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Fans Perspective: How Basel Was Lost

Hey guys, this is a short piece from Sid on Roger's performance today in Basel, I was going to add it onto my post but I thought it probably deserved it's very own so here it is.

PS I'm always willing to post fan pieces on here if you have an opinion on Roger or just tennis in general and want to share it then feel free to email me.

Anyway, take it away Sid….

How Basel Was Lost

Basel Loss

In the sport of tennis, “You are only as good as your second serve”. The match Roger lost truly epitomizes that truth.

Roger Federer won 60% of his second serves points in 2012. A lot of good things happened. Roger's GOAT status was truly cemented, at least until someone else bests that legacy. In 2013, so far, Roger has won 56% of them. Now, the difference may not seem much, a mere four additional points every hundred times Roger steps to the line, and brushes that ball to deliver a nasty kick serve. Or, one in every twenty five points. In the loss to Juan Martin, Roger was winning only 47% of his 40 second serves. Extrapolating, we can assume that Roger lost two more second serve points compared to last year.

Where were those two points lost?

Federer 2nd Serve Basel 2013

It was an enjoyable match. Most of you will say, “Sid, chillax, it's done and dusted now. It was a great fight by Roger against a top 10 opponent. This is a sign of good things to come. He nearly won it!”.

But nearly doesn't get it done. Whether it's recreational tennis, or professional, in the end, it comes down to a few points. It comes down to percentages. Roger Federer is struggling, for a myriad of reasons. He is getting older. He is not as fast as he used to be. He is a father for crying out loud! His serve has lost oomph. His opponents are fitter and have resorted to help from technology. Yes, all those things are true. But there are number to things that Roger can control. Things that are in his own hands. And one of them is taking care of his own serve.

Each player won 96 points today. There really shouldn't have been a winner. As Roger once put it, “It's a pity we don't have a draw in tennis”. So, what were those two points that made a huge difference today? The two points that could've given Roger a straight sets win, or a tough three set win.

Doesn't matter, you would say. Move on! Get over it! What a whiner! Sore loser, much? But the truth is, there is no getting over. You cannot prevent your opponent from serving aces, or inducing forced errors on them. You cannot be mad at them for stepping in and killing those sliced returns. You cannot be too hard on yourself for shanking a ball into the crowd after a long rally, or under duress. But there is no bigger evil in tennis than not getting the ball into your opponents box on your second serve. You cannot win a point if you cannot start it.

Why am I so passionate about those second serves? Because for four of my five years playing tennis, I was averaging two double faults per service game. It was so pathetic, that Spielberg once talked to me about making a movie, “Sid and the Double Fault factory”.

Twice, once in the first set, and once in the second, Roger was at 40-30 on his serves. On these two occasions, he double faulted and went on to get broken. Considering that the first set went to a tie break, Roger could possibly have done it in straights. All he had to do was win one of those two points, that is just 50% of those second serve points, and I am not even talking 56%. But he failed to make those serves. So many times this year we've seen Roger lose extremely close matches where he threw away seemingly easy service games.

In this loss, there's a huge lesson to be learned. He can do himself and his fans a huge favor by winning two more points on his second serve every match. That is all I am asking a devoted fan.

Jonathan

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

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64 thoughts on “Fans Perspective: How Basel Was Lost”

  1. Those double faults… he has to get his serve together. I don’t think I’ve seen him serve so many doubles like he’s done this year. 🙁

  2. as a fan of Roger, i dont mind seeing him lose today, i mean, we all know del porto since US open 2008. Put it this way, I would say after a whole year of watching him playing against top 10, today could be the best form of Federer13. At least compare to Rome master final( I dont remember any other big finals Roger got into). At least he gave us some sign of life out of this struggling year. I hope he can go deep in Paris, if so, i’ll be optimistic he will enter the semi of WTF, finger crossed.

  3. I’m not convinced… At those small numbers, It’s not really how many you double fault but when you do, He just did it at a wrong time (in those moments you mentioned, barring the third set start….) He could have serve two more seconds serves rather than doubles, but would it change? Only if he hit those at the right times. and then he has to go on and win the point. So yes those three double faults were horrible, but it happens. It’s better than Djoker running into the net on a smash he has made 99/100 times 😉

    1. You are missing the point, Simon. He could’ve made both those serves, in set 1 and 3, and lost both. I’m saying he needs to win two more second serve point metaphorically. He simply isn’t taking care of his serve, that’s all. We’ve seen it happen again and again. Winning 4% less points on second serve is actually a really big deal if you think about it, not just in the context of this match, but over the year.

      When you look at it as whole, you see that all the effort and intensity we saw from Roger was spoiled by two points he could not even start.

      1. Yes Sid, it boiled down to getting those second serves in eventually. Had he ,he could have romped home.What hurts most ,he loses matches which he should have pocketed with relative ease.But on a positive note, he is showing in some resilience despite getting broken.

    2. Yeah I agree with Sid, the post wasn’t meant to be taken literally. He has to take care of more service games in general.

      Could do with looking at the stats, nigh on guaranteed he’s winning as many points as ever but saving less break points and converting less too than last year. All stems down to serve.

      1. In fact, in their Basel 2012 meeting, Del Potro beat Roger by about 8 points and Roger could’ve won, had he had not messed up in the tie break. So, this year was better in terms of points, but not enough. Cold fact, in that 2012 final, he had just one double fault 🙂

        P.S. I’m obsessed with numbers, because in the end, it’s those key numbers that get you results

  4. With you on this Sid! Feel I hv gone on ad bays run about his serve. Up until us open 2012, I always felt I could count on him holding serve, never in doubt, and at least 1 ace per service game. Something has happened and you hv put yr finger in it. The jack if reliability of the 2nd serve! What’s the old adage our coaches constantly preach at us amateurs? You are only as good as yr second serve! Roger needs huge attention on this factor! Get this right and the rest falls into place. IMHO, he pushed slightly too hard on his serve in the 3rd set today and over cooked it! Pressure of the depth and power of Delpos returns? Maybe? But certainly lack of confidence and rhythm on his own serve from Rog. Back to the practise courts for that. I liked that he got cross today. Gd sign! If he cares that much he will work on it and sort it for 2014 which I do see as last huge chance to push for glory in the Majors! Allez! Ps nice post Sid!

  5. 2 things – 1st set netcord and 3rd set epic DFs cost him period. Dunno what was he thinking for going too much. Now he has to play well at bercy to qualify for WTF. Its going to be another painful journey 🙁

    1. Yeah Dippy, but he’ll need to now put it at the back of his mind, he now only needs to play one more match. Though it might be a tough one. Anyways if he loses I don’t see Raonic winning Bercy, so he’s almost sure to qualify.

  6. It’s very simple. If roger decides to play percentage tennis and control his tempo like going for winners 80% of the time instead of 95% of the time from impossible positions, and protects his service games more by getting in more 1st serves, and returns more aggressively, and intelligently(chipping nothing balls short time after time?). He still has a chance at anther slam and a ranking in the top 5. If he continues his stubbern habits he will be like all the other top 100 guys who have talent but can’t put in 7 good matches in a row. Let’s hope he gets smart and if not, retires before he ends up like lewton hewett.

    1. Exactly! And that’s what I mean by focusing on things that are more important. Simple things come first. Taking care of serve includes not red lining ground strokes on his serve. Good things happens when you hold your serve. A few weeks ago, someone mentioned something on the lines of, “If Roger can break his opponents a lot, he doesn’t have to worry about holding his own serve”. That’s the worst thing you can do as a tennis player and I feel over the last six months or so, that’s exactly what Roger has been doing, throwing away service games, and putting in extra effort on return games.

      1. I think you’re taking that statement too literally. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a trade off, where an increased effort in the return game translates into a lackluster service game. I don’t think that is what was implied by that statement. And if it did imply that, maybe it should have been phrased better.

  7. Let´s all be cool about this for a second or two. Any tennis player knows if you´re going through a tough period where you´re game is lost and more important your confident is gone it´s nothing that can get fixed over night or even during one tornament. But I will say Roger has almost done that, at least with his confidence issue, the way he has faught out of troubles and got his forehand back on track is actually big news. And the last three matches he has played is probably the best all years so that´s very positive.

    And to cook a tennis match down to numbers won´t hold in any court, how many times have we seen a player have the best statistics after a match and still lost? many times. And that´s the beauty of tennis you always has a chance to turn the tables. And even if Roger had got those two second serves in he could lickely have lost those games anyway. It´s like saying I lost because of two wrong line calls.

    But you are totally right that it´s an area he should improve in because 4% down from last year is big drop for sure. I haven´t seen the stats for the tournament but for me it seemed like he got more free points of his first serve when it got in compared to the rest of the season. Anyone knows?

      1. I get what Mark is saying. Most tennis matches ARE decided by numbers as Jonathan said, but in some cases it just boils down to a few points here and there- invariably Fedal matches where Federer might have been the better player for a set and 4-4 in the second only to go through a 10 minute patch of playing poorer than his opponent and suddenly finding himself down a break in the 3rd. And from then on, momentum just takes you to the finish line.

        Sure, numbers don’t lie, but they often don’t tell you the entire picture. You might be hitting winners from all parts of the court for most part of the match, but come set point and you send the only three balls into the net. Great winners to UE ratio, but you still end up losing in the tie break because of a lucky net cord for your opponent.

        And I don’t think we should talk about there being no such thing as best statistics. In how many of your articles have we read and surmised and agreed upon the fact that Federer was the better player but still lost the match. What are those sentiments based on? Invariably the stats. Which is to say that you could have the best stats, but still end up losing the match, because sometimes, just sometimes, the outcome isn’t decided by the numbers (usually not the case). Or more precisely WHAT those numbers are as opposed to WHEN those numbers kicked in and played their part.

        For Eg: Player 1- Winning all his serves comfortably to love, good first serve %, good percentage of points on first/ second serves won, probably higher aces, no doubles

        Player 2- Not landing as many first serves but managing to get them to land at 30-30/ when when facing break point. A double fault here and there. Basically just surviving. Only just. But managing it. Saves the odd break point with an ace.

        Set reaches 6-6.

        Player 1: Total points won- 6 service games * 4 points per game= 24 + (points won on opponents serve. Let’s say averaging 2 per game=12). Therefore 24+12=36

        Player 2: Total points won- 6 service games * 4ish points per game=24-28 (a deuce or two) but no points on opponents serve.

        Uptil now Player 1 has won more points, served better, returned better, created a chance or two (snuffed out by the ace), has hit a lot of winners, a couple of unforced errors.

        Come the Tie-break. Player 2 wins the tie break 7-5 on account of a lucky net cord.
        Player 1 Total points- 36+5=41
        Player 2 total points- 28+7= 35

        Player 1 with better stats, still loses. Numbers may not always decide the match. Of course, this is just an example- and a very extreme one at that, and so it shouldn’t be taken literally. But just saying- what Mark is saying can and does happen.

      2. I did’t read everything but got the gist of what you’re saying. More than 80%, or dare I say, 90% of the time, the player who wins a set will have won more points that their opponent.

        But that’s not the argument here. The argument is that, depending on the match up, it comes down to what percentage of points you win on particular patterns that eventually make a huge difference. In the Basel final, those two points made a tremendous difference to the result.

        To summarize, numbers always decide the match. Not the total points as a whole, but the numbers from those mini battles. That’s all it comes down to.

      3. The part I agree with Mark is when he says, “how many times have we seen a player have the best statistics after a match and still lost? many times”

        The part I completely disagree with is, “And to cook a tennis match down to numbers won´t hold in any court”. That’s absolutely wrong! Everything comes down to numbers.

        The first part of Mark’s statement contradicts the second part 🙂 A smart player cooks it down to those key match ups that really matter, regardless of how the other numbers go. In case of Roger, the solution would be to have a better winning percentage on the second serve (and to do that, he needs to put the ball in the box). He knows that. He is getting burned in that area. Fixing that will fix a lot of other things.

      4. Do you remember IBM used to have some kind of graphic called, “Keys to the match”? They choose the three most important factors that help or hurt one player against the other. I’ve never seen a criteria like, “win x% of break points”. You could see something as trivial as, “win x% of 3-8 shot rallies”, or, “make x% of returns on the ad side” etc. It has nothing to do with the other regular stats we see everywhere.

        What does that tell you? That it all comes down to cooking percentages in specific areas that really matter. Almost all the time the player with more green check marks wins a particular set. There are exceptions, as is the case with all things.

      5. I think that’s what Mark means as well. That it’s not just ‘what’ the numbers are, but more importantly, ‘when’ they factor into the match.

        You could have 1 double fault in a set. One when you’re up 40-0, the other when your opponent has a set point. Both might look the same on paper, but have very different results on the outcome of a match.

        I feel that both of you have a point, and I don’t think Mark’s second point contradicts the first. Numbers don’t lie. More often than not they paint a fairly clear picture in retrospect. But there’s a reason why tennis, or sport in general, for that matter, isn’t the haven of Harvard alums who sit and speculate for 16 hours a day. Because numbers have their limitations in sport. You never know what ‘could have happened’ or what ‘will happen.’ A player might have won those x% of 3-8 shots. But in order to do so, he might have changed his strategy and started taking bigger risks. Maybe he starts losing the longer rallies now. Everything changes as a result. It’s not just a singe on off change- then we’re making the assumption that nothing in tennis is related. That change has repercussions that make the ‘what-if’ game a bit futile and pointless I feel.

        Don’t get me wrong. I get what you’re trying to say. Numbers are extremely important and a good analyst/ analysis can do a few good things for a player- I worked as a Business Analyst at the world’s biggest consultancy, and I know that number’s are what we corporate ‘hoes’ live on. But what I also do know is that we often twist and utilise numbers to our advantage in order to prove a point. And this isn’t even tennis that I’m talking about. Are we getting too strung up about the numbers? Maybe we should step back and think about it.

      6. [Maybe he starts losing the longer rallies now]

        Exactly. So, increased aggression allows the player to reach a goal on 3-8 shot rallies. Which means they now play fewer rallies that go beyond 8 shots and losing more of them now doesn’t matter because not that many rallies are being played. In other words, you are avoiding a pattern that is not favorable to you. It’s all connected. In short, it has again come down to cooking numbers on a certain type of pattern. That’s why I object to Mark saying, “And to cook a tennis match down to numbers won´t hold in any court”. Not true. That is all there is to it. That is how you solve a problem that faces you.

        When I used the example of the double faults, I was implying that there is an issue with second serves this year which has hurt Roger more than anything else. And it is true that in the last year or so, opponents are treating his second servings with utter contempt.

        Looks like this is turning out to be a stalemate. What do you say Vishy, we shake hands and call it a draw? 0.5-0.5? 😉

  8. Look I think there’s been a trend since last year after Berdych at the US Open that Fed isn’t getting away on the serve as he once used to. We’ve seen it a lot this year that many a time Roger will be 40-15 or whatever ahead in his service game only to end up getting broken anyway. The serve has been affected big time by the back injury this year. You can even see it in his service motion now, he isn’t arching it as much as he once used to. It’s gonna take time, match practice and most of all confidence for that first serve % to come up so that he isn’t being pressured on the second and making the double faults. I see your argument Sid but it is missing some perspective of this season. For what it’s worth, that service game in the third that cost him the title sums up all of 2013. Inconsistency is still an issue. Now that he’s gained some momentum I think we need just need to watch the rest of this year play out and see what the situation is next season in regards to the serve.

  9. Ok, I get the underlying premise – Roger needs to control his second serve. But I don’t think you’re giving Juan Martin the credit he is due. If Roger had upped his game, I’m fairly sure Delpo could have upped his. Roger is GOAT, no doubt about it (well, but you know, Rocket Rod . . .). But he’s 32, and inevitably, Father Time catches up to all of us. I don’t think he needs to retire, I think all of the tennis fans need to relax, let him play his game, and accept that he’s gonna lose more often than he’s going to win, at least against the top 10. Roger seems to be OK with what he’s doing – how about if everyone else leaves him alone to do his thing?

    1. If everyone took this attitude then nobody would ever improve. Roger would still be on 1 slam. The idea of a fan is they praise and criticise their player where necessary.

  10. Gutted Fed lost Basel final 2nd year on spin to DP! This years defeat much harder to take since he had only had the one success in 2013 at Halle, which barely contained any of top players.

    2 turning points in match for me, 1/ DPs lucky net cord in 1st set tiebreak for a vital mini break. They were both so focused and strong at that point, that any bad luck was going to chip a bit of confidence away. Trust this to happen against the server, had it been lucky for the server at least it wouldn’t affect too much the pattern of mini breaks. It’s hard to crawl back minibreaks in tiebreaks where the players are aware how vital each service point is, as opposed to cheap points sometimes thrown from the server during a normal game where he may take risks at 30-0 or 40-15. Fed was serving in the tiebreak at 3-6, due to that b****** net cord, whereas it would have been 4-5, and going on serve had Fed not lost the net cord point, far less pressure had he been serving at 4-5!

    2/ Obviously the 3 gifted DF points in the opening service game of the 3rd set. This was the worst possible time he could have done this, when the momentum had swung his way, winning 2nd set convincingly, he threw it back to DP, handing him the gift of a break, without DP needing to work for it. Very difficult to claw it back from there. Tiredness must have been creeping in especially having played and extra set and a half more than he should have v Pops the day before -had he passed the formality of serving out that semi in the 2nd set, surely would have given him a bigger cannister of gas for the final.

    Yes plenty ifs and buts, but Fed was close yesterday, he won a game more than DP overall, and played some decent tennis. As someone else said earlier, there’s no shame losing to DP, it’s just a disappointing loss considering the annus horribilis Fed has had, it would have been a very welcome win had he pulled it off!

    1. Yeah disappointing result but plenty of positives.

      The tie break on the whole just got away from Fed, the net cord though not sure it was so unlucky, I think Del Potro’s shot was gonna be a clean winner anyway…

      Jonathan

      1. I dunno coz Fed was speeding back to that side, and looked disappointed not to at least get a crack at it, they were both getting back plenty of shots I didn’t expect them to reach during the match.. anyway c’est la vie.

        Youzhny will certainly be a tough match tomorrow (having just beaten Ferrer to win in Valencia).. Hope he don’t head butt anybody or start chopping up chairs.

  11. Your second statement contradicts your first, MarkWandy. Let me type it again here,

    “And to cook a tennis match down to numbers won´t hold in any court, how many times have we seen a player have the best statistics after a match and still lost? many times.”

    That’s because the player who wins doesn’t focus on the total points won, but winning a higher percentage of those that matter. And in tennis, nothing matters more than having a better second serve winning percentage than your opponent. It all comes down to winning those mini percentage battles.

    Let me answer some other question: –

    Any player can win two points, or lose two points. Roger may not have won those two points. What I’m trying to say is, in his desperation, or eagerness to win a title or get a win vs a top 10, Roger’s trying to do too many things, and not focusing on the list of things that will really make a difference. The simple things need attention first. I’d rather he wins a few more points on second serve than try to win a few more on return games.

    Hitting more forehands, hitting more shots on the run are good. But they will do more damage to the back than focusing on those second serves. Besides, taking care of those second serves will reap more rewards than spending energy on return games. Roger is using a different philosophy right now. He is playing with extreme intensity on return games, and is absolutely frivolous when serving. Bad strategy!

    Someone mentioned that the net cord made a huge difference. No, the luck of the net cord evens out over time. You cannot control who the net cord favors, but getting a second serve into the box is totally on your racquet.

    1. I like the thought, but let’s not over emphasize the importance of the % of points won on second serve. Don’t get me wrong or take this too literally- yes points won on second serve are crucial. But to say nothing matters more? I’m not so sure. What about the break point conversion ratio, that we all sit and mope over, or the points won on first serve (includes First serve %age as well as %age of points won once the serve has landed) or the winners to UE ratio?

      1. All those things you mentioned are very important. And that’s why, when you think about matching your game with your opponent, you work on those aspects, those percentages that will have the most impact.The more you play, the more historical data you have.

        A tennis match is won by winning sets. Sets are won by winning breaks. That puts a premium on protecting your serve first. Everything comes later. You are the most vulnerable on your second serve. There are ways you can circumvent bad second serving, but a vast majority of the time, it’s poor second serving that will cost you a match.

        In case of Federer, they say, “As goes his serve, so goes his game”.

      2. No, I think it would be poor first serving (%age landed as well as %age points won)that would really cost you the match. More so than the second serve at least.

        I’m not saying you feed them a nice juicy underarm every time you walk into second serve, but your second serve is more at the mercy of your opponent’s return than any other shot. Sure, you can go for more, but then you risk those very doubles you mention. So there is a limit to what you can do with your second serve.

        I think it’s much more to do with the first serve going AWOL. Your first serve is your main line of attack. The second serve is akin to a backup. Only when your first serve is out of the picture does your second serve come into the picture.

  12. Almost 4pm here on the US East Coast. I could have sworn I just saw a brand new post from Jonathan on my FB a few seconds ago – then it was gone! Was that my crazy brain or did something go up and then come back down?

    1. For Sid… First of i really liked your thoughts and explanation, analysis and view on R oger match. I think you done two fan posts and both were very intresting and insightfull. Have to say you have a unique style of writing and is on par with Jonathans. Well done keep up the good work. ( Fao as for Jonathan, NICE one man for your 3/4 post in a row !! Much tappreciated the and as always you write what most true Federer fans are thinking. Top man for your hard work. 🙂 .)

      Back to Sid your explanation regarding serve and points i totally agree with you. To add without saying already whats been said, the great Rod Laver also said ” You dont necessarily need to win all the points, but just the rightONES !!” He mentioned this when he was asked if Roger cpuld win another slam, after the year Rogers had with the unexpwcted losses. I have ro agree Lavers statement along with Sids analysis of serves. As the previous posts mentioned Roger could be playing the better match but like this year Roger has been g getting

      1. Ps sorry accidently pressed post comment.

        My last sentence was supposed to say Roger was getting break point chances but was not converting the vital points that would of made Rogers life alot easier. We all know that when Roger was playing these players especially someone like Robredo who he has beaton about 10 times in a row. The most important point that would of changed the outcome of the match, all that effort was going to waste. Despite Roger being the superior player he was losing to all these average players. The serve probably most likely due to the back, had no pop like usual, amd then more double faults.

      2. Thank you, Seraj! I try, but am nowhere close to the quality of some of the posts Jonathan makes when he puts his mind to it.

        Rod Laver has given Roger a cryptic message. Roger doesn’t have to become an all out terrier to win slams. He is smart enough to make the necessary changes that are needed to win another. We saw a very passionate and fired up Roger in the Basel final. It gives us hope. But I highly doubt taking the grinders path is going to get him another slam. Jonathan won’t agree but we will have that discussion when the time comes 🙂

  13. Excellent post Sid and John, I totally agree with you Sid, I think Roger should focus on this issues that can be and give him a huge advantage over the new guys that are getting fitter adn fitter.

  14. Hat off to you Sid, for turning your irritation to an excellent post.

    Even I, without much deep knowledge of the game feel same with you and appreciate your clear explanation.

    I know Roger doesn’t care about stats but surely he knows importance of 2nd serve as he improved % of 2nd serve point won in late 2011-2012 after the slump of 2010-2011 until US Open, if I’m not wrong. I think the technique is still there. He needs to be more focus, every single serve! If he knows he can take care of his own service game, he will be able to play freely and instinctively. Although pleased to see his guts in Basel, TBH I miss him playing like God.

    Now we all know his back injury played the part for this year’s downfall both physically and mentally. That may explains the shaky DFs, he might have tried too hard or over-ambitious…who knows. Hope he will work on fitness and get his serve back during off season. I am optimistic about 2014.

    1. Thanks, Wanda!

      Roger Federer would be nowhere near as great as he is right now without good first and second serves. You take those aspects away and he would’ve struggled to win even half the slams that he now has. You can be a grinder, just push your second serve in, and slug it out. Not Roger. His game completely depends on his serving.

  15. I completely agree with Sid on this. Hope Roger will improve his serve. We remember how he won Cinci last year and on what terms. Pure serve, never broken the whole tournment. The cherry on the cake was dishing a bagel to Djokovic in the finals. Another example was, when Roddick was firing on all cylinders in Wimbledon 2009 finals, only thing that saved Roger was his solid serve: the result was making a history on that day. When Roger started 3rd set in Basel, my only concern was that if he could maintain his serve in the final set. I’m absolutely delighted to see his fighting spirit is alive now, and we’re hopeful to see the old dominating Federer back. Hope he will avenge his defeat in Paris against delpo and start winning matches against top 10 players again, if not he will leave London with no winning matches. One and only thing for him to take care is his own serve.

  16. Sid,
    I tend to agree with our analysis about the second serve, but I have one conservation. The low percentage second serve is a result and not a cause. It’s a result of lacking confidence, especially on clutch moment. So, once confidence is back, his second serve percentage will rise. And the only way his confidant is back is by winning matches and regardless the way he win it, ugly or beauty. What he need now is some matches on his belt.
    Keep up your good analysis man 😉
    By the way any idea on good NBA blog site, like peRFect Tennis 🙂
    I prefer Bulls Blog 😉

  17. My first post here.. been following the blog for a couple of months.. Great work Jonathan. Let’s hope Roger will do well in Paris & London & carry on building form into 2014..
    BTW, with tsonga losing, Roger is virtually sure of London berth.

  18. No basketball interest in here man.
    You know what even I have lost interest in NBA although I am a big BB fan, turned to chess an now to tennis. NBA has lost its interest for me as all players have become like transformed monsters . Look at Lebron or Wade , so much power, stamina and muscles but not enough talent and finesse. May be just Kevin Durant is an exception that I can think of.
    I am afraid that us many suggested in here tennis is going to become so in the near future.
    Where is everybody today? Everybody waiting to hit a first comment?
    Who and when was the first to say FIRST? Really?
    Has Fed clinched London know that J Will s out?
    Is Anderchoke going to cause problems tonight with big serves ? Nuh don’t think so…

    Allez Roger!

    1. Fed is on the fringes I think, virtually qualified.

      Anderchoke is a dangerous player but a bad choker.

      And who is your favourite chess player? Carlsen? Or the guys of the past like Fischer?

      Jonathan

      1. Mikhail Tal and Bobby Fisher ,pure geniuses or the game : combinations sacrifices , exciting stuff.
        I think chess is more addictive than tennis. I remember being a chesshead , I even dreamed of entire games . I read a lot and played for hours . I don’t follow chess to much anymore. But virus is still somewhere in my head.
        Now I m addicted to tennis I must have played or trained something like 10 times the past two weeks.
        Tennis also highly addictive. A bit of a mind game too. Not so quiet though.
        Federer is also addictive same as PeRFect tennis.
        Enough said now ,

        ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ ROOOOOOGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. If you look at the matches before the del potro match it was very obvious what needed to change in Rogers game. Yes his serve is a problem but if he wasn’t constantly chipping nothing balls cross court to the same spot and instantly getting on the defensive it would put way less pressure on his serve. He was lucky to pull out wins against istomin and pospisil. They were killing him on those short returns. And he didn’t change against del po. I hate to say it but he is destined to lose by one break or in a tiebreak to players in the top 50 unless he gets smarter. He can l no longer afford to play by instinct and talent. He has to put more thought into his matches he has every shot in the book why can’t he see that he just has to be more strategic and plan for the win. Winning isn’t everything but hitting a great shot followed by a thoughtless miss is not enjoyable to watch, and it’s such a waste to see him out of a tournament we know he could win.

    1. I would not pretend to have any qualification to comment on tactics but it’s funny, during Pospisil match, I actually loudly and lonely complained about Roger tactics, repeating again and again the same returns not working great. Even though he was winning I felt that it was a quite dangerous proposition.
      I was just thinking as you said: “man, you can’t only rely on instinctive great shots… get some efficient parterns!’

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