Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Breaks Down Berdych to Move Into Australian Open Semi Finals

Roger Federer is into his 14th Australian Open Semi Final after fighting off a blistering start from Tomas Berdych to defeat the Czech 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Berdych, who'd looked in fine form so far in the tournament took a 3-0 lead and missed out on two set points in the opener at 5-3 and 6-5 , only for Roger to hit back and snatch the first set on a breaker before running away with the match to set up a tie against Hyeon Chung in Friday's Semi-Final.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Aus Open 2018 Final

Berdych kicked off proceedings with a hold to 30 and immediately snatched the initiative, breaking for a 2-0 lead thanks to some crisp hitting and Roger looking off the pace.

Berdych consolidated to love for 3-0 to take full control. In game five Roger began to slowly find his feet but a botched routine volley that would have given him a breakpoint allowed Berdych to keep his advantage and lead 4-1.

With the Czech's easy power dictating play from the baseline, it looked as though the first set was his as he moved into a 5-2 lead but he was unable to serve it out. Finally losing a lengthy dramatic service game that featured a successful challenge to prevent a double fault that would have been 0-30, a drop shot that clipped the net cord to save a break point, an unsuccessful challenge off a first serve from Federer that got the Swiss in an argument with Fergus Murphy as the big screen wasn't working and a set point saved. Honestly it had a bit of everything but Roger managed to channel some of the anger and frustration to break and then level at 5-5.

Berdych then shrugged off the loss of serve with a love hold for 6-5 and held his second set point after Roger double faulted at 30-30. The Swiss saved it and we went into a tie break.

Into the breaker and Roger got off to a great start, moving up a mini-break on the very first point with a passing  shot that just landed in. That was soon 3-0 and a further mini break plus two holds put Fed up 6-1 before he sealed it with a dreamy drop shot. An absolute steal of a first set 🙂

Dropping the opener was a huge kick in the balls to Berdych but he started set two with more crisp hitting that gave him his early success in the opening set, holding a break point in game three only to see Roger, who'd now firmly found his rhythm, reel off a majestic backhand down the line to save it. The pair then exchanged two holds each and in game eight Roger made his move, hitting another sweet backhand to set up 0-30 en route to breaking to 15. He then served out the set to 15 to take it 6-3.

At the sit down Berdych received an off-court medical timeout for what appeared to be a leg issue. Upon his return he held to 15 but in game three he dropped serve for 2-1. With Berdych now looking hampered Roger's work appeared virtually done but he could not consolidate as Berdych leveled at 2-2. Fortunately the Swiss hit back immediately, using the drop shot to great effect as he broke again aided by another slick backhand down the line. This time he consolidated to love for 4-2 and was able to coast over the line, serving out the match to love to take it 6-4.

Match Stats

T.BERDYCH R.FEDERER
Aces 4 15
Double faults 1 5
First serve % in 56 63
Win % in 1st serve 70% (37/53) 83% (50/60)
Win % in 2nd serve 5121/41 53% (9/36)
Break points won % 40% (2/5) 50% (4/8)
Winners 22 61
Unforced Errors 19 30
Net Points Won 46% (11/24) 74% (23/31)
Total points won 85 105
Average serve speed 205kmh 199kmh
Fastest serve 173kmh 173kmh
SABR 0 0

Highlights

Interview

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Berdych Aus Open 2018

I just tried to hang around, tried to play a bit more aggressive, get some rhythm going, because Tomas found that early. That's why I was under pressure. It was definitely very close, the turning point, and it ended up being for the entire match. I played a great breaker. Got off to a good start there. But coming back from 5-2 in the first set, it was clearly big tonight.

Boom! A mightily impressive win from Roger here who started slowly but used all his experience to claw his way back into things and win the opening set when he had no real business to do so. I said in my preview hopefully when he needs to step on the gas there's a response and although it wasn't instant he got going eventually and was like a freight train thereafter.

Yes he got a bit lucky and Berdych played a little too conservatively (or predictably) on his set point at 5-3 but Fed is such an underrated competitor. He showed a great deal of composure/ability to stick around even when he was a little hot under the collar due to the being behind in the score and Hawkeye not showing on the screen incident. But he got the break and steamrolled the tiebreak to win the first set which was the key to the match.

Once he had the lead he was able to really start flowing from the baseline and get Berdych moving around which is exactly what he wants to be doing. Some of the drop shots left Berdych reeling and when Roger is taking it early Tomas just has no real idea which direction the ball is going.

The third was fairly one-way traffic with Berdych clearly struggling with his movement but you have to say Fed had a hand in the injury by running him ragged in that second set; he was forced to cover some serious ground from left to right and chase down drop shot after drop shot which at a listed 92kg is not his game.

Predictions vs. Chung

Next up is Hyeon Chung who defeated Tennys Sandgren in straight sets to continue his dream run. Sandgren was up 5-3 in the second set so probably should have made more of a fist of things but unfortunately, his preparation for the match involved fighting off a media hit job and character assassination from a bunch of social media moral grandstanders which is a shame as I imagine it affected his overall performance.

As for Chung, I've seen very little of him but I did catch a bit of his match vs. Novak and he's got ridiculous defensive skills. He's almost like a bulkier version of Djokovic (his legs are like tree trunks) and is able to get great purchase on the ball at full stretch. His serve is an obvious weak point so I'm excited to see how this matchup plays out. Roger's serve is going to be under pressure too as Chung returns well and you'd imagine Fed is going to really go after Chung's second serve so I'm expecting a few breaks. Fed's obviously going to try to play ultra aggressive like he's done against Djokovic in the past and I make him the firm favourite. Chung's problem is that he will have never played anyone who plays like Federer, whereas Roger has seen the Korean's offering many times over. May the best man win. Allez!

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Federer vs. Berdych Australian Open 2018 Rating

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

BOOM

Weathered the storm in the first set, got a bit of a luck and took full advantage to run Berdych ragged in sets 2 and 3.

User Rating: 4.59 ( 15 votes)

Jonathan

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

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114 Comments

  1. Wowza. What on earth happened for the first 5 games? Yet really encouraging to see him able to bring it back – you have to think it should really have been 4 sets there. And obviously he was helped by Tomas not sustaining his initial level & belief, too.

    Hm…. From his presser:
    ” I’m not in the finals yet. You don’t want to think too far ahead, what if, what if, because I feel that’s exactly the moment when you stumble. That’s why I think I was actually very nervous going into this match tonight, and that’s why I struggled very early on. I knew the danger of Berdych. Seeing what has happened to so many other top seeds here in the draw, I was a bit wary going into tonight.”

    Really? Nerves? He’s saying it was nerves???

  2. Great write-up J, Yu hv said it all, and Fed confirmed what we knew, that he was nervous and aware of what chaos had gone on in the draw elsewhere. Tomas has to win that first set and he missed 1st serves and got passive. Typical Tomas. Fed gradually moving up the gears and I don’t see how Chung will cope with his variety altho he has absolutely nothing to lose. I think we might see Edmund in the final altho Cilic very much on song v Rafa.

    Allez Rog, get into that final and give yrself a chance at 20

    1. Yeah Berdych just a bit too one dimensional. When he’s on then his game can be almost unstoppable but not really a plan b.

      Cilic won their only meeting just looked now as I didn’t know they played, Shanghai quick court. I make him favourite but should be close.

  3. Damn. I’m too old for this shite! I had fended off a customer complaint yesterday which had helped calm nerves down, only to find on the way to work this foggy morning that Fed was 2-4 down in the first.
    (All this a few hours after a nightmare that I had where Fed was 6-7, 0-6 down and 5-2 up in the third.)
    Later, couldn’t find a working stream and was able only to catch the score progression.
    Well, all is quieter now, but I won’t live much longer if I don’t get a grip…
    There, send me the bill, Mr. Freud.

  4. I don’t think I could have survived watching the whole match live. Luckily (?) I had to leave for a meeting at two all in the second set. Later on I knew he had won but not the score so had a very pleasant watch of the whole match replay later on. Fed does like to torture his fans. One of the commentators decribed him as consistently inconsistent, which I suppose is consistent with always trying for the special shot. Only a magical ability and nerves of steel could have given him the first set after all that happened. I’m looking forward to the next match. What Chung will do should be interesting and maybe unpredictable, but then Fed can also be unpredictable.
    Now nadal, djok, delp etc. all gone, and who saw Kyle (Karl?) coming? Did anybody?

  5. Thanks Jonathan for the brilliant recap !

    During the first set, at 3-0 and 4-1, I thought : “Mamma Mia,  it won’t be a good day at the office for Fed. Why is he so nervous ?” But the way he finally  won the set was wahouu…

    I loved :
    – the dropshots falling like the water jets in the Versailles Gardens,
    – the huge forehands surgically crossing  over the net like Guillaume Tell’s arrows,
    – the way a re-composed Fed switched off Thomas  in the tie-break and the two last sets…

    Thomas looked like a heavy Berd having eaten too many moths as Fed was a flock of starlings flying in every corner of the sky-blue court…

    Happy he made it… Not a single set lost ! Wimbledon 2017 revisited ? Wahou again… 14th AO semi…

    2 more matches now.
    One first match against the lookalike of a French singer, Laurent Voulzy 🙂
    https://goo.gl/images/KPViB6
    and it shouldn’t be that easy…

    But let’s trust the Swiss Legend (ATP number one soon ? It would be crazy…)

  6. Great stuff.

    Hopeful, but need to let the chicken hatch when they’re ready. Not counting any of them.

    Cilic is way under the radar too much IMO. He’s seen a lot of qtr’s and sf’s in slams, he’s made 2 finals, and obviously is a GS champ – which he did while including a straights sets tarring of Fed. I still recall that loss as the worst I’ve ever seen Fed go through – and Fed was not injured or out of form. He just never had a chance.
    Cilic almost beat him in 3 sets at Wimby in 2016 too. Fed was not at his best there, but still. And were it not for Blistergeddon, I see no reason why Cilic could not have given Fed a lot of trouble last year in London. If Cilic & Fed get to the final, I expect a bloody war.

    So I’m glad to hear Fed talk of not thinking too far ahead. Cause this is far from in the bag.

    1. Yes that defeat of Fed was bad,however he had just had a tremendous five set battle against Mon fils who chose then to be amazing.On the other side of the draw Nishikori did all the hard work by getting rid of Djokovic.Hence Cilics single slam victory.
      I saw Cilic in Basle where he lost to Del Potro.I have also seen him at the 02.
      I do not feel that he is any sort of threat to a motivated Fed plus he is the King of chokers.

  7. An is me.Dont know why I an now.
    Great match by Fed.A great relief that he didn’t need five sets just a row with the umpire.Somethng or someone needed to light the touch paper.
    Now to Chung.
    Could he be baby Djokovic to Dimitrov being baby Fed?Yes he beat Zrerev who never does well in slams and an injured Djokvic.He is good from the baseline but Fed will attack that serve with everything he’s got.Fed was nervous in the first set because he is human after all,but once his serve came online that was it.That 20 is so close now.Hard to believe a twenty year old bespectacled young man with pimples,however talented,is going to stop him.

    1. 21 year old 🙂 – he turns 22 in May.

      I think he’ll be good for Fed’s level – hopefully providing the impetus for Roger to crank it up a notch. Almost like playing Novak, as someone said. Fed should find it “fun” as it’s a new opponent for him, and the youngsters always love to play Fed. It often brings out the best in them though, so agree that Fed really needs to be prepared to face somebody with the tenacity of Djokovic. If he goes walkabout for half a set like he did in this match, I think he’ll lose at least a set. But if he can get everything flowing? Should be some good tennis.

    2. Oh, a good disguise of pimples and spectacles and youth has never hindered a true talent 🙂 Well he may have crowd’s sympathy just because of this and then his obvious good humor, so…Fed is doing right in being well prepared for this man so well described by Jonathan – a bulgy Djoko, and plus nicer smiling! Hopefully a match with fun for them both and the crowd, and Maestro proceeding to the majestic final

  8. Excellent write-up as usual, Jonathan. Frustrating to watch at times as Fed himself was frustrated but what a turn-up towards the end of 1st set and the rest! He was focused and kept the intensity, I loved Fed the Smoulderer!
    “Fed is such an underrated competitor” – totally agree with you, J. Fed as fighterer is indeed one of his outstanding qualities. The 43th SFs, incredible really. Hope the master teaches his pupil lesson.

  9. The courtside interview by Jim Courier – what a great interview, one of the all time best of Fed! He is the goat interviewer, isn’t he?!

    1. Yes Wanda,that was a delightful interview.Courier is fun but asks pertinent questions too.As English
      is not Feds first language it is so nice that he can joke and yet give insights into his game and the things that matter to him in such an easy and pleasant way.A tremendous ambassador for his sport.

  10. I expected a much harder fight and I’m so pleased Fed proved me wrong. It’d have been a very different match had Berdych won the first set but indeed unfortunate for him that fed stole it. I’m always amazed at how nervous these top players can still be after playing and winning so much. Yet the next moment they would overcome it and produce a clutch ace or toughest shot dtl to save their life. This is what seperates them from the 2nd tier players I reckon. I feel very sorry for Tomas, he mentioned his draw in presser. Bad luck really. Could have gone further if not in the same quarter with Fed. I hope Fed will spoil the party again for those hoping for a new champion!

    1. Yes,Berdych is such a nice man and a great tennis player.Such bad luck for him to be drawn to meet Fed Three times in a row in the quarter finals at the AO.If he had been on the other side of the draw I
      am sure he would have gone further.But then he would not have taken out Delpo.Kudos to him for that.

    2. From his presser it sounded like Berdych was thinking too far ahead of the draw now it had opened up and a bit too much pressure on himself to take a golden opportunity. He had his hands full with Federer so thinking about a Bedmund or Bilic final was silly.

  11. Good match for Fed. Slow start to the first set. He played actually pretty solidly the end of the first and the rest of sets. 61 winners is good. We also saw his backhand working better than the start of the tournament.

  12. I read a little bit about the Sandgren twitter stuff. Didn’t see any of the tweets allegedly deleted. Jonathan do you know what he was tweeting about? Did you hear about the statement he read to the press? It was such a powerful statement and I say good on him. I mean unless he’s a pedophile, advocating for a genocide or something along those lines, what’s wrong if he’s a far right supporter? Would they go after a far left supporter like that? He’s a tennis players and his political view has nothing to do with it. Shame that he had to deal with those media crap when he was preparing for his first quarter final.

    1. Of course you would think it was character assassination. People who have no character are paranoid. Sandgren is a lowlife, along with Ryan Harrison, who think the people who protest the anthem do so BC they hate america and hate the troops. They got into a twitter battle with James Blake over race! He posts and likes and supports racists. He posted a picture of Serena, who I know you and some others here despise, with his own comment “disgusting.” Then claims he won’t censor himself to make himself likeable and proceeds to censor himself by deleting his noxious tweets. He’s a homeschooled bigot from the south. A media hit-job? He did all the damage to himself by being a repugnant ahole.

      1. He tweeted a link to an article describing when Serena hurled expletives towards a player. That’s what “disgusting” was referring to.

    2. @April he had a tweet from 2012 saying he went into a gay bar and his eyes were bleeding. And the trannies were calling him. It’s all very trivial stuff that people love to get offended at. He’d liked a few tweets by Mike Cernovich and some others relating to Pizzagate. That’s about it I think, I’m sure someone has gone through his entire timeline with a fine tooth comb.

      Are some of them distasteful? Probably, but there are millions of people who talk this way. Are they all backwards alt right nut jobs? Nope. We don’t have any ideas what his beliefs are.

      It’s just a cheap win for people like Alan above who spends his days tweeting that trump is a Fat, Orange, Nazi whilst screaming at the sky he’s not my president.

      And is someone who also spins stuff to suit his own agenda. The picture of Serena captioned ‘disgusting’ was in relation to what she said on court to Roberta Vinci along with an article about it. He also tweeted that he doesn’t like Serena and was over the moon Sloane Stephens beat her. So not sure how that one falls under racism, I guess someone will say he’s so out of touch that he didn’t realise Sloane was black too. Of course, Serena has jumped on it too and tweeted about him to send her fans into a frenzy and whip up some more mob mentality. There’s a strong argument that this kind of behaviour to demonise a guy and treat him as some sort of outcast without any sort of evidence does far more damage and further divides people than a few likes and retweets.

      1. Serena always pulls that “I’m a victim” garbage. Done it time and time again with the likes of Sharapova too, which of course the media laps up. The sooner the Williams sisters are out of the game, the better, for both genders.

      2. [I guess someone will say he’s so out of touch that he didn’t realise Sloane was black too.]

        Hahahahahahah! Good one.

        Serena Williams is a Crips gang thug.

      3. Hi guys, long time no post from me, believe me I have been following tennis, just not really had time to do much other than check scores. I was also reading about the Sandgren thing. As a left-winger I disagree with the comments he made, but don’t see why that has anything to do with his tennis. The way I see it, is that a person’s political views are nothing to do with their tennis. If he was acting like an arsehole on the court, fine, legitimate to ask questions about that (e.g. Kyrgios incident with Wawrinka). But alas although I lean left I really struggle with this whole identity politics nonsense, and this idea of being ‘offended’ by just about anything. The issue is that now we don’t identify actual racists because the word ‘racist’ is so overused, same goes for ‘sexist’, ‘communist’ or any of the other political buzzwords you hear.

        As for the AO itself, I’ve been pleased with Roger, and think he’s a strong favourite against Chung, and to a lesser extent against Cilic (you never do know with him), and a good chance to put the GS total even further out of reach of Rafa, not to mention reaching the round figure of 20 slams. Anyway, best not count our chickens before they hatch, still two more matches to play.

  13. Great comeback from Roger after a slow and nervous start to his match against Berdych. It’s true even the GOAT gets nervous. Looking forward to his match against the “Professor” Hyeon Chung. Whilst I agree with you Jonathan that Fed is the firm favourite going into his 14th Semifinal in Melbourne, I have to say I have been very impressed with this guy. Roger needs to increase his first service percentage and not have a dip in concentration if he is to appear in his 30th Grand Slam Final. I think he will get there, but a set or two could be dropped in the process. Cilic vs Federer my pick for the final. Though it would be great to see the young Kyle do well.

  14. Many thanks for the recap Jonathan and for the after-match interview. I enjoyed so much the way Roger bounced back in the first set, such a champ! and then his leg movement was very smooth and agile, on the other hand Berdy was getting heavier every time. Chung is an unpredictable opponent and it won’t be easy.
    Roger is really enjoying the tournament and looks like in his physical best so I hope for the ultimate goal!

  15. Anything can happen in a tennis match but I agree with Jon’s assessment. Federer has played Djokovic close to 50 times. Chung hasn’t played someone like Federer. My only worry, if anything, is that Chung is game ready and Roger hasn’t had to push himself that much. This is going to be one interesting matchup. Anyone who has been missing Fed vs Djokovic, this is the closest you can get to a simulation.

    Djokovic fans, rejoice. You now have someone to be a fan for 10-12 more years.

    1. I have read that Chung wasn’t quite as sharp in his last match as he was against Djokovic .He could be tiring.Fed on the other hand seems to be peaking at just the right time.
      I think that a counter puncher like Chung is far more of a threat to Nadal and Djokovic than Fed.

      1. That’s another way of looking at it. He has never had to expend so much energy so that might be a factor.

        Rooting for Cilic right now. If not Roger, I’d rather Cilic win it all. Felt bad he was crying at Wimbledon.

    2. Well Gasquet offered a test, Berdych too. He’s not exactly had gruelling encounters but there’s been moments he has needed to show some resolve.

      I watched Berdych highlights again and I still don’t think he’s hitting the ball that well or as clean as he can but we shall see.

      1. Correct. The fierceness is missing too, the one he showed against Nishikori, Stan, and then Nadal last year. Chung will wake him up. Or Chung might fizz out with all the running he has done.

        Not sure if you guys noticed, Chung has a super compact forehand swing. Almost like he is playing ping pong. Backhand has not as compact but still quite compact. Also, can anyone comment on which forehand grip he uses? I think it is semi-western.

  16. Once Nadal went out, I became much more relaxed, knowing that the GS count gap won’t get smaller (for the time being). I wasn’t too worried about the bad start – it was still early in the match; Roger would have plenty of time to pick his game up. And he did! I am just so impressed by how determined Roger was to not lose the first set. Apart from the first few games of the first set, the whole match was really an enjoyable one. Those running cross-court FHs and dropshots were simply murderous.

    I do feel a bit sorry for Berdych though. He has worked so hard over the years, but always came up short against the big 4. Here’s hoping that he would win a slam before his career ends.

    1. Berdych has grown on me a bit but he’s a bit too one dimensional at this level to win a slam. He’s gone up in the estimations of most Fed fans because he hasn’t beaten Fed since 2013, lets be honest.

      Plenty of them mysteriously started liking Nadal last year when he’d lost a few in a row 😆

      1. Let’s be honest…we hate anyone that is a threat to Roger. Like a mother elephant protecting the calf from the circling lions. I remember the hate I felt after Wimby 2010. Berdych seemed to act so so smug and conceited with his win. Now he loses and is an ok guy. Must be mother nature at work here!
        I don’t think Chung will fold like a cheap tent.
        Enjoyed the Halep – Kerber match. After all she’s fought for this tournament, routing for Halep for the win.

  17. I normally am not too worried about Berdych but when I saw how he took out Delpo it was very impressive. I think Berdych is a good guy and it is too bad he’s paired on the same side as Fed so often…especially in that terrible Wimbledon when I think he was the one who stopped Fed’s GS Semi streak.
    I thought Fed played magnificently. And at 36.5!! Thank our lucky stars we pinned our fandom on a Smouldering Hot Federer who continues to prove all the naysayers wrong.
    Oh, and btw,
    this is a very good article and summation of the Tennys topic: https://theundefeated.com/features/tennys-sandgren-needs-to-own-what-hes-all-about/

    1. Yeah interesting breakdown.

      The key line is this: “Sandgren hasn’t proven to be anything but an emerging tennis player who has some interesting and unique interactions.”

      Which is exactly true. But of course he has been labelled a racist, homophobe, white nationalist, you name it. All done in the name of virtue signalling.

      1. Those idiots should leave him alone. Leave him alone and let him be what he wants to be. As long as there are actions that hurt others, he should not be crucified. You don’t force religion on someone. Not do you force someone to not believe in something.

        He loves it when Serena Williams loses. So? I enjoy that too. Not because I am racist. He didn’t like what he saw at a gay bar and told the world about it. So what? Is he infringing their rights to be gay or anything else?

        I mean, Jesus Christ, folks. Grow the fuck up!

      2. Exactly, what a shame tennis players are not allowed to have certain opinions. While Murray can be hailed as a hero for suggesting to boycott Margaret Court Arena, Court herself was abused, humiliated and sacked by clubs and a school she had long served. Now it’s Sandgren. Freedom of speech is quickly disappearing

    2. Thanks for sharing the article Donna. Wow such moral high ground the journalist is standing. No shame at all. What does Sandgren’s views have to do with his tennis? He may be young and inexperienced and doesn’t want any more drama, hence the removal of his tweets. That’s another crime according to the media. Incredible. Sandgren is right, they use their pen and paper to take you down, until the day you surrender

    3. About Sandgren 26 years old is no more a boy and should stand for his views. But it’s of course up to him. Private thing. Well, maybe not strictly private, when you make your views public. But still not interesting for tennis (or Tennys’) fans.
      More interesting would be to find the answer, how the hell someone like him, playing tennis on university level, without much success in Challengers, not an rocker-start youngster like Shapo or earlier Gyrgios or Zverev, can all of a sudden reach a slam QF (I mean, if not doped)
      I have seen his match against Thiem. Very intense 5-setter (while Sandgren did not play any 5-setter earlier) , with Thiem playing maybe his match of life on hard court and Sandgren running a lot and not showing signs of fatigue after the match.
      Remember 2013 Stahkovsky exiting Fed and Darcis Nadal resp. in round 2. and 1.? Darcis withdrew after beating Rafa and Stakhovsky lost easily in the next match to someone weaker than Fed 😉 Both disappeared then from tennis for about half a year. Silent ban? Sandgren not another candidate? Let him these 400.000 USD or whatever the currency, which is 10x the money he could collect until 26 years old and let him play the rest of his life in challengers. The “political” issues would be solved automatically. Who cares about views of challenger heroes?

      1. > More interesting would be to find the answer, how the hell someone like him, playing tennis on university level, without much success in Challengers, not an rocker-start youngster like Shapo or earlier Gyrgios or Zverev, can all of a sudden reach a slam QF (I mean, if not doped)

        How many matches do you think Andy Roddick won at Futures Level? Cheers mate.

      2. The easier explanation is that Thiem is close to worthless on hard courts compared to how you seem to judge him🤣

        Same with all the conspiracy theorists. Prove stuff or at least have reasonable circumstantial evidence for anyone to take your accusation seriously. It’s Dominic Thiem. With all due respect, it’s possible for a good player to beat him.

  18. A good match by Roger, shows he is determine to win in 3 even though crappy start in 1st set. He improved his stats however he needs to up his 1st serve % if he wants to take it to Chung. Hope Roger will summon all his experiences dealing with a clone Djoker. Cmon Rogaa….

    1. Haha good one, when all the talk was about the outfits being like a L Allsort sweet, I was
      waiting for someone to say about Dimitrov ‘good enough to eat’….can’t believe I really said that!
      Now about the good stuff, glad that Fed decided to come to the party and how he’s so good
      when he puts his mind to it, so C’mon Roger you can do it x

    1. Oh, yes, it was. I left home later trying to see the end live, but ended up having to see the score in the dumbphone.
      I always like to watch two players giving all what they have and what they borrow from the devil, both refusing to give up. Respect to these fighters.

  19. I’ve watched some of Chung’s SF match against Ferrer at the Auckland tournament, which he lost and some highlights at this AO. The overall impression I’ve got is that the young Chung can run and is good at responding with out-of-position cross-court returns both wings. His average areas are that his service returns are not threatening, generally does not volley unless being sucked to the net and very average serves. So a key to Roger will be to handle his serves and keep UE to a reasonable level; Roger will have plenty of chances to look at Chung’s serves and make him run not just from the left to right but also from the baseline to the fore court 🙂 . Five down two to go!
    Allez Rog!

    1. Interesting recap on Chung.I really don’t think he is a threat unless Fed picks up an injury which
      please God he won’t.People compare him to Djokovic but of course he isn’t Djokovic.The real one is
      rather inside Feds head I feel after all those heartbreaking defeats in slam finals.

      1. Agreed, Annie. I don’t see him beating Roger, no way. If Roger wonders about, Chung might be able to pick up a set, that is all. Chung appears to enjoy moving from the left/right to the right/left at the baseline just like Novack and Andy but turning that into a point-wining weapon is a different story, let alone beating Roger; I don’t think he is that good, at least not yet now.

  20. I remember the match between Berdych & Fed at AO 2009. Berdych was leading 2 sets to love and with breakpoint in the third ( 15-40 i think ) and Fed pulled off a massive come from behind victory.

    That was the closest Berdych ever came to beating Fed at AO and he was so crestfallen at this AO post-match interview. Even if he had won the first set, he just doesn’t have the belief to beat Fed at AO at least.

    Chung up next to be hung up next !!

    1. [Will the roof be drawn ? If so : advantage for RF ?]

      Chung won that Nextgen crap indoors, right? It can work both ways.

  21. Hey Sue, are you going to San Francisco to watch another Match for Africa in March? Anyone?

    “When I watched Federer match at USO, my heart was in my throat!” – hahaha, Savannah Guthrie is one of us, though one of the super luckiest.

    http://on.today.com/2E9rYmz 

  22. @Gang,
    Just been reading about Chung pre Australian Open.I know he won the New Gen or whatever it was called,but he has done nothing else of note.To get where he is now he has beaten two injured players ,others not highly ranked
    And Sacha Zrevev,who so far has flattered to deceive.To think he,playing his first grand slam final,will beat Federer
    playing his umpteenth Grand Slam final,is well,optimistic.Particularly if Fed is healthy(seems to be) and in Form(getting there).No doubt he will do great things in the future,hopefully on clay😎but I don’t think those things will begin tomorrow.Interesting note,BAgut,completely thrashed him somewhere recently,sorry I can’t remember where.Got to go now Burns Night.

    1. I think you are talking about the trashing Agut gave him in 2016. But Chung won in Shanghai in 2017 and that’s about the time his game started getting noticed. He is not that same player who was trashed. Judging by his game against Tennys, it looks like Federer should get the job done today.

      Too many differences. Federer has the third highest serve rating in the last 52 weeks behind Isner and Karlovic, I read somewhere (ATPWorldTour I think). Federer has way too much variety than anyone he has played. No way he is going to get involved on those long baseline rallies. Chung’s serve isn’t exactly a weapon. Federer’s backhand has stood the test of time against players like Djokovic. If Chung were to win, it would be a case of Federer blew it, otherwise he will be chugging along just fine.

      1. Yes,you are right,he beat Agut in Shanghai and was then himself beaten by Gasquet,I think.Well not long now and we shall see how it unfolds.

  23. First set could be close. Roger in 4 sets, hoping for straight sets to keep the steak alive and a repeat of Wimby 2017.

  24. Go Roger…. finish line is in sight…. come on Roger….2 more matches to go…. please don’t let this be USO 2014.
    I hope that I can get some work done while I am beeing nervous watching live scores…
    Believing in you Roger….20 here we come 🙂

  25. The wall is the wall. Chung will catch and bring back most of the balls played long (or he is just far away on the other side of the court). Chung is a lot weaker in moving forwards and backwards and at the net. So it’s not crucial for Fed to be early at the net, but to make Chung run forwards and backwards, playing deliberately short balls. If at the net himself, must play mostly dropshots or very sharp angles close over the net. Fed’s aggressive backhands and forehands may not work as usual (against old rivals, who cannot run all the time left and right, while Chung can. Cannot expect high n umber of aces or serve winners, Chung can defend them and be on time back in good position at the baseline. Serve to the body rather than wide or to the T, to avoid Chungs returns, going long or after wide serve going crosscourt at very sharp angles – this would require Fed to run too much along the baseline.
    Sandgren played very fast and aggressive, which worked against everyone but not at all against Chung.
    I have watched Chung vs. Rublev in Milan. Rublev plays very aggressive and fast shots but from the baseline – Chung still had enough time to catch them and bring back with control so long until Rublev missed some of his fast shots.
    If you play against the wall as a training, you hit hard (would mean long on a real court), so the ball can come back to your baseline, but in such an exercise you want to stay on the baseline and hit so long as possible – this is not the goal in a match 😉

  26. Oh, this is quick, did not expect the young mover of the tournament to go off the court in this way but the result is never in doubt.

      1. I’ve watched all the Cilic vs Edmund highlights in Youtube. Indeed, Cilic played well, especially his movement in the first two sets. But in the 3rd set, he visibly slowed down, scuppering lots of balls. If Roger takes the 1st set, it could be straight or 3:1 at the worst. If final goes into 5 sets, I don’t see Cilic winning it; Roger will be the fitter one of the two 🙂 .

  27. While we’re at the end of one post: I was wondering if anyone else was having the same problem I’m having with the browser search option? I usually search for new posts by the date, so Ctrl+F and put “January 26” into the search box. For a while, with Internet Explorer 11 (I can’t fit anything else on this Windows 8.1 computer), I haven’t been able to get more than one result, usually (but not always) the one right at the top with the marquee “Trending” headlines, regardless of how many entries for that day there actually are. Is it just me, or does anyone else suffer from the same thing?

    1. That is a weird way to find a post 😆

      I don’t think that method would have ever worked? The trending marquee shows the days date. Not when something was posted. The others display when they were posted 1 day ago, 23 hours ago, 3 weeks ago etc. so there’s no reference to the actual date.

      Easiest way is just use the recent tab in the sidebar? Or on the homepage the left image in the grid is always the newest. Or Recent comments in the sidebar.

  28. Perhaps too much overhype as usual,people asking him how he will cope being a superstar for goodness sake.I may be wrong but I don’t think he has got beyond the second round of any tournament until now(not counting the next Gen thing)An incredibly lucky run and definitely great composure on court.But one does feel sorry for all those spectators who paid a lot of money to see such a damp squib.

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