Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Fights Back to Defeat Monfils at US Open

Boom! Another match adding to the Federer legacy here as he fought back from 2 sets to love down for the ninth time in his career defeating Gael Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the US Open Quarter Finals.

What's even more impressive is that he saved 2 match points in the fourth set, which marks the first time he's ever won a match at slam level after facing them. 33 and still and still adding the achievements to his tennis scrapbook. I'm not really sure how he managed it though, but with a bit of a luck and well struck forehand he staved them off and after that he never looked back, playing at his highest level of the match in the fifth to close it out in style. Special stuff from the Swiss Maestro.

I can't argue he was aided and abetted somewhat by the Frenchman's mental lapses but when it mattered most he was clutch and didn't give up the game when many other players would have folded. It's also been a while since I've seen Roger check out of a match mentally only to find a way back into before going on to win it.

Quick Match Recap

Darth Federer vs Monfils

With a full house on Ashe the Swiss started with a love hold and then forced Monfils to save 2 break points in a nervy opening service game. However Roger's good start was soon countered by Monfils, who was striking the ball cleanly and was able to break to lead 3-2. That proved a decisive break and the set soon went the way of the Frenchman 6 games to 4. Strange set really but one where Fed didn't do enough to win it as he wasn't the aggressor and aside from game 2 created zero opportunities to break.

The second set then started in terrible fashion as Roger was broken, playing a joke of a dropshot on break point to donate Monfils the game. Roger completely checked out the match mentally here, all because at deuce he hit a serve he thought was in, but Ramos insisted it was out. He was then broken and argued with Ramos during the change of ends.

Never a good sign when he's pissed off and although he did have a chance to break back Monfils held and Roger looked like he had zero interest left in the match. Again no more chances came his way as Monfils dictated play with his serve / forehand and broke Roger again to take a 2 set to love lead. Huge trouble for Darth Federer as he looked completely out of ideas.

The third set was always going to be about whether Monfils could maintain his level and whether or not Fed could actually make a match of it. Winning the third wasn't going to swing momentum for Roger but it would give him a platform to give himself a shot at the comeback.

It started peRFectly too as he broke Monfils and quickly consolidated to lead 2-0. That lead was soon eradicated though as Roger came in behind a shocker of an approach shot to drop serve at 2-1.

An immediate response was needed and luckily we got it as Fed broke again using the chip charge on break point to take it. This was one of the first big moment in the match as it showed some of the Edberg effect and reignited Fed mentally. Roger was overall playing badly from the baseline but he pulled off 2 scrappy-ish volleys to break when he needed it. It was the style of old that Edberg used to win 100's of matches; come in on a bit of a gamble, hustle the net and see what happens.

That break revived Roger and he held his next 3 service games to take the set 6-4. Game on and into the fourth which was of course the key set. To win Roger was going to need to resist Monfils's hitting and not blink on his own serve. Could he do it? It didn't look overly promising at the start I must say as Roger had to save a break point in his opening service game to level at 1-1.

Monfils is well known for his hot and cold type play and that came to the fore in game 3 as he was broken making some telling errors only to break back instantly with some heavy forehand hitting. That break put Monfils back in the driving seat as he was again serving first and was soon up 5 games to 4.

Enter the biggest moment of the match as serving to stay in it Fed slipped down to 15-40, hitting a terrible forehand at 15-30 which made it look like curtains. Somehow though it wasn't the end as he saved both of them, one a little fortunately off a drive volley where Monfils' reply drifted long and the other with a sweetly struck forehand down the line for a clean winner. 5 games all.

The missed match points unsettled Monfils badly and although he did hold a game point he fired down back to back double faults to get broken before Roger served it out to 15 to take it into a decider.

Heading into the fifth and momentum had changed big time, Roger found a second wind on serve and Monfils had gone back into his shell. When that happens there can only be one winner and Roger broke the Frenchman in his opening service game. 2-0 soon became 4-1 and Roger got the all important insurance break as Monfils faded quickly. Roger on the other hand was in the ascendency, riding high on confidence he fired a forehand drive volley winner from below waist height for 5-1 and although Monfils forced him to serve it out he did so with aplomb to take it 6-2 in the fifth; allowing Monfils only 11 points in a 27 minute final set. Allez!

Match Stats

Stats Gael Monfils Roger Federer
Aces 6 5
Double faults 10 2
1st serves in 98/157 (62 %) 86/151 (57 %)
1st serve points won 64/98 (65 %) 65/86 (76 %)
2nd serve points won 30/59 (51 %) 37/65 (57 %)
Fastest serve 137 MPH 130 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 114 MPH 117 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 98 MPH 94 MPH
Net points won 17/23 (74 %) 53/74 (72 %)
Break points won 5/15 (33 %) 6/13 (46 %)
Receiving points won 49/151 (32 %) 63/157 (40 %)
Winners 43 48
Unforced errors 49 44
Total points won 143 165


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Comes Back from 2 Sets Down

I still thought the finish line was far for Gael. I knew I could play better tennis. I got off to a good start, so I was actually feeling alright, but then when I was down two match points, that’s when I wasn’t feeling so great anymore, I thought, ‘This is it. This is last point, man. Just go down fighting, don’t miss an easy shot and let him have it. It’s fine.

But I served well and stayed in the match and somehow turned it around. I felt great in the fifth, though. I was really starting to play better and better as the match went on, and that’s a great feeling.

So where to begin? The positives are coming back from match points down is a pretty huge deal, it should give him a ton of confidence ahead of his next match and self belief in his ability to get it done under pressure. The next positive was stamina, as Fed seemed to get better as the match went on, by the fifth he was moving much much better and although it wasn't a brutal encounter he held up very well whereas Monfils faded. Just an all round impressive victory that proves Fed is able to win matches in so many different ways. Here he was like a misfiring car in the first couple of sets but just stuck around and eventually got into a high enough gear.

The negatives? The tournament is still nowhere near won and Fed will need to play much much better if he wants a chance of winning #18. But I'm pretty sure he already knows that.

Fighting back in such fashion was hugely impressive but I have to point out that Monfils outplayed Fed in the first 2 sets and very nearly won it in the fourth. When you're the GOAT all the emphasis is on your own shots rather than the opponent but Monfils did a very good job of stifling Roger at the back of the court. He did so by pulverizing his forehand, taking all Fed's time away and by generally been an ass on court.

Feigning an injury, having full blown conversations with himself, taking ages between changeovers and constantly stopping Fed on serve by holding his hand up were all part of his act. Pure gamesmanship but it worked in his favour and very nearly won him the match. Not pleasing to see really but that's how he operates. I don't think Cilic is that sort of guy but a certain Serbian definitely is. Something to watch out for if they both make the final.

The gamesmanship type play coupled with Fed's forehand not clicking plus the wind made it hard to build rhythm and every time Fed sort of had half a chance early in the match he'd struggle to pull the trigger with anything meaningful.

From my point of view I'm just glad he got it done, the outlook was bleak in that fourth set when down match points but he pulled it out the bag; something which makes staying up till 5am for all the worthwhile 😆

Predictions vs. Cilic

Fed Cilic USO 2014

I'm looking forward to playing Marin, He’s a great guy. We had a tough, tough match in Toronto. I think I needed nine match points to close him out and beat him at midnight, 6-4 in the third, so we know what to expect.

So next up is Cilic and he is arguably going to post a bigger test than Monfils did last night. Cilic has been bang in form over the past 2 Grand Slams and he's really hitting the ball huge. He's done well at the USO before but his game is more rounded these days and he definitely has the weapons to cause Fed problems. As we saw with the match in Toronto, Fed definitely can get it done but it's not going to be plain sailing.

In some ways Cilic is similar to Monfils as he has a big serve and a monster forehand but I don't think he covers the court or makes Fed play the extra ball as well as the Frenchman. That definitely works more in Fed's favour and it should mean he can come into the net more often and not have to hesitate. I guess we'll see what happens come Saturday, more urgency needed from Fed in the first set though and he definitely can't afford to get pushed around by Cilic from the back of the court.

I'll pick Fed in 4. 6-4 6-2 6-7 6-4. Allez!


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

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  1. wow… 70+ points at the net… that’s pretty impressive stuff. Gonna have to keep it coming.

    On to Cilic! While I do feel that it won’t be an easy match, it seems easier to me than monfils. Not getting that extra ball back is going to really be easier for Roger I feel

    1. And at a 72% win rate. You know, some idiots say how Nadal is so good at the net, when he wins like 5/5, or 9/10 at the net. You know what, that doesn’t even make sense. If you come to the net very few times, and when you have the best opportunities to finish, that really isn’t called front court game.

      Front court genius is coming in by intent, in uncomfortable positions, like Roger did, 74 times, and winning 72% of them. If you put in the context the quality of courts, the fitness of his opponents, and the racquet technology they use, it makes Roger Federer, the greatest volleyer of his generation.

      Case closed!

      1. Of his generation, yeah he’s untouchable. I disagree though with people saying he’s one of the best of all time, there are a couple in front of him 🙂

        I find it crazy how he pick those volleys from bellow the net and drops it exactly where he’s supposed to. Genius!

      2. Correct. You’ve also got to remember that in “that generation” of serve and volleying, that was pretty much it. They were designed to play at the net. What would Roger be like in the S&V era? He would’ve been right up there in the top 2 or 3. There is no way to prove it though.

      3. Absolutely agree. His volleys are unbelievable. Definitely the best I’ve ever seen. A few sloppy mistakes on the easy ones, but otherwise breath taking skill.

      1. I was just interested to see what everyone else thinks.

        My view is that Henman was a better volleyer for sure, he was better at positioning himself at the net and just had better technique.

        Federer is better under pressure though and comes up with some sublime stuff when he needs it. Henman would more often than not miss or not do enough with the volley then get burned.

        I think Henman should have won a slam really, just wasn’t mentally up for it. Always had Sampras, Hewitt in the way.

      2. Just watched some highlights from Paris Indoors in 2003. Henman’s best ever tournament, beats Davydenko, Grosjean, Kuerten Fed, Roddick and then schooled Pavel in the final.

        Unreal really, that draw was crazy and he beat them all comfortably. Testament to Henman’s talent really. Way more fun to watch than Murray.

  2. Well, Well, well.. What a tough match to get out…Hats off to Roger for the way he played…Probably some luck also but don’t count out Monfolis’s luck too considering how many of his shots painted the line….. Real impressive fact on the match is Roger finding way to win it without his FH and serve(certain extend) working as his level until late in 4/5th set.

    Gael was saying in presser MP isn’t really causing him match but beginning of fifth set…Not sure, but I think he is spot on saying that Roger was all over when his level dipped in beginning 5th set…If he had some easy games in beginning then it could be much tighter.. Stan did than against Kei and paid price…

    Nerve wrecking stuff.. Crowd is firmly behind Roger really helped it seems.

    Even though I followed his GS success earlier, I never got really into following so much until Roger’s final in USOPEN against Delpo. He had same kind of argument with Umpire and lost plot….Glad he didn’t fall that category yesterday…

    Hopefully he play much cleaner match against Cilic and get it done.

  3. Last time he came back again Bennetau I was sitting right below the players Box at centre. Had a stake tht day and he saved my arse.

    And today I was so confident he ll nail Monfils I put quite a fortune on him and had he missed that forehand I would have filed Bankruptcy.

    Hail the GODERER!

      1. Reminds me of that famous quote by Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), from the movie, Rounders: You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle….But you can’t win much either.*

        *Warning: Gambling is injurious to your health, especially when you’re betting against Roger Federer.

  4. Well done Nambi!!!

    Yes I am really happy that Roger came back from 2 sets and 2 match point down. Hopefully this should give him extra confidence against Cilic. Come on Roger you can do it! !

  5. You hv said it all and Fed left it all out there! Bloody marvellous result as I had given up at. 2 sets down but I got my miracle. Hoping that the FH and 1st serve are betterer tomorrow and he rides the confidence this comeback will hv given him!
    Enough said about Monf, the Coke drinking kind of sums him up! He cannot be serious !!
    Cilic is a threat but his movement is not as good and his passing shot not as accurate. Coming forward has to be the right move for Roger!
    There is no doubt that Cilic has improved under Goran ( including serve speed) but he will undoubtably be the more nervous and counting on Feds experience to bring him thru in 4 sets.
    Ps I shld always play my matches on 3/4 hrs of sleep as inspired by Fed I won today!!
    Pps loved yr tweet about the live chat going down at 4.19am!! Really made me laugh
    See you Sat night for Cilic showdown!!

    1. Laurent said in live chat he did it once to settle his stomach and just carried on with it?

      I never drink coke anyway but could never drink it during a tennis match!

  6. Roger still has in him the baseline game. If I am not wrong, he won the 3 longest rallies of the match. It is more than impressive that he plays 70 plus points at net and wins 72% of them, but for me his baseline game will play a huge role in his win against Cilic and Djoker if he chooses to play it smart. Djoker is very good at passing and Fed’s net play will be under huge pressure against him. It has to be his baseline play which will both surprise and outsmart Djoker (Of course first if he wins against Cilic which I hope and pray he does).

    1. Agree. Fed got passed countless of time by Novak in the final and that’s only grass so you can imagine what would happen here, Roger at the net hit so many shots to Monfils instead of away at the open court, normally he waits for his opponent to move so he knows which side so he needs to make sure when constructing a point, he doesn’t rush. His baseline only kicked up a notch in the fourth because he had no rhythm in the previous sets, Roger with momentum is dangerous on the baseline.

  7. “Pure gamesmanship but it worked in his favour and very nearly won him the match. Not pleasing to see really but that’s how he operates. I don’t think Cilic is that sort of guy but a certain Serbian definitely is. Something to watch out for if they both make the final.”

    Hello?? MTO anyone?? Discusting Novak has found out how Rafa also beats Roger. By using gamesmenship. So… when he sees that Roger has momentum and crowd behind him and will probably win…. well, why not make sure that that doesn’t happen and lets just miss use an mto and steal someone’s well earned and well deserved title !!!

    Yes I know, I am still not over the Wimby loss (stealing) 🙂

    Come on Roger, you may not be perfect, but atleast you fight and win or lose with honour and your head held up high 🙂 Come on Goat. 2 more matches to go 🙂

    1. Seriously lets just drop this bathroom break thing. Any person who lost the set like that would have taken a bathroom break. It was well within the rules and I think even Roger took a break at the same time. I hate Novak as well for so many reasons but seriously Federer didn’t lose because of that. Novak is a monster mentally bathroom break or not. It is comments like this that make people think Fed fans are sour grapes.

      1. Bathroom breaks are ok, especially after a tough, long set. Unless someone is running to the bathroom after each set, in which case he has a much bigger problem to deal with than his opponent.

        As for Roger, he did take what I consider the GOAT bathroom break vs Davydenko. What gives it its GOATness is the fact that Roger admitted later he didn’t really use the restroom, he was waiting for the sun to go away. Epic!

      2. No way he said that!! Really???

        And I have to agree- bathroom breaks are fine. Unless they’re being deliberately overused. That MTO in the Wimbledon final, however, was not. That was unacceptable. Pure gamesmanship on part of the Serb.

      3. Gaurav, here it is, from the GOAT’s mouth:

        “When the sun comes from the side, the ball seems half the size and is just hard to hit, I never take toilet breaks. But I thought, Why not? I just hoped with every minute it took, the sun would move another centimeter.”

        At least he was honest 🙂

      4. No no no Ajay, you got me all wrong. Atleast read my comment well 🙂 Again 🙂

        I have not mentioned bathroombreaks. I mean, come on, that is a part of the game. The guys and girls drink so much water and other stuff, how can you NOT go for a bathroombreak? You have to right?

        Ajay, I was talking about MTO. The medical time out Novak mis used in the 5th. He sat on his chair. Getting MASSAGED. Drinking out of 3 different bottles. Looking at his racquet and his box…. all WHILE getting massaged for a medical time out that lasted 8 minutes and 3 seconds, while Roger had no other choice than to wait for his 6 year younger opponent !!! Now that is gamesmenship. Had he not done that and played on…. who knows…. maybe Roger cold have broken him. And could have won himself.
        Now… we are 2 months past. Everyone is talking about how great Novak is for beating the legend Roger on his favourite surface grass, and there is NO ONE even asking him “why did you take the mto in the 5th? It did not look like you were in pain?”. And now that undeserving Novak might win another GS (maybe at the cost of Roger again). How is that fair? I am NOT saying Novak did not deserve to win Wimby. He did. He played GREAT in the final. BUT… he did take an opportunity away from Roger what maybe could have made Roger the winner. Novak deserved the win, but by mis using the mto (and trust me, he and his team know that very well), this win was tainted.

        I know you all have moved on from Wimby, but to be honest… I HAVEN’T. Everytime I look at Novak’s face. It makes me angry. Roger also takes bathroombreaks, sometimes long ones, but that does not matter. They all do it. But Roger (in my opinion) never mis used a mto. So Ajay, this is not Fed fans beeing sour grapes….

      5. Oh and one more last important thing before I stop about this mto.

        I don’t think anyone here has seen the match between Wozniacki and Shui Peng. Talk about heartbreaking. Peng made it to probably her first SF at a GS. She fought and fought hard against Carolina. But in the 2nd set she suffered from a heatstroke, which looked at first like cramping. Unfortunately she had to retire. I had NEVER seen Peng play, but honestly, I had tears in my eyes when she broke down of pain. It was so heartbreaking to see. She was in tears, had to be moved out on a wheelchair. First the took a mto, tried to play after that until she collapsed. Now THAT is a reason for a mto. It was sooooo heartbreaking. She was in so much pain and she wanted to go on, but they had to stop her.
        And then you see all kind of other players (male and female) who use this kind of a mto and then come back, stronger and faster….

        Like I said, I haven’t moved on from Wimby, but I will stop speaking about it.

        I am a Serena fan, would like her to win, but this time I am rooting for Carolina. I have always liked her, she seems very nice and talks nice too, but the great sportmenship she showed to Peng…. other can follow her on that…..

      6. Yeah medical timeouts need stricter rules and more Umpires using common sense. Shame they are all wimps afraid of getting jumped in the locker room showers by Dulls or Djokers cronies 😀

      7. “Shame they are all wimps afraid of getting jumped in the locker room showers by Dulls or Djokers cronies :D”

        You are one funny dude Jon 🙂 How do you come up with these lines?? 🙂

    2. Hey Katyani , really sorry about that, my bad. Still I think we should move on. I think there is no point in hating on Novak. I mean we all hate Nadal , I think that is fine. It’s better to let it go in this case though. I mean maybe if he didn’t take that MTO he would have still won and we might have been looking for some other reason why Roger lost. I for one definitely think Roger didn’t play aggressive enough. In Wimbledon 2012 he was just ripping winners whenever he could against Novak. He almost looked like he wanted to beat Novak playing Novak’s game this time around. And Novak after losing 3 straight GS finals , maybe he deserved it ? I mean Roger reached the final pretty much out of the blue. But this US Open Roger definitely deserved to win it. He has put his heart and soul in the last few months to win tournaments and he desperately wants this one.

      1. I dunno if I agree with you saying Roger wasn’t aggressive enough. 2012 was indoors, helps him quite a bit, and I thought that he played as aggressive as Novak allowed him to play in 2014. Novak was hitting everything deep ans crushing the passing shots, so it’s not all Roger there imo.

        Though where I agree TOTALLY with you is the stuff about the bathroom breaks and MTOs. Give it a break people! He lost fair and square, and I really don’t believe that the mto had anything to do with it.

      2. Hey Ajay, please don’t apologise. Last night I was just in the mood to rant, that’s all 🙂 🙂 You don’t know me personally, but I don’t get over stuff very quickly. I cannot seem to forgive and forget. A very very bad character flaw of mine 🙂

        What do you think about Roger vs Cilic? I think it will be a quick win for Roger (hope so) and eventhough Nishi will not beat Novak, he will win atleast one set….

        Go Roger 🙂 Sooooo hope you win USO 2014…

      3. I think Fed lost Wimbledon final because his FH wasn’t quite on fire. It was a quality final and Djoker played high level over 5 sets, no arguments about that. MTO was shady though, no doubts about it, perhaps it didn’t make the difference in the end but ti definitely bought him time to recuperate.

  8. Hi Jonathan

    I actually watched the match this morning so was shocked when he went 2 sets to love down, even more shocked when he saved two match points and then went onto win, please excuse me when I say it was bloody marvellous, yes I know there was luck involved but at least he won, as I was always told its not how you start its how you finish. Lets hope “The Federator” is back on court against Cilic, and hopefully with his forehand and serve working at 100% (okay I would settle for 95%). Two more steps to go. Come on Roger No 18 is such a nice number

  9. We may have found the reason why Roger doesn’t sweat much when playing. He lets his fans do the sweating 🙂

    What a game tenth in the fourth set! What a way to save the match!

    1. Agreed! And I seriously want to hit anyone who says he got lucky down match points…. He saved em with guts and by being aggressive!

    2. Yeah, some luck in the sense Monfils dig off the drive volley went long. Good job he wasn’t left handed with a top spin forehand like Dull, would have sailed in!

  10. In-cre-DI-bile, as they must have been saying in Italy.

    At 2 sets down I felt so sad – similar to Indian Wells I think, or even the Wimbledon final: “He just hasn’t got enough today. There are moments of such luminosity, but he just hasn’t got enough.” There were tweets like “did Roger Federer not get the memo that Roger Federer was scheduled to play tonight?”, and “Gaël Monfils is beating Roger Federer by playing like Roger Federer”, and I couldn’t disagree with them.

    And Gaël was about 11 feet tall and with his arms spread could seemingly reach the full width of the net. He was just mind-boggling, and Fed kept hitting it wide, or long, or into the net.

    I packed it in after set 2. I get wrecked if I don’t get enough sleep, and I just couldn’t put myself though more of that. Maybe I should have stayed awake. Or maybe my positive vibes to Fed as I went to sleep had an effect 😉 – wonder how many of us worldwide were doing that? (I even sang most of Linkin Park’s “Iridescent” to him in my head)(ahem).

    This morning I was prepared to come here & just write “heartbroken”. I almost didn’t turn on the computer, but I thought, let’s get it over with, and check the score. And sat disbelieving at the screen. He won? He WON???? How on earth did he WIN?????

    I think you nailed it Jonathan when you said “Here he was like a misfiring car in the first couple of sets” – I was thinking he was like a motor that was sputtering, and I’ve seen that analogy on a French site too, may translate that one for you all. I don’t know what he did to turn it around, but what’s clear is that he didn’t give up – as he might have done last year – and indeed as he looked on the verge of doing when he went match point down in set 4 – but he hung in there. Not perfectly – he apparently kept trying to dropshot Monfils when Lamonf was getting to every single one – but he didn’t give up, and kept trying different things.

    And his first serve decided it had had enough of a vacation for one match, and showed up again. And shots that had been going out started staying in, while Gaël’s that had been dropping in started missing. Rog was so incredibly lucky on that first match point in set 4 – so many of those shots of Gaël’s had gone in throughout the match. But while luck certainly played a part, he played a huge part in making the luck too – giving the luck a place to thrive. Making Gaël feel he had to go for a bit more, perhaps, and overcooking that potentially match-winning shot just a bit. And then as others have said, he was on fire himself to take the next (match) point.

    This match seems to have generated some particularly eloquent & thoughtful tennis writing (love when that happens!). Here are some I particularly appreciated (at least parts of; don’t actually agree with everything here):

    You don’t need me to tell you about this one, but this article of Jonathan’s is great: recognizes our hero’s lapses, gives credit to the opponent, recognizes that the wind was a factor, reminds us that we’re not at the summit yet, yet also celebrates Roger’s successes and gives us a great deal to be very proud of in our man. Thank you, Jonathan, as always, for your balance, your thoughtfulness, and your insights.

    Brian Phillips for Grantland:

    Kevin Mitchell for The Guardian, including this fabulous line:
    “Rarely has he looked simultaneously so wrecked and so jubilant.”

    Matt Zemek for bloguin (don’t really agree with his overall characterization of Roger’s play as “mediocre”, but I think it’s a valid point, because for at least the first 2 sets it WAS pretty mediocre):

    Lastly, if you speak French (& so I can find it again myself!), here’s Alexandre Ferret for Le Point (this short discussion is actually at the head of a point-by-point recap of the entire match – again in French.) I find this whole page quite interesting because of course as a French publication, their focus is a bit different:

    1. Cheers Thinker and for sharing the articles, I enjoyed the Grantland one.

      On a side note – do you think these Wordsmiths actually talk like this in real life? 😆 So much fluff, I couldn’t handle it.

      1. mmmm…. probably not all the time, but it’s not really the same medium, as it’s not a conversation. I think probably they might say at least some of their written sentences in an actual conversation. You, I think, actually try to make your posts fairly conversational – it’s part of your style 😉

  11. Wow, what a close shave that was for Roger!!! I feared the worst at two match points down and am so chuffed that he was able to save them and turn the match around. It was excellent play from Roger but as always Lady Luck plays a part in these situations, and this time she was smiling on Roger. I was a little surprised that Monfils effectively gave up in the fifth set ( which most of us thought he would do ). Yes, Roger had momentum then and really upped his game, but Monfils seemed to have no fight left in him?

    I am confident that roger will take Cilic in the semis but it will not be a walk in the park. But I would be surprised if Roger does not do the job in four ( and maybe tough) sets.

    I then fervently hope that somehow Nishikori can take Djokovic down in the semi because I am not at all confident that Roger can beat Novak in the final. Novak moves better ( he IS six years younger than the Maestro ) but notwithstanding his gamesmanship at times, I am both startled and impressed at his mental acumen. If Roger is to beat him, I think it will take a herculean task for Roger to beat him. And boy I hope I am wrong. Anyways, first stop Cilic.

      1. Nishikori is toast. But that’s what I said when he was playing Stan. That didn’t turn out well.

        He needs all of the Chang’s protein shake to pull out another upset.

      1. I agree. Kei has a better chance at beating Djoker than Stan. He has the type of game that gives trouble to Djoker. He’s a grinder like Murray, but playing better at the moment.

      2. Wow, really? I think he can make it competitive, but to win it is something else. Oh well, time will tell 😀

  12. I was ranting about Chang in the last post. Now, anybody watched Peng’s theatrics against Caro on breakpoints? Confucius was right, “When Oriental players lose, they become disoriented”.

    1. Hey Sid, I agree most of the time with your comments (even the funny rants, but not the rants where you use the F-word like 10 times 🙂 , but this one is not fair. Peng was not acting or using gamesmenship, she really was in pain and tried to play on as many times as possible….. Respect for her and for Caro both.

      1. Katyani, I watched the videos again. It was pure theatrics. Funny how such things start happening only when players are on the brink. If she had taken one of those break points, all would have been well.

        Confucius say, “Can’t play tennis, buy Peng Pong paddle”.

      2. No Sid, Peng really was in pain. But the way Caro acted towards her was fantastic. Such a nice girl. The way she beat Sharapova was awesome. I hope she wins the title, but Serena is looking scary good….

      3. Wasn’t she at 3-4 but with a break point? Seems an odd time to give up.

        Looks like another Serena slam. I’m not a fan of Woz much either as she’s a pusher. Part of the problem why women’s tennis has zero identity these days. Bring back Henin!

  13. Wow absolutely gutted that I wasn’t able to watch this match live! Federer lives to fighterer another day? Epic epic mental display from Roger here, another page being added to his GOAT book, respect! Roger is not the type of player to let a bad call upset him and get in his head so it was obvious from the start that Roger was not having a good day. Don’t think I’ve seen Fed so pissed off in a match in a long time. Testament to him to hang on and play better as the match went on, a scrappy win but to come out of this one, you have to wonder how this can only aid him. Monfils was playing quite far from the baseline so I was surprised by how effective he was so kudos but as you said his gamesmanship and clowning around (is he getting sponsored by coke? Wonder what that’s about) takes away any credibility which is sad because he is a talented player and had he got his shit together probably would’ve won a slam and won the match last night.

    A lot of fans are concerned about the physical consequences this will have, but I don’t believe it was that long for a 5 set match, only the fourth set really involved asked a lot of Fed physically and mentally. To see Roger show such ability in the slams lately is amazing and should he go on to win here, then I don’t think any one can predict what he will do next. I can also sense a lot of negativity in that people and sadly Fed fans think he doesn’t have the level to beat Novak in the final. I can obviously understand why there is that opinion because it’s true that Roger hasn’t shown the level yet to match Roger on the hard court BUT you can’t underestimate how this match will boost his confidence and make him increase the level.

    Cilic is playing some banging tennis right now, but Berdych didn’t push him. So this will be really Roger’s first day match which I blame the organisers on, but not much he can do, hope he can adjust to the conditions and heat well enough and not let it disrupt his rhythm. I hope he will only take the positives from the Monfils match and trust himself a little more, because he will have to play much better to win tomorrow. The first serve and the FH have been suffering a little more than usual so remains to be seen how he can fix those things in his game but once again he has the confidence, he’s moving well and he can win this match. Allez Roger!

    P.S. I bow down to the music guy in the stadium who played The Imperial March when Fed won, awesome!

      1. omg, right as they’re hugging at the net! You can hardly hear it over the crowd! Thank you so much!

      2. Hahaha! I knew it the moment they started playing it.

        That reminds me. For some reason, the crowd noise is subdued and almost never allowed to go above a certain db level. I don’t know why. I end up getting the voice over from those two stupid fucking commentators, who, I will kill when I find them, if Ajay hasn’t already. The only time I could hear the crowd well was right after Roger saved the match points.

        Why do they have to spoil? I mean, what is it that they are trying to achieve? Isn’t there some way I can turn of listening to these stupid fucks?

      3. Sid, I muted the commentary till the end of the match starting from 3rd set onward. Fed had just lost 2 sets and these stupid commentators were irritating me too much. I would have loved to listen to crowd specially when Fed saved MPs, but I did not want to jinx the match. 😀

      4. The problem with muting the audio is that the audience cheers and the court noise goes. Which for me is weird, as much I would love to join Ajay and Sid’s crusade to find not just those two commentators, but more or les all of ’em west of the Atlantic, and whack them with their microphones. Plus, the crowd is always so pro Fed that a) It’s awesome to hear and b) I can, with 90% accuracy, tell who has won the point from any part of the house.

      5. I been watching on a stream with no commentary. Can hear everything, it’s actually better as the vast majority of them offer no insight at all.

        Koenig isn’t bad, Goodall too but they don’t do slams. Frew Macmillan is good.

        Shame they already took down the USO video, they are clamping down majorly lately.

        Agreed on the 5 setter not being physical either Alysha, hoping he is explosive vs. Cilic.

      6. Oh you mean a stream with no commentary. I was talking about muting the volume altogether on the telly. No point streaming it when you get a far more stable option on cable here. Plus, with streaming you have flat mates cribbing about the bandwidth. Or worse, you yourself cribbing about someone else hogging the bandwidth.

        Koenig and Goodall are my favourite. Aren’t they the European commentators? I thought I heard Koenig when I was streaming an early round US Open match. I’m also fond of Vijay Amritraj and Alan Wilkins. They’re fun, although the ‘Vijay on the spot’ segment where Amritraj gives his prediction is always wrong.

        There was this one time when Amritraj didn’t realise that the mic was still catching his voice and the few Indians watching Wimbledon in 2013 heard him say “look at those jugs Alan”

  14. NYC weather forecast for tomorrow is warmer than today, with chance of thunderstorm(s) increasing afternoon/evening.


      1. I think there are only two big games tomorrow. So there’s no reason his game will be moved to Sunday. I have no doubt they will play those matches out later in the day, if needed.

  15. Tomorrow, it seems, anything could happen. Fed not really playing a full day match yet. Storms in the area. It’s on Fed’s racket at the end of the day.
    Maybe he’ll start out wearing blue, thunderstorm, come back in black for the rest of the match, lol.

    I saw some of the Murray/Djoker match and thought Murray was the better player. His fitness let him down.

    As far as commentators, I don’t mind Patrick McEnroe. John McEnroe jumps ship every time he opens his mouth. This USO, it has been all praise for Roger. Now, he’s going overboard with it.

    Hmmm, Davis Cup next week already. Not much time to rest and prepare.

    And, of course, thanks for the write up.

  16. What a match and what an atmosphere on Ashe, I was there and the crowd went nuts when Roger started his massive comeback! Like you say Jon, in the first to sets his forehand was all over the place and the serve not in place, in the 3rd and 4th it improved and in the 5th it was just incredible! GOAT stuff.

    But Monfils was also playing great and there was great rallies through out the match. But man all his minds games was killing me and making me want to kill him!!! 🙂
    But Roger found a way through without me jumping on court 😉

    But the atmosphere first when Roger fended of those two match points and when he broke Monfils right after was simply out of this world!!! I’m still high after that match.

    Now Cilic who I saw tear Berdych apart, he’s playing really really well, so it’s going to be another nail biter.

    And I also saw the Wawrinka-Nishikori match, also a really highlevel encounter, hopefully Kei have had some time to recover! And if he can find that level og play again Novak could be in trouble after he was not to impressive against Murray, which I also saw 🙂

    1. Thank you Mark for the first hand account from Ashe. I envy you. Since you were there and he won, I hope that you are there for his next two matches as well on behalf of us. 🙂

    2. Hey Mark,

      Didn’t know you were there. Glad you saw Monfils gamesmanship up close too. Very annoying.

      Does that mean we have a fan recap to look forward to?? 😀

      Dippy is going to do one after seeing Fed beat Granola Bar, otherwise I told her that she is banned from the blog forever.


      1. Yes I was there, and it was the biggest live tennis exsperience of my life so far, it was just incredible, I felt really lucky afterwards even though there where times during the match where I was thinking I woulden´t survive it, but it all ended up to be quite an amazing night on Ashe.

        Yeah Jon, you could get a fan recap, I just need to recover after a really great vacation, but also a vacation with a stolen back pag with my passport, car keys and mobile phone 🙁

        And the trip home was not good as I boarded the plane I saw Federer lose the first set and go down a break in the second, and when I just landed now I saw he lost. So Jon I´m looking foreward to your recap on this one.

  17. I actually think Federer will have a much easier match tonight against Cilic, whose defence is nowhere close to Monfils, power, literally the same and passing shots not threatening. It has to be an easier match, according to my logic.

    I’m interested in the Kei Novak match. To me, Nole – Nishikori is like Federer-Dimitrov. Nishikori is like a Novak clone. Which doesn’t bode well for Kei, but I think he is a fighter and has a chance to make a match out of it. And has anyone seen his 5th set/ 3rd set record? It’s incredibly good. Who knows just maybe he can pull off an upset. If anything it has the potential to be a long physical match.

    One thing I’m worried about is the weather.

    1. Yeah I seen a lot of tweets about weather, just gotta see what happens. Lashing it down here currently. Although that doesn’t have much bearing on NYC 😀

      I think Kei will pose some problems, he has quick feet and takes the ball really early. So I guess he is a bit like Djoker in that sense. I think he can do some damage though, especially if Djoker don’t have a good serving day, he can probably wallop his second serve and cause him a ton of problems.

      Key to match will be Nishikori’s legs holding up after 5 setters, but he has had 2 days off so hopefully he’s feeling fresh. And whether or not he can return well and play aggressive.

      I have a feeling Djoker will have to grind it out to win but we’ll see.

      1. This is how I see Kei, a lesser Novak. Kei said that he felt good physically after his win against Stanj so maybe he will be able to shake Novak but I don’t see how he could win. I we are lucky, he will take him to 5. That would be amazing.

      1. Jonathan, I have been watching the game for over forty years. It’s possible I know something about it. I also watch the news and the wars in Syria, Iraq and so on. Do you think it would be better to turn the telly off and pretend this stuff doesn’t happen? Of course, that’s what Lance Armstrong’s fans used to do. Pretend it doesn’t happen.

      2. I wasn’t questioning if you know something about the game. But it is like football fans who complain about ticket prices and then still buy them anyway? Until they vote with their feet, nothing will change.

  18. Anyone watching Novak vs Kei? Kei just won the first set. They are both playing extremely well. Very hard hitting.

      1. Honestly Sid, I don’t think I ever heard of Nishi before end 2012 I think. Now he is beating or almost beating the top guys left and right, even Novak, Rafa and our Roger?? How??

      2. Should definitely have heard of Nishikori before that, certainly when he and Fed played in the final of Basel 2011. 6-1 6-3.

    1. Jonathan, I am not paying or buying tickets to watch this stuff. I will offer this: Serena Williams, the oldest no.1 in the history of the women’s game, serves as big as the top male players. She is 5’9″ but serves bigger than Nishikori who is a good decade younger (he is also taller than her) and serves as big as Roger.. He is 6’1″. That’s as ridiculous as Steffi Graf in her generation serving as big as Sampras. Can’t happen. But it does with Serena. She has to be doping. As she is clearly getting away with it then so is everyone else who dopes.

      1. Serena Williams is a heavy doper. She ran to her panic room once when a doping guy showed up at her door. She said she was scared. Anyways, she didn’t take the test citing stress.

        Ok, so get this, doping tests are scheduled. She knew before hand that it will happens. It’s not like you just randomly send someone to test you.

        Bull shit. She should’ve been tested right there and then. Truth is, the ATP knows people like Nadal, and Williams dope. Do they have the ball to do what is needed? Fuck, no!

  19. The way Nishi is playing, I wonder if it is better for Roger to face Djoker in the final. Not going to be easy for Roger either way.

    1. After 1 set each I thought it was over for Nishi and I went to shower, now I am back… What the hell happened?? Nishi is 2 sets up?? How?? He looked beat and tired !!! Djoko 5 setter??

    2. Ok, let’s assume Roger beats Cilic, who is going to be one tough son of bi*** today. Novak, if he loses (unlikely), would do so only in five.

      You’re telling me, the Jap, with 15 sets on his legs in 6 days, will beat Roger?

      1. He had 10 sets in 21 hours when he beat Stan. He’s not going to be a pushover. He has troubled Roger before.

  20. Nishi up 2 sets to 1. Almost there. Looks like it’s not going to be too easy for Djoker and Dull to win Slams easily from hereon. Wish there were few others like Kei. Roger had to keep fighting against much younger Dull, Djoker and Murray to win his titles.

  21. Wow. And Novak breaks himself to start the 4th. It seems totally miserable out there, windy and a complete oven. 5 sets sounds good – wear each other out, maybe get to the start of the rain, then it might cool off a bit & the wind might die down for Roger.

    Doesn’t look too good for Novak right now though.

      1. Another ‘tireless’ player rises to the top level of men’s tennis. Plus ca change (as they would say about the Tour De France.) Rafa, we have hardly missed you. Kei sera sera – whatever will be, as the old song goes.

      2. Kei sera sera. Nice one! LOL

        And yes, the song remains the same. Nadal may be absent, but he left behind his long long brother from the other side.

  22. Ah damn it, wake up at 4am to see that this match is still not done with. Well call me a fool, Kei has the upper hand and has the break in the fourth set, this just got interesting.

    1. Even if Novak wins this (which honestly will be kudos of him), don’t think he will ever take Nishi lightly again when he sees he could meet him in his draw 🙂

      1. Apparently Novak and Kei have had previous tough matches so I’m not sure if was a matter of Novak taking him lightly, he just didn’t play good enough to win.

  23. Oke Roger, what ever happens here, you should still concentrate on your own match and win that, otherwise their will be 2 new finalists….

      1. Yes you did Jon. Good call 🙂 Now IF Roger wins the title, he will be officially nr 2 and the first to the race to WTF. Not bad for someone they thought would be close to retirement 🙂
        Note to critics: Never give up on the Goat, whatever the circumstances….

  24. Please start Roger’s match A.S.A.P! Rain, rain, and more rain starting 4.30 pm. Come on, get this Jap out of the courts, and let the match begin.

  25. Congrats to Nisi, good good win. How he has recovered for his matches and still managed to up his level is pure resilience. Djoker not good enough in the key moments and backhand down the line failed. You have to wonder how this effects Cilic now, upsets have a way of being contagious. C’mon Fed, let’s do this.

  26. Woahhhhhh!! What a fantastic win for Kei. He comes across as such a sweet and nice guy. Would definitely root for him if it were anyone but Fed/ Wawrinka. Well, if Fed gets through today, he must be fancying his chances. But not to get ahead of ourselves.

      1. Could be, Kei can be explosive whereas Djoker is a defender. However, Novak is a mental rock so Nishikori could crumble under the pressure in his first slam final. Novak wasn’t aggressive enough and Kei was taking the ball early. Could be a good match if Fed comes through. Allez!

  27. Feds is gonna be biting his nails for a loooong time if he doesn’t win this… Best chance in awhile… Come on Roger!

  28. Congratulations to Kei Nishikori, Michael Chang, and the IMG Academy (plus fans). Truly deserved this victory. 1st Asian player to make it to Finals. WOWOW. Looking forward to Final.

      1. The main thing they teach is if you can’t beat ’em join ’em. No matter how much tennis Kei plays he won’t get tired. Like a lot of others now.

      2. Precisely. Just hit one more ball. This the fucking problem with American tennis, and its coaches these days (tennis in general). Use a full western grip, stay behind the baseline, pound the ball, grunt if you want to, and hope for the other guy to make a mistake.

        Turn an art form, into a UFC fight. And then there are people like David trying to preach that to the world.

        Hey David, if Mr. Nagasaki wins this, take that slam and shove………………

      3. If you think that is Nishikori’s style you are mistaken. He plays aggressively off both wings. No huge weapon of course, but he is far more offensive than Djokovic. So I don’t know how you can call him a pusher.

      4. Jonathan, let’s just say we think very differently about tennis, and leave it at that.

      5. Hi Sid,

        As far as I don’t like Kei’s act on the court sometimes, I don’t think it is right to generalised everything. What you write can be hurtful for Asian who read this blog. I am half asian, and feel a little offended with what you write, although I know you from this blog for quite long (so I can understand that it is just a style of you write a comment, not truly because you hate asian). Imagine a new reader here and read your comments?

        I always like to read your comments, lots of them are funny, but please if you don’t like one player, don’t make a generalisation or bring the race into it.

        About IMG, Tommy Haas?

      6. Leave it at that? By your definitions of being a pusher, even Fed is starting to seem like one. The Fed pre-Edberg, that is. Whatever your reservations about Nishikori, he beat Novak today by being the more aggressive. And he did NOT just push his way to victory.

      7. Hey clown, I know you’re a sore loser but bringing up one of humanity’s worst moments and attaching it to a player from that nation is a new low. Very few relish in that kind of atrocity and destruction. But you are apparently one of them. And Kei is from Shimane, Japan. Pretty American of you to not know basic geography and bring up WW2.

      8. [Even Fed is starting to seem like one]

        At this age, 33, that is.

        Hey David, I’m just making fun of him. I don’t care which city he really is from. As for the bombing, I didn’t like it, but it’s war, and things happen. So, shut your pie hole.

      9. You make fun of Kei/Chang based on their ethnicity because you’re a sore loser/racist.
        You don’t care which city he is from because you are willfully/culturally ignorant.
        You brought up the bombing because you have a twisted sense of humor.
        You need to shut up as evidenced by the people in the comments section.

        Now go watch Bill O’Reilly and listen to Rush Limbaugh.

      10. Hey bitch, why would I want to learn about Japanese cities, you asswipe? Give me one good reason why I should, huh? Like I’m running for an election or something in Japan LOL

        Go way, bitch!

      11. I see Jon has deleted a couple of comments. That’s ok. I thought I’d have have the last word.

        I despise both Bill O’Lie-lly, and Rush “Meth” Limbaugh. So, nice try. Ha!

        Next, I’ve been severely critical of many things American on this very blog. As for your comments about my knowledge of history, well, yeah, you may be an expert, but I’m no pushover. However, I didn’t know much about Shimane. But now I do! Whoo hoo!

        Take my troll comments and jokes for what they are. There’s nothing wrong being a bit racist for fun. It’s good for your health. You can be racist, and still do the right thing when it matters.

        And here’s a history lesson for you. Our great President Abraham Lincoln was a documented racist. Yet he fought tooth and nail to free the slaves. You see?

        Case closed!

  29. Please don’t let Roger have to play tomorrow….. Nishi in the final will be an extreme challenge already…. Please let it stop raining….. 🙂

    1. They will play in a few minutes. Hope Roger doesn’t lose his focus as Djoker is out. I hope he can keep it short and sweet today and on Monday 🙂

  30. I think Sid should shut up with this Asian bullshit. I have agreed with him so many times but this is getting out of hand. Make your point and leave it at that. No need to call everyone by names. Nishikori is an awesome player who is btw clearly better than Dimitrov. He is not a pusher and he is also a super nice as are most Asians. If we want to generalize Americans with a few guys in there then it is gonna get ugly. So lets all please leave the ethnicity aside.

    1. As a mark of protect, I’ve decided not to watch tennis for the rest of the season. I’ll troll around a bit though.

  31. I’m crushed. Just want to break something and then cry.

    I don’t know if there was anything Roger could’ve done. This was his best shot and Cilic just decided to learn how to crush a ball, not miss first serves and become mentally stable for this match.

    Love you Rog. Keep your head up.

    1. Exactly, losing to someone he has never lost to before as well in straight sets in a slam semi after coming back from the brink in the prior match. No words.

      1. I broke two bottles, punched the TV and the only reason my phone stifle works is because it’s a solid blackberry standard.

  32. Ouch, this one is gonna sting for a long time. Such a comprehensive performance from Cilic there, never really let Fed into the match and Roger fucked up in the third set after getting that break. Was hoping he could’ve improved his level but seems as it was not meant to be. Don’t think there was a better chance than this one to get another US Open or another slam. Fml. Will be dying waiting to hear for your thoughts everybody. Shit way for his run to come to an end.

  33. Don’t have the words really. Cilic, in his on court interview, said that’s the best he’s ever played. Why is it always against Roger that that happens!
    Fed just looked like he had no legs. No gas left in the tank after the Monfils match. So disappointing for him. It will be awhile to get over this one.
    Proud of you Roger.

    1. As crushed as I am, fitness had nothing to do with it. It was Cilic’s game that was on fire. Federer didn’t seem flat at all.

  34. Another first for Cilic. First player to come off a doping ban to contest a grand slam final. But Niahikori won’t be protesting.

    1. Precisely. Banned for doping. Then he comes back, and is “not” doping now, and plays like that? Nishikori is totally doping. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind.

      1. You know Sid, I have to comment on this one. Why would a new, upcoming rising atill young player take a risk of doping when he has hired a very famous former player?? Don’t you worry all the time that your new coach will find it out?? I mean they are together almost 14 or more hours a day. It is also the reputation of the former player/coach.

        I honestly believe The Great Uncle Toni and Rafa are the ONLY “doping-couple”. Not anyone else. Why would Nishi risk using dope while he knows Chang is watching him 24/7?? Same goes for Cilic. And about Cilic. He just served a doping ban. He went “crazy” not been able to compete. Now he can… and you think he will risk it all again for doping??

        No Sid, I agree with you on Rafa and doping. Otherwise no one is doping. This is 2014. You will be found out. Eventually. Players don’t want that risk. There is this thing called Karma. What goes around comes around. We all have to pay for the things we done…

        I cannot explain Nishi’s win, but he was really tired. Maybe adrenaline?? Not wanting to give up his first chance of a final??

        And Cilic was just plain and simple…. too good…. Did you see the look in his eyes?? He was there to win….

      2. Katyani, the former head of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA), Richard Pound, says “tennis has a doping problem”, not “Nadal has a doping problem”. It goes right through the game. He also says a player has to be “dumb or careless” to be caught. The chances of being found out are very slim. Of course coaches would know about it. They probably recommend it. Why? Because they would say everyone else does it. If you wanna win you will have to do what it takes. Would a player take that risk – which as we know is very small – just for enormous wealth, fame and success? Ask Lance.

      3. All player juice, full stop. no exceptions, including big 4s
        now, it all depends on what is legal and whatnot, that’s all.
        case closed as Sid said 🙂

  35. Thought I would be crushed, I’m not. I’m rather cold. Fed I must say had a lot on his hands with Colin serving so well.
    Two things I want to know: wil we be number 2 at the end of the USOpen ?
    Hw far are we from Djokovic for the Year End of 1?
    Big question: is Cilic stil doping by error like d 1st time?
    I’m not sure how many losses Fed can take anymore. This was tame by his standards.
    I see Cilic winning the final, I won’t bother watching dt rubbish.
    Stay together friends, emotionally, itz gonna b tough, d grandslam are over this year… Letz focus on ending the year No 1 and Davis Cup.
    I stil say Federer will win a slam next year, it jst could be AO.

    1. 1 – No, we won’t be No.2. We will miss it by 1000 points.

      2 – We are about 800 points behind Djokovic year to date.

      3 – Roger ain’t winning AO2015.

    2. Fed has overtaken Nadal in the rankings by reaching the semis. However, he’s still got a way to go to get #1, Novak would have to fail immensely in the indoor swing to lose his ranking and Fed would probably have to sweep it to knock Novak off but it’s not impossible I guess. Fed has already played a lot of tennis this year so I wouldn’t be surprised if his results fluctuate over the next few months.

      But yeah Fed got demolished out there, not sure if he was emotionally drained or Cilic too good. Probably a combination of both. Also CBS are probably freaking out right now that they have to televise a final without any members of the big 4, suicidal for ratings. Would be sweet if the Swiss can pull of Davis Cup as well! After the way Roger came back this season after 2013, he was building up to a slam and he was moving insanely well the past few weeks, it just didn’t click once again. I doubt he ever wins AO again, I think Rafa or Djoker bounce back there. Fed’s best chance will always be Wimbledon. But long time on that, first thing is rebooting. Fed had a pretty good hardcourt swing, it just didn’t have the ending we all wanted.

      1. Alysha, thank you for giving me a reasonable comment to respond to. The negativity is insane in the comments above yours. If you have high expectations then you can’t complain if you are disappointed! That’s why I have low to medium expectations. I expected a QF or SF from Roger. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course I am annoyed that he lost, but like you I believe he can bounce back. And lets face it, 3 titles (so far) a slam final 2 semis and a R4 is not a bad record so far for a 33 year old. The DC, Shanghai, Paris, Basel and WTF are still up for grabs of course, so I see no reason to be negative.

      2. Alysha, how can Roger overtake Nadal for No.2, please explain. Race to London, yes. Overall, no.

      3. Apologies Sid you’re right, he moves above Nadal in the race, not in the rankings, but I have high hopes he will by London. Also totally agree with your comment. I was majorly pissed off during the match but now have calmed down and reading Roger’s presser I have altered my perspective.

    3. Folks, it’s time to wake up.: we are not watching a clean sport. This final has to tell us that. One finalist is playing far and away the best tennis of his life – the winner of 17 slams can’t take a set off him – since he has been playing ‘clean’ following a doping ban. The other comes off serious injury (remind you of a certain other player?) to suddenly outhit and outrun the best of the rest while coming off back to back gruelling five-setters without a hint of fatigue. Anything funny about this picture? Oh yeah – if Roger had been as fresh for his last match I might have suspected him, too. It’s kind of reassuring to see he wasn’t.

      1. As someone mentioned in a post a long time ago, doping is just something that is now acceptable in tennis. It goes with the territory.

        And I agree, Roger Federer does not dope. There is resounding proof that he doesn’t.

  36. Guys, stop talking about doping. As I said in the live chat, you are making us look like a load of butthurt crybabies who can’t stand to lose. Just accept it, the better man won, and unless anything is proven, we cannot make assumptions. A legal system is founded on the principle ‘innoncent until proven guilty’, so don’t ASSUME someone is guilty unless you have PROOF. I say this as someone who gets very angry when Fed loses. STOP overreacting. If you want to talk about doping, go to ‘Tennis has a Steroid Problem’. These doping accusations are a disgrace to Roger and the rest of his fans.


    Sorry for the strong wording above, but I was very angry reading the above comments and I felt like I had to say something.

    1. [ and unless anything is proven, we cannot make assumptions]

      Universal, in case you didn’t know, Cilic was banned for doping. So, there you go. It’s perfectly valid to assume he is doing it again. How can you actually play better after you’ve stopped doping? Please explain rationally.

      As for Nishikori, standing at 5’10’, frail body type compared to others, coming back from injury, wins two five setters, and now another four setter, as Richard explained. Doesn’t it make you even think?

      1. It does make me think, and be suspicious, don’t get me wrong. But I think it is wrong to state someone is doping unless you have evidence. Cilic said it was unintentional, and yes after tonight I am VERY suspicious indeed. But morally, I cannot take that final step of assuming that someone is guilty. Ways of playing better after doping:

        1. Better coach
        2. More committment/time spent training
        3. Luck (it happens, look at Ivanisevic in 2001, had 2 red hot weeks, the rest is history)
        4. Better mental game

        I have done research into doping and it does not provide a MASSIVE advantage like you think. It accounts for small changes, particularly after a long match. But in such a short match it is unlikely to play a role. I will be happy to admit I am wrong on this if you can show me a source that states otherwise. Maybe the site I read was inaccurate.

        [Nishikori is totally doping. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind.]

        This is the part of your post above I have a problem with.

      2. Universal, margins of only 2 percent improvement can make a big difference in professional sport. Easily the difference between winning and losing. It is documented that doping can improve overall performance by much more than that – up to 20 percent in terms of speed, strength and stamina. Even hand-eye coordination. Cilic has hugely improved these last few months. We are now supposed to believe that he can be a much better performer clean than when he was doping. There is no logic in that position. Nishikori is highly suspicious because of the huge leap he has just made in his career, while coming off injury. He hits harder, runs faster and shows no susceptibility to fatigue after matches that would kill a normal player. But I dare say there are very few of them now.

      3. [I have done research into doping and it does not provide a MASSIVE advantage like you think]

        ROFL LMFAO!

      4. Exactly, Richard. In games where margins are so thin where a few points decide outcomes, a little bit of extra help can push you over. You don’t have to gain a “massive advantage” and be rolling over opponents.

        These players are pretty much maxed out in terms of fitness, technology etc. Who obtains that little extra oomph comes out the winner. At AO2009, Nadal won about three points more than Federer, and took down the title after a seriously punishing semi vs Verdasco. A little bit of help from dope, and some gamesmanship was enough to win title.

  37. This hurts…. not as much now because Novak is out, but atleast Cilic played way better and deserved the win. Cleanly, no gamesmenship. Great match of him, not so great of our Goat. But…. now he needs to figure out how to want it more and…. win quicker.

    This is not the end…..

  38. Look at all the hate shown on this comments section guys… Come on what this is turning on to be? And there’s no Pablos or trolls this time.

    1. Who dare summon me? 🙂

      Hate? What hate? I just see people talking about the ginormous speed and energy Nishikori and Cilic have suddenly inherited. You call that hate? Explain!

  39. All your fault Jonathan. Couldn’t you pick a picture of Roger winning for the predictions against Cilic section? I had a bad feeling looking at that when I first saw it. Didn’t really think that could happen. With Cilic serving like that, the only hope for Roger was to keep holding his serves till Cilic’s level dropped. Just didn’t happen today. Might have been his last real chance at 18. Oh well. Just have to hope more youngsters start winning and keep Dull stranded at 14 as well.

  40. I cannot get my head around what I saw today. I cannot ever remember when I have ever seen Roger crushed so completely in a slam. Maybe anywhere.

    He was utterly humiliated by Cillic. (I never saw Nadal beat Roger at RG btw).

    He never got a foot in the door. It was like Cillic was him and He was playing as Paire or someone like that.

    Just stunned.

    Cillic played like he is the world’s greatest tennis player. Ever.

    Roger acted like this was almost pedestrian in his presser and I’m thinking: “What in the world just happened?”

  41. Both Cilic and Nishikori are super nice guys and I am sure both of them are not doping. If we want to start speculating that these guys are doping then anyone could be doping. As for all this Asian hate I have no idea where it is coming from. Cilic played out of the world and Roger did not serve clutch when he needed to. It is as simple as that. Look Federer is going to have more chances to win for sure. For now let’s all just hope he has a great end of the year so that he will have a top 2 seeding in Aus open. Allez !!

    1. Hey, come on man, that Asian hate thing is over. So, stop ranting about it. Although I will kick Chang’s butt whenever I find that clown.

      As for, “I am sure both of them are not doping”. I’m sure you thought Cilic was not doping either before he was caught, right? And Lance wasn’t either after going on the Tour de France, run? All those guys like me who thought he was a heavy doper were idiots, right?

      1. Ajay, so “nice” guys don’t want to win? Maybe you think a doper will have it written on his/her forehead?

      2. Look you gotta calm down Sid. I am not telling anyone is an idiot. But we shouldn’t let our emotions run too high now. I know you are huge Fed fan and I don’t want you guys to let this loss ruin all the great things he has done this year. You know what frankly speaking I don’t give a fuck about Cilic. If he is doping I want him to be caught just as much as you do. I just done think he is. As for Nishikori I am even more sure he is not. We can agree to disagree of course.

  42. Wow. You guys are obviously as shell-shocked as I am. I did not watch the match as I’m in China for work and of the 66 bloody channels on that useless TV, none of them were showing the tennis! Following it on my phone, my VPN crashed when Cilic was serving for the match but even at that point, the scoreboard was not bothering me. I was just in disbelief and still am.

    What gets me about this is the fact that everyone talks about how Cilic showed up and played the match of his life. I don’t care. This is Roger Federer, who has always done well against power players. The match should have been on his racquet. What the bejesus happened? I know Cilic blasted Murray off the court in ’09 but there should be no comparison. Did the fact that he was two matches away from regaining the No. 1 ranking cloud his ability to think on the court?

    I’m absolutely devastated. I feel worse now than I did after the Wimbledon final, because I don’t mind when Roger shows up and plays his best but loses. The loss hurts, sure, but hold your hands up and say ‘Too good’. Performances the likes of what I’m reading about today? Forget it. I was so excited about the match today, the prospect of maybe playing Djokovic in another major final and seeing if it could be anywhere near as dramatic as the last few times they’d played on that court, but now nothing. Fed owed us a good performance at this major after the last few stinkers he’d thrown in (don’t get me started on that farce of a final in ’09) but he keeps letting us down. I know he’s played well this year and all that jazz but if he’s fully fit, I have continued to believe that he will bring the noise at the majors he loves. Now, I’m not so sure.

    I’ve rambled, I know, but I’m working fifteen-hour days seven days a week in the middle of a desert and this is not what I needed today!

    Let’s all de-compress for a few weeks. Life will go on. I most certainly won’t be writing another US Open song for at least another year. Peace out.

    1. Roger had a drop in level after a very physically and emotionally taxing match. I would expect that from a natural – “unassisted” – sportsman. His opponent on the other hand has a serious question-mark over him, coming off a doping violation, and has made a huge and sudden leap mid-career. As has the recently tireless Nishikori.

  43. Sorry, one few corrections. I brain-dumped.

    – I know he’s played well this year and all that jazz AND if he’s fully fit (after what happened last year), I have continued to believe that he will bring the noise at the majors he loves. Now, I’m not so sure.


    When fully fit, in a major semi-final, lose to Djokovic, the mental rock and world No. 1. Sure, I’ll get over that. Lose to Nadal, he’s your nemesis, I understand. Lose to Cilic? A player who’s never beaten you before and is in his first major semi-final for over four years? I’m not having that. Not at all.

    Win my faith back, Fed. Go on. Please?

      1. Scooter, there was a certain someone who went from No.8, to No.1 in 2013, after time off. It happens 😉

    1. Cilic will prob be like Stan if he wins. If anything even more unpreictable, Stan to a degree is capable of huge firepower for sustained periods. Cilic just mastered it for 3 sets which was unfortunate for Fed.

      Should have taken a MTO 🙂

  44. Wow. Yes, Rakhesh – “Shellshocked”. Good word.

    Can not BELIEVE what I saw today.

    Really unexplainable to myself right now.

    Who were those people dressed inFed’s and Cillic’s bodies?

  45. If someone had told you Fed had a match V Cilic and then Nishikori to win this US Open, you would have ripped their arm off for that opportunity. I am gutted, totally gutted. In some ways I am embarrassed that a serial bottler like Cilic can beat Fed so convincingly. I didn’t even watch the match, I was at a party but was following the latest on my mobile. I was slightly concerned in that Fed has that 5 set zapper just 40 odd hours earlier, whilst Cilic had a 3 set stroll. But Cilic in my eyes, has been embarrassing the past againt the elite, he has bottled big matches, time after time.
    How can you compare the skills this guy has, to federer, that’s what had me thinking fed would still pull this one off in 4 or 5 sets despite his 5 setter. I just cannot believe he lost in 3 straight sets, it reminds me of olympics 2012, when he had nothing left in his tank for the final v Murray left after his titanic semi v del potro.
    What a masssive chance for slam 18 wasted against a nobody like Cilic, he is a big serving bum and that is all. I am so shocked, I just cannot believe Fed could not even get into the match at any stage. He even had 2-0 in set 3 yet was broken twice more to lose it!!!!
    AI was at the same friend’s birthday party from last year, when last time I got home to see Fed lose to Robredo in 3, and today exact same result. What is it about my friend’s party with Fed losing in 3 in a match you expect him to win?
    Probably the most hurtful Fed defeat ever as a fan, and I now admit he has just blown his very last slam chance. Get used to 17 people.

  46. Well, think of it this way. Roger did make 3 SF and 1 Final in 2014. If he makes another semi, maybe he’ll win for a change… But we’ve been there done that before so #18 may never come. It will be tough because time ticks and the opportunities come less and less.. Roger is getting old. He had amazing couple of chances this year so, we’ll see.. He may or may not ever get another chance again.. We should TRY to accept that if we can.

  47. Why would Cilic take a chance to dope after the suspension? He spent months training, improving his serve and game. New coach, etc. Cilic looked so clinical out there. Not rattled by the situation at all.
    Kei is very talented. Djoker isn’t playing his best tennis by a long shot.

    Who should be cheer for, Kei? Perhaps I’ll now focus on Davis Cup. That seems to be Roger’s mindset.

    1. I has happened to most of us that play tennis. Sometimes we go out there and everything works. We are in the zone. Cilic was in the zone. His returns were amazing, at least those that I managed to stay around to see. Roger seemed flat or shocked and never got a hold on Cilic, well, apart from that one break that he failed to consolidate.

      Roger probably suffered from the tough match against Monfils. Maibe if he consolidated his break in the 3rd, Cilic may have started to think, but then, maybe not. Cilic’s points looked very easy and Roger was utterly overpowered with a lot of damage done by Cilic finding great length many times.

  48. I keep see people committing logical fallacies so here’s my 2 cents:

    Fallacy #1: if someone dopes then everyone must dope. I see this usually from Nadal fans. Absurd. It’s like saying if a murderer lives in NYC then all NYers are murderers.

    Fallacy #2. Don’t blame him/her for doping, we don’t have proof. Of course we don’t have proof, if we had we wouldn’t be discussing it as a possibility, it would be a fact. We’re not police or judges, just tennis fans exchanging opinions in a blog with no impact on anyone (unless of course there is a critical mass and authorities are pushed to do things). It’s totally OK to observe patterns in players performances and raise the possibility of doping. Anyone with elementary knowledge of professional sports would agree that doping is possibly the norm and not the exception.

    Fallacy #3. He’s cool, I don’t believe he’s doping. We barely know the players. We only see them through TV for 5 min of standardized answers to mainstream journalists. All players seem nice (OK, except for Berdych). We have no idea of what their real personalities are and what kind of moral values they hold.

    Our only tools to predict dopers are pattern observation and logic. Nadal for example is prime candidate since his entire career is characterized by superhuman athleticism combined with subpar performances. Initially that was attributed to injuries and unfavorable surfaces. Only blind worshippers could believe these in 2014. Another example: 2011 Nole. Watch videos in youtube, his physicality is totally different than now.

    1. Fallacy #4: Doping doesn’t help in tennis. Tennis is all about skills. Probably coming from people that have never played any sports. Tennis is no golf and physicality is big part of it. Especially the last decade with homogenization of surfaces, long rallies, high tech strings.

      1. Sue, honestly I don’t know. Is it part of policy to follow closely someone who tested positive in the past? on the other hand, he was exonerated so one could argue that he should be treated equally. I’m not accusing Cilic of doping, I haven’t followed his career closely enough to know patterns and the semifinal wasn’t extraordinary.

    2. Gargantouas, you, Sir, have won my respect with your comments! We shall continue in Jonathan’s new post.

  49. Go back a year ago and you would have laughed at the suggestion that journeymen like Cilic and Nishikori would have been contesting a grand slam final. So what have they done to propel their games into the stratosphere? Oh yeah, “celebrity” coaches. The new “gluten-free” formula. Amazing how players in the mid-career can be transformed by one simple step mid-career. Uh oh – that’s Lance (and Flojo and Ben Johnson). A bit of PRP therapy works miracles, too, as Rafa shows. Wonders never cease.

    1. What can be done about it? I find the doping thing interesting for sure, and it clearly happens in all sports. But I think we are going to have this same debate on a post I make 12 months down the line… nothing looks like it will change.

      Which is why I said in my previous comment – perhaps stopping watching is the only way to get it out in the open!? Problem is I don’t think enough people care…

      Like I made the football fans and ticket prices, if they could find the will power to vote with their feet, the money would disappear from the game overnight. Yet none of them seem to be able to…

  50. First of all, sorry Jonathan for being present on the site more frequently after losses than after victories. But honestly, it is only because I feel that after losses we RF fans need to be surrounded by our kind. Victories are noted and celebrated by even the most casual of fans. It’s the losses that they just shrug off and the loyal fans are left devastated after.
    So anyway, here is how I feel after another year that USO let its chance of redemption slip by (it is long. And rant-ish)-
    Still believe no. 18 will come. I don’t understand people’s tagging of majors as ‘his last chance to win a GS’. They said that at Wimbledon. Then going into the USO, he was the second favorite. Um, what? How anyone can say that about the no.3 player in the world is beyond me. Some strong era it is. But really even his own fans need to stop using that phrase. He is the greatest f**king player. Ever. Show some respect. And trust. If he says he believes he can win, trust him to know what he is talking about. It is not like he comes out and declares he is the outright favorite because well, 17. He almost always talks about Djoker and RN (when he cares to show up) to be favorites to win ahead of him. Which makes sense, and shows that he is in touch with reality. Aaaand, nobody really knows for how many more years he is going to play. He has said umpteen times that he doesn’t have a number in mind. But he is making huge changes like changing racquet, getting a new coach. He also looks fitter than he has in past 2-3 years (fitter than 2012 too). Just because he is 33, all these points are rendered moot and just about every major he plays is ‘his last realistic chance of winning a major’? Ignorant much? I honestly expect better from actual fans. Casual fans see 33 year old and more than 2 years without a major. Real fans see everything else I mentioned.

    I gave up on the ‘divine’ and ‘meant to be’ stuff fit for fairy tales (and think I posted it here too) after RF lost Wimbledon final this year. But I believe it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that Roger is making strides in the right direction. Also, I have no effing clue about the technical aspects of the game. Yet even I can see that he is coming to the net SO much more often than he ever did prior to Edberg. Which means he is re-modelling his whole playing style! Sure he was much more of an attacker than most other guys on tour even earlier, but he is very evidently making conscious efforts to be more aggressive. That WILL take some time. It feels like the transition year that Roger talked about at the end of 2012 is happening now, in 2014, rather than in 2013 because of the back issues. He also doesn’t seem to have found the range with his FH yet with the new racquet. His serve has been average too. So there is room for improvement! It is not like Roger is playing the best he can (despite being 33 et al) and is unable to win majors. He still very much looks like a work in progress to me. If nothing, then his fight and gusto in that Monfils match is enough to make believe that he wants that no.18. And he wants it bad. And I would rather be on his side when he gets it than on the other side joining the chorus of ‘the clock is ticking, he is past it’. Beyond 18 though, I don’t know. Because 18 will be such a high for him after all the struggles, that it may either spur him on to 19,20 or tire him out like Wimby 2012. But 18 itself is a matter of when, not if.
    About Cilic and doping, Roger said in his presser that he believes Cilic was innocent but stupid in the whole case. So I am going to go by that.
    Don’t really like either of the finalists. But feel like Nishikori deserves a reward for making RN looking like an amateur on clay.
    See ya over at DC weekend then (hope you’ll be covering it?). Allez Rog! Now and forever 🙂

    1. Cheers for the comment FedFan.

      I think fans say 18 is impossible just so the don’t set too many expectations not because they have given up or are ignorant. I really don’t know if he can win another slam but it’s good to watch him compete and try to win one even if he loses. Wimbledon this year was 10 times more fun with Fed in 2nd week, compared with last years Pong final.

      I may do something on Davis Cup, not decided yet. I won’t be doing match reports though, but maybe a recap.

      We have a roving reporter on the ground with Simon, let’s club together and get him an HD video camera and a micrphone to do some interviews with the team 😀

  51. I had so much hope, I had so much faith! Soo near yet still soo far! I am not myself the whole day today! Feeling soo miserable…..:-(

  52. Wooow what is happening here on this site? So much hate and trash talk, disputing about pure speculations, let us keep the tone and not destroy this great blog Jonathan has build up. We should be able to keep the composure even though this is a hard time.

    As for me I´m bummed out about Roger´s loss but not to surprised. Cilic has played great all year and played amazing against Berdych in the quaters. And so did Kei, his backhand and movement is mind blowingly good. But this should have been Roger´s nr 18 for sure.

      1. Kei has always been a very talented player and his progress the last couple of years has been steady. And people who plays tennis knows that the sport is a confidence sport and winning feeds that confidence, so I´m actually not so surprised he has reached this level.
        I´m a bit more surprised over Cilic, I was beginning to think he always would be the one who never used his fully potential.
        What about Wawrinka? How has he gone from winning basicly nothing to winning a slam and a master in the same season? That must be a lot of “sun spot activity” then.

      2. Now you are catching on. There is a lot of “sun-spot” activity. And it’s not just winning that gives a player “confidence”. But it sure helps produce the wins.

      3. I agree with the doping aspect, but without proof it seems like a debate that goes in circles.

        Unless somebody comes out then I don’t see it changing. Prize money goes up, the potential gains to be made from doping increase too. All sports are a bit of a gravy train if you can get on them…

        How do you think things can get shaken up?

        Armstrong was big, but that’s not really talked about anymore.

  53. Roger is a great player and is still competitive with the best in the game. But he will never win no.18, because he is 33, and it’s pretty clear now he won’t do what it probably takes to get over the finish line. There has been no sudden surge in the level of his performance, to become faster, stronger and fitter, – unlike those now pulling away from him. He has left an indelible mark on his sport, for over fifteen years, and he remains a symbol of what has been the very best in the tradition of the game. But tennis is changing by the month, and for reasons that provoke conjecture, scepticism and doubt. Roger is the last of the summer wine. There won’t be much reason to stick around when he finally calls it a day.

  54. I think Fed tried playing safe waiting for Cilic’s level to drop. Unfortunately the match was over before that happened. The IBM keys to the match look pretty accurate. Wish Roger had known this before practice. 🙂

  55. After few hours passed by, What Roger saying in presser makes perfect sense…Its so disappointing for us after QF comeback but this is kind of match he never get chance and easy to move on rather dwelling on feeling that he should have won [ only feel could he should have played much better, where as some other matches we clearly felt as he should have Won it]……….It really amazing that Roger can put things in perspective just after that heavy loss where some of us couldn’t digest it yet. We don’t know whether he meant those in presser or telling sake of either case that shows how great athlete he is……Its easy he could said something bad in presser but he is such wise person and make sure he is role model as he suppose to be….Hats Off….

    We never Sure until its over, so may be 18 or may not be which is not really matter anymore…he playing outstanding this year and we all hope it continues…in that case good results eventually happen….

    Cheer up and we all wish his best on Davis cup…

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