ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Dodig in Indian Wells

Hey all, another routine match for Roger as he defeated Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-1 to move easily into the fourth round. Not by any means his greatest performance and he was flattered a little bit by the scoreline but he was the better player over all and deserved to move into the last 16 where he will meet Stan Wawrinka.

Although the second set ended in a breadstick it wasn't all plain sailing and there was a slight concern at 4-1 where Roger clearly tweaked his back and was unable to serve with any real force.

He was quite lucky to be honest that it was so late in the set and Dodig was choking up at every possible opportunity. A smarter player would have put as many balls back in play as he could to test Roger's movement but he made a bucket load of errors and continued to serve double faults. Anyway we'll talk about that shortly.

First Set – Sunset Causes Problems

Sunset in Indian Wells

Unlike the Istomin match Roger started pretty sluggishy against Dodig having to save 3 break points in the very first game, he wasn't really into the groove on serve and his ground strokes weren't zipping off the surface like they were during Saturday's match.

I think the conditions early in the first set didn't help Federer's game either, the court was half in shade and the sun was very low reflecting off the seats making it quite hard to pick the ball. This clearly effects a players timing and shot preparation as you see the ball later and can't commit to the shot or get setup as quick as you would like.

It was actually Dodig who started quite brightly, he's known as an attacking player and he lived up to his name going for everything. Roger was wise to that though and wasn't backing off either in the rallies, sticking close to the baseline and not wanting to give up any sort of advantage.

At 4-3 the wheels came off though for the Croat, he served back to back double faults to give Roger an almost undeserved break of serve that he took full advantage of serving out the set 6-3.

It was quite a bad choke from Dodig really, almost out of nowhere his serve deserted him in a really important part of the set, if not the match. Although, who's complaining ๐Ÿ˜›

Second Set – Federer's Back Problems

Federer Back Problems

With the sun now behind the stand the court was fully in the shade and Roger performed much much better in the second set. He broke Dodig in the first game, held comfortably and then had the all important double break donated to him by another Dodig double fault in a key moment. Poor really from the Croat who has Nadal on his list of scalps.

At 4-1 up fans had a brief moment of concern where Roger visibly tweaked his back and started rolling his first and second serve in. He held though as Dodig played mindless tennis and then completely teed off in the final game going for winner off every shot to give himself match points where you guessed it, Dodig double faulted to bow out 6-3 6-2.

It was a tough day, Ivan played really well and I struggled early on in the first few games. Then I got a bit of a break at the end of the first set, started to play better. In the last couple of games Ivan didn't play so well and I was able to take advantage of it. It was a really good win for me.

Point of the Match

Turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye GOAT

Thoughts on the Match

Overall I thought the match was a routine performance, no real highlights or signs he was really at his best but considering he didn't play that great it couldn't have been any easier.

Dodig played well in patches but when it got to the crunch moments he folded like a cheap tent and that was that. Roger could almost put his newly built house in the Alps on Dodig serving a double fault on a break point it was that predictable.

Up until his back went I thought Roger served pretty well and for most of the second set he was striking the ball really nicely so we can't really ask for more. In fact Federer probably deserves some praise for polishing off the match when he did, after the back pain he was in a rush to get off court so decided to hit big on every ball, it was quite fun to watch actually and it paid off.

Is Federer's Back a Problem?

As I mentioned above at 4-1 Roger clearly felt something in his back that caused him either pain or real concern as he totally tied up on serve. He went from really going for it to just rolling it in and looked like he was in some kind of discomfort. He was ok in the rallies after so it's clearly the service motion that causes it, my theory is the back only really hurts on serve and immediately after but a couple of shots into a rally it recovers quite quickly.

Is it a concern? I'd say yes, a little bit. It's a recurring issue, and always has been to an extent but more so this year which is worrying as it's not going to help his cause should he play any of the top guys. The most important thing is though I don't really think it's an injury per se, more just a back problem that he has to manage. It's not like a muscle strain that can heal in a couple of weeks or keep you out for months, it's a recurring problem that just has to be dealt with as and when.

I had something similar when I used to play cricket where one day after bowling a few overs I could barely walk never mind get into a delivery stride. As soon as I stopped bowling, stood in the field for 2 mins I was fine and could run around easily and dive without problem, but as soon as I tried to bowl again it came back. The answer was just to keep warm, do some core work and it was only occasionally a problem. I think that's the same with Roger, it's not muscle related I don't think but probably something joint based that flares up. It almost felt like a trapped nerve when I was bowling so who knows if Roger has something similar.

As for Roger's own thoughts on his back he spoke about it in his presser and said the following:

No, no. I mean, I finished the match, I did treatment, you know, just to make sure you do all the right things at the right time.

That's what you should do anyway all the time: You should do treatment right after your matches and not go to press first. You get in the habit. You go to press first, get rid of that, even though it's not the right thing to do.

So I'm not too worried. I have gone through it so many times where you feel a little tweak. You might play next day; now this time around I have a day off, extra time.

Happened during Grand Slams, during tournaments, in practice. So, you know, it's just something, you know, you learn to deal with. And as long as I keep on playing, it's all right. After this I also know I have a longer break to recover, so from that standpoint I'm not worried at all.

He sounds quite relaxed about it all, as he always is so I guess as fans we just have to wait and see how it holds up against Wawrinka.

Predictions vs. Wawrinka

Federer & Wawrinka

Next up for Roger is his fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka who's in quite a good run of form right now. Roger leads the H2H 12-1 and it's usually a great match up for him both in term of game styles and the mental aspect of tennis, that's mainly because Stan is always in Federer's shadow and never quite believes he can beat him which of course works hugely in Fed's favour.

The last time they met was in Shanghai last year where Roger was burnt out from his long season and gave Stan plenty of chances to win the match. As usual Stan failed to do so and ended up losing 6-0 in the third; it was another mental scar for Stan really, wasting a golden opportunity to get a win against the GOAT.

To be fair to Wawrinka though he has started this year quite promisingly, he should have beaten Djokovic at the Australian Open losing in a 5 set thriller and he made the final in Buenos Aires last month losing out to Clay Tournament Vulture David Ferrer.

In terms of Indian Wells he's made steady progress, he did drop a set to Wayne “Substantial Assistance” Odesnik but he beat Lleyton Hewitt comfortably in the last round to set this tie up.

The match is clearly on Roger's racket though so if he plays freely without any sort of back problems hampering him then I see him getting the job done in straight sets. He knows Stan's game inside out and how to cause him problems so although Stan is a big hitter in form I'm not sure he has enough to win the match. 6-4 6-4.

Allez!

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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171 Comments

    1. Hey, I’ve beaten Sid?

      A thoughtful report, Jonathan. Haha, I liked your remark of Dodig ‘folded like a cheap tent’…yes he was disappointing, though no complaining. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I guessed right about the rally you would pick for ‘Point of the Match’!

      1. You have, he asked you to bring it, and it looks like you brought it.

        I was thinking the 5kg of chocolate might have slowed you down but it’s done the opposite ๐Ÿ˜›

        Good guess! It was a nice point, sweet forehand to setup the open court volley.

    2. Folks, folks, calm down ๐Ÿ™‚ If Simon was the first poster, it’s only because I let him. You’re welcome, Simon ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Hey Jonathan, how about posting something during the middle of the day, that way I can screw Sid over the time zones ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. Haha posting through the day is tough when it’s a working day, got stuff to do ๐Ÿ™‚

        Weekends is your best bet for that to happen.

  1. Hope he actually plays a day match so I can see him play…. But if his back doesn’t flare up, I think it should be straights as well!

    Go Rog!!

      1. If I stay up there’s no way I can follow my classes entire day… So if it’s not fedal or vs djokovic or murray, o not a final, im not watching ๐Ÿ™

    1. Uhhhhhhhhhhh
      I’ve got to admit that I was relatively bored this evening…. which then usually leads to raping the refresh button ๐Ÿ˜›

      1. Yeah no fun matches to watch today. Clownga just beat Fish as expected. Although Fish was up 4-0 in second set before losing it on a breaker. Poor but only his first tournament back.

      2. Watching Grigor v Novak. Dimitrov just choked so badly serving for the set!!!4 doubles!! Good shot making though! Fed to beat Stan in 2 tightish sets. Still picking Gulbis…. And Tommy Haas, unreal!

      3. 4 double faults is a huge huge choke. He’s inexperienced I guess. But can a player learn mental toughess? Not the easiest thing to teach.

        Haas rolling back the years!

  2. Yeah, routine match. Roger looks the best of the top 4 but needs to improve his serve. First priority is getting his bad back back to normal! Remember the last time Fed had a “bad back” an needed “treatment”. Remember the result of that tournament Jonathan?

    1. Yeah but looking good early counts for little in the grand scheme of things. Needs to peak in the semis and final.

      Hopefully the back issue resolves itself. Not getting carried away with the Wimbledon theory just yet man but I’d like to see it happen!

  3. I watched the highlights of this match yesterday and when I saw Rog do that little backhand flick, I was like shut the front door. I’ve watched a lot of his matches and I know he can pull of unbelievable shots but I’m still so in awe.

  4. Olรก Jonathan!

    Confession: I’m scared to death about Federer’s back problem, I fear it more than Stan’s backhand!

    Alllezz swiss, the right one.

  5. Oke , Dimitrov could have taken the first set, but didn’t……….

    And guys, you have heard this from me first and I will tell it more and more on:
    Novak is trying to be (and unfortunately succeeding) the next Roger qua popularity !!!
    He really wants to be the next Roger, the way he is acting since a few years, saying all the perfect things, beeing more funny (which Roger is not that much).
    But somehow I think AND FEAR that this year Novak will win the Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award and the ATP Fanfavourite Award.
    He won’t deserve it, but he is trying too hard to win them both, unfortunately.

    1. Katyani, believe me. As long as Roger is on tour, he will always win the sportsmanship and of course the fan favourite award. He beats the others by a mile.

      Djokovic is a try hard, he can’t live if he doesn’t please the crowd and then if they are not with him he will purposely agitate them. Remember when he hit THAT shot against Roger in the heartbreaking loss at the US Open in 2011. As soon as he hit it, he put his hands up and looked to the crowd who were all on Federer’s side and basically shut them up when he won.

      Roger > everyone else. Fact.

  6. Haha wow, MASSIVE choke from Dimitrov. 4 straight double faults? How is this guy supposed to be the next Federer again? People really need to stop comparing them.

    It seems like Djokovic hasn’t found his form yet in Indian Wells, hope Roger takes advantage, definitely can beat him or Murray in the final barring the back issue. But we’ll see. One match at a time, Allez!

    1. Agree, massive choke! Very disappointing. He and Jerzy and my two to watch this season. Still think Dimiov can make top 20 but what a poor game at 5-3. Novak upped his power hitting somewhat after tht and squashed him!

      Still think Fed will come thru in 2 tight sets. Gulbis to beat Nadal…. Plse…..
      Gasquet to beat Berdych.plse

      1. Susie, Gasquet to beat Berdych. No not happening. Just like Jonathan said, Berdych is put on this earth to trouble Roger and to choke against the rest.

        Katyani

      2. Susie, yes disappointing but not surprising as “Baby Fed” also choked against Murray in Brisbane earlier this year when he was up in both sets. The match just gave me hope that Djokovic is beatable right now in Indian Wells and Roger is the guy to hand him is first loss. Dimitrov is mentally weak really but guess he’ll learn from it with the experience to settle nerves. Yeah Roger should be able to get it done in two but Stan’s form has been unpredictable this year so if he displays the god like tennis as we saw in Australia against Novak well then might make it interesting at the least.

        Well I’ll watching Nadal/Gulbis for sure. As much as I believe Gulbis will have chances and even take a set of Rafa, i think we all know that we will probably be witnessing the 800th “Fedal” clash so don’t put your expectations to high for Gulbis, if he is to win, he will need to expose Rafa’s movement or lack of to get the better of him on the hard courts as he still doesn’t trust the knee and go after every ball which was evident in his first and only match.

        Katyani, Gasquet beat Berdych in their last match soundly on hard courts in Toronto I think and also owns the H2H so don’t underestimate that match up. Also what about Simon, he gives Berdych trouble too doesn’t he? Nevertheless, I’m confident even if Berdych does end up meeting Roger that Fed is going to win it. Roger has been shit on enough by this Bird.

    2. @Alysha Dimitrov, crazy really, 4 in one game. I don’t know why he didn’t take some pace off the second serve. Nerves / inexperience I guess.

      @Susie – I hope Gascoke can beat Berdshit but will be tough. If he plays 10ft behind the baseline I think Berd will eat him up.

      RE Gulbis vs. Dull – Ernie has the game to beat Nadal for sure, its definitely the type of play that causes Nadal problems so it should be interesting.

  7. I guess he did ok, played an intelligent match. I am more worried about his back, definitely will impact his ability to get cheap points. Stan is no pushover and nothing he loves more than to secure a W against Roger. I hope with 1 day rest he will be ok. I am also little worried as he is playing 3rd day match, hopefully no shadows creeping into the court making it a little tough to play. Lets hope 2 matches before that ends quickly.

  8. I like the orange on Federer! He can carry it off. He looks great in something other than blue and just a little color. I did get bored with the Dodig match. I missed the moment of back pain. I was so pleased that Fish came on strong against Tsonga. Berdych just makes me sick. I keep thinking Murray will lose. I do not think he is playing very well. He just goes fighting to the end and then some how pulls it off. I hope Roger can beat Stan after that I am not sure I can watch him play Nadal. Nadal does not look like any thing is wrong with him.If roger can not win, I would prefer Tsonga. Roger pull this one off for your many many loyal fans. You are on American soil and we love you more than any other players from other countries especially Berdych and Nadal

    1. I like the orange too! Much better than Miami 2010, an orange headband instead of white which looks better, slightly darker orange and its a polo!

    2. Hey Pat,

      Yeah Dodig match wasn’t that fun. He played really badly when in the key moments to just hand Fed the breaks on a plate.

      Tsgona struggling against Raonic…

      Hopefully Feds back doesn’t cause any problems today. Allez GOAT!

  9. Johnathan the schedule has been posted and Roger will play at 1:30 pm CA time right after the women. It will be 4:30 EST. however, they have not followed the Schedule exactly so up to this point.

  10. Like you i agree that Federer win against stan without too much trouble.The match against Nadal is 50-50.If Federer gets past Rafa,im pretty sure he wont have to face Berdych as he has to get past Gasquet and Simon(both of whom he has a match up problem against especially Simon). I really want to see the Federer Simon matchup happening since if im right Simon is one of the four current players that Federer dosent have a winning record against(apart from nadal murray and volandri)so that would be a good chance to correct it.

    1. Don’t count Stan out just yet. He gave Roger a headache in their last meeting but ultimately had to go home with a bagel and cream cheese spread on it ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully, this time around it will be much easier.

      1. Oh yes, a bagel and cream cheese! With smoke salmon and chive on top this time, please. ๐Ÿ˜€

        ?? I could’t post this because of a duplicate?

      2. True but Roger was mentally out of it at that stage and was probs still pissed off at the US Open. I’ve never seen Roger serve worse at a tournament then he did at Shanghai, that’s a place where Roger doesn’t play his best tennis particularly so it was incredible to see how he dug himself out of the hole Stan put him in. Roger 3.0 appeared to secure him his 300 weeks at least.

        Only thing that stops Roger winning this match is the back or the tennis that Stan played against Novak but as history shows, that type of form is a one night only kind of thing so chances are that Roger will be dictating this one.

      3. Wanda, but did you know that night, Stan asked Roger if he had a breadstick.

        Roger said, “Well, I’m out of breadsticks. All I have now is a bagel. Cool?”

        Stan said, “Ya, that will do”

      4. But Wanda, I already do that, I’ve been writing computer programs for years. And they usually clown up ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Arun, first, a one off game doesn’t count. Roger has played Volandri only once. He is tied with Simon 2-2. So effectively, Roger only trails Murray (barely), and Nadal (courtesy their disproportionately large number of meetings on Clay). So, in effect, I’d say Roger only trails Murray ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Man by the end of Roger’s career, I really want to look back and see Federer leaving with the head to head against Murray in HIS favour. Obviously Roger is not going to catch up on Nadal even though I wish otherwise. But yes so many people manipulate the head to head between them two to say that Nadal is better than Roger when as most people don’t know that most meetings were on clay and who has a positive record on clay against Nadal? No one I know of.

    2. “Roger has played Volandri only once”.
      Incorrect,he’s played him twice(1-1 H2H).I would love to see him convert that H2H to a +ve one.
      @Alysha I really dont think Federer will end his career with a +ve H2H against Murray unless he plays a majority of his future matches with him on clay

      1. It’s not about being incorrect. It further strengthens my point. If it’s 1-1, then even better, because in that case Roger doesn’t exactly have a losing record ๐Ÿ™‚ I see only one record of their game but maybe I missed something.

        Good luck converting it to 2-1 because I don’t even know where Volandri lives or who the heck he is ๐Ÿ™‚

        Federer can beat Murray for a positive H2H. Roger’s AO loss came after a tough five setter against Tsonga. I am confident Roger would’ve won if that were not the case.

      2. Murray hasn’t even reached a final of any clay court tournament, shocking stat. Not even a 250 or 500. I think Roger can school in their first meeting of clay if they meet this year.

      3. Yeah 1-1 Volandri, both times they met in Rome.

        The H2H with Murray is a tough one to turn around, awkward match up for Fed really.

        I wouldn’t be so sure of Fed beating Mugray on clay either, the Murray forehand is quite a good shot now.

      4. Yeah maybe so that Murray has most of their matches on his racquet these days but I will hope.

        And Jonathan, yes Murray now has the game to cause problems on clay but I still think Roger will outplay him on the red dirt. Murray isn’t confident on clay yet so we’ll have to see what occurs this year and if he does meet Roger on clay this year it could be very interesting.

      5. Yeah not quite on Murrays racquet I don’t think but Roger can afford to play below his top level and expect to win.

        WTF proved he’s still capable of bossing the matches. AO was Murray bossing Roger though, never got in top in that match.

  12. I actually thought it was a good match. He had a shaky start, took some time to figure Dodig out (makes sense) and had problems with the sun (as he said so later, it being very tricky). And then in the 2nd set, 4-1 then there was the back. But in between I thought it was all good ๐Ÿ™‚ The shot of the day you picked, was peRFect. Loved it! And the improvised shot, was brilliant. Very Fed-like, the way he did it ๐Ÿ˜‰ But having said all that, I haven’t seen the Istomin match, so I can imagine that anyone who has seen that, would say this was average, cause I heard he was on fire there…

    Anyway. I’m not too worried about his back. He was quite talkative about it and I think he wouldn’t do that, if if were to be very serious. Just my impression. If it was an injury, it’d be different as in how I feel about it. But it is a problem that has been with him for so long… I think the day off will have helped (he has practiced only for a little while yesterday) and I’m sure the treatment will do that too. Fingers crossed. Btw I’m all tough now, but probably will be nervous as hell tonight, anyway… We’ll see…

    And Stan? Well… Stan has been playing really really well so far. And mentally things have improved a lot too I think. So my idea is that it’ll be a very tough match. But still would favor Fed over Stan to win this (is that actually a good way to say it, my English is getting a bit rusty…) if only because of their H2H and the fact that this might be tougher for Stan mentally than most of the other matches.

    On a side note: yes, Dimitrov choked last night. Big time. People really shouldn’t be comparing him to Fed at all. He doesn’t like that actually. Said so about a 100 times. I thought, while watching the match, that there is an on-switch and an off-switch with this guy. Nothing in between. Yesterday, he was switched off. He can play brilliantly and really go for it (see Baghdatis match in Rotterdam), but he can also mess it up completely. He has a lot of work to do still. It all comes down to the question if he *really* wants it. And yesterday, I wasn’t sure….

    1. So, Dimitrov apes everything from Roger Federer, everything down to the tee, then has a problem being compared? Rather than imitating Roger, it would’ve served him well to have his own style. He is severely limiting his potential by trying to build his game around Roger’s style. He needs to find out what works for him. Maybe he will succeed to a certain extent but that’s not the point.

      1. Sid, do you really think he imitates? I don’t think so tbh… Maybe a bit, consciously or not, because he admires Roger (a lot!), but that’s it I think… I just think every now and then a player comes up who is capable of all the shots… Just like Fed was. He will never get close to what Roger is capable of and he knows that… But if you can do everything (and I’ve seen matches where that happened), why wouldn’t you? I think Grigor’s problem is that he is not focused enough yet and a bit too cocky… And he was quite honest about not wanting to be compared to anyone and specifically said he is trying to find his own style. Just like Fed actually said that he found it hard when people compared him to Sampras for instance… I did find similarities in there actually ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just find him an interesting player with a lot of potential… But still very very young (in his behavior mainly)

    2. Hey Natasja,

      Yeah it was good in terms of the result and duration but not good in terms of the back. Serve was quite poor.

      Apparently he canclled practice too according to Tignor…

      Hopefully he’s recovered.

      Jonathan

      1. Is that so?

        There are pictures all over twitter of Roger practicing early in the morning by fans who are at Indian Wells.

      2. My bad Jonathan, you were referring to Fed’s day off on Tuesday. Guess he didn’t want to aggravate the back or something. Hmm, I’m a bit worried for the Wawrinka match all of a sudden now.

      3. Yeah he cancelled practice yesterday and had a 30 minute hit today.

        I’m not sure what to expect. We’ll find out I guess that’s for sure!

      4. Yeah, agreed, service was quite poor… And tweaks in the back are never good. But that only really took place at the end of the 2nd set… It might have been a bit off before, back-wise, but not as much… Anyway… Maybe I’m just gutted I missed the 1st match and want to find all sorts of good things in this one ๐Ÿ˜‰ Who knows…

        He practiced today and I’m trying to ‘read’ the pictures, but can’t really (obviously)… Guess we all are anxious and hoping for the best…

  13. ATP World Tour says, “A 2011 Reputation Institute study listed Federer, 31, as the second-most-respected man in the world โ€“ behind only Nelson Mandela.”

    Take that, haters! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha indeed. Also third most powerful athlete as noted by Sports Illustrated in the world behind Lebron and Tiger Woods. Awesome.

      1. Phwease! Third most? That’s simply because of golf and basketball in the US. If it is truly a world survey, nobody would even care about those two.

  14. why the hell are those women still on court??? they’ve been blowing their leads since the second set…. We have a fed match to watch!!!

  15. Poor start by both to beginning of the match. Fed is lucky that Stan isn’t playing well either.

    Looks to me like Roger is cautious of back, movement not as sharp but strong lead already in the first.

    1. And also just saw that Berdshit is into the quaters. Can’t trust Gasquet whatsoever then…

      He just beat Anderson in Australia and he’s injured too. Looks like Berdych is in semis, sigh.

    1. Can’t be sure but I personally think that the back was an issue tonight for him, maybe he was just being cautious and what not but the stats show his first serve and points won aren’t like the usual so I’d say something was up with it.

      Also don’t be angry Katyani but I really think that orange is bad luck, needs to revert back to the blue in his quarter final! Hopefully donning that kit will help him play like Goderer as he was against Istomin.

      1. Yeah his game sucked. Where has his mojo gone? Match was so boring too, luckily for Fed Stan was bending over for his master again and letting him win.

      2. It was actually painful to watch this match. So many unforced errors coming from both sides. Yeah you kind of got the feeling that Roger didn’t need to do anything to win because Stan gave it to him like he did in Australia to Novak. Could tell he was pissed off at the net, Fedrinka relationship not the strongest I think…

        Saw a funny tweet from Courtney Nguyen that said WAG war between Mirka and Benoit Paire (Stan’s bestie). Too good.

      3. At this point, I don’t care about orange (?????). He just has to win, definitely from Rafa. In any colour will do. I cannot see him like this, hurting, uninterested, giving it away and losing.

      4. Actually the light blue polo he wore this year was bad luck. Loses to Benneteau with it and Berdshit

      5. Katyani, the editor of the tennis section on Sports illustrated sent a tweet regarding both Roger’s wife Mirka and Stan’s best friend and tennis player Benoit Paire (a guy) locked in an intense battle of cheering their man on and giving both intense stares and disappointed looks when they made errors or something. It’s funny because Courtney implied that Paire was a tennis WAG. Which is true, them two are inseparable.

      6. Yeah maybe Fed and Stan haven’t been the same since Stan started running his mouth about Davis Cup.

        Although Fed doesn’t seem like he has any ill feeling towards him. More Stan living in his shadow.

      1. Indeed. That’s what being a Federer fan is all about I guess. Gives me mini heart attacks all the time.

      2. Aw c’mon Katyani don’t be like that. If your a Fedfan you gotta watch the victories and the losses. Watching Roger lose matches only makes his wins that much more sweeter. Also Roger can win the match, do you really want to miss that chance?

        In the end, you got to support Roger no matter what. Sometimes he survives and other times not so much but that’s what being a fan is all about.Plus even if he does lose, there will also be some classic play from Roger guaranteed.

        Remember that these two haven’t met in a year. Who knows when or if we will see them meet again as we don’t know what the future holds. As much as Fedal matches scare me, I am always intrigued by their rivalry and mostly high quality shotmaking to say the least from both.

      3. Alysha, really you are totally right. But you don’t know how I watch his matches. I only relax when the match is over and he has won. I cannot even relax if he is ahead or has even a matchpoint. I’m always concerned that something will happen. And look yesterday. He was ahead in the second set and then….
        I could not even watch the tiebreak, really I am that scared that he will lose.
        I know, beeing a fan means seeing him win and lose, but I see that man differently than you guys. I really love him and I cannot stand to see him in pain or lose.
        So I don’t know if I will watch the match, cannot take it.

        Ps: Don’t get any wrong ideas about me. I love him, but I am not in love with him. I am not a stalker or a weirdo. I just see him as my hero and don’t like to see him lose, especially to Rafa.

        Katyani

      4. Understandable. I too am nervous and then when he falls behind I doubt him and then he proves me wrong and I am happy that I ended up watching the match after all. The Murray match in Australia was torture as we all know the outcome but I remember being in the moment watching him take that fourth set, truly electrifying and reminds me why I am a Federer fan. So if you don’t want to watch this match that’s ok, but just remember that if he wins, you’ll miss it!

        p.s. No we all don’t like to see Roger in pain or sad after a loss but that is tennis and he has enjoyed more victory than anyone else so if you look it at it through that perspective, it won’t hurt as much. If Rafa wins tomorrow it will be because Roger’s back stopped him not for any other reason because I witnessed Goderer in the first round and there’s no way he only came here for one match. Btw I didn’t get that obsessive vibe from you, you’re just a very dedicated fan and that’s nice to see. Hmm, yep, if there’s one person I hate seeing Fed lose to it’s Rafa. But I’d rather him than Murray or Berdych taking out Fed.

    1. Lol. Yes he really did survive didn’t he. Phew!

      Who’s up for Nadal and Gulbis now? Either way, Fed is going to have his work cut out in the next round.

      1. Don’t think any Federer fan who witnessed today’s match is excited by any means. I think more of us are on edge. Gotta hope that Roger comes in with a strong game plan like he did last year at Indian Wells and sticks to it. Roger always comes out firing against Rafa and then we all know what happens. He is mentally weak against Nadal during the latter stages of matches when it gets tight and he fails to take risks when he needs to and then Nadal just ends up bullying him.

        We all know what Rafa is gonna do, forehand to the backhand, forehand to the backhand…
        Roger’s only chance is mixing it up, running around his forehand and attacking the Nadal BH. If he doesn’t have back issues I’m hopeful that this match is on his racquet. First set is key.

      2. Sorry I meant running around the backhand. Also he’s gotta serve well. Gulbis served extremely well last night and it paid off. Roger served poor today (due to the back most likely) Without the serve, this match could be over pretty quickly for Fed. Do you think Nadal is winning it Jonathan?

      3. Yeah Roger’s wins against Nadal usually stem from him moving really well. Not done that last two matches so gonna have to be sharp. If he’s not fully fit it will be difficult.

        I think it will go 3. Coin flip but Nadal has a slight edge I feel. If Fed plays like he did against Istomin I think he wins though so not an impossible task.

        Jonathan

  16. Only God knows how Roger didn’t manage to win this match in straights and then come out victorious in the third. Roger 3.0 ladies and gentleman.

    Afraid to say that back was obvious issue though still and JesusFed will need to make himself available in the next match otherwise it’s not looking good but still wow what an up and down match versus Stan, really thought Roger was out after Stan got the early break in the third but once again Fed pulled the win, awesome effort by him, looks like motivation and grit were still there. Don’t know if it was all because of the back but this could be the match Roger needs to get some more confidence to make the semis. Who knows, enjoying the win right now but. Allez!

      1. Fresh Nadal? He has to go through Gulbis first who has a really good chance of winning tonight. And plus Rafa is still vulnerable on the hard courts.

        Obviously Roger’s chances have been slightly diminished regarding this match and the back but I still believe that he is fully capable of getting the win tomorrow. Don’t underestimate Roger Sid, keep the faith!

      2. What did I tell you Sid. Gulbis takes the first set!

        So even if Rafa comes through, it won’t be easy. Gulbis has a really good chance to beat Roger as well so it’s not a win win situation either way.

      3. Alysha, by fresh I mean fresh “substances” he will have recently taken ๐Ÿ™‚

      4. Reckon Nadal will be even more tired after his 3 setter, nearly thought my man Gulbis had pulled it off! Thought Fed looked stuff throughout, poor movement to the right, and clearly sub par on the serve. Not sure how he won! Relies on the mental fragility of Stan or perhaps the tournament heavies give Stan a Pre match warning!!! So Fedal here we come! Hopefully the prospect of this will help Fed raise his game but without a days rest, v tough!

      5. Couldn’t stay up for Gulbis but looks like he had chances. Will be posting on the Stan match when I get in from work. Not really got many positives from it. Really weird match.

        Lucky Stan is a big choker.

      6. Gulbis had plenty of chances but couldn’t play the shotmaking he had demonstrate throughout the match when it counted. Nadal defense just too strong. It was actually the match of the tournament from my perspective and both are a good matchup. It also relaced me after I saw the disaster of the match Fed/Stan had just played.

        Look after thinking about it, yeah can’t say I’m too impressed with Fed failing to close it out. No excuses there, lost concentration once again, the two month break is going to be crucial if he wants to win Wimbledon, which I think his focus is getting the better of him at the moment. Only thing I take from this match is some confidence because Fed said in his press that it would’ve been hard to lose another match like this right after Berdych and I guess he dug deep at times to fight in his service games in the third. Can’t say I’m overly confident for Nadal but it is what it is and yes Stan once again remembering who the better Swiss is.

      7. Yeah Gulbis forehand is a joke too. Nadal only won 2 more points though so pretty close in the end.

        Yeah the one positive is he still won, partly due to Stan playing crap too but partly because he did just enough to hang in there and he did break back after having a melt down.

        Allez!

    1. So Fedal it is then.

      Gulbis had a tonne of chances but Nadal was clutch as always. There is no doubt in my mind that Rafa does not mean what he says in regards to this tournament about how he doesn’t think he will win it. Lies. Nadal is back and looks healthy enough to take on the top guys.

      Unfortunately that’s bad news for Roger because this match/back will make him a little nervous for tomorrow which is a night match. of course for the ratings so unlucky for Fed and his back. I know Roger can win this match, the question is will he? Doesn’t look good to me right now after just watching Rafa’s performance but I have hope as every Fed fan does.

    1. Haha, I am so slow!! Just worked out what HGH means!! What a match! I just had to go to bed at a set all otherwise cant function at work! Didn’t sleep well as really thought Fed wld lose again from a winning position!!!( Dubai anyone!!!) . What a relief to find he squeezed thru! Pity Gulbis cldnt quite pull it off but more than justified my favouring him! Hope this propels back up to top 20! Huge talent! Ps Murray needs a time violation warning!

      Cannot believe Fedal will be on at 3am uk time! Bummer! Another poor nights sleep worrying!

      1. @Katyani Human Growth Hormone. It’s a banned substance that sportsmen take to enhance performance ๐Ÿ˜› Not proven Nadal takes it but plenty of theories about it. I don’t know what to think.

        @Susie I stayed up, feeling the tiredness now so gonna have to sleep before this one starts!

      1. Me neither. I’m not watching. Stupid HGH is going to win, we all know that. There was never anything wrong with his knees, I’ve been saying this all the time.

        Dopal will win in straight sets, from the looks of it.

        [Kick me if that doesn’t happen]

      2. I’m eager to see how Roger’s back will respond to this kind of test.

        At least he reached the quarters, which most of us predicted. Not expecting him to win though (but i’m hoping that he goes to the semis! ๐Ÿ˜€ ). Instead, i’ll watch out for those highlight reel volleys RF has in store against the one dimensional style of Nadal.

      3. Roger can win but it’s just a matter of recovery and the back. If JesusFed appears tomorrow, Nadal is going back to Mallorca. Or Miami. Don’t care which one.

        I mean Rafa’s win over Gulbis wasn’t very convincing either along with Roger but he looked much better than Fed did today. Can’t believe that ALL matches on centre court went the distance. I believe Sharapova is still playing and it’s 11:30pm there. Djokovic is still slated to play as well. Feels like a grand slam almost.

        Also who knew Larry Ellison was a Nadal fanboy?

      4. Bizarre scheduling! Both Murray and Delpo get another days rest! Hardly need it! Fed and Nadal will be pretty weary I reckon!

      5. Yeah, 4 day matches not wise really. But they have to play quaters-final consecutively so hopefully Djokovic/Murray will slug it out and will wear each other out for Sunday where Fed could be waiting possibly. But Djokovic’s fitness levels are unreal so he will be favourite regardless what happens.

      6. You know why that Larry guy was clapping and happy? Not because of Roger or Rafa as a person, but because he got the dream QF he was wishing for (good press, good tickets, etc.).

      7. You may be right Katyani, I never thought about it like that. Fedal bring in the $$$ although I don’t think it’s going to be the scintillating match everyone is making it out to be. Commentators were saying that Nadal stays @ Larry’s house and frequently plays at his golf course. Idk looks like Larry and Nadal are tight, that’s why he screwed up Roger’s draw at this tournament.

      8. Yeah I remember reading Dull stays at Ellisons house when he plays.

        Djoker was still playing when I went to work this morning, quite a surprise! Bet he’s happy he won the breaker though as going 3 would have been quite crazy.

  17. Wow! Just realised Djokovic hasn’t even started! So Tsonga benefits as do Murray and Delpo from a days rest? All v odd! None of it favours Fed! What a bizarre schedule!

    1. No it’s fair because Djokovic’s half will have to play quaters, semis and finals on consecutive days whereas Roger’s half gets a rest day in between quarters and semis. Either way both get a rest in between 4th round/quaters or quaters/semis from here to Sunday. Unfortunately Roger had a tough match today physically and must face the music with Nadal tomorrow but only he has himself to blame by not serving it out when he had the chance. But if he gets through he will get a day in between before he has to play Berdych (probably) and then Djokovic (probably). Both halves play semis on saturday and then sunday final so depending on what way you look at it, it all works out really.

  18. Just saw Nadal’s press. Said he isn’t playing well enough to beat Federer. What a joke, he knows he is having back issues and that he had a long match today but still downplays his chance. Still acting as he is on a comeback and isn’t confident and what not. His reaction at winning points tonight and the match made it clear that he think he can win this thing. If you didn’t think Nadal wasn’t back you will now. What will he say if he beats Roger which he has a good chance of doing given Roger’s form…

    Also saw he was given a coaching warning today as well. Sportsmanship and being humble at his best.

    1. That is typical Rafa, so when he loses we can be so Plsed for his progress! Feds back was a real issue today as you said. He was so stiff, couldn’t get to any lower balls at all. Plse God he sorts it out before the QF. Hopefully the adrenalin will kick in v Rafa but his game plan needs to be bett than it was v Stan. Bit hit and hope I thought! Lets hope Anderson plays a blinder v Tomas who is looking much stronger mentally these days and it absolutely clubbing that ball, but oh so dull to watch!!!!

      Delpo has sneaked thru untroubled but not sur he has th movement to get past Andy. Novak still heavy fav to win, but really want a Novak/ Fed final!!!!!

      1. Yeah Rafa and his dirty tactics, fools no one, he’s going into this QF knowing he has a good chance of winning.

        I felt Roger had a good game plan against Stan, he’s played him 14 times prior to this match so he always outplays him and is the smarter guy. He just lost concentration at 5-4 in the second and I have a slight feeling that the Berdych Dubai loss crept into his mind but him winning this match for him will be a positive, he got himself out of trouble and avoided another devastating loss where he should have won (or won earlier then the ultimate scoreline says) as there’s been too many of those lately.

        Not confident that Anderson is beating Berdych, Tomas outplayed him in Australia and Kevin is recovering from some injury I believe.

        Also don’t think that Delpo gets it done by Andy, he’s got quite a poor record against Murray and Andy dominates him from the baseline. Delpo’s wrist injury is also apparently back so yeah don’t think that’s happening I’m afraid. Plus Murray is the only one who can stop Djokovic. However, Murray making the final means Roger would most likely lose his number two ranking. Can’t have Murray and Djokovic ranked 1 and 2 now, that means all significant finals will be slated to those two. Can you imagine finals with them two in it? Painful.

        I too want a Novak/Fed final but it will be tough for Roger no doubt.

    2. Yeah typical Nadal downplaying his chances. May as well just be honest and say he has a good chance rather than writing himself off in some fake humble approach.

      Another coaching warning too? Joke really is that, happens all the time with Uncle Toni. Embarrassing.

      I hope AnderGOAT takes care of Berdshit but he has a poor record in the H2H.

  19. I feel so bad for Roger. Yes, he has himself to blame for not closing in two sets, but it also shows how good Stan is.
    And you can also see that he is in pain. He still wants to win, but that fire or hunger that he had in 2012, that is not there. Could it be personal? Problems? Even Mirka looks like she has to be there but does not want to, she is not as supporting as usual. Why? Something is wrong. I think they are both just waiting for the two month break.

    I cannot see Roger in pain. It really hurts me too.

    The Rafa match. Well I did not see everything, but if you would have told me that Rafa is playing with kneepain and is back after seven months, I would not believe it. He really looks fine, on fire and hungry for winning. All the things Roger is lacking now.

    Roger with his backpain against Rafa with his kneepain. Roger HAS to win. Otherwise he will be destroyed by all in the press and on the web.

    Katyani

    1. What a crazy matchup and its only the QFs! Fed and Dopal havent met this early since Miami 2004. I say whoever comes out of this one is going to have a bucket load of confidence to win the title.

      1. Hmm depends on how touch/intense the match is. If it’s straight sets like 3 and 4 well then the match won’t overly up their confidence but if it’s a tough three setter then yeah well they have a good chance of making the final and giving Novak or Andy a run for their.

    2. Katyani, I don’t think this is a “must win” match for Roger against Nadal. These two have met that many times that a lot expect Nadal to win. Roger has lost 18 times to Nadal and has had to go to press either way and gets asked the same questions.Don’t see the difference this time round. Both will be motivated to win and the player who plays better in the most crucial moments will win. If Roger is not playing his best and is hampered by his back what else can he do?

      What ever happens know this. Who ever loses, their fan base or most of it will make excuses because both aren’t in form at the moment.

      But I agree with you Katyani, despite what journos, media, fans and the man himself say, I don’t believe that Rafa is injured anymore. He is just saying it so if he loses he has an excuse, puts pressure on his opponent and plays down his chances to make him seem more humble.

      1. Alysha, I watched a lot of the third set and the end, but seriously, Rafa was in no pain.
        Even if you don’t like Roger, it is obvious he is in pain and his back hurts.
        But Rafa, the way he plays, runs still after EVERY ball, tries to win every ball, I am beginning to think that the bandage on his knee is for showing.
        Tsonga also had a medic come out for a bandage (or however you call it) around his knee and he was still not alright. But Rafa just playes like it is an accessory.

        I know he is not hurting (or as much) as he is saying.

    3. @Katyani – doubtful it’s personal problems. No point speculating. We know he tweaked his back that is likely the main cause of his frustration. So unless we hear otherwise we have no idea.

      @Conal – Agreed, whoever wins a Fedal match takes a ton of confidence, happened at WTF in 2011.

      @Alysha + Katyani – I think Nadal is back to somewhere near his best now, still a few questionmarks about him on hard courts but that’s always been the case. Looks like he is injury free.

  20. Come on guys! Form is something that comes and goes in a day in tennis! I agree it’s defo not going to be an easy match, but it’s not like had to play dull while on crutches and playing left handed… Keep faith, he’s proven us wrong sooo many times!!
    And Sid, I’m getting up at “stupid o’ clock” to watch this match, so you better watch it as well, might be a nice surprise! We’ll see. Part of being a fan comes with the losses as well. It’d be easy to be a fan if all he ever did was win ๐Ÿ™‚

    Roger all the way!

    1. Simon, is there any point watching a tennis game, if one of the players is on steroids? No, there isn’t. This match is already over. Unless someone out there has told Nadal to lose.

      As for being a fan, tell you what, I became of fan of Roger Federer when he was at the absolute lowest point of his career, the 2008 Wimbledon loss. That’s when I took up tennis too. Now…isn’t that what you call a true fan? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Now that’s the best bloody coincidence I’ve seen in a while! Me too, grandpa was watching the match and I was bored so I watched it with him. Guess what happened then? Me waking up at 3 AM to see Rog’ beat a guy on steroids! so stop whining ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. I wonder… Was that really the lowest of his career? I’d almost say it was after AO 2010… He had some horrible losses going all the way to wimby…

      3. Simon, if you think hard, the 2008 loss has to be the most hurtful, in the context of what was at stake. By 2010, Roger had already achieved most of the things he needed to. After Wimbledon 2008, there was a dark cloud, a lot of question marks. Buy boy, did he fight back!

      4. No need to think that hard. I agree with the context, that it was his first “bad” year, but then 2010, losing to baghdatis, gulbis, losing quarters in RG and wimby where he was the defending champ… Not much good there either ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. Simon, aha, you do have some good things to say !!! Smileyface twice.

      I hope Roger will one day know what he puts his fans through.
      I have to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to work and his matches last till one or two or even three o’clock.
      Fortunately the lack of sleep has not affected my work yet, but the match tonight will be even later.
      How will I get through that one, not that I want to watch the match (too nervous).

      Katyani

      1. Being nervous is part of the fun! Tell ya what: I was in the plane leaving from London right when the wimby final started: so him lose the first set just as I boarded the plane. How’s that for stress not knowing what the heck is happening for 9 hours straight? ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Watch him while you can, he’s not going to stick along forever ๐Ÿ™

        So i’m watching the match, and if i’m to tired to go to class tomorrow, well, fu*k it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    3. @Simon, good point, today is a new day so he could potentially play a blinder. Just gotta hope for the best I think.

      @Sid + @Simon I think by far the lowest point and most hurtful loss was the Australian Open 2009 final. Total killer that one. 2008 wasn’t a bad one as he was never ahead in the match, always playing catch up, just the fading light and 5th set gave it that emotional type setting.

      @Katyani – Pure dedication! It will be on at 2am my time I think tonight / this morning. Crazy.

      1. Jonathan, I think you say that because Roger cried after the match. In a way, yes, it came close on the heels of 2008 Wimby. But remember, the pain has been assuaged a bit by USO 2008, so I still think if tears weren’t taken into consideration, Wimbledon 2008 was the most devastating. We will have to wait till the great man gets out his biography. I bet you, you decide the bet, he will say that Wimbledon 2008 was the most painful ๐Ÿ™‚

        Now, the AO2010 final? I actually think that’s the greatest match ever played. Again, you will not agree due to the lop sided final set, or maybe because you might be biased with Wimbledon ๐Ÿ™‚

        On a side note, Nadal was completely, and absolutely steroid powered that night. I have not even a shred of doubt in my mind.

  21. Folks, really, when was the last time Nadal went into an important match and didn’t have some sort of problem, knee, or anything, or was not making a comeback. When was the last time he went into a match not as an underdog?

    I’m trying to think………………….never! This guy is the drama queen of tennis. He will be running around like a dog who just heard the door bell ring.

    1. Alysha, it’s back pain vs no pain actually. Nadal is fine. Do you really believe he is not? He has rested for 6 months!!! I’m giving zero chance to Roger, ok, 10%. Not sure what Jonathan has to say.

      1. Are we girls getting to you that you are confusing us???

        Yes, I watched the third set of Rafa and really he was in NO pain at all.
        If he was in pain…….. well then he hides it too good.

      2. the glory of steroids! Can hide pain whenever… oh wait! there’s no pain…. just the steroids!!

      3. I think the match is a coin flip. Nadal has a slight edge because he can grind out matches especially if both players don’t play great tennis he can get across the line in those whereas Fed doesn’t have that in him naturally. All depends on Feds level.

  22. Oh come on! Fed had backpains wayy worse than that at wimby, and how did he come out afterwards? Slugged Youhzny, wasted Djoker and beat murray. You gotta be more positive than that! It’s in feds racket.

    1. I agree it is somewhat on Fed’s racket on a hard court. Although H2H suggests otherwise (lopsided on clay though). All about how aggressive and well Fed can serve. Needs full confidence in his back!

  23. Can somebody answer this question? Was Roger wright with what he said at the umpire and that he called the other guy as well?

    By the way have you guys noticed, when anybody is discussing with the umpire the camera stays back or they go with the player, but you cannot hear good what they said.
    But yesterday with Roger………… the camera was right there in his face. Showing everyting. What he said, how he said it. You could hear everything, you could even read his lips.
    Why do they do that with him? When Delpo argued with the umpire about time violation at the SF Dubai, the camera did not catch anything. You could not even hear what they were saying.

    Yes and this is Katyani again with her comment, but Roger cannot look or act angry even if tries to.
    He was argueing and all I could think about was how cute he was and how cute he was argueing !!!!

    1. Nah, I think he was over his head there, defo too late for a challenge (if we’re talking about the same moment). I actually like hearing what the players complain about, it’s… interesting ๐Ÿ˜‰ And it might just be the tournament, don’t know.

      1. yup I do, for different reasons. Roger is (usualy) right. The others, well, it’s more about making fun of their bitching ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. Yeah I think the Umpire was right to not let him challenge because he did treat it like an after thought.

      I kinda get his point that it was a natural reaction to hit the half volley when he moved in behind the serve but he wasn’t trying to stop and didn’t challenge immediately. Was just Fed been moody.

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