Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Edges Wawrinka To Make Sixth Australian Open Final

Well, he made it! Roger Federer is into his sixth Australian Open final after seeing off compatriot Stan Wawrinka 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3.

One of the weirdest Federer matches I've watched in a while, and it certainly wasn't high on the enjoyment scale. But Roger came through after 3 hours and 4 minutes to keep up his 100% record against Stan on hard courts. In making the final the SwissΒ becomes the oldest man to make a slam final since Ken Rosewall at the 1974 US Open; he's also beaten three Top 10 players en route to the decider and has two days off to rest up for Sunday's showpiece.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Australian Open Semi Final 2017

Federer won the toss and served first, holding to 15 before Stan matched him to level. It was a cagey start from both players, and Roger was the first to fashion break points, three of them in fact, but Wawrinka dropped the sledgehammer on serve to hold. The Swiss Number 1 then had two chances of his own to break, but Roger responded in kind to hold.

At 5-5 the set looked like a tiebreak would decide it but not before Wawrinka had another break point which was again saved by Federer. However, in game twelve Roger managed to string a few return points together and broke to take it 7-5.

Into set 2 and Wawrinka's level dropped as he rued the loss of the first set, this allowed Roger to capitalise, and he broke for a 4-2 lead and went on to serve out the set 6-3. At the sit-down, Stan left the court in tears for a medical timeout on his knee which was strapped when he returned.

It looked like Stan was struggling to put pressure on his right leg, but after holding to lead 2-1, the Lausanne native found another gear as he broke and then reeled off the next four games to take the match into a fourth. Roger was looking increasingly flat in his game with both his serve and groundstrokes lacking penetration Wawrinka broke at the start of the set four. Roger was soon back on level terms though helped by a Stan double fault, and both guys traded holds for 3-3.

At 4-3 Roger made deuce on the Wawrinka serve but more powerful hitting gave the Stan the hold, and he broke in the next game, serving out the set to love to force a fifth.

This time it was Federer's turn to leave the court for treatment, and he returned to hold his opening game comfortably. Stan however still had the upper hand, and he held break points in both game three and five which Roger somehow saved with great defence. After missing his chances, Stan double-faulted on break point to give a 4-2 lead to Federer. No more comebacks here as Roger coasted through his two service games to take the match 6-3 in fifth.

Match Stats

Match Statistics R. Federer S. Wawrinka
Aces 11 10
Double Faults 3 2
First Serve % In 86/143 (60%) 89/135 (66%)
Win % On 1st Serve 62/86 (72%) 56/89 (63%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 33/57 (58%) 32/46 (70%)
Net Points Won 34/50 (68%) 11/27 (41%)
Break Points Won 4/9 (44%) 4/12 (33%)
Receiving Points Won 47/135 (35%) 48/143 (34%)
Winners 47 45
Unforced Errors 50 35
Total Points Won 142 136
Distance CoveredΒ (M) 1247.3 1320
Distance Covered/pt.Β (M) 4.5 4.7
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Fed beat Stan AO

So where to start with this one?! It started out just like any other Fedrinka match with some quality shot making from both, but after Stan's medical timeout it all got a bit awkward to watch. So while the result is sweet, actually watching it unfold wasn't that enjoyable. It was tense, but it had a subdued vibe (a bit like the 2014 final when Nadal took his medical timeout), and I thought Fed looked a little sheepish in his celebration and his on-court interview before Courier perked him up a bit.

The first two sets were fairly competitive; Roger sneaked the first one after looking tense early on, then Stan got passive in the second and found himself two sets down. But after he returned from his medical timeout the match turned around, Stan started going for his shots and Roger was totally off his game. I guess he thought Stan was toast as he looked defeated in the second set, that saw him lose his focus, and when he realised he was still very much in a match, it scrambled his mind.

Combine that with the fact he hadn't been serving well anyway, it didn't give him much margin for error in his game and Stan was able to dictate once Federer's groundstrokes lost their sting. From midway through the fourth set till breaking in the fifth Roger looked low on energy and not spritely in his movement at all. Fortunately, he held it together in the fifth and got over the line thanks to some loose play from Stan.

So the good bits? Winning obviously πŸ™‚ , the way he saved the break points in the fifth with awesome defence and the fact he beat a top 5 player over five sets. I do think he got lucky with how Stan handed him the break in the decider, but he took advantage of it and didn't look back. Perhaps it doesn't matter exactly how got there; the fact he was even in the semi-finals is quite bizarre, now he's in the final and hopefully in good enough shape to make a fist of it on Sunday. Allez Roger!

Predictions vs. Nadal

Next up is Roger's old nemesis Nadal who defeated Dimitrov in a thrilling 5 setter. It was an extremely close match which either player could have won but it was the Spaniard who came out on top.

Based on Twitter a large chunk of Federer fans are hating the idea of a Fedal match, whilst the neutrals and casual fans are relishing it πŸ˜†Β For me I'm not really in either camp, I've never been a fan of Nadal's game as a viewer and a lot of their encounters in recent times never caught fire but the 2009 final is actually one of their better matches in terms of quality so hopefully Sunday's match delivers on that front.

Heading into the final both guys have played two five setters, but Nadal has been on court for 19 hours vs. Roger's 14. So it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference, the 2009 final says not but that's 8 years ago and both guys are outside of their prime. History also shows that Nadal owns Federer's in Grand Slams off grass, with a 3-0 record against him in Melbourne. So Rafa has a lot of things in his favour – he's got the mental edge, he's got the matchup advantage, he's 6 years younger and has just beaten a guy with a similar-ish game to Roger who is younger, fitter and faster. It doesn't sound like a great deal for the Swiss on paper. But who knows, I've got it about 53% – 47% in Nadal's favour heading in. There's probably enough in the court for Fed to play the way he needs so it will be a question of whether he can execute on the night. See you sunday πŸ™‚


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. Yeah, it felt like quite a gritty match in some ways, at least from the 3rd set on. It’s hard to be too critical because, I mean, it’s a miracle he’s this deep, but I do think it was a toughie for Fed. I’m not too concerned about him physically, he said his leg was a bit sore but I feel like that’s natural at this point of the tournament, and with the days rest I think he should be okay for 3-4 sets. If the final goes to 5 I wouldn’t back him against Nadal, but it depends on how his match goes.

    All in all, great result, not a great match. Can he go one more?

    1. After 3 great matches it’s good that he had a somewhat sloppy match but still came through which means he’ll be ready for the final.

      1. Yes, I’d rather he was sloppy in the SF rather than the final – although of course it may be the shortage of tournament play starting to catch up with him, in which case there could be trouble ahead. I hope he can keep the “nothing to lose” mentality and play freely – which might be easier against Nadal than Dimitrov, against whom he’d probably be the favourite – but I suspect that nerves may kick in next round.

    2. Yeah can’t criticise anything he’s done in this tournament. Maybe should have seen Stan off sooner but first tournament back and he’s in the final.

    1. Usually about 8-8.30 am UK time, so I think that’s 7-7.30 Melbourne time? BBC not showing it live, anyway, as far as I know πŸ™

    1. When Fed beat Stan in the World Tour Finals semi a few years ago, after the “crybaby” incident, Fed also had that apologetic demeanor. I don’t know if it was because he felt sorry for Stan or because he respects him. Also Fed was extremely lucky to get the Stan double fault in the 5th..but partly because of the pressure he put on Stan.

      1. Yes, but I think it was also because he’d injured his back. That’s what has me slightly worried, so hoping he will be fully fit in 3 days’ time.

    2. That’s coz Fed is already frightened at the prospect of meeting the in form butt pricking grunting and groaning Spain Bull.
      As Fed himself mentioned in the presser about how playing Rafa too many times has impacted his mind, esp that 2008 Wimby Final. (oh just can’t get that loss out of my head really)
      Despite Fed all court playing style and versatile shot making, just can’t see him winning against that Spain Bull.

      1. Alb, I think Alison referring 2014 WTF SF where Roger injured his back and after win gave not so enthusiastic interview

      2. ohhh. Ok. jMac and the guys were laughing about Roger’s “injury”…implying he looked great in the 5th and did not seem hampered in his movement – maybe that he was taking a “mental” MTO.

      3. Actually he pretty much agrees its more of mental MTO… Read his presser link I posted above… He also says trainer doesn’t make him better or worse how he felt on 1st set vs 5th set… Its kind of both i guess, had bit problem which may not needed MTO but he took that to clear head…that’s how he sounds..(he more or less implies Stan did it for same reason)

        MTF(mens tennis forum) going crazy over this πŸ™‚

      4. Yeah as soon as Fed took that MTO you just knew Nadal and Djoke fans were going to jump on it. The other two arguments I’m hearing is
        1) ATP depth sucks because a 35 yr old makes a slam final first tournament back
        2) AO sped the courts up for Roger

      5. It was for an injury but he said he had it since game 2. So not like it was a must have MTO. But why not, he’s taken barely any in 1000 matches.

  2. Just hope he feels well and delighted for playing. Then it cannot go all too wrong. It’s all fun, so never mind. NICE and BRILLIANT, that he came through so deeply – not everybody’s easy business.

  3. Agree with almost everything you summarised, especially ‘luck’. I thought that Roger’s luck was the 1st set. Statistically, he should have lost it after failing to convert any of the triple BPs. 16 UEs in the set (with 53% 1st serve) was a bit shocking; I just felt massively relived after Roger had taken it πŸ™‚ . Having been broken for the 1st time in the 3rd, I hoped that Roger would rally but he was so subdued; my heart just sank. When he was broken at the end of 4th set, I switched telly off. I was a wreck afterwards and thought that Roger’s chance was gone.
    Roger’s serve stat needs to be better, though at the clutch points, he actually did well. UEs are alarmingly high. The fact that Stan won 70% 2nd serve points was ridiculous; I just wish that Roger had put on more pressure on Stan’s 2nd serves. I hope that Ivan and Luther discuss these stats. In final, Roger will need to serve much better, say 65%, to guarantee a victory. I hope that Roger will give everything on Sunday as he indicated in the on-court interview.
    Allez Roger!!

  4. Yeah, it was really awkard to watch.There were several tense moments in the match.But Federer did’nt let the nerves get better of him and remained solid throughout the 5th set.I felt his level was really low as compared to Nishikori/Berdych match.He was making errors from the backhand side and first serves were a bit low.But still who cares, he made it to the finals.This is why he’s our G.O.A.T.
    I think Nadal is a clear favourite against dimitrov.It will be tough match up if he is to face nadal.It will be 50-50.This is the best chance of #18.Praying he can do it this time .

  5. Very strange match, could only follow scores, with two medical timeouts that were seemingly somewhat tactical. Anyway he got through it and wasn’t a particularly long match. To be honest though if he plays Nadal I don’t think he stands a chance because of the psychological history. If he can somehow put that behind him and win no one would be happier than me but I don’t think it will happen.

    1. I think Stan was deffo injured in his MTO. Fed too tbh but it was more optional – he said it felt the same from game 2 through to set 5 but he just thought why not.

  6. In a way I am glad that Roger came through despite not having a good day. He struggled with his serve and movement throughout. He was pretty flat and I was shocked when he won the 1st set. I certainly thought that he would lose the tiebreaker. When he won the 2nd set, it felt a bit too easy. I kept looking at the stats and Wawrinka was serving at 75% to Roger’s 59% and Roger had a negative Winner/UE ratio and Stan had a positive Winner/UE ratio so the socerline seemed off and wrong. I expected a tough match because of the conditions. Tonight was one the cooler days which slowed the conditions just a bit which gave Stan the upper hand from the ground. So, when Roger lost the 3rd and then got broken in the 4th, I was like “here we go again – another blown lead.”. Then Roger broke back but then got broken again to lose the 4th.

    I felt like he’ll lose at that point. He wasn’t playing his best tennis and it was showing. I am not sure if it was because of Nadal creeping up in his mind or what but he just looked felt and ready to give it away. Wawrinka then had 2 break points in two games in the 5th and if he taken any one of those, he would have won. Luckily, Roger saved them and the even more luckily Stan gave him a Huge Gift break which Roger was glad to accept.

    In a way, I am glad because Roger didn’t play his peak tennis and yet still made it. I have seen too many times now when’s Roger peaks too early – he plays master class tennis in the semis only to lose in the final. So hopefully now, with two days of rest to recharge the batteries and emotional tank and with a weather forecast that finally for once looks to be in the 80s again for the final, it should at least give Roger a decent chance.

    Tonight will be very interesting. I do expect Nadal to win but Dimitrov is not to be underestimated. Roger won the last meeting with Nadal in 2015 Basel Final and Grigor won 6:2 6:4 against Nadal I 2016 in Beijing so this result is there. Grigor will have belief and you never know.

    For now, let’s just hope that Roger recuperates with the two rest days coming up and hopefully if he can produce a Masterclass performance on Sunday, he can beat Nadal. And if it’s Grigor, we’ll find out too.


    1. I think “this” Nadal is much better than any we’ve seen the last few years.

      I wouldn’t give Basel much credit as informative.

      Fedal ’17 is bad news for our buddy.

  7. Great read, and yes weird match but if you look at all their matches, the atmosphere is always odd a and Fed never over celebrates.. agree with some of the comments. He was clearly weary, 6 matches in a row after 6 months out.. stiff, in and out on focus, all yes… BUT he bloody won folks! We are in the final! Still trying to compute that! More errors than winners, and not as pretty but how many times does he peak in SF only to come out flat or tight in the final! Yes it was a cheap break but he took the opportunity and got over the line. Stan was hitting very cleanly in set 4 and beg set 5 so kudos to Rog for keeping the pressure on, digging out those 2 vital holds and making Stan doubt. Also, Fed never gets luck so come on, deserves a little. Hoping the extra day off helps the leg, hoping Nadal and Grigs goes 5 and just supporting Fed on Sunday whatever! Did any of us really think we wld get 2 whole weeks straight off the bat?? So then, enjoy and shout loud!! He is back!! Allez!!

  8. i can’t believe the guy is back in a grand slam finals already…but it’s against Nadal likely, and I sure as hell won’t be watching.

      1. Yea Alb. Likely that could be my plan too. But still – interesting to see how he handles it? I don’t think he will be as disappointed this time if losing, as some times in very past tense. Stan said in his presser – that although of course disappointed of his SF-loss, there’s a lot of positives to take from this match and the whole tournament. For sure we may say same thing sunday, whatever the result?

      1. I will! I just watched some highlights from his fabulous ride through. If hot and well, he can do it. And why shouldn’t he be?

  9. Crazy match. I think both Fed & Stan do not go full out while they play each other. Somewhat like Venus & Serena playing against each other.

    Felt sorry for Stan in the end as it was a fighting comeback. But what the hell, he just won the US Open, so its ok for him to chill a bit.

    Dimitrov looks focused but not very sharp. If he has to beat Rafa, either he has to elevate his game to 150 % or Rafa has to have a real bad day.

    While hoping for both, I, still in the back of my mind wish that Rafa comes to the final and Fed takes him out.

    Will surely make amends for the 2009 AO final.

    1. Yes Murli, but do you believe Fed could do that now? Worry is, that he’s too fatigued. Or maybe it’s some overstressed muscle, also impacting his 2. round match? The chance of recovering may come nicely at hand. We don’t know. Surprise has so far been kind to us this fortnight.

      1. Muser, I surely believe that Fed can beat Nadal this time, if he discards the mental baggage he has. Its a big if no doubt, but he did it at Basel.

        Some may say it may not be relevant, but I feel that from a mental standpoint Fed has to channel the positivity of that win to believe that he can do it.

        Of course like many I too half-wish that he doesn’t have to face Rafa, but if Grigor can take out Rafa he can take out Fed too.

        So there’s no point for wishing for Rafa to lose and then Fed falling flat in the final.

        The goal is 18. It will surely be sweeter if he beats Rafa.

  10. So pleased he has made the final, sounds like it wasn’t vintage Federer but as Vily said above we have so many examples of God-like Federer in the semi finals and then below par in the finals. Hopefully this can be the other way around!

    I hope Dimitrov can beat Nadal, pure and simple that gives Roger his best chance in the final. Or at least push him to 5 sets.

    Even though clinching Number 18 against Nadal would be the sweetest victory ever, add even more prestige and cement his GOAT status beyond recognition I just don’t see him beating Nadal.

    Regardless, let’s hope he can play free, give everything in his body and hold that trophy on Sunday! Come on Roger!!

  11. Well, glad he made the finals , given his 6 month lay-off comeback tournament his journey has been nothinh short of of heroic. I just hope federer is doing fine those two sets looked really flat and maybe it has to do with 6 best of five match load catching up with him.
    Though what I absolutely loved was his spirit to fight jis nerves (which he did mention) and wrestle the 5th set from Stan who was clearly the favourite for me from thereon.
    I read a lot of people mentioning him being lucky , stam a bit clumsy in the 5th game of the final, but it was Federer who took it to stan and put great pressure on him and followed it by might last 3 service games (on a bad serving day) 3 hours into the match.
    Thats a sign a hard fought victory, wasnt as impressive as Wimby ’14,’15 or US open ’15 as everyone mentioned but maybe who knows he might just have one very good match left in him.
    I’ed still put Nadal as the front-runnee should make it or even Grigor for that matter, because based on today Federer might have just played to much tennis in a short span but who cares. My obession with 18th reached peak in ’15 and ’16 and its funny that is dramatically gone down over the years : not that I dont believe in him. But a healthy Federer playing 2-3 would be a bugger prize for me. I wish Federer to stay healthy and come up with some beautiful tennis in the final regardless of the result.
    P.s how do you beat an opponent who not only has a better W/U.E ratio but a sick 70% second serve points won under his belt ? Thats G.O.A.T for you fellas.
    Allez Rog.

  12. Ouch! This was probably Fed’s worst game of the tournament. Stats are close to abysmal. And he still managed to win! I’m glad he has a couple days for break, he will need it. Has to let himself play freely. I think he needs to see a couple of stuff with Ivan and Severin. Should be as much as possibly reposed because if he plays in the finals the way he did today, he will go nowhere.

    Fed should really relax for the finals. He should employ the attitude of nothing-to-lose. Today was maybe not his day, but he needs to overturn the way he played today into the way he played vs Berdych. I think that he peaked too early in the tournament. I’m afraid this can turn out like Wimbledon 2014 and 2015.

    1. I think we can stop all this “peaking too early in the tournament” talk. Fed didn’t peak early in either Wimbledon. He wasn’t mentally strong enough on both occasions combined with Djoker playing good tennis. Fed has been through it all so far in this tournament. The best thing he has going for him which he didn’t in those two slams you mentioned is that he has been tested on serve/has been serving inconsistently. Should prepare him mentally for what’s to come on Sunday, especially if it’s he who shall not be named.

  13. The awkwardly timed MTOs definitely took attention away from the match and even I have to question Fed’s MTO in the beginning of the fifth set. Although Stan wasn’t serving first and did have opportunities to break, so not sure how much of an impact it had except maybe gave Fed a bit of chance to regroup. Can’t believe he’s won two 5 setters now, and both against top 5 opponents, what a tournament.

    Never been a fan of the Fed/Stan matchup. Either Stan goes mental walk about half the time or Fed is getting pummeled by Stan’s firepower. All that matters is that he escaped and can live to fight another day. What to say about the final? The 2009 and 2012 AusOpen Fedal matches still annoy me to my core and I’m not sure I can handle more heartbreak with that rivalry. Dimitrov also playing the best he probably has in his career. Either way, just hope Fed can recover and make one more push to leave it all out on the court.

    I’ll be attending the final this year so hopefully can report back with good news and not flood RLA with my tears (yes that will be happening win or lose).

    1. Oh Alysha, so nice you are there cheering on behalf of all of us. So very much looking forward to your report – whatever the tears will be bitter or sweet.

    2. Wow you’re a very brave girl to watch it live. You’ll be either ecstatic or heart broken, either way witnessing history to be made. Just hopefully it’s 18th not 15th

    3. Please help us to send positive FOCUS, HOLD vibes to Roger this Sunday, hope will be tears of joy and no 18 GS!!! Enjoy your time there

    4. @Alysha yeah true about the Fedrinka matchup, not many great encounters. USO and WTF were both ok but other than that not great.

      And enjoy the final πŸ™‚ try give some on court coaching if you’re close enough.

      1. Talking about on court coaching… Rafa is one of the best tennis players in history, seriously unbeatable, 14 GS and I don’t know what all wins to his name…. STILL the great Uncle Toni coaches him, even on MP and as I saw on Twitter, Rafa even asks his box for advice, in front of the whole world to see….. pathetic much??

        Have a great time Alysha and yes, give him all our positive vibes πŸ™‚

  14. He had many brilliant winners for my sight in first 2 sets, and started well on third. Then Stan took a turn and gave him back his own medicine. Both had flabbergasting shots – at different sets. That he actually won the fifth was a surprise for all, himself included I think. Yes, we don’t expect him to win the slam this time. But we didn’t either expect him to prevail in 3. round vs Berdych. The chance is still there, but never mind. Health is more important than wins. GOAT served – and will serve us all a treat we didn’t dream of, whatever happens sunday.

  15. Hey guys, I am the first one who says that I don’t like mto’s being misused. Especially after Wimby Final 2014, but… I will not go there, don’t worry πŸ™‚ But you have to admit that match (and even before that) did show some players (not all) that if you want to disrupt Roger’s rythem and take away his momentum, you take a mto. Because lets face it, it works against Roger. I wish it didn’t, I wish he wouldn’t let it interrupt him that much, but it does. How many times have we seen that players, who didn’t take a single mto in previous matches, suddenly take it against Roger, who by the way is older and has played almost double the matches they have played.

    I don’t mind Roger taking the mto. Like he said he almost never does it and Stan also took one (after which he won the set 6-1 btw). And to be honest, I was working from home and watching the match (eventhough I should have been working πŸ™‚ ) and the mto might have been tactical, but I do think there was something going on. Roger seemed TO ME very slow in the 5th set. Didn’t run that much, let some balls go and was sometimes late getting to the ball.

    It may not have been a great match, but he is in the Final and honestly, to me THE MOST impressive thing he did was not getting broken in the 5th. We have seen it before, Roger goes to a 5th set, serves first and gets broken. But he didn’t against Nishi and also not today.

    And I really liked how he was honest about the mto. People and especially haters should know that Roger never takes a mto, so there was something going on. And it didn’t help either in the 5th because he got almost broken by Stan and would have lost the match. If it was gamesmenship, then he gave Stan the same medicine πŸ™‚

    Also I hope that he does what he says. No one expected him to come this far, no one expects him to win the Final against Rafa, so he can play freely because he has nothing to lose.

  16. Also has anyone noticed that Jake Garner doesn’t age? What the hell? πŸ™‚ He looks the same for so many years now, ever since he lost that weight I guess.

    And if it is possible, Tony’s daughter cheers more for Roger than Mirka herself πŸ™‚ His two kids are soooooo invested in Roger πŸ™‚

    1. Oh and lastly I forgot to welcome Ivan to the “Roger is the reason you are going to die from a heartattack”-club πŸ™‚ Seriously… if he wasn’t bald already…. πŸ™‚

      And guys…. lets please remember this… the same guys Roger used to play with are either coaches or are commenting his matches while Roger is still playing, kicking ass and making Finals of GS πŸ™‚

      How about that πŸ™‚

  17. I watched the match and is wasn’t exactly a thriller. Stats weren’t great. I hope Nadal wins against Dimitrov , I want Federer to face Nadal head on win or lose. A true battle and should Federer play a great match and come through on Sunday I will be happy. One thing that bothers me is that he shows too much respect for Nadal , he needs to have a bit more killer instinct and wory less about Nadal’s ability and tenacity. I believe that Nadal shows respect to Federer publicly but secretly has much disdain for him and his accomplishment.

    1. Who knows. I think some people love to buy into the idea they are great friends, others like to buy into one they are enemies. I used to think the latter but now I dunno, I imagine they’re just cordial.

      For me Fed has to return Nadal’s serve well. I’ve just looked at 2014 return stats.

  18. How could you remember what happened in the match so well or have the calmness to take memo every key points, Jonathan? A great recap, impressive job! I was typing β€˜FOCUS and HOLD’ on the chat intensively, everything between was blur and just exhausted in the end.

    Who cares Fed was lucky or unlucky, great match or wired match? It’s a part of game. And he WON! He is in the FINAL, can you believe? This is beyond miracle. Just hope he would shut off himself from the expectation, be able to enjoy the occasion and play his magic. Allez!

    1. Haha second nature when I been doing this for quite a while πŸ˜‰

      Yeah, I think people are forgetting making the final is immense, all the focus on Fedal now.

  19. What a weird match but I am happy with final outcome a W. A poor match quality from both players not sure if nerves or injuries. 6-1 schooling in 3rd set is typically of Roger after opponent request for MTO. Had his chances in 4th again brain fart at 4-4. Good thing he played a bit better in the 5th and pressured Stan for ‘DF Gift’. I think his serves has been clutch and got him out of trouble. I cant bear to have Fedal final, dont know why everyone is calling it a dream final. I cant stomach another beat down in hands of Nadull. Please Dimitrov dont you fail me now.

  20. Not the greatest of matches Roger has played. But it is always difficult playing Stan who knows his game well and the pressure of the situation and the thought of Dull in the Finals and at 35+ playing the 6th best of 5 match after a 6 month break… Have to say he did very well making the finals. Most likely Dull is going to be in the finals and most likely going to win it as well. Doesn’t take away the fact that Roger showed everyone once again why he is the greatest and most loved player of all time. Hope the faster court helps Roger to pull off the greatest win no one will ever forget.
    Regardless of the result, I hope Roger stays healthy and keeps playing for ever and ever.

  21. I have a feeling that Grigor can take out Nadal tonight… Watch out! And if he does, he’ll be VERY difficult to beat in the Final..

    1. Hey Vily, Grigor has earned the right not to be called Baby Fed again πŸ™‚ Respect Grigor. Even if he was in the Final… man…. he could have beaten Roger. He keeps getting better and better.

  22. Huge final on the line if Nadal gets through. #15 or #18. The stakes are sky high. Nadal could be one away from Roger by the end of May.

    Have a feeling that Roger and Stan have a complicated relationship. It spills onto the court.

    1. Ah well, share your worry, and still rather not. My hero is my hero regardless of any numbers. But of course I would cry from joy if Fed will win sunday. That he has the chance this time I can only hugely admire.
      And yes – I have also to admire Stan that he publicly took his defeat graciously. He is a cry baby after all, (who isn’t πŸ™‚ ) and yes – complicated to have received so much mentorship and goodwill from the most adored player – and rival…

  23. We as fans are sooooo bad sometimes…. we want Dimi to beat Rafa, only so he can lose in the final to the Goat πŸ™‚


    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. This time yesterday, Roger and Stan had been finished for nearly half an hour – and 5 sets too. Not sure whether that’s good or not.

  24. Rafa-Grigor match is going on… it’s 4-4 in set 4. I am supporting Dimitrov but I want Nadal in the final πŸ˜€ .. complicated… isn’t it? But let me tell you… my instinct does not allow me to support nadal in any of his matches. But as a Fed-fan I want him. I know chances are slim… but to here is a chance to overcome a huge block. If fed cant do that we need to take the blow again and accept it. As fans we should not depend on others to defeat that guy. Some people even wanted Fed to lose against stan to keep his GS record intact!! That’s unfortunate. Go, face beat Rafa if you can. Go Roger!

      1. After more than 5 hours. Sorry for Grigor, but he’ll come back very strong. (Is he good at clay?)

      2. I’ve only been listening to this on the radio, but on the basis of that I really don’t think I can begrudge Nadal the title if he does win it. (Grrrr.)

    1. Yup. I expect him to be back in Sunday in perfect physical condition. This tough match only adding to his belief and confidence. He would definitely have a huge mental edge against federer. Not expecting much from the final now anymore, just enjoy fed playing some epic points and also some miraculous passes by Nadal that would in the end win it for him 4 sets.

      1. The number of chances he squandered in Set 3. He had his teeth deep into at least 3 Nadal service games. A match he lost, not Nadal won.

  25. The Bull is the bullish again.

    He slowly wore down baby Fed with spin, power, speed, and overwhelming endurance. Not pretty at all, but lethal in effect.

    Sound familiar?

    I think he will do what he does. Roger will do what he does. We know the math.

    Yes, these are fast courts, but Nadal proved he can make the final on the fastest courts AO has seen in years or ever according to some. He’s good to go with the speed.

    And Fed was not really impressive yesterday to be honest (relative to him) after set 2. He was wearied by Stan by the 5th – and neither playing at the level I saw in Nadalitrov today.

    Ugh. Ugh.

    1. Thing is he won’t be stopped! Tennis is like MMA. Just see Sid’s comment about doping. 110% right if you ask me. The guy suddenly becomes at a top level out of nowhere??? Can’t be without doping. If I was the chairman of ATP, I will suggest : 1 – Doping test before and after every tournament a player plays.
      2 – Doping test every single month whether a player plays or not.
      3 – Ban players and announce PUBLICLY who were hidden from a failed doping test. Not ban from playing, but 1 – Ban that makes them play without doping 2 – If a warned player still caught doping, 1 year TOTAL BAN.
      4 – Abolish all the slow courts for tennis sake! Hard courts and grass courts should be fast, clay should be slow! Why the fuck do they have to introduce hard courts with clay-like conditions?

      I can still name much more of this stuff… Anyway…

      1. Yes, but Vik, if you’re going to claim “out of nowhere” – Roger comes back from a 6-month break and ends up in the final, quite against everyone’s expectations. That’s pretty “out of nowhere” too. Are we to assume he’s doping?

      2. Dull isn’t doping. He is into cell regeneration and advanced sports science of blood spinning only a few elitist athletes can afford. No way that can be caught or banned

      3. Alison: – Fed has been consistent and everyone thought that he would do the finals in Wimbledon 2016. You should consider that Federer has the capability of beating everyone on tour. Nadal on the other hand, was pretty sub-par before his break and suddenly this year he becomes a monster!

        Federeroholic: – Even that should be illegal! Even if he is not doping, he is surely doing something which is prob illegal. I don’t know for sure. I am just speculating.

      4. Aw Federeroholoc – that’s an interesting message. From where do you have this information? I believe it could very well be true, and is of course to be compared with drugs. It should be published everywhere at least!

      5. [cell regeneration and advanced sports science of blood spinning only a few elitist athletes can afford]

        Actually, the Spanish government is sponsoring it. Nadal isn’t paying a dime out of his pocket. I read about some stem cell treatments being done on his knees. He has always been doing that blood spinning thing. All this is well documented. The Nadal you see isn’t just a normal human being. He is a cyborg. The final on Sunday is Science against an artist. No way Federer wins this. I’d be surprise it if even goes 4 sets.

        The only other “athlete” who comes even remotely close to such treatments that Nadal receives is Djokovic. Well, he ain’t around.

      6. Why do I feel like I am the only one who can associate about all those stuff with Sid??? πŸ˜€

      7. Sure, this is a match of player hyped up by science vs player who wants just to play.

        Nadal will be even more hyped up in the finals. Just watch. This was nothing. He will appear like a monster from nowhere and poor Fed will probably be beaten unfairly.

        Of course Spanish government is sponsoring it! This is all in their interest. Coincidence with all Spanish athletes suddenly dominating sport all over from 2008.

      8. Thanks again Vik, for the link about Rafa’s special treatments. There’s a lot on google about it. – Maybe I’ll in a few hours follow Fed playing lights out still…

    2. Federerholic – do you think Fed knows about this and “advanced sports science” and thats’ part of why he’s where he is at 35?

      Seriously asking.

      Cause – yeah – he’s 35 and absolutely wiped the floor w Berdych and outmuscled and outlasted classy Kei – 9 years younger. …At 35.

      No one’s done this kind of think in 40+ years and it wasn’t nearly as competitive and physical a sport then.

      1. I don’t know. He prob knows it. But at the same time, his physical level hasn’t really really improved from 2016. Yes, he maybe won 5 sets vs Nishikori and seemed fresh as a daisy, but if you look at the Wawrinka match, Fed in the 5th set seemed tired. His game started taking the consequences. He moved slower, his serve wasn’t that sharp and even his baseline play suffered.

      2. But maybe the oldies had not either the information about food, bodywork, mind work etc that is on the table now. Maybe also, they didn’t take as much care of their health. Maybe the common childhood treatment of theirs was dreadful, resulting in earlier breakdowns…the racquets were unhandier etc

      3. Even if Fed had access to such things, I believe his high moral standards would have come in the way of acting on it ( assumption based on how he reacts to MTO’s and sportsmanship)

  26. Hey guys! Long time since I commented. I hope all of Jonathan’s readers aka the world’s greatest fed fans are all well.

    Nadal won. Unfortunate. Nevertheless, we do have a silver lining, at least from a social media perspective. Nobody would bet on Fed against Rafa unless the match was played on a low bouncing indoor fast court like Basel.

    There is a good chance our guy loses against Rafa, but it is better losing to him than Dimitrov. Fed would probably prefer it that way. But Fed is a champion and has the mindset of one. He would do well to take some pointers from Dimitrov on facing Rafa here.

    My only ray of hope here is that the courts are supposedly faster and bouncing lower, the operative word being ‘supposedly’ because organizers have disputed this claim. I am not counting on Rafa’s fatigue resulting from the 5 hour marathon he just played because the last time that happened, he went on to beat Fed in 5 sets in the finals.

    Both in 2012 and 2014 when Fed faced off with Rafa in the semis of the Australian open, I was confident that our man would take it. In 2014 he had handily beaten Tsonga and Murray on the way to that match. He lost in straights without putting up much of a fight. 2012 was actually better. Our guy flattered to deceive for much of the match. It was competitive and for the first 5 or 6 games Fed was making Rafa look like an amateur. He won the first set and went up a break in the second.

    Then the fireworks started (Australia day) I think and the match was stopped for 10 minutes or so. Fed lost the momentum and lost that set 6-2 if I am correct. That is eerily reminiscent of the semis against Stan when the MTO cost Roger the momentum and he lost the set 6-1.

    Nothing against Rafa, who is an extraordinary player and the likely favorite of all the bookies for the final, but he is a well known abuser of the MTO system and frequently averages 30+ seconds per serve when the ITF requirement is 20 seconds or so. In all probability, if Fed builds some momentum, Rafa will use these strategies to the maximum effect.

    It is up to Fed to not give in to his doubts. If there are MTO breaks, he should not go off the boil post the break. If psuedo/baby/impersonator fed aka Dimitrov can take Nadal to 5 sets with his not as good imitation of Fed’s game, it means Fed is capable of taking Rafa out!

    I don’t want to make predictions in our guy’s favor. He often falls at the finish line. I am not confident. But I remain ever hopeful that he will do it.

    1. Sorry for the words, but Rafa is a doper and rule breaking bitch.
      30+ seconds for serve??? Punish every time! How come he gets away with it every single time? ATP? Are the rules even implemented? Rafa abuses MTO? Punish, punish and punish!

      Fed should really analyse that match, and if Grigor loses to Rafa in 5, I think Fed could win if he takes on account what positives Grigor did today adding with the weapons he has in his game.

    2. “but it is better losing to him than Dimitrov”

      Disagree. If Fed is going to lose, better lose to Dimitrov than to Nadal. If Rafa were to win on Sunday, he would have the double career grand slam which I don’t think too many Fed fans would want to see. Anyway, things are too eerily similar to 2009, which does not bode well. Hope this time around, history will not repeat itself.

    3. I think he definitely needs pulling up on the time between serves. That and on court coaching which happened today again.

      Like I said doping talking is old hat, nobody has anything new to bring to the table in terms of specifics or evidence. so basically FAKE NEWS.

  27. Sigh! πŸ™ Federer Vs Nadal it is then.
    I have been too emotionally scarred by their previous matches. I don’t think Federer stands a chance.
    Hopefully he continues to play aggressively for the rest of the year – like he did in rounds 3,4 and QF.

    1. That being said, I’ve come to accept and recognise that Nadal is an incredible tennis player. Resolved that I won’t begrudge him the title when he wins it.

    2. Fed himself said he was scarred. Maybe the Swiss mountains helped erase it. I heard Ketamine can be used to remove memories. Is it on the banned substances list?

  28. I don’t know how useful the doping stuff is.

    We just don’t really know about doping, so what’s the utility?

    Maybe or maybe not? But who REALLY knows?.

    It just adds another nasty element of
    either the pain of elusive justice or seemingly invites a “sour grapes” spirit.

    You could ask – If Nadal is doping – why has he lost so much for the last few years? Why doesn’t his recovery last anymore? It could be doping – or it could be : he’s an unreal physical talent and getting old like Fed.

    And you could ask : Why is Fed – at 35 – in a slam final after 6 months off…and he doesn’t dope? Handing 5 set loses out like candy to top 10 players many years younger… At 35?

    Maybe Fed dopes?? Who knows?

    From my perspective : Better to leave it to hard evidence and not add to the torture on Sunday.

    1. It is all hidden! Do you think they would announce publicly like that? That would be heartbreaking. Kudos to Sharapova for being so brave. You know why the doping is evident, Alb? Look at Rafa before his exit : he was really sub-par right? Look at now : Holy crap!!! This is a drastic change in physical level. It is impossible without doping to recover at a such level that it resembles at your peak! Doesn’t sound right huh? Look at Fed before his exit : Being competitive and reaching SF to both slams! Look at Fed now : Still competitive!
      Difference is Fed may have reposed himself, but his physical level hasn’t really really improved. He is a tad better than he was in 2016, but that is completely normal after 6 months! Fed ain’t showing a great physical level. He shows something which is normal at 35. Yes maybe he can run like at 28, but his stamina level ain’t that good. He can however easily tire himself. In the 5th set vs Wawrinka, he was getting tired. Rafa??? He could maybe play a tennis match of 10 h and still be ok!

      1. OK. Maybe I don’t know Rafa’s game enough and the highs and lows you’re talking about.

        But somehow Sharapova – the most marketable female athlete – got publicly crushed and shamed. So it can happen right?

        But I will I do think study Rafa’s game so maybe I’m just blind to what it right there.

        Just bummed if it’s true – that Fed gets hosed this way.

      2. Sharapova got publicly shamed because *she* announced it. I can’t help wondering what would have happened if she hadn’t.

      3. Alison – thanks. I didn’t know that re: Sharapova. That makes more sense of Vik’s comments.

    2. We’ve only had the doping debate about 8 billion times, all speculation. We know Spanish doctors are dodgy, does it translate into their tennis players? Too tough to say. But it’s always good to bring it up if Fed loses so save it for now in case it’s not a good Sunday πŸ˜€

      1. Hey Jon, you are right. Too many discussions about doping. We all have our own opinion about it, each one of us.

        I have just these two opinions:
        1) Rafa does doping. Period. Too bad it can’t be proved. All we have to wait for is Oprah’s couch and Rafa on it (like Armstrong) πŸ™‚
        2) I don’t know if Roger is doping, I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that I know Roger doesn’t do doping. But if he does…. then someone should give him a soft slap in the face and tell him that he is doing a lousy job of correct using the doping πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. I didn’t watch it. Was on during working hours and Fed matches already kill productivity πŸ™‚ I saw some bits, including the last game, I thought Dimitrov played well, if he can find patterns of play to win service games a bit easier, I like his chances at a slam.

  29. I have a question. It has nothing to do with either semifinal match. It is a general observation based on a trend I have seen over the last 5 or 6 years.

    When, Murray/Djokovic/Nadal are taken to 5 sets in a slam or 3 sets in a non-slam match, the pundits, commentators and trolls laud their fighting spirit, grit, mental stamina, physical prowess, blah blah blah blah blah.

    But, when Fed is taken to 5 sets in a slam or 3 sets in a non-slam match, the very same pundits, commentators and trolls basically dismiss Fed saying that he played poorly, the opponent dictated for much of the match, the opponent choked it away in the final set blah blah blah blah blah.

    My question- Why the double standards? Is it because Fed has set the bar so high that anything short of a straight set shut out is considered a poor performance?

      1. Roger seemed tired in the 5th set… he seemed like he didn’t want to run balls down… I really hadn’t seen that from him before, not even when he was Roger 2014/2015. To me, it seemed like not having played 6 months in competition and playing “so many” matches after a long time got to him and his body…. I don’t know…

      2. Could be adductor hampering. Not something a MTO can heal. Yes, I’ve seen him before, not moving actually. Stiff back, whatever.

  30. I watched this match from the 2nd set onwards. Dimitrov showed a lot of courage in the end. I respect him a lot after that gutsy effort. He saved, I think, 2 match points with Nadal serving. In Nadal’s previous service game, he had 15-40 and was poised to serve for the match. THen as usual Nadal played incredibly aggressively and won 5 points in a row.

    What can you say? Nadal defended , defended and induced the error eventually, or waited patiently for the short ball to attack.

    Dimitrov’s backhand was excellent – not Stan’s level, but I think more solid than Federer, more flat too I think. He was still hitting those shoulder high loopy shots by the end.

    I would say that: (1) Dimitrov is fitter than Federer, and younger; (2) more solid backhand, though probably less variety (3) worse volleyer than Federer (4) arguably hits a flatter, harder forehand at this stage.

    Conclusion : a 25 year old Federer would dismiss this Nadal in 3-4 sets. A 35 one? well I will grit my teeth and watch it but I have seen this before.

    I’m interested if anyone had thoughts on the 2014 AO meeting and what Federer could do this time. The one small advantage is that he has 2 days of rest this time between matches; the bad part is that h’s 3 years older…

    1. Yeah Dimitrov is fitter and faster for sure. But not as skilled as Federer, doesn’t take it as early and I don’t think the FH is as good. BH drive is better though.

      1. I thought I found Grigor’s BH a bit sub his level. Fed has better forehand, better serve and better volleys.

  31. 2007 – Fed beats Rafa in Final
    2017 – Fed will beat Rafa in a Final
    and will take a 5 month break.
    Chill guys

  32. I’m sorry I don’t believe in numbers like that. The maybe good thing is Roger is not favorite this time. Or is he? In polls he has a great majority. I believe this is wish-thinking, AND I believe in impact from this!

      1. It is strange so much worry, and frightened unhappiness showing. Our hero won much more than expected, and so this seems already to be forgotten, – well it won’t destruct the world whatever happens sunday, like the US election has much greater chance to do in a little longer run.

  33. AO 2009: Nadal beats Federer in 5

    AO 2012: Nadal beats Federer in 4

    AO 2014: Nadal beats Federer in 3

    AO 2017: ????

  34. Well here you go, the panic is setting in us again!!! Kudos to Rafa and Dimitrov for the incredible match, I predicted Dimitrov to win , he didnt but that doesnt take away anything that he achieved this tournament, Grigor will be a Grandslam champion soon if he keeps playing this tough and believing in himself.
    Rafa looks his defensive best again and they ll be no surprise that he would keep going to the Federer backhand a zillion times waiting for the shortball to come his way.

    But wait a second…??

    Before we analyse this final and see what golden crowns are on the line , we have to respect Rafa resilience and Spirit after failing for 2 and a half seasons completely (I dont know much about the doping thing but I dont believe we have something concrete either, people might differ but I dont wanna comment about it honestly).
    Coming back to Federer’s Australian Open campaign , its been nothing short of a dream, as him making the finals this early in his comeback, if someone would have told me 2 weeks ago I wouldnt laugh at it as many of lets face didnt see it coming , so a tremendous effort from our man. We have been delighted to see him dancing back on court.

    Coming back to his chances , well federer played incredible semifinals almost blowing away his opponents in his last 3 runner-up campaigns at slams (I believe all in straight sets) only to fluke in finals against a mighty serbian in full flow.

    Well this one strangely didnt have a vintage semifinal performance but rather a 5-set-wrestle-to-the-final where federer clearly showed signs of maybe fatigue, lack of match play due to the lomg lay off, you name it.

    The reason why I am comparing these two is simply because Federer is not even at his late ’14-’15 level and yes we dont have novak but its someone who has provided him with the biggest challenge in his career undoubtedly. So Rafa goes clear favourite to win the finals but are we really expecting Federer to fall prey to nerved this time? Not completely in my opinion, the guy is 35, has wont a slam in 5 years , is ranked #14 below Rafa hence a clear underdog.

    Those losses against Djoko was disappointing since I really felt federer had a chance to maybe notch uo 2 more slams but he didnt falling to the expectations and bleeding unforced errors or play a way below par tennis than he did in his previous matches, which clearly isnt the case this time around, losses against Rafa have hurt me like any other Federer fan but we’re in different times, I cant talk for everyone but I am not getting those pre-final jitters anymore – simply because – I dont expect him to win!
    Yes losses hurt , but the bottom line is that for me I am more happy to see Federer flowing oncourt challenging for titles , the GOAT discussion is irrelevant to me, I dont have to convince anyone how good my hero is! He is tennis for most of us atleast (the last 6 months of his layoff did gave us a preamble of his retirement and I tell u what I watched maybe 10 matches the entire period.
    I dont think he ll respond like he did in ’09 if that were the case – he simply come too far today and he knows that.
    But that doesnt mean he would prepare for his runner up speech and become philosophical about it.
    Federer is the underdog, he hasnt been in a lot of non-clay court slam matches , thats one thing.

    I would like to see Federer take it to Nadal and make him earn his victory the hard way – no that I am saying he doesnt do that – people talk about Federer and his backhand that he should protect against Nadal, I dont think so. Soemthings that I am sure he s already working on hopefully would be .
    1. Protecting his forehand : yes too many errors in slam finals lately and his forehand has to come to the party.
    2. Using the slice effectively : I believe ut can be done if used aggressive plus his fkat backhands would need a breather too to not risk many errors.
    3. Protect his second serve win%, that would be crucial.
    4. Serve + 1 shot : that is a mighty to key for federer to win 3 sets from his opponent.
    5. Trust him gameplan.

    Its seems a very quick court and conditions expected in sunday are all in federers favour to give it a shot.
    All an all put aside the key components , Federer’s attitude to challenge Nadal rather think about his crown being chased would be the ideal to goabout it and just play tennis not the occasion, then he has chance to notch another slam.

    P.s if he cant beat nadal in these conditions it might further hamper his confidence but whats there to lose? Its his first competitive tournament and we had blast in these 2 weeks. If he loses, well that doesnt hurt as much as it use to, because watching Roger is a previlege in itself.
    #No complains. Allez Roger! I am gonna support you as an underdog too :”)

    1. Very good comment! I agree with you in almost everything except the expectation that a bad semifinal performance may be an indicator of a good final. As you wrote, Fed’s mindset should be: “I know you are favourite, but here I am to make it tough for you. Earn it if you can…”

  35. Please stop, you all! Stop now, will you?!
    I can’t stand these whatifs; I won’t withstand another disappointment and can’t bear being absolutely powerless to stop the evil from rising.
    Damn, fuck this! And that and whatnot.

    Goddam the sun
    Goddam the light it shines
    And the world it shows.

  36. The bummer for Fed is Nadal just had a 5 hour practice session with a very similar player (Dimi).

    Fed is well aware of the mental side of this match.

    Fed is 5 years older and doesn’t have the stamina of Nadal.

    Wonder who the group will be cheering for, both?

    I don’t have the stomach to watch live (middle of the night anyway).

    Fingers crossed. What a ride this will be.

    1. Exactly.

      I am so dismayed. As I said days ago, it was best if the Spainard did not show up here. Roger has been sucha mess in the finals since 2014. Its never ending.

      I dont know what morpe to say.

  37. “Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
    (“Ulysses” – Lord Tennyson)

    Please, please, please, Roger. Don’t lose to your own demons.

      1. “Triumph” and “disaster” being two imposters we need to treat as being the same? That needs an equanimity that I am far from feeling right now. Right now it’s mostly dread, except for that tiny shoot of hope that refuses to be stamped down.

  38. Guys, I know you don’t like to hear this, but Federer is going to get his ass handed to him. My score prediction:

    Nadal bt Federer 6-3 7-5 6-4

    1. I am sorry I was misunderstood guys ! I have been supporting Rog since his 9-7 fifth set loss to Safin in the AO’05 πŸ™‚

      I am just trying to find a way to vent the sickening feeling in my stomach ever since Nadal took out Dimitrov in the semi πŸ™

  39. Based on past performance in best of 5 sets, Nadal’s team will be laughing. Of course publicly they will say ‘they just hope to play their best’ and ‘Roger is the greatest of all time’ and the rest of the usual routine.

    It will be a great mental exercise for us to remove expectations. Forget it – honestly Fed’s chance for the 18th slam was best in 2014 Wimbledon and he nearly did it. Or if the 2015 Wimbledon semifinal version of Federer showed up in the 2015 final.

    My hope: Federer can take a set . Even the 2014 match, the first set was a tiebreaker. Obviously a high percentage , low risk style favours Nadal in teibreakers unless it’s a faster court where one can get quick points (e.g. US Open or Wimbledon). I think the 1st set will be very nervy, Federer will be fresh, and he has to take it. I want Federer to win badly, but objectively I predict 6-7 6 4 7 5 6 2 for Nadal.

      1. The thing is, as you said above, Fed is a better server, volleyer, and even forehand (if it’s clicking) is better than Dimitriov even at age 35. So if Dimitrov can take Nadal to 5, then surely Federer has a chance.

        That’s the problem though, we all know he has a chance, which is why it’s worse if loses…

      2. How can you say so, Ajruna? At least we’ll have excitement with the tennis GIANTS, maybe thrill, alright, thrill for sure, maybe pain in heart/stomach, but we WILL see MAESTRO’s brilliance and braveness – and maybe even fun, as the relationship between them seems to be ok. He’s challenged, but this he likes. He may lose, this, he – and we – don’t like. But he’s there – win/lose, that’s the nerve and life in tennis. So COME ON – be inspired by this brave man. More important even to risk bravely than to win – isn’t it?
        I predict (I never do that, but just this time, for fun) Fed to win i 4 sets.

  40. I am now so anxious and have a bad feeling about the finals… It is still sooo vivid in my memory Roger sobbing when he lost to Nadal in the AO finals. I can’t bear to see it happen again. I feel sick to my stomach and i don’t think i will be able to watch I will be ecstatic if Roger wins but i don’t feel it happening. i am now so sad…..

    1. Just try enjoy the show πŸ™‚ I’ve seen too many Fedal matches be dreading it. There hasn’t been a draw in one of them yet so I either leave over the moon or disappointed.

  41. I will take the risk of saying Fed will win : 6-3 5-7 6-4 6-3
    Fed needs a couple of things to win : Be aggressive but patient with backhand
    Try to hit as much to the backhand of Rafa as possible
    Have clutch serve, too important to not miss
    Try to volley as much as possible
    Try to not get into long rallies
    Increase serve rates
    Have a mindset that he is there to win
    Maybe you will find me crazy, but Fed should use SABR
    If Rafa uses MTO, Fed should use MTO also
    Attack Rafa’s second serve!!!

    I think whoever wins it would be a tight match. No such thing as a demolition match.

    1. Maybe Fed should try that dark green shirt (missing in action so far)? Dull and Tony expect white “zebra” outfit.

      1. Fed should get a shirt with 3D effects. Rafa without his 3D glasses will struggle to perform and will get beaten very quickly.. xD

    2. Hey I know maybe it can seem impossible to you, but at least have that little believe in yourself! Even if it’s only 1%.

  42. Come on Rog, no need to worry about the proper strategy, it’s simple as pie man. Remind the Spaniard of who’s got the most fearsome and devastating forehand in the history of tennis. Relentlessly attack his backhand and back it up with some of your finest volleys near the net. Nadal’s game no matter how impressive it is, still remains predictable concerning the sides he uses to attack Federer, our guy just has to anticipate the ball a bit better than usual. He shouldn’t just stay in the middle waiting to get crushed on his backhand side once again. My prediction is, first guy who wins the first two sets – either 2-0 or 2-1 – wins the match. And this time it’s Roger Federer guys.










      (placing himself in to a corner, hiding himself under a blanket, too much to handle)

  44. it’s a weird feeling. Also when it comes to Nadal vs Federer in Slams, especially the last few meetings, I always felt optimistic going in. The FO 2011 Final I felt great because of Roger’s epic win in the semis vs. the Djoker. Then in 2012 AO and then in 2014 AO, I felt the same. Roger had just beaten Del Potro and Murray, respectively in convincing fashion and I was “fooled” into thinking that he can actually do it.

    This year I feel deflated and dejected. Not only did Rogercjust barely squeak into the final but then I had to witness the 25 year old version of him (Ok, It’s Grigor but still) get beaten in 5 tough sets today. The level was so high and intense that I can’t see Roger at all lasting that long. So, I feel even more depressed.

    Now, stranger things have happened. In a way, I always felt optimistic and excited before each of the last 3 GS Finals with Novak only to lose them all. I am not sure if feeling dejected will actually bring on the opposite result but I just can’t see Roger winning:

    He does have that adductor issue which hopefully will be OK with the extra day rest but who knows. Nadal will have one less day and he played 5 hours but I only “HOPE” that it will be an issue. Most likely, it won’t be. But who knows.

    And finally all this talk with this being a faster court – I am not sure how fast it stays once the night sets in and cooler conditions slow it down.

    Roger must serve lights out. I am even contemplating but even watching the first hour or so and just checking the score. If Roger wins the first set, there is a chance. If he loses it, it’s over so why bother continuing?!

    Anyway, that’s how I feel tonight. Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow.

  45. Everybody just calm down. I’m sad too. Very sad. And here’s what I’ve got to say. In the early morning on this Sunday, I will be overcome with unhappiness not because Roger will have lost another slam find. but because he will have lost to the least deserving person on the planet, and inarguably the most unsporting player in the history of this beautiful sport, given the number of slams he has won.

    I’ve seen Roger work hard and climb his way back to the final. And I’ve seen Nadal go through doping, blood spinning, stem cell induced growth, and several other illegal and unethical things. I will not be watching the final. I’m not even sure if I will take a peek at the scores. Perhaps Jonathan can do me a favor and email me the good news, if that were to transpire.

    Having said that, the inevitable Roger loss would mean I will stop following professional tennis forever. I’m not discouraging the readers here but I have no desire to spend time on a sport that is in under heavy drug influence and ruined by just another asshole born to a Spanish whore. So, that’s it for me. After Sunday, you might never see me again here.

    As for how you will deal with it? I don’t know. Enjoy the injustice if you can this Sunday. If you can’t, don’t watch it unfold.

    Having said all that, I’ll tell you this. Roger’s only hope of winning the final is to win the first set. If he wins, it will be in four. If not, I will follow professional tennis no more.

    1. When RF retires, I will prob watch tennis no more. Only cure for me is that I play tennis from a long time, and will still do, no matter what…

    2. For me it would be sad to lose you, Sid. You seem to be a great guy and you are quite unique in this blog… Just don’t quit please, so I won’t be alone to swear about all those dope cheats. πŸ˜€

    3. I’m not optimistic either. I’ll go with Rafa in four sets, 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-3. I think that Roger will start to swing freely towards the end of the second set, and then into the 3rd, but too little too late. I just hope that he will go down playing aggressive Federer style tennis, not playing dozens of these rallies:

      A neutral rally, then Nadal smashes a forehand into Federer’s backhand. Roger hits a good topspin backhand crosscourt. Nadal hits the next shot crosscourt again, and this time Federer’s topspin backhand is more central. Nadal goes to the backhand again, and this time Federer can only slice it back. Nadal hits one more shot to Federer’s backhand, and Federer’s only response is a high floating slice. Federer is now miles off the court on his backhand side, and Nadal simply guides a forehand or a volley into the open court on Federer’s forehand.

      The amount of rallies that play out like that in Fedal matches is amazing. You just have this sense of inevitability watching it. Federer’s returns get weaker and weaker, and Nadal then hits a winner. If Nadal is able to fully recover from the match with Dimitrov, I think it’s very unlikely that Federer will win. Even if Nadal is a little below his best, he still has to play great to win even against below par Nadal. He needs a high first serve percentage, great approach shots and volleys, a consistent backhand and most importantly to make Nadal pay on break points for once. If he does get the odd opportunity, it has to be ruthlessly exploited. Taking all factors into consideration, I’d say Roger has about a 10-15% chance. I have no idea why the betting odds have Nadal as only the slightest of favourites, between 55-45 and 60-40. I have no hopes, no expectations. I just hope that neither of the following happen:

      Roger loses terribly, like the 2008 RG final, as that would just be completely demoralising.

      Roger loses another epic five-setter to Nadal, as that would just be awful to watch him let another opportunity pass by.

      So to be honest, my score prediction is also kind of a hope as well. Obviously I want Roger to win, but if he has to lose, losing a straightforward first set and then splitting two close sets before losing in four would be neither humiliating nor have too much of a sense of wasted opportunity. I’ve rarely been as pessimistic about Roger’s chances in any match as this one. I’d be so happy for him to walk on court and defy not only his age but also his terrible history against Nadal, but it just seems like it’s going to be nearly impossible. I once heard a really apt analogy for the Federer Nadal rivalry. In this analogy, Federer is an expert martial artist, and Nadal is a random guy with a gun. Quite a lot of the time, the bullet hits the martial artist immediately. Other times, he misses a lot of times but still nails the target in the end. Very occasionally, the gun jams, giving the martial artist a chance. If we do a comparison of their games at the moment we get something like the following (based on current form, not at their respective peaks):
      Forehand: advantage Nadal
      Backhand: slight advantage Nadal
      Serve: advantage Federer
      Return: huge advantage Nadal
      Volley: advantage Federer
      Specialty shots: advantage Federer
      Speed: huge advantage Nadal
      Stamina: advantage Nadal
      Mental Strength: advantage Nadal
      The only two main areas where Roger can really impose his game are the serve and the volley. Nadal’s brilliant passing shots mostly nullify that possibility, and it doesn’t matter how well he serves if he can’t break Nadal, because he’s not going to outclutch Rafa in tiebreaks. I have no idea how anyone can look at this match and think Roger has a good chance.

      For Sid:

      I tend to agree with you that Nadal’s ability to recover seems suspicious at times. I’m not sure whether he dopes or not, but I can see where the suspicions come from, and there is certainly a lot of circumstantial evidence. As for the final on Sunday, I’ll be watching on a live stream if I can find one, or perhaps listening to Radio 5 Live (UK radio) or maybe just checking live scores. At least I won’t be disappointed if he loses. I’ve already been through that already. In my mind Roger has already lost the match, and I’ve had chance to get over it. I have seen this script too many times to have a real belief it can be changed. It doesn’t matter how well Roger plays, Nadal always plays his best tennis against him regardless of the circumstances, and Roger just seems to wilt against him, and look really unsure of himself and lacking in confidence in his shots. As you may know Sid if you play tennis, the moment your confidence starts to dip it immediately affects your shots, as the two are linked. If you don’t believe you can make the shot, you probably won’t. Even if you do believe it that’s not a guarantee, but at least you are mentally in the right place.

      With all the caveats above, nonetheless:
      If you can Roger, send the Spanish bull back to Mallorca to rue the day he won the semifinal against Dimitrov!

      1. I am not too positive either. I have that little 15% hope in me, but I know it can easily fade.

      2. Charlie – this is brilliant.

        Worthy of a guest post.

        I will read this again whenever unfounded dreams tempt me to anxiety.

        This is almost undoubtedly the outcome.

        This – both of them quoted from AO ’14 post semi Fed loss – is how they both probable feel right now :

        “It’s totally different playing Rafa over anybody else,” he said. β€œPlaying Murray or Rafa is day and night. It’s not because of the level necessarily. It’s just that every point is played in a completely different fashion and I have to totally change my game. That’s not an excuse. It’s just a fact.”

        Federer, who was playing in his 11th successive Australian Open semi-final, held on in the first set, saving three break points, but was outplayed in the tie-break, which he lost 7-4. Nadal, who called for a trainer early in the second set for treatment to a nasty blister on his left hand, increased the pressure on Federer’s serve in the next two sets. By the end he had forced 14 break points, converting four of them.

        The Spaniard made the one break of the second set in the sixth game and broke again early in the third, but dropped his own serve in the next game. It was only delaying the inevitable. Nadal broke again to go 4-3 up and for good measure made his fourth break of the match to close out victory.

        β€œI played well tonight, probably my best match of the tournament,” Nadal said. β€œI’ve played against Roger a lot of times and a lot of times I’ve played great against him. That’s probably why I had this success against him, but you never know when that will end. I’m just happy that I was able to beat him again.”

    4. Sid, I’ve been more of a lurker these past few years and I can honestly say you are one of my favorite commenters. If I don’t see you on this blog anymore, I just want to say it’s been a nice ride.

  46. Just reflecting on Sid being sad. I think I have became a bit too unfeeling when Fed loses. Before, I was emotional when Fed loses a final. Now, when I see him lose, I have no emotion. I know that he is one of the greatest players of all time, and that he doesn’t deserve to lose to cheats, or scandalous players. For example, everyone was scared of US Open 2015, Wimbledon 2014 and 2015 because Fed would meet Djoker, and he will lose. I sat on the couch and watched the whole match, without any emotion, knowing he would prob lose in sort of an unfair way. Watching the match without any emotion wasn’t without pain. Part of me wondered why I watched without emotion, and the other part was just watching the match knowing that Fed is just a gifted player who can do nothing versus untalented, cheating players. For me, it’s just another long hours of watching Fedal, and see Fed lose to an unfair player. Yet, I feel no emotions. I feel like Fed does everything he can. Before, I remember my heart beating 1 million times faster just seeing Fed play. Now? No. Because I realise tennis is becoming an hidden sport with unfair things.

    1. Yeah I’m pretty resigned to this defeat. As far as I’m concerned, as I said in my post above (not that I expect anyone to bother to read it, I went ridiculously overboard on the length), the loss already happened. The moment Dimitrov missed those two break points and Nadal held, it was virtually over. I unfortunately had to stop following the scores after the two break points when Nadal got back to deuce. But when I checked the score afterwards, there was no doubt in my mind that Nadal would have won. I’m curious to hear from any of the people on here who are more optimistic about Roger’s chances why they think that this time will be any different than any of their other slam meetings in the last nine years.

      1. I don’t know. Many of the optimists are either Rafa fans, either trolls or people who know nothing about tennis. Hard to spot optimistic fans for this match here in this blog.

    2. “Fed is just a gifted player who can’t do nothing versus untalented cheating players”

      I feel exactly the same. And nothing you can do about it. No justice in this world whatsoever

  47. Hahaha will you look at that?
    Fed vs Berdych : Fed won in 3
    Fed vs Nishikori : Fed won in 5
    Fed vs Zverev : Fed won in 3
    Fed vs Wawrinka : Fed won in 5
    Fed vs Nadal : If you know what I mean….


  48. Isn’t it funny?!

    Watching my boy (and he played great – so no shame there) Grigor lose today – don’t you guys feel like as if Roger lost today. So basically it’s up to Nadal to go out there and do it again against the Real Roger and this time – just do it for 4 sets (since we doubt that Roger can even push it to 5). So basically it’s as if we already know the end result and we are waiting for it to materialize.

    The good news is that life and sports are unpredictable and just because something is supppsed to happen, it doesn’t always play out that way.

    So, yeah, the first set is key. I agree. Even more important, can Roger please have one of those VINTAGE 69% 1st Serve 30 Aces Days, please?! That’s all I ask. The serve has always gotten you out of trouble. So if you have a great serving day, you’ll have a great chance to win.

    Rallies, etc. i don’t care. As long as you serve lights out, everything will fall into place. It’s been a while. So since Roger had a below par performance in the semis and Nadal has a great performance today, can Roger come out with a lights out serving and then let’s see what happens. I know it’s not up to me but that’s what it will take. Only great serving performance can allow Roger to have a sniff at the victory. Nothing less will suffice.

    And the Tennis Gods have decided that Roger will have to climb Mount Everest if he is to win his 18th. Odds are against him. But sports is sports. You never know!

    1. Instead of the gloom and doom mood that most of us are feeling right now, may be we should emit positive vibe to Roger tomorrow may be it will help Roger to play lights out tennis! Coz that’s the only way he can beat Nadal anything less will be a sure loss! Aaaargh!

  49. REMEBER THOSE MOVIES where the nuclear bomb is on its way and everyone in the city knows it, and they’re all doomed, but they can’t do anything about it –

    … so they’re like: “let’s all cry and hug” and stuff?

    That’s what we’re like now.


    Except Sid!. Sid is like : “I’m going up to those mountains. See you on the other side!!!”

    And somehow – end credit scene : Sid survives.

    But we all got Bombdull’d.


    Take every ATP player’s last 5 various grand slam tournament appearances: Who has won the most matches?

    Roger Federer, 35.

  51. Vik seems to be the only guy left on this thread with optimism.

    I am not sure what to do. On one hand, accepting a potential loss before it happened would possibly the loss easier but then again a part of me dares to dream because hey – everyone assumes that it’s over but you never.

    All I know is that if Roger can’t jump on top of Nadal and take the first set and rather easily, it’s all over. If he can’t use the relatively fast conditions and weariness of Nadal’s legs early in the match, then it’s all his fault. He’s got to jump in front, hold on and then let’s see. But if he plays tight, or allows to be broken in a pathetic fashion early, then he can’t complain.

    Plus, I still can’t understand why is it that on indoor hard courts he can serve great and not necessarily the same way on outdoor hard courts. All he needs is just a 65-69% lights out serving day. Clearly, his second serve will be exploited so he just must have a great serving day. I hope he does because if he diesn’t it’s over. So many things have to go his way.

    Sometimes, he needs to have all that and then have Nadal misses couple of returns to get his mojo going. Depending of if and by how much mental energy expanded he wins the first, it could happen. Otherwise, might as well pack the bags and just fast forward to the end. It sucks, when you know while the match is still playing though. That’s one of the worst feelings. Knowing that it’s on its way and it’s just a matter of time.

    Yet at the same time I still ask myself why is it that Roger can beat Nadal with consistency and somewhat relative ease on indoor hard courts and not be able to reproduce it on outdoor hard courts. It’s not like it’s terribly breezy or that much different, really.

    I think that a lot of it is just mental. So, I am not sure if Roger recalls all these bad experiences and that’s what messes him up or who knows. God, I wish he has that 2 sets to love lead somehow and then have 3 sets to somehow win 1 more set. I feel as if that would be a hard task as it is, and he hasn’t even won a set yet. Anyway, good night everyone and let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Oh, Vily! I am not optimistic about this match either!!! Although, I still have this 15% hope in me.
      Thing is that Fed can beat Rafa, problem is will he mentally block???

    2. Vily, I know that indoor courts are really fast. They have low-bouncing, fast balls and conditions that Rafa struggles. Exterior courts aren’t that fast and the balls bounce a bit higher and slower.

  52. At 3-4 15-40 I finally thought this time everything is going roger’s way.Murray out and now nadal on the verge of exiting the tournament and then suddenly nadal held his serve and broke dimitrov.Nothing new for nadal,he always does that.
    For a player like Federer,who is now 35,in order to win a grandslam everything needs to go his way like the draw ,fitness etc,somehow the chances of going everything his way are too small and eventually he loses.
    I saw the dimitrov -nadal match,every shot on dimitrov’s backhand,so frustrating to watch,he ran down everything and kept on running .
    Honestly ,I have no hopes for Federer ,I have never been this pessimistic before a match but seeing nadal play grigor ,he will surely beat federer.
    The first set is the key,somehow if he wrestles out that first set then Fed does have a little chance otherwise it would be so painful to watch.
    Another thing was nadal was way beyond the baseline while returning and he was returning way above the net,federer volleying much more ,is it good,?

    Another statistic I remember from their previous encounter in basel was that Fed used topspin backhand a lot while returning which gave Fed the upper hand in rallies.

    I am so dissapointed and pessimistic but if Fed can bagel nadal on slow courts of World tour finals then he can surely put up a fight here.

    All I want federer to know is that he has defeated nadal 11 times and if he had done it 11 times he can surely do it one more time.

    First set is the key,please roger play in god mode,please.

    Come on roger.

  53. In awe of all your comments and analogies and the depth of thought you are putting into this, I share your pain but is it not almost the time , as in a match where, we start to swing easy and just go for it and see what transpires? Fed says he has nothing to lose and maybe we should try to adopt his way of coping to get through all this pre match anxiety!

    Fed is healthy, he is back on court and again in a Final and he has shown some amazing fight, skill and movement. He is just unlucky Rafa has returned and acts like he has been trained for UFC rather than Tennis. Fedal is something I would prefer to see just bringing us the Laver Cup, but at least we are free of another Novandy final!

    I will be optimistic and support Fed until his career is over and hopefully on Sunday enjoying still, the most beautiful player peRForming at a high level in his maturity in a way that uplifts the spirit, no matter the outcome. RF is still delivering far more than we and he could have dreamed of? Doesn’t he always say you guys obsess about it, I play it?

    Go Fed …IF you can channel Kiplings poem of course there is a chance !

  54. I’m just worried about the adductor thing, which hampers. Otherwise I’m sure artist MAESTRO will gift us with a brave and brilliant match vs …well a stem cells upheld bunch of muscles on fire.


    And guys – this is not the last GS RF will do (win/lose)

  55. I found this article and it put me in a better and more positive mindset. I hope it does the same for you guys. The legends of the game are rooting for Roger. ?

    Now, this is how I see it:

    Roger will come out of the blocks strong and bold with aggressive mindset. Nadal KNOWS this and he’ll try his very best to break Roger early in order to try to kill off that “fragile” belief in Roger. I think that in order for Roger to win:

    1. He HAS to have a great Serving Day. I can’t stress how important that is. The reason is if Roger starts with a 40-0 or 40-15 hold and follows it up with another couple of easy holds, it will free him up and he’ll start believing more and more and get into Nadal’s serving games. If, however he starts with 0:15 0:30 or 15:30 service game, sometimes Roger panicked and he starts to serve and volley on a wrong approach when he is behind in the score and that’s when Nadal loves to pass him to put even more doubt in Recent ger’s mind. So, basically Roger must start well. Especially in the service games. It’s crucial for his overall mentality against Nadal.

    Rafa, on the other hand feeds of breaking the opponent. So, if Roger can hold it together and not get broken, I am sure that Nadal will give him opportunities. And if Roger sticks to the game plan and EXECUTES it – the one-two serve, and forehand or serve and backhand, he can buy cheap points and that will give him confidence.

    In almost all of their matches, if Roger is able to execute and get in the lead and be able to win the first set convincingly, then he frees up and he starts playing better. However, that will require a great serving day. It all starts with that.

    That’s what I am most worried about. Will Roger have a great serving day or just below par or just average one. Because that’s not going to cut it against Nadal. So, either you have it or you don’t. And if you, can you use it to your advantage to be ahead in the score and mix it up.

    Also, in terms of serve and volley, especially against Nadal, I would first try it a 40:0 situation and see what happens. Always try risky plays in advantageous position. Especially early. That would be ideal. Too many times I’ve seen Roger get into a 15:40 hole and then he decides to employ it only to get passed. When you lead at 40:0 or 40:15 it’s ok to get passed. That won’t deter you from trying it again. But when you are behind in the score, it’s a risky play. In general.

    Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this article and get a little bit of belief going… ?☝️?

    1. Rog IS for certain the most popular – and the huge challenge this time for sure puts him on fire. So yes – his chance is alive!!!!! Of course.

  56. It’s also a test for Ljubicic… He has to come up with some new and subtle inputs into Roger’s game. It is proven that the old strategy of hard hitting won’t work. I am not expecting Roger to win. I will start watching the match with zero expectation. But I want to see some new approach, new plans… specific for only this match. Regardless they work or not.

    Jonathan has not pointed out anything specific about Roger’s strategy. I read his article after the 2014 AO semifinal where he indicated that bringing the opponent forward may work as he just enjoys moving from side to side all night long. Is that good enough at least to draw him out of his comfort zone?

  57. Alright after reading all your comments, I have to declare: it doesn’t help! I feel terrible and decided I won’t be watching this final live. Maybe take a peep if Fed is a set and a break up. Call me a coward but I need to have my defence mechanism in place now so that when I wake up on Monday, I’m sane enough to face a busy working day

    1. I understand you – we fans of course identify in what seems a gloomy expectation, so hard. Me too – and I don’t know yet if I dare watch. But my curiosity to see how they handle the challenge may be even greater than this scare. – Maybe too a bit looking for tennis art on a high level – in moments at least. I hope Fed is going there for the fight, the challenge, the fun – like this, nerves have lesser to say. To him, to me.

  58. I am growing with a very good feeling about this match. Federer reallt has nothing to lose , those 72hrs off plus Federer playing okayish in the semis fighting off nerves the best thing ever happened , maybe , mabye not. Moreover I also how things have mostly panned out in this rivalry too.
    But here’s my predictions (evolved since 2 days)

    Federer to claim his 5 Australian Open in 3 tight sets.

      1. Birdbrain??

        I was least worried about the possible match with Andy πŸ™‚ A QF finish at the AO17 was a good start for the season. But we just entered a whole new territory with this final. Too much on the line.

    1. “Everything points to Roger,” Pat Cash declared. β€œA fast hardcourt, night time is perfect for Federer. Lower-bouncing balls this year is perfect for Federer. He’s fresh, perfectly made for Federer.”

      1. Nice to read a more positive comment coming from Pat Cash on Roger’s chances to win the AO….”….He’s fresh, perfectly made for Federer.” I would like to see the AO trophy receive a gentle kiss instead of an ugly bite.

  59. Just noted another point…
    They are tied 1-1 in last two matches in which Roger played with LARGER RACQUET.
    First of them was AO 2014 on a slow outdoor hard court and just the second tournament with the new frame. Fed lost it in straights.
    Second one was Basel 2015 on fast indoor hard court which Roger won.
    Now it is a fast outdoor hard court… gotta believe…
    As Novak once remarked : conviction should be stronger than doubts.

  60. Another thing to think about is that how WE feel is not necessarily what Roger feels. We could be down and depressed and Roger could be feeling great. Or vice versa. I think it’s more in the middle for Roger, understandably.

    He’ll start with a belief which can only grow or shrink depending of the direction in which the match takes place. It’s understandable. So, to me, just like with everyone the consensus seems to resolve around the first set.

    Also, to me the BIG question if Rafa’s fitness, at least early. I am sure he HAS to feel sore after the last match. If he is not, then he has to be on something. It’s ridiculous. Understandably, his tank is bigger than Roger’s but at 30 he has to feel the effects.

    I remember when Roger won the LONG grueling match with Del Potro in the Semis of the London Olympics in 2012, and then in the Final, he came out flat and got straightsetted by Murray. Now, I don’t expect Nadal to be that flat, but he has to be feeling some effects. And if he is, plausibly, it should allow Roger to jump on him early. I would think that that is how it should play out and if it does, it does become easier. Not necessarily JOB done, but absolutely essential to Roger’s chances. The 2nd set I expect both Roger and Nadal to play WELL but depending on who wins the first, it could be tie, or 2 sets to the good for either Roger or Rafa.

    Finally, all these butterflies and non-stop thinking about it (and for Roger too, and probably for Nadal as well) will only last until the match actually starts. As long as Roger starts off with a good hold, then the nerves should settle in and then it’s all about execution and game plan.

    AND AGAIN, PLEASE GOD! PLEASE LET ROGER HAVE An AMAZING serving performance. That’s where it all starts and ends with him so please let him have that. πŸ™‚

  61. Wow, so much depression on this page. I must say I almost died when I found out we were playing Nadal in the final
    there is nothing to say about Federer winning Nadal, that can only happen if we are gifted a miracle.
    so, now I’m not thinking of Federer’s skills or tactics , I’m just praying for a miracle.

  62. 1. I also pray for Roger’s doing well – i.e. his usual excellent brilliance at least. 2. Smiles and fun during match – it seems both of them feel the note of a bit nostalgia. 3. Gracious behavior from fans – their idol win or lose.
    (And utter first – the trophy go to the nicest, most beautifully performing tennisplayer ever)

    1. Yeah we all know the script by now. If Federer and Nadal play to their usual standard Nadal wins every time. Federer has to play above his usual standard, and Nadal probably below his usual to give Roger much of a chance.

  63. The real question is why we would get stressed out about it what is probably going to be a Federer loss as usual. I watch a few other (team) sports with only mostly enjoyment of the skill. But with Federer and Nadal there is something else – it’s not good and evil or something, as both these guys are normal humans with good and bad points – I just think there is something better about the way Federer plays and the world makes more sense when it succeeds. I think the way Nadal plays is very negative (which is not fair on my part, but there it is). He plays not to win, but simply not to lose. And he knows most of the time the player who takes the risks will lose on the big points on average. Most of the rallies vs Dimitrov were just him hitting neutral balls, over and over, waiting for one short ball, or waiting for an error. In the end, Federer’s style of tennis is positive. Even if he loses, which is the usual story, at least I hope he goes down playing that kind of tennis.

    If you guys want something enjoyable, watch highlights of Ljubicic’s vicotry over Nadal in the 2010 Indian Wells semis. He could really hit a great backhand and had a good serve. It is not that he has some secret recipe to beat Nadal. In the end like Charlie said above, either Nadal is playing a bit lower than usual, or you have to make a lot of risky shots pay off. But anyway better that than grind uselessly away in long FH to BH exchanges.

    1. Agreed. This match-up with beauty and beast, full stop. Nadal plays ugly to not lose, the Maestro artist plays to win. Will beauty or beast prevail?

    2. Interesting analyze. But I’ve seen (not much, as I don’t like the sight of his playing) Nadal’s going for winners too, with his usual ugly howling grunt. Ljubicic? Nice he’s there. Rodge, go for your serve and winners, never mind ue’s, let your instinct outplay the raw violence this time!

      1. And the flying Dustin Brown outplayed Rafa in Wimby – I think 2015. A wonderful match from DB!

  64. Oke guys…. it is 01:30 in the night, I am tired and sleepy…. so… here is in short what will happen:


    Everyone on board… of the FedExpress?? πŸ™‚

    After he wins, I will finish the second half of this comment πŸ™‚

    Lets make sure we all remain calm and don’t die of worry πŸ™‚

  65. Sweating on Roger’s fitness. If someone has any Sunday morning update on this, do share. Google yielding nothing on this.

    The two day break sure helps recovery since he did have some kind of fitness issue. But two days is too long for cool-off. The other guy could just carry on where he left off and keep going purely based on testosterone levels. Fed is not gifted in that area.

    First strike tennis is of the highest order for Fed today. There is just no ther way around. MUST avoid going for long rallies at all cost. Of course, the return of serve. All those serves gonna land on Fed’s BH. Not sure how much damage Fed can do there. Yes, Fed won in Basel. 5 setter being a totally different beast is something we can all agree upon.

  66. Fed must come in with a lot of killer instinct and ‘I don’t give a sh*t’ attitude. He gotta repeat again and again in his mind “f off you drug cheat, I’m gonna f***ing beat you tonight”, and stare down Nadal the whole time like the Djoker does. His on court face is too respectful to me most of the time.

  67. This post must be a record of some sorts for Jonathan – 277 comments and still counting as we near the moment of truth ( for both Fed and Nadal ). two hours left as we speak.

    Imagine if both were on 17 GS titles each. However we know that Nadal is only on 14.

    If Nadal were to win AO then 15. He will win FO then 16.

    Then Fed will win Wimby to make it 18.

    USO Wawrinka / Murray / Djokovic

    End of 2017 16 – 18. That doesn’t sound so bad.

    However, my guess is that at the end of 2017 the GS scoreline will read

    Fed 19, Rafa 15. That sounds far better and more likely.

  68. The first Federer match I watched was the Wimbledon 2008 final. I don’t want to talk about it. Since then, whenever Federer has played this asshole, son of a Spanish whore, I’ve felt sadness, fear, disgust, hate, anger, and a lot of other emotions as I couldn’t bear the thought of an artist being defeated by a scientific experiment.

    But today I feel nothing. Nothing. Today, injustice will prevail yet again. A doped up Spanish turd will grunt like a stuck pig, tug, take extra time between serves, take an MTO if he falls behind or senses that Roger is ascending. This guy is a born asshole not unlike his tens of millions of compatriots.

    We just saw another doped up, crip walking, black card yielding, lines judge threatening, unsporting, overgrown weasel of a ghetto bitch ruin women’s tennis. The demolition is complete.

    I’ve seen all this way too often and I will not be watching it any more. I only have faint hope that the result will be good, however small the chance is. If that happens, I’ll celebrate like I’ve never celebrated before. If not…fuck off you Spaniards!

    1. He’s all forgotten…And that’s what may happen too in some years. “Well he was an extraordinary defender, but…”

  69. Well I guess if Federer needed any additional support, you have a few million more Indian cricket fans willing Fed on now that Sachin Tendulkar announced publicly that he’s rooting for Rog. Hah! At least we have that going for us.

  70. Yeah Gaurav, I hope Virat Kohli also goes publicly on record to state his support for Fed. He is apparently a major fan too.

    However, 70 % of both Tendulkar & Kohli fans may not even know who Roger Federer is !!!

  71. Seriously. Who the FUCK takes a bathroom break 30 minutes into a match!!? Are you telling me Nadal didn’t take a piss before a slam final!!?? Incredible.

      1. I ditto this one……Sid, so happy Roger made your day, mine and all Fedfans throughout the world!
        Bravo Roger, you are a Gem.

  72. Best day in tennis ever. Beat Nadal in 5 sets. From a break down. To win the 18th. Damn it doesn’t get better than this.

      1. He will. He can do it. Only thing could be family issues but I guess not. Mirka crying for joy. Now yes, the next please – 19 th!!!!

  73. I guess it will take some time for Jonathan to wipe the tears and calm down. I am happy nobody expects me to write anything. Thank you ROGER!
    (wonder just how many times I will watch the highlights for this match)

  74. Tears of joy. G.O.A.T. After being out for 6 months, he wins #18, against his nemesis Nadal in the final. Won’t get any better than this for us Fed fans.

    Why did he say “I hope to be back next year…..”?

  75. No matter what anybody says, you have got to take your hats off and celebrate two of the greatest players to ever play tennis. We can say what we like about Rafa, but the truth is without Rafa, the true greatness of Federer would never have been known. Without Rafa, he just would have become another Sampras – winning everything (i.e – boring). With Rafa and now Djokovic and more recenty (hopefully) Murray. we can truly see the Genius that is Federer.

    That said, I thank both Roger and Rafa for playing some of their best tennis tonight and living up to the massive massive expectations of millions around the world. No matter who won, the match would have been a big disappointment if one of them had an off day. Glad it wasn’t the case and it went the distance on the back of some great tennis from both players throughout the match.

    On a lighter note, Roger has beaten Rafa in 5 sets after 9 years (last 5 setter win Wimby 07) and it goes to show how much it meant to Roger that in all these years, I have never seen him lost for words in a major presentation ceremony. Even Rafa’s face was different is the best word I can come up with. Congratulations to both players on playing one of the best finals in recent years and congrats to Roger for winning No. 18.



  76. Project 18: Completion 29/01/2017!

    Amazing match. I have to admit, I had essentially no optimism before the match, I thought he was at a disadvantage after the second set, only about 50-50 after the third and with virtually no chance at a break down in the fifth. I have no idea how he managed to pull that out, against all the history between them, all the heartbreaking losses, playing his 3rd five set match in this tournament, coming back from an injury. Unbelievable.

  77. Can’t switch off the channel. Just watching the bits and pieces of the match, the moment over and over and over again. Just so so so so happy. This is the most jubilant we’ve all been. Just watched Mirka kiss Roger. Awwww. Love you both.

  78. I want to congratulate all who predicted the win of the LEGEND.
    I confess I cheated, i watched the match live, well, without parts of the last game, including the match points. I cried at 4-3 and ask for God’s help, if tgere was one. Some icons near the TV gave me some inspirations. I never did that before. I still can’t beleive it. I love you all!

  79. Had Roge beaten Dimitrov to win this one, our ecstasy would have been halved!



    Now, I have one more dream… you may call it unrealistic but I now starting believe in it…


  80. 18, 18, 18, 18. He did it. Thank you God. He was able to do it. Fed has won # 18 beating Nadal. Yesssssssssss!!!!!

  81. Great match and the best man won. Congrats to all the believers and I hope many more of you watched it in the end, absolutely magnificent point in a super career. Sorry his parents and Edberg not in the box but they and all the last coaches and teams are all part of it too.
    Thanks Jonathan and everyone here for all that is shared and I’m glad Roger’s win means The cookie thief remains a contributor to. Roger Federer 18 Grand Slams GOAT the debate over…for now probably for ever!
    Hope these faster courts and variety become a feature of the game from now on, seems to get the fans going and about time?

    Roger is back,in top 10 now I think wow!

    That crowd was amazing I would love to know how it compares to USO and the rest as it willed him on for sure.


  83. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – Finally the tennis gods did something reasonable – after hanging much too long back with the deserved goods!
    Stellar Roger – much of the time. Can’t wait for my repeat/replay!
    And so nice to laugh now for the never seen before HUGE worry, guys!

  84. I take my hat off on how he did in the fifth set 1-3 down!!!!! That 26 shit rally!!!!!
    My goodness its taking time to sink in!!!!
    I had tears in my eyes while he did it!!!! The sheer joy!!!
    Chum jetszee!!!!!! 18th GS had to wait for this???? Federer beating Rafa????? It was hell worth it!!!!
    Thankyou Roger Federer, you have given the Euphoria we ll never forget.
    The Greatest Tennis Player ever. Period!

  85. Oh Roger Federer’s Magic,
    He wears a magic hat
    And if you write him off as done
    He’ll prove you wrong like that!
    He serves them to the left,
    He serves them to the right,
    And if he wins the Aussie slam
    We’ll sing this song all night!
    Credit to Jonathan

  86. I’m running out of wiping tissues, honestly. That image of Roger and Mirka in the corridor hugging and kissing. My, oh my. Sorry for the cheesiness but today all is allowed.

  87. I had vowed not to expect No. 18, it was too painful when Fed came close but did not win. But hope springs eternal and I predicted Roger would win this. During the match there were so many anxious moments, especially when Roger was broken at the beginning of the 5th set. But our guy showed why he is so great, what an exciting victory! I was literally shaking and imagine many here were as well.

    Fed likes the number 8 (and thus 18) but I am not a fan of it. Number 19 is a better looking number! If Ken Rosewall could win a Slam at age 37 there is no reason why Roger can’t.

  88. Federer beats Nadal : 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3
    Aces : 20 Federer, 4 Rafa
    Double Faults = 3 for both
    First Serve % In = 62% Fed, 73% Rafa
    Win on First Serve = 76% Fed 63% Rafa
    Win Second Serve = 49% Fed, 56% Rafa
    Net Points won = 29/40 Fed, 10/12 Rafa
    Break Points won = 6/20 Fed, 4/17 Rafa
    Receiving points won = 39% Fed, 34% Rafa
    Winners = 73 Fed, 35 Rafa
    UE = 57 Fed, 28 Rafa
    Total Points won = Fed 150, Rafa 139

    1. Thanks Vik!
      Yes he took my recommendation πŸ™‚ to go go go for winners and never mind ue’s.

      He surely upped his game after shock break 1. game fifth. I was then on the point of giving up – and leave – BUT! Never say never. This was….Maybe he told himself – -what the f…, now I let loose the balls to fly!

    1. I think he won’t. If he retires, I will watch tennis no more. Will just follow results, and of course post in this blog. But um, Fed said that he seriously talked with Mirka about the retiring thing and Mirka said to him that he should not retire.

      He seemed subdued because he didn’t expect to win 18. It was unexpected at all. Fed is a reserved person, but I won’t be surprised to see him popping up a party in his hotel.

  89. This is the most amazing world wide party of Fedfans I’ve ever seen! Just floating in and out, reading all the comments, sharing all the love…..God bless everybody! Thank you Roger, thank you thank you thank you.

  90. Fed retiring???
    “I hope to see you back here but if not, this was a wonderful run.”
    “Keep playing Rafa please. Tennis needs you. Keep doing everything you do.”
    I think he is just being realistic, but who knows?

    1. Nono. He was asked, and he just told that at his age the body might have other ideas. Could be the message is: Rafa you are still young compared to me, so…

      1. Oh ok. Seemed troubling to me because before the start of 5th set Fed took a MTO. People criticizing him, but like Rafa doesn’t do MTO.

  91. 365 comments? That must be some kind of record!

    So, I think I may have been right – that Roger dumped some of the mental baggage along with the physical baggage during those 6 months off.

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