French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Simon in 5 Sets; Wins 900th Career Match

Hey guys, well what a match that was huh as Roger defeated Gilles Simon 6-1, 4-6 2-6 6-2 6-3 to earn his 900th career victory and move into the Quarter Finals where he will meet yet another Frenchman in the shape of Jo Wilfried Tsonga.

I predicted Roger would win this one in straight sets after his performance in Rome but yet again Simon proved a tricky opponent and one who can give even the GOAT a whole host of problems.

Fortunately though Roger dug deep and manned up when it counted here to come from behind despite the match looking as though it could slip from his grasp as Simon was zoning and playing more aggressively than I've ever seen him play. Let's take a look…

Quick Match Analysis

Federer Simon French Open 2013

Like Rome this one started beautifully for Roger as he breezed through the first set breaking Simon's serve three times and it looked like a similar scenario to Rome was on the cards. After Roger bent a forehand around the net post I was pretty confident this was going to be another speedy match; I mean this shot was absolutely insane, he managed to curve a low ball flush around the post for a clean winner out of nothing. It doesn't get any better than that folks. GOAT forehand.

However even a JesusFed type like moment wasn't enough to stop Simon hitting back as he clearly had other ideas as to where this match was heading. Rather than playing passively in his normal style the Frenchman decided to take the match to Roger and played well out of his comfort zone, looking to hit winners and dictate play.

At 3-2 Roger had an inroad on the Simon serve but he fell over retrieving a ball on the backhand side and then he lost the plot, I'm not sure the fall did any sort of damage physically but it allowed Simon to dig himself out a whole and Roger seemed to lose a little bit of confidence in his game and was comprehensively broken in his next service game.

Simon went onto serve it out 6-4 and the match was all square much to the delight of the French crowd who were really getting into the match. It was a poor set to lose really from Federer's perspective as he'd gone from utterly dominating to being the one on the backfoot in the majority of the rallies.

The third set didn't get much better for Fed fans either as yet again it was Simon who was completely in the zone and looking like he was going to take control of the match the way he was playing as he broke to lead 3-2. I thought at the time to get back into this it was imperative Roger broke straight back and at 0-30 he had a golden chance but hit some tame shots and Simon held easily. Set over.

At 4-2 Simon secured the double break which was a virtual set point for him and despite a couple of shaky moments he served it out to take a 2 sets to 1 lead. Nervous times.

After dropping the third set Roger took a bathroom break and came out looking reenergised and up for the fight, at 2-2 he was staring down at 30-30 on his serve but he pulled off a sweet half volley forehand up the line and dug out the hold. This was a big big hold and I rightfully predicted he would break in the next game which he did to take a 4-2 lead. Phew!

Roger then held to lead 5-2 and finished the set on a real high note securing the double break to ensure he would serve first in the fifth and deciding set. This was a real bonus and meant he was the one putting pressure in Simon by holding his own service games. Momentum has shifted completely and Roger looked like he was in ascendancy.

The fifth set I thought was going to be a formality as Roger broke to lead 3-1 but when he missed his chance to secure a double break it gave Simon that little bit of hope and meant he was still in touch. Luckily though Roger had got back his supreme focus in this one and pulled out some real big serves when he needed them, most notably when serving for it at 30-40 when he hit back to back aces.

He then had to stave off another break point but did so with confidence and then sealed it on his second match point when Simon went wide with a backhand! Allez!

Match Statisitics

Stats Roger Federer Gilles Simon
Aces 9 5
Double Faults 2 3
1st Serves In 64% 61%
1st Serve points Won 56/75 (75%) 65/98 (66%)
2nd Serve Points Won 23/42 (55%) 28/63 (44%)
Fastest Serve 206 KMH 200 KMH
Average 1st Serve Speed 188 KMH 179 KMH
Average 2nd Serve Speed 153 KMH 140 KMH
Net Points Won 25/35 (71%) 15/28 (54%)
Break Points Won 6/14 (43%) 3/6 (50%)
Receiving Points Won 68/161 (42%) 38/117 (32%)
Winners 60 32
Unforced Errors 56 47
Total Points Won 147 131

Another collection of solid match statistics. And just proves that when winners outnumber errors Roger comes through πŸ˜€ Allez!

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Come on French Open 2013

For me personally this was a great match, mainly because Roger came through despite struggling in the middle part of it but also because it's one of those memorable matches.

Nobody is going to remember that Roger beat Somdev Devvarman in the second round but this one is definitely going to be a match you can look back on as it all the ingredients of a great match – high quality shotmaking, momentum shifts, fight, clutchness and the GOAT coming out on top in the end.

It's also historic as it was Roger's 900th career match win and also ties him as joint leader of all time wins at Roland Garros with 58 victories as well as keeping his unrivaled Grand Slam Quarter Final streak alive. Yet again getting his name in the record books even on his least favourite surface.

In terms of the match I was very happy with today's performance, I thought Simon played a great match for those 2 sets he won and really played in the zone which is something you don't normally get from him. I suppose Roger's level did drop after he tripped up but Simon was definitely coming up with goods and returning well in the third set and you can't say he didn't deserve to lead 2 sets to 1.

I think Jim Courier got it pretty spot on when he said Simon was really hitting the ball well but he thought Roger knew his level would drop and he'd be able to start dictating play again. That is pretty much exactly what happened as a couple of genius moments from Fed rattled Simon a little bit, that combined with the crowd been very pro Roger put him back in his shell and Fed took full advantage to look the dominant force on court once again.

What was more pleasing is that we saw glimpses of Roger 3.0 who hung in there even when his forehand wasn't firing and then got out of his slump to turn the match back on his racquet. Despite it being a bit of a roller coaster with a few nervous moments in the end the result was always going to be a Federer win and even though I got a little nervous when he was facing break points serving for it I knew he'd pull through which of course he did.

Even though this one was a little closer than perhaps it should have been it's been my favourite match of the tournament so far, it went 5 sets but wasn't physical in the slightest and like I said we got to see a bit of everything from outright genius to fight back ability which is always good to see from someone who isn't a natural fighter like Roger.

Fed around the net shot


Predictions vs. Tsonga

Federer & Tsonga Australia 2013

Next up is the 3rd Frenchman in 3 matches for Roger and probably his toughest opponent yet in Jo Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga has looked impressive in the tournament thus far and easily dispatched Viktor Troicki today in straight sets. I don't think he's been tested yet though or faced anyone of real note so although he's making smooth progress there's nothing to say he's in unbeatable form.

After today's match I think Roger will gain an awful lot of confidence from the manner in which he won and the fact he came from behind to keep his Quarter Final streak alive is a real boost for him here. This could mean he plays in the zone against Tsonga and if that happens there can only be one winner.

Tsonga is a dangerous player but he's not a natural clay courter and you get the sense Roger had his “off match” today so I'm feeling quietly confident about Fed getting this one done in 4 sets.

I give Roger the edge because Roger can beat him with his skillset, and Tsonga can also beat himself with the way he plays. That gives Roger two ways to win, against some opponents like Nadal he only has one way and it's even harder to execute against a leftie.

With Tsonga he can outplay him in all areas of the court, and he can also make him self destruct. I'm not saying Tsonga has zero chance but I think the odds are in Roger's favour here. If he plays well and serves well he has to come out on top of this one.

For Tsonga to win he has to play great tennis from start to finish and by that I mean serving bombs and finding the lines at any given opportunity, we know he's capable of that but I have a feeling Roger knows fully what to expect here and will use his superior skills on clay to overcome anything Tsonga can throw at him.

Tsonga will no doubt come out with an aggressive mindset and maybe Roger Rasheed has a trick up his sleeve in his game plan but I'm not sure what he can really do other than go for his shots and hope they come off. It can, and has worked in the past but on clay where Roger has such a versatile forehand in terms of hitting a wide array of angles and drops shots I think he can be the one who dictates play and not Tsonga.

I'll pick Fed in 4: 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-2. Hopefully I'm right but one thing is certain and that's we will find out either way. Allez!


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

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  1. I thought Simon played some great shots, he was going for everything. Nervous at moments, but ultimately a good thing: He got tested (beating no names comprehensively doesn’t help shite when playing against the really big guys), and on top of that it wasn’t too long or physical. I’m confident with Tsonga, we’ll see what happens πŸ™‚

    and that around the post? No comment. I’m not worth commenting on that…. Fuck*ng crazy –‘ And people still talk about WHO the GOAT is? come on people..

    1. Tsonga hasn’t played anyone! Troiki has been on a downward curve and has no power! Poor mans Simon!

  2. Hey Jonathan! Great post, said everything I was thinking! For me the result was never in doubt even though Simon played so well for 2 sets! Credit to him! Fed was clearly mentally unhinged for several games after that fall but sensibly took that BB and came back out with far better game mind set. Starting mixing the pace more as Simon struggles with the deep floaty slice to the baseline and knifed slice low to service line. Still feel Fed needs to approach the net on better shots and volley more, particularly v Jo who hadn’t got a great passing shot, ESP on BH side. Agree 4 tight sets but Fed wants to go deep here, wants no 2 ranking back Pre Wimbledon so think he will do all he can to reach final!

    1. Cheers Susie,

      Yeah I think he will look to volley against Jo although it’s not easy to get to the net if he’s hitting deep + powerfully.

  3. Great game! Was quite scared when simon won the 4th set as he looked to be zoning in and roger seemed to have dipped in his level. However the GOAT found his form when it mattered and stepped it up, in addition with simon unable to sustain his level. however, i really like the way simon plays when hes aggresive, must be his new coach..
    As for tsonga match, i think roger will win but i think we may have a very good match on our hands.
    Anyways, allez roger!

    PS. Just wanted to say this is a very good blog, stumbled across it the other day and i really enjoy the posts, hopefully next one is going to be about fed getting past tsonga on tuesday. πŸ™‚

  4. Woah, the winner/uf errors ratio was only just in favour of winners! Needs to be better for the Tsonga match. Roger needs to be agressive and not passive! Impressive achievements with QF streak and 900th win. Allez!

    1. Yeah, I think Fed knows the drill here though, played Tsonga enough times. Can Tsonga do anything different now he has Rasheed in his corner?

  5. Ps loving the rise of the 30+ players! Robredo! Fantastic! And all the SHBH’s!!! Look forward to Gasquet v Stan! Hoping Nishi can at least run Nadal around! Kolschreiber? No chance!

    1. Robredo is not to be underestimated, he comes from the GOAT era remember.

      Nishikori played a total pussy against Nadal. Very disappointing.

  6. Nice article. Paragraph 8 should start “the third set didn’t get any better” right? Bit concerned about Tsonga. Not natural clay court player but he gave the djok a massive scare in quarters last year and got to match point. Feds best chance to win this tournament is if djok v dull is a 5 setter and loser tires the winner, fed makes lighter work of ferrer. I do worry about Tsonga though, recall his qf victory over fed at Wimbledon, fed was dominant on grass, that was a massive shock. Let’s hope he can do it. Let’s face it, th best chance he is going to get, to win the French again. I can’t see past the djok in all honesty though.

    1. Cheers,

      Well spotted, corrected.

      Yeah Tsonga is dangerous but I think Fed is confident after this. You could see it on his face he felt good about beating Simon.

    2. “I do worry about Tsonga though” and quite rightly, a set and 4-1 down, I can’t see a way back from this, gutted. It’s been a poor very year for Fed in all fairness. Getting to Rome final was nothing exceptional really when you look at his route to the final, there’s not really been anything special of note from at all him this year. Prove me wrong Fed and fight back into this match pleeeeeese!

  7. Whatever screw was knocked loose in that tumble had better been sorted out because I might not survive another near heart attack such as this. His streak of 23 consecutive semis also came to end here so relieved to see him through though. Phew.

  8. “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: β€˜Hold on!’”

    -If, Rudyard Kipling

      1. That is the most awesome thing you can study… Here in Switzerland we study classic french literature: I can tell you it’s a lot worse…

      2. Careful now Simon, our man is trying to win the La Coupe de Mousquetaires. You will turn the French crowd against him. Can you hold on to your rant until “after” he has won it? πŸ™‚

  9. Credit to Simon for playing aggresively, but in all honesty this match should have been finished in straights! Had Roger just played a cleaner match, this would have been over just as quickly as their last match, and given how well he comprehensively won the first set, I was really shocked to see how quickly the match turned on its end – and certainly made for some nervy viewing! (I swear watching Federer sometimes can not be good for one’s health!). The number of UE’s flying off Federer’s rackets was alarming, hopefully he can cut those out in the Tsonga match, and progress to yet another semifinal.
    Thankfully, like you said, this match wasn’t physical in the slightest, so his energy reserves should be intact come the latter stages of the tournament. TheTsonga-Fed matchup is bound to be entertaining, that’s for sure – Tsonga is playing well at the moment so Fed better ensure he turns up!

    1. I don’t know about straights. You could argue that Roger should win everything 2 2 and 2 because he’s great when he plays at his best, but tennis is gauged on what you play during the match πŸ™‚ think Simon fully deserved both sets, he picked up when Feds came a little down. And I think it’s good for Roger to have a real test, and rather against Simon than Tsonga πŸ™‚ Agree about the UE, but the winners where still superior, so it’s acceptable πŸ™‚

      1. In press yesterday, before the match, Gilles said something like, when Fed is “on”, you just watch the ball go by; when it’s not working so well for him, you have to be ready to step up immediately. I’d say he was ready & did just that – unluckily for him, Roger’s down time just didn’t last quite long enough. I loved how Simon kept fighting even at the end – break points even after saving the first match point!

    2. I can’t complain about not getting this done in straights. I have a feeling this match has done him good. Errors were only a problem for 2 sets, he got back into positive numbers. That’s all that matters.

  10. Phew that was a close escape! I thought Roger’s level was mediocre from the start until the start of the 4th set where he finally picked it up. (Mind you before watching Roger’s match I saw some crazy ball striking from Robredo so that could have affected my judgement!) But never expected the W:UE to be positive so I was like WTF when I looked at the stats.

    The fall clearly rattled him mentally, and Simon capitalised on that, going ultra aggressive when he doesn’t do that 99% of the time. But Roger had no problems physically or he wouldn’t have played like he did in the final 2 sets. The half volley from the baseline at 2-2 in the 4th was definitely the turning point as Jim Courier rightfully mentioned. Feels like the inside-out FH back in 2009 against Haas.

    Physically I think Roger is fine, it’s only around 3 hours (or is it less?) plus he get a day off, to think one of Bartoli’s matches were probably longer than this!

    Anyway I actually reckon that the QF would be an anticlimax like the Djokovic-Dimitrov encounter. This match only gives Fed confidence and should make him aware of aggressive play. I think straight sets though it could be stretching it a by a bit.

  11. Great match. Really entertaining although at the time I was a nervous wreck at the time. Classic midslam heartattackerer match! I like what you said Jonathan about seeing glimpses of fed 3.0. He was definitely up for the fight and that bodes really well (chucking down aces on bps is always a good sign). I thought in the last two sets he was sensational at the net, often having to back up less than perfect drop shots with split second reaction volleys (shows he’s not getting old)!

    As for tsonga it doesn’t matter that he hasn’t payed anyone yet, he’s undeniably on good form. He would usually have dropped at least a set by this point even playing nobodies. I think will b tough but Feds will be up for it and that will make the difference. He knows that there’s no djoke/dull/mug waiting for him on the other side, only ferrer and the H2H is a joke.

    I hope djokovic isn’t affected in terms of tennis by the death of his childhood coach. He has struggled in the past when dealing with personal matters. Itl b interesting to see how he responds.

    Onwards and upwards!

    1. Do not underestimate Ferrer people! He has not been tested at all! Blew Anderson away today! Much tougher test on clay than Simon! If Fed can put Jo away in 4 then he will be ready for the long test v Ferrer but gas to cut the UFE’S!!!

    2. Tsonga is a test but I think Fed is ready. I think the inside out forehand onto the Tsonga backhand then the forehand into the open court is going to be a key play.

      If he can dictate with that shot he will definitely be in the commanding postition. Droppers will be a good tactic too, Tsonga is quick but not got great hands.

  12. Hello everyone =D, as im kind of new in here:P.
    Now about the match. i couldnt watch the first two sets unfortunately, but as i was told Fed was playing pretty good before the “fall”, so i was kind of surprised to watch it was one set all when i turned the TV on. But i was sure he would than rattle Simon in 4 sets, but it wasnt even close to that as to my surprise Simon started playing some inspired out of his head tennis and quickly took a 2-1 lead. As i was getting worried, i knew that Rog would definitely fight back and so he did as he tried to mix it up a bit by throwing at Simon some variety of shots (especially the drop shots did the damage here) and some good net play that took Simon by surprise and managed to get the momentum back and taking it to a decider. In the 5th Fed was looking very sharp and immediately broke to take a 3-0 lead and close it out with some clutch serving in the last game :). All in all i think fed played decent in this match and it was i good test, but the most important thing was the fighting spirit as his form can change day to day but, if his fighting spirit is there he will always be a contender. Next match is Tsonga which has looked really good this far but he hasnt been tested tho, i expect a great match and Fed edging him in 5 sets =D.

    1. Ah you tuned in at the worst possible time Elvis!

      I agree, I see some fans giving Roger stick for this match going to 5 sets. Unreal really, I think he played very well and show a lot of fight here. Simon is mentally weak which helps but he had to play well to get back into this.

  13. How is this possible??? 21th comment !!! How do you guys do it? Do you get a personal tweet or email from Jonathan???

    1. Well, we just got the talent! (Just kidding: there are those who mash the refresh button, and those who are juste plain lucky opening the page when it’s uploaded πŸ˜‰ )

      And you have title of Roger’s most passionate fan, so I think you’re doing pretty well, aren’t you? πŸ˜‰

      1. I am willing to let go this competition of beeing the first commentator.

        BUT…… if someone competes with me for “most passionate Roger fan”…….
        Oh my God, I will be furious and out of my mind !!!
        That title is mine and mine only !!!!

      2. Katyani, without a Gravatar, no, sorry, that title cannot be yours, unfortunately :-p

      3. Sid, life was possible before we had Gravatar’s on this blog. We were all commenting happy ever after without Gravatar’s. So I will get one, but little steps. I just linked an article, lets be happy with that !!! Rest will follow !!!

      4. The only thing better than commenting happily, is commenting happily with a Gravatar πŸ™‚

      5. I’m with Simon: Katyani is Roger’s most passionate fan, hands down, with or without a gravatar.

      6. Alright, I concede, can’t take on both Simon and Thinker at the same time. Of course Thinker shouldn’t have a say in it without a Gravatar πŸ˜‰

      7. Then again Sid, you might be more persuasive if you actually had a Fed gravatar πŸ˜› Then again Joker suits you well πŸ˜›

      8. Then again, I wasn’t competing for the most passionate fan. Then again, a Gravatar isn’t necessary for that. Then again, a Roger Gravatar would be more convincing. Then again, Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a Gravatar?” πŸ™‚

      9. Thinker, thank you for your honest and smart comment. Yes, Roger does not have a more passionate fan than me. (If he does….. I will ….. him or her !!!).
        Also thank you for your comment about me Simon.

        Sid……You BETTER not compete with me for most passionate fan. Otherwise only one of us will be still standing, and I will not be the one on the ground !!!

      10. Totally agreed, Katyani, I will be the one the ground…because you will be under it πŸ˜‰

    2. Katyani is a bit like Dimitrov I think, showing some very good signs, posting a link is like beating Djoker in Madrid. Not quite ready to mix it with the big boys just yet week in week out but getting very close! πŸ˜›

      1. I think Dimitrov is going to remain a little boy forever, maybe make a little noise once in a while πŸ™‚

  14. I left this match when it was on serve in the second set and I was shocked to come back to see Fed 2 sets to 1 down. At the same time, I never got the feeling that he was going to lose this match. I thought he played incredibly well in the fourth and fifth sets and I was very impressed with how he managed to come through the match. I’m delighted that he won and that the QF streak was kept alive!! I think he’ll have a very tough one on his hands against Tsonga. I think it could possibly go to 5 sets and the fact that it’s in France will give Tsonga that bit more motivation. Although, like today, the majority of the crowd will probably be cheering for Federer. That was amazing to see today when he played Simon. It says a lot about Roger πŸ™‚

      1. I stopped watching after the second set. I felt like it was over. Roger went from driving on the Autobahn to off roading in a Wrangler. It was even more unpredictable than the weather in the US Midwest πŸ™‚

  15. Hey, Jonathan!
    A great win for Roger and a great post too, i really enjoyed reading it.
    I think from now on when it’s a grand slam meeting between Roger and Simon we should expect a 5 setter, shouldn’t we?
    I don’t wanna seem like a Nazi but that shot around the post was at deuce not at a set point, also Roger fell at 3-2 πŸ™‚

      1. Is this how Nazis talk?! πŸ˜€ Well, either English or Arabic, dude πŸ™‚

      1. Oh poop!!! Sorry Youssef, I meant “ya sadeeke” πŸ™‚

        Jonathan, please do me a huge favor and delete my last but one response πŸ™‚

  16. This match reminded me of one of your posts: A day in the life of a Roger Federer fan. “When Roger Goes To 5 Sets Again Gilles Simon” Was a wonderful one πŸ˜€

  17. Hi guys, as if the second set till the end was not nerve wracking enough, the serving for the match game was like having a ton of heartattacks. Especially those breakpoints. But what about Roger and coming up with aces when it mattered??

    I am SO PROUD of Roger how he played today. The first set was Roger like. After he fell (which really pains me too) he was not playing great. Simon upted his game and won the second and third set. But I always knew Roger was coming back. Did hope he came back a set sooner, but oke. Simon began playing like crazy, so Roger upted his game too.

    That is what a true champion does. Beeing a true champion does not mean winning it all. It also means getting ready to lose, because you are playing bad and the other is playing in the zone, than getting your act together, upping your game, overcoming the other and winning the match. That is what a true champion is all about. Someone who just doesn’t want to lose.

    We all wanted him to be tested, he was. Still played three hours. Tsonga will be difficult, but Roger will win. Even if he is down, playing badly or is behind or has a lot of ue’s.
    After that, if he overcomes Tsonga, he will beat Ferrer. Just hope he does not get tired of losing to Roger and decides that this is his chance with no Rafa.

    1. Just also have to say this. It must not be easy to be Mirka. We were nervous, but did you see her?
      And to go through that so many times? That is why they say watching your loved one play tennis is worse that playing tennis.

      And…… what is that with Roger’s stomach?? Does he have a belly???

      1. Too many croissants! And wearing 2 tops! This new style is just a bit tight! Never had a six pack! Love him! Sexy and cuddly!

    2. We same some good signs of Roger 3.0 today. Ok Simon isn’t tough mentally but he was playing very good tennis. Would have been easy for Roger to concede. But he manned it up in the fourth.

  18. Hi Jonathan, can you answer a question for me?

    Roger was playing three or four sets the first game. I mean he was the first to start the set. What are the rules for that? How do you know who starts first? Why didn’t Simon play first after he won the sets?

    1. Bcoz he won the set 6-2 and the last game of the set was with his own serve, so rog would serve first the next set. If he would have won it 6-2, but the last game on feds serve than he would have served first the next set, hope u gotit now πŸ™‚

    2. Because the last person to serve in the set receives in the next one. If you serve out a set your opponent will serve first in the next. If you break to win the set, you will serve first in the next one.

      1. Addendum: Except when it goes to a tiebreak. Whoever starts the tiebreak, receives in the next set. Similar to what you said, just a little caveat.

      2. Didn’t know that about the tiebreak codicil Sid, thanks. Interesting that it’s the person who STARTS the tiebreak who receives in the next set, whereas normally it’s the personal who FINISHES serving who receives in the next set.

      3. It’s just a 13th game. What’s even more interesting is that the person who starts serving first in the tiebreak, really has no advantage in that he or she faces the first set point if points go on serve. So, if I serve first and everything is even, I’m staring at 5-6 on my serve πŸ™‚

      4. ohhhhhhhh…. because of the first person has one serve, then from then on everyone has two serves thing. Almost even sounds like a disadvantage to serve first in the tiebreak – if all points are on serve, the receiver has the first set point… Of course often things DON’T go on serve.

      5. Correct. All plans go wrong in the breaker but all things equal, the person serving first faces the first set point. Just a mundane observation.

      6. well yeah, just count the tiebreak as the-person-serving-first’s service game

    3. Hi Katyani,
      Tennis rules differ from badminton rules. In badminton the guy who wins a particular set, will serve first in the next set.
      Not so in tennis though. In tennis there is “constant alternation” between who is “on serve”, in other words nobody is serving two games in a row. This implies that the guy who was serving the last game of a set, will be the receiver in the first game of the next set, and vice versa.

    4. I have nothing more to add, except if you lose the first point of a tie break on your own serve when you have a chance to win it, you usually use it πŸ˜‰

      Check Berdych vs. Fed USO 2012 highlights for reference, bad bad volley!

      1. Why is it that Roger’s most childish errors show up in the tie break? And he still has the best tie break record of all. Incredible!

    5. Hi guys, thank you all for explaining. I really did not know, for me it is always a surprise who serves first in the next set or I wait until the commentator tells me.

      Tommaso explained it and I got it, after that, there were so many explanations I kind of lost track.

  19. Definitely stomach ulcer moment from this match, glad that Roger manage to snatch the win from Simon. I hope he is ok from the fall as from the replay looks like he might have twisted his ankle a little and some strain in his right handed as he tried to break his fall. That got me worried and I hope its nothing serious. Overall its a good match though I was expecting straight set win. Tsonga is a tougher customer as compared to Simon and I hope he get it done in 4.

    1. he said he didnt hurt himself, but even if he did he wouldnt have said it. He shook his right wrist a few times after the fall though. We may never know.

      1. Yeah, commies were talking about that too. I hope its nothing serious then again he is very privy about his injuries. We need him to be 100% fit for Tsonga. Any ideas if he will be playing on Tuesday or Wednesday?

      1. And…. by winning the three sets, he has won his 800th set at a GS !!! Don’t forget that.

  20. ok, I’ve given it time for my initial reaction to settle down, and here’s my 2 cents on the outfit: it stinks. Roger’s kits are supposed to say “classy”, not “dug out of the bottom of the laundry basket”. Gilles’ outfit wasn’t particularly special, but it was actually classier than Roger’s. Unbelievable. I know it’s practically heresy, but I find I’m liking Novak’s kit – see how Uniqlo has made it an actual outfit that goes together, with a swoop that segues from the shirt to the shorts? Nike, I don’t know what you were thinking, but it’s a massive fail. Heck, I’d rather see him wearing his Eiffel Tower practice shirt in the match than this… this… thing. I was watching golf after the tennis, and somebody was wearing an orange striped polo with a prominent Nike swoosh, and I was thinking, why couldn’t you put Roger in THAT, even??!!

    1. hahaha I think it’s fine!! It’s grown on me, I think it’s pretty classy in its own way. It’s pretty refreshing to see roger in t-shirt again!

  21. He said afterward ‘always FUN being part of match like that!’. Haha Roger very funny. I had to run away from TV during the 3rd set, remembering AO ’11. No more Simon, please.

    An excellent post by the way, Jonathan. You seem cool as Roger to have enjoyed the match. But I agree it was a great win in the end, for particularly 36th QF run. Next, just hoping not to be like AO this year. Allez!

    1. Thanks!

      These matches are childs play when you have seen him lose USO Semi’s πŸ˜›

      I was actually laughing at the prospect of him losing in 4 sets to a pusher like Simon, of course I’d have been mega annoyed if he had but the prospect of it just seemed outrageous that I had to laugh.

    2. I’m telling you, these guys named Simon are some of the peskiest creatures around πŸ™‚

  22. You pretty much covered it all like usual Jonathan once again! Can’t say I was feeling as relaxed though as there was a record hanging on the balance but now that we’ve gotten past that I am going to be a lot more optimistic for his chances against Tsonga. It’s on Roger’s racquet so unless Jo plays lights out tennis for 5 consistent sets, Roger has got the edge here to make another semi and final dare I say!

    Jonathan (and anyone else who wants to share their opinion) I just want to know what your take is on advantage sets in the slams? Do you think they are pointless and just make the winner tired for their next match and that RG, Wimb and AO should follow in US Open’s footsteps or that it makes the slams what they are?

    p.s for anyone feeling a bit nervous for Roger in his next match, here’s a fun stat that should suffice:
    The last time Federer got taken to 5 in the round of 16, he went on to win the tournament in 2009…take from that what you will guys! Allez Roger!

    1. I don’t know, it loses some of the dramatic if it’s in a tie break, I find. Then again, going to 70 something was just crazy, nut I honestly like it the way it is. I just can’t see a grand slam be decided on a tie break….

    2. Cheers Alysha, yeah I was kinda calm in this one. I was chatting to Ru-an online for most of it and we were both just laughing thinking, can Fed really lose to Simon in 4 sets?! Would have been devastating but also ridiculous had it happened. Luckily he came through despite Simon zoning.

      Hmm 5th set tie break, I dunno, I quite like the drama of having to win by breaking serve, makes it interesting. I mean that match at Olympics with Del Potro was really good, I guess it did cost Fed a shot at gold but it is what it is, no guarantee he’d have won the breaker…


  23. Glad that Fed won this match..Very nervous through out the match until the last point was won by Roger. The next round will not be easy at all for sure since Jo plays quite aggressively..If Roger will be made to play another 5 set match, it is almost sure that this would be his last clay match of the season..I doubt his physical stamina for 10 sets in two successive matches..We remember what happened at AO this year in the 5th set in Semis against Murray..after playing 5 setter earlier.. I guess, it is very important for Fed not to give any chance for Jo to come back in the match from the beginning.. and finish the match in 3 or 4 sets..After all, Tsonga is a much more dangerous player and less vulnerable than Simon who knows how to beat Federer in a Grandslam..Anything less than Finals for Federer in French Open would be a great disappointment to me, given the best draw Fed has this year.

    1. Nah, yesterday’s match wasn’t long, that’s like a three setter for Nadal πŸ˜› I’m giving Feds the edge if it’s going in five, he’s fitter than Jo. And Tsonga is not murray πŸ™‚

    2. Hey Ramesh,

      I don’t think number of sets is the problem it is the physicality of it. And the match against Simon was over very fast. Both guys played a lot of first strike tennis, no grinding. I can’t remember many gruelling rallies to be honest.

      He’s also had a long rest, should be plenty in the tank.


  24. What a match!

    1.Set: Simon was really weak. It was too easy for Roger, he didn’t even need to play his best.

    2,3.Set: Simon returned really well, something Roger doesn’t like. Roger tumbled and at some point I thought that he was hurt. Roger had no depth or power on his strokes, it was even possible to Simon to dictate play.

    4.Set: Finally Roger started to play tennis again. He had more power on his strokes and soon Simon started missing his shots.

    5. Set: Was decided by the momentum shift in set four. From 2:2 all in the 4th, Roger pulled 6:2, 3:0 away. Then Simon found some tennis again and Roger’s level slighly dropped again. However, he served his way out.

    Prediction against Tsonga: Tsonga serves better than Simon but his return is weak. So I think that Roger will gain more cheap points on his serve. However, if Tsonga is at his best he hits big and will cause some trouble for Federer. Tsonga almost beat Djokovic last here in on clay in Paris. He is very dangerous, especially with his home support. I think it will be a 5 setter.

    1. Hi Michael, Tsonga is not Simon, he will get more crowd support on his own. Even with Roger present. I was actually a little bit shocked at how much the crowd were chanting Simon’s name. I am not use to that and I could tell neither was Roger. He did have crowd support, but not as much as usual.

      Fortunately, he has learned to deal with it. At the Wimby final 2012 I think there were only 10 people (his own box) cheering for him, the rest was cheering for Andy. He won that match, so….

      And Tsonga is……. well Tsonga, sometimes he doesn’t know what he is doing on court, walking around clueless, talking to himself, talking to the sky, doesn’t know what he is doing there.
      But other times…. he is beating or almost beating Roger/Rafa/Novak/Andy.

      It depends will Tsonga arrive or Tsonga-in-the-box.
      If you don’t know who Tsonga-in-the-box is, he arrived at Wimby 2011 when he was 2 sets down and he got that name when he was behind 1 set and 5-1 in the 2nd set against Rafa at I think Madrid and made it to a tiebreak.

    2. Hey Michael,

      Good point on Tsonga’s return, I hope Fed can get some free points off that. Hopefully he comes in behind his first serve and puts the volley away. That will be a smart play.


  25. That unbelievable shot Roger made by the net in the first set (which video is nearly on all the tennis sites)…..
    I am guessing it looks easy but it is not???

    1. I think around the net post shots are way overrated. Players chase extreme cross courts all the time. Finding them in a great position i.e. the ball being at the right height and width for an around the net pass is a product of chance.

      Source: Experience!

      1. True, it’s Simon that put him there. But Sid, as you said, they chase down those all the time, yet how many around the post shots do you see? It’s not a technical shot (no more than usual) but you have to have the gut to get it there, and Roger’s shot was pretty fast… It’s more that they happen very little rather than a very hard shot (like the tweener, or smash after smash. Guess who hits the best of those πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› )

      2. You have to have the gut to get it there but in the end it really ends up being able to make contact at the right time and place. Once you’re there, it’s really easy because there is no net involved and your hitting from outside the ball so the massive spin will automatically be generated. I love that shot. There are so many times I do not call the ball out just so I can try that shot πŸ™‚

        The tweener? It’s not just that Roger is the greatest at it, it’s scary how he chases down impossible trajectories. The one vs. Djokovic at USO’09 is the “Greatest tweener of all” given the trajectory of the lob. Impossible!

    2. No way overrated, watch the point, the ball went between the umpires chair and the net. That is a low margin for error shot and he executed it to perfection.

      If he hits that with clearance a.) it won’t go in, and b.) if by chance it did go in, Simon has a chance to make it.

      1. Alright, alright, if you say so. Looked fairly routine to me πŸ™‚

  26. So…. while Novak and Ferrer get relativity easy matches….. the two Swiss players get the mothers of the matches:

    Roger vs Tsonga
    Stan vs…… Rafa !!!

    Poor Stan, Roger has a chance, but Stan…..

    1. Agreed. Stan, yet again, has spent it all just getting to the QF. Beating Nadal would be a miracle of miracles.

      Roger vs. Tsonga: I’m already pi***** my pants 😐

  27. Yeah I hope Stan ain’t physically done here. It was a tough encounter. He has a day to recover so not impossible for him but I’m not sure he’s in great condition anyway.

    What I don’t want to see from Stan is comments in his presser like “I will have to play wheeely wheely well and I have a leetle chance”

    This is a bad mindset and Dull schools him if so. Happened in Madrid.

  28. Just skimmed through the comments again, and it really shocks me that people think Rog played bad… Right, he had a little slip, but Simon was playing lights out tennis (for him). I usually can’t stand to watch Simon, but there he really earned it people! πŸ˜‰

  29. Hi people, I guess congratulations on Rafa’s birthday?

    Alysha came up with a very good nickname ‘Dramadal’.

    I read on the ATP site. Roger’s fans use the word ‘Fedgendary’ instead of ‘Legendary’. How nice huh?

    Next match….. Tsonga. Go Roger Go. If you beat Tsonga, you WILL make the final no matter what.
    I read that if Roger makes the final at RG, he will be the second seed at Wimby. I think that is the reason he wants to atleast go to the final of RG.

    1. Yeah, I heard Nadal received a package on his birthday with compliments from Mr. Fuentes. Right in time for the semi final you think?

      1. A package of ‘chocolat’?

        Anyway, to hell with the celebration of his birthday on the court. The match between Gasquet and Wawrinka is a slugfest! No clear unforced errors, all of them are winners. Hit and get hit.

      2. Yeah, a special version of “chocolat” produced specifically on the island of Mallorca, the steroid capital of the world πŸ™‚

        I didn’t watch the Stan-Gasquet match. Don’t think I can sit through a match that long.

      3. Then haul your ass over to some highlights! πŸ˜‰ it was a great match. Just look at the stats: if Stan hit 92 winner to 50 odd UE, you know he’s on song πŸ˜€

      4. 92 winners and 50 errors! You’re joking! I think I made a good decision by ordering the Yonex Tour 97 demo. Arrives today πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Jonathan,

        Didn’t follow your blog after Dubai Open as Fed hadn’t done much since then barring Rome where he got annihilated by ‘Dramadal’ ( like that coinage ).

        NTL, watched the Simon match with my daughter ( a huge Fed fan as well, she actually cried when she saw Fed live in Dubai )

        After Fed went down two sets to one, and managed to hold at 2 all in the fourth my daughter was quite despondent. In order to cheer her up I predicted that Fed will break now and so it happened. While your prediction was tennis-based, mine was more emotional.

        Likewise, I predicted that Fed will break again to pocket the 4th so that he can start the 5th serving. And so it happened. Also predicted that it will go to deuce when Fed was serving for the match. Fed does this most of the time to keep us on tenterhooks right till the end. Money’s worth and all that.

        In any case, allez well that ends well.

        Tsonga’s gonna be a ‘clay-walk’ for Fed. Straight sets it will be. At least for my daughter’s sake

        Keep writing Jonathan, you give us as much pleasure as Fed does, especially when he wins.

      2. Murli, I think your daughter might be the most passionate Roger Federer fan ever πŸ™‚

  30. People! Seriously! Why doesn’t everyone just get a Gravatar? It will be so much more fun.

    But no more “Federer” gravatars please πŸ™‚

    1. Sid,

      You maybe right. She actually hates Mirka !

      But loves the twins as they look like Fed !!

      1. [She actually hates Mirka]

        There. That proves it right there πŸ™‚

  31. okay, roger lost the first set. What a slew of UEs from Rog. The shank at set point was pretty bad… Hope he cleans up. Not serving very well too.

      1. ok,.. I must have missed it…

        his reaction looks slower now. His preparation is not as fast as it used to be…

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