.
        Imagine, this is Thiem or someone else and the umpire stops him and asks Djokovic if he is ready to continue. If he is, Thiem must continue too. Cannot start packing and not risk walk-over.
        Djokovic knows, he will have better chances when the play just stops. Thiem has momentum and needs 5-10 minutes to close the set.
        But Djoker is aware (like all players on the tour), Thiem needs time to get rhythm and here is Djoker’s chance, exactly realized next day. Thiem starts at 2:5, loses his serve and finally also the set. The only problem – the weather is still not very good but Thiem has “regrouped” and wins two next sets and the match.
        Was this not abusing the privilege of the “big name” and players representation?
        ´
        Thiem plays in bad weather 2 days in a row (one more before, but here half of the field is affected, so no privileges).
        Now between SF and the final Rafa can go fishing or eating paella with friends.
        And then the final, Thiem after 3 days in a row of playing hard match under bad weather and no day for rest and recovery before the final. Not usual.
        Do you really believe, Rafa would not have the option of requiring the final to be played on Monday, for preconditions to be fair if it was him affected?
        Now you produce irony about Thiem only able to take one set from Rafa.
        The effort was not comparable, chances were not even and fair. Ask Rafa – I have seen this in his eyes, when the 4-th set started. He knew, he would play against empty court.
        I don”t like “what-if-thinking. Rafa was not directly respo9nsible for the situation.
        But should Rafa tell tournament’s management or ATP, the final MUST be played after 1 day rest for his opponent, nobody would say NO! Would have Thiem similar options? NO!
        Not a privilege?
        Thiem taking a set from Rafa under these conditions mean he would have real chances to win this time. Yes, Rafa was sorry for Dominic, when he have seen, what happens in last two sets. And at this time he could not help, but end the affair quickly. This was friendly act. And I know Thiem and Nadal are somehow friends, even their families have friendly contacts. Still – privilage of being part of Big3 remains privilege. And I don’t like your irony.
        Thiem is still ypoung, developing and rising every year and the only man to beat Rafa on clay last years (Rome. Madrid Barcelona). And Dominic has lot of respect against Rafa and is happy to be the second after him. If he can win in Barcelona or Madrid, is 1:1 with Rafa this year, he is not so far from starting to beat Rafa regularly, including in Paris. Wait with your irony, because maybe Thiem improves his record this year or wins everything on clay next year. Prepare your irony for such scenario. I’m ending this debate, because it is interesting for us 2 only and I don’t like it anymore because of your approach. Best – PRF

    2. “Very subjective, lets not get into some ridiculous twitter style GOAT debate.” it is not subjective at all. In this decade is not even close, if we are talking about tennis results and performance. Now if you through in there fan love and sportsmanship awards you got me.

      1. 20 slams – which no other player has equalled – as well as so many other records and achievements puts a certain player at the forefront of that discussion.

      2. A career is not a decade, but a career. Federer has won several slams in this last decade, as recently as last year, and indeed anyone who can be a point from victory against his toughest rival in a slam – as Federer was at this Wimbledon – is up there with the very best. Djokovic has rope marks around his neck from the noose he barely escaped from – and he knows it. Roger has also beaten your hero 6 times in their last 7 meetings – and utterly convincingly at this Wimbledon. Your attempt to cherry-pick facts to suit your Nadal bias is obvious. As ever, you make yourself ridiculous.

  75. I still think of Sunday and just have the feeling they gave the trophy to the wrong guy.

    However –
    Maybe it was said here earlier but Roger is having a very good year in terms of level and I like his chances to win big titles this season.
    I think the clay preparation will pay off at the North American hard court swing.
    We’ve seen that Roger is able to be rally tough and compete at the highest level on slow surfaces.
    IMO, he’s the favourite in Cincy.
    The only thing I worry about is another hot day/evening at Ash with that damn roof. Other than that, I like his chances at this US Open.

    Let’s look forward. Also, if he played so brilliantly at 37, why not at 38? Both are ages that fit players on the legends tour…
    Go Roger!

    1. Yes, but it doesn’t indicate % of all in all performed matches. I doubt that would give the same depressing picture. Roger has won more than 1200 matches. How many have the 2 others? But I admit that all his (own?) losing MPs come after 2012 might give some thoughts, not necessarily the depressing kind, but might give a cue how to overcome.

  76. A lot of interesting comments and opinions here. Thanks to everyone who left one. I’ve left it a bit too long to reply to many of them individually like I normally do as I’ve been on the road and holidaying a bit for the last 7 days but I’ve been reading them as each one comes in via email.

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