ATP Masters 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoor Masters

Federer Fights Back to Defeat Istomin in Basel

A big win for Roger as he came from a set down to beat Denis Istomin in Basel and move into the Quarter Finals. On current form Istomin was always going to be a test and it almost went badly wrong for Federer as had he not held serve at a key moment in the final set the outcome could have been very different.

Fortunately despite flirting with disaster he managed to turn it around in some style, playing a very solid 2nd and 3rd set to progress and hopefully give himself a much needed dose of confidence for his next match.

The most important thing again here is the win and points, especially when all his closest rivals in the race to London faltered with Berdych, Gasquet and Wawrinka all losing in the first round.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Defence in Basel

Like the match against Mannarino, Roger started well firing down a love hold to kick things off but again at 2-2 he played a poor service game to get broken. It's unreal really how similar these things play out, he gets in trouble at 15-40, plays a sweet forehand to save break point and then hits the next one into the middle of the net to drop serve. Very annoying to watch, even more annoying for the GOAT πŸ˜€

Istomin has a reasonably big serve so the one break turned out to be enough for him to close out the first set as Roger couldn't take advantage of any of his 3 break point chances which was against disappointing. Lots of chances just not that consistency on the big points early on.

It was important that Roger took advantage of serving first in the second set and it looked like he would go up an early break when at 2-1 he created another break point chance but wasted it with a passing shot straight at Istomin who volleyed into the open court.

Luckily Roger broke the habit of dropping serve when he wasted break points himself and held before finally breaking Istomin for the first time in his next service game to lead 4-2 before holding to 15. That break proved decisive as he served it out the set 6-3.

At this point Federer had finally gotten himself into the match and looked like he was finding his range but yet again wasted a break point in Istomin's opening service game of the final set.

The next game proved to be key and clearly won Roger the match as he saved 3 break points to level at 1-1. It looked like the wheels were going to come off when he botched an overhead (when do you ever see that?) at love 30 but some weak play from Istomin combined with some steady play from Roger allowed him to dig out the hold.

Buoyed by holding a key service game it seemingly brought Roger's game to life as he broke Istomin to 15 in the next game, hitting a sweet backhand down the line in the process which is always a good sign. That injection of confidence from the hold allowed him to free up and he hit some really nice shots, mixed it up, played with a good margin for error, didn't pull the trigger from a daft position and it worked very well.

Importantly he consolidated the break with a love hold to lead 3-1 and as Roger grew, Istomin faded, missing a routine overhead to drop serve again which virtually handed Roger the match. 4-1 soon became 5-1 and although Istomin made Roger serve it out he had no problems in doing so sealing it with a serve & volley changeup 4-6 6-3 6-2. Allez!

Match Stats

Stats R.Β Federer D.Β Istomin
Aces 4 5
Double Faults 1 0
1st Serve % 56% 64%
1st Serve Points Won 33/46 (72%) 38/58 (66%)
2nd Serve Points Won 25/36 (69%) 15/32 (47%)
Break Points Saved 5/6 (83%) 9/12 (75%)
Service Games Played 14 13
1st Return Points Won 20/58 (34%) 13/46 (28%)
2nd Return Points Won 17/32 (53%) 11/36 (31%)
Break Points Won 3/12 (25%) 1/6 (17%)
Return Games Played 13 14
Total Service Points Won 58/82 (71%) 53/90 (59%)
Total Return Points Won 37/90 (41%) 24/82 (29%)
Total Points Won 95/172 (55%) 77/172 (45%)

Shots of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer into the Quarters in Basel

Another topsy turvy affair with Roger looking low on confidence for most of the match but finally showing signs of life when he needed to. I'm not sure what to make of the performance as it wasn't great but from the second set onwards he did find a level of consistency that we haven't seen for a while.

It was partially helped by Istomin's lack of mental fortitude but in these scenarios Roger has to take what he can get, I'm just happy he went from netting regulation forehands to actually finding winners off both wings and playing with a level of patience. His movement has looked spot on since Shanghai really and was the same again today so when things do click he does look much much better, it's just a matter of finding the confidence to ensure his execution is there too.

One area of concern is the serve still as he does keep getting broken and not winning many cheap points which I think he needs to just to give himself a buffer and a level of freedom. Had he not broken himself in the first set then I doubt Istomin would have got the breakthrough but he did and that cost him.

But like I said, it has to be a positive as he came from a set down to win when it looked like things were slipping away from him; saving the 3 break points was critical at 0-1 in the final set and that kind of kicked him into gear which was good to see.

Predictions vs. Dimitrov / Dolgopolov

Federer Dimitrov in Rotterdam

I made this post thinking the Dimitrov match was a foregone conclusion but he must beat Dolgopolov first as he's not on the same schedule as Roger. I'm guessing he will do that as Dolgo sucks but we shall see.

Should Roger play Dimitrov it's quite difficult to predict the outcome of but Roger does have a habit of silencing younger guys that come with a lot of hype, there's certainly a lot of hype around Dimitrov and there's also plenty of comparisons of his game to Roger's so there's quite a lot at stake really for both guys.

“Silencing the Protege” , “Changing of the Guard” there's no doubt the media will be all over this whatever happens and probably have a list of pre determined headlines depending on the outcome. Hopefully Roger rises to the occasion as I'm not quite ready to see him lose to Dimitrov just yet πŸ™‚

Logically Roger would have taken confidence from today's win but as we've seen many times this year a positive win often has no effect on his game, we saw it at the French, then in Cincy and again in Shanghai. Each time he's ground out a win from the brink of defeat but looked lifeless in his next match.

Hopefully that's not the case against Dimitrov as it could spell trouble but I think he might play well and it should be an exciting match due to how they both play. Although sometimes similar styles do cancel each other out which can't be ruled out either as they have never met in tournament play before.

Federer is much more match hardened than Dimitrov and of course better in all areas, other than the 1st serve in recent months so he has the edge on paper but in terms of form then you have to say Dimitrov is a step ahead.

I guess much depends on how quickly Roger can figure out Dimitrov's game, he knows he will play aggressively and has flare so if he stays patient like he did today and manoeuvres him around I can see him getting on top of things.

It's not a complete unknown for either of them as they did practise together earlier in the year in Rotterdam but that's of course nothing like a match. Although if Dimitrov watched Federer in Rotterdam vs. Benneteau he might just fancy his chances πŸ˜›

I'll pick Federer in straights against Dimitrov but it's not a given and should he play Dolgopolov instead I'm thinking routine. Allez!

Review Overview

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

Improving

Needs to serve a higher 1st serve % to give himself more freedom.

User Rating: 3.11 ( 22 votes)

Jonathan

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

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117 thoughts on “Federer Fights Back to Defeat Istomin in Basel”

  1. A wins a win!(3/5 stars) And Roger has a good draw. Dimi will prep him for a possible DelPo final. Roger needs this title badly I believe. This could be the turning point back to the top! I’m serious! What do you think Jonathan?! πŸ˜€

  2. I must say it looked bad the most of the first set and in the beginning of the second but Roger managed to get it togehter and in the third set it was actually quite good. It looked like he gained some confidence on the forehand the longer the match went on. But his backhand was really amazing today, especially down the line, I love that shot πŸ™‚ But like you say Jonathan we must not get to carried away because we have seen this before.

    But I had really looked foreward to the day he would play against Dimitrov as I like DImitrov but I have to go to Sweden on friday to see the Sweden-Denmark Davis cup tie (IΒ΄m from Denmark). So I must see it when it comes on youtube.

    1. Yeah one match at a time still.

      Although Dimitrov isn’t set in stone yet, I thought he was but he plays Dolgopolov first so might not happen. Just updated my post.

      1. Thought you were as was just trying to tell u that u were ahead of yrself but got blocked! Dolgo cld give Dimitrov problems as plays v fast!
        Anyway, what was the circa 1999 retro shirt!! Clearly Fed likes it so we must put up with it! Wld be interested to see first set UFE’s. the FH was nothing short of atrocious! And he knew it! Clearly was too terrible as cant find it! Anyway his % on second serve points won and % on returns on Istomin’s second serve won him the match. Break points? Again, generating a lot, but conversion still poor! Thought he was less than urgent first set until it mattered and by then too late! Better energy in second and third sets! Funny tournament, players clearly tired and can’t quite find the motivation. Federer needs a gd showing here, Paris and in London to stay top 6-8 in world. Otherwise picture cld be bleak going into 2014. Has most of his points to lose between now and end Jan! After that he can run amok!

      2. Perhaps, but I think Dolgo is terrible. Had a lot of hype 2 / 3 years ago as the next guy to break into top 10. Think he got to 12 now outside top 30.

        He won due to holding at 0-1 in the third set, gets broken there and probably all over. Big boost saving 3 BP. Although Istomin played them all terribly.

        First set forehand was crazy, going for too much and missing. Tightened it up after that and it worked.

    2. Susie I donΒ΄t know what it was with that t shirt change? I was so terrible πŸ™‚ I have never sen him change to a totally different shirt during a match. But it seemed to help him out though so if thatΒ΄s what it takes I can live with funked up 90Β΄s stripes πŸ™‚

  3. Fed winning ugly again (for most of the match at least). Good fight from him, only question I ask is how much confidence this gives him because we all know how these matches have hindered him rather than helped him. I’m just quite apprehensive about the serve right now, I hope that improves because as we discussed in detail during Shanghai, it’s everything especially indoors. Roger into the quarterfinals, one step at a time. However, what’s up with the Basel scheduling in which two of his potential opponents in the final haven’t even played their first round? Talk about bias lol, Brennwald trying to make up here or? I guess we can also forgive Roger for that atrocious grey on grey kit he wore since he turned it around at that point.

    1. Yeah, unknown what he sees this match as. A positive? A negative? Be annoying if he’s flat next match.

      Weird scheduling too, but I’m glad it’s on Friday his next match. Only just realised Dimitrov only played one match, thought he was into the Quarters.

      Dolgo first. I think he will beat him.

  4. I do wonder if the back, which put him into what he refers to As a negative spiral, hasn’t made him slightly tentative on serve. Feels he can’t really let rip? Wld certainly explain the loss of power, confidence to earn cheap points if that is how he injured it initially. May be at back of his mind? Anyway, compared to Gasquet, Stan, Haas (retired in Valencia), Nishi and Berdych, he is flying high. First QF since Cincy? And back to back wins v potential banana skins!! All wins are good wins! Maybe he shld hire Brad Gilbert!

  5. Hi Jonathan and co.

    Considering what happened in Basel so far and after the first set, I was like OMG…no, not you too, Roger. Great that he fought through. Roger played better than Monday, though it didn’t look so at the time he was shaky and Istomin was playing pretty good tennis. In the end, a happy day for me. Loved Fed’s sweet and wicked slices! Liked that he was patient during some of rallies. But I agree he needs some work on his services, doesn’t he?

    As for Fed vs Dimi, the baby is desperate to play Fed, I think. It could be an interesting match, so I hope it will happen. Dimi has to get pass Dolgopolov first, right? I want Fed to school him, allez πŸ™‚

  6. How can I vote when I did nt have the chance to watch not a second of it.

    Just for the heck of it . I gave 4 (3,9) cause I find it positive enough that Roger managed to turn it around.

    Ok it was against Istomidget but still . I was just following the score and when I saw first set gone I thought it could be over.

    PS I ll never get a first slam… Too old too slow too busy. Maybe I ll attempt a “fix” one day with blog admin. I ll come up with an offer he wont be able to resist πŸ™‚

    1. You can make an informed decision by reading my post πŸ˜‰

      I’m happy he won too, wasn’t the peRFect match by a long stretch but got through.

      As for maiden slams, I am open to bribes, highest bidder wins.

  7. If Federer can beat Dimitrov/Dolgo, then I will find it suprising if he doesn’t make the final at least. Do you thinl he will tank in Paris if he wins in Basel to prevent too much fatigue coming into the World Tour Finals?

  8. Maybe he should stick to the grey shirt. It sure seemed to help. Don’t forget about Pospisil, he had a big win over Robin Haase today.
    Agree, Roger’s serve needs improving.

  9. I was very worried after the first set. It really would not have been a good thing for him to go out in the second round. I was still nervous right until he got the second break in the third set, because these days you just never can tell what’s going to happen with Roger. I did think he looked better than he did in his first match though. I thought right from the start, even when he lost his serve, there was just a tad more confidence in him. And that confidence definitely grew as the match progressed, and at times I could see a familiar old gleam in his eyes. There were some brilliant shots, and some awful unforced errors, but that’s something I’ve got used to. I definitely agree he needs to up his first serve percentage. That’s going to be so important if he wants to get past the tougher guys. I also wonder if fear of back injury might be preventing him from doing more. Anyway, through to the quarter finals is not bad. It feels like the first time in ages he’s lasted till Friday in a tournament and that in itself is something to celebrate.

  10. Nice that Roger hung tough. I almost thought it was over at 1-1 0-40 in the 3rd but alas it wasn’t to be for Denis the Menace. So onwards and upwards. πŸ™‚
    The changing of the guard Shtick has started. I for one want Roger to school Mr. Sharapova. But with Roger 2013 edition, it will be tough πŸ˜›

    1. That was crucial. I think I stepped away and caught it from 15-40. Shows you that this match was a lot closer than the final points tally suggests.

      So, sounds like the journalists are ready to prey on the opportunity? They don’t understand that Roger is half the player he used to be given his form right now. This is a bad time for Roger to be playing Dimitrov.

  11. Dimitrov to win in three set, if Roger plays the way like he did today. First serve must be of more help. Dimitrov has a bigger and better serve. Roger loses in the backhand match up too and will have to really come up with a performance we haven’t seen since AO.

    I don’t know, I don’t feel really good about it. It’s not because Dimitrov is a better player, just that Roger is not playing well at all. I don’t know if I want to watch it.

    Ok, that was a very negative post but I’m calling it the way I see it.

    1. Like Jonathan said, Fed has a way with the youngsters and he’s playing at home. That combination could be quite an epic one to serve up to Grigor Baby Fed Dimitrov.

      1. Precisely. He has to rely on pedigree and intangibles. He can’t get into rallies with Dimitrov. I mean, that guy can stay in points with the likes of Djokovic and Nadal. The backhand cross courts are going to be very interesting to watch.

    2. I don’t think he loses the backhand matchup at all.

      Just because Dimitrov handled Nadal’s top spin better off based on the 1 match we have seen doesn’t disadvantage Roger here. Dimitrov hits flatish off that wing, pretty much into the strike zone indoors, I can see Fed ripping some winners. Looked good vs. Istomin.

  12. Hi all.. It wasnt looking good for most of the match. But i am seriously relieved that Roger managed to scrape through and get the win. I hope he can improve on his serve and try his best not to get broken at stupid momebts in t he match. Lets hope now that hes in the quarters that he can some how get to the semis and then the finals. This would be really good for Rogers confidence. As long as hes still getting through , it could take one little spark and bring back Roger to a certain level of greatness, instead of these recent unthinkable losses hes had this year. Whatever happens ill still be rooting for him. Go for it Roger!!!!!!

  13. There really isn’t much to figure out for Roger here. Dimitrov is a clone, with a bigger serve, and a better, stronger, and more consistent backhand. Roger will have to rely on the intangibles to get win. This is going to be one tough match up. I’ll stick with my prediction of Dimitrov in three and want to be silenced by Roger.

    1. Hoping Dimitrov might be too respectful and maybe tired at all the tennis recently. Fed might rise to the challenge but has to get off to a better start. Istomin is a pretty average player apart from serve so no comparison there!

    2. Fed fans scared of Dimitrov, poor form. Call him hyped all year then when he gets drawn with Fed he’s become a world beater all of a sudden.

      Clearly he’s a talent and capable of winning but come on, even playing like a clown all year Fed has more than a good shot of winning.

      1. It’s not Dimitrov we are scared of, it’s that Roger forehand we saw in the first set that gives us the creeps. Dimitrov is a world class mug (now dating a world class bitch). The only way he wins is if Roger beats himself πŸ™‚

      2. Agree with Sid here. It’s Roger we’re afraid of… I wouldn’t have picked Robredo in a thousand years to win at USO, but he did. Not because he’s the better player, but because Fed clowned up and lost the points that mattered.
        Now, Dimitrov is in form and confidence high. If he puts in some pressure and if it’s post-Wimbledon’13 Roger who is on court, then, I don’t want to imagine all the scenarios possible and prefer to believe that despite everything going on this season, Dimitrov will be schooled tonight πŸ™‚

  14. Bigger challenge for Roger than we predicted, most of us, but a win nevertheless. Great article again, Jonathan, and loving the rating system being back, but while I’m being pernickety, do you really think Cincy was one of the tough wins followed by poor performance tournaments? I’d say he played much better against Nadal than he did against Haas, arguably better against Nadal than against most of the players he’s played this year…

  15. When I saw that Roger had lost the first set, I didn’t think he would win, purely based on recent results. Glad that he was able to pull this one out. I really think that a good run here in Basel would do him the world of good, not only because he needs the matches AND confidence, but because I think doing well in Switzerland would give him some motivation aswell.

    I really want to see a Dimitrov-Federer match-up. I think the whole tennis world has been looking forward to that potential match for years and to finally get would be exciting for the sport. I would be so interested to see how Federer deals with Dimitrov. Really hope that one happens. Allez Roger!!!

  16. For me the 1st set was scary. Lost serve very soon. He finally did get going though and what I saw was important, just as you did, was that he didn’t let the match slip away esp after losing the 1st set. This has become a habit during certain patches over the last couple of years or so. Serving use to be his thing. To see him lose his serve so easily sometimes, is unnerving for the fan watching. I so fondly remember 2009 Wimbledon to and that last set, keeping his serve so many times. But in general the cheap points he got from aces and unreturnable serves are important to him. If you look at the match facts over the last few years (on ATP page) you can see that his is a service game, while Djokovic, Murray etc got more into the return portion of things. So service is key. Just keep the serve, look for the opportunity to break or just wait until the tiebreaker where I still think Roger still has the edge.

  17. Hi jonathan,

    Great, great insight on the match. I completely agree with you also on the patience thing. I really enjoyed him being more patient and tactical as a way to turn the odds this time.
    I thought that on the Robredo match he was trying hard but not wise.
    Also as you say, his stamina is good and he’s been moving well (when not diminished by stress and by shaky legs due to lack of confidence), it seems since Cincinnati. But he’s been just trying too hard to overpower his opponent. He was more patient this time. I’m really delighted by that fact.

    The way he came out of the hole reminded me a bit of his match against Davydenko in Rotterdam 2012. (Though the quality of that match was much better). he had to fight back from a set down and a break i think in the second. And i think in the 3d he saved crucial break points before finally taking the match.
    That match I thought was a great confidence boost for him. He woke up in the middle of the second set after being to passive, came out with rage and will, showed great defence skills and fighting spirit.

    I hope this match brings the same flavour the Roger plate now.

    Sid is quite right about Dimitrov serve and backhand being better at this time. And he defends quite well too, great court coverage. So it would be very tricky. I’d rather see Dolgopolov there to be honest.

    1. Good insight Nath. Federer/Davydenko was one of the best matches IMO in 2012, I still remember that sweet backhand pass. That tourney was key in his 2012 season the way he set it up. But let’s not forget the circumstances were very different in that match as Roger had finished 2011 on a high and had a tonne more confidence from wins like that.

      I totally agree about movement though, it’s slowly has come back and he’s executing much better than what we witnessed in shanghai. Dimitrov does have the game but the mental side is what worries me about him. He’s just fresh from a first title win so he is dangerous in that sense. I trust Roger though has been savouring this opportunity though, he usually does. Just about the consistency right now and if is ready to win ugly a few more times to get where he needs to be. If this win didn’t give Roger the confidence needed for this week, I doubt nothing will.

  18. Co-incidentally his ugly shirt spur him to play better in 2nd and 3rd set. Baby step baby steps. I have switch to calling him Zebra Fed or Jailhouse Fed. I hope this match will bring some confidence back + showed him that winning ugly is not a bad thing. He is already wearing ugly shirt right now, why not?

    1. Will you stop it with the baby steps? You are reminding me of Dimitrov’s baby.

      I can live with Zebra Fed or Jailhouse Fed. I see you have improved your standards πŸ™‚

      1. πŸ™‚ chillax Sid…..Jailbird Fed is ‘re-learning’ how to play consistent tennis. At this match he minimized current trend 1 good shot followed by 3 bad shots.

      2. Roger won not because he played better, but because Denis just lost it. Or maybe Brennwald gave him that look from the stands, “Don’t even think about it!” πŸ™‚

      3. He wasn’t asking him to choke, nobody asks the other player to choke, but better players aren’t going to choke and that’s why I’m disappointed with the result.

  19. I agree with Sid on the next round prediction, if Roger plays like he did against Istomin in the next round possibly against Dimitrov, I’m not very sure of a very happy result. It’s tough to see him losing tons of break point chances and giving the opponents tons of chances to beat him even in the earlier rounds. This shows a clear difference in form from the most consistent Dull and Djoker, though I don’t want to compare Roger with those buffalo hitters since Roger is definitely a class apart and more talented. Roger might qualify WTF by hanging to the last thread, thanks to the clones like Gasquet and Stan, but it’s hard to imagine better results anytime in the near future with his most inconsistent play. Is Fed gaining confidence by winning matches or still losing confidence gradually which is forcing him to slip further down? However, I’m not ready to see him losing anytime earlier to the finals. May be, if he wins this title, he might get back some confidence, but not by winning against players like Istomin and Mannarino.

    1. He had to play Mannarino and Istomin though, I agree they aren’t exactly world beaters but that was the draw, he couldn’t forfeit πŸ˜€

      They stand in the way of trickier matches where the rewards are greater. Hopefully he improves round by round.

  20. I’m taking it one match at a time, but I like these 3 set wins, they are good for the ego hehe. Go Roger!! I also think that to reach the final here is a good step, it’s a good result.

      1. I am going to be very upset if Roger doesn’t win his QF. So upset, that I’ll walk away from tennis until 2014.

  21. Good match from Fed considering the level of play in the last 8 months. Played with more confidence and played the important points much better than he has in the last few months. Serve is looking better, but still a long way to go to beat the likes of Delpo. But good enough to beat Dimitrov. Fed is moving a lot better as well. It is just a matter of time…

  22. I think he won the match because he changes to a much more better outfit. just my opinion. hahahahah.. But I do hope he’ll be back on his consistent winning ways… please god help roger find his confidence back.

  23. The scheduling is different for Roger because he played the opening ceremony match that Rafa Nadal would have played if not for his withdrawal.
    Roger agreed to replace Rafa so that gives him two rest days in between rounds 1 and 3.

    As for Dimitrov, he claims to be a fan of Pete Sampras growing up, but looking at his playing style(single-handed backhand with that exaggerated follow through), his racket (Wilson Pro Staff Six One 95″, which is the cousin of Roger’s Pro Staff 90″), his serve stance, his sweat band on the right wrist – all mirror Roger.
    Going by that fact, he should be a little overwhelmed by the occasion and play below his normal.
    Roger, on the other hand, should feel complimented seeing a player so similar to him.

  24. Saw the first set and the last set only πŸ˜‰
    I got busy with kids.
    Anyhow, loved the way he came back, I couldn’t recognize roger in the first set, his shots were totally out of bound, confidant was declining. Came the third set, roger was different animal, taking all opportunities and holding serve even if he was on trouble which is something he used to do very often and effectively during his prime and then his opponent is disappointed and its easy for him to break after such hold.
    Couldn’t see the second set, so can’t tell how he figured it out.
    just a note: I was using my sun iPad during the live chat, he told me, β€œdad, you either watch the match on TV or chat, I need my iPad!, and by the way since when you cheer for Federer πŸ˜‰ β€œ

      1. Yeah, let’s hope so πŸ™‚ you know, sometimes it requires one big win to spark and ignite the confidence, but recently it’s not the case with roger so let’s hope so

  25. Nice words from Laver today re Feds form, and seeing him as a potential champ for the AO!! Fed shld thank him for that! See Reuters. Can’t do link, completely useless with computers! Look out for Pospisil, like his tennis! Far better prospect than Raonic!

    1. I really doubt Roger can win the AO again but if Laver says so then hope it happens so I can witness it with my own eyes. Roger has unfinished business in Aus and he’s playing a warm up tournament for the first time, let’s see what that does. Only way I think he has a realistic shot is if he ends this season on a positive note.

      1. We can forgive Rod for being over optimistic about Roger’s chances at AO. After all, he considers Roger to be like his own son. Perhaps he sees something that tennis fans like you and me do not. Maybe slightly slower conditions are more conducive to Roger’s play these days? Like you, I’d love for him to be right πŸ™‚

      2. Yes Sid Rod is a bit subjective like the rest of us haha. Then again, Australia was Roger’s best slam this year and he hasn’t lost before the SF in 10 years, who knows, maybe Rod knows best.

      1. Djoker is of course the man to beat here but he’s not unbeatable. Dull came extremely close last year, if he didn’t make that un(fortunate) backhand error he would’ve won. Nadal going to be out for blood in Melbourne next year, have a suspecting feeling he gets this one. Also wonder if Murray will be fit by then. Fed is going to be out of the top 4, he’s going to get one of them in his quarter.

  26. Love Pospisl, since his first meeting with Roger in canada 2011. He said then that Federer was his idol. That’s how he caught my attention.
    I was waiting for his breakthrough…Happy with his late results mostly in Montreal this year. He put up some great training efforts lately, mostly physical; he said he lost a lot of weight among other things he did.

    Much better mover than Raonic, more complete player simply. Great shot maker and fighter. And a nice guy. It seems he got some wake up call seeing Raonic distancing him and establishing himself as a top player. Great he put up the efforts to also break through!

  27. When Fed played Pospisil in Canada in 2011, Fed gave him some advice. I think it was about deciding what kind of player he should choose to be. I would say Pospisil took his advice. Pospisil changed his grip, lost weight and changed his diet. His mental strength continues to grow. He’s from my city so I’ve been watching him for a few years.
    Feeling a little nervous about the Fed Dimitrov match if that happens.

  28. Well, I guess it’s looking like a Fed-baby Fed match tomorrow. Unless of course Dolgopolov decides to wake up from his slumber.

      1. Nope! he’s just a Fed wannabe. Nothing like Roger…

        Just read the headline of a swiss newspaper: “Roger is playing his clone in basel!”

        WTF man…

  29. Jonathan is totally right, Roger needs to seriously serve better and get cheap points from that, if not it will be Dimitrov – Delpotro in the Final sunday!
    The couldn’t meet at a worst time: Dimitrov full of confidence and power – Federer incertain and shaky!!!
    I think we will see a lot of slice tomorrow, surely amazing ones!!!

    1. The backhand slice is aggressive!! The BH down the line is on song. The forehand angles are deadly. The pace on the shot seems incredible. His movement- extraordinary. This is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen him play. And this it isn’t even Fed 2004 yet!!

    2. Amazing match. Thanks for posting the link.
      Another nail biting session coming up soon. Let’s just hope that wannabe Fed doesn’t play like Fed in that match. With a bit of luck he’ll be starstruck – I know I would be.

  30. I’m looking forward to the Fed Pospisil match tomorrow. Pospisil seems to have some sort of neck/shoulder injury though.
    Fed should stick to his snake skin shirt for good luck!

  31. Great match from Fed. Played with plenty of confidence on the important points. Served well when needed. Straight sets tomorrow to set up a great final. Hope he has enough confidence to beat Delpo in the finals. Looks like FED is back. At least on the indoors, for now. Looks like WTF is not a question anymore.

    It is very good to see Fed stay behind the baseline more. Gives him more time to react and not get overpowered easily.

  32. Decent match from Fed! haven’t been this pleased in a long time!

    And boy, that Paris draw is fantastic for fed and stan, almost looks rigged lol πŸ˜€

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