French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Gets The Better of Wawrinka to Make Semi Finals in Paris

The 2009 champion came through in four sets to set up a clash with Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer is through to the semi-finals in Paris after a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over compatriot Stan Wawrinka.

The 3rd seed headed into the match as a heavy betting favourite given Stan's 5-hour marathon in the fourth round, but he was forced to work hard for the victory that came in 3 hours and 25 minutes.

After taking the first set, a string of missed opportunities caught up with Federer as Wawrinka levelled but by winning a crucial third-set tie-break and playing with more intention after a rain delay in the fourth he came through to advance into the last four for the first time since 2012.

The Swiss will next face longtime rival Rafael Nadal on Friday after he overcame Kei Nishikori in straight sets to make his 12th semi-final at Roland Garros.

Quick Match Recap

Federer FO QF Wawrinka

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Stan was quickly down 0-30 and his fellow Swiss held break point at 30-40 only to rush the forehand which went long.

After Stan held, Roger held to love to level before Wawrinka fired a love hold of his own to lead 2-1.

Another speedy hold saw the scoreboard tick over to 2-2, and in game five Roger had his second break point of the match. but couldn't convert.

That trend continued in game seven with Stan saving two more break points en route to holding for 4-3.

Roger's second love hold of the set put him level at 4-4 and two back to back holds from both players saw the set move into a tie break.

Into the breaker and it was the 3rd seed who got off to the better start, coming up with a ridiculous backhand after a Wawrinka barrage to hold his serve for 2-1.

Roger then snatched the mini-break for 3-1 but couldn't maintain the lead for long, failing to do enough with the first volley on his serve at 4-2.

Stan then levelled at 4-4 but slipped up to hand over another mini-break, and Roger took full advantage to take the set 7-4.

Into set two and after the pair exchanged holds it was Stan who got in front, converting his first break point of the match thanks to a big forehand.

Roger had two immediate chances to hit back, but Stan saved both and held to lead 3-1.

From there Stan was able to maintain his lead, doing a far better job of forcing the issue with Federer looking indecisive in his game plan. A love hold put the 2015 champion up 5-3, and he served out the set 6-4 to level the match.

Momentum was now with Stan in the third set, but it was Roger who held the first break point chance in game four. However, in game seven, Roger slipped up, missing a volley at 15-40 to drop serve.

With Stan serving to go up 5-3, Roger dished out the short slice with instant success, and Wawrinka faltered to drop serve.

Roger then had a break point in game ten after Stan left a ball that dropped in but again he couldn't convert.

The hold buoyed Stan who had a break point of his own at 5-5, but a terrific dig from Roger saved it, and he escaped the game to guarantee himself at least a tie break.

Stan held to force the breaker, but it was Roger who took charge, coming up with a brilliant volley to get the mini-break for 2-0. This time around, he maintained it, securing a second mini-break for 5-1, eventually taking the tiebreak 7-5.

With Wawrinka looking jaded, Roger looked to have the match on his racquet in the fourth, creating four break point chances in game three but again he failed to convert. 

Roger had another break point in game five but Stan held and with the score at 3-3 the match was halted due to heavy incoming rain showers.

Play resumed around an hour later and after both players exchanged holds for 1-1, Roger finally broke through, converting his second break point of the game to lead 5-4.

A bad leave got Roger off to a poor start when trying to serve it out and he had to save a break point back but despite a distinct lack of first serves he was able to close it out and move into the semi-finals.

Match Stats

 Stan WawrinkaRoger Federer
Aces85
Double Faults72
1st Serve113/171 (66%)94/149 (63%)
1st Serve Points Won81/113 (71%)73/94 (77%)
2nd Serve Points Won27/58 (46%)32/55 (58%)
Net Points Won9/24 (37%)41/60 (68%)
Break Points Converted2/5 (40%)2/18 (11%)
Return Points Won44/149 (30%)63/171 (37%)
Winners5453
Unforced Errors6149
Total Points Won152168

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

FedStan

I'm very happy. You know, number one to be back in the semifinals of a Grand Slam, hasn't happened in the last year or so, I've had tough losses in the 4th Round and Quarters, so from that standpoint I exceeded my expectations here. After missing the French for three years it's nice to be back in the semis so that's a great feeling. The match was obviously on many levels against Stan who I know so well, and he knows me too so it was always going to be tough. Then the rain delay you add that into it was super interesting but I was able to hold my nerve. Now I have the match with Rafa so I'm clearly very excited and hope I can recover well in the next couple of days which I'm sure I will then I'll give it my best shot on Friday. Federer on his win over Stan

A strange match this one and I'm not quite sure how to weigh it up. In some ways, it wasn't a great day at the office for Roger in terms of his level but on the flip side, he's just made the semi-finals of the French Open dropping only 1 set after a 3-year absence which is quite astonishing.

That aside, today was an indecisive match from Fed and one where he didn't really stick to any type of gameplan for long periods.

For a lot of the match, he looked caught in two minds of whether to use his standard attack mode or play safe and test out Stan's stamina after his five-hour marathon against Tstitsipas in the previous round. Couple that with Roger not really enjoying playing Stan and it having a similar feeling to Klitschko brothers stepping in the ring together then it was a bit of an up and down type match.

Looking back, the first break point set the tone in Stan's first service game as Roger had a fairly easy mid-court forehand but he rushed the shot, lifted his head up early and hit it way long. From there his conversion woes continued and at one stage he was 0 from 15 break points before finishing the match on 2 out of 18 which isn't a great number. Stan certainly had a decent serving day when down break points and he went big from the baseline so it wasn't like he wasted all of them but there were some pretty poor returns and shot choices on a lot of them. 

Fortunately, he did start to get it together in the third and fourth set, mixing it up more with the slice and getting Stan to the net where his hard hands don't serve him well. A few wobbles near the end but he kept coming forward and got it done 🙂

Predictions vs. Nadal

Fed Nadal AO 17

Next up is Nadal who overcame the valiant Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. You can certainly say Roger has had a bit of dream draw this year to make the semi-finals but Nadal's has been even softer. He's faced pillow punchers all tournament with absolutely zero resistance.

As a result, he comes in as fresh as a daisy but somewhat undercooked so I'm not exactly sure how well he is playing. 

Roger has had the upper hand in all their recent meetings but Nadal leads the H2H on clay 13-2 and is 5-0 at Roland Garros so he's a huge favourite heading into Friday's semifinal.

There are no secrets to the matchup and we know for certain how Nadal will play. He's got the lefty playbook to beat Federer down to a tee on clay and he'll be pummeling that backhand from the word go.

Roger has a few choices in terms of his approach but  I think he'll have to go all attack mode and look to move forward at all costs. If he's on or behind the baseline I don't like his chances, if he's inside it then he can certainly ask Nadal some questions.

The question as always though is can Federer's best tennis at 37 years old overcome the best clay courter ever on a surface that doesn't really reward his style of play? It's a tricky matchup and I'm not sure if there will be enough free points for Roger to take advantage of.

If he can prevent Nadal starting rallies at neutral by making such a high % of returns from 10 feet behind the baseline then he's got a punchers chance. Looking at Nadal's wins on clay, in most of his wins, he's been able to win 40%+ of return points and has gone as high as 55%. The two wins Roger has against him got that number under 40%. Can he do that on Chatrier on Friday? We shall see 🙂

Federer vs Wawrinka French Open 2019 Rating

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

GETS IT DONE

Not a clinical performance from Federer but held his nerve and managed to not let missed chances haunt him. Played well in patches but a bit indecisive overall.

User Rating: 3.94 ( 10 votes)

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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210 Comments

  1. Allez Roger !
    I wasn’t sure about this match but Federer handled bit brilliantly.
    I can’t say I’m glad he would meet Nadal, but I hope for the best.

  2. Good to see roger win today but beat Nadal in Roland Garros is low chance only hope is roger need to show up god mode in friday

  3. I am on cloud 9. Agree with you completely. On the next match, indeed, Rog must attack net and must hassle Rafa. I don’t think that Rafa fancies playing Rog, whom he has not beaten for two years. Rafa cannot afford to lose to Rog. So feel that pressure. My prediction is that Rog will take it in four sets.
    Allez Rog!

  4. 6 is the key number for Friday.
    Either it’s a 6th straight win over Nadal and a 6th RG final appearance, or it’s 6th loss to Rafa at the terre battue.

    I hope the former, but the latter is more reasonable.

    I’m happy with Roger being more rally tough, his ability to hold serve in slow conditions and his overall form.
    I don’t know how the weekend will go in Paris, but I hope we will see a quality grass season from the maestro.
    And who knows, maybe he’ll find some spirit and snatch another RG title.

  5. Agree with all you say. He hates this match up emotionally with Stan and st times he really gave Stan hope and didn’t impose himself when he had chances although Stan served great and clutch.

    mattracquet really noticed the tactics change in sets 3/4 whereby Fed kept net rushing and kept being brave. Last game summed that up. Braver player won and he has to do that v Rafa. I think he can beat him. Hasn’t lost his serve against him since AO17 and last 5 wins.
    Rafa is not the clay player he was and I am looking for Roger to make him think abt that all match long. Even Pat Cash thinks he might trouble him

    1. Hope so. I’ve not seen any of Nadal’s matches to judge his level but barely losing games. Felt like he’s broken first game in basically all his matches?

      1. The way things are going, 15 years from now, we might appreciate your foresight after all.

  6. Good write up – thanks. I agree. Not exactly a stunning match, but to be in the RG semis, a great result.

    I predict Rafa in 4 on Friday. I’m not a pessimist but that is what I feel. Anything is better than a straight sets loss, and it would be nice if Fed could hassle Rafa. However, more than happy to be proved wrong 🙂 BUT – reaching the final would mean he’d have to take down his opponent – just toooo disappointing otherwise!

    Love the pic from the AO17 final – cheers.

  7. And I bet Fed doesn’t pull out just because of the clay matchup. Thinking Indian Wells semi final 2019…..

  8. Thanks Jonathan, I always felt that Fed would win this match but Stan made it tough to say the least. I think Tennisfan probably has it right in calling for a Nadal win over Fed in four sets, but if Fed comes in with a free attitude and is able to successfully play one strike ball, he has a chance if Nadal is plagued with nerves at all. I am not sanguine on a positive outcome but am unabashedly hopeful.

  9. For some reason I am calm about the Nadal match. It’s Nadal’s match to win. So let him. Bring it. At this pt it’s all gravy for Fed and being relaxed, without pressure, no pts to defend, will work in his favor. He has had a far better tourney than most ppl had imagined. On the other side, I still think Thiem has it in him….

    1. I think the calmness comes from living in post AO17 times 😉. No matter what happens, he still won that five setter.

  10. Although it was not Fed’s best match I thought he kept at it against Stan that is starting to play some very good tennis again. So happy he has made it this far and although it is unlikely, it is impossible not to hold out some hope that Fed can give it a real go on Friday. I just hope for both players to be healthy and a good match. Go Fed!

  11. You are right about the Swiss match-up. Almost painful to watch Fed not enjoying himself playing against Stan. So good that he overcame its awkwardness and earn a spot for SF! As for Fedal, I’m not as excited as Fed himself but just hope for a great match. You never know.

    1. Yeah. Wonder what that’s all about? Getting cautious once he gets the bp opportunity? Nerves? It just doesn’t seem possible that he can get SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES – and a few of them were double bp chances – and not convert. Some of it’s down to Stan of course, but I hope Roger figures out something about the part that’s his.

      1. And how many bp’s had Tsitsi saved by Stan – 20odd? At any rate far more than Maestro. I think kudo to Stan this, not incompetence by Fed.

      2. Didn’t I see somebody comment that Stan was somehow serving like a full 10 km/h faster when he was facing break point?
        Phenomenal that he could DO that, of course, but I wonder if that’s something Roger could counter even if he was expecting it?

      3. Someone should run the stats on it. I think there are some out there but forgotten what they are. From what I remember his BP % conversion isn’t that bad, on a similar level to the other top guys.

        Stan deffo served big down break point. Cranked it up.

  12. Roger should be able to play a lot better against Rafa as it won’t be as emotional as with Stan and he will have a nice 2 1/2 days off. His game break conversion ratio will go considerably up as he will be all business 🙂 Rafa has had a tough time so far to get his first title in as opposed to 2 for RF. Rafa had an easy draw cruising through without being tested. He has the stamina of a bull fighter and intense on every single point. How long can he sustain this at 33 as he pulled out of a few this year. It almost seemed as they were avoiding a match against each other. I will go with RF in 4 to minimize the wear and tear of a 5 setter.

  13. “Pillow punchers”. Agree it’s possible Rafa is underplayed, though even if so it wouldn’t take him five sets of top-notch play to make up the difference.

    And who knows if Roger can bring that top level on Friday? The abysmal bp conversion stat today is a little concerning, though I agree with those who point out Fed & Stan are connected on so many levels.

    I am hoping he has left something in reserve for Friday. I’m tempted to think he doesn’t win it unless there’s a problem with Rafa, but then that’s what we thought at AO 17 too. I just really hope it isn’t a blowout for Rafa, which we’ve certainly seen before here.

    As others have said, at this point it’s really all good. He’s had a fabulous clay court season no matter what happens on Friday.

    Backhand lunge volley in the 3rd set TB!

  14. Totally agree with you Jonathan and particularly like the part of Nadal “fresh as a daisy but somehow undercooked…”
    I do keep my hopes as Roger seems to manage to pull out an ace when least expected. And he is enjoying it. It will be a tough match for both players and just hope Roger keeps healthy and enjoying himself.
    Go Maestro!!

  15. I’m sure Rog is excited (really nothing to lose) and Rafa nervous. No reason for us to be nervous. Fed may lose, but nothing to care about really. Ah – Well a bit of course. For a possible final AGAIN between Raf and Djok is no way exciting scenario. Let’s see. Fed had a small chance winning AO-17, and he took it. Fairytales happen.

  16. What a win against Stan, he exceed my expectations by reaching semis. Nothing satisfy me more than to watch Roger beating Nadal on this his best surface this Friday. If Nadal manage to do it at Wimbledon 2008, why not here at RG 2019. Time to return that favour buddy and keep that winning streak alive.

  17. Well done Fed,but I agree that it was an odd sort of match.
    I saw the match at the WTFs a few years ago,(where Mirka made noises off).
    Again it was a strange awkward affair.
    Still there will be no such reservations on Friday.Both Fed and Nadal have had easy draws but Feds fighting skills
    were well honed today.
    All to play for.

  18. Why did I feel like the ball was traveling faster than usual both in the air and off the court? Perhaps just an illusion.

    1. Wasn’t it quite hot for a bit before the rain & quite windy the tree tops they showed, anyway! Their hair was moving a bit in set 2 etc. Some impact maybe bc trickier?

  19. Since Roger usually has one “bad” match per tournament….hoping that was it. Thinking most of the match, Stan would be the victor so happy with his aggressive play at the end.
    I keep going on about those clothes but they don’t breath and the sweaty shirt shows that. Hope there is different material for the hot summer months.
    No one is expecting Fed to beat Nadal. Great situation for Fed. I believe the last time they played on clay was 2013. Fed wasn’t using his bigger racket then. And I don’t think Nadal has beaten Fed since that year. Me thinks the Spaniard will be worried.

    1. Agree the fabric doesn’t seem as breathable as it should. There is something about the drape of the shorts that bothers me – though Kei’s looked fine. But still, better than what he’s been given to wear recently.

  20. The shorts go a bit sloppy and floppy as the match goes on I prefer a crisp tailored look on Roger but hopefully they are comfy to play in !

  21. God mode on for Rogers unconverted break point.. that 1st and 2nd set was full of frustration for me… but in fairness he got solid game.. he got solid forehand, and backhand..

    Next up..the king of clay!!! I will adapt his mindset that there’s nothing to lose and just go with it.. but oh well, i thinkat the back of our head we have that big hope that he can deliver miracles and a lot of luck…
    Sa hope he bring his A+ game on his serve and just push it on rally and be cautious more of his shot…keep attacking as always and run more..

  22. Not his best match, but luckily it wasn’t Stan who beat Tsitsipas today either. Hope it is a competitive match on Friday and not a blow out for Nadal as that will mess with Roger’s confidence going into the real short grass season. Nadal will probably win anyway, but Djoker will have it easy in the finals. Hope Thiem delivers tomorrow.

    1. I think he will head into the grass confident regardless with how he’s played on clay. Built match toughness, stamina and has gotten used to smashing the ball with full swings…

  23. From the moment Roger won that match with a majestic volley, my energy levels are on up and very pumped up too. Reason? What else – Fedal. I understand it is really really difficult and impossible but let’s enjoy what we can. If Roger can protect his serve, it puts pressure on Rafa. No need to be pessimistic. He won’t go down without fighting. It’s a new Roger we have been seeing against Rafa since 2017. Thanks Roger for providing me 3 energetic days mid week and thanks John for a great and honest write up.

  24. And Katyayani. Yes. 5 down. 2 to go. Let the dream continues 🙂🙂🙂 Rafa vs Roger…. Bring it on

      1. I don’t care how you spell my name Venkat, as long as you know and BELIEVE:
        2 more to go… impossible… but Oh my God… SOOO DOABLE 🙂 Really… bring it on 🙂

  25. Not the cleanest match Federer ever played, and not a lot of “riddum,” but he got the job done without having to go five sets. Glad to see Wawrinka recovered well after his marathon win, he gave a great performance. Federer did well to handle such a physical match. He countered Wawrinka’s power

    The decisive factor in the next match is Federer’s mentality. Not the surface. His mental block against being aggressive with his backhand is gone. With that gone, Nadal ceases to be a baffling, otherworldly phantom and becomes just another opponent of flesh and blood–a very difficult opponent, to be sure, but one that he can beat if he plays his best tennis. And clay is not some alien environment like the surface of Mars; it’s just a kind of tennis court, one where Federer grew up playing.

    Remember, Nadal ducked him at IW. To me it signifies the clay beast is no longer sure he has the mental edge over our man, and hopes clay will allow him to regain that ascendancy. Psychologically, it’s a retreat, and while it helped him preserve the H2H, it may backfire when he plays Federer.

    For Federer this is the one court and the one opponent where he doesn’t carry the burden of being the overwhelming favorite, so he can just relax and focus on playing tennis.

    Like he said in the post-match interview, he worked very hard to earn this shot at Nadal, he’s not going to walk away without leaving it all out there on the court. Beating Nadal on this court is one of the biggest challenges in tennis and he’s eager to do it.

    Don’t listen to the naysayers; Roger Federer has made a career of doing the impossible. And he may well pull it off again on Friday.

    C’mon Roger!

    1. Yes,very much agree with your comments.
      Nadal has a great reputation on clay,deservedly won.
      But it has not been deservedly won this year.
      He only won one title coming into this grand slam and that was against a visibly gassed Djoker,
      and it took three sets to get past him!
      A considerable part of his game is his aura of invincibility on clay.
      However the edges are fraying.There is an increasing number of players who have beaten him on clay.
      Roland Garros is his last bastion.He has been helped by a ridiculously easy draw and the huge,slow
      Chatrier court.
      I don’t think this is going to be an easy win for Nadal as some fear.
      Far from it,if Goffin can get a set of him,Fed certainly can.
      On Friday Nadal will meat an opponent who isn’t worn out or intimidated.
      Bring it on😊

    2. He can definitely play free and relaxed given the circumstances. But I do think Rafa still holds the cards on clay. Yes it’s just another surface but it helps his game significantly. If Nadal was right handed, he’d still be a tough ask on this court, the leftie makes it even trickier.

      1. Just wondering was Soderling a lefty?Just can’t remember,never much liked him either but he
        certainly helped Fed there,big time.

    3. “becomes just another opponent of flesh and blood–a very difficult opponent, to be sure, but one that he can beat if he plays his best tennis.” He is not another opponent, he is the King of Clay. Roger not only needs to play his absolute best tennis but also Nadal needs to play poorly.
      “Nadal ducked him at IW” “helped him preserve the H2H”. Did Roger duck him for 4-5 years on clay to preserve his h2h? Did Roger duck Tsitsipas at Rome?
      “Beating Nadal on this court is one of the biggest challenges in tennis” It is actually the biggest challenge in tennis history by far. He just lost twice, this is completely ridicolous.
      I’m surprised by the optimism I see here around this match. I find it completely unjustified and I have the feeling that Roger will get schooled once again on that court.

      1. But Pablo, if you find it unjustified, you don’t have to visit a website that has a large base of Federer fans.

        I predict Nadal in 4 myself. But that doesn’t mean people can’t be optimistic about their favourite player giving a good match.

      2. I hope they both give a good match. I’m just saying that some of the things mentioned here are not realistic.

        Btw I agree with you I think Rafa in 4. I give Roger a set given how well he is playing and the fact that he beat Nadal the last 5 times (maybe Rafa can feel the pressure).

      3. The fuck are you Pablo, to tell anyone how they must feel, or what the must say? So what if they are unrealistic? The fuck are you to question them?

        If only your mother had kept them together like your Rafa has kept it together at Roland Garros for so long, perhaps we wouldn’t have had to endure you.

      4. This is why is not realistic Cookie.

        By the Numbers 0-39: https://bit.ly/2HTi38d
        Nadal 23-15 H2H (67-50 Sets)
        Nadal 13-2 Clay
        Nadal 11-10 TBs
        Nadal 9-3 Grand Slams
        Nadal 6-3 SFs
        Nadal 5-0 @RolandGarros

      5. Hey, Pablo, you motherfucker, nobody here is questioning the numbers. These are fan, you understand that you sick fuck? Don’t thrown numbers out there for a stupid surface.

        We are talking about fans. They can say what they want. You don’t need to be the stat police trying to look them down, you sick, son of a Spanish slut!

      6. Take it easy Cookie, you seem to be very sensitive. We are just discussing tennis, breathe.

        The numbers mean something. Read them again.

      7. I don’t give a fuck about the numbers, you smelly, putrid, piece of Spanish shit. Every one here was having a good time, enjoying the wins at RG after such a long time, and there are hardly any who believe that Federer can pull it off. If they express hope, who the FUCK are you to educate them, you mother fucker. God! I wish we were having this conversation, in person, in a bar.

        Go drink some more Nadal protein shake. Then you can enjoy your Rafa winning RG12. For now, leave us the fuck alone. You can return on Friday evening to gloat, you glory hunting, son of a Spanish whore.

    1. Can’t wait. Will be a party whatever happens. Maybe even epic…
      AND they’ll be EU “compatriots” in LC soon. Can’t wait.
      I’m even starting to like RN a bit, esp. if RF wins SF friday.

      1. The Swiss are smart, they’d never join it.

        England will always be a part of Europe. Doesn’t have to be in some weird union though. Pity it might actually to be too late to salvage the west when the EU does eventually fall to bits.

      2. “Pity it might actually to be too late to salvage the west when the EU does eventually fall to bits” I have been hearing that for decades already and yet if I have to bet for some union to fall to bits would be the UK. Every day we get a new comical example of a disoriented political class. Well done Cameron.

      3. Without huge changes, the West is finished. Look at birth rates of indigenous Europeans. The numbers do not lie.

        The UK is likely already finished. I think Brexit is probably the last chance to sort it out but even then it’s touch and go.

      4. Well I don’t exactly know what you mean by “finished”. It sounds a bit apocalyptic to me.

      5. I agree Jonathan but I would not call that to be “finished”. Birth rates are strongly correlated with the living standards. The same trend will happen with the developing countries, their birth rates will decrease while their living standards increase.

      1. Jonathan love this caustic remark! Enjoying reading
        all these wonderful posts and was great to see Fed
        determined to beat Stan, especially dare I say it
        after losing so many breakpoints…you never know
        maybe The Fed is looking to break another record,
        as long as he wins the match who cares. About Nadal
        funnily enough I don’t think it will be as hard on the
        emotions as it was against Stan, and I think it would be
        worse for Nadal to lose than for Rog to win….so
        C’mon Roger go for it x

      2. I would like to, but I believe in Massú +Cordero;) Theoretically better match-up than against Delpo. Thiem looks prepared for make the whole way.

        As I told here on the beginning, my dream final is Thiem vs, Federer. Still makeable 🙂

    1. Didn’t want to comment because of this:
      1. I didn’t expect Federer to start the match on Stan’s ground, hitting hard from the baseline. But this showed to be the right decision. Reversed the situation and let Fed make use of Stan’s overcooking against Tsitsipas. At the end it looked like Stan was deliberately playing Fed to the racket but he was probably completely out of fuel thanks to hard work in the first. I skip any “what if”, because the first was quite even.

  26. Fun facts & numbers that a lot of people use a lot of times to predict to future (not recommended):

    -Roger’s win over Stan was his 70th win on RG.
    -Only one player made that milestone before. Can you guess who? 😉
    -However, there’s another player still in the draw who can record his 70th win on RG. I hope he doesn’t, because that would mean he will win a 4th straight grand slam title for the second time in his career.

    -Neihter Rafa nor Roger got more than 5 straight wins over the other. Roger recorded this winning streak once (active) while Rafa achieved that feat three times – 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2013-2014.

    -No one has EVER defeated both Nadal AND Djokovic at the Terre Battue. Two players on the draw may have a shot to do so – Thiem and Federer. Both defeated Djokovic but not Nadal. Roger has a shot at the semis, Domi may have a shot at the finals if he and Rafa get there for a 2018 rematch.

    -No one has defeated Nadal and won RG at the same tournament. Djokovic is the only one to beat Nadal and win the title eventually – def. Rafa in 2015, won a year later.

    -Nadal has never lost past the QF of RG.

    -And another fun fact about Thiem- Only three players have ever defeated him in RG. Nadal, Djokovic and Cuevas. He has beaten Cuevas earlier this tournament. Just saying… 😉

    1. I don’t really expect Nadal will lose this time past the QF either.

      Don’t mind him taking the Djoker out if necessary!

      1. I agree, the Djoker has a great chance to get his 4th consecutive GS and his 2 career GS. I don’t think Nadal can forget how Nole absolutely destroyed him in the AO final.

    1. Nice,if it is only temporary.
      However these clay points will be useful going forward,particularly regarding Wimbledon seedings.
      To be honest I feel that is what this whole clay court adventure has been about,plus the invaluable match
      practise of course.
      Wouldn’t it be nice if for once Fed didn’t have to go through both Nadal or Djoker to win a slam.
      And even nicer if he could get Nadals draws.Had to be careful with the autocorrect there.😊

      1. This is the Era we are living on. They are the 3 best players of all time, if they didn’t have to face each other who know how many GS’s and M1000 they could get…

      2. I totally agree about the clay points, Annie. Any clay points he gets keep him ahead of the Zverevs and so on. And as he said, he got match practice instead of just practising in a Swiss Court.

    2. It’s quite simple – if Roger wins on friday he’s world no 2 regardless of anything else that happens in Roland Garros.
      However, he does have 550 points to defent before Wimbledon.
      He’s not going to defend it all because he’s not playing Stuttgart.

      He’s pretty much guaranteed world no 3 until Wimby even if he loses on friday.
      The only way it won’t happen is if Zverev wins RG and Halle (RG+Halle SF might do if Roger doesn’t participate or loses early)

  27. This is it, Roger’s (well, everyone’s for that matter) Everest. If he plays his absolute God-like best and can take one of the first 2 sets, then he has a chance.

  28. I hope he can practice with some good lefties on Chatrier before Friday! It’s always tricky playing them especially in the first set. It’s a whole diffferent game with a lot of adjustments -vs-against right handed players they encounter on the tour more than 90% of the time. Roger has proven the pundits wrong time and time again. I do wish for RF to prove them wrong again and lift the trophy!

  29. Agree with you Jonathan, Rafa never had a great resistance in this tournament. Roger can win ? yes he can, but playing better than against Stan because I think it’s absolutely mental the “resistance” to convert break points. We will see, little chances but till now it’s a gift to see Roger playing RG.

  30. At a workshop so have been forced to miss all of the 2nd week. I watched a 20 minute highlight clip of the QF and I have to say Federer looked amazing – solid backhand and real pop on the forehand. But I guess I didn’t see al these missed breakpoint chances which is why people here are saying it was not his best match.

    As for Nadal, well I ‘ve seen this on clay many times as most of you It’s not just mental, it’s just reality that on this surface Nadal can prolong a rally forever. You cannot it hit it past him unless you utterly outmaneuver him which is hard to do consistently or you just go for flat winners all the time (Soderling, thanks again).

    We underestimate Nadal’s service game, he is very difficult to break. If he gets a first forehand then he’s basically won the rally.

    I don’t think Federer will win, I don’t even think he CAN win. It doesn’t matter though, I’m thrilled he’s in the SF after a 3 year absence. He has nothing to lose here . But that’s why I like Federer, he’s not going to duck , he’s going to go out there and fight and give us some amazing shots.

    I think his best play on clay was 2011. Remember he was up 5-2 with a set point and a dropshot was called out which was arguably in. Fed then lost that set 7-5, lost the next 7-6, won the 3rd 7-5, and ran out of gas in the 4th.

    If 2011 Federer showed up then yes he could beat 2019 Nadal who is a bit slower than he used to be. At this stage though I think Fed will grab a set, probably the 3rd .

    I just want Fed to put in a good showing and fight. That puts him in a good mood for the next time he meets Nadal, on a hard or grass court.

    1. I think the most likely set for Fed to win may well be the first.
      Nadal is often nervous at the start of a match and can start slowly.
      Fed on the other hand is usually quick out of the gate.The first two or three games will be crucial.

      1. That’s a good point, Nadal needs to get his first break. Then he starts strutting around . Have to make him nervous and get the early break.

        You don’t want to get into long rallies with him either, probably best to be unpredictable. At least Nadal is completely predictable in his tragetgy. Loop to Fed’s BH…repeat…eventually get a short slice return…hi FH into Fed’s unguarded FH corner. That’s basically the whole game.

        I like Lubicic, he seems to me a good thiner. Maybe they can come up with a plan both believe in.

  31. @Jonathan,
    I thought that I had asked this question before but must have failed to hit post.
    Is Soderling left handed?I simply cannot remember,probably because I didn’t like him much.

    1. He’s right handed. I guess his coach didn’t force him to play with the wrong hand so that he could have an advantage.

      The thing with Soderling is that he had a huge first serve and was quite tall (Swedish after all) and I think he really didn’t like Nadal that much. Being tall meant that the big looping shots didn’t bother him as much he had a 2 handed backhand as well. And in 2009 and 2010 he was awesome on clay , he had more time to set up his shots.

      He got under Nadal’s skin for some reason.

      1. Is he the one who knocked over Nadals water bottles or did he mimic Nadals OCD?I have a feeling it was the latter.
        I was just wondering about the secret of his success.

      2. Nadal was not himself during that year. He had personal issues (his parental hot divorced) and injuries as well. The following year he took Soderling to school.

      3. And btw Toni Nadal did not for him to play left handed. Then what I don’t understand is if that is such a huge advantage why there are not more left handed players on the top? Can’t think of many during the last 3 decades.

      4. He did, Nadal had double handed FH / BH, Toni picked the one that looked more natural and it was the left handed swing?

        The reason the top 10 isn’t filled with lefties is something called proportionality.

        It’s certainly an advantage to be a leftie, different patterns, out wide serve into a RH backhand on break points.

      5. Jonathan, that’s a myth and Toni Nadal explainedit in multiple occasions. I translate from the video: “It’s been said that he was right handed and due to my “intelligence” I changed him to be leftie which yould be something absurd to think. Rafael used two hands from both sides and we saw that he hit the ball stronger from the left side…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1aqk7H6O7w

        The proportionality argument is exactly my point. According to the stats there are about 12-13% lefties in the world. If you consider that being lefty is and advantage the proportion of lefty top tennis players should be considerably higher than that and I don’t think that’s the case.

      6. “Rafael used two hands from both sides and we saw that he hit the ball stronger from the left side”

        Precisely what Jonathan was saying

      7. My point TennisFan is that Toni did not force Rafa to play left handed to gain some sort of advantage. Toni said Rafa had to have to play with a normal one handed forehand and his best natural side was the left side.

  32. Fed will win in straight sets. At best in 4.

    Rafa is on uncertain ground ( even if it is clay ) against Fed.

    Fed has got into Rafa’s head. Role reversal

    1. Yeah, Rafa may have bad sleep before Friday, wondering, which kind of Federer he will meet. But this is 5-setter. Enough time to find out. Maybe not enough to win.

      Last year Thiem has surprised Rafa in New York spending him a bagel in first set. But this was 5-setter and Rafa had enough time to find a way to win. He won but was dead and couldn’t play for almost half a year.

      Maybe Roger should have a chat with Domi before Friday? 😉

  33. I am sure he will be taking a lot of advice,but at the end of the day it is just two men on a tennis court.
    A very lonely place when you are in the middle of thousands.
    Pity about the rain,the other side of the draw are at a big disadvantage.

    1. Yes, in SF (no day of rest between QF and SF). But then no more before the final.

      They made the best available decision. Upper half has an disadvantage but it’s still among them. All in the upper half have the same disadvantage, which should be over after Friday.

      Additional day of rest before QF may be more or less beneficial for some of them.

      Who may need this additional rest is mainly Zverev.

      All in all – not a big deal

      Also additional day of rest before SF could be beneficial for Fed 🙂

  34. If we want to speculate, both Federer and Thiem can do good things for Fed<'s big titles record.
    Thiem could take one from Djoker, Fed from Rafa.
    Then I think we would agree to let Thiem have his first, while the maximum advantage for Fed would of course to win the title (2 potential taken from both big rivals plus one added to own account).

    But Fed has created some "tradition" to lose to Thiem this year and didn't look very unhappy to lose just to him 🙂

  35. I’ve read all the comments and am surprised that so many of you are sure Nadal will win. This is Roger Federer we’re talking about. If the right RF turns up (the one who has been playing at RG so far) then I see no reason why he should not win. Even David Goffin got a set from Nadal. Backhand good, service good (mostly), playing well in longer rallies, some magical volleying and being brave in the important points. He’s also got a positive mindset. Of course he came here to win. Let’s get our positive vibes going to help him. Chum jetze and all that.

  36. Been a while since I’ve posted here. Been following the tour but neglecting to post. Really looking forward for once to a Federer Nadal match, Roger has nothing to lose and Rafa has nothing to gain. If Rafa wins (even easily in straight sets), it tells us nothing new really. Whereas of course if Roger wins, it would probably be one of the biggest upsets in history (in terms of significance, if not perhaps as unlikely as some of the ones like Rosol vs Nadal at Wimbledon and so on). Realistically I’m just hoping for a decent match, heart says Federer, head says Rafa in 3, perhaps 4 if he’s slightly off or Roger has a particularly good day.

    Guess I’ll go with Roger winning a set and leave a prediction here:
    Nadal to win in four sets: 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

    1. Not so relevant, but if you call Rosol vs. Nadal in Wimbledon as one of biggest upsets, what about Stakhovsky vs. Federer in Wimbledon? second round? Nadal’s defeat in RG before 3. round would be comparable, not Nadal in Wimbledon. Was Nadal beaten in RG ever before QF?

      1. Yeah I agree that some of those others might be bigger upsets, I just remember that in 2012 Rafa losing at Wimbledon was a huge deal. Wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive list.

  37. Hey guys, why do so many people say Rafa will win? Yes, I know he won it 11 times. But Roger had EVERY reason to lose to Stan. No one would blame him (Stan is a former RG winner, beat Roger on clay all the time and Roger wasn’t there for 3 years). But as Seve said after AO 2017, he never saw Roger like that, Roger just didn’t want to lose. I soooo get the same vibe from Roger now. He really wants to have the chance, because he really thinks he can beat him and who knows… it can happen. They say Rafa is human, so maybe Roger is in his head… he did lose 5 times to him and Roger always gets a set of him. This Roger feels sooo different… he REALLY wanted the SF…. It can happen you know…
    Oh and Djoko playing 3 matches in 4 days doesn’t matter… unfortunately he will get to the Final…

  38. Commenting here after a long time… I keep reading regularly though.

    “I just hope that Roger can one day put everything together and defeat Rafa in Paris before his career comes to a close. It would be not only a win for Roger, but a win for tennis as a whole.”
    – From Jonathan’s post after 2011 FO final.

    I’ve been waiting for this moment for years and you know I have a very positive feeling prior to FEDAL-39 : super excited but not frightened as before. I vividly remember my mental state before and after RG2011 final. My prematch stance is certainly quite different now. AO2017 final (to me the best match of Roger’s career) has reshaped a lot of things. I strongly believe that the reason behind Federer’s decision of returning to RG is to face this moment. It’s time to convert all the preparations into performance, it’s time to “put everything together”.
    Why am I feeling positive?
    1. Fed’s larger racket: Nadal last beat Federer in 2014 AO, when Fed had just started using the new racket with larger head. Rafa lost all the following matches in fast or slow hard courts. It’s easier for Roger now to deal with the rpm.
    2. Mental battle: In AO2017, the Grand Slam block was cleared from Federer’s heart. The shift of the balance in this rivalry is clearly visible. This is so important! Nadal is undoubtedly a far better player on clay. Still, the difference between them is certainly not as much as the results tend to imply. Remember RG2011; first three sets were very close! That’s where this mental factor could be very important. I remember that Fed was leading 5-2 in the first set and got a set point. He tried a drop shot to finish the set in a heroic fashion. The shot went out by an inch. Nadal took the game and then next 4 games to take the set 7-5.The result of that match could have been entirely different had Roger won that point to take the first set 6-2. Confidence can do miracles. The last five matches including AO17 will definitely play a major part in both Roger and Rafa’s head. It’s Rafa’s surface, Roger has nothing to lose.
    3. Lijubicic: This guy is a brilliant strategist, isn’t it? I think he is capable of finding out the best possible tactics against the best player of the surface.
    4. Special preparation for Rafa: Federer does this now. For a long time he denied to do it but now realizes that this is a must.

    Go Roger! Play the match of your life… As a fan, I want nothing else. This is the stiffest target in tennis, so no complaints if you lose. Just play fearless tennis and “put everything together”. Winning this match would be more than five more GS titles.

    1. Nice comments, Ankur. I remember the FO 2011 final. That drop shot is still in my mind. And Jonathan’s comments from that post. Eight years ago! Roger wore a lovely red shirt and played a match for the ages in the semis against Djoker.
      The true Fed fans will send him positive energy and hope for the best! Allez!

    2. Great summary. All we want is fearless tennis from Roger! I think there is also a pressure factor against king of clay!

  39. Fedal… Nothing to lose, I know. But I am bloody nervous.
    Fat chance, against the king of clay, at 37 and 3/4. So what.
    Because there’s always a chance. He, yes this beautiful old dude gives us always a hope, especially after what happened in 2017. (Who believed he would win when he was broken in the 5th set at AO final?)

  40. Getting totally off-topic here, does anyone (in the UK) know of ways of getting at the ITV4 coverage after the event? I’m told it’s not available on catch-up, and my recording failed yesterday. I quite fancied having a look at the Wawrinka/Tsitsipas match in its entirety. Suppose it might be on YT, but I rather thought I’d understood that the FO were taking those down for copyright infringement.

    1. Thats pretty disappointing.
      I have Eurosport which I was going to cancel as I had to buy an Amazon firebox in order to watch matches
      with Amazon prime.It all seems to be a lot of expense for an inferior product when one could just turn on
      Sky Sports.

    1. Good win for Thiem today…..hope for good matches tomorrow
      C’mon Roger someone said you always deliver, don’t let the
      outfit down, be lucky x

  41. Didn’t see either match,although I did turn on briefly to see Sascha serve three double faults in a row.
    So I turned it off again.
    From the results it seemed as though both players put in a clinical performance and not much time on court.
    Two intriguing semis coming up.
    1.I hope the weather holds because rain delays alter the flow of the match.
    2.Whover wins either match doesn’t get involved in a five setter and come out exhausted for the final.
    Out of Djoker and Thiem I don’t care who wins as long as they take out Nadal if he gets to the final.
    Wont be able to watch,but to Fed all the best and wafting positive vibes towards Roland Garros.

  42. Dominic, the Austrian
    Roger, the Swiss
    We want the boys from the Alps
    To reach the summits  !
    All the best for tomorrow…
    A chain of good vibes for both.

  43. Looks like there will be strong winds and a chance of showers for Friday. Who is better in the wind? 3:50am my time, grrr.
    Please, anyone but Djokovic. I’d rather Nadal lift the trophy, oh wait a minute….

  44. Nadal has the obligation to win, and Federer has nothing to lose yet the world to win. If he can make it, the tournament is his and Wimbledon is on the pocket as well.
    Federer must be as sharp as he ever was, attacking at the first short ball Nadal gaves and brave enough to rush to the net when Nadal is far back.
    Probably Djokovic can’t finish his match on Friday, so he’ll be exhausted in the final.

    We need a miracle, like Gandalf arriving at the first light on the fifth day.

    1. Well a miracle would be nice😊
      Just a thought of a new tactic to really piss off Nadal when he is receiving back in the stands.
      How about throwing in a few underarm serves.LOL.
      One thing that I do hope that Fed won’t do,is drop shots on very crucial points.Too risky by far.

      1. You been listening to Radio Roland Garros? That’s exactly what one of the commentators suggested.

      2. Every kind of rhythm-breakers. Underarm serves? You need to train this, but nobody does, because it’s hardly accepted in gentlemen’s league. And this is not a Challenger. The best would be not simple underarm, but something close to dropshot or backspin. But this does not go from scratch. And Federer will not use Challenger tricks, even if he can learn them over night.

        But short serves (without follow-through) belong to classics and that’s what Fed should have trained and used in matches.

        Dropshots on return. Even Thiem, a classic clay-courter so far, uses them from time to time.

        To go for baseline exchanges means losing in straights without a fight.

        Going often to the net would mean being passed more often than not.

        To be honest, Federer has no good strategy (including tools). He will try to do what he did so far (vs. Stan excluded). Solid serving and trying to break rhythm.

        Well, he can pray for Nadal to be hurt some way, maybe the best tactic available 😉

      3. @Alison
        Commentators may assume, Maestro to play like a kid. To risk to lose points this way and be maybe outbooed – that’s what Federer cannot do. Following Bublik or Kyrgios? Not his style. Not his class. Better to lose by playing his usual RF Magic, no?

    2. Maybe some underarm serves to pull Rafa closer to the baseline? 😉 Must find some way to force Nadal to come closer.

      But of course Nadal has a team able to invent something too. What if Nadal unexpectedly stays close to the baseline?

      I hope, Djoker can finish his match quickly … by losing 0:3 🙂

      Thiem’s bad luck is, his task is tougher in SF than in potential F. Anyway everyone must give 100%. It’s no more time to calculate and save energy for the final.

      I like, what Massú told asked about Thiem being favorite or not, starting with today’s match. It was like “favoritism ends at the time you step onto the court. Sonce then you are alone there and nobody helps you. And the history (to be called favorite is pure speculation. What the other will play, you will know first during the game. And your task is simple – you need to win this specific match like it was the last one.

    3. We don’t need a hurt martyr Nadal, but a miracle yes, is always welcome, like that in AO17 – which really was Fed’s strengthened will and mastership. Probably this will be there, and hoping his tennis arm is ok, then an epic match is guaranteed, whatever the outcome.

  45. The best in windy conditions is … Pella. He was born and trained all his career in windy Bahía Blanca.
    Who from the 4 was born in a windy place?

    1. Good one, nicely written. i don’t know about the whole Christmas analogy, but I think he’s captured that knife edge of hope & dreams vs. rational reasonability…. yet we all know that neither of these men has limited their careers to what’s reasonable. Both of them have pulled off stuff that’s completely insane.

      Hope they get to play tomorrow. I said to a collegue, oh, the forecast doesn’t look good, & they said it’s not supposed to rain Friday!, & I had to say (cough cough) I mean in Paris…

  46. You got it Sid.

    I think Rafa in 3 solid sets. Fed puts up a good fight and makes a decent score line for “losing in straights”, but is just not up to defeating Nadal on this surface – as history has shown even in his best years.

    Still – great tourney! Almost 38 and semis here! Amazing.

  47. I’m a bit ashamed only to have watched highlights on RG – far too little Fed. Regret it mostly acc the Rog/Stan match. Anywhere to recommend watching the epic – maybe rainy – Fedal match?

  48. @Alison,
    No I hadn’t heard the broadcast but did remember Kyrgios famously annoyed Nadal by doing it😊
    As usual PRF takes me seriously when I am joking.
    I have a feeling Djokovic is going to lose today.
    Just hope both matches are actually played.

    1. No, Annie, I was aware of you joking. But the idea was not your’s and some take it serious, Fed could do it. Just joking a bit 😉 And at the same time maybe winning some free points. I guess, Fed can do it better than Kyrgios. And what if it works?

      Remember debates among some ex-players after Roger introduced SABR?

      Bublik served against Thiem 3 times underarm, winning 3 points and Thiem praised him for this.

      What’s the difference between UNDERARM SERVE or SABR? Both are tricks to surprise the opponent.
      What if you first make a deep swing, so the opponent expects a heavy topspin, but you hit a dropshot?
      What about Chang serving regularly underarm and playing moonballs 4-5 m high? If you play some tennis yourself, you should know, how difficult is it to play a dead ball. Never seen guys netting such “easy” balls?

      Actually I was joking, not you 😉

  49. Just watched radar maps for Paris. It’s looking quite similar to Wednesday. The difference is, there is a deep low, so it is harder to forecast, how rain clouds will move. Currently they move in a big whirl, typical for deep lows and the center of it is now over Bay of Biscay,

    Women have now about 45 minutes to play before the rain starts.

    I don’t see Fedal to start as scheduled.

  50. 12:30  Paris time : I just watched the weather forecast on French TV.
    They said the rain is going to move farther east during the afternoon. 90 km wind is foreseen in gusts.
    For the moment where I live – 15 km North of Roland Garros : grey sky – windy but not too much – no rain.
    Go Roger !

  51. Go Roger… it’s almost time…. again…. impossible, but sooooo doable.
    As long as you believe, so will we and so will I.
    I will be very nervously rooting for you from my work watching livescores.
    You can do it Goat, whatever the outcome…. love you a lot 🙂

  52. Well, didn’t take long for Nadal to assume control. So much for his nerves or Fed’s confidence. I just hope it won’t be a massacre.

    1. Fed managed to break back but immediately dropped serve again. He’s not finding the court on neutral balls, most of which he is going big on and overextending. At least he knows he’s capable of breaking Nadal here, but he needs to really settle in.

  53. If Fed can’t close a game at 4-4 up 40-0, he has no business being in the final. A good tournament but another disappointing, weak-willed outing from Fed against Nadal on clay.

  54. Nadal came up with some trademark passes at 3-4 on serve in second set, but Fed quickly went up 40-0 at 4-4, and then proceeded to dump 5 points in a row. Nadal didn’t do much except keep the ball in, except he got to the last drop shot and hit a nice winner. Fed still could’ve lost the set in the next series, or in the TB, but c’mon Roger, at four all, you drop serve from such a position? I think that’s ridiculous, even against the king of clay.

    1. He’s not that good on clay, and moreover, at this stage in his career, he doesn’t fight the same way. He gets angry and loses focus. You can’t play that way against Nadal on clay. Maybe he’ll get a hard court victory against him later this year sometime.

      1. Third set plays out exactly as predicted. Fed angry at himself and misses every fourth shot. Or, he resorts to high risk, poorly timed drop shots that Nadal inevitably smokes. Granted, Nadal is playing very well, as he always does here, but Fed could really have done more.

      2. Nadal was far from his best. At the beginning it looked like Fed was adapting better to windy conditions.

        My guess is, Fed was happy about SF and his plan was to not lose badly. In this match Federer had grass in mind, not clay. His clay appearance was better then expected. Nadal was not hurt and Fed didn’t have chances.

        Good decision – to show some nice game and not put grass on risk.

  55. Absolute horrendous serving and careless UE’s cost Fed the match. He screwed big time in set 1 and 2 where he could not consolidate the breaks. A small blemish in Fed’s otherwise scintillating career.

    1. Bah, I think Fed just called it a clay season. He got too bothered to push it any further.
      Let’s just not go straight into reviewing AO2017 for the 1000th time. Hahahah!

    2. Acc. missed serves and so on. He might have a sore arm after Wavrinka’s canon shots? He had some fantastic brilliances, so I’m glad I watched it. Worth time and money. Allez Roger! To a bit rest, massage, family, friends, champagne and whatever to like before next wonderful challenge

  56. Good remark from Claud here. Fed didn’t play too bad in the first and second set but too many careless and unneeded UE’s, serve wasn’t really there and sometimes went to the net on moments he shouldn’t have. Wind was a factor but you can’t blame it all on the wind. Now we have to move on the grass courts where things will surely go better.
    Go Roger.
    And for once, please Dominic Thiem, win a grand slam.

    1. Hmmm … I guess, you don’t care about Thiem’s slam title, but rather about Thiem to stop Djoker at Nole Slam and both Djoker and Nadal (one of them) to not come closer in the GS count, right?
      Or you are suddenly so big Thiem fan? 😉

      1. Honestly one part of me doesn’t want to see Djokovic or Rafa win and another part of me wants to see a younger guy win a GS.

        Actually I care about his win. I think that a Thiem GS win (now with Djokovic and Rafa guaranteed in the way) will make people look at him like an even better player and a new player winning his 1st GS will do nothing but good for the world of men’s tennis.

        I will be honest and say that I like Thiem’s game and his non stop hard hitting of the ball.

  57. To be honest it’s what I expected, a little disappointing that Roger couldn’t close the second set, but I checked the stats and Rafa was serving 86% first serves, Roger at 62%, so not even that bad. Roger played badly on a few key points, but tbh I’m still hopeful for Wimby, and the amount of S&V Roger was playing earlier in the tournament shows that he has one eye on Wimby as well. Not really that disappointed.

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