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Federer defeats Hanescu Wimbledon 2013

Federer Crushes Hanescu; Nadal Crashes Out in Straights

Well where to begin? The peRFect day for Fed fans as Roger cruised through his opening match against Hanescu in 69 minutes and Nadal crashed out in straights to Belgian Steve Darcis.

I'll of course start with the GOAT who made a great start to his title defense and picked up where he left off in Halle looking completely at home on the grass and brushing aside his opponent 6-3 6-2 6-0.

Federer Match Report

Roger and Hanescu

There's something just so fitting about Roger opening up play on Centre Court for the first day of Wimbledon, the grass is so pristine, it almost just feels like tradition and it's even better when he starts playing well from the very first game. Of course he did just that which yet again set the tone for the match as he kicked off with a love hold and a ridiculous reaction volley on game point to get the crowd going early.

If Hanescu wanted to keep Roger on his toes then he had to dictate on serve but he got broken to 15 in his first service game despite not missing a first serve, yet again Roger's underrated chip return on grass doing the damage.

Roger then consolidated the break immediately and held serve to love twice to move 4-2 in front, Hanescu managed to get his first point on the Federer serve in the 7th game but it was short lived and Roger served out the set with consummate ease to take it 6-3.

The second was more of the same as again Hanescu lost his opening service game, it was extremely disheartening for the Romanian as he was making a high percentage of first serves but Fed was picking them and returning with interest – very nice to see if you're a Fed fan and this will be required much later in the tournament where if he meets Murray he will have to return aggressively especially on the second serve.

A single break was enough to win the first set but Roger went one better this time, securing the double break to lead 4-0 with bakery products looking imminent. To his credit Hanescu reeled off 2 service games to spare his blushes but he couldn't make any sort of impact with his returns so it was just a case of making the scoreboard look respectable as Roger took it 6-2 to move into a 2 set lead.

The third set was always going to be one sided, Hanescu had no idea how to touch the Federer serve and was by now making up the numbers. Again he got broken first game to give Roger the advantage and this time around Fed was in no mood to give Hanescu any freebies, hitting some sweet shots and an epic lob to move into a 5-0 lead before serving it out with ease to get his first bagel at Wimbledon since he defeated Alejandro Falla in 5 sets way back in 2010. Allez!

Federer Reaction Volley

Interview

It's been in the new recently about Gulbis saying that the top guys are boring and give the same answers everytime. I agree, but jeez, they get asked the same questions everytime. Take that last question – what's the strongest and weakest parts of your game? Who is that clown?? Shocking question.

Thoughts on the Match

Orange Soled Shoes
Orange Soled Shoes – Way Nicer

Well what else can you say other than the peRFect start to the tournament? A complete statement match from Roger here as he really played well from start to finish. All areas of his game clicked and he was particularly impressive on the return.

Hanescu has a big serve and forehand but as Tim Henman rightly pointed out before the match he is the type of player that needs time to setup for his groundstrokes and the one thing you won't get from Federer on grass is time.

This proved to be the case today as Roger took it to his opponent, dictated with the forehand and as soon as he got the opportunity to step into the court and control the rally he did just that. It was a great display of grass court tennis really and you can't ask for anymore.

First rounds are often routine and you can't read too much into it, but with the way Roger played it just proves he's the GOAT and THE undispited Grass GOAT, he makes it look ridiculously easy and even though the match was done in little over an hour there's no way you'd go home feeling disappointed as he is just so fun to watch.

I mean look at the match stats, Hanescu served at 85% first serves for the match and got bagelled in the third set. Insane!

Victor HanescuΒ (ROU) Stats Roger FedererΒ (SUI)
3 Aces 7
1 Double faults 0
52 of 61 = 85 % 1st serves in 39 of 56 = 70 %
26 of 52 = 50 % 1st serve points won 35 of 39 = 90 %
3 of 9 = 33 % 2nd serve points won 14 of 17 = 82 %
125 MPH Fastest serve 125 MPH
108 MPH Average 1st serve speed 106 MPH
94 MPH Average 2nd serve speed 91 MPH
8 of 22 = 36 % Net points won 21 of 25 = 84 %
0 of 0 = 0 % Break points won 6 of 8 = 75 %
7 of 56 = 13 % Receiving points won 32 of 61 = 52 %
14 Winners 32
13 Unforced errors 6
36 Total points won 81

Nice reading πŸ˜€

Nadal Crashes Out to Darcis in Straights

Darcis def. Nadal

Onto the big news, and for the second year running it involves Nadal who failed to defend his 2nd round points as he crashed out to World Number 135 in straight sets. I watched most of this one and Darcis played an unbelievable match from start to finish, after winning the first set I thought he was going to think it was job done like Daniel Brands at the French and choke but he kept on playing. Such a nice surprise :D.

To say he got it done in straights (7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8) 6-4) is really quite an achievement, this was a tight match and 1 or 2 points made the difference. Darcis should have broken multiple times in the first set but it ended up going to a breaker where he lifted his game and played attacking tennis to take it, Nadal served for the second set at 6-5 only to get broken and Darcis once again came out on top after wasting several set points in the breaker.

I was shocked to say the least, usually guys choke against Nadal due to his relentlessness but this guy just kept coming back for more and even though he wasted chances it didn't really effect him which was great to see.

The talk of the town will of course be Nadal's knees as it always is after he loses, was he struggling? I'd guess yes judging how he was moving but the scoreline and the commentators insistence of bringing it up every 30 seconds just exacerbate it and make it sound like a bigger problem than it really is. We should hear from Nadal how bad the knees are, not the commentators.

You gotta remember when Fed lost to Berdscat at Wimbledon in 2010 he had thigh trouble but the talk was all about decline and how Berdych was a real contender to win this slam (he lost with a whimper to Dull in the final). So I'm not sure why they have to treat players differently.

Also side note, really poor interview from the BBC with Darcis after the match when the second question he was immediately asked was “did you target his knees?” His look said it all and I thought that was exceptionally poor journalism and shows a complete lack of respect or understanding of top level sport.

For me this match just proves Nadal isn't a natural grass court player in the slightest, so he's done amazingly well to win 2 Wimbledons but in reality he is a 1 trick pony that can only really play on clay so it was about time somebody took it to him again and found him wanting. Everyone thought Rosol was a one off last year, but it's happened back to back to now on the same surface. Darcis turned out to be the man and he played a fantastic match, he's done little of note on the tour but this a big big scalp that will live long in the memory.

To be honest even if Darcis didn't beat him today he'd have struggled to make it through the first week when the grass is lush and fast playing his type of game so I guess our worries as fans were unjust and it's pretty likely Fed would have schooled him here. 5 matches could have made a difference though and gotten him used to the grass but with how he played today there's no way Dull was beating Fed here.

Of course this has now thrown the draw wide open with several players queuing up to take Nadal's quarter final spot, this has given Roger a path to the semi finals now too and there aren't too many scary names, Janowicz's name is getting thrown about as a tough 4th round but can big guys really do that well on grass? I'm not sure, Kraijeck was one but many of them do struggle.

I'd expect if he makes it to the second week for him to play Murray in the semi finals as he looked solid today, although Becker made a lot of errors in and amongst hitting some nice winners. The Murray hype has started on the BBC though so you'd think he's already in the final after his win today which is rather amusing.

Predictions vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky

Federer Wimbledon Day One 2013

Next up for Roger is the Ukrainian, Sergiy Stakhovsky who he has a 1-0 lead against in the H2H from Dubai back in 2011. I think this one will be a nice test for Federer, he won't need his absolute best but he will require a high level as Stakhosvky has a fairly clean hitting game with a decent serve.

He's also won a title on grass before so this surface isn't alien to him as he won Hertogenbosch in 2010 as well as winning the doubles at Halle the same year. I think hard courts are his best surface though so Roger's variety and grass court game will cause him plenty of problems here.

If Roger returns serve well and stays aggressive then there's only one winner and I'll pick Fed in 3; 7-6 (4) 6-4 6-4. Allez!

About Jonathan

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

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103 comments

  1. Who is that Hansecu? πŸ˜‰

    Rafa is out. Definetely an error in the matrix. Can hear his excuses already.

  2. I was delighted to see Fed looking so champion-like, that volley in the very first game just sums up who he is! His shoes are different to the ones we expected but they’re pretty darn cool. I was dissapointed Nadal lost because a Federer/Nadal seemed very exciting, and generally speaking losing him so early is a loss to the tournament. I’m slightly worried that maybe there’s a pattern developing whereby Nadal blitzes through the clay season but then is crippled for the rest of the year. I really hope he’s fully fit for 2014 because I’d love another Federer/Nadal at SW19.

    • Yeah shoes are better than I expected!

      Maybe Nadal is just going for FO now on, guess we will find out at USO and AO what his plans are, no way he wins AO though vs. Djoker.

    • Theo, the pattern is not developing, it has been the throughout his career. Nadal’s year is basically done by the time the Canadian Open rolls around in August. Except once in 2010 when he won the US Open, he has never won a tournament after August.

      Jonathan, damn write you are happy! You must be going write through the roof!

      • That’s true I’d forgotten that in the early part of his career his was no longer really competitive after Wimbledon -respectively speaking-, but in ’10 and ’11 he was and I guess I was sort of hoping it would stay that way, time will tell.

      • in 2011 he made the US final

      • Making the final is not winning. He has never won Cincinnati, Paris, Shanghai, Madrid (when that was an indoor event) or the Barclays ATP Finals – NEVER. For a player ranked #1 and in the top 3 for so many years, claimed by his fans as the greatest ever, to have never won the year-end top 8 players championship (the Fed has won it 6 times and been in the finals twice more) is a telling mark on the one-sided (or perhaps, I should say one-court) nature of his game. The way he was hobbling around the court towards the end of the Darcis much (not even making an effort to get at some balls which he would normally reach and possibly slam running forhand winners on) makes me think he will from now on be just a clay court player. At least let’s hope so!

  3. When i saw V Hanescu today for a minute it looked liked from far that Fed was playing Mark Pillipoussis. Lol. Anyway i look forward to Rogers next match. πŸ˜€

  4. The classiest practice session I’ve ever seen. Solid hour and a bit and he’ll be playing his first match in a couple of days ha
    All in seriousness though you’re spot on, what a statement this is and to be fair he does have solid run though now, but since the Rafa match proves the draw is mere paper. But it’s nice to know that as long as Roger brings it each match, he should make the Murray match happen, and from then on who knows? If Roger’s there in the mix there’s always a chance for him at WIMBLED8N

  5. Allez! The forehand is clicking, this is a good sign!

    As for Rafa, see you again in French 2014 even if he doesn’t go hiding after this loss. It’s the only major that he is capable of dominating.

    Nike really makes exclusive gear for Roger and sells the merchandise to the market with a slight change, although i like the black swoosh/platinum lining/white sole for the shoes, I’m glad that his exclusive shoes has orange in the sole that will match really well with the polo.

    • Indeed, the return was the best part of today for me.

      I think they will sell the orange shoes, a mistake from the retailers I believe, not Nike withholding stock.

      • And I agree with you, commentators (media in general) are focusing more on Nadal’s knee. But give the guy some credit, if he said anything about his knee will be an excuse. Although he has 2 titles he is really struggling on grass and fast courts.

        The orange shoes are already available in Nike.com(GB) πŸ˜€

  6. Hi J.

    Feel totally justified as must you saying Nadal cld struggle in first week! I was there, watched it live! Darcis played v intelligent tennis, blocking returns to Nadals feet, fading his BH cross court, and he served exceptionally well. He also read Rafas serve pretty easily. Rafas BH was v off, his grass court timing was off and he took big risks constantly running round his BH. However, he was clearly hampered in set 3 and didn’t chase balls down. If he had taken his chance and won the 2nd set, cld hv been different. Darcis had also played 3 qually matches so looked v comfortable! Fed looked v impressive but Hanescu is not gd on grass! Wasn’t sure about Feds jkt/ sleeveless top……… Still think he has a tricky draw to come thru but boy does he look happy to be back on the grass! What a day!!

    • Hey Susie,

      Ah good to get some feedback from someone who saw it live. I watched most of it on TV, Dull was struggling but Darcis played real smart I think and he didn’t choke it completely. Wasted chances but didn’t let it get to him that much which makes a change.

      Hanescu to slow and cumbersome for grass, but Feds return pretty good right. Looked it on TV and the guy served at 85% but got crushed.

      Did you see Fed live too?

      Jonathan

      • Nope as only had tickets for ct 1! Good to see Hewitt back on form but Stan looked tired and out of sorts! Too soon after Holland!
        What did u think of the jkt????? Personally think Nike team need a reboot!

      • Ah cool.

        I don’t mind the jacket. The shoes were way better than expected!

  7. Ana Paula Simensato

    OlΓ‘ Jon!

    Who was the greatest benefited from Nadal’s fall? I still think Roger could beat him at Wimbledon, as he did in two finals. For me, Andy Murray wins a big chance, because his record against Nadal at Wimbledon (and the rest) is worse than that Federer’s. However, it is undeniable that mission for Federer gets easier, mainly by because his body could suffer in a match against Nadal. To arrive resting to catch Murray in a semi-final is much more advantageous for Fed as Briton needs to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals.
    Only sorry about Little Roger πŸ™
    But, tihs is already a happy Wimbledon!

    • Hola!

      For sure, this helps Fed big time. I think Murray is playing well and looks to be in form so he will be a handful. Fed would need to zone in to beat him I think.

      As for Rogerio, I saw the score, I guess grass is not the surface for him πŸ™

      But Fed winning, Dull losing, it can’t get much better. Allez!

      Jonathan

  8. Hi Jonathan – What a lovely day it was at Wimbledon today – Fed was a joy to behold and Nadal is gone what more could a girl want on her wedding anniversary. I told you there were some bananna skins out there and it was called Darcis – have a great day on friday

  9. Sooo happy about Fed and Dull. Was sitting an exam tofay, asked my sister to sms me the results. When she told me dramadal lost I just couldn’t believe it… πŸ˜€ is it a match worth watching? Feds as well?

    • Yes, the darcis/Nadal match is full of gd tennis! Was there! Great atmosphere. Darcis just dug in and refused to go away. Do watch. Very gd lesson in how to play Rafa. His team had done their homework!

      • Absolutely, even our fed and his coach can take a tip or two how to play nadal,the thing is early part of wimbledon , faster the ball travels,more the problems for dull.Dull can now head straight to FO now,resting his knees.

    • Simon, I only watched the last set. Give credit to Darcis, he played well and he didn’t let Nadal’s aura of relentlessness bother him. As for Nadal, he was really struggling. His slice although not as good as the others are not working. I don’t really know about his limping in the later games if its Dramadal or the knee is starting to act up again. Maybe.. the RG semifinal took a lot out from him, maybe not.

    • Hi Simon, if you have the time, watch the Rafa match. Not as much for him, but for Darcis.
      That guy was way too good. Rafa was not playing as good as he played against Rosol, but still.
      This match is worth watching, especially because the crowd was not only for Rafa but for Darcis as well.

    • I would watch both, Feds is a masterclass and Darcis plays really well. Both good matches!

  10. btw who is Nadal? I will alsways remember SΓΆderling, Rosol and now Darcis. These are my heros.

    • Allez! Don’t forget Zeballos πŸ˜›

    • Rafa is the GOAT on clay. The one who owns Federer. The one who tarnished the GOAT title of Feds. The one who when across the net the Feds just choke his game out. The one who deprived Djokovic his Grand slam ambition. Need i say more….???? πŸ™‚

  11. Very good results today, in that Nadal lost and Fed put on a masterclass. I expect Hanescu owes Roger some cash for the lesson now.

    Feeling great at the end of exams, and looking forward to two magnificent weeks of tennis. I’m feeling more optimistic about Roger’s chances, but I still believe this might be Murray’s year. Either way, the UE count really makes good reading. We’ll have to see later on in the week how things pan out, but I do believe Janowicz is the only threat to the quarters. I’m picking Hewitt to come through in that one, so I’d expect Fed to beat him.

    Allez Roger!

  12. Glad Nadal is out. Amazing reading all the praise he is getting for not making excuses. Give him time, he didn’t excuse rosol at first last year, but now we cant stop hearing about how his poor knees cost him then, must be the same knees which only just won the french days before Wimbledon both years. I reckon he hurt them on match point in the french final both years, the guy is full of all the dirtiest trucks in the book, how do we know the hobblng wasnt an act? Would he have hobbled if he was leading? No trainer on, despite an injury? Dont get me started on the cramp under the table that time, that was the daftest thing i ever saw on tv, totally milking it. Β One trick pony is a little harsh with 4 other non-clay slams to his name, but i cannot bear the guy and his irritating antics, so many fans are blind to see them. With Warwrinka losing too this really opens feds quarter. Hewitt is possibly the biggest dangerman now but will he make it to the quarters? Great performance from fed today. Couldnt be happier with day 1.

    • In one of the broadcasts (ESPN in India), where Boris Becker was doing the commentary, his fellow commentator (I could not figure out who he was) actually commented (after Nadal making some grimacing face) that Rafa is a great actor (in other words, don’t get fooled by his facial expression). Who knows, he could not probably juice properly for the occasion!

    • Didn’t see that, but Becker was BBC for the match so I guess it was one of those guys.

      Great start to Wimbledon for Fed fans though Andy! Allez.

  13. Hello, Jonathan πŸ™‚ A really nice post and a really nice win too!
    That unbelievable reaction volley, it’s like he’s warming us up for the Championships, isn’t he?
    On another note, I wanted to ask something: Didn’t you say the shoes will be white with green stripes? Did Roger change it at the last minute or what?
    Also, I’d like to make this announcement: Roger’s going to play a 5 setter in the upcoming rounds so all you Fed fans out there get yourselves ready for it πŸ™‚
    One last thing, you wrote “Defense”, are you sure you’re British? πŸ˜€

    • Youssef, it seems like the white/orange combination on his shoe was the big surprise (Gear wise). No pictures were leaked before Wimbledon. Top secret πŸ˜€

      as for the 5 setter.. I hope that won’t happen until the semis/finals if ever. He needs quick points so the match could be done by 3 hours max before meeting Djokovic and/or Murray.

    • Cheers Youssef!

      Yeah the shoes were a last minute change.

      Hahah yeah didnt realise, American spelling, shocking from me.

      Jonathan

  14. Wonderful wonderful day – the only thing that would have made it that much sweeter was Murray following Nadal’s suit by tumbling out of Wimbledon. Alas, not to be.
    Just like you Jonathan, I kept thinking Darcis was going to choke at some stage but amazingly he didn’t. He played at such a consistent level, I was really impressed with his level of play. Today has really taught me not to focus heavily on future draws – after all, anything can happen (Lol I wonder if Nadal will develop some sort of complex when it comes to Wimby now!). Everyone is now assuming a Fed-Murray semi, but I’m not even looking that far ahead! I just want Federer to get there first!
    As for the maestro, he played so beautifully – and bagelling a giant hitting such a high percentage of first serves must have done alot for Fed’s confidence. Hopefully, he can push off from here, in those ultra-cool orange-soled trainers. On a sidenote, does anyone else think Hanescu vaguely resembles Sampras? (Not in style of play, but physical stature/appearance?)

    • Indeed the best day 1 at Wimbledon in a while.

      One match a time for Fed, gotta keep his level high.

      I think Serjaul got it right with Hanescu looking like Philippoussis!

      Jonathan

  15. I liked the shoes and the whole outfit. Classy as always πŸ™‚
    Anyway, I’d rather have the 5 setter really early so he can recover by the time of the SF and F. Just like last year and 2009 French Open and unlike this year’s Australian Open when he met Tsonga and Murray in back to back 5 setters and ended up losing the SF.

    • Sorry this comment was meant to be a reply for Ferdie up two comments πŸ™‚

      • Noted Seraj πŸ˜€

        Yeah, you have a point there. If he gets enough rest then it will be alright. I just hope he’ll have a good run or even win the title. Fingers crossed.

      • *Youssef I mean πŸ˜€

        Sorry i got too many tabs and pages open, it got mixed up.

      • No problem πŸ™‚ And i’m trying to be thinking “one-match-at-a-time”, and i think that’s more cozy for my nerves.

    • I don’t think a 5 setter would be good, but least he hast 2 days off before the fourth round!

  16. What.A.Day.

    1. Federer was awesome! I loved that touch volley he do at the beginning; he was almost toying with the Belgian! I loved the orange shoes, and they look peRFect on our man! And a bagel was nice to see; Federer might just win this if he keeps this level.

    2. Is it a rumor or not that Fed got a warning for his shoes because of the color being “distracting”?

    3. I saw that Rafa match! What on earth happened?! Probably spent from that extra clay court matches he added. So he is getting worse, no? Last year #100 and this year #135 in 1RD!!!! GOATs don’t lose in 1RDs of Grand Slams, especially in their primes! (Which makes Federer’s 36 and counting consecutive QF streak all the more impressive)

    4. I just noticed, all of Rafa’s loses this year were HUGE upsets and matches he should of won!

    So it’ll be smother sailing, but one match at a time πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the post! Are you going to Wimbledon this year Jonathan?

    • I heard about the rumour of the shoes but not sure it will happen.

      I am going yes, off to watch on Friday so hopefully I will be seeing Roger play. Allez!

      Jonathan

  17. Hi Jonathan,
    What a wonderful Monday! First, Federer flits around like a butterfly on the lawns and then we get the bonus of watching Uncle Toni without his giant smirk πŸ˜€ I watched the Nadal- Darcis match with the sound switched off; the commentators were getting on my nerves. As you rightly said, we need to hear it from Nadal, not them.

    Allez!

  18. it was such a revelation seeing how as the match progressed and chances of nadal winning started to decline his knee problem just seemed to keep increasing. Especially in the third set in some points he would play his normal self n others he would walk gingerely just to prove he is injured which he doesnt seem to be. His knees were fine in the first two sets ….. its amazing how two weeks of rest after winning your 8 th french can suddenly cause the knee injury to flare up … nadull is truly a clown

  19. Hey Jonathan,

    My plans to get up early to watch Roger’s match live didn’t pan out but I was so happy to see that he won. I just watched a replay of it – how refreshing to see him moving so freely (great footwork) and making his shots. Beautiful! Personally I like the jacket and I like the orange shoes, and thank god, the hair is growing back (although it’s got a ways to go yet).

    So the bonus – Nadal going out in another shocker. I tweeted you that I thought if that happened again, he’d never come back. I really didn’t expect it to happen again that quickly. πŸ˜‰ Guess we’ll have to see whether he goes into hiding again. Anyway, I think Nadal’s knees do give him trouble, but like someone else said, he milks it and uses it as an excuse when he loses (or when he starts to lose) b/c he absolutely HATES to lose and must have something to blame rather than “own” his loss.

    Also, did you see Rosol’s tweet to Darcis: “Welcome to the Club”! Made me smile. πŸ˜€

    Again, another nice write up and looking forward to more Fed victory posts!

    • Rosol was cheeky with his tweets yesterday, the irony is that he too also lost…

      • Ironic? Maybe, but Rosol’s loss didn’t really have anything to do with “the club” he was referring to.

    • Glad you caught the replay, he really played a good match, so fluid.

      And I didn’t see Rosol’s tweets haha what a legend. I have watched the final game of his match about 3 times already this week, so good how he served that out

      Jonathan

  20. Sweet performance by the GOAT once again. Not much to add on Nadal, going to very interesting where he goes from here. I mean losing before the 3rd round two times in a row now…other players aren’t going to be as intimidated of him outside of clay now I feel.

    Hopefully, they are alternating again. Now that Dramadal has caused quite a bit of drama? It seems that he was never going to beat Roger here, I think Murray is the one to beat this tournament. Roger will have his hands full with him no doubt if he plays him. But a SF is always better than a QF. One match at a time, Allez!

  21. Hi guys, I am going to give Rafa some kudos and “attack” him at the same time:

    Kudos that he did not call the trainer on court, but…. at the same time I knew right there that he was not going to make this a 5 setter. If he thought he could win, he would have called for the trainer.
    Even the Great Uncle Toni seemed relaxed. He knew Rafa was not going to go the distance.

    Kudos for Rafa. He was obviously in pain and played through it. Very strong of him. But than again, if he had not played so much this year, this would not have happened in the first place.

    Kudos really kudos for not giving the knee excuses during the presser. Really like a true sportman. No matter how much the journalists tried to pin him on that, he kept saying that he did not want to use it as an excuse and that Darcis played better. But….. than again, you cannot blame the journalists for trying, because Rafa himself keeps mentioning the knee all the time….

    And last….. as much as I don’t like him or think that he is dishonest…. I did feel sorry for him in the third set.
    He was trying, did gave up, but was still trying, was hurting and was really limping. Felt for him at that moment.

    • On another note, Katyani, are you sure for whose viewing pleasure Fed is wearing orange? It was all over his shoe-base. He must have tweeted you already. LOL!

      • Hmmm…..

        Wondered when somebody would begin over the color orange to me !!!
        But…. I am withholding my comments for later.
        Last time I made a big deal about orange, Roger was wearing it at IW and… lost !!!
        So, I will comment over the color orange…… after the final….

        And if ever Roger tweeted me personally….. O my God….

    • As someone who suffers from knee problems – although whether they are the same as Nadal’s I don’t know – I would have to say that it is quite common for them to be intermittent: I can be running OK one minute and then have to pull up short the next step. Equally, I can be limping one minute and not the next. You can to some extent override it, for a while at least. So Nadal may have been genuine.

      Richard Krajicek has just given a rather good explanation of how difficult it can be to play on grass in the initial days, and the physical effects it can have, on Radio 5 Live.

      I’m a bit sorry Nadal’s out, myself: I’d have liked to have seen him against Roger in the QFs – I think.

      And the neon orange flashes from Roger’s shoes were a bit distracting if you were watching him from behind – but then I suppose the opponent doesn’t see that view

    • Thanks for the balance opinion Katyani πŸ™‚

      • Hi Batman, I am sorry, but I never know with you if you are serious or not.
        Are you really giving me a compliment or are you beeing sarcastic?
        I meant the things I wrote. I am not his fan, he did do those things to himself, but really kudos to him for how he handled things. Playing while having obvious pain, fighting still when it was getting harder and harder, giving Darcis full and full credit for the win. Really, he was at those moments for me a true sportman.
        And I really mean this from the bottom of my heart, I don’t like him that much and I have some issues over him, but I really felt for him in that match. Especially the third set. Although he did deserve it, I really really felt sorry for him and pride the way he handled himself.
        I don’t think he is a bad guy on his own, but with his uncle….. he has become something different.

        And I know Batman that you don’t like us talking about Rafa that way. I know, I don’t like it when people talk about Roger that way too. It is never nice or good to see your hero (who ever it is) in pain and beeing ‘trashed” by others.

  22. Oh and I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before but…..

    We are out of the “table for two – losers” !!!

    Now that Roger has a title, Berdych is the only one without a title so far…..

  23. “Apparently a hair on his left calf twitched. Maybe it was his sprained 4skn… ”

    Priceless comment by a viewer. (about the excuse we’ll hear from Nadal after this loss)

  24. Hey Jonathan!
    What a beautiful first day! Roger opening the proceedings on center court on the fresh green grass somehow feels ‘right’. It feels like that’s how things are supposed to be. πŸ™‚ And he played a wonderful match, the volley that you included and that lob (in the second set?) that the 6’6 tall Hanescu couldn’t reach brought a smile to my face.
    His outfit looked better than expected, and boy did the shoes stand out! πŸ˜‰
    Nadal crashing out early makes grand slam viewing easy for me. Because I loathe watching his tics and can’t stand not catching a glimpse of the matches every now and then if a major is on. He didn’t seem to mind the loss much though. It feels so wrong that despite not having played AO and having lost in the 1st round at Wimbly he can still be YE #1.
    Still taking it one match at a time for Roger as I still remember how elated I was after Nadal lost in second round last year and then Roger nearly gave me a heart attack in the next round against Benneteau.

    • I couldn’t see a way back for Fed in that Benneteau match. He really dug deep to then started to control it and had a comfortable 5th. The Nadal thing really annoys the hell out of me though, because people on twitter and online always excuse his defeats for him, knees, colour of the grass, scheduling, sun was in his eyes, whilst saying what a great “sport” he is for not complaining – these are the fans who tune in to tennis every now and then. All he is doing in the press conference is what any sportsperson is told to do, and not blatantly excuse a defeat (as then he would then go down as a bad loser, and become less popular with fans) so instead he hobbles on the court during the match as if to say, “there you are everyone, this is the reason I am struggling today”) then afterwards it looks like he is making no excuses, when it is the stupid hobbling which has already made the excuse, then once the fuss of the defeat has died down he will totally excuse it later on “it was me knees”. Can you honestly tell me he would make a big deal of limping if he had stormed ahead in yesterday’s match? Complete act in my eyes. Same knees which did plenty of battle during the French a few days ago. How many of Feds defeats in the past have been because he has not been 100% or carrying a niggle, the guy goes out on his shield with class every time. No antics, moaning about conditions, colours or making excuses. Look at Nadal’s behaviour during the Rosol defeat, it was utterly shameful. The guy has a nastiness inside him, he will do whatever it takes to win, and then turns on the humble charm whenever the trophy is in his hands. I can’t tell you the amount of times he has brought on the trainer in matches whilst on a poor run of games, which in my opinion is done more with the intention to halt his opponents momentum, than it is to actually get treated. Then he starts to wince in pain during the treatment, like his foot is about to drop off. Then once he gets back out there, he starts winning loads of games and blowing his opponent away! He has done this to Fed loads of times in the past (he did it in the french final in 2011, when Fed was on a brilliant run of games, then after the treatment with Feds momentum halted, he came back on and stormed ahead of Fed).

      And now we will have to deal with fans of dull saying he is the GOAT and that if it wasn’t for his knees he would have won more slams, grrrrrrrrr.

      • Its best to not try to make sense out of what Nadal’s fans say, it’ll either make you dizzy or horribly angry. Nadal’s gamesmanship is well known to most here, but somehow journos and comms are blind to it.
        Benneteau match made me damn scared. Hope Roger doesn’t have plans for another ‘fun’ match right after Nadal went out as he has played some nerve wrecking ones in the past. He has one day to ‘cope’ with Nadal’s exit so he should be fine πŸ˜€

      • I couldn’t have put it any better Andy. It’s EXACTLY what I feel. He makes himself to be a class act by not complaining, when in fact he’s already done the job of making an excuse, limping around on court. There was absolutely no reason for him to be limping on the first day on court after two weeks off from Paris, specially knowing that there was no mention of his knees bothering him then (when he was happily winning). If anything, they should have recovered during the break. It’s all rubbish.

        And you’re also right about Roger. Not once has he ever tried to evoke sympathy from his viewers by limping, or coughing or holding his back or whatever it is people do. In fact, there are matches like the Benneteau match where no one had a clue how badly he was suffering till he called for the trainer. No wincing, moaning, complaining at all. Now that is class.

    • It was indeed a good day Fedfan. The GOAT blitzes his match and Nadal crashes. Dream start but still early days, 1 match at a time!

      And well said Andy + Guarav.

      Anyway, Dull is but a distant memory in this tournament. 6 more matches to play hopefully!

  25. Hey guys found this interesting comment on a forum and got permission by the author to share it. Thought they had a good outlook on Nadal atm:

    I think it’s clear now more than ever that Nadal is going to prioritise the clay season no matter what the cost is and the past two years, that cost has been Wimbledon, which Nadal claimed was his most favourite slam, but unfortunately not his most successful.

    Darcis played an unbelievable match. He earned his win. He did what many have failed to do in the past against Nadal in the early rounds and held his ground. But anyone, some Fed fanatics in particular to dismiss that Nadal had no input to his own demise is totally blinded. In saying this, it must be noted that Nadal has been struggling on grass since 2010 I believe.

    Does anyone remember Nadal’s run to the title in 2010, he was down 2 sets to 1 twice and still came out on top to win the title. Then in 2011, he played IMO one of his worst slam matches against Djokovic. In 2012, he put everything on the line in the clay season to finally get one over Djokovic- he ended up getting 2 including a 7th FO. You could tell how much the 2012 FO meant to Nadal, in fact I think it ranks as one of his best slam wins as he finally conquered Djokovic after 3 slam defeats to him consecutively. Rosol played the match of his life and Nadal’s knee coincidently flares up- Honestly, I think Nadal reached mental exhaustion more than physical.

    Let’s come back to 2013 now. Nadal has played 40+ matches already, 8/9 tournaments on clay. He played a full stretch from Monte Carlo to Paris and struggled in quite a few of those matches. Nadal was extremely vulnerable in Roland Garros and although Novak didn’t win their SF, he rattled Nadal. Rafa has only known one loss at the French but that semi-final proved just how close Djokovic is to him- Novak was a mere 2 games away from ending his domination there. It’s clear now that the semi-final win was not one of achievement for Rafa but more of relief.

    Nadal pulls out of Halle due to fatigue and to give his knee rest. During the FO I personally saw no discomfort. But here we are, two years later witnessing yet another early exit on a non-clay surface at a slam. Yes Darcis played a compelling match but look at the match Rafa played- he is a two time Wimbledon champ and he was the one being bossed around the court.

    Nadal was running around the BH, standing way to far behind the baseline to return- it was as if he was lost and forgot it was grass. Nadal knows now that his scheduling cost him all due to his precious clay season. There is just no way someone can play 40+ matches in 5 months and not pay the price. His lack of match preparation and matches was evident and Rafa needs to go back to the drawing board and take a good look at his schedule because if he wants to be successful outside of clay, he’s going to have to make some crucial decisions.

    There is no doubt that Nadal is always vulnerable in the first week of Wimbledon. His top spin has no effect the way it does in the second when the grass is extremely slow and suits baseliners as himself. What was missing yesterday though was the Nadal never back down attitude. Even Uncle Toni seemed to already know the outcome. Nadal had his chances in that match but it makes you think about Rafa outside of clay and if he will ever be able to be as confident as he once was. Djokovic destroyed his confidence after 2011 outside of clay and he’s never regained it since.

    Whilst Nadal will probably always be a threat on the clay, you have to wonder about his decline off it. Uncle Toni even said when Rafa was 27-28 his body is going to pay the toll of his style of game and it seems his words are ringing true more than ever. I will never underestimate Nadal of course, the guy is a champion but I saw no knee issues until late in the third set where Darcis had already set his eye on the prize. Nadal was two sets down and couldn’t put a fight in? Not good signs.

    It will be incredibly difficult for Nadal to win another slam off clay in my eyes. Australia is his best chance by far in that aspect but the question is does he have enough left in the tank after gruelling clay seasons? At this stage of his career, it’s not looking good. Rafa needs to take a page out of Roger’s book and schedule himself from here on in much better. Apparently Nadal wants to make the South American tours he did in the beginning of the year part of his permanent schedule. It’s critical he plays a warm up tournament before Wimbledon as we saw today otherwise he cannot adapt. In fast conditions, he will be hit off the court.

    In the end, another early exit for Nadal has got to be tough for him and his fans. The problem is that it’s one too many. Darcis said that after seeing Rosol do what he did, he had belief on the court today. Has Nadal’s intimidation worn out off clay, has he given his opponents hope? All I know is Rafa’s longevity is being questioned. I expect him to put in a better performance at the US Open but would I expect him to beat the other big three? No I would not.

    The North American HC tour will give him momentum if he is to do something in NY. He should be fit and rested by then so there will be no excuses and if there are lingering concerns, I am seriously worried.

    • Alysha,

      “What was missing yesterday though was the Nadal never back down attitude. Even Uncle Toni seemed to already know the outcome”

      –> that was what I meant when I said that the Great Uncle Toni seemed relaxed, not like against Rosol where he was anxcious, more nervous and had couple of small heartattacks.

      “Djokovic destroyed his confidence after 2011 outside of clay and he’s never regained it since”

      –> I am sorry, but that is what he deserves. Payback for Roger for whatever he has done to Roger…

    • Pretty interesting points. I’m just focused on grass right now though, not what Nadal does next. That’s not of interest to me.

  26. Hi Jonathan, you were right about the question. I heard it too, Darcis beeing asked if he was targeting Rafa’s knees. Even I thought that was a stupid question, unfair to Darcis and to his accomplishment.
    I mean, even if Rafa was completely healthy, this would have been a 5 setter, maybe Rafa would have won in the end but maybe he would not have.

    Speeking about Stupid….. Mac Enroe really needs to learn how to act and play nice weather. It really showed when he talks how he is jealous of Roger. Did say one good thing about him getting through, then made a compliment about Roger and winning Wimby last year…. and then began to talk long about him losing the Olympics. Just wish Roger would have won Gold so that people stop saying: yes, he won Wimby and then go on for an hour about him losing to Andy at the Olympics.

    • [Speeking about Stupid….. Mac Enroe really needs to learn how to act and play nice weather. It really showed when he talks how he is jealous of Roger. Did say one good thing about him getting through, then made a compliment about Roger and winning Wimby last year…. and then began to talk long about him losing the Olympics. Just wish Roger would have won Gold so that people stop saying: yes, he won Wimby and then go on for an hour about him losing to Andy at the Olympics.]

      With the exception of Laver (that I know of), I get the feeling that ex-pros are maybe jealous of what Roger has managed to achieve. I mean Mcenroe declared Nadal the GOAT before his match with Darcis and Sampras now has also declared himself the GOAT so…

    • McEnroe is a band wagoner. He’s clearly not a Fed fan, probably jealous and also Fed shunned his coaching offer. No surprises!

      • I had never heard of Rod Laver before or saw him play…. way before my time, but the moment I saw him at AO for the first time, I knew he was a good guy and a gentleman.
        When he spoke about Roger I was so touched. He is really a nice guy. It is written all over his face. He was asked if he was the greatest player of all time because he had two grand slams.
        He was so honest and humbled and said, no those were different times, you cannot compare it to now and that he thought Roger was the greatest. So sweet. Really what a sweet man. A true legend.

        To be honest, I always see Pete say very nice things about Roger, even more than Agassi.
        Agassi comes across as a Rafa fan and Pete as a Roger fan. But I don’t know, maybe Pete too is jealous.
        Anybody saw Roger win Wimby in 2009 to equal him? Pete was really happy for Roger.
        Misses Pete, an actress, should have taken some actingclasses, because although she is a great actress, she could not hide the fact that she was not happy that Roger equaled Pete.
        You should really watch that at Youtube again.

        And about Mac Enroe. He was commenting with Andrew Castle during the Novak match. Suddenly Andrew said, speaking about returns, Roger’s is one of the underestimated best returners of the game.
        You know what Mac Enroe said first, his first sentence? You know who is the best underestimated returner of the game? David Ferrer.
        And I was like are you kidding me? Can’t you just agree with Andrew about Roger and then talk about Ferrer? He said nothing about Roger and gave a whole speech about Ferrer that he so deserved to play on the centre court after all his hard work…
        I mean he was right, but to say nothing about the comment about Roger….

        John Mac Enroe is so jealous of Roger it is not even funny anymore, actually pathetic.
        I did not know that he wanted to coach Roger???

  27. Well Roger played well yesterday.., as usual display in grass …,i couldn’t watch full match…,
    But i watched Nadal’s match.., Darcis was playing better & nadal could not adjust to grass.., When nadal loses everyone says his knee problem…, If roger loses they say roger is in decline…, So they are meaning nadal wont lose if he 100% fit…, always nadal supporters and commentators say injury injury.., Never credit opponents play…, Well to me nadals grass court play in first week usually under radar.., normally when grass slows in 2nd week its bit similar to clay.., then oly he plays some what better in grass…,Darcis played better then nadal…, its always unfair to Roger with critics! Class is permanent ” RF”.,,,

  28. You know, they said Roger was having a bad year….. you know who is really having a bad year…. Tipsy.
    Has he won any matches this year?

    Stan the Man is out. I think Delpo will not make it far either.

  29. Jonathan…. I take back what I put on twitter: I thought the Rosol match was better! Darcis will be for the record books for sure, but the Rosol match will always be remembered! The clutch serve, that final set under the roof, the way Rosol outhit Rafa off the court, the 3 aces at the end to send Rafa into that absence!

    Darcis was more of a record breaker while Rosol was more impressive.

    • I agree! Rosol was too epic, Dull was playing well yet Rosol schooled him and the fifth was just drama with such an atmosphere.

      • Totally agree. Darcis match was really good, but it had not the vibe of the Rosol match.
        That was really one of the best matches I saw in my short tennis watching career.
        The fifth set…. O my God.

        Do you guys think Rafa did not want (subconsciencely) take it to a 5 setter because he was worried that Darcis would play the fifth set like Rosol did?

  30. I am so anti-nadal that I actually stayed up late at night just to watch him getting beaten (feeling a bit bad here). Honestly I didn’t expect that from Nadal. The draw seems to open up nicely for Roger I hope he will be in prime form once he reaches final.

  31. I was very happy watching that last match vs Hanescu, seeing Roger hitting winners on the smooth grass is just too awesome!

    I remembered you mentioned about the H2H for Roger and Nadal (I actually typed Nadul initially :P) is too one sided as majority of this were on clay and that when they were supposed to meet on other surfaces, Nadal did not manage to keep on his side of the bargain. And it happened again.

    Looking forward to more GOAT performances.

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