ATP 250Roger FedererSwiss Open Gstaad

Federer Dumped Out in Gstaad; Hits Rock Bottom

More tough news for Fed fans as Roger crashed out in his opening match in Gstaad losing to Daniel Brands in straight sets 6-3 6-4.

Not completely unexpected as Brands is a tricky opponent but this was another uninspiring performance from Roger and begs the question is he at rock bottom right now? It's certainly close!

He looked flat throughout and then looked frustrated when he left the court which is a sure fire sign he's not content with his game right now or with how he's shaping up physically which is both tough for him personally and for his fans but the one benefit is that it certainly separates the wheat from the chaff.

Quick Match Analysis

Federer Struggling in Gstaad

Well as usual quite a solid start from Roger as he held his opening service games convincingly and had some early inroads against the German but couldn't make any of them count.

And at 2-3 he played a very poor service game to get broken and give Brands a 4-2 lead; he of course immediately had a 2 break points to get back on serve but played timidly to let Brands take a 5-2 lead which allowed him to go onto serve out the set comfortably 6 games to 3.

Obviously this was exactly the same situation as Hamburg where Roger came from a set down to defeat Brands so I wasn't overly concerned.

My mood soon changed though as in the first game Roger played a disaster of a service game netting 3 regulation volleys to drop serve. At 2-0 Roger found himself in more deep trouble has he fell 15-40 down in a must hold game, to his credit he dug it out. He then had break points in Brand's next service game but again wasted them.

Then at 2-3 he had another 2 break points but again wasted them with timid returns that allowed Brands to take initiative and over power him with his forehand. That was his last chance really as Brand moved into a 5-4 lead before serving it out to take it 6-3 6-4.

It was just another un-Federer like performance, very meek, suicidal serve & volleys plus plenty of mindless approach shots. I had no real idea what he was trying out there but everything was out of synch.

Match Stats

R.Β Federer Stats D.Β Brands
8 Aces 11
1 Double Faults 2
53% 1st Serve % 78%
22/30 (73%) 1st Serve Points Won 39/52 (75%)
14/27 (52%) 2nd Serve Points Won 7/15 (47%)
4/6 (67%) Break Points Saved 5/5 (100%)
9 Service Games Played 10
13/52 (25%) 1st Return Points Won 8/30 (27%)
8/15 (53%) 2nd Return Points Won 13/27 (48%)
0/5 (0%) Break Points Won 2/6 (33%)
10 Return Games Played 9
36/57 (63%) Total Service Points Won 46/67 (69%)
21/67 (31%) Total Return Points Won 21/57 (37%)
57/124 (46%) Total Points Won 67/124 (54%)

Thoughts on the Match

Frustrated Federer

Well I don't think there's a whole lot to say other than this being another tough loss. I don't like talking about injuries especially when it's only fan speculation as they have a tendency to look for excuses but as per some of Roger's quotes from his press conference it looks like the back is causing more problems:

I took a lot of anti inflammatories last week. Not this week. It's a muscular spasm in the back. I'm just happy to have played.

An interesting comment from him really, he often avoids questions about injury which is the noble thing to do but I'm glad he revealed just a little as it's good to get his actual words rather than just rumours and speculation. Apparently he also said playing today was a last minute decision which was clearl a selfless move for the home fans.

Injuries aside main thing here is yet another painful loss. Like I said previously 2013 has been a huge drain on Roger's confidence and as of right now the rot continues; just when you think he's starting to turn it round like in Halle he then slumps again. Hamburg was a tough loss and now Gstaad ended on an even worse note.

Roger looked pretty subdued when he left the court, almost embarrassed with how things are going right now so I guess he just has to get himself right physically and mentally. That's a catch 22 scenario though, as if he doesn't get right physically then he can't get right mentally and build confidence because you can only really get that in huge doses by winning matches.

So first thing is get right physically and manage the injury, he will need treatment and rest so it's not rocket science but the mental aspect could be trickier because he's had such a poor season.

It has been one big downward spiral, 1 title, no momentum, clearly not feeling too upbeat so it won't be easy to suddenly start playing lights out tennis again even if he is feeling great physically.

The only positive you can really take is that it can't get much worse, it's like he has almost hit rock bottom losing matches to players ranked No. 55, No. 114, and No. 116. I can't ever remember anything like this happening before and it's going to take a strong resolve and character to bounce back.

As for the back injury, is it getting worse or are we just in a bad patch right now where it keeps flaring up? If you remember Roger had back troubles even in 2003 when he won Wimbledon so it's nothing new which is why I don't think it's beyond repair just yet. I was never sure what the injury actually was and it's the first time I've heard him say muscular spasm before so it's definitely the type of thing that can be kept under control and not like a degenerative disc or spinal injury.

It's also reported he may not play Montreal and will decide in a weeks time. Skipping it would be a tough one as he's so short of matches this year it's untrue but if injured what can he do? Another catch 22 situation.

If he doesn't play Montreal the USO looks very improbable and he maybe lucky to even make the Quarters, but then again is Roger just trying to save himself and get right physically? Was he turning up today just for the fans and to avoid them leaving disappointment? I don't know, he looked flat out there all match like he was condemned to the loss so it could well be.

I always said judge it come the end of the year, whether its more disappointment by the bucket load, some lows and some highs, or a rout throughout the indoor swing I don't really mind as watching how he responds from these kind of moments will certainly be interesting whatever the outcome.


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. Hey Jonathan,
    I didn’t get to see the match but it really isn’t a big surprise for me. I said after Hamburg I thought his back was giving him problems still but that it wasn’t the only thing troubling him. You’re right though, sometimes so much of it is speculation and hard to tell. As always, we can only take it one match at a time. Can’t help but feel very disappointed and a little skeptical about the rest of the year though. πŸ™

    1. And you got a first title, very effortless style too like you knew it was never in doubt, not even mentioned it! πŸ˜›

      Yeah looks like you were right about the back, just another tough loss.

      I get a bit frustrated with fans always pulling out the injury card on twitter when he hasn’t really said anything about it so I’m glad he actually said it was bad and he was just happy to have played even though he had no real chance of winning.


      1. Yeah well I wasn’t sure I really was #1 until I hit the post button – in fact I was pretty sure someone else was going to slip in before I had a chance. (Note how close Sid was!) But I guess it was just my moment and I’m proud to hold the title as it probably won’t happen again.

  2. [Was he turning up today just for the fans and to avoid them leaving disappointment?]

    I absolutely believe that to be the case.

  3. First? Second? Never been this high before when Rog so low!!! Clearly he shld not hv played! Clearly the back is worse than it has ever been and clay wont help as Murray found out! Wanted to turn out for matchplay, racquet usage and the fans! Has all backfired as if this injury doesn’t get sorted, he will not hv a good us run, and the WTF’s look remote! Will Need some psychological as well as physical help at this stage! Wld love to listen in on the team talk afterwards! Does he get angry, frustrated, throw some racquets! Hope so! Needs his mojo back and so do we!!!

    1. Yeah pretty much at rock bottom right now. Long road back for sure but surely the only way is up from here!

      I’d like to see his reaction too, I guess if he went on court expecting not to really win due to the back he won’t be too annoyed, just frustrated he cannot perform.


  4. Hi Jonathan

    If I was a Mullet I would be stunned – watched the match he just looks like he has forgotten he is a 17 time grand slam winner and seems really uncomfortable on the tennis court – can he get back from this? – I hope so – really hard to watch him play like this – I think we all need to remind him that he is the goat so can we all send him our very best vibes

    1. I hope not, I think that would be a retrograde step. Not had many matches with it but just gotta risk it I think and play with it regardless.

    2. he knows best but personally I think why adding difficulties to one another ? all these adjustments can even contribute to stess and back problems. I think he should concentrate on his body now, relax and forget the new racket for a while. It would not be retrogade after only 5 matches played with this racket.

  5. shock to me, as no live coverage here in HK for ATP 250 series.
    Jon, i’m worrying about his ranking, whether enough to be in the ATP final.

    1. Roger is now in that stretch of the season that he loves the most. He needs above average performance from here on which should be enough to make the WTF.

    2. Roger is number 6 in the Race, 545 points ahead of number 9 Wawrinka, 840 points ahead of number 10 Gasquet. And number 7 Tsonga is currently injured and won’t play Washington. I don’t think it’s that worrying for the WTF qualifying as the coming period, even after the US Open, is usually a good one for Roger. And I do think Roger can come back OK for the US Open, he has had this sort of temporary back problems and recoveries in the past (including in 2012 several times he had problems, including in Madrid and Wimbledon which he eventually won).

  6. I never thought I would say this, but I think Roger should do a Nadal and sit the rest of the season out. Maybe just give the US Open a shot, but sit everything else out. Get back in shape physically. Hit the fucking gym. And come back refreshed, recharged and hungry. Right now he just looks tired and frustrated, maybe due to the injury hampering him or his lack of confidence.

    1. just trust him and his team : they know best πŸ˜‰ his situation and Nadal’s have nothing in common.

  7. I didn’t get to see the match but clearly it was one that roger could’ve, would’ve, should’ve avoided. But after all the hype and homecoming celebration, roger was between a rock and a hard place.
    Clearly the injury is an issue, even if it’s just an on-and-off muscular spasm. Should rest that, even if it means skipping Montreal. Let’s not forget Hamburg and Gstaad was a recent addition and had he not played them, roger could’ve been healthier. Okay, Hamburg was overall a good tournament for matches and roger did get some court time, but gstaad didn’t offer much.
    Roger has now taken the underdog role in the big4, critics are going to eat him up!
    All i want now is a healthy roger, tournaments can be won later. Any idea if roger will be sticking to the prototype or did he confirm his revert?

    1. At this point I’ve decided not to read any of the after gstaad articles about Federer. It is hard enough to swallow the losses this season so I am gonna avoid the ultra pain!
      I won’t say that I am not disappointed today but I kind of was expecting it when he drew Brands. I thought it was a 50-50 chance to win… Well, he lost today and we know that the back is playing a part in the loss. Lets hope he can get better and bounce back and why not win the WTF. That would be an excellent way to calm the federer-should-retire crowd and announce a better season in 2014.

  8. Well the back … I’m not surprised considering how he played today, last week it looked less obvious to me.
    Considering that he hesitated to play and did only because of the Swiss crowd, it’s better that he lost anyway.
    Maybe it also explains his suicidal serve and volley tactics in the fvirst game of the second set.
    Now time for rest and hopefully he may be cured for Montreal and Cincy, which are important ranking-wise.
    As for the racket, I would also think wiser to interrupt the experiment considering those bad conditions.
    Just make your best for the US Open, champion !

  9. You know, in some other parallel universe this slump never took place and Roger is continuing his form from last year and steam-rolling past all his opponents…
    I would just love to switch places with Sahil from that universe…!!!!

    1. Could well be.

      The question is would Sahil from the parallel universe want to swap with you? πŸ˜› You’d have to lie and say he didn’t lose to Brands in Gstaad.

  10. What Roger is going through right now, reminds me of my favorite passage from the movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”. Roger seems condemned to Lazarus Pit. He will try to climb out of it. But how can he make it out?

    As a wise old prisoner would put it, “You must first fix your back. You must build yourself. You can die in the pit. Or you can die trying to climb out of it. The leap to freedom is not about strength. It’s about fear. How can you move faster than possible…fight longer than possible…without the most powerful impulse of the spirit? The fear of death. Let fear find you again.”

    And so it must be. Roger must find that fear of losing everything that he has worked so hard to achieve over a decade. At the moment, he doesn’t have that fear. His recent photo ops, his meeting with the cow, and all the other drama suggests that he simply doesn’t have that fear inside of him. Unless he feels that fear, he will not rise. He must find that fear, for the sake of his fans. He owes it to them.

    As he tries to make his way out of the pit, the fans must chant, “Deshi Deshi Basara Basara”, which means, “He will rise!”

    1. Brilliant Sid, you should send that to Roger as motivation!

      I’m sure he feels the fear a lot more than he lets on. I wonder if it’s a case of either doing good family time & being amazing, but not the best, or working as hard as he has in previous years & being the best still, but losing his family life quality.

      And thanks Jonathan, another excellent post. He is the GOAT and will find a way. Can’t wait for tennis’s dark knight to rise!

      1. Thanks, Spike! Perhaps very soon Jonathan will make a post, “The Darth Fed Rises” πŸ™‚

      2. You don’t understand, Katyani. Desiree had a life. She was happily lazing around, going about her daily chores of grazing in the Swiss Alps, getting milked, getting yanked around, getting a good tan, and almost always having the distressing thought in her mind that she will eventually get her date with the butcher. Then she had to put up with that stupid cowbell which has been driving her nuts. She can hear that cowbell in her nightmares. Here she is again:

        And what do they do? They put some fancy flowers on her head, give her an even bigger cowbell, take pictures of her though she is camera shy, and worst of all, at a place that doesn’t have a blade of grass. Not a single blade of grass! You could see the sadness in her eyes. And all that for what? So she could keep her date with a GOAT? A GOAT? Are you kidding me! Why would she want to meet a GOAT? Those pesky goats have been giving her and her friends a hard time, playing pranks, crying wolf.

        I think Roger was cursed by Desiree. That’s what I think.


      3. Oke Sid, that comment I made earlier about people on his own site saying there is a rumor Roger might retire at WTF 2013 shook me up to be honest.
        But… your comment just makes me laugh and smile !!!

        Sid, are you a comic writer or a stand up comedian or something?
        Where do you come up with such strong and funny stories?? You really write funny comments !!!

        Oh, for your kind information… don’t feel sorry for Desiree. She is THE happening cow now amongst all the regular common cows !!! Afterall, not only did she get to meet the Goat in person, but…… he also touched her !!! Now how many female cows can say that??? Do you know how jealous all the other cows are?? There was a competition about who would be selected. All the other cows went on a diet to lose weight, got plastic surgery to look better, leaner and younger, went to the beautrician and even the hairdresser, while honest and natural Desiree stayed behind and stayed true to herself. Which by the way got noticed and she won the competition and was selected to meet THE GOAT. I heard she even got bodyguards to ensure her safety against all the other mean female cows. You know, there is nothing scarier than a female cow scorned !!!
        By the way, you do not know much about women huh… fancy flowers on her head was her tiara and an even bigger cowbell was her shawl with her title around her neck !!!
        Ah men, will they never understand women…. sigh…..

        And Sid, speaking about comments, yours is quite long.
        Are my long comments rubbing off on you??
        Are you trying to take my place as “Goat of Long Comments”????

      4. The reason Desiree is the most happening cow right now because pretty soon a lot of things will be happening to her. All those other cows who were working their butts off to get selected have no idea what happened to Juliette, the previous cow gifted to Roger.

        And too bad for Desiree that she got noticed because now every butcher in Gstaad can knows who she is, where she lives, and most importantly, how much she weighs! *cha-ching* That explains the bodyguards. In a couple of years, those other cows will have the last “moo” πŸ™‚

        [Where do you come up with such strong and funny stories??]
        I owe it to Desiree. She was my inspiration πŸ™‚

        [Ah men, will they never understand women…. sigh…..]
        Not really. They can never “fully” understand because women are a book that no one can ever really finish reading πŸ˜‰

      5. Wrong answer, Katyani πŸ™‚

        On a lighter note, if Roger and Desiree were to play in the first round at Gstaad, who do you think would’ve won?

      6. Sid……… don’t make fun of MY Roger !!! You know how I get when someone makes fun of my hero………

    2. I don’t think he needs that fear and I don’t think it’s his character at all. Roger has had bad periods and come-backs in the past (even though different from this one), he knows how he has to deal with those moments. And as for the method, he has always insisted on the nessity of staying positive. Which excludes fear. Roger is not a character from a comic or movie πŸ™‚

      1. Fear is what drives these athletes. The fear of the moment that they could be receiving the runners up trophy. The fear of the crowd cheering for your opponent after they’ve won match point. Yes, there are a lot of other things involved but fear is the ultimate factor that makes you stretch every sinew in your body.

        There are many who do not have that fear. They don’t achieve much either.

    3. Roger’s fans are full of fear and despair … but I think none of those fans could have done what Fed has achieved MENTALLY, with that way they think (or I think as well : I know I’m very weak mentally, and 100% different from him for that). Mentally Roger is much much stronger and has much better methods to deal with hard situations than his fans.

    4. Well, he’d have to make the climb without the rope. So if he goes for it and loses one match early, he’s dead?

      Good imagery, and I love the film too, but it’s a little too risky for me.

      1. Well, metaphorically, he is playing without his old faithful racquet πŸ™‚

      1. I don’t think I make a mistake if I say that fear and positive thinking are opposite, and I don’t speak of mental fortitude here. Even though Fedfans’s fear is indeed a mental weakness πŸ˜†

      2. Duong, what is positive thinking, if not a product of fear? The more you fear, the more allowance you can make for positive thinking. Which means fear is a good thing πŸ™‚

  11. I am not ready to give up on Roger & don’t think he is going to give up on himself either. I believe that he will work through this as he does have stubbon resolve & determination to succeed. He also loves the game and anyone who has a passion for their chosen career does not give up that easily. As Rudyard Kipling said: “if you can make one heap of all your winnings, and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, yet never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart & nerve & 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 – Hold On!

      1. Hey Jonathan, where did you get that video? When was it made? I have never seen it before.
        Wow, what a cool video…

      2. Jonathan, the first sentence Roger says is like pure gold. I listened especially to that sentence a couple of times. Wow.

  12. I didn’t see this match but every time I have watched Roger this year I feel he seems a little out of shape, and is not working on his conditioning as much as he should be. It is now more than ever he needs to keep sharp to try and match the other Big 3 and indeed those coming through. It is not easy to keep the motivation to train when you have achieved as much as he has and more than anyone he has earned the right to pick and chose tournaments. However his stamina in GS matches is not what it was and whilst age is a reason, there are other 30+ players out there who seem in better shape.

    It is as tough a time as Roger has had in his career as he comes to terms with his decline. I believe there can be decent victories out there for Roger (perhaps not a GS now) but its up to him to put the yards in. If not, it will be interesting to see how he enjoys his tennis going forward if defeats become more regular.

    1. Tough to say but you could be right. He is always quite secretive but do you think he trains as hard as Djoker and Murray?

      Good point on the stamina front too, he has lost some 5 setters lately.

      1. I don’t think he trains as hard as the other guys at all – the shape he came into the French Open in was the evidence of that. I almost thought it was unprofessional to come into a tournament with a spare tyre. I suspect that tournaments are his training, and have been for the last while. Not sure what he does off-season.

        He has a family now and its absolutely natural to lose that desire which keeps you working hard to be at the top of your game. It’s really up to Roger what he wants out of the rest of his career – to make a few more sacrifices and be competitive, or turn up and hope that what you have left is enough to get you to the later rounds of tournaments.

      2. I didn’t really notice much about his shape at FO. Will try find some pics.

        Maybe he needs to focus on strengthening his core and putting on some muscle.

  13. At least he got a consolation prize. The Cow! πŸ™‚

    I really hope Roger gets better. He is not defending any points at His Cup is he? So maybe he can skip it and get some rest.

    Also did you guys hear about Troicki? 😯

      1. Hint: He did what Serena Williams did except, he is a small fish and was punished.

    1. Yeah, I’m not a Troicki fan, sounds dodgy what he did but do you think they have made an example of him just so it looks like they “are top of things”?

      A player with a relatively non existent fan base, outside top 50 now banned for 18 months. It ticks a few boxes, silences some of the naysayers who say testing is lax…

      1. I think this is absolutely the case. I believe there is some substance in the rumours of ‘silent bans’ for top players (one in particular) which are floating around the internet.

      2. It sort of reinforces my belief that Nadal was indeed silently banned a couple of times. They must have found him culpable but in the interest of all parties involved, covered it up with an “injury”.

        I heard Cilic is going to be handed a ban too. The reason he gave: He was low on glucose, got something off the counter and failed to read the label which said it had banned substance. These professionals really are very careless I’ll tell ya! πŸ™‚

      3. Anyone know what is happening with the Serbian players??
        Novak turned out to be a human who gets tired instead of beeing Superman.
        This going on with Troicki now.
        And really what the hell is wrong with Tipsy?? If there is someone who is doing worse than Roger without a ligitimate reason, than that is Tipsy. How many matches has the guy lost this year????

        I read somewhere a stupid joke: Roger and Tipsy should play each other, atleast one of them will win…. stupid joke, let them wait until Roger 3.0 is back….

      4. [Roger and Tipsy should play each other, atleast one of them will win…. stupid joke]

        It’s not that stupid if you think about it. There’s some truth to it πŸ™‚

  14. Hey guys, it is half past twelve in Holland, I have to work in a few hours so again little time to sleep AND I am in the mood to be POSITIVE, so here goes (and no, I am not a blind worshipper, I am just not giving up on the guy and I am actually giving him time).
    I know I have already said this all and so have you guys, but here is a much needed repeat:

    Aren’t “we” making a too big deal about this all?
    Lets face it, in order to stay relevant and to give himself a chance, he had to change his smaller racquet, even though it brought him 17 GS, 77 titles and world number one. If he stayed with it, he would eventually “fade away” with it.
    His decision to change to the bigger racquet is the best decision he made this year. HE HAD TOO. He was the only one in the whole field who played with a 90 racquet, the only one (to win so much with that racquet is an astonishing achievement on its own).
    But with that same smaller racquet he got beaten a lot this year. He had to change.

    Would you like him to be ‘Sampras the Second’ who will say in a few years “I wish I changed to a bigger racquet when I had the chance so I could play longer and win more”? No, he made the right decision,
    BUT…. it will take time. He played with the smaller one for more than 10 years. It took even Novak more than a year to adjust and look what a season he had.

    Lets just give him the time to get use to it and adjust it. By 2014 he will be used to it and to its adjustment. Then he will play like his former self. He came back in 2012, he could and can do it again.
    I am not delusional. I know it will take a lot of time (which I believe he has a lot, even though he will be 32). It will take a lot of hard work and practise and the most important he needs to take care of his body and his back.
    His biggest advantage is also his biggest disadvantage. He stayed injuryfree for all those years, now his body has a lot of mileadge on it.
    He has played more than anyone else, because the others played less because of injury.

    I also think like Gaurav it would be best for him to take a half year break and rest his back and body and then come back roaring again !!!

    I for one still want him to play as long as he can, because when Roger leaves, what will stay behind is boring baseline tennis where one player is waiting for the other one to make an error and where both players don’t even take risks.

    1. And guys… shouldn’t we be proud of him and be proud to be his fan??

      He finally explained his back issue and still did not use it as an excuse.
      Look how far he is willing to go for the tennis tour organization and for his fans.
      This is the second time he played while his team advised him not to (IW 2013 and Gstaad) and he still played.
      He lost, got burned down by the critics and haters, but he still did it for his fans.
      Except for Novak, who would do that for their fans?? No one, seriously no one.

      My saddest moment was when he left the court after he lost, He really seemed embaressed to have lost and did not want to show that to the crowd. In my opinion he should not be embaressed. He was in pain, BUT he did show up to play.
      That is a champion: the show must go on. Hope he rests and takes care of his health and his back.

    2. Half 12, isn’t that early for you Katyani? Lady of the Night.

      Not quite sure who you mean when you say “we are making a big deal out of this”. I don’t think anyone has over reacted to Hamburg or Gstaad, but it’s obvious they are a tough tough losses and have very few positives so you can’t just say ah give it time, still need to be realistic and address what actually happened out on court as it wasn’t pretty.

      I don’t think anyone is debating the racquet being a good idea either. Pretty much everyone thinks it’s a good idea and don’t think anyone on the blog is being impatient about it or expecting immediate results? They might be elsewhere though.

      But to be fair the racquet wasn’t the reason for the loss against Brands. He just played some terrible shots and generally looked like he had no belief to win, not moving well, dumping volleys into the net, coming in behind approach shots where even one of the twins could hit a passing shot winner.

      I think everyone here knows Fed is just very low on confidence, has no momentum, is short of match practice and has a recurring back issue. We are just hoping he can find the fix and start looking more balanced on court.

      Currently looking like he’d get schooled on the seniors tour. MacEnroe would be queuing up to play him lol.

      1. Hey Jonathan, I don’t know if I wrote the time right, but it was almost one o’clock at night.
        And yes… wayyyy to early for me, but what can I say, duty calls, still have to work today.

        And you are right, it is more my frustrations with other people on Roger’s site and other sites that make a big deal about it. You know again about the retirement or that he will not get back to the top, etc.

        And… I am in no way taking it lightly !!! Maybe it sounds like that. I saw from 4-2 in the first set and to be honest, sometimes I even looked away. He was heaving back problems, but of course Jonathan, he did not play some points that good. It is not only his back or the racquet. He got a lot to breakpoint on his serve, a lot 0-30 !!!
        But I also have to say is that when he got a break opportunity, Brands just served his way out with either aces or good serves. How could Roger break those points that Brands served?? This is just my opinion, you guys know it better.
        I did see that this time he really wanted to win the match, but more for the crowd than for himself. I think he wanted to win this more than Hamburg.
        It was really sad to see that he was embaressed by the loss. He just disappeared so quickly and did wave at the crowd but not really looking at them.
        He does not deserve this all, but he has to do something about this.
        On CNN they also said that he is in trouble now because he is not feared anymore in the lockerroom, players know that they can beat him.

        Just one last point, but that is my personal opinion. I think he should take atleast three to four months or even six months off to rest, take care of his body, take care of his back, get use to the racquet, practise and improve certain aspects of his game.
        But… unfortunately….. if he plays USO he will be on the same level as the last guy, who made so many GS in a row, I think 51 or 52. And if he plays AO , he will beat that record.
        And there will never be another one who can beat that record. So yes, I am all about his records staying intact and I want him to take time off to rest his back, but to be honest I also want him to go for this record that cannot be broken ever.
        I rather have him play USO and AO and then skip RG to come back to Wimby.
        What do you guys think???

        Hey but Jonathan, thank you for your reply. For your standard kind of a long comment !!!

        Am I turning you on to the β€œDark Side of Long Comments”?????

  15. nice quote form Nguyen on SI/tennis front cover story on Fed’s slump:

    “It’s easy to forget that Federer, now ranked No. 5, was the No. 1 player in the world 12 months ago. Don’t.
    Can Federer turn things around? Absolutely, but only if he’s healthy.”

    B/t/w – I’m new to comments, but have been following the site for a while. I’m a big Fed fan and I love it. Thanks!

  16. Finally Roger is talking about his back. Injuries are a fact not an excuse. I don’t understand why people use the word excuse….it’s not…it’s a reason.
    From what I’ve seen of Roger this year, his back has been a bigger and bigger issue. In Indian Wells, he couldn’t even bend over. He played two matches after that. We know what happened there.
    Maybe he should take a few months off. Backs aren’t like an ankle sprain. They are unpredictable. One day it seems ok and the next the immobility and pain rear their ugly head.
    I feel so bad for him. He did look embarrassed out there. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    I think he works hard at conditioning, core exercises, etc. One can only do so much.

    1. Injuries can and cannot be excuses. It depends who you talk to. Roger isn’t a excuse type of guy and keeps his cards close to his chest in regards to such matters. Nadal on the other hand uses his “injuries” as excuses.

    2. I am glad he mentioned it though, too much fan speculation and excuses in the air so at least he cleared it up and said he is having difficulty rather than fans inventing that he missing practices etc.

      Clearly not the sole reason he’s losing though, playing some weak matches this year but does look like it’s been a persistent problem this year.

  17. Thought his back was hurting in Hamburg when he put on the vest. IF you remember last year at Wimby in the Malisse and Benneteau matches he was wearing a black t-shirt after injury time-out. It was meant to keep his back warm-muscles warm. Well a lot of people made fun of the vest. But it was a cold and damp evening he was playing and he probably put it on to warm up. People always make a big thing over other top injuries but they always forget about Roger’s back and everyone forgets that mentally and physically he has continued to play for over a decade and dominated much of that time. He always played the tour, so people comparing him to S. Williams don’t get it. S. Williams took time off, not just for injury but just because. Roger always played what was required. That kind of physical and mental dedication can take an early toll. It is not right to compare him to Haas etc like some people do because some players got some mental rest when injured.

    1. Anyone who compares Fed with Serena is on drugs anyway. They are at polar opposites of the spectrum, they only thing in common they share is they both won a lot of slams.

      Haas has a lot less mileage for sure so the comparison isn’t fair either.

      I don’ really compare Fed to anyone, although many are saying his season is like Sampras’s in 2002, not sure it will end with a USO though but you never know. Gotta fix the back and come back stronger.

      1. [Anyone who compares Fed with Serena is on drugs anyway]

        Uh, oh! Somebody’s not going to like that one bit πŸ™‚

      2. Hey, Serena’s die hard fan has not left the building yet you know, I am still here !!!
        And ….. I will not even comment on what Jonathan said……

  18. Hey guys, I’m leaving today but after I heard the result I couldn’t help but share my quick thoughts on this disappointing season thus far. I really honestly believed that having a good result at Gstaad would be the only way to be a serious contender for the US Open. I still believe that. There is 0-5% chance now I think Roger can win the US Open. He has no momentum, has an aggravated injury for the past few months now (that’s not the main problem though) and has no confidence whatsoever. Playing these clay tournaments was a mistake IMO. It’s further hurt whatever confidence he had after Wimbledon. Being the great person he is, there is no doubt in my mind that he came to Gstaad for the fans, and the fans alone just like at Indian Wells. He gains my respect in that aspect but there’s a point where Roger needs to put his foot down and look at his priorities. The North American HC season is a priority. Ever since the AO, there’s something about Roger mentally I can’t put my finger on. Did the Murray loss effect him more than we thought? Is that why he is playing Brisbane in 2014 because the Australian Open is a goal for him now? I have no idea. I’m very confused right now about where Roger is as is Roger himself. I was really pining for him to make semis in NY so I could witness it but that looks long lost now. Roger needs to focus on getting back to 100% physically and more importantly mentally. I think he should skip Canada- there’s no point playing it and further risk that back and confidence. I also have a feeling Fed will revert back to the 90″ in the US. He has no winning feeling with this racquet but since there are no expectations for him in this upcoming part of the season, he might as well take a gamble with the 98.

    Anyway, I hope Roger can just back to 100% and does get matches before NY. I think this part of the season will see another dominant battle between Andy and Novak. Since Roger has committed to a 2014 season by announcing Brisbane, it’s obvious he is filled with a tonne of desire and motivation to right the wrongs of this season and hopefully he can do that. I will talk to you all in a couple months down the road. Fed fans stay united please.

    1. Have a good trip, Alysha “Wintour”, as Jonathan would say πŸ™‚ Yup, we will stay united.

    2. The clay tournaments were only a mistake in hindsight though, would have been ideal had he won one of them. Hamburg wasn’t too bad really as he played almost the maximum matches possible just ended with a toughish loss. But Gstaad? Bad bad news.

      Swap your semi final ticket for a 1st Rounder Alysha! I might go watch Qualifiers next year so I’m guaranteed to see him play lol.

      I hope he sticks with a new racquet, switching back I don’t like the sound of.

      Have fun in New York. Do me a favour and ask Anna if I’m still first reserve for next months cover shoot. Hasn’t been replying to my emails πŸ˜€


  19. Hey guys, too bad, Stan the Man just retired. I hoped so that after Roger he would win.
    He would deserve it.
    Now I am rooting for my main man Youzhny or of course… Go Dutchie, Robin Haase.

      1. Yes…. with Roger and Stan out, atleast there will be a Youzhny/Haase-Final.
        Go Robin Go…

    1. Hi Tilas

      Thank you so much for sharing this link – he is truly the best of all time and tennis would not be the same without him –

    2. Wow! Great video! Thanks for sharing!
      My turn to share a peace of poetry that I like very much. Wish I could hear it read by the GOAT, it would gain its full meaning:


      Just like moons and like suns,
      With the certainty of tides,
      Just like hopes springing high,
      Still I’ll rise.

      Did you want to see me broken?
      Bowed head and lowered eyes?
      Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
      Weakened by my soulful cries.


      You may shoot me with your words,
      You may cut me with your eyes,
      You may kill me with your hatefulness,
      But still, like air, I’ll rise.

      Federer will rise again, I can’t but believe that! It can’t be anything but that πŸ™‚

  20. Oke guys, I don’t know what to make of this, I know it is not true, but with his backpain…

    On Roger’s site they heared a rumor that Roger might retire at the WTF this year…

    Is not true right…

    1. No it’s not. It’s surely a rumor. Don’t get stressed out. Watch those two videos Jonathan and Tilas sent out again πŸ˜‰

    2. Haven’t fans on his own fan site been saying he should retire since 2008? lol.

      I doubt it’s true but you never know. Anyway, it’d be shortsighted of him to say that, he still hasn’t qualified! πŸ˜€

  21. Some interesting bits in this interview with Le Matin Switz:

    “A Difficult Week Because of my Back”

    Roger Federer went down Thursday in Gstaad against Daniel Brands. The fault was muscular pain which has been bothering him since Hamburg. Explanations.

    Le Matin: What is it that didn’t work well today?

    Roger: We have to before anything give credit to Brands. He played well when he had to, served well in the important moments. He was solid. Still I had opportunities. I knew going in that the match would be complicated, especially here at altitude. I knew that Brands could string together several service games easily. He has proven that he is dangerous. As far as my service, there were highs and lows, that didn’t surprise me too much. The week was difficult due to my back problem. In the end I felt well enough to play and to make a correct match but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

    Le Matin: Would you have played this match if it weren’t at Gstaad, in front of your public?

    Roger: It’s hard to say. Not playing until Thursday helped, that gave me one extra day for my back. I was able to play almost without pain. I would not have played if I didn’t think I could make it through the round and afterwards see match by match how my back was evolving.

    Le Matin: Are you living at this moment the most difficult period of your career?

    Roger: Some moments are a bit frustrating. Especially when your back is often hurting. After that, I adore tennis. That’s why I played today. I decided definitely after the warmup. I am happy to have been able to play a match almost without pain. Not like last week at Hamburg. That makes me happy (gives (one) happiness). Having to explain oneself after defeats, that’s less amusing. I’d rather not do it but it’s part of the job. I’ve done many press conferences during which I’ve been told “you’re super, you’re the best, you’re gorgeous”. Well now, it’s a bit less like that, but it’s not a big deal for me.

    LeMatin: Where are you with your new racket?

    Roger: I can’t really analyze where I am to the extent that I really can’t play correctly. So it’s hard to tell exactly what is and isn’t working with this racket. Here, I knew it would be difficult with the altitude. So naturally the sensations with the balls and the racket are very difficult (? mis-transcription? should it be ‘different’?) from what I experienced at Hamburg where it was much less rapid. I don’t know exactly where I am but in any case, the important thing is first of all to recuperate. Do what’s necessary so the back is better. And if it doesn’t happen before Montreal, I’ll have one extra week before Cincinnati. We’ll see what the strategy will be. And for the racket, it will require some thought but there are more important things at this moment.

    1. I agree with you Jonathan that he really can’t quit with the new raquet now that he’s started – what, and start readjusting to a new tool all over again? Even though the adjustment time would (presumably) be less from long familiarity? – but it’s interesting to me that he’s not saying that. Or maybe what he’s saying with “We’ll see about the racket” is actually “Of course Wilson and I are continuing to fine tune our concept of this racket, and they’re actually FedExing me a slightly different model twice a week”.

      Disappointing that he’s acknowledging he may not make Montreal, but not sure what else he could do really if he can’t move.

      I love his comment about the press – hey you guys kept telling me how wonderful I was, not so much of that now, huh????

  22. Hey guys check out Nike’s new US Open apparel and in my opinion looks pretty impressive

  23. Bad back is such a killer, at least now we know why he is hitting rock bottom. Tough decision Roger and I prefer he should just skip both Masters event and play US without warm-up tourney. Fixing his back is more important if he wants to be in peak condition for 2014. As for Fall season, perhaps take 5 month off and come back in Jan. He needs time to heal his back. It would be a shame if he shorten his career due to back issues. Go Rog!!!

    1. It’s spasms though. I think they just come and go. I had hurt a back muscle today at tennis, first time it ever happened, hurt for a bit but didn’t really stop me from playing so much. Just feels a bit stiff now.

      I think he skips Montreal and then plays Cincy / USO. Guess we just gotta wait and see.

  24. Hi John, hi guys!

    I’m a little late here!
    To me its hard to see losses like that! Even though with his physical conditions and lack of motivation …
    I’m pretty sure he just entered the court by his fans and his people. At no time I saw any records of his training in Gstaad and even an hour ago the match his presence was still unknown.
    I hope he takes some time (skips Montreal or Cincy) for treatment.
    If it’s bad to see him lose, worse is to see him with limitations.


    1. Hey hey!

      I know, losses are never fun especially not in the first round of a 250. Glad I was lucky in Halle!

      You’re right though, he just played because he felt obliged too.

      I think he skips Montreal and plays Cincy / USO.


  25. Haven’t dropped by this place for a while.. whew.

    it’s really a tough pill to swallow for us fed fans and I’m pretty sure Roger feels the same. I only watched one match throughout this clay court schedule of the GOAT and that’s the SF vs Delbonis. Some question his motivation which I think is not the case and it is very evident in that match when Roger kicked the line when the call didn’t go his way.. He needs that, sometimes you have let it out a bit.

    I’m not really concerned about the racquet change. It’s a prototype so I don’t expect fantastic shot making like he did before with his 90 sq inch magic wand. Not converting break points, match points etc because of a bad back concerns me (and i think most of us) more.

    But I still believe Roger, being the player that he is will have a strong comeback if not this year, maybe next year and to the trolls who writes obituary about Fed’s career being over.. Brisbane is up in 2014 πŸ˜€ I always remind myself what happened in 2011 when he went 0/4 in majors and won a major the following year in Wimbledon, the 17th of his career.

    On a side note.. I know all of you already saw Rafa’s outfit with a ridiculous X-pattern in his shirt for this hardcourt swing. Add him as a member of the X-Men, doping allegations be gone.. instead it will be labeled as a “mutant-like” forehand and endurance.

    1. Hey Ferdie,

      Yeah some tough losses. I think he kicked the line in pure frustration, probably due to how he felt incapable of doing what he needed to do in order to win.

      Hopefully he can get sorted before USO / Indoor Swing.

      Not seen Dull’s new clothes, guessing they suck as usual. Tramp.


  26. last person to comment. but don’t blame me rather blame the nasty internet in Ethiopia. When i come to roger, the GOAT has to learn a few things from Djokovic,for example what and how to exercise and what to eat in order to achieve the athletic capabilities that is comparable with the current world number 1. I think this will also help his recurring back problems. I am sure he can exceed 20 grand slams if he is as athletic as djokovic.

    1. Hey man,

      Ah you had some downtime? What do you do if Fed is playing and you can’t see the stream πŸ™

      Djoker is a good example, bit of a machine. Time is against the GOAT though.


      1. it is nothing really, you will learn to cross your finger and pray that it will come soon(the Internet and sometimes the electricity too). I agree with the term machine because he is the only player of the top 4 that didn’t have any injuries in recent years. What is his secret? good genes?

    1. I think it means that, since people have given Roger god-like status – more than other players’ fans – , they have a hard time believing it when he makes it clear he is human. And that this is hard.

    2. Sorry Sid, it just made me feel so hopeless. And its really well written. I was just scared because for a second or two i thought that the author was right… Though i hope and believe in a majestique, comeback of epic proportions!

      1. The article says all and more than what I have been saying ever since the Australian Open. But hey, that’s just Sports Illustrated! What the hell do they know?! The concluding lines are well worth repeating:

        “Yes, there will be flashes of brilliance, moments and matches in which all seems right and the old gears seem to be engaged. There will be a streak of wins when everyone, including me, will be sucked into thinking that the Federer Express is back for one more run. But in truth it’s mostly memory now, the greatness: That so-still head and uncanny concentration, the stiletto forehand, the lightness coming in. He danced as much as played. He gave some a glimpse of perfect. But this match was the message: Soon that will be gone.

        Whatever will they do?”

        Yes, cheerleaders, what WILL you do?!

      2. Are you looking for praise Arif? Obviously a big achievement to have a mainstream news site agree with you.

        Your opinion is Roger is finished. My opinion is that there is still a couple of chapters left to write. Yet you seem hell bent on trying to put that view across each time you comment as though it has to be accepted by everyone no matter what?

        Are you a Federer fan?

      3. Arif reminds me of that guy from the Middle East who claimed that he was a huge Roger Federer fan and after the Stakhovsky loss, started totally abusing Roger Federer on his own site, then said he isn’t a fan any more.

      4. Hey Arif, I just have to comment on this one. You were probably one of those fans who said that Roger was finished after he did not win after AO 2010. You were probably one of those fans who were ‘politely encouraging’ Roger to retire in 2011. Did you expect Roger to have 2012?? No, you didn’t. Neither did I. So, what makes you think he cannot do that (or something like that) again?? You know he does not like to be written off. It actually ‘fuels’ him to know that people (also fans like you) make the mistake of writing him off too soon. He is NOT a has been (yet). He only lacks confidence and has backproblems. One his confidence is back and he can handle the backproblem better (yes, it will not go away), than he will be back roaring. I am not saying he will win everything, but he will not lose this much again.


        And Arif, please answer this question? After Roger, who’s fan are you too??

      5. And sorry to say Sid, I think Arif is only posting such comments to get a rise out of you.
        It cannot be a coincidence anymore. He does not comment a lot, when he does, it is negative about Roger and you always are the one to ‘attack him back’.
        I think now Arif knows, does not matter who will reply on his comments, but you will anyway.
        I am starting to believe Arif’s commenting has got nothing to do with Roger, but with you…

      6. You’re probably right, Katyani. I usually don’t take the bait but in this case drastic measure may be required.

        You think maybe I should resort to some reverse psychology and not respond to his comments? πŸ™‚

      7. “You think maybe I should resort to some reverse psychology and not respond to his comments?”

        No Sid, I am afraid he will get nastier in his comments until you would cave in……

  27. I know there is one thing I will miss if (and that’s not a big if) Roger makes the switch permanent, and that is the sound of the 90-frame hitting the ball with ultimate racquet head speed. I’m a youtube junkie because of that sound. Will definitely experience withdrawal effects.
    I’ve tried to watch Hamburg on youtube but I just can’t get through to the end. Can’t stand the sound.
    Will have to find some small comfort picking up 3 PS-90 from my stringer today and swing away :-). Maybe I even hit a ball.

      1. Correct. It sounds so weird at the French Open for example. Too much echo.

  28. Can someone please tell me the exact specs of Roger’s new racquet? It’s killing me!

      1. I don’t think he will but considering losses have become more the rule than the exception, I’d rather he gets a couple of games in at Montreal to get a feel before he starts his Cincy defense. But that’s what I think and the GOAT doesn’t think like me πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for sharing this with us, Thinker πŸ™‚

        So much more greatness about Roger on top of his beautiful tennis. Thanks guys for updating and discussions going on, really appreciated as I’m on the road again with limited time on the Internet. Look forward to your next post, Jonathan.

        Hope everybody’s enjoying the summer!

      2. Nice share! Couldn’t help smiling through the whole article πŸ™‚
        Great player and great man! That’s why we’re sooooo Fan πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey Tilas and Sue, I did not know about this. So nice to read it. Makes me love Roger even more than I already do.

      This is why Roger is Roger, he is real, not a fake and he deserves all the good in live and tennis that he gets !!!

      And of course, so nice and good for Beatriz that she BEAT cancer… NOTHING is more important than that.
      To have cancer at such an age… but fortunately she beat it.

      On a personal note: I did get jealous of her when I saw the picture where Roger was holding her…..
      (sorry, I am human….). She is in the arms of MY Roger !!! Damn….

  29. Hi all,

    Since it seems to be a bit quiet I just thought to pop in
    It s funny cause I came in here sort of accidently. I think I was trying to find some tips to improve my tennis so that’s where you came from : Perfect Tennis .
    Although it was not what I was looking for I’ m just hanging around for some reason.
    Being around for the last 6 months I m maybe starting to be a Fed Fan too. I m not sure though.
    The fact I didnt watch tennis that much before but I remember I kind of disliked the fact that this player Roger Federer dominated the game so much.
    I also found his attitude and face expression to be quite arrogant which I also disliked.
    I also found that maybe his era didn’t bring good enough tennis players that could give him a harder time. And that pure Roddick guy always second, head turned downwards and Federer half smiling : β€œ ok Andy you re a great player and I m sure you ll get your chances and so on” . I didn’t like that either.

    Now it is different and I find myself more on his side , because ok he is a great player and now he is struggling . He is struggling against younger and tougher players and basically he is struggling against time.
    And of course there is also all of you , brainwashing me πŸ™‚ everyday.

    What I don’t understand is why you re so much against Rafael Nadal.
    And again after reading you re comments all this time I think I dislike him too.
    I guess it defines a Fedfan to be an antiNadal fan too. Is’nt it so? The strongest enemy.
    By the way I never see anyone of you mention a recent interview where Rafa said that
    Undoubtedly Roger is the best tennis player ever.
    Of course I know you ll say that Rafa is lying an he is a pretender.

    Apologies for intruding and being sort of irrelevant.

    My best wishes with all of you and your ( our? ) Idol!

    Ps Congratulations Jonathan for your very well done blog

    1. Hello Greek Gambler! We may all be amateur tennis players (who isn’t?) but should be able to exchange valuable tennis tips that may help us win a Slam some day πŸ™‚

      I don’t think being anti-Nadal is a defining characteristics of a Federer fan. Nadal does it to himself. Several reasons, too numerous to discuss here. One of them is false modesty for which you’ve fallen too I see. You don’t say how much respect you have for Federer then go about taking subtle digs at him at every opportunity.

      Now, as part of the Baptism ceremony, please state your equipment, playing style, years played, and your top five favorite players of all time other than Federer πŸ™‚

    2. Hey Greek Gambler,

      Cheers for commenting. Poker fan?

      Haha your comment make it’s sound like this is some kind of religious cult and we have dragged you in. Next I’ll be asking people to donate 15% of their salary if they want to comment here and we can meet up for regularl happy clapping sessions πŸ˜›

      I can see why you’d maybe think that about Roger, he is arrogant for sure but not in a bad way. Just hates losing. He is probably one of the worst losers out there.

      And the Roddick thing, I don’t think he was ever trying to be smug. Have you ever completely outplayed someone who you know quite well, like I mean played them off the court?

      It’s quite a difficult moment afterwards, on the outside you have to be quite restrained, yet on the inside you are over the moon as you just destroyed this guy and made him look like a clown which is very pleasing for you on a personal level.

      Of course you can’t say that to the crowd, the press or in front of him as that would be out of order, so he reigned it in and said the right thing, albeit struggling to hide his own enjoyment of the win. If that makes sense. That’s how I see it anyway.

      As for Nadal, he is just the opposite of Federer that’s why I’m not a fan. I just never feel comfortable with him.



    3. Hey Greek Gambler, today I read all the articles and comments from Friday on and I saw your comment.
      I just HAD to comment and hope that you will read it too.

      Greek Gambler, I read your first comment three times and three times I had to laugh !!!
      Wow, I like what you wrote !!! Yes, Roger has “cults” all over the world, but we are not one of them….

      And the comment that if you are a Roger fan you automatically dislike Rafa??? Wow, I never thought about that one like that. But, it is not true. There are millions of tennis fans who like Roger and Rafa the same. I am (and with me some on this site) not one of them.
      I (we) don’t dislike everyone who beats Roger. To be honest would that not be a long list anyway???
      But…. even if I was not a Roger fan, I could never be a Rafa fan. There is just something about him that does not add up. Has nothing to do with him beating Roger (maybe it is just a girls instinct). To be honest, everyone beats Roger, so, it’s part of the game. One wins, one loses.

      And don’t “force” yourself to liking Roger. He is arrogant. Luckily not overarrogant. He is not perfect. If you like him, you like him. If you don’t, you don’t. It is that simple. Don’t let this site or us commentators force you into liking Roger and disliking Rafa….

      Again, I loved your comment. Made me laugh….

      By the way, your name “Greek Gambler” is that a reference to the Greek Euro situation?? Or are you just simply from Greece???

    1. Good for me, he needs to rest up and the body matters more than the 0 points he has to defend :p

      On a separate note though, does anyone use the bbc website at all?
      As an avid football fan, I check it several times a day. It’s useful, gets the job done and gives us major headlines, all of them.

      The tennis page, by contrast, is atrocious… The one time they do post something that doesn’t ask the public to believe Heather Watson is the only tennis player out there, or something that gives us wonderful insight into “Murray won- isn’t it great?”, they give us the news of Fed’s withdrawal… Now, I don’t expect much from that shambles of a page, but the journalists doing just a little bit of research might be good. Have a look for yourself… the factual inaccuracies are incredible considering these people make a living out of sitting around doing nothing until one of their british players stinks up the joint again (Murray excepted, of course).

    2. Bad in the sense that his back is still bad. Good in the sense that it’s the right decision, can’t risk it.

      BBC Tennis page is a joke, it’s an afterthought I think for 50 weeks of the year.

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