French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Crashes to Tsonga at French Open

I'll sum up this match with a simple equation: Flatness + Poor Execution = A resounding straight sets loss. Really I needn't say anymore about it but I'll try to dissect it in a bit more depth and I also look forward to seeing what you guys think happened out there.

From my point of view everything went wrong for Roger today from the middle of the first set onwards, the errors starting creeping in at an alarming rate and his game broke down at key moments when he needed to play mentally tough tennis.

I'm not sure as to exactly why to be honest, I said after the Simon 5 setter that he'd have gotten a lot of confidence from winning from 2 sets to 1 down but it turned out to be the opposite.

Roger had no confidence and no real conviction in his shots today, just a terribly flat performance with no real fight. It made it so easy for Tsonga to win without having to produce anything under pressure which I found really disappointing.

Losing to Tsonga 7-5 6-3 6-3 is a shocking performance whatever way you look at it, Tsonga on clay just isn't a tough proposition and Roger should be beating this guy here and making another a slam final with the draw he had. I can't make any excuses for him, can you?

Quick Match Analysis

Federer Tsonga FO 2013 Match Analysis

For once my title is very fitting as this match was exceptionally quick yet unfortunately painful too. The stupid thing about it is that it actually started really well from Roger's perspective as he was defending well and managed to get up an early break which he consolidated to lead 4-2.

From that moment on though the good things came to an end and at 4-3 Roger was broken back despite been 40-15 in front and that signaled a complete change in where the first set was heading as at 6-5 Tsonga created 3 set points.

What happened next was quite bizarre really as Roger played 3 great points to get the scoreline back to deuce, the backhand flick at 15-40 was just ridiculous and I thought it was going to be the start of good things. However at deuce he missed 2 absolute sitter forehands to get broken and drop the first set. Such a bad way for the first set to end when he'd gotten up a break. Looking back it was a must win set, they key to the match and unfortunately he messed up, big time.

After that Roger just wasn't able to recover and the second set saw him lose serve early and Tsonga close it out without facing any sort of trouble to take it 6-3. I wasn't quite ready to write Roger off completely but at 2 sets to love down the outlook didn't look good.

The third started terribly too with Roger losing serve immediately, he did however manage to break straight back which was pleasing to see. I felt for sure he'd turned a corner here and would go onto win the set but again he had other ideas, dropping serve at 3-3 and not having another opportunity to break back as Tsonga closed it out breaking his serve yet again at 5-3. Painful. I mean at least make the guy serve it out.

Match Stats

Stats Roger Federer Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Aces 0 2
Double Faults 3 0
1st Serves In 67% 75%
1st Serve points Won 39/67 (58%) 46/57 (81%)
2nd Serve Points Won 14/33 (42%) 10/19 (53%)
Fastest Serve 205 KMH 212 KMH
Average 1st Serve Speed 184 KMH 177 KMH
Average 2nd Serve Speed 150 KMH 142 KMH
Net Points Won 15/23 (65%) 15/30 (50%)
Break Points Won 2/3 (67%) 6/14 (43%)
Receiving Points Won 20/76 (26%) 47/100 (47%)
Winners 25 26
Unforced Errors 34 22
Total Points Won 73 103

Not good reading. No aces, only 3 BP chances. Just a clear sign his game wasn't working. One thing the stats don't show either is how many overheads he botched, usually such a secure shot yet he missed at least 3!

A Match Lost by Roger, Not Won by His Opponent

Federer French Open Press Conference

One thing that annoys me after matches like this is how quickly everyone assumes Roger's opponent is an absolute world beater and must have played unbelievably well to win. Quite clearly in this match this isn't the case, Tsonga had to do very very little here to come out on top.

Want to know why? Watch the highlights and try find Tsonga playing lights out tennis, you won't and if you don't fancy that listen to some of the quotes from pundits and even Roger himself. Whenever you hear a commentator say something along the lines of “I don't think we should take anything away from Tsonga, he played a fantastic match” then you know full well Roger has played a sub standard match.

In fact even Roger himself said it:

Give some credit to old Jo-Willy. He can take the ball early… His game is dangerous throughout.

Basically, he knows he played like shit, and he knows that those who know tennis know he played like shit. Simple. We'll also get further confirmation when Ferrer defeats Tsonga easily. On another note, Ferrer in a slam final? Oh dear, unbelievably bad this tournament now.

My Thoughts on the Match

Federer Exits Chatrier

I think going over this loss in any great depth would be covering old ground really, it's not like we haven't seen matches from Roger like this before. Just the fact he didn't even win a set against someone who isn't that good on clay makes it that bit more disappointing than usual.

It's quite tough to pull out any positives from this one despite a couple of nice points here and there, but really they aren't going to win you matches. The first set was in hindsight obviously the key to the match and once Fed had clowned it up he just went missing.

All you have to look at is the match stats and you can see Tsonga basically played without any sort of pressure on his own serve and it was Roger always struggling to hold his own end of the bargain up. I can't see how Roger can win a match like that when he's not the one applying the stranglehold on his opponent. When he's constantly getting taken to deuce and missing forehands he's fighting a losing battle against himself.

Maybe he was just hoping things clicked and they never did which in the end meant it was all over very quickly but it's not good to see him struggle with his own game so much. It's almost like playing 7 matches at a slam these days is beyond him. I thought we had the off match vs. Simon but the level against Tsgona was just way worse which was a big surprise.

As to why, I don't know, it just didn't happen out there for him today, it was another match where he looked pretty bored to be honest and just really flat. Did the Simon match drain him mentally? Maybe, who knows, if he hadn't have tripped and lost momentum and won in straight sets then today would have been different. Too difficult to say really what caused such a flat performance, so many variables.

Overall I just think it's a pity Roger wasn't able to take advantage of a cake walk draw and at least make the final here, it all opened up for him yet he failed to capitalise.

No doubt the retirement / decline / done debate will spark up again but I can't really be bothered with that now I'd rather just wait and see what happens come the end of the year.

But I am getting bored of seeing Federer lose matches like this that's for sure as he's beating himself with some really poor execution. I'm not expecting tweeners and round the net posts every shot here, those are a luxury you get as a Fed fan but he's just making simple errors off regulation type balls. Those have to be cut down otherwise he's going to lose to lesser players more often.

I guess one positive is that it's not like his skills have left him or he is getting outplayed it's just he keeps playing crap matches. I've even spoken to infrequent tennis viewers who have said Roger looks disinterested in a couple of matches they have seen lately so who knows what it is or why he is coming out and playing in this manner.

I do tend to agree with them though, this is one time where part time tennis fans come in useful as their minds aren't distorted by things they have seen in the past so for them it's easy to spot a players body language or facial expression on court. Right now Fed goes through spells of looking incredible one match to being completely flat and out of it the next, happened in Rome and happened here too. There were no real signs of emotions from him today other than a couple of come on's and moments where he looked pissed off but nothing got the adrenaline going. Barely a pulse throughout the second and third sets.

Even the break back in the third couldn't kick him into gear after he got himself back in the set which is infuriating and hard to make sense of. I guess as usual it boils to tiny things and small margins at slam level that make the difference between winning and losing.

Anyway, what's done is done, not like we can change the result, just gotta move on and hope the grass brings something a little better. I'm hoping that Djokovic can save the day here in Paris and take out Nadal otherwise it's going to be another predictable end to the French. Isn't about time they knocked that stadium down, put a roof on it and made it an indoor court? πŸ˜€

Obviously the clay season ends for Roger here and the next stop is Grass. I'm going to Halle to watch live for the finals weekend so hopefully Roger can put in a good performance and actually make it! Still desperately need that first title and I'd like to be a part of it.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. The only thing Tsonga put in today was a solid backhand (not many errors) and a better return than usual. Roger got no cheap points on serve, and then he fucked up beautifully…. the set point he saved was brilliant, and I thought he’ d make the tiebreak, but hey, Roger’s is 1.0 level now, not anywhere close 3.0…

    I could stand 3 people making the final now: Wawrinka (gonna lose badly tomorrow…), haas (same story, but a bit less bad I think) and Tsonga. Then again, I do unfortunately expect Ferrer to make the final. How’s that prospect: Nadal Ferrer final!! I’m gonna kill myself, be right back…

    Hope Djoker gets it done on friday… Even if the prospect of him getting a grand slam done is starting to scare me….

    1. Hi Simon, you were right. Stan lost badly (unfortunately), Haas a little less bad (although he did make it Novak difficult), but the Tsonga-Ferrer match…. I really don’t know who will win. Jo Willie will get all the crowd.
      If Ferrer wins he will be totally defeated by Rafa (even Novak).
      Tsonga will be defeated too by those two, but with the crowd on his side…..

      Anyway I still know that Rafa will defeat Novak.
      If Novak wins, to be honest, would be oke to get his career slam (now that Roger is gone), because he kind of does deserve it for the way he has played and is still playing. Lets face it, anyone who can do that to Rafa deserves it !!!
      But……. if Rafa wins tomorrow, which he will, am not his fan, will never ever be, but he will also deserve to get the 8th RG. Yes, I know I have said it. He did play in the beginning not that great, but he overcame with his fighting spirit and now he is in my opinion unbeatable, so it is oke to get a reward for that.
      Even though I know he is doing the d-word !!!

  2. fuck you! tsonga beat the ugly face just because he was more consistent and better player today. period.

    1. Back to tennis school for you I think.

      “Better and more consistent” pretty much backed up what I said anyway, didn’t outplay him or come up with anything special. Next.

    2. Seriously, you come on a Federer-centric blog, restate the overall conclusion of its owner in a negative light, and expect us to… what? Apart from attracting the odd comment speculating on your sanity/education, there really isn’t much you’re getting done here.

  3. Hi Jonathan. I was shocked to say the least! Federer looked, I’m just gonna say it: awful. This reminds me of the SF last year, only a round earlier. I must say I’m disappointed but not that bad…. Feds best part of the year is NOW! I hope he wins in Halle; he needs a title and confidence NOW! I have a feeling Fed is gonna have a chance at the USO, but don’t know if there is a major this year. Fed is losing more often then ever because he’s getting older and the competition is younger and more fit. I am definitely not writing Fed off like I sorta did after the USO 11. I am gonna stick with him until he private messages me not to

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah I hope Halle is his first tile, needs to happen!

      Haha a private message from Fed, I check my emails every day for one of those saying come for a hit on my tennis courts but it hasn’t come through yet πŸ˜€


  4. Also have been feeling pretty down the rest of the day. And he just looked so sad during the interview after the game. Just a bad bad day in the office. πŸ™

    You are all such Nadal haters, it cracks me up. You all got to get a life, folks!

    1. Haha well, not me. I love Rafa too!! I like Federer for his skill, and Nadal for his spirit. Federer has an otherworldly appeal while Nadal feels like the best a normal human can be.

  5. Hi Jonathan. I was shocked to say the least! Federer looked, I’m just gonna say it: awful. This reminds me of the SF last year, only a round earlier. I must say I’m disappointed but not that bad…. Feds best part of the year is NOW! I hope he wins in Halle; he needs a title and confidence NOW! I have a feeling Fed is gonna have a chance at the USO, but don’t know if there is a major this year. Fed is losing more often then ever because he’s getting older and the competition is younger and more fit. I am definitely not writing Fed off like I sorta did after the USO 11. I am gonna stick with him until he private messages me not to

    1. By the way, which one is better for us: Djoker winning the career GS or Rafa winning again and getting 1 closer to Fed?

  6. Watched from 1-2 down to where Roger broke for 3-2. Saw him playing well and holding his ground decently in the rallies. So I thought well he’s gonna take the set with the momentum, went out for work and come back to see Fed serving to stay in the match. Bloody hell. I mean I told myself Roger could lose to Tsonga but in straights and not even a tiebreak?!

    I don’t know I haven’t watched the match but everyone including you told me it was FedError’s fault so it made me feel better. Because next time they play in a slam I know the one that has the ability to screw things up is not the opponent but Roger himself. Half the time the matches are on his racquet.

    Also I think Roger is trying to hit his way out of tough matches recently? Including the Rome final? Does he know that it doesn’t work 99% of the time? Because you’re having an off day and hitting your way out will make it worse, sure Rosolisation can happen once in a blue moon but that isn’t a reliable option. Roger needs to play his way through, as hard as it sounds, I actually think playing safe rallies instead of going for the shots can give him a bit of rhythm. But then again if he shanks at every single opportunity then no one can help him.

    Well I originally wanted Djoker to beat Nadal to give Roger a better chance but screw all this now. I want chaos to happen in Paris. It’ll be Haas against Stan and Tsonga will beat Ferrer, then Stan takes the slam. It will happen, but possibly in a parallel world.

    1. Yeah losing without even getting a set was poor. Not a lot we can do now though just gotta move on.

      I’d like a shake up in Paris but I think Stan has zero chance here, already sounding negative in his interviews about it.

  7. It was a disgraceful performance today, apart from the first few games. Roger just kept making silly errors and approaching the net with some mediocre shots (not to mention missing several easy overheads at crucial moments). It really is not the loss that annoys me, it’s the way he lost. When Roger puts up a decent performance and still loses, I’m fine with it (not happy, but not mad or annoyed either). This match was won/lost solely on Roger’s terrible errors. That’s not to say Tsonga didn’t play a very good match himself, but it was hardly exceptional.
    The first set was very, very important and when Federer broke to take the lead, I thought he had it in the bag (although I thought Roger would “hand” him a few break points during the process of securing the set). When Tsonga actually broke Roger’s serve at 4:2 I didn’t really see it as a big deal in terms of winning the set, let alone the match. I foolishly believed Roger would up his game once again and take the set in the tiebreak (especially after saving those 3 break points, with an out of this world flick backhand pass ). Little did I know this backhand pass will have become the last great point played by Roger till the end of the match (Okay, there were a few more good shots :p , but they were few and far apart). Sets 2 & 3 deserve no attention or analysis as they were simply ugly and worth forgetting (from Roger’s perspective). All in all this match was a big fail. This tournament was a great chance for Roger to have another shot at Rafa or Nole for his 2nd FO and he failed to take the advantage of a pretty “easy” draw. Let’s just hope he really raises his level and especially his consistency and focus for the grass court “season”, wins Halle and then gives himself a good shot at a record breaking 8th Wimbledon title.

    1. Hey Leon,

      Yeah it was a tough one to watch, handed it to Tsonga on a plate really. Seems like he knows it from his presser.

      Onto grass. Change of surface can only be a good thing.


  8. Flippin hell !! Was at work, i checked the scores and i couldnt believe the scoreline. πŸ™ What a complete downer. I dont understand how he lost that convincingly to Tsonga on his worst surface. A down and out mockery.
    On a different note, is it me or is coincidence that with it being the 30th anniversary since French player Yannick Noah won, therefore Tsonga being French the elite wont him in the final??????? I know he Ferrer is next but if Tsonga wins that match then who knows????? Or its just me being paranoid, i thought id put that out there for the readers to ponder at for a moment. With so much cheating, match fixing, substance abuse i suppose if the elite can fix the so called random draws, then all other avenues will also be manipulated………

    1. Nah, there’s no way fed lost bcause of that. He played a shitty excuse for a match and that’s that.

    2. Ferrer will beat him, and at the end Nadal will win! Boring! Fed said it all in his interview. Poor day in every dept, he was very honest and very disappointed. Didn’t really seem to hv a strategy, and these days he does get very nervy when things not going well. Flashes of complete genius but moments of total awfulness as if he had forgotten how to play( that’s nerves). Was he subconsciously ok with making the QF’s? Getting to 900 wins? Perhaps? Or did he expect too much of himself, and cldnt keep it together mentally? Don’t know, onto grass now and hopefully he can find his mojo! Or get rid of Annacone, or list to him.not. Sure which? Maybe he needs MagnusNorman as well as Stan?

    3. Nah no conspiracy theories here. Already too many floating around!

      Gotta see what happens on grass before making rash decisions I think…

  9. Thank you for your comments. I follow all your posts. I also follow Roger forever. Can’t add much to your thoughts but looking at the stats again, no aces and 3 double faults, I wonder could it be his back again. He would never admit it and take away from Joe’s win. I do hope Novak can pull it off if none of the 3 others can pull the rabbit out of the hat. If it is Rafa and Ferrer I won’t bother to watch, even if I do like Ferrer.

    1. Cheers Una,

      I don’t think there were any physical issues here though, he wasn’t struggling to defend off either wing which is usually a sign of back issues.

      Just a poor match really, nothing more to it.


  10. OMG Jonathan, i agree with literally every word you said!
    Federror was downright pitiful. (Missed overhead smashes much?) So disappointed. Tsonga played well but he did not have to play ANYWHERE near his best tennis to win this match, and comfortably at that. And yes I so agree with everyone always assuming Fed’s conquerors played lights-out tennis to win *cough* Yahoo eurosport *cough* – Federer bloody mailed Tsonga his ticket to the semi! I kept expecting Fed to pick up his game but I guess it wasn’t meant to be – the guy couldn’t even force Tsonga to serve it out! Really really hope Ferrer does not progress through to the final, that would be dreadful. Hopefully the French crowd can catapult Tsonga through to the final instead, and maybe just maybe derail the Nadal-Djoko train!

    1. Hey man,

      Yea how often do you see him miss so many routine overheads?? Crazy really.

      I think Ferrer will beat Tsonga though, too consistent.


  11. Regarding the supposedly bored expression on Roger’s face during some matches, I’m a bit surprised that people are taking it at “face value” (rotten pun, sorry! ;)). Everyone knows that on court Roger has always tried to hide his real thoughts/feelings (whether mental or physical) from his opponent (especially so as not to give them any extra advantage if there’s something not quite right physically). I’ve noticed, particularly during, say, the last couple of years, that the worse he is playing/losing for whatever reason, the more disinterested he appears to be as the match progresses. Sorry, but to me there is just no way that Roger gets bored playing tennis; he loves the game too much. This appearing not to care and being all nonchalant is, imv, purely a defensive mask to hide whatever is really going on inside – and as to what that is, well, only Team Federer can truly say.

    Anyway, on to the grass now – hope this surface proves more successful for Roger. Hopp Roger; Hopp Halle!

  12. First, congrats to you Jonathan for your amazing blog, all your posts are very well written and your analysis of all those fed matches is always very deep and accurate! And the comments are for most of them also interesting so that makes this blog a must see for any fed fan I think and god knows we are plenty.

    For a change however, I do not totally share your views on this match. At least there are few points which I think you did not highlight.

    For instance, when fed arrived on the court, did you notice that he was unusually nervous ? One could read on his face that it was not his day. And he was clearly outplayed right from the outset. Did not touch a ball on first tsonga serve game and struggled on his own serve in the very first game which is always a bad sign. The early break at 2-3 came out of the blue in my opinion. It was clearly not meant to last. You could see that he was not serving at the level he had displayed during the first rounds. Even against simon the serve worked much better.

    Actually, as he said during the interview, nothing worked really. Maybe the backhand was not that bad, but when is the last time he missed so many over the head?
    Surprising that his pride never made him switch on the engine at some point.

    The most important for me is that I had never seen him be taught like that except by Nadal. He says in its interview that only the result counts but I must disagree. This match is special because Fed was completely outplayed for the whole match which as far as I can remember never happened this way. Not sure what it means . Maybe that he knows he cannot reign over tennis as he used to and has revised his standards downwards? He considers that a quarter is not bad… I tend to think that the very severe loss against nadal in Rome has affected his confidence, in addition to a relatively poor first semester. He has always bad days sometimes but he used to have this strength inside him which allowed him to regroup and face off even an opponent on fire, he was not always able to win of course but at least he could challenge him. Nadal was the only opponent which prevented him from really fighting. Today Tsonga has done that to him, he proved unable to bounce back and at least create some suspense. He lost hope very early and that was sad to watch. To be honest, I had to stop at some point since the end was too obvious.

    The good thing in this very bad day for all os us is that the main problem he has seems to be mental rather than anything else. No injury, no physical weakness and we know his very beautiful and highly efficient game can be right there when he means to so lets keep faith, there are other titles to come ! Even a slam if he can solve this new problem mental issue he is facing in 2013.

    Come on!

    1. Hey Julien,

      Cheers for the comment.

      I actually missed the walk on and most of Tsonga’s opening service game so can’t comment on the nervous thing. Could well be true though.

      I don’t think he was outplayed though, I can’t recall any particular points where he came up with all the right shots but Tsonga had the last say. Most of the points he lost were errors. Tsonga only had 20 odd winners, that isn’t many.

      He needs a title and to beat someone in the top 4 again ASAP.


  13. Federer was bad after he was broken in the first but Tsonga did play well. Served great, hitting the ball great from the baseline … it’s a little disappointing that he lost in that fashion but he never had much of a shot if he had to play Djokovic or Nadal in the final. He should have a better 2nd half to the year.

    1. I thought the match was similar to Djoker 2011 AO match for some reason. Lets hope Fed can show up in Halle.

  14. Keep reading “fans” asking each other whether the back was aching… COME ONE PEOPLE! He lost miserably, don’t look for excuses when he does….

  15. Jonathan (of peRFect tennis) I saw a comment of someone saying that Fed should changes coaches and hire someone who has the desire to see his player win more majors a la Lendl/Murray. What do you think?
    If Fed can’t push/motivate himself maybe someone new could help him out in that department?

    1. Or is it really all in Fed’s head. I mean this time last year he was trailblazing :/

      I do hope he has a better half of the year. He’s been dropping points like crazy. Now he has to defend 2000 points Wimbledon O_o. If that’s not motivation then I don’t know what is.

      1. This isn’t Anacone’s fault: Rog is the one who came out there on court having no idea what to do and not even being able to do it…

    2. I don’t know about that. I can’t personally see what a new coach can do, but at the same time we’ll never know unless it actually happens.

      If he brought someone else in and starts playing scarily good, then we can all just say, ah smart move, he needed a new coach!

  16. Someone outside of the Big 4 has a chance to win Roland Garros… hehe.

    I think we should expect some of these matches from now on. Face it, Roger IS getting old and it’s affecting his performance. After seeing how the season went for him so far, this shouldn’t be a big surprise. I do hope he performs much better in Wimby.

  17. Dear Jonathan, I must say that I really admire your blogs and love your website, but I think that we need as truly Rogers fans to be more critics to how he is playing lately, he is just playing poor tenis and he is acting like he doesn’t care. Sorry but reading his press today saying that he is past this defeat all ready, is the same poor speech that I have heard all year, sorry but there is no justification on the way he looses today, as there was no justification as the way he lost to Key Nishikory in Madrid and against Nadal in Rome.
    Sorry but we need to be more hard on our critics and make him feel that we support him and follow him always but he needs to change his attitude. Tsonga didn’t play an incredible match today but if playing like that was enough to defeated Roger, then what else can we expect?

    Roger needs to change the attitude and his speech and start feeling sorry for the way he is playing lately and make a change.

    The draw John, was a walk on the park, he will never has another draw like this, and he plays like a clown? No that is not acceptable. Sorry if I make uncomfortable with my comments to the friends that are as I big Rogers fans, but we need to change something and start seeing things clearly.

    1. I agree to an extent Mike but you also gotta remember what he’s achieved so far too. Not many players at 31 can still mix it at the top level.

      But I have no problems criticising him or being harsh, in most cases it’s deserved. The manner of this defeat deserves some criticism for sure as it just wasn’t a good performance.

      Gotta think positive though and just see what happens.

      As for his presser, maybe he could change his speech but I’m not sure what he’d gain from putting what he genuinely thinks in the public domain. As fans I’m sure we’d appreciate him to just say I played like shit, time to get my act together, but the press are all over that shit.

      All we need to know is that he’s gonna try bounce back and the only way we find those things out is when he steps on court.


      1. Thank you for your answer John, I really want to think that he is going to bounce back, but I don’t know if he is really with the correct attitude and will to do it, lets see how the grass seasons goes, and I really wish you to see him lift the trophy at Halle.

  18. I agree with most everything said here about Fed’s game today. But to me it was a continuation of the Simon match. He said he wasn’t hurt, and I thought said it enough to make me at least think he was. In the Simon match it seemed he couldn’t get topspin over the backhand, and most of his backhands cross court were weak. He played a few down the line that looked fine but he was not himself. Any strong player would have easily closed out that match, which Simon is certainly not a strong player. Then in the PC he seemed to sniffle and keep touching his nose, which made me think he had a cold and was drained. Who knows. Or maybe that fall psychologically really fucked his head up. There was no grace in that fall at all. I have never seem him look so un-Federer like. Then today those missed overheads, some really bad decisions playing the ball, miss-hits, he really looked like a shell of himself. It was really shocking, unwatchable at times. Easiest draw ever, should have been in the finals and this is what results. Really upsetting day in his career.

    1. Hey Alan,

      Not sure man, you could be right, could be wrong, really hard to tell why he played like crap.

      Anyway, the match is done. Clay is over for a year. Onwards!


  19. Feeling… deflated at the moment. The game against Simon was a powerful display of Fed’s “will” to win. I didn’t necessarily think he would win the quarter (as I’m a pessimist), but to lose it in that way just feels strange.

    4-3, 40-15 up in the first set. Where did it go wrong? He started the match playing fairly good tennis, making some shots, producing that odd spark of genius we have come to know so well. Then the next thing you know, he’s been broken back and is having to save 3 set points on his serve. Wonderful backhand takes care of it, check. At that point, I really thought he’d hold and take the breaker. But then Federror showed up.

    We all know what happened. To reiterate the point, on today’s performance, all credit to Jo for winning, he was simply the better player. But that really wasn’t difficult. Missed overheads, lack of clutch, and, more than anything, the despondent attitude on court. No fire. No fight. No will. I simply don’t understand what went wrong.

    Congratulations to Jo for the victory; I think he will, however, be picked apart by the even-consistent Ferrer. I don’t enjoy the man’s style of play, but Ferrer really is a good sportsman. Says the right things, abides by all rules, and comes out with “tennis is the fairest sport. Tennis doesn’t owe me anything”. If ever an attitude deserved some sort of success, then I tip my hat to this guy. On the other half, unfortunately, given the “death” draw, the top two guys sure have easy quarters (no disrespect to Haas or Wawrinka, I just don’t think over 5 they will get it done). Ideally, Tommy to win it for me. Jo wouldn’t be bad either. But anyone over Nadal.

    On the bright side, better half of the season begins after this, coinciding with the end of my exams. I’m not going to write off Roger like all the idiots who have done it and been proven wrong on many an occasion, and I believe the day I can say “**** you” to them is not that far off (US Open, anyone?). I think Wimbledon is going to be tough. In fact, I think Nadal or Murray will take it. But the US Open and WTF are up for grabs, and I think Roger is well placed to take at least one of them. Until then, we wait the necessary 7 hours the semi will take, the necessary 7 days to recover from this, and the necessary 7 months Nadal will no doubt take off post Wimby to prepare for some more clay. Allez Roger!

      1. Not sure whether you are using sarcasm in your judgement of the merit of “deflated”. But not necessarily puffed up. More like expectations had a hole pricked in them and slowly trickled away over the course of the match.

      2. Wasn’t meaning to be sarcastic, sorry it came across that way. I had been trying to think of the right word to describe my reaction and wanted to recognize that you came up with it :). No, I’m just questioning my own reaction as a fan: if I’m feeling deflated, does that mean I had too much perhaps false pride, beforehand? And I think your response to that is a good one too.

      3. Probably not false pride. I think a little confidence in Roger is justified given his exemplary record. And as fans, having faith is almost a prerequisite, no? :p

        I think Roger will bounce back no problem, ultimately. If he doesn’t, I can hardly have asked for a more wonderful run. But I still believe he’s got some big games left in him, mostly because Agassi handled it fairly well into age (and there’s no reason Roger can’t), and because I think we’ve seen the worst of the “slowing” courts; I believe conditions have been faster this year.

        So overall, yes, we’re deflated, mate, and it’s probably justified that we are, but tough losses have popped up so often you can never really tell when there’s something to worry about. e.g Djokovic last year, the forehand crumbled, and yet a month later, some very satisfying numbers popped up: 300, 17, 7.

    1. Thanks for the comment John.

      Pretty much agree with everything you said and I think Ferrer is beating Tsonga too. Ferrer in a slam final lol. Unreal!


  20. I can only sum this up in one sentence. In the future, I’ll catch Rogers matches looking at the draw.

      1. I just mean that I can’t watch this any more. If Roger ever reaches a final, then I’ll watch it, maybe. It is not fun watching exhibition style matches against player ranked 30 places below him and seeing him crash to anybody close to him in ranking (with the possible exception of Ferrer). How come even an exhausted Stan Wawrinka can put up a better fight than Roger? Not to mention the absolutely wonderful display of quality tennis he performed two days earlier against Gasquet. Or how about the veteran Tommy Haas. 35 years old, wonderful match against the number one. Roger doesn’t have to win a single match any more in my mind, but he has to convince me that he wants to win them and I don’t take his word for it any more.

      2. To be fair man Stan put up a terrible effort, he broke back in the second and then missed a sitter smash.

        Win or lose I’m still watching Fed.

  21. I’m just feeling kind of stunned. I didn’t get to watch but I followed the commentary, and as someone already said, it just seemed like Roger forgot how to play tennis – which kind of makes no sense. He himself said nothing was working today. I really do wonder about body energy stuff; I think it wouldn’t hurt, and could conceivably be a huge help, to use an energy consultant. Yet he also said, “Je n’ai besoin de rien de spΓ©cial pour digΓ©rer cette dΓ©faite. Je ne suis plus un bΓ©bΓ©. Ca va aller.” – “I don’t need anything special to digest this defeat. I’m no longer a baby. It will be ok.”
    I am reminded of something I said several weeks ago – that, no longer invincible, he’s become a regular great player. One of those who sometimes has those days where nothing works. One of those who sometimes – not all the time – is able to string together a succession of wonderful matches. We’re so used to it being all the time, it feels more shocking than it actually ought to when he gets to the end of the string before WE’re ready for him to get there.

    In press, it almost seemed like none of the reporters wanted to ask him anything – there were these long silences.

    Another quote I found interesting was this (original here: ) :

    Press: On vous sent plus déçu d’avoir mal jouΓ© que d’avoir perdu…

    R.F. : Non. Ce qui est important pour moi, c’est que je suis en dehors du tournoi. Beaucoup de personnes disent “ce qui m’intΓ©resse, c’est la faΓ§on dont je joue et je ne m’occupe pas des rΓ©sultats”. Pour moi, c’est l’inverse, ce qui m’importe, c’est de gagner parce que cela me permet de jouer un match supplΓ©mentaire mais je n’ai pas Γ©tΓ© Γ  la hauteur donc je fais mes bagages et je rentre chez moi. Mais c’est plus facile quand on change de surface parce qu’on a d’autres objectifs. Je pense que j’ai livrΓ© un Roland Garros acceptable. Mais je vais essayer d’oublier cette dΓ©faite.

    Press: You seem more disappointed at having played badly than at having lost.

    RF: No. What’s important for me is that I’m out of the tournament. Many people say “what I care about is how I play, and I don’t concern myself with results”. For me, it’s the opposite, what matters to me is winning because then I get to play another match; but I didn’t have the level so I pack my bags and I go home. But it’s easier when you’re changing surfaces because there are other objectives. I think I had an acceptable Roland Garros. But I’m going to try to forget this defeat.

  22. Was so disappointed today, but oddly enough in the kind of resigned “I knew this could happen” kind of way. Maybe Federer’s given up on clay; like you said, he certainly looked ‘disinterested’ — we don’t know, and it’s very unlikely that Fed will go out and tell the public whatever it was that was bothering him on court. I thought Tsonga looked good out there, though Federer “helped” him win with all those unforced errors; mucking up shots you would have thought he could do with his eyes closed. I think Tsonga has a chance against Ferrer – and I really hope he wins: he’s beaten Feds in (2?) other slams before and it’s about time he makes good on his promise and wins the whole thing. Plus I like his game better than Ferrer’s.

    Hope Federer makes up for it in Halle and Wimbledon. Maybe he reads this blog and will reach the final just for you, Jonathan πŸ™‚

  23. To me it was similar to the match against Berdych in the US. Both tough opponents, but really Fed did nothing to at least make it difficult for them. Too bad, hope he does better in Halle and especially in Wimby

    1. I think he’ll do better the second half of the year; slow start. I’ll be worried if he goes into the USO without a title. Still making QF+ every tourney at age 31 1/2!

    2. Yes, you’re right, his level and enthusiasm did resemble that match. He will have a very decent chance in Cincinnati, it’s always been his playground πŸ˜€

    3. Hmm kinda similar in result. Although I think Fed was drained for that one against Berdscat.

      Although come to think of it he was flat for this one too. Interesting comparison.

    4. Hmm, I don’t know. Roger was very confident about winning US Open last year that when he lost to the Berd (and got a set in that one) he was pretty pissed off.

      After this loss, I guess because it was Roland Garros, he wasn’t happy with how he played but he knew he would be underdog against Djokovic or Nadal anyway.

      1. Yeah US Open has kinda sparked this downward spiral. Strange. Hope it’s not cos Mirka has been texting me? πŸ˜‰

  24. Balls.

    Tsonga becomes only the third man to beat Feds in straights in a slam, and in the QF. That sucks hard.

    We’ve seen matches like this before, Olympic final, Rome last year, RG last year just to name a few. Unfortunately it will probably happen more and more as he gets older. This one is just particularly galling because the draw was a dream.

    I disagree with people saying that this kind of disinterested/flat performance is unacceptable and he doesn’t care any more. Apart from the odd come on fed always seems disinterested, that’s his thing. It’s very clear from the match and especially the press conference how disgusted and annoyed he was by his performance. It’s easy for us to say he should have fought/tried harder for it but how do you that if everything that touches your racket fucks off into the stands? There’s nothing wrong with his ‘attitude’ the problem is his execution.

    In terms of tactics Tsonga said he watched tapes of dull, and predictably threw everything at federers backhand. Ironically that held up quite well, at least in comparison to his FH which was simply atrocious.

    I like your equation Jonathan. I’d suggest this simple one aswell

    Misses overheads = loses match.

    I want haas to win now but he’s not beating djoke and dull on the trot so I guess djokes gona have to do it.

    Allez Roger!!

    1. Yeah missing overheads is a bad bad sign! No confidence.

      I think Tsonga was talking crap with that comment, probably watched it but no way he can do what Dull does to beat Fed. Probably surprised at how easy he had it out there.


    2. Right on Stan( also cannot cope with the topspin to the BH leaving the court open for the Nadal FH winner! Vvv dull match! Haas fought hard but was never going to win! Looked shattered at the end. Just hoping beyond hope that Jo-Willy can be carried to his maiden slam by the crowd!!!

  25. Hi Jonathan,
    It’s been quite a while since I posted a comment; mainly because Federer’s matches were always at unearthly hours for me – and I needed the day off to recover from my hangover πŸ™‚ Sadly,that will not be the case any more… πŸ™ The match was disappointing, to say the least. You’ve summed it up really well in your article – this was completely unexpected especially after that match against Simon. How did that fighting spirit just disappear?

    Happy Birthday to PeRFect Tennis – wishing you many more years of continued success. I enjoyed answering the quiz; very interesting questions, anyone can see it’s been compiled by a true Federer fan! I’ve been going through your previous posts that I missed this week; it takes double the time now because the comment section is equally interesting! I lke the happy banter, and lovely to see avatars coming up now at the fedfan family πŸ™‚

    So…Halle next; it starts Monday, I think? Roger said “Today was just not one of those days. So I’ve just got to forget quickly, and that I usually do pretty well anyway. It’s easier when you change surface. That definitely helps. You have something else to look forward to.” I think I’ll just go with that – nothing much else we can do about it anyway…plus I get to sleep through the nights till then πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks Vandana,

      Good luck in the draw for the Quiz πŸ™‚

      Yeah Halle starts Monday, I think Fed will play first match Wednesday though.


  26. It’s sad, but Roger is just not the same player anymore…

    Enjoy your time at Halle, Jonathan! I’m envious!!

  27. Disappointing end to a had-a-potential-to-be-a-great clay season. Body language was way off, he was still living in the Simon moment, didn’t get over it in time (even with a day off) and so, couldn’t really concentrate on the match. And he REALLY didn’t want to go through another 3-hour match (losing the second set basically finalized it for me). The break to bring it 1-1 in the third (with the massive inside-in forehand on return of serve) and the following COME ON showed a spark in him. But again, didn’t really use that to light the fire within (maybe it was just a “you don’t break me in every set and get away with it” kinda deal). Seemed so lethargic in hitting those overheads, failed miserably in reading routine returns from Jo.

    Roger 2013 is cracking under pressure. Trying to do too much with easy shots instead of playing his natural game and ends up making an error (not just in Paris, but in Rome and Madrid as well). At 15-40, 3-5 down in the third, Roger hit a massive forehand to bring it to 30-40. That shot was a heart attack! Barely made it inside the baseline. The very next point, hoping for a deuce, Roger hits a backhand at almost the exact same place as the last one, goes long, bye bye birdie! I mean seriously, forget constructing a point, he didn’t even bother to place it away from Tsonga. Hit it straight towards him, trying to crank up the mph. What was the point? i am not getting this mind set of Roger right now. Any ideas Jonathan?

    And spot on with the tweet; Paul should take Rogers laptop, deactivate twitter, and then throw it out the window and hopefully, it finds and lands on Dull’s head (better yet, on Toni’s)!

    Now, onto Grass and then the rest of the season. Going to Halle, huh? If you meet Roger, do tell him to start wearing Polos again!

    1. Indeed Alvi, very hard to assess. I have no idea as to why he playing like this.

      I agree about twitter though, an unnecessary distraction. Probably to do with sponsors I feel.

  28. I’m going to say, much to everyone’s chagrin, that I knew Tsonga will win in four sets or less. No wonder I said I was pi****** in my pants. I just did not have a good feeling about it. It was a different surface, but the Roger Rasheed-Tsonga association laid out the ground work in Melbourne.

    Roger hasn’t faced quality opponents and was shaky vs. Simon. Of course today, as Jonathan said, he made it harder on himself.

    I’ve never, ever, seen Roger play at least three sets and not serve a single ace. We are talking about a single ace, folks, one of his special wide or exactly on the “T” serves. And miss two or more overheads?

    The easiest thing to say would be that age has caught up with him, and this time it’s for real, and that there’s only so much enthusiasm a champion can have, or that maybe he really is struggling with a physical issue. But I truly believe Roger’s been saving his chips, as short the stack may be, for rest of the season, where he will feel at home, so to say. He understands that even with his best tennis, he may not have won anything on clay, save pick up some ranking points, with Djokovic shooting for history and Nadal juiced up and just about reaching the peak of his “cycle”.

    Let’s hope it turns out that way. Slams are Roger’s priority. He can only win Wimbledon this year. In my opinion, he stands very little or no chance in New York.

    Let’s not be too hard on him. It’s all part of the plan.

    1. I was confident that if Roger had won the third set, he would’ve taken the match. Another important stat that is worth mentioning. He was beaten by 30 points in three sets. 12-15 points would’ve meant a tough fight. 20 would’ve meant Tsonga was having a really good day. Losing by 30 points implies Roger simply wan’t invested in any way.

      Case in point: The match Roger lost to Djokovic in 2011 in Melbourne was decided by only……….8 points!

      1. good points Sid… Yes I also thought Roger Rasheed has done a very good job with Tsonga. His return of serve has improved a lot, like Federer said. He’s also much more consistent now. He’s still an aggressive player, that’s who he is, but I think he’s learning to hold back on the trigger and play the percentages more. As to what Jonathan said (tsonga’s game can make him self-destruct), I don’t think there’s many chances of that happening anymore. Federer was crappy, but Tsonga was rock solid. His serve and return were great. And his movement, damn, so much better now. I hope he wins against Ferrer. If he plays Nadal in the final, he has no chance, but if he plays Djokovic then he has a chance to win RG.

      2. Yes, Roger’s serve was not great at all… The lack of aces is almost unthinkable. His first serve percentage is decent, but for there to be no aces… The serve out wide in the deuce court kept missing (his best serve IMO). I guess with age, his power and accuracy have diminished…

      3. Yeah the first set was key, but if Fed had won the third he’d have definitely got back into it. Just couldn’t do it.

        Losing by more than 30 points is a demolition really!

  29. Ok First of all, a disappointing match from Roger, but honestly who cares? He ends up getting more rest for Halle than if he were to be in the FO final. So really, this gives him a good opportunity to rest for the grass season. As for his match today, well he got unlucky, you can’t win them all. In saying that we shouldn’t lose hope on Roger for wimbledon and US open, I’m sure he can win both. And, i think this year’s FO draw proves that good or bad draw it ultimately lies on how the player plays not how good the draw is. Hopefully someone other than Djokovic or nadal wins because then it will be that persons first GS. And let’s not forget id like to see murray, djokovic and nadal when thy are 29+ yrs, they wouldn’t be able to last round 1!!! Predictions: Djokovic in 5 sets against Haas and Nadal in four sets against Wawrinka (he will be exhausted) I think final is Nadal vs Ferrer but i want the final to be Wawrinka and tsonga πŸ˜€

  30. I was feeling down the whole day upon learning the result while at work. I could not watch it live – was too nervous.

    Is it too late to change racquets or at least change strings up to or close to the same size and power as the rest of the Top 10?

    I hate to repeat it, even though it’s his least favorite surface, the opportunity was there…

      1. Can’t settle with the current one at all so maybe he shld try!!!

        I had a feeling Tsonga might take him out. His smaller racquet does make him suffer against the power players these days! However, he was more honest than he has ever been guys so give him a break! He described it as a crushing loss! He never really got going, a d then cldnt depend on Jo making UFE’s, as rasheed has put the Hewitt never say die , chase every ball mentality into him! Yes Roger lost it, and I do think he cared, but he became like a rabbit in headlights! Like Serena last year! He froze mentally and u cld see that every shot was a technical and tactical nightmare to execute! Nervy, most definitely. This for me is the biggest factor of ageing! U start over thinking on court, yr feet stop and u lose yr timing! Happens in golf too! On a positive note, he made the QF, gained valuable WTF points, isn’t too knackered for Halle and Wimby, still seems to want to play to win, so we shall see. Whenever I see him on clay, it is so obvious it is all wrong for his game: bounce height, time delay, playing far back, long rallies! Amazes me he has ever done so well. Ps cannot bear it if Nadal wins again! Boring! Come on Jo!

  31. By the way, great job on the website! I always look forward to your pre-match, during-tweets, and post-match analysis.

  32. I guess its just another bad day at the office Mr. Jonathan. May the best man win the French! :0-)

  33. This must be very disappointing for Roger. To play such good tennis at the beginning of the tournament and then the inconsistent play creeps in. After the fall in the Simon match he seemed to lose his confidence. This must be a concern in the Fed camp.
    I don’t know if I want to watch the match. It might be too depressing.
    He loves to play but I wonder if he feels he doesn’t have too many goals left. Been there, done that.
    Jonathan, have a great time in Halle!

    1. Cheerse Sue,

      Yeah I’m with Sid avoid the highlights,although tune it at 5-6 0-40 if you want to see some sweet shotmaking, but turn off at deuce!


      1. Thanks for the advice. I don’t think I’ll watch the match. Perhaps I’ll go back and re-watch the Simon match.

  34. A fantastic read as always Jonathon and a strong reflection in the flaws of Roger’s performance yesterday. The forehand which we have all come to expect as the shot Federer does not miss was simply missing and with shots coming off the frame, overheads being missed and midcourt opportunities being wasted it would be difficult to argue the conclusion that Federer certainly did not have a great day at the office.

    While I’m certainly not in the camp that has suddenly being swept away by the romance of Tsonga winning the French Open I did find it very difficult not to offer a lot of credit to the Frenchman. Anyone serving at 75% and backing that up by winning more than 80% of those serves is going to cause difficulties for any opponent on the tour. Sure we can point at that 80% and say that plenty of it came from unforced errors on the Federer racquet but at some point you have to give credit where it is due and acknowledge that Tsonga had a great day.

    I’ll choose my words carefully and highlight the use of the term ‘day’. With his game he has those one-off days where everything just clicks for him and he looks unstoppable. Unfortunately Tsonga is hugely inconsistent and come Friday it would surprise nobody who follows the tour if he turns up and starts firing unforced error after unforced error from his backhand with a first serve percentage back down below 60%.

    I’ll conclude by saying that I too agree that there is little to take out of this. Federer lost and much of it was down to his own game being poor. There will be further talk of decline and talk of Tsonga emerging as a threat to the top 4 but only the future holds those answers. Personally I’d say ‘not yet’ and ‘nowhere near’ but we shall see.


  35. Get some popcorn guys, this is going to be a long one. I did not have a good feeling about this match prior to its start so I lowered my expectations from the get go and now I am not disappointed as I would be. But Roger should be.

    Guys, it’s been my observation since last year. Roger’s form takes a significant dip in slams from the quarterfinal stage. I’ve seen a tonne of crap from fans about “back pain” and what not. I understand that Roger did not hit a single ace for the entirety of the match and that when he doesn’t serve well, he turns into federror. Which is true, he does. But he was not compromised yesterday. Roger mentally was not on the court. And this is becoming more common this year unfortunately.

    I’m not surprised that Fed lost to Tsonga because well we all know that he is someone that he has particular trouble with. It was the fashion in which he lost- under three hours, in straights without any mental toughness whatsoever. It’s pretty upsetting to see him go out like that but Jonathan you said is perfectly “A match lost by Roger, not won by his opponent.” Wrapped up the match with a nice bow.

    Multiple people said that anything but a finals run with Roger’s draw would be a low. And they are absolutely right. Roger should of made the finals with this draw. Tsonga was playing good but Roger showed good signs all week only to let Simon beat him either way? Sad stuff from Fed there. The only thing more annoying than this is going to be that Ferrer beats Tsonga in the semis and makes the final only to be hammered by Djokovic or Nadal. I can understand why they wanted those two on opposite sides now. Not only that, Roger actually had a decent chance had Djokovic made that final, even more if he was physically/mentally drained from his semi. Why Roger didn’t take advantage of this and fight in that Tsonga match even when things weren’t working is beyond me. Seems like he was already thinking about the grass huh? Just no motivation at all, pretty pathetic.

    I agree. The retirement/decline stories will once again linger on for a few days but some of them have a point. Roger cannot make statements that he wants to go deep in slams, and that the slams are his priority when his results say otherwise I’m afraid. There is no way he is winning another slam if this is his attitude. If he’s not going to put in 100%- at a QF stage at a slam with an easy draw, well then I’m sorry but maybe he shouldn’t keep playing. Truth right there, take it or leave it. Mentally Roger looks like he just doesn’t want to be there. Don’t understand how he got that break back in the third and didn’t capsulate on the momentum. First set was key indeed. Just like the Murray match in Australia. I don’t know how many matches I can endure with the same ending.

    I know a lot of you are optimistic but I don’t see Roger winning Wimbledon this year. I think this loss is going to sing a little for him more than others because he was in such a good position. There’s just no way you can get over such a loss so quickly. He’s aware that he played awful so there a positive there but he’s been saying this the whole year basically after a poor match and nothing has changed. I commend him on getting out of the hole Simon put him in but he never reaped the benefits of that 5 setter confidence wise so who knows.

    Another positive is that, Roger is stuck at number 3. So he and Nadal won’t be in the same draw for Wimbledon. So that worked out well I guess. Other than that Roger and his team need to figure his shit out. This was an unacceptable loss. It seems like I am being harsh. But you just don’t lose to Tsonga in three sets on clay. No fight, nothing. Something doesn’t seem to be right there. Roger’s season starts here. This is where his chances are raised to win stuff. I see either Murray or Nadal taking out SW19 and then the US Open is up for grabs. Roger is going to have to prove himself for that title. I’ll be surprised if he wins a slam this year but it’s not impossible. A title run at Halle will give him the confidence missing- a first title of the season can get that for sure so all hope is not lost. Can’t have too many more of these days though, not in the slams at least. He escaped and kept that QF streak intact but if he keeps on having this attitude I’m afraid he won’t have it any longer.

    Have fun at Halle Jonathan. Have a word with him if you can. At least we still have Djokovic/Nadal I guess. That was always going to be the matchup of the tournament and will produce the winner no doubt so if Djokovic can do something there, tournament will have something to its name for once.

    1. Hi Alysha, your comment (which is not long at all by the way !!!) is very harsh, but oh man, so true.
      Hate to admit it about my hero, but……

      I wrapped up my work yesterday to be home quickly. Which I was.
      First set, Roger up 4-2, I of course happy. After that, it began (did it happen because of me???).
      I could not believe what I saw. I did not mind him losing (yes, I did), but I very much minded the absence of his fighting spirit. Could not believe it. He knew what was at stake at the Simon match (QF streak, 900 win, Roger told it himself), but yesterday…. he should not have lost. I blame Roger and “destiny” for that, not his team. Will explain the destiny thing later.
      Don’t get me wrong, he is still my hero, the “love of my life”, I am still his die hard fan, I am still never giving up on him, but he needs to do just one thing: get his fighting spirit back. His game is still there, he has been improving on some aspects, but plain and simple he didn’t fight. Is that what you guys mean by “flat”?

      I have some more things to say, which I will do later, now I am at my work, so I can’t for too long.
      Today Novak and Rafa. Hopefully Tommy and Stan the Man can atleast take a set away from them.

      Maybe it seems like I am harsh on Roger, well I am, he kind of deserved it, BUT he is not getting rid of me as a fan that easily !!!

      Just had to say you are so right Alysha.


      1. Roger’s fighting spirit has been missing for most of the year so he deserves criticism. Can’t expect to win slams if this is how he approaches his matches.

        I’ve realised that Roger hasn’t had significant wins this year (and a title of course) to get the confidence needed to exhibit such mentality. That’s why this half of the year will be better IMO. He’s playing everything up until WTF so no excuses as to why he won’t get enough match practice and confidence. It’s upto him now if he wants to put himself in positions to play his best because at the moment he’s doing any thing but that.

        You are one of Roger’s biggest fans. This includes being his biggest critic. It sucks yes but in the end there’s no point being a blind worshipper, it’s better to admit to yourself now what’s been happening to his game rather than get stuck in expectations and to pick up the pieces when he falls below them


      2. Hey Alysha, it pains me and I believe also you guys to talk about him like this. Believe me, I don’t want to. And as much as I want to win him matches, even if he loses from now on I would not mind it that much, but I cannot get passed this attitude.
        It seems like he is on court but does not want to be (even when he comes on court), it seems like he is disinterested, doesn’t care, doesn’t want to fight, want it to be over as quickly as possible. He almost is content with the fact that he will not win a match when he enters the court or after a few games of losing. But that never was his attitude.

        I can understand it in some ways. He has won it all, what is there left to achieve, why bother to kill yourself practising and playing while you already have it all, no one will surpass you and you have a family. I do understand it, but it really kills me to see him not fighting.
        Seriously, he fought harder (literally) in the Rome final against Rafa !!!
        He really does not have to change a lot, except find his winning spirit back. The thing that brought him 76 titles, 302 weeks world number 1, 17 GS, 6 WTF, etc.
        You don’t get all of that without a winners killer instinct. I don’t know where he left it this year. It started kind of after Cincy last year, but it was not that much, he did fight at the WTF and in AO 2013 he REALLY fought. But after that….. ever since Rotterdam.
        O my God, ever since he came to my country….

        Alysha, I know I am beeing seen as a blind worshipper, but I am not completely.
        I can take him losing, but not when he is not giving it all or atleast giving it a chance.
        Yes, he is older and has backproblems and has played more than all of the others, but I want him to lose when he really tried to fight than lose with all of us thinking what was wrong.
        It seems like he won the Simon match, got his streak, got his 900th win and after that everything is a bonus. Well it is not, if he had gone to the final, he would have been number two again and the second seed at Wimby.

        I really hate to say this, but all he needs is the fighting spirit of Rafa or Ferrer.

        And I have definitely not given up on him, this is the rest of the year where he is good at.

        Bottom line, he says he still loves the game, but he doesn’t show that and THAT is what is missing.

      3. Oh and please don’t think that Halle will be that simple for him to win. He did not win it last year and this year Rafa will be there again. I so hope Roger finds a way to love the game again or to love it more. I don’t want him to win titles because of records, I want him to win titles because he DESERVES to.

    2. Cheers for the honest comment Alsyha. I think I will print it, fold it into a paper plane and try and land it in his bag during a Halle practise session!

      1. Haha cheers but maybe aim for his head. Get Mirka to do it, she deserves to chuck something at him. Don’t know how the poor woman has to endure these types of matches day in and day out.

      2. If Nadal wins the French, he will prob only play one match at Halle, or even withdraw!

    3. [Roger cannot make statements that he wants to go deep in slams, and that the slams are his priority when his results say otherwise I’m afraid]

      I’ll have to disagree with you there. Look, he was bushwhacked by Nishikori in Mardid, then drubbed by Nadal in Rome. Simon gave him a heart attack. He was low on confidence and playing on inarguably, his least favorite surface against an inspired opponent. Don’t underestimate Tsonga. I wasn’t surprised Roger lost. In Australia, Roger reached the semi, and lost in what was his tenth set in a 48 hour period. A phase of good play would’ve put him in the final. So, it’s not like he is saying things just for TV time πŸ™‚

      Right now he lacks that little something, whatever that little something is, he knows it and will give the remainder of the season his best.

      1. I would love for him to prove me wrong. Like Jonathan, I agree with your last statement. There indeed seems to be something missing. Hopefully these strings of losses will fire him up for the second half of the season.

      1. Haha πŸ˜€ I think we all would trade something for Roger to have beaten Tsonga today. But seriously if you look at the highlights it’s as if someone forced him to go and play and he was like “Fine…I’ll go onto the court (sigh)” lol, I still respect him very much though. BUt i guess with all the achievements he has, sometimes you just get bored of winning.

  36. I didn’t watch the match. I was at the office during their game and checked the IBM Slam Tracker at the RG website frequently. I think he really had it at 4-2.. but when I saw Tsonga creeping up the scoreboard, I got nervous and eventually got out of hand sooner than expected.

    We don’t really know what’s going on in his mind right now. That reminds me of the Rome final he had Vs. Nadal. Although he tried a different a strategy while watching him, his shot selection are sub-par.. just waiting for the tournament to end in a snap.

    Well, Roger has 2 chances left at a grandslam and several more at ATP masters. I just hope he can get a title (at least) this year.

  37. Gutted. It’s gonna be hard for Fed to return to the very top now, I know this makes fans angry and start throwing things, well we’re all entitled to our opinions, isn’t that what makes sport discussions interesting, that we all don’t think the same way? I’m a massive Fed fan and have been since 2000 before most people had even heard of him, not a fanwho just came along to joy in a an already-great champion, so if anyone is less likely to write him off unnecessarily it’s me. But you look at the manor of some of the defeats since he won Wimbledon last year, he seems to be running out of steam during the tournaments now, if he has for example a longer match where he struggles in say a 5 setter, but just scrapes through to our relief, he then seems tired, less sharp and more wasteful in the next round, examples: Del Potro in Olympic semi, then humiliated by Murray, Tsonga in Aus Open, then beaten by Murray and now the French, he seems to be struggling earlier on in tournaments and then not being able to last the distance. In 2013, there isn’t a single result which stands out as a great Fed victory. Tsonga @Aus Open in 5 sets where he won 2 tiebreaks is arguably his best victory of this year, and even then we would have expected him to come through that match. I’m not saying there is anything strange that a guy nearly 32 years of age, is less able than he was before to challenge consistently at the very top, Fed has become the greatest player of all time, I couldn’t be more proud of him and everything he has achieved. I hold on to the hope that he can clear his head, come back strongly and still continue for 1 or 2 few more years at the very top, and by very top I mean getting to grand slam finals, not semis and quarters. But for me, it would take a massive turn around for him to get back to grand slam finals now because others below him are becoming stronger players. SW19 is surely his best chance to win slam no18, which I am not completely ruling out, remember I am a massive Federer fan, but I admit it will take a massive turnaround in his current performance level to pull it off. I’m assuming I have been banned for life from this forum now, since we’re only allowed to say “don’t worry he’ll come back and win this and that”. I can say that if it’s what people would prefer to hear…

    1. Exactly how I feel. No time for blind worshippers.

      It’s ok to be realistic. You are spot on about there being too big of a turn around to pull off Wimbledon, it’s why I’m not expecting him to win it this year as well. He hasn’t gotten enough big wins to maintain confidence.

      “Don’t worry he’ll come back” is what people want to hear and what they do hear despite the truth being spoken. True fans have to criticise him and not always believe that gold is at the end of the rainbow.

    2. andyb, you are right on the money. Fedrer’s game is clearly in decline for lots of reasons – age and lack of motivation more than anything. It’s not enough to still enjoy playing as he claims to do. He has lost the will and determination to WIN. And why not? he has done everything there is to do in this game. The contrast with Hass really struck me at this year’s French Open. Even though he lost today, Hass never quit fighting. Of course, Hass has everything to prove. His career has been destroyed by injuries and freak accidents. He has never been able to live up to his potential. So at 35 he WANTS to win – Federer does not seems to really care if he wins or loses anymore. So let us remember Roger for the player he was – the greatest player to have ever played this game – and celebrate his achievements. Let’s stop tearing our hair out every time he loses – which he will more and more. He will be out of the top 4 soon – and probably not even make the Barclays year-end Final this year. What will the “blind worshippers” do then?!

  38. Just to clarify, Tsonga in the quarters of the AO this year has been Roger’s ONLY top 10 win right? He hasn’t really played a heavy schedule this first half so I guess it’s not that shocking but he needs to rack up some top player wins sooner rather than later.

    Jonathan, would be sweet if Fed takes out Nadal in the finals of Halle. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you to watch this live. Dramadal losing to Djoker in the semis and then Fed on grass in a span of two weeks will be like Christmas.

  39. Thanks Jonathan for a great post and spot on – total FLAT. Basically I am feeling a little numb about Roger’s lost. He was fighting against Simon but Tsonga, well that is different thing altogether. I just cant wrap my finger around what is wrong with Roger – at times he will fight tooth and nail like at AO but yesterday he just doesn’t seem to care. I don’t believe about this talk of retirement, I dread the day I have to watch tennis without Roger on court. I want to watch him play as long as possible.

  40. No fight, like the Rome final, very uncharacteristic errors, poor match from Fed. Seemingly too passive as well. I’m glad I didn’t stay up to watch it. I actually had some doubts that Roger would win right before I went to bed, Tsonga was looking so dangerous from his early rounds…
    When I woke up in the morning, I did not want to check the match result on my phone, but I did. I feared my prediction was true and it was πŸ™ Just a big shock it was in straights!
    I really hope Roger wins Halle, but isn’t Nadal played again? Hopefully Roger will school him and then 2013 really begins!

    1. Indeed man, you did well to avoid this one!

      Halle has been good for him, but not his best tournament that’s for sure. Gonna be interesting to see which Fed turns up.

  41. As some fans have suggested, I don’t believe for a minute that Fed is disinterested, nothing could be further from the truth in my mind, the guy just loves winning, he would have to have huge desire to become GOAT. But what I do believe is that his opponent is more able to get into his head (at the present time anyway). If at the moment, you rattle Fed by getting ahead of him in a match, whilst playing some aggressive tennis, he looks as if he lacks faith in his ability to claw the game back and his unforced error count begins to rise. Ok the Simon match he showed fight and pulled that back but with respect he was a lesser class of opponent, who he should be putting away regardless. If you took a Berdych, Tsonga or a Murray and gave them a 1 set lead against Fed today, how much faith would you honestly have in Fed clawing it back? In my mind, he would be in big trouble already, just a set down. I truely believe he goes out on court with the belief that he can mix it up with the best, and then is perhaps a little surprised just how difficult it is getting out there. For me, his mind still has the 100% burning desire to win, but his body is only responding 70-80 % as well as it did when he was at his peak and he is losing confidence in his ability whilst a match is slipping away. If he was lacking any desire whatsoever, he would quit, period. Nobody is forcing him to play, he is playing because he believes he can still win. Fed MUST get past this typical quarter/semi opponent, the Tsongas, Berdych’s Ferrer’s, Del Potros, and comfortably, to have a chance of winning a major tournament now. If any of these guys are pushing him all the way and taking him to 5 sets (if not actually beating him), then he has nothing left in the tank for the Nadal’s, Djoks and Murray’s.

    Take last years Wimbledon, he got past the Djok semi without too much trouble (in 4 sets), and this set him up nicely for the final. Whilst the media said he outclassed Murray and heaped endless praise on him as if it was his best ever tennis, I actually think Fed played a poor game by his own standards (easily the weakest performance of his 7 final wins) but he still came through. His unforced error count was higher than the centre court roof that day but some wonderful winners at pivotal moments were his saving grace.
    Compare this tournament to the Olympics where a very gritty tenacious Del Potro, kept Fed battling on the court for what seemed like a week and a half, with the final the very next day, and Murray had 48 hours rest to recover, Fed was totally humiliated to be frank, I was really hurt to see him so heavily beaten at the court where he is the undisputed king, but clearly he needs more recovery time these days than he did when he was in his prime.

    Let’s hope at Wimbledon, the draw is kind to him but more importantly, that when he reaches the round of 16, and hopefully QF & SF, that he can get through these matches comfortably with loss of only 1 or 2 sets along the way, to set him up with a full tank of petrol for the final.

    To end on a positive note, let’s see how good these other guys are when they reach 31/32 years of age, we’ll see if they can claim a grand slam and get to world no.1 (even for a short spell).

    1. Don’t agree with you on Wimbledon. Roger played fantastic, especially after they closed the roof. Murray was outplayed. Winners in pivotal moments is what Roger lacks most of the time now so that match just showed how dangerous he is if he made the right shots at the right time.

      1. 38 unforced errors in last years SW19 final is not fantastic by his own high standards though. Compare that to the 9 errors when he won his first title in 2003. When you say Murray was outplayed, in all fairness, it was the other way around until Roger got himself back into the match winning a very close second set tiebreak. The match I watched he was very much on the ropes for 2 entire sets, but showed incredible steel to somehow hang in there, (especially as he had break points against him in the 2nd set) and he nicked a very tight second set with his first opportunity with a delightful volley, a set you wonder really just how he won, Murray was throwing the kitchen sink at him. I’m not taking any credit away from Roger and am delighted he won, but I am just saying I recall how wasteful he was in the early part of that final which had me punching the sofa and asking him “what is the matter with you” with frustration for 2 sets. One of 2 points here and there made all the difference in that final. He has not showed that early match sloppiness in any of his other SW19 finals, which is why I would call it his weakest performance out of all his SW19 finals, but don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted he was able to come back and win!!

      2. I think those were nerves that you saw early on. You could tell he was nervous after he got broken in that opening game. Then once he got a feel for the match, he remembered why he is GOAT.

        I don’t know where he pulled out that volley to win the second set, probably one of the best IMO best set points I’ve ever seen.

        Look dude, obviously Roger has to make the errors. He is an aggressive player, he had to go for it especially against Murray who played his best slam final so the errors are fine. What matters is that he won the match, after that second set he was in control from there on in. Especially after that 20 minute game on Murray’s serve, impeccable tennis from Fed in that moment to break.

        You can look at it how you want but after not winning a slam for 2.5 years, Roger played the tournament of his life to win Wimbledon 2012 and there can be 150 errors for all I care because in the end he still got the win.

    2. Totally agree, mind and body were not synched. Also as I hv said earlier, don’t discount how nervy he gets under pressure these days, another effect if ageing! I agree regarding other players, sometimes he doesn’t expect his shots to be returned so is caught off guard, looking flat footed. Nice post Andy

    3. Cheers for the thoughts / Analysis Andy.

      Interesting comments. I don’t think Wimbledon final was god mode, but he did play some stellar stuff.

      See how he handles Halle next!

  42. Although everybody is expecting an exciting and thrilling set, I (maybe the only one) think it will be not exciting and will last not that long. No way Novak is beating Rafa the way Rafa is playing and too scary he is not even at his best.

      1. No Jonathan….. I kind of disagree. Would LOVE if Novak beats Rafa, but this is Rafa we are talking about. Novak beat him everywhere on the planet except RG.

      1. I’d give Djokovic the French Open but he won’t get past Nadal.

    1. Tsonga took out Fed so obviously it would be great if he could do something with it…but probably unlikely. So Nova’s career slam for sure.

      1. But isn’t it a trend that whoever beats Roger in a QF/SF is so overplayed/exhausted that they always lose the next match (final)? Of course one exception is Novak.
        Roger loses to these guys, but he takes all their energy away from them.

    2. If Novak wins, he will have a good chance to do the grand slam this year. That hurts me more. So 8th for Rafa as long as he is just winning RG every year. It would take him 5 more years to equal Roger’s 17 trophies. Impossible! I also think Roger will win one or two more slams. So even more impossible for Rafa! πŸ™‚

      But like Simon and Alysha I prefer Jo to win it..

      1. Ferrer- Nadal for me. Actually, it feels strange for Ferrer to get to a GS final with no particular weapons to speak of. Respect the guy big time (best overachiever, anyone? As opposed to Nalbandian the underachiever; in the no slams list, to clarify), but maybe Jo Willy will produce some big stuff. Yeah, I’ll stick with it, but I might be swaying towards Tsonga- Nadal now.

  43. This was pretty hideous for sure, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen Fed miss an overhead in matches before yesterday so he had to play unbelievably crap to miss three yesterday.

    BUT I have confidence that the second half of the year will bring better times for us Fed fans. We’ve got the grass season and the indoor season at the end of the year still to come, which are Roger’s two best stretches of the season. The two shit swings of the year are out of the way now, so the best is still to come!

    1. That’s also what I think. Wimbledon onwards, I just can’t wait for this season to end and see again Federer in a grass court and fast indoor courts. Who knows, maybe he’ll get those titles that he wasn’t able to win last year like in Shanghai, Paris, Basel, Rogers and USO.

      Federer has to turn things around during that time ASAP.

    2. Yeah it’s still early in the year, grass, hard courts and indoor are all to come!

      Not winning a title would be quite poor, had 6 last year!

  44. I have been a long-time follower of this blog, but this is the first time I’m commenting. I think the biggest reason Federer struggles against Tsonga, Berdych, Delpo, and other big hitters is that his return of serve lets him down, especially on the first serve. He’s too reluctant to make adjustments, such as standing a few feet farther behind the baseline. Federer has never been a great returner — in his prime his return of serve looked a lot better than now only because there were fewer big servers at the top of the game. Roddick was one of the only big servers at the top, but Federer could get away with floating the returns back because of Roddick’s relatively weak offensive game (compared to Tsonga, Berdych, etc). Add Federer’s slowing movement and ability to change direction, and it makes it much tougher for him to beat big hitters today. If he cannot break his opponents’ serve as frequently as Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray, he feels a lot more pressure to hold his own serve, resulting in him making errors as he goes for too much on his serve and groundstrokes.

    I like Federer’s chances on grass, but he would still be susceptible to big hitters. He would have to hope for some luck with the draw to avoid those kind of players. I think he has a great chance against Djokovic and Nadal, though, at Wimbledon.

    1. Thanks for commenting AR, interesting thoughts.

      I happen to think Feds return is under rated though, the block return has been effective for many years. I think he’s a little passive on it though which costs him.

      Standing a few feet back is an option but it widens angles and means he has to do a lot more running, not sure I think that’s a profitable play. I’d like to see more risks on the return and swing free.


      1. Hi, Jonathan, thanks for your reply. I think Federer has not worked enough on his return over the years because he could always get away with just using his instinct and anticipation to block returns back. I agree with you that although it has been effective, the block return is too passive, and that Roger should swing more freely on returns. That way he won’t be behind in the point, playing defense, on every return point– big hitters can hurt him very easily that way.

        I also think what hurts Federer against the big hitters is the change he made to his forehand (intentionally or unintentionally) at the start of 2012. I noticed his forehand became more wristy and whippy than before, making it harder for Federer to time the ball perfectly and to take it on the rise. It’s possible that as he has gotten older his movement has suffered and he has found it increasingly harder to position himself the proper distance away from the ball in order to hit his straight-arm forehand; to adjust, he may have had to start hitting the ball closer to his body but more out in front (maintaining the straight-arm), which would require more use of the wrist. In any case, the new forehand hurts him especially against big hitters because it’s even more important that he take the ball on the rise against them and rush them for time; otherwise, he’ll always get pushed back. Take a look at these videos, one from 2010 and one from 2013, to see the change.

        It seems to me that it’s harder for him to hit the lines consistently, especially on the inside-out forehand, and that his forehand is even more prone to breaking down in matches. I hope Federer regains the mental edge he had in 2012 (“Roger 3.0”), and that he has a good Wimbledon.

  45. So, the question is, which of these events will transpire first: –

    a) Roger winning his 18th Slam
    b) PeRFect Tennis getting 1800 likes

    And, congratulations, Jonathan, for one kilogram of likes (using the metric system)! More like, 1006 and counting πŸ™‚

    1. Bookies have Roger as a slight favourite but quite a lot of money has just been placed on me to make 1800 likes from an anonymous account somewhere in the midwest.

  46. You know it’s interesting. Nowadays it seems journalists relish in every one of Fed losses. Garber from ESPN was almost disappointed when Fed made it past Simon. *insert facepalm* I can’t wait for the time when Fed decides to hang up his racket they start complaining and whining about Ping Pong tennis. πŸ˜€

    Though I just wish Roger can just shut them up AGAIN πŸ™‚ Not a tard but I truly believe that he still has the game. He just seems to be lacking in execution when it truly matters.

    1. Yep gotta agree with you there. I was disgusted with Matt Cronin who said Tsonga beating Fed meant that everyone wouldn’t have to listen to Federer talk about how much he loves himself. The guy is scum and anyone who thinks Roger away from the game is a good thing is going to get a huge reality check when the time comes to be. Tennis journos and media unfortunately are the worst of the lot in sports.

      1. You know what would be nice for you all to see? Their is a video of players beeing driven from or to RG in a I think Peugeot car.
        The driver asks some questions and they have a screen in front of them with questions.
        One question was: Roger told in a press that he is retiring, what would you give him as a present?

        You should have seen the reactions from some players !!! First question was always is this a joke. Is this real. Was very funny to see.
        Hopefully someone can post it. I saw it on the RG site.
        Why don’t I post it myself? I just learned articles. Little steps……

  47. Before anyone starts writing an obituary, let’s wait till the end of the season. It’s irrational to have blind faith. But it’s equally irrational to dismiss him until you see the end of the year.

    Players go through cycles. Sometimes extended, that may last months. And until we see where Roger stands at the end of the World Tour Finals, nobody has any right to pass judgment. We need to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    For all he has achieved, Roger, and to a certain, Mirka, are the only ones who have the right to decide when it’s time to move on. If he and his team believe that he has a slam or two left, then losses like these need to be taken sportingly. Don’t forget that he was grossly under prepared,and that clay remains his worst surface. And the fact that he is nearly 32 only exacerbates the problem.

    It’s only a tournament. It’s not the end of the world. So, pretty please, everybody just calm down! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Sid,

      Completely agree with you. There are many more tournaments before the season ends and I feel that Roger does well in the latter half of the season rather than the first half. There are two more GS left his season as well as many more masters so he can definately have a crack at al of them and sweep a good 4 – 5 titles + 2 GS πŸ˜€

      1. Don’t be greedy πŸ˜€ let’s settle for 1 GS at first and 2 M1000 πŸ˜‰ anything else = BONUS!! πŸ˜€

      2. For me it is the WTF. If he wins only that this year, I would be out of my mind.
        He so deserves to win that for the 7th time. No one will equal that one.

        Of course if he can also take Wimby for the 8th, then I don’t care if he wins none of the masters this year.

        Most important WTF and Wimby (oke maybe also USO).

        But no pressure, one match at the time, one point at the time.

  48. Thanks Johnathan for keeping us posted. You spend so much time putting this together. I agree with some of the more positive responses. Chris and Sid the Cookie Thief expressed some good comments. No obituary please. His team is probably reading some of these and these negative comments do not help. We just need to be cheering him to victory for any tournament right now. Is there anyone out there thinking that lawyers, sales man/woman win everyday even though they are considered the best in their field? We can not read his mind or for sure know for sure how he felt after the Simon match. He is not in his 20’s any more. I was thinking Roger you forgot to come out to play tennis today. I am also convinced that the French fans came out to pull for all their players and they were determined to get one of their players in the SF. Why do you think some sports have their cheerleaders help motivate their teams and get the crowd excited. Roger is doing what he can and some days it just does not please us. Let’s try not to be so hard and selfish. I like him for the person he is and try not to be selfish. What it sounds like what we really want is for him to give us the bragging rights for a tournament. Think about it it did take him a very long time to win the French Open.

    1. Cheers Pat,

      Honoured you think Roger’s team might read this blog πŸ˜‰ I’m not so sure!

      Yeah I guess he deserves some slack, but can’t just let performances like this go unnoticed, gotta try and up the anti in his next matches. I guess the way he played earlier in the tournament made us forget this is clay. Kinda set some expectations by winning easy.


  49. It’s disturbing that the three most popular posts in the site are all relating to a Fed loss. Goes to show, we all start tripping when Fed loses, and we (sometimes) take his victories for granted!

    1. I think it’s to do with the fact that when he loses, there are more days between posts, so we’re still posting on the “loss” post. A contributing factor, at least. When he wins, we have a new post to comment on, new awesome, and some senseless, shots & decisions to turn our attention to, so the aspects of the previous match that we could probably have continued discussing ad infinitum get left behind.

    2. Haha Alvi to solve this you have to go put 100 or so meaningful comments on my day in the life of a Federer fan post to get it up there!

  50. Can someone tell me when the draw for Halle is coming out ? Seems like Halle has quite a number of good players this year..Seems like Fed might need a decent draw even here..Really hopin for a Fed win..

    1. Halle is apparently in the flood danger zone – no idea where the venue is in relation to the river though.

      1. That’s a different Halle, there’s 2 in Germany. The tennis one is about 400km away so hopefully won’t be effected!

      2. Oh! Totally did not know that, thanks Jonathan. Guess I can quit worrying about THAT. Didn’t even occur to me there could be two towns with the same name – Germany’s not that big.

    2. I found a post on that says the main draw is scheduled for Saturday at 2pm.

  51. Tomorrow D-day minus one. Not the match we were hoping for, but allez.

    I am going with Rafa-Jo Willie-final where the whole crowd is behind Tsonga, but of course Rafa wins.

    1. Against Nadal that is. But I really would like Tsonga to win the title if he gets past Ferrer and faces Djokovic/Rafa (two probable impossibilities) >_>

  52. Folks, this is a no brainer. Nadal in three or four sets. The doper started his preparation in South America for exactly this moment, to beat Djokovic on clay. There is no way he is letting this slip by.

    1. I want badly for Novak to win, but of course it will be Rafa again.
      Hope that when Jo Willie is in the final, he gets inspired, gets in his Tsonga-in-the-box attitude, gets all the crowd behind him and wins. But……..Rafa. Would love to see Rafa lose, only to see the Great Uncle Toni’s face !!!

  53. Hey everybody, Ru-an just wrote a really good article about today’s match and about Roger’s RG (spot on).
    You should read it.

      1. Really didn’t expect anything else… Novak not playing good… and it’s F*CKING BORING!!

      2. Well atleast it’s now each one set. But Rafa broke Novak again.
        I am going home now. Maybe I will be in time to see Rafa win.

  54. AH! The only good thing about the match: Dramadal got a point penalty for taking too much time πŸ˜€

  55. Hopefully Novak can make it to a fifth set. If we wins this, just give him his careerslam. He deserves it.

    1. Fifth set !!! The Dutch commentator is saying, well this is why Novak is number one.
      Saw the look Rafa was giving Novak…..

      1. Not good to say this, but it looks good to see Rafa struggling and nervous and mad.
        And of course the Great Uncle Toni……

    1. Can nobody stop him !!! And they say that he is not even playing his best. So scary.
      Still congrats for Novak. Careerslam and maybe grand slam will have to wait a year.
      Shall we say to Tsonga or Ferrer don’t even bother showing up?

      1. I think that’s a safe statement… But if one of them wins, I’m becoming a fan πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ hope it’s not ferrer….

      2. Please don’t let Ferrer win. He will have no chance. Atleast Tsonga will have a slightly chance.

        Simon and Scooter, 9th final in 4 months !!!

      3. Simon, be ready to become Ferrer’s fan !!!

        To be honest he does deserve a slam win for all his efforts and never give up attitude.

  56. Okay so the clay season is over for me now. Big FU to Djoker for screwing it up and making the poor RG trophy suffer another bite. Absolutely hate that butt-picking creature. It’ll be back on sunday tearing its opponent apart despite having played for almost 5 hours today and then we’ll hear about its amazing comeback, its overcoming of its nemesis, its astonishing warrior abilities and what not. Nobody will ever question its ‘injury’. Nobody will ever see it is not humanly possibly to have a comeback like it has had completely naturally, without using any kind of doping.
    So now I can thank JWT, I guess. Saved me from another heartbreak.
    Now Rafael Nadal, I don’t care about the FO. But you dare not try to create trouble at Wimbly. Even Murray is more acceptable to me as Wimbledon champ than RN.
    Sorry but it all just came out! 😐

    1. I think he’s going to have a strong run at wimby… unfortunatly… And until it’s proven he’s doping (which it isn’t…) we can’t really say he is (even though I think so with the bottom of my heart…)

      1. I dread him winning Wimbly. It is unacceptable. Really.
        And I don’t want anyone to say he’s doping. Heck, even I am not ‘stating’ that he’s doping. I’m just saying people (who matter, like journos, comms) should at least ask the questions. I mean nobody even wonders. People just marvel. No one finds it even slightly suspicious. He must have a hell of a doctor. And a hell of a PR team.

      2. Fedfan, doesn’t the one who wins Madrid also win Wimby???
        And please, Rafa is using.

    2. Fedfan, I am not use to hear this from you !!! Ah, it’s over, but seriously, did you expect Novak to win?
      There is a reason why he beat Rafa everywhere on the planet except at RG. Novak played great. I feel sorry for him.

      Now Rafa will be really unbeatable.

      One positive thing: Annabel Croft and Mats Wilander just said that now we can all put to bed that Rafa is still injured.

      1. Yes Katyani, there was this teeny tiny ray of hope in my heart that the reign of terror will end. But alas, I was wrong. I think I was lured into false expectations due to the great prospects of Nole winning…Rafa would probably have gone into another hibernation. That is a very sweet dream, trust me.
        I feel for Djoker too. He deserves to win RG. He will one day, I am sure. That’s why I don’t feel too sorry for him. Instead wish he had stopped RN.
        And really, now they say they can finally put Nadal’s injury saga to rest? Why? He still has a bandaged knee I believe. And if he is uninjured now, its only till the next loss.

    3. I think everyone is innocent until proven guilty, *cough even Nadal cough*
      I wouldn’t go out and say it until he is found out to be doping. But yeah my have my views too >_>.
      From a tennis P.O.V Nadal’s comeback is just incredible. But if things are too good to be through then the truth will prevail πŸ™‚

      1. Agreed. As irrational as it might sound, I’d rather not see Roger lose to that cheat in a slam final.

        By the way what was that net incident where Djokovic lost the point? Did he instantly touch the net or the ball was unreachable for Nadal when it happened?

      2. Ball was miles away from Dull, but Djoker touched the net before the point was over. He had nothing to discuss, even though Nadal’s smile when he saw Djoker hit the net made me want to punch him…

      3. Simon is right. Djokovic got a bit too confident with that smash and lost balance and touched the net. The ball didn’t bounce a second time before this happened so hence lost the point. Nadal and his pointing was absolutely unnecessary, Maria saw it. Even though Novak held there, momentum shifted to Nadal and as he was serving first, he had the advantage.

        I like Maria but he made some poor decisions during the match. Especially with that call in the third set early when Nadal broke Novak. I think if Djokovic won that game, he would’ve won this match in four. Maria also should have had the courts watered down in the fifth after 6-6. But then again, Djokovic shouldn’t have persisted it, his mind wandered and after that fail smash in the last game of the match, you just knew Nadal was winning it.

        Jonathan is right, absolute blessing in disguise. Would rather see Roger lose to Tsonga then get another loss from Dull in another final, not worth it. I don’t think Nadal will play Halle.

    4. Fedfan, get a life! Give credit where credit is due. You are a sore loser. Rafa won it fare and square. Live with it!!!

  57. Don’t let the score fool you, the Djokovic/Nadal semi-final wasn’t high quality tennis. Just a load of baseline rallies and errors with momentum shifts here and there. However, it was incredible to see both guys play their best tennis in crucial stages of the match, especially Djokovic who was nearly 2 points away from defeat in the fourth. His lack of execution in the first set cost him. And also his argument with Maria about watering the courts, after that he mentally left the court because he knew that the conditions were favouring Rafa.

    Djokovic dug his own grave. Should’ve won the fifth set being up a break. After the net incident, he gave up that serve too easily. For the most part, although Nadal won, he still has his hands full with Novak. Don’t think he’s going to win their matchup off clay again.

    Then again, Nadal should’ve won this match in straights but we all know how their 5 hour matches turn out. The last set was EXACTLY like Australia. Nadal was up a break and made one poor error (Djokovic and the net in this instance) and allowed him to come back into the match. Same thing. Unfortunate. I really wanted to see Uncle Toni’s face when Novak won but he will have to wait another year. This is going to be the toughest loss for Novak I feel. Will be interesting to see how he bounces back at Wimbledon.

    Speaking of Wimbledon, I now feel ok about Fed’s loss to Tsonga since Dramadal is in the final and he can have crucial energy for the summer stretch. Congrats to Nadal on his 8th RG, may the drama continue as long as those knees hold up.

    1. Good comment Alysha. Djoker has himself to blame here.

      Dull is a machine though, never gets tired, never stops running.

      Good loss from Fed here though. Another Fedal final would have been a nightmare.

      1. [Good loss from Fed here though]

        Told you! It’s all part of the plan πŸ™‚

  58. You know guys, all this talk about sportsmanship… when it counts everyone is looking out for themselves (even Roger, Novak, Rafa, etc.). Novak complaining about the almost fall he made and losing the point.
    Rafa deliberately pointing at the net to make it obvious to Pascal Maria.
    In the fifth set it was all about them. No sportsmanship, no giving credit for each other points (what Novak does no matter what), they were both desperate to win it.

    Have to say this, feel sorry for Novak.

  59. About Wimby, since Andy is tweeting and practising his butt off when he skipped RG, I know Wimby will be Andy’s.

    By the way, Tsonga almost getting a bagle in the first set.

  60. Oke, no bagle for Tsonga. Seriously, if you lose to Roger, you also lose all your energy for the next match.

    Doesn’t Ferrer know that Rafa will be waiting if he wins?

    So, now we are glad that Roger lost to Jo Willie instead of Ferrer or even worse… Rafa?

    1. Not the case here though, Tsonga will have had plenty energy, he just got shown up for the clay clown he is by Ferrer. Crap even this FO this year.

      Djoker losing today hurt way more than Fed’s loss. Puts it in perspective.

      1. So agree! Echoes of when Boris lost at wimbledon when he said calm down, noone sued , no one list a war! Puts it into perspective!

      2. I think it’s a process. He took Nadal to four sets last year. Lost in five this year. And will beat him next time they meet at the French Open.

      1. “Brokeback Mountain” in Spanish?

        (Ok, that was just an attempt at humor, alright?)

  61. Question, if Rafa (when Rafa) wins RG, will he be number 2 or 3 or stay the same and will he be second seed at Wimby?

    1. I think the rankings don’t change unless Ferrer wins RG. In that case he’ll be number 3 I guess. Else same rankings. And seeding at Wimbledon is done differently, not according to the rankings. Nadal lost at second round last year at Wimbledon, so I don’t see him seeded ahead of Roger/Novak at least. I don’t know the formula though.

    2. Ferrer will move up to fourth on Monday if he loses to Rafa (which is for sure) and to third if he wins the title..And as for the seedings for Wimbledon I am not sure..The formula is in this link but might depend on how Rafa does at Halle..But from my understanding of the formula I think Rafa is sure to be seeded fifth..But I think Roger and Murray will be really close if calculated with this formula..Would depend for sure on how Roger and Murray do in their respective grass court warm up events..But I think most probably the seedings would turn out to be the same as the rankings..Lets see..

  62. What the hell?? Ferrer won??? He does know he has to play Rafa right?
    If Novak could not do it, how much chance does he have?
    I am calling 6-3 6-2 6-1 for Rafa

    1. Isn’t that sort of expected? Didn’t see the match but Ferrer is very consistent (and boring) and Tsonga might become frustrated and try low percentage shots. He used to. I don’t know if he did that today.
      My first thought during first set of the RF-vs-J-WT match was that Roger was trying to start hitting consistently after the break and make Tsonga go for the low percentage shots. Instead Roger went limp and Tsonga started to hit winners instead.
      I think this tournament is going to haunt Roger for the rest of his career. This was as close as he’s ever going to get to a second RG title.

    2. I disagree about it haunting him. Look at what happened today. If anything he got out at the best possible time. A Fedal final would have been a nightmare for him.

    1. Hmm..Thats actually a recent trend..Safin at aus 04 ,rafa at french 05 ,nole at aus 08,11 and us open 11 all won titles after defeating Roger at the semis..And Berdych at Wimby 10 and Soderling at French 10 made it to the finals..

      1. But yeah recently like you say since Berdych at Wimby 2010 nobody except Novak has won their next match after defeating Rog..

  63. Not one, but two dopers in a slam final? One lives on the same island as Dr. Fuentes. The other was at the same academy where Fuentes practiced. That does it…I’m not going to follow tennis anymore and only watch whenever Roger reaches a semi πŸ™‚

  64. At least I learned the correct usage of “for f**** sake!” in a sentence πŸ™‚

    Why doesn’t everyone have a Gravatar yet for f***** sake! πŸ™‚

  65. Wow Ferrer proper schooled Tsonga. Why couldnt Tsonga play shit like that against Roger. Typical one hit wonders. Now we have Dramadal versus ‘whipping boy’ Ferrer. What a bullskat final. πŸ™

  66. Rafa’s turning into a bakery on Sunday, distributing breadsticks left and right –‘ (sorry about the rotten pun, I just had to get that one out)

    1. Yeah, and I heard they will be serving tacos to everyone right after the match. So, not croissants on Sunday, sorry. Of course the French wouldn’t know what a taco is but it’s an acquired taste. Besides, having endured Nadal all these years, there really isn’t much the French cannot take πŸ™‚

  67. Freaking Nadal… this guy was born to play tennis on clay. He’s just too good on this surface and in this tournament. But I still believe that Djoko will one day bring Dull down in RG. He came much closer to doing that than last year.

    As for the final, Nadal can play with his right hand and still win handily. I admire Ferrer for his persistence and his determination, but he’d be lucky if he doesn’t get bageled. Bravo for Spain for producing such excellent tennis players. This reminds me of what the Chinese do in Table Tennis.

    1. Yes, yes, bravo to Spain for producing such excellent dopers! I hope you seriously follow the news and what’s going on.

      Pretty soon, tennis will become like ping pong, pretty boring to watch.

      1. Sid The Doper Thief! Get a life! You are a sore loser. Get over it! Rafa won Period!

      2. Sid, just wondering, are you hoping Nadal will get caught if he is doping that is.

        I hope not because it will crush Roger and Djokovic and all their fans that this guy denied them so many things. I really hope Nadal isn’t doping and that he was just better. Won’t be able to handle it.

      3. Sid, unless you can prove that Nadal and Ferrer are doping, you should shut your mouth. It’s also ironic hearing this from an American, considering Lance Armstrong is the king of cheaters.

      4. Bravo, David, and thank you for stooping so low as to tell someone to shut their mouth for their opinion. Here in America, freedom of speech is very important so I’m not going to sink to your level and tell you to shut up for your opinion. No.

        I hated Armstrong. Like the character Aldo says in the movie, “Inglorious Basterds” that “If a story is too good to be true, it probably ain’t”. I believed Armstrong doped long before anything was proven and took a lot of stick from friends. Look what happened. Sport has no place for cheating.

        There is way too much circumstantial evidence that Nadal goes through doping cycles and how he manages to do it. If you look up and absorb enough information from a variety of sources, with an open mind, you will find your answers. There is also the small matter of Dr. Fuentes, who has a clinic in Mallorca, being found with hundreds, close to 600 blood samples, many of them tennis players according to the Doctor himself, and the Spanish government absolutely not allowing those names to be released. Who are they protecting? I’m pretty sure none of those samples belong to Spaniards.

        Again, thank you for your kind words, David.

      5. Think before you speak Batman. I’m a sore loser for what? When Tsonga beat my favorite player, I was devastated, I didn’t call him a doper. I was all praise for Tsonga and took the loss sportingly. How’s that for a sore lose? Huh? πŸ™‚

        You need to get a life because you have nothing better to do than calling names. As fans, we can make fun of rival players. It’s fair game. Write something insightful and you will earn our respect, I guarantee you.

        Have a nice life!

      6. Alysha, I’ve said this before that if you run a multi billion dollar industry and find that a few of your employees have been a part of serious irregularities, protecting them, and your business, becomes your number one priority. There is no way Nadal’s name will be released. There’s just too much a stake. Something like this will bring down the sport of tennis completely. It will annihilate it.

        As to the fact that you hope Nadal doesn’t dope? I wish you were right but you aren’t.

        Read this if you haven’t already, with an open mind, and also the comments at the end of it. It will seriously make you think.

      7. Sid, what you are doing is defamation. You have not a single shred of actual evidence other than speculating that Nadal might be doping. Ever heard of “innocent until proven guilty”? Also, you’re the one who started it. Don’t dish out what you can’t take. I said what I said, because you were unfairly accusing all Spanish athletes for cheating, so I took that and turned it around and applied it to Americans. Plus, I happen to like many sports other than Tennis, including Table Tennis, which you openly mocked. Just because Americans suck at it, doesn’t mean you should go around bashing it. πŸ™‚

      8. Well David, Americans suck at tennis too. And soccer. And many other sports. But I follow both all of them. Don’t assume things just to score a point πŸ™‚

        I did not say every Spaniard is a doper but too many stories have come out of that region. I don’t have a single shred of evidence? Why is the Spanish government adamant on not releasing those names? Why can’t they be transparent? What are they hiding?

        As to ping pong, please, numerically compare how popular that sport really is. It is, in my opinion, an extremely boring sport. I’m glad that at least you and I share the love for a common sport, that is tennis.

        All I am saying is keep an open mind, do some reading if this topic interests you. You simply have to put two and two together, David. Yes, I apologize if my statements came across as accusing all Spaniards. That is not true.

      9. David, remember that if everyone simply believes in, “β€œinnocent until proven guilty”, nothing will ever get done. Someone has to be brave enough to come up with an accusation. That’s what we mean when we say, “someone is accused or has allegedly committed” a crime. Then comes the inquisition phase. It’s a process. You look at what evidence you have and go from there. Just because a killer wasn’t found at the crime scene, doesn’t mean he cannot be accused to begin with. You look at the evidence, circumstantial in this case, then piece the puzzle together.

        But for that you need to have an open mind. I understand your passions are high and that’s precisely what will keep you away from searching for the truth πŸ™‚

        Do you remember Uncle Toni’s famous words, “I believe nobody dopes intentionally”. That’s not proof, but something I found funny.

        Cheers! πŸ™‚

      10. “As to ping pong, please, numerically compare how popular that sport really is.” Your ignorance is showing. Since you judge sports based simply on numbers, then by that standard, Table Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s in the Top 5, ahead of Basketball, Golf, Hockey, and Volleyball. Now, I personally do not judge sports based on numbers alone, because it shows a lack of understanding/appreciation of sports in general, but since you insist.

      11. My ignorance is showing? Can you tell me what is the biggest prize purse in ping pong? And how often it is given out? Compared to tennis? Just because China has 1.2 billion paddlers, doesn’t make it more popular than tennis. I’m not talking numerically, but aesthetically. Similarly, just because India has a billion people born with a cricket bat in their hands, doesn’t make it any more popular than tennis. The point I was trying to make is, the reason tennis has such world wide appeal is because it is still a beautiful sport to watch, or so it seems (I won’t dig too much into it or this comment will be endless). But it won’t remain once you see oversized player simply bashing balls from the baseline all day. Because you won’t identify with them any more.

        Secondly, I compared tennis to ping pong because of the similarities, you know, paddle sports, net, a playing area that is sort of similar? Get it?

        You took my argument that “tennis might become as boring as ping pong” on a tangent.

      12. David, let’s not take this discussion on a tangent and argue about random things just to score points. It will become a random and endless debate and I’m sure by the end of it we will be arguing about polar ice caps melting πŸ™‚ We started this discussion with doping in tennis. Let’s keep it there and tell me if you understand when I ask you to keep an open mind and research this topic further.

      13. The numbers I provided was not based on player participation. But on viewership. If it was player participation, Table Tennis would be much higher on the list. The reason why I responded to you in the first place is based on the general ignorance of your statements. Not simply based on your false accusations of Spanish tennis players cheating. Lastly, you clearly said “numerically compare how popular that sport really is”, and I simply did what you requested. You should have checked before asking such a question that exposed your ignorance. Don’t try to make stuff up.

      14. Fact remains, David, that ping pong is nowhere near as popular as tennis, whichever way you look at it, in terms of world wide appeal (not because of population in a single country). And tennis will be killed it it becomes like ping pong, tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock…and on and on…like a pendulum on a clock?

        I know a guy with a huge potbelly who was a state ping pong champion not too long ago πŸ™‚ He wouldn’t last an hour in tennis even at level 4.0 (out of 7.0). It’s the truth!

        So, can we get back to…what were we talking about? Doping? πŸ™‚

      15. As for my rant about Spaniards cheating? It shouldn’t be construed as me being racist. I made fun of taco’s because I hate them but I love burritos! I am a fan of Barcelona football simply because of Lionel Messi, who happens to be a Spanish speaker? The tennis coach I am currently taking some lessons from happens to be from Spain. I have nothing against Spaniards or South Americans at all!

        So you see, I absorb what is good and chastise what is not because I don’t have random hate for Spanish speakers. There’s so much information comes out on doping from that nations, with arrests being made, samples being found, information being protected by their governments, you’ve got to think.

    2. Alysha, in that same link I sent you, there is a comment by Vincent, February 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM. Unfortunately, there aren’t any unannounced drug testing being done any more. If and when players do miss their scheduled tests, they pay no penalty and can continue playing in tournaments. Except for the Olympics I believe.

      The ITF is the real culprit here by not allowing those type of tests any more. As I said earlier, it’s a business, and they will do what they feel is best for the popularity of tennis.

      I encourage all of you to be informed of these developments. Many of you can choose to be blind followers of tennis, thinking of it as just a form of entertainment. I’m not like those followers.

      1. I took a look at the article and I must say well yes it puts things into perspective. I never knew you could miss scheduled tests and for there not to be any consequences.

        Nadal is a suspicious figure in tennis no doubt about it. His breaks here and there that have to do with the “knee” like in 2009 and last year could very well have been silent bans. We just don’t know. But I won’t say anything until it’s confirmed.

        You are right though Sid. The ITF have done a terrible job and there is no way tennis is clean but it is what is is and until they develop a better testing program, it will probably stay like that.

      2. Yeah it’s a good article and blog as a whole that. Pretty sure doping happens, but there’s no incentive to be caught.

  68. Now that Ferrer is in the finals (is congratulations in order because he made a slam final or is sorry appropriate because of the way Nadal is going to crush him on Sunday?) Federer has to win Wimbledon otherwise he will drop out of the top 4. I thought I would never see the day that Ferrer would overtake Roger but we could be seeing it soon folks.

    Is anyone hopeful of Rosol schooling Nadal again at Wimbledon? I think Dramadal is out for blood at Wimbledon. Roger 3.0 is or only hope. Or Djokovic. Hope he can bounce back soon.

  69. Come one Sid and David, chill out guys… Some people believe Nadal to dope (I am one of those), but hey, nothing proven yet so we can’t really go out screaming bloody murder. And I honestly do believe that nothing is going to be uncovered giving the scope of what Nadal has achieved. Then again, that’s an opinion. So how about you guys just drop it? πŸ˜‰

    And alysha, if Feds loses wimby, he falls to 5?? you serious?! o_O

    1. Alright Mr. Moderator, I’m chill. You can see who is the more civilized one. I didn’t tell him to “shut his mouth” or called him “ignorant” πŸ™‚

      Evidently, he is a huge fan of Ping Pong so I guess I pressed the wrong buttons.

      1. Sorry to say Sid, but ping pong is a great sport. I’m on his side with that πŸ˜‰ But hey man, we all know your views, so don’t need to add on to that πŸ˜‰ ANd how in the seven hells did you finish talking about ping pong starting form an accusation that Dull dopes??! πŸ˜€

      2. Simon, I only started (and you can read the transcript) by implying that tennis will become like ping pong in that you will see the ball going back and forth all day to which David, instead of sticking to doping, brought up the popularity argument and goaded me into a parallel argument.

        Ping pong is a boring sport. It was invented by two chefs named Ping and Pong who worked for the Emperor in China around 10 A.D. because they had nothing better to do in their spare time. Originally, it was played on a wooden dinner table, with spatulas and a thin tree branch set up in the middle of the table. Legend has it that ancient wars were decided by a game of ping pong which expanded to single elimination, sudden death tournaments where the loser of each game was thrown off great wall of China. And so it began. But here’s where things get really interesting…

        Ok, I don’t want this comment to be really long so I’m going to stop now.

      3. Have you ever played at high level? I have, and I can tell you it; s every bit as straining as tennis. Not int the same way, but I can guarantee you that if played correctly it’s a great sport. Who cares about the roots? It’s what they are now which is important

      4. Simon, phweaase! Ping pong as straining as tennis? πŸ™‚

        Now you’re acting like David and trying to digress from the point I made viz. ” implying that tennis will become like ping pong in that you will see the ball going back and forth all day”. I wasn’t trying to bring down ping pong, I was trying to say that tennis is unique and it shouldn’t become like a table sport.

  70. Am I the only one worried about janovicz in feds quarter? He was decent on clay, but on grass he could be pretty dangerous…

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