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Nishikori def. Federer

Federer Crashes to Nishikori in Madrid

Wow well what a joke of a performance that was. First of all let me say I'm not shocked by this defeat just majorly disappointed; I had Roger to win in straights without too much of a problem but he ended going out in 3 with another total whimper of a performance in the final set.

Since Australia Fed has stunk up the joint at every tournament he's played in, let me just remind you of some of those losses: Rotterdam – Benneteau def. Federer, Dubai – Berdych def. Federer, Indian Wells – Nadal def. Federer. That means Roger has lost to 5 different players in 5 consecutive tournaments this year, not often you can say that.

I can excuse Indian Wells because he was injured, but today's loss and the other 2 defeats all have one thing in common: complete lack of fight and will to win when it matters. Since Australia it's just been a downward spiral. Let's look at today's match:

Match Analysis

Federer Nishikori Analysis

The match actually started well for Roger with some really swift service holds but at 2-2 Nishikori got a sniff of a break point and took advantage at the first time of asking. From there on it was a completely uneventful first set, no more break points for either man and Nishikori sealed it easily 6-4.

To be honest it was a very weird first set, Roger served at 70% first serves and still lost it, it's not often you see something like as usually when he makes a high percentage the set will be his.

The second set was completely different as Roger really cranked his game up a notch and started to use all the tools he has at his disposal. After wasting break points in Nishikori's first service game he broke in the next to lead 3-1. Nishikori took him to deuce in his next service game but he held and the double break soon followed as he went onto serve the set out 6-1.

It was a really nice set to watch, lots of change ups and some precision drop shots that completely caught Nishikori off guard, momentum had completely swung in Roger's favour so I figured the match would be his after getting off to a bad start.

The third set looked to be going the way I predicted with a quick hold to level at 1-1 and an immediate inroad at 0-30 on the Nishikori serve but from that point onwards everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. He missed 3 simple return of serves, allowed Nishikori to hold and then made 4 errors in 1 service game to get broken.

Nishkori held his next service games to move into a 5-2 lead and the worst thing about it is that Roger didn't even make him serve it out dropping his serve tamely to hand Nishkori the match πŸ™

The match itself is pretty difficult to analyse, I think if you got a room full of 100 tennis fans, showed them the match stats (minus break points) but not the final score or who was playing and asked them to pick a winner then the overwhelmingly majority would have picked Federer as the winner.

Unfortunately overall match stats don't paint the picture of him clowning up at key moments and dropping serve like it didn't matter in the slightest. Federer completely turned it on in the second set, looked pretty awesome and then looked like he was resigned to defeat in the final set. It's been a recurring theme lately and one I'm not too happy about.

But at the same time fair play to Nishikori, he played solidly enough and was probably surprised at how little he had to actually to do for the biggest win his career.

Nishikori 6-4 1-6 6-2 Federer
1 Aces 7
0 Double Faults 0
69 1st Serve in % 65
69 1st Serve Points Won % 74
48 2nd Serve Points Won % 65
17 Winners 30
30 Unforced Errors 31
4/9 Net Points Won 7/7
3/4 Break Points Won 2/7

Interesting match stats. 7 out of 7 at the net is impressive actually, should have come in more often, can Federer use Henman like tactics to win the French Open? I'm ahead of the curve πŸ˜‰

Match Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Leaves Caja Magica

I'm not sure where to begin with this one, in terms of the level it wasn't the worst match I've seeen Roger play, not by a long shot but it was just the manner of the defeat that annoyed me – a complete lack of fight in the final set and almost no will win to win. I've coined this one holidaymakerer.

To not even make Nishikori serve for it, who would clearly have been nervous is absolutely criminal. Handing the match to him on as silver platter basically.

He's had 8 weeks off, plenty of practice, sounds positive in his press conference pre tournament, says he will be difficult to beat and then puts in a shift like that? Strange to say the least.

I for one take no pleasure in watching Roger just turn up and go through the motions. As a fan it's not something I'm willing to put up with watching, it's still early after his 8 week hiatus but if this is a sign of things to come then being a Fed fan isn't going to all that enjoyable. Nobody can possibly enjoy watching him hand matches to mid tier players and looking like he doesn't give a shit.

I know a lot of fans will think I'm being too harsh but today was really was bad, just no two ways about it. We can say oh it will be fine, he's been out for 8 weeks, I get all that, but it was a match he should have put to bed easily, no excuses.

It wasn't even like Nishikori had to play well to win, he could have played the game at 5-2 with a stick of rhubarb rather than a racquet and still won; that folks isn't too impressive from the GOAT and you can't just put it down to rust.

What bugs me most is that Roger is so nonchalant, yes I agree that can help to get over defeats and move on quickly, but during a match it doesn't look all that great. Aggression and desire were key elements of Roger 3.0, not strolling around the court half heartedly, hoping his tennis bag packs itself and finding the nearest exit.

Fed Nonchalance
If he'd won I'd have found this funny!

Statistically this was his worst ever performance in Madrid. And thanks to Alysha who pointed out the Madrid winner has gone onto win Wimbledon since 2009, an interesting stat. Will be it be the same this year?

After todays loss Federer is now No.3 in the rankings, 900+ points behind Murray and about 5,000 points behind Djokovic. He is also at risk of dropping out of the top 10 for the race to London, which basically means that 10 or more players have had a better 2013 than he has so far. He has some work to do to qualify now that's for sure. Another unfortunate stat is that Fed and Berdscat are the only guys in the top 10 to have not won a title so far this year.

The one positive is that the best part of his tennis season starts on grass in Halle and ends with the World Tour Finals so there's still some stuff to look forward to!

Press Conference Transcript

Press Conference Transcript

K. NISHIKORI/R. Federer

6‑4, 1‑6, 6‑2

An interview with:

ROGER FEDERER

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed at the outset today you were just a little off with your shots. Is that a fair reflection? Just missing a little bit today?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit is I think the right word. I was lacking control from the baseline, and that pretty much carried through from start to finish.
It was a bit better in the second set, and then in the third set was better than in the first set.
But it was tricky conditions. It was breezy, and the sun obviously with the shade and all that stuff.
But overall, I mean, I'm pretty disappointed with my play. I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing.
It don't change my mindset to go forward. I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kind of days anymore.

Q. I presume some people will make more of the fact now that you had an extended break. Perhaps if you had played more you might not have played like that. What would you make of that argument?

ROGER FEDERER: Who knows? Could have lost the same round last year. (Smiling.) I was very close as well. Sometimes you win them; sometimes you lose them.
Obviously I rarely lose matches having no chances, and I had chances in the beginning of the third but just struggled overall, you know.
So just at least I'll come out with some ideas of what I need to work on. Clearly the ball flies here and it's faster, so that makes it sometimes more tricky to find your rhythm.
We're so accustomed to always finding that rhythm eventually, so it's even more disappointing if you never really find it, which was the case today.
Credit to Kei. He got it done and was more solid in the wind. He played better than I did, so the better guy won today, that's for sure.

Q. Roger, he said that in the second set he got a little bit worried because he thought you played more aggressively. Then in the beginning of the third set he thought you were very aggressive also. But then as the match went on you seemed a little bit more defensive. Do you think it was because of his game or yours?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, probably more mine, you know. Obviously when you're down you're trying to get the ball in first of all before you're going to go for it instead of just handing it over.
So there is always a fine line between how aggressive you want to play and how safe you want to play. That's the bit I think I struggled with the most today.

Q. How about the debate about Madrid and its place in the calendar at this stage. Obviously it's nothing like playing in Paris. If you're going to prepare well for Paris, is this one of those tournaments you think maybe I should or shouldn't? Because the conditions are so different from Rome or Paris that you would consider whether it's actually worth playing here?

ROGER FEDERER: Paris is not the only tournament on the calendar.

Q. In terms of clay court preparation for the slam.

ROGER FEDERER: We're not playing for the French Open. This is early. It's nice to have the French Open as a tournament on the calendar, but not everything is sacrificed for that.

weeks away from the French Open, so for me, people who talk about this being a leadup tournament and all these things. Yeah, for that particular player or for the media or the fan, the French Open is the ultimate thing and the only thing they care about. Then clearly Madrid is the leadup tournament.
That's not how I see it. For me, every tournament counts. So I'm as disappointed losing here as the French Open. There is no difference really. For that reason, we already switched Madrid and Rome around, so I think it works well this way.
What else you want me to say? I think that's it. (Smiling.)

Q. Would you like to have another rest or better to get on to the next tournament?

FEDERER: Another rest of seven weeks? Why not? I feel like I want to go to the practice courts this afternoon, but clearly I'm not going to do that. I'm going to make sure I'm going to be as well prepared as I can be for Rome.
I'll sit together tonight or tomorrow with the team and discuss what the plan is for the next few days and weeks now. So I'm excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts. And I like to do that, and I'll do that well and hard if that's the route I choose.

Q. In past tournaments you feel a little bit of pain in your back. It all right, the pain in your back?

ROGER FEDERER: No, no pain today.

Q. And during this week?

FEDERER: No pain this week. (Smiling.)

Q. So you're pain‑free?
ROGER FEDERER: Pain‑free. Yeah, it's nice. Not like Indian Wells.

Q. Here in Madrid, you have titles in hard court and now in clay. You have three titles. It was enough or a concession to Rafa, or Nishikori is really an upcoming player?

ROGER FEDERER: What's the question?

Q. That if you needed a little rest or it's Nishikori.
ROGER FEDERER: Why I lost today?

Q. Yes. I tried to ‑‑ yes. You lost today, so then your perspective is that Nishikori played great or it's good to have a little rest or you have many titles in Madrid?

ROGER FEDERER: I'll try. I thought Kei played okay; I struggled.
I've been playing well here in Madrid in the past, yes. Blue clay, red clay, indoors, doesn't matter. I've been very successful here, so clearly I'm disappointed and wish I could have done better this week.

I was pretty upbeat after my first‑round match. I thought I was in the tournament; I was playing pretty well. In practice I was hitting the ball well, so this comes as a bit of a disappointment for me, my performance and my match today.
Like I mentioned, I thought Kei did very well under the circumstances. I wish him all the best. Clearly the favorite for the this tournament is Nadal. That really doesn't change if I'm in the tournament or not.
Regardless if I'm in the tournament or not, I think it's going to be an interesting end to the tournament.

Q. Madrid is gonna miss you.
ROGER FEDERER: What did you say?

Q. We are going to miss you here.

FEDERER: Thank you. Thank you.

Q. Do you have the impressions that the young generations are pushing harder this year than they used to do, like Dimitrov and now Nishikori?

FEDERER: I mean, new players? We know them, but clearly I think the extra year on tour last year helped them. I think they all started pretty well. Has Kei won a tournament already this year. I think he might have.
Dimitrov played the finals at the beginning of the year. Raonic has shown that he can do many things as well. Then there are other guys similar age who are doing better.

But that was to be expected, to be honest, you know, that they were going to have a bit of a breakthrough this year. That's nice to see. But we're still missing the generation of teenagers. We'll see what happens there.
Regardless, I think it's exciting and good for the game that not‑so‑well‑known and younger guys are beating the top guys.
It's good to see. It means they believe in it. I hope we'll see more of it in the future.

Q. Roger, congratulations for your career. After that, maybe is your last Madrid and your last year playing tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: No. (Smiling.) I think I'll see you next year here. That's my feeling. That's not at all my plan. My plan is already past Madrid next year, so, no. I'll see you here.

Somehow Roger has managed to put a positive spin on this one, I'm not completely sold but I do like this quote:

I feel like I want to go to the practice courts this afternoon, but clearly I'm not going to do that. I'm going to make sure I'm going to be as well prepared as I can be for Rome.

I'll sit together tonight or tomorrow with the team and discuss what the plan is for the next few days and weeks now. So I'm excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts. And I like to do that, and I'll do that well and hard if that's the route I choose.

Honestly, who knows what the hell happened today, there are too many variables and I can't really make sense of it at the minute. All I know is that it's annoying to see him lose matches like this which are clearly dictated by his own terrible play. He said himself Kei didn't have to play well and that's pretty frustrating.

I have managed to dig deep and find two positives from Madrid though; he avoids Turkey status with Nadal in the H2H and the match was still on his racquet just poor play let him down. Not the end of the world just yet but if the same thing happens in Rome then it will be a big concern.

What do you think the reasons for this defeat are? Let me know in the comments, I've compiled a shortlist:

  • Roger 3.0 is done
  • He's not got any motivation
  • It was a sub-conscious tank to avoid turkey status (20-10) H2H with Nadal
  • It was a bad bad day at the office
  • Age is finally catching up with him
  • He's rusty after the break
  • He's still feeling the after effects of 2012
  • He's giving the clay season the middle finger and waiting for grass / hard courts
  • Other – let me know in the comments

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

About Jonathan

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

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95 comments

  1. One person happy, thats Batman!! πŸ™

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Why are you even preoccupied with thoughts of that idiot? Does he mean anything to you or us at all? Besides, Nishikori is not a bad guy at all. He is very courteous. So, we’ve got to feel happy for him too.

    • Yeah Kei’s biggest win probably. Other than beating Djoker in Basel.

      He kind of earned it, but didn’t earn it at the same time, hardly had to do a whole lot. But he’s talented, just got no weapons so he can’t win a slam.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I think he just showed up. And as you explained, the statistics do indicate Roger should’ve won it easily. Except, this game we love is based on who wins a few premium points. Roger happened to choke on those. I guess it just happened too fast.

  2. Well… That was something completely different than I expected too. And I am sure than he expected, hoped for as well… First gut feeling:

    – lack of match rhythm
    – a couple of games that cost him and somehow he couldn’t come back after that
    – very badly timed day at the office
    – Kei playing very well (although agreed not out of his mind tennis; I have seen him better)

    I’m not worried (yet) but alert, so to speak. He’s going to sit down with his team again he says and also stated he knows a couple of things he needs to work on (i.e. that went wrong in this match) so I think he has a pretty good idea himself now what he needs (and I hope I’m right about that!)…

    Absolutely do not agree he doesn’t have the will to win (as you know ;)…) I think he does. If there was anything mental going on today, I think it was that he was too annoyed and too down about things that didn’t work and couldn’t turn it around… And that does require some ‘soul-searching’ too definitely, but I do not think at all he’s not in it for the wins anymore… The lacklustre body language is, imo, more a sign of him being down cause he can’t control what’s happening at that very moment right now…

    • Hey Natasja,

      Yeah at the very least this gives him an idea of what he needs to improve. But a few more matches would have been more beneficial than more practice time.

      You make a good point about not being able to control whats happening and that’s reflected in his body language though. Interested to see if he can turn it around.

      Jonathan

      • Yeah I was wondering why he stressed the back to the practice courts more during the presser… He could pick up 1 tourney between Rome and RG. Wouldn’t be surprised if he did. But on the other hand, wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. Will have to trust him and the team to come up with the right answer. Time will tell.

      • Yeah he has a pretty full schedule now till the en of the year. Perhaps trying to play a tournament would be a bit reactionary.

  3. Aaaaaahh! What was that? I managed to catch the first three games of the match at the airport before getting on the plane and I boarded happily thinking to myself that he was never losing that match. He threw in two classic fed minute service games, seemed to be hitting the ball cleanly and generally looked like he was on top of things so I left him to it confident of a straight sets routinerer win. It took me a while to process what I was seeing when I checked the score later! Having not watched the match I can’t really comment much but I’m really surprised and disappointed to hear that there was no fight in the third set. His friggin twins were there for gods sake! I’m gona put it down to lack of match practice (at least till I’ve seen the highlights) but as fans we are quickly running out of excuses. I really think its imperative for him to have a good run at the French open. He can’t afford to lose to someone outside the top 7 anymore, definitely not in a slam. Stop farting around losing to people ranked in the teens! The only plus I would add is that I don’t hate nishikori so the loss is slightly more palatable. Slightly!

    • Yeah poor performance. Kei is talented but he’s not a heavyweight so shouldn’t be beating Fed here, especially after getting breadsticked in the 2nd set.

      Least Kei is a decent guy though, tactical tank to avoid turkey status πŸ˜€

      • Turkey status doesn’t matter. It was going to be another meeting on friggin clay and you know how biased the H2H is.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        The more I think about it, the more I agree with the “tactical tanking” scenario. He would rather give the win to a decent human being, someone who is exactly the opposite of what Rafael Nadal is.

  4. I noticed something odd. Whenever Nishikori struck the ball early (even unintentionally), Roger kinda froze just a little and just lost it. This isn’t something I’ve seen before. He usually engages in those situations in a positive way. The second first and third sets felt like a out-of-body experience for Roger. Very weird. I find it far fetched that court practice will solve it. Rather, there is something bugging him and he needs to sort that out, preferably before Rome but Roland Garros will do too. I really believed he would go deep into this one a be a real contender for Roland Garros this time.

  5. Lack of match practice. Do not subscribe to just practice. Particularly at his age. He is not sharp, his movement us still sluggish, and his intensity us poor.. Muscle memory looked poor. He simply did not read Nishi’s shot direction or spin well in the 3rd set. Everyone else seems battle hardened and very match tigh at the moment.. He therefore cannot control things on court as he did last yr when match winning became such a habit for him. I still give him more of a chance over 5 sets but without match intensity which he has lacked thus year, over 3 quick sets he is vulnerable!

  6. I for one think that Roger ,instead of making us watch such matches might as well miss the clay court season altogether and start preparing earlier for Wimby..

  7. Like I said eariier Jonathan either Roger should commit fully to the clay court season and play one more tournie or I think this kind of upset is going to be the norm rather than the exception..

  8. You know what isn’t enjoyable to see? You, a person who has put so many hours and energy into following this athlete’s life, bashing him so hard and mentioning that he should retire if he plays like this. That was pretty hard to hear.

    I watched the whole match from the first ball to the last and was just astonished at the negativity of your tweets (I had your tweets open in another window :). Mind that I have nothing personal against you, Jonathan, and I like your blog. But in all seriousness his game today was FAR from the worst I’ve seen from him. If you look at the statistics, like you mentioned yourself, on paper the match was pretty solid, even by his standards (definitely could have created more break points), especially the 2nd set which was a very high level tennis. This isn’t me looking through rose-glasses either, just at how things were..

    I agree with Natasja; a couple of points here and there cost him the game; During the 3rd set he was visibly agitated and lost his cool, I thought, and lost the mental game. Perhaps it’s the lack of confidence this year that seems to have made him more mentally unstable (I’m sure he is very much aware of his results and lack of titles so far). I don’t think it’s his physical/strategic game at the moment. I really don’t. If he can play like he played in 2nd set for two sets straight I think he would have made it far.

    It was sad seeing him lose today. I actually loved watching his game today, albeit his loss. And before you start writing him off into retirement, I have to say that I very much prefer watching him play, even if he doesn’t win the match, than the rest of top 10 players, having seen top 5 guys play live. I am sure I’m not the only fan who feels this way. So I, for one, hope he will play for a long time because while a negative result hurts quite a bit, I still love watching his technique on court. And I think he’ll retain that until the day he retires.

    FYI, I read in a recent interview that his goal is to play until he is 35 or more. I know that Roger has been around the block enough to know what exactly that entails. So I’m pretty sure his desire to win is still very much there. If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t be so upset about his performance during the 3rd set today.

    • Hey Daria,

      You took my tweet out of context. What I said was, if he’s not going to at least try and win then he should retire. Not that he should retire.

      I don’t think it was a bad match either in terms of performance, he served well, but yet again he folded like a cheap tent in the third set.

      For me personally there’s no enjoyment in watching him lose matches like this. And as a fan I can be as critical as I want.

      If after every loss; fans, and his team took the stance of oh well it’s just good that people get to see you play and you hit some nice shots then he’d have never even won a slam.

      Annacone, Mirka and himself should be disappointed with this loss because I am. Gotta sort it out.

      Jonathan

  9. I was certainly frustrated and disappointed by his performance too, but I didn’t take it as hard as you did. I was surprised in his first match that we didn’t see the rust, so when it started showing up in this one I was kind of expecting it. I wasn’t expecting him to not turn it around, though, so the loss came as I surprise. But when I saw some of your Twitter comments on him needing to retire I was quite shocked by that. We aren’t at all at that point!! I mean, I think we just need to expect at the age of 31 that he’s not going to get the results that he used to. I think he will have some of these difficult losses and then he will have some moments of incredible glory out of nowhere where he will dominate in a tournament and we need to just wait for those moments. Yes it’s discouraging and we want him to get more and more wins but we also have to be realistic about what to expect right now. I think he will find his form this year and win some titles but we have to expect the ups and downs at this stage of his career. I do think this loss will motivate him. He may not win in Rome, but I do think it will make him want to prove himself more.

    • Hey,

      I wasn’t saying he needs to retire, I was saying if he’s not going to at least put in the effort to win then he may as well retire. Complete passenger in that third set yet again. Has 0-30 and a great chance then next minute he’s managed to get broken himself.

      Anyway, better to tank to Nishikori who is a decent guy than lose to Dull and get Turkey Status. Hopefully he’ll turn it on for the grass season.

      Jonathan

  10. Oke people, I have some comments too:

    1. Congrats to Nishikori. He played well. I liked the way he acted when he won. Kudos for him. He could have made a show out of it (look at me, I beat Roger, etc.).
    2. Kudos, much kudos for the crowd. When he was down, they still stayed behind him and supported him. He did not get a Novak treatment (did not act like him, so makes sense).
    3. He lost the first set. Which is not something new. Looks like since last year, he always loses the first set. But then he played incredible in the second set. Way too good. If he has that momentum, he should have done anything to stay in that. Not let watering the court get him out of his momentum.
    4. Even I cannot explain the third set. Was way worse then I can remember any other third or fifth set where he loses.
    5. Just like Rafa gave up in the tiebreak in the second set at MC, Roger gave up today in the third set.
    6. The stats were so close and his stats were so good, so why did he lose. His numbers are far better.
    7. I have said it before and I will say it again, last year he made himself win because he had three goals. This year he did not sets any specific goals. Win GS is a far too wide goal. Last year he nearly killed himself to achieve his goals. He should have set similar specific goals for this year.
    8. I don’t know what it is. But he has not lost his fighting spirit. If he did, he would not have had the second set.
    9. Maybe we are underestimating just how much it takes out of a human body to play around 1100 matches without even having a break for more than two months.
    10. The only good thing that has come out of this is that he STILL does not like to lose and it STILL bothers him.
    Maybe it will bother him so much that he will have a rising like the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.
    11. If Alysha says that since 2009 the winner of Madrid also won Wimby, well then this year that will not happen !!!
    12. Correct me if I am wrong, but did he not lose to Novak badly in Madrid 2009 and then won RG in 2009??? Is that not something to look forward too??
    13. I know he will bounce back. He is not getting rid of me as a fan that easily.
    Beeing a fan is just like beeing in a marriage !!! For better or for worse. In good times and in bad times !!!
    He will bounce back. Like Arnold, he will be back !!!

    • Hey Katyani,

      Nice comment, I can’t disagree with anything you have said.

      Although Fed won Madrid in 2009, one of the most important matches ever.

      I hope he will bounce back too. Perhaps he’s just giving the clay season the middle finger and focusing elsewhere.

      Jonathan

  11. Jonathan, what are Majorfedfan and Daria saying? Were you tweeting during the match that if he plays like this he should retire? Why??? You did not mention that in the article above???

    God, I get so sick and tired of his own fans telling him, suggesting him, making him retire if he plays like this or that. Why? Really why? On his own site they do the same thing. Did he ask anybody to become his fan? No, he didn’t. People became his fan because how he playes. Did he ask his fans to retire from their jobs? No, so why do they suggest that he shoud? He playes a couples bad matches and he should retire?? Did he not win nothing for a period of 10 months and then had a winning spree? Did he not win no GS in two and a half years and then won the mother of all GS??

    Something was wrong today. That is not an excuse. He was not in pain or anything, but something was wrong. And look at the stats you yourself posted. He was not destroyed, he just lost. Yes, the third set was bad. He should have won from Kei. Period. He should have. But he didn’t. I am proud that it hurts him to lose.

    For God sake, did he not play back to back 5 set matches for the first time at AO 2013 at age 31 after beeing what 13 or 14 years on tour??? Is it not true that the last time he got a bagle was at RG 2008, five whole years ago? Has he not got like only two bagles in is entire career? Does someone like that need to retire?
    Why are you all forgetting that he has made his history. He has made his legacy. He can stop right now and spend his millions and millions of dollars that will take him more than a couple of lifetimes to spend. He can be laying on a beach right now with Mirka and the kids, watching all the others slay it out in tours and GS.
    But he does not want that. He loves the sport. Still. He loves to win. Still. He loves the competition. Still. He loves the hard work it requires. Still. He loves to teach and show the younger guns. Still. He loves the hard work and training it requires. Still. And he hates to lose. STILL.

    You wrote a harsh but true article Jonathan. No need to sugercote it. He could and should have won it. Period. Kei was playing good, but not unbeatable. But why the remark about retirement?
    Don’t you know that all the critics/commentators/haters/nay-sayers/Rafafans/and all will also be posting that all over the world? Does he need to hear it from his own people?

    We all would be happy if he had won. Would anyone of us say, well now you won, maybe you should retire?
    This is Roger Federer we are talking about. He won so much in his life. Now he hardly wins. Is that so bad?
    It sucks, but what will happen when he retires? He won’t play at all. Atleast now you can still see him play some magical shots, lose matches and also win matches.

    I have faith in him. If he says he will win slams and will become number one again, I believe him. Yes, it is getting harder and it looks almost impossible, but did it not look impossible in 2010 and 2011? Still it happened in 2012.
    If he had listened to the tennisworld in 2010 and 2011 and his so called fans about retiring, he would not have had 2012.

    Maybe his ‘fans’ should encourage different things to him to win more, like maybe change his coach. Maybe sacrifise some other things, like doing so many ads and campaigns or like taking less holidays or like something else.
    Maybe we should tell him that he does not need to practise so much, but that he needs to play matches. Even if they are 250 or 500 tours. Maybe we should encourage him to play more doubles. Isn’t that the way everyone is improving? Because they play so many matches and because they play doubles. Playing doubles has helped almost everybody right? Look at Raonic, Dimitrov, Haas, Haase, Wawrinka and all.
    Maybe he should cut his practise time by half and play more matches. Look what it did for Rafa.
    I know I joke a lot about making six finals and winning four of them. But was that not smart of him? Playing 250 tours. I mean, if you play professional matches, it that not better than practise? Look at Serena. She is so succesfull, but also because at her age, she still playes doubles. Look at Mac Enroe. Did he not win so many singles and doubles titles? Are they not saying, when they were done playing a singles match, they played a doubles match and by doing that they did not need to practise anymore???
    Aren’t you learning from playing doubles how to master the net more or something? Doesn’t everybody say playing doubles has helped them or playing more matches??

    And why all this talk about maybe not making the WTF this year? I know, because I was worried myself. But I read on his site that if he makes it to the semis of RG, Wimby and/or USO, he will qualify. Does not need to even win anything else, he will qualify. Yes, now it seems hard to make the semis of the three slams, but this is Roger Federer we are talking about. He can do atleast that. I also read something that if he makes one GS semi and two or three semis of 1000 titles, he will also qualify. Seems difficult after today’s loss, but it is still doable. I also read that he can qualify if he makes some QF. I don’t know which one. You should check that out on his site. Not today, because some fans are still supporting him, but some so called fans on his own site are saying things about him and telling him to retire and that is not nice to read. Even on his own site.

    I don’t understand this need for his so called fans for him to retire. Does your boss or your collagues say that you should retire if you make some mistakes or don’t make some deadlines??
    No, you get the benefit of the doubt, so why not Roger? If he retires, you will all want him back.

    Jonathan, it is three o’clock at night in Holland and I have to get up in about two hours to get to work. You got the wrath of me about the retirement. Maybe when I wake up and will be fresh at work and read my comment I will think I was too harsh on you, but I really get so sick and tired of his fans suggesting him to retire when it gets rough. I know it sounds laughable, but it is true. If you are a real fan and you are there for the good times, you should also be there for him in his bad times. That is what beeing a fan is so interesting. The bad times. Anybody can be a fan during good times.
    You can say a lot about Novak, but man, he has some loyal fans. Really loyal fans.
    I am not a saint either. I can get angry at Roger too. Especially the third set, I was. But I know, when he will retire, I will miss him and stroll on Youtube to find some of his matches, just hoping to see him and wishing that he would still play. Retirement is not something we should wish so soon.

    And really, lets not forget. He played over 1100 matches, without even a break of a year, of six months, of even three months. And of those some 1100 matches, he has almost won 900. That 77 title is just not coming and it is frustrating, but it will come. You know why? Because Roger believes it.
    And I have said it earlier and I will say it again. I told Roger when I saw him on tv in September 2011 when he said in an interview that he would like to win Wimby and be world number one, I said loud to the tv: Roger I love you, but who are you kidding???
    Well I got my answer. He made a fool out of me for not believing him. And that will not happen to me again. If he says he will win slams and can get back to number one, I am not doubting him, no matter how impossible it looks. He is not 23, he is 31 going on 32, but we all know he is not your average 31 year old.
    And really, we are so willing to believe it will be easier for Novak or Andy of Rafa to each win four or more slams, but we are not willing to believe that Roger can win even one or two slams??

    Well, now it is after three o’clock and the more I will write the more things I will find to say about this discusting urge to make a young, healthy, sound and hungry athlete into retirement.
    If Roger says he will play until 35 and more, I believe him. Lets just see how the others fare at his age.

    Retirement??? He is the number three in the world for God sakes !!!

    Katyani

    • Beautifully and passionately said, Katyani. I especially loved this line: “I am proud that it hurts him to lose.”

    • Whoa, nicely said! Katyani, you are the reason I also find inspiration to write huge comments! πŸ™‚

    • Katyani you are living proof that Roger has the most passionate fans πŸ™‚

      For the record, I wasn’t calling for his retirement, the complete opposite if anything. My tweet was interpreted wrongly.

      What I said was, if he’s not willing to fight for the victory then he may as well retire. I take no pleasure in seeing him hit some nice forehands for 10 minutes but go onto lose the match with zero effort, that’s not enjoyable.

      If he were to keep going through the motions then a.) it wouldn’t be fare on the paying fans and b.) he would be occupying a slot in the draw that could be taken by a younger player who wants to prove himself. So that’s what I was getting at.

      So he has to try and get his season back on track.

      Jonathan

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Alright Jonathan, the prosecution hasn’t found enough “smoking gun” evidence that your tweet indeed called for Roger to retire outright. On the count of uttering blasphemy and asking Roger to retire, the jury has found you “not guilty”. On the count of intentional aggravation of Roger Federer fans around the world, the jury has found you “not guilty”. You may continue writing posts at PeRFect tennis. You will however be under strict surveillance on the content and implications of your tweets, so consider yourself warned πŸ™‚

      • Haha. Suspended sentence. I was expecting community service actually where I have to clean Katyani’s car every week for a year.

        Katyani, how do you go to bed at 3AM then get up for work? What do you do for a job?

  12. Well, having heard all the comments about “rust” and “lackluster body language”, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the highlight reel. There are some wonderful Fed shots in there. It also looks to me like he may have been working on some new stuff – insane spin on the first shot in the highlight reel? Any time an athlete adds new items to his bag of tricks, it takes a while for things to shake out. I didn’t get the “woe is me, I don’t want to be here” vibe at all, though granted I haven’t seen the whole match.
    The light sucked. I actually missed the blue clay for a minute.
    What actually occurs to me is that Roger has become a regular great player. We’re used to him being an extraordinary, nobody ever even thought of making this a record, immortal player. A 23 straight GS semis guy. A guy who just NEVER falls. Today he fell. And granted, he fell at Rotterdam, and at IW. But it doesn’t mean falling is now the only thing he knows. Last year Rafa lost in r3 in Madrid. Shocking! But… look at where Rafa is today.
    Look at Tommy Haas, Roger’s good friend. He’s had several rough YEARS, but he persevered. Look where he is today. He’s playing beautifully AND clearly has his mojo back.
    So I think it’s a slump, yes. I’m not sure we’re in a position to explain it. Maybe he can’t explain it himself. But if he sticks with it – and it sounds like, luckily for us, that’s his intention – we have every reason to believe that he will get out of the slump. He may fall into another one later – like regular great players have always done. But it doesn’t diminish his achievements. And as someone else already said – on the days when everything clicks and we are treated to some sublime tennis – even if those days are fewer and farther between than they used to be – we will be very lucky to be here to see it.

    • Hey Thinker,

      Yeah it wasn’t a poor match in terms of the shots he played just the third set was a joke. Has a chance to get a break then folds too easily.

      The problem is he slipping into the habit of losing matches to mid level players. Gotta sort it out otherwise it will become the norm.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  13. Totally disapointed, there is no excuse for lossing like this he is goong down for the sadness of all his fans

  14. Sid TheCookieThief

    Jonathan, you have been charged with aggravating Roger Federer fans on this blog by using the words “Roger” and “retirement” in your tweet. If you are found guilty by a panel of jury that will definitely include Katyani, you stand to lose your position as the President of PeRFect tennis. You have the right to remain silent. Any more tweets can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney and if you can’t afford one, I’ll have to play that role.

    How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty? πŸ™‚

    But really, rustiness may have been the biggest factor and also a complete lack of motivation to let the dust parch him of his sweat. Especially at this age, he knows he needs to keep his tank more or less full for his favorite part of the year. I do feel that he may have been trying to avoid Nadal. Last year after his Madrid win, didn’t Nadal play the role of a courteous host and threaten to boycott the tourney? Why would Roger give them the pleasure of watching another Roger-Nadal match?

    We shouldn’t look too much into this. Two months of inaction meant he was never going to do well on clay anyways. Next page.

    • Guilty as charged. But luckily I’m in the UK and the justice system here is very lenient so I’ll get a weak sentence and only serve half or less πŸ˜€

      Maybe, perhaps it would have been a mistake to meet Nadal on clay again but I don’t know. Was a weak performance. Sub concious tank maybe.

      Jonathan

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Don’t get too comfortable. I’m sure the US has an extradition treaty with the UK so you can be tried here πŸ™‚

        I definitely wasn’t looking forward to a meeting with Nadal. I’ll take this loss over giving that ugly natured group cause to celebrate an SF win.

      • Yeah maybe this was more GOATness by Fed. He knew Ferrer would choke it up. Did you see his forehand miss? Epically bad. Then get’s bagelled lol.

  15. Jonathan , I appreciate the way you post the match reviews within a day even if it is a bad day for roger. Looks like the killer instinct in Federer has left him. I believe lack of motivation and less no of matches played by him could be the reason. 13-5 start to a season is something that we can never associate with federer. One more statistics is that he has won only 53% of points in the matches that he has played this year. The last time this happened was in 2002. After 2002 he has won consistantly around 55% points in the matches he has played in a year. The top 4 players , are always at 55%. Next question is how Federer can turn around his bad form. I believe he should take up few unimportant tournaments, any ATP 250, and get back the feeling of winning. Once he gets a tournament in his kitty, everything will change and he will be back.

    • Cheers Rajeesh.

      13-5 so far this year and no titles lol that is bad.

      Maybe playing a lesser tournament isn’t a bad idea. But he has a pretty packed schedule so will be tough….

      Jonathan

  16. This is very strange. All of those reasons can be valid why he lost.. but on flipside, top seeds have been out early in Madrid.

    I still believe in the 2nd to the last bullet: He’s gonna pass this clay court swing and again make a late season run Wimbledon onward.. I’m really hoping for that because if not, Roger 3.0 may be done or the age is already catching up with him.

  17. Okay so here it goes: Whoa mama, like the twins in the first match, Roger couldn’t give a shit at the 3rd set to save his life! I mean, WTH happened! There isn’t much too say really, about the match, so i’ll say what i think is the matter:

    1. Jonathan, two of your points coincide. Roger 3.0 is done because there is no motivation and there is no motivation because Roger 3.0 is done.

    2. Roger is still in his holiday spirit. After that long break, he couldn’t be bothered but to think of all the early matches he plays to be a hindrance and a formality. I thought somebody had to light up Fed’s arse just to get a fart! He just didn’t GIVE a shit! I believe he would have fared much well if he had played maybe Djokovic, murray, tsonga etc instead of people from outside the top 10. Why? I don’t know, i just get that feeling. The confident he showed in his pre and post-match interviews screamed the fact that he had practiced and prepared well enough to wash out the current top guns, and quiet easily too. If Roger had to beat players like Stephanek and Kei, he would not have gone through such a long break. It would be just a reguler day at the office. Hence, he didn’t have the patience that he is well known for to beat the middle tier lurkers and then go on to face the titans of the current era. Hence, i don’t think clowning up to Nadal was a reason. On the contrary, he wanted to face him.

    3. I believe this time, Roger’s preferred fast court was his undoing. Hear me out on this one. Madrid played way too fast for a clay court. Correct me if i am wrong, but i actually thought Madrid played almost/close to as fast as Dubai. Kei ripped flat forehands after forehands in the third, and the ability to slide on clay and amazing stretching skills were what allowed Roger to send some of them back into play. Madrid definitely played faster than IW. Now there is the problem. Rust and lack of Pro Matches were always going to be a factor. Roger practiced hard on the slow clay courts of Switzerland (heck, even on sand at beaches) and so, he was taken aback by the fast playing clay at Madrid. He thought he could ease his way after the first match, but just wasn’t ready (or didn’t have the mindset) of facing fast and flat forehands from Kei on clay. That took him by surprise and his slow-court-practice crumbled on a fast-court-play.

    4. Plain and simple, Federror showed up sooner than later and he just couldn’t do anything about it. Just a bad day.

    5. This point is just to cover all the areas of possible discussions. Age isn’t a factor. The sudden nature of the back going out might have been what kept Roger from firing from all guns. He came off of a break caused by the back and he didn’t want to risk it so early. Maybe that’s why Roger 3.0 didn’t show up. Obviously there is a lack of will and motivation, and the fact that his family is growing up (and the twins could start school very soon), his motivation is on a low (apparently). Retirement is by a long shot, though.

    What scares me is, unlike Nadal, Roger does have a lot of points to defend after FO:
    Halle: Final
    Wimbledon: Winner
    Cincy: Winner
    UO: Quarters
    Shanghai: Semi
    Basel: Final
    WTF: Final.
    Playing Bercy might actually be a good idea if, God forbids, he also crashes out of the closing tourneys of the tour.

    That’s what i think.

    • Hey Alvi,

      Good comment.

      I disagree with point 2 though, if he wanted to face Nadal then the motivation levels would have been high to get there so beating Kei would have been a big priority.

      3 I kinda disagree with too, I mean Madrid has suited his game for the last 4 years, why would that suddenly change? It’s no faster than it was before.

      Fed is a a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma at the minute. Needs to get his season back on track.

      Jonathan

      • “Fed is a a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma at the minute. Needs to get his season back on track.”

        Between all the mutually shared RF fandom, I sometimes forget you’re British. Jonathan For.The.Win-ston.

      • Haha yeah I was hoping it would go unnoticed and people would think I’d have made that quote up myself πŸ˜€

  18. Nice read Jonathan. Well, I don’t know why he’s playing so weirdly and looking like he’s not interested at all but, there is something that bothers me in his tactics: when he goes around the backhand and puts in a really weak forehand that allows the opponent to dictate the point by just putting the ball back to Federer’s right (forehand), and i tell you what, it’s been the same thing that made him lose in these matches: Berdych at US, Djokovic at WTF, Murray at Australian Open, Berdych again at Dubai and now vs Nishikori, THE FOREHAND ON THE RUN HAS BEEN A COMPLETE LIABILITY OF LATE.

    • Cheers Youssef,

      True, he needs to hit that forehand with more authority, giving up too much court position and then has to retrieve on the run which never ends well.

      Thing is, he played pretty genius tactics in second set then went into passive mode in third set.

      Jonathan

      • I hate that third set. Reminds me of his last match with Roddick when he destroyed him in the second and then went totally missing in the third.

  19. You guys underestimated Nishikori. Now obviously, Fed wasn’t playing his usual level of excellence. But if you look at the stats, he did pretty well. And Roger didn’t have any injuries and played solid in the 2nd round. The thing with Kei is that although he may not have the big weapons like Delpo’s Forehand or Novak’s backhand, he plays a smart game and uses his speed (along with a spinny forehand) to catch his opponent off guard. And judging from the match, that worked against Roger.

    As for retirement, NEVER under ANY circumstances should we say that Roger should retire. Unless he himself says so. If we’re only fans of Roger when he wins or plays well, then that’s being a shitty fan. He gets enough criticism from the media about this stuff.

    Anyways, credit to Kei for beating his idol (although probably not the way he imagined it). Maybe if he beats Nadal (semi-final) in a miracle performance, all of us could feel better πŸ™‚

    • Not sure I underestimated Nishi, he’s a talent but he has no weapons so whilst he will cause the top guys problems he shouldn’t be beating them 6-2 in the third.

      Feds level was good, just the final set execution was really poor.

      Jonathan

      • And he was squished by Andujar now being squished by Nadal! Lack of matches is what it is all about! That intensity simply cannot be replicated in practice! Look at Haas and Stan, coming thru matches they used to lose.

  20. Its a weird match really, based on stats Roger would have won in 2. I mean our 2 fave stats poor BPs and UEs seems normal. His form is erratic and tactically not there at all. Too many shanks at his BH and a little tentative with himself. This hurt him during crucial points which is evident in some of his matches of late. I am not sure its just a bad day at the office or too long break or just mind/body is not there all. I suspect he has too many things in his mind, whatever it is – he better get his shit together before Rome/RG. If he needs to tweak his form/game/shots he has to do it fast or else he will continue to slide further down the ranking. I am not sure I will get used to the idea of him not playing at WTF this year. He is reminding of Forrest Gump – you will never know what you get until you opened the box of Lindt Chocolate. Yikes!!!!

  21. There was an interesting quote on Twitter this morning of which I thought it’d be worth sharing here:

    Federer: “I shouldn’t question myself during a match like I did and need to be more clear and self-confident.” (via @staffsky)

    I found that a very open and honest comment about his state of mind, even more than what he had already said…

    • Thanks for this natasja – I wish they had put a link to where they got this from, I can’t find it anywhere else!

      • Apparently it’s via Rene Staffsky, reporter, who I think has interviewed him afterwards or at least has spoken to him briefly on the record.

    • Yeah interesting quote, clearly lacking some self belief right now. Will only get that with more matches, like he’s forgotten how to win.

      • Well aparently he treated today’s practice like it was a match, hitting the balls very hard and being fanatical about it… And what you said earlier, adding a tourney would be a bit reactionary yes… We’ll see if he lets it depend on his already existing schedule or not… Might take a bit of time, although the tough(er) draw from today might actually help. Always thought Fed did better in tough draws… We’ll see!

      • Yeah I heard he’s already in Rome practicing. Good sign.

  22. Everyone,

    When fervent fans talk about Federer having to retire, it comes from a place of good intentions. And you’ve got to admit that Jonathan has a good number of us beat both at being a fervent fan and a well intentioned one.

    Until this year, my personal position was that if someone could be playing this far from his best and continue to consistently keep making atleast quarterfinals at most tournaments and still have players 5+ years junior to him celebrate and cherish the odd victory they can manage over him, then it makes zero sense for him to consider retiring. But this may no longer be the case if his form so far is any indication of his ability to defend and gain points in the second half of 2013.

    Like Jonathan says, he’s been beaten by 5 different players already and, other than Berdych, is the only top-10 player without a title in 2013. That puts the GOAT in some undesirable company. As a professional sportsperson, and an exemplary one at that, who has competed all his life to never give up, it is understandable that he wants to keep going until he absolutely cannot. It is also understandable that his fans will always want to remember him for his best times and not want to see him flounder on his way to retirement, instead preferring a clean break.

    Wishing for a better rest-of-the-season,
    James

    • “As a professional sportsperson, and an exemplary one at that, who has competed all his life to never give up, it is understandable that he wants to keep going until he absolutely cannot. It is also understandable that his fans will always want to remember him for his best times and not want to see him flounder on his way to retirement, instead preferring a clean break.”

      I’ve been thinking about this, in particular the second part. I thought about when Bjorn Borg left tennis. That was a clean break, and it was awful. I’m not sure I would prefer that to seeing Roger…. struggle on occasion as age takes its toll. I disagree that it’s “floundering”; it’s only floundering in comparison to the shining star he was in his prime. Though he’s losing ranking points, he’s still a top ten player. Is that a bad thing, if he still enjoys the game? Plenty of people never even make top ten, and count their careers a success. Is it a failure to not remain perpetually at the zenith? I don’t think so; I think it’s just following the normal arc of progression.

      I think that the “clean break” scenario allows the fans to continue to think of their star as immortal. In other words, we get to – developmentally – remain little kids, whose parents know everything and are never wrong. In the “arc of progression” scenario, we are required to learn – with our hero – how to adjust to change, how to establish priorities, how, in short to grow up. I’m not saying that there’s a right or wrong choice to make as an athlete here. Walking away was apparently right for Bjorn at the time. But I observe that, as Fed makes adjustments, I too am having to make adjustments. You know, the Rod Laver generation must have already been through this. Their guy kept playing for a long time. He wasn’t the force at the end that he was at the beginning. But I don’t hear anybody saying he should have quit sooner. I hear people giving him enormous respect and admiration and appreciation, including appreciation for sticking around, and he’s been retired for decades. Borg gets that too, even though he made a clean break & we didn’t see him at all for years. I think THE FANS have to work harder when their guy makes a choice that involves struggle. I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

      • Absolutely not a bad thing, Thinker. Some of us would like to see him play for as along as he wants to and some of us would like for him to quit before fading away significantly. And neither alternative is preferable to the other. That is all I meant to say. Since it is up to the Maestro, one can only hope that things get better from here on.

        However, I must disagree with the Borg example. Borg was not even past his prime when he retired. That never works out well; a fact to which I think Schumacher will also attest. Also from what I understand, Borg did not even really retire in 1981 as much as he had a falling out with the ITF over not being allowed to reduce his workload without having to play in the qualifying rounds at the Grand Slams. The Federer of 2011-12 was struggling on occasion. The 2013 Federer who has not won a title in 4 months, lost to 5 different players, and played that 3rd set against Nishikori certainly is floundering.

        This is all a massive digression anyway. We both wish to see him do much better beginning most likely with Halle. Allez Roger!

        James

      • I confess I’m wishing for a better rest-of-the-season as well!

        If I remember right – and I admit to not having double-checked this – Borg had not played for nearly a year, had therefore slipped in the rankings, and was therefore going to have to play qualifying at Wimbledon. However, since he was also the defending champion (? or perhaps “merely” a multiple-time former champion), he didn’t think he should have to do that, & refused. I think this is where today’s “discretionary” part of Slam seedings comes from.

  23. I dono whether it will be another 2011 …, Hard to watch federer lose easily after Playing 2set well…, Rome has been his least favoured clay court…, No expectation Till Grass court starts…,

  24. Hi Jonanthan

    Been away so unfortunately did not get to see the match but from your description it was proabably best that I missed it – I honestly thought when I saw who he was playing that he would win in straight sets – what is the matter with him – not one decent tournament yet this year and I am one of the biggest federer fans on the planet and I never thought I would say something like that – can things get better?

    • Yeah you did well to avoid this one, barring the second set it was no fun.

      Well the only way is up I guess, losing in Madrid 3rd round is a new all time low for him, worst performance there ever!

  25. Watched the match. Very disappointed. All I can say is that Roger cannot afford to have such a long leave of absence from the courts if he wants to stay on top of his game. I am aware that he was convalescing from a back injury but it must be back to the grind stone if he still intends competing in the 2016 Olympic Games. I do however, feel that Roger does get a bit too complacent at times, he needs to take a leaf of the books of Rafa, David Ferrer & Djokovic.

  26. Hey all Fed fans, dont you worry, The Fed will definitely bounce back from this. And dont you pounce on Jonathan for insinuating bout Rog’s retirement. He’s not done yet. For this tournament, lets all give this one to Rafa courtesy of the Maestro πŸ™‚

    • Did you watch Nadal vs. Ferrer? Some epic choking from Ferrer right there at 15-30 6-5. Unreal actually. If Nadal meets Berdych in the final he’s winning.

      • I really felt for Ferrer! Nadal got vv lucky at 15-30! Guessed right and mishit over his head! Anyway, I take Stan to beat Berdych! Has played v well all week!

      • Nah, Ferrer choked that. Can only blame himself. Never going to beat Nadal again.

  27. Hi All,
    Just a quick note to make you all feel better: have a feeling Roger is going to do very well at Rome, and have an inkling that he may well win it. But don’t count him out fans!! Katyani is right, we fans are part of our ‘marriage’ to Roger. I can ASSURE you Roger will have some even more horrific losses in the years to come but who carres as I also see some STUNNING wins and I mean slams as well. So relax all, Roger is far far from finished, but he will have more stinkers as time goes on. That is the type of player he is. And you cannot deny that he puts his fans through it. The good times are not far off, you’ll see!

  28. Sid TheCookieThief

    So, all this talk about retirement…I’ve read both sides, some saying they don’t want Roger to limp out, and other saying he should stay as long as he is top 10 (or within a certain ranking). And then there are some who wouldn’t mind watching Roger even if he is World No.100 (unlikely). I think by virtue of what Roger has achieved, he has the right to decide when and how he wants to quit. If he feels he wants to go out the door hobbling, so be it, he has earned it.

  29. I don’t think Roger 3.0 is done. It just wasn’t present in his match against Nishikori. Don’t think it was sub-conscious tank to avoid turkey status with Nadal either. As I mentioned the above comment, it was going to another meeting on clay and you know how biased the H2H is (because half their meethings have come on clay).

    It was a bad bad day at the office that’s for sure. Really strange for Roger to lost a match with better stats than his opponent, something you rarely see. He just didn’t play his best when it mattered in key points of the match. Age catching up with Roger? Right now, it seems to be yes, unfortunately. And he definitely was a bit rusty, wasn’t great against Stepanek so this lost wasn’t the biggest shock. The after affects of 2012 were not there, he was just rusty. I reckon he should have played a warm up tournament before Madrid.
    He definitely wanted to win here, since he was the defending champion, he had a lot of points to defend. Now he’s behind Murray again in the rankings πŸ™

    His awful green outfit probably contributed to his loss. Notice the fact Fed has always lost some bad matches when he’s wearing a ridiculous outfit. Shouldn’t have lost (Berdych Miami 2010, orange henley), Or just been upset (Canas Indian Wells 2007, don’t even how to describe it, but the sleeves were awful) , or just played badly (Nadal Miami 2011, orange and grey v neck)

    I think he will come back strongly in Rome, win it for the first time of his career (somehow) and have a decent second half of the year. He really seemed serious about his poor play in the presser and hopefully we see a different Roger next week.

    • Hahah the outfit. That may well be it as this green one was horrible!

      The comment Natasja posted was interesting, likes he’s doubting himself and second guessing. Can’t afford that and explains his lack of clutchness lately.

      • The last ‘clutch’ moment from Roger I remember was against Murray this year at AO. Fourth set, Murray leading 6-5 30-30, two points from winning the match. Out of nowhere Fed rips an insane inside out backhand winner which gave him BP instead of MP to Murray. And he went to win that set. Just a shame he had nothing left in the tank for the fifth set.

        I feel so sad for Roger, really it has been a bad 6,7 months for him. From Basel last year, he failed to defend his title from 2011, lost all his points from Bercy, failed to defend WTF. And this year, he has managed to defend none of his tournaments up to Madrid! What is going on???

      • Yeah he played really well in Australia. Since then it’s spiraled. Not sure why. Onto Rome, good draw!

  30. No fuc*ing way!! Rafa and Novak are in the same half of the draw in Rome o_O Roger’s got Andy πŸ˜€

  31. Nadal thrashes Andujar 6-0; 6-4 at semis in Madrid. Vammooss!

  32. once the back is injured the body will not let u back to full form past the age of 30. u can try but something called ” reflex inhibition ” occurs. your flexibility is limited due to the body protecting itself from further harm. poor roger will never be the same and that’s a shame cause i’m a big fan and its sad to see this. but remember Agassi and I guess u can try steroids and cortisone!

  33. Nishikori looked really good in his match against Fed. Nishikori’s problem has been inconsistency. He can’t seem to follow up a big win with another big win. That’s why I’m not to sure he’ll ever reach top 10.

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