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Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Makes Light Work of Mannarino at US Open

Another routine match for Roger has he swept aside Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-0 6-2 in just 81 minutes to book his place in the 4th round against Tommy Robredo who defeated Dan Evans in 4 sets.

As I predicted Mannarino had little to offer and after a fairly competitive first set he folded completely as Roger piled on the pressure with his forehand and some aggressive returning.

It wasn't quite a Swiss Masterclass from Fed but he showed a lot of variation, served well and took his chances when he had them.

Mannarino has a weird style of play and hits very flat but he could never really dictate play and Federer just imposed his game on him from the get go.

Mannarino might have been a little overwhelmed by the atmosphere as Ashe always has a sort of carnival like atmosphere on night sessions bu as soon as he dropped the first set 6-3 there was only ever going to be one outcome.

Quick Match Report

Federer Backhand Smash US Open 3rd Round

The first set started well for both players as they traded love holds as Federer moved into a 2-1 lead. Roger then made a sweet backhand pass to setup his first break point which he took first time with a big forehand return which was good to see.

Of course he faced a break point himself when trying to consolidate but ground out a rally to get back to deuce before holding to lead 4-1. Once Roger had the lead it was just a matter of maintaining it and he did so easily taking the set 6-3.

In my scoreline prediction section of the Berlocq post I predicted that Mannarino would test Roger in the second set but it was the complete opposite as his game completely went off the boil.

I mean it wasn't as though he was playing well in the first set either, but he at least kept himself in touch yet in the 2nd set he made a string of poor decisions including a ridiculous drop shot to hand over the double break. Looks to me like he just lost all self belief after dropping the first set and just went through the motions. The set ended 6-0.

By the third set the match was getting that exho feel and at at 4:00am I was more than ready for bed and the only interesting part of the set was Roger wasting a couple of match points at 5-2 when Mannarino was serving.

I really wanted him to take the match points because he set them both up with great shots only to make errors when he could have crossed the finish line.

Obviously this wasn't the end of the world as he served it out routinely but it would have been a fitting end to the match had be able to hammer down a forehand winner to break serve again and close it out.

Today? Yeah, I mean, I was very happy. I think I was able, like you said, to impose my game and at times overpower him, at times mix it up, and then serve well when I had to focus. He plays quite unusual, you know. The way he takes his backhand early, he's got a very short takeback and he hits extremely flat, as flat as anybody out there, especially on the backhand side. Then because he's lefty, sometimes that takes some getting used to, you know. Then there was a breeze. You always have to fight that, as well, and play with that, too. Really tried to hit through the ball and through the wind as much as I could. It worked well. Then I think once up a break, once up a set, playing with the lead is always easier. You can play more freely and even try a few things out. If they don't work, you go back to solid. It was important to obviously get the good start in the second set, and from then on it was always going to be difficult for Adrian tonight.

Match Stats

Stats Roger Federer Adrian Mannarino
Aces 8 1
Double faults 4 0
1st serves in 39/69 (57 %) 49/75 (65 %)
1st serve points won 36/39 (92 %) 27/49 (55 %)
2nd serve points won 15/30 (50 %) 9/26 (35 %)
Fastest serve 127 MPH 127 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 111 MPH 114 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 96 MPH 91 MPH
Net points won 19/24 (79 %) 9/18 (50 %)
Break points won 6/14 (43 %) 0/1 (0 %)
Receiving points won 39/75 (52 %) 18/69 (26 %)
Winners 34 8
Unforced errors 20 14
Total points won 90 54

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Big Forehand US Open Mannarino

Another match where you can't really read into too much as it's just the type of Federer 3rd Round we've come to expect i.e. routine. My main takeaways were that Roger is looking more confident and seems to know where his game is at right now.

I don't think he's looking infallible however, whereas you'd probably say Nadal is, winning 56 of 59 matches this year to date so that's of course a concern come Quarter Finals.

I'm glad however Roger has made light work of all his opponents so far and not expended much energy in doing so. I know some fans have been saying he hasn't been tested yet which is a bad thing as far as they are concerned but I'm not really worried about that as I think he has to head into the Nadal match feeling fresh and confident.

You only have to look at the Simon match at the French Open where I thought Roger would get a crazy amount of confidence after winning in 5 sets but he came out and looked flat against Tsonga. So that pretty much puts to bed the theory of needing to be tested to play well in the Quarters.

Specifically in the Mannarino match I was impressed with Roger's returning; Mannarino's serve is by no means lightweight but Roger often stepped into the court to take the ball on the rise which was good to see and he will need to do that more often later in the tournament. Even if he makes errors in doing so, if he can string 3 or 4 together in 1 game the rewards are potentially huge.

By the end of the match I also thought Fed looked really confident, like he had no hesitation in going for any sort of shot which meant his arm was from free of tension and he could swing very freely. He always plays much better when that happens and pretty much any shot you can imagine becomes a possibility.

Predictions vs. Robredo

Federer Robredo US Open 2009

Next up for Federer is a player from his generation; Tommy Robredo who beat Dan Evans in 4 sets despite looking injured and cramping up in the 4th set. Evans actually served to take the match into a decider but Robredo just had too much experience in those types of situations and that proved the difference.

Robredo has had a good year after a lengthy spell on the sidelines winning 2 titles so he's actually ahead of Federer in that regard, however one thing he's not ahead in is the H2H with Roger leading 10-0.

Robredo is a wily opponent, he's won 12 career titles and has been as high as 5 in the world so against anyone else I'd be saying he could be test however I think he's just one of those tailor made opponents for Roger.

I think he's a very good player. Mentally and physically really tough. I think he showed that in Paris this year. I think he won three five setters in a row. He's done very well for many, many years until he got some injuries and stuff. He's also a player I've known since a long time. He came through the juniors with me. He's only a year younger than I am. I know his game well. He knows mine really well. We have played I think over 10 times on the tour. I think he's got a great forehand, so I have to be wary of that always against him.

They both have great single handed backhands but I don't think Robredo has that overall power level to trouble Roger. As I alluded to in my last post you only beat Fed by overpowering him, grinding down his backhand or hope he beats himself. Can a seemingly injured Robredo do any of the first 2? I don't think so.

I see Roger winning this one in straight sets and it being fairly comfortable. Robredo might be able to compete for a set but he's going to have to do an awful lot of running and if he has a leg injury I can't see him sustaining that.

Fed in 3; 6-4 6-2 6-2. Allez!

Jonathan

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

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150 thoughts on “Federer Makes Light Work of Mannarino at US Open”

  1. It was a nice match from RF, he just needs to keep the form through to the quarters where most likely he will face Nadal. And perhaps he will need something extra to beat Nadal.

    1. That extra is taking his chances.

      Am I the only one that is excited with Roger´s performance?

      I think he’s going to beat Nadal. Keep that words in minds…

    2. Indeed Felipe, he must serve and return like a god. He must be relentless.

      I am excited about the match, but you can’t be overly confident with the way Nadal is playing. Obviously Roger can’t think like that though 😀

      Jonathan

      1. I don`t think like that.

        Roger, when he was in his prime, nevr had problems to create chances against Nadal. But when he had it, he failed to convert.

        The way he is playing now, is really close to his prime. So, if he takes his chances, he doesn`t have to be relentless.

        And I remeber that they`re going to play in a fast hardcourt.

        I am really confident. In the worst scenario, we`ll watch a excepcional match.

        Best regards from Brazil. Yes! I am from Brazil, and usually read your post. Which are very good.

      2. Cheerse Felipe. Hmm close to prime level? I’m not sure, he’s not a million miles away but I still think there is a way to go. His prime was like unbelievably high from start to finish. Now we have blips.

        He’s come off a string of tough losses and is currently in a rebuilding phase I think. If he improves again vs. Robredo I’m happy.

        Hope you’re right though 🙂

  2. Another routine and short match for Roger but I’m glad that he has been conserving energy. I couldn’t watch the match and I know that I must have missed some great convos in the live chat 😀

    Jonathan, Fed said this in his post match interview:

    “I think once up a break, once up a set, playing with the lead is always easier. You can play more freely and even try a few things out. If they don’t work, you go back to solid.”

    Maybe that’s why he missed those shots match points? Obviously this is NOT going cut it when he meets the higher ranked guys but I’m sure he knows this 😛

    Also, have you guys noticed that some tennis “writers” haven’t been impressed with Roger and don’t think he has been playing great? Considering his level in Hamburg and Gstaad (him having back problems and whatnots) I think he’s playing a hell of a lot better. Lol I think they just want him to lose early so that they have S*#@ to write about. Well sadly, they may get their chance after the QF if it’s a Fed/Dull match.

    Also apparently there was a mini Fed vs. Nadal debate on the Tennis Channel(?) during the Mannarino match and Courier was on Dull’s side. Seriously between him and Clownenroe, what with these ex-pros choosing to knock down Roger at every given opportunity? Jealously is so petty.

    1. Also looking at the 1st serves in percentage (mid 50s all tournament), It’s impressive how he has been able to have such comfortable scorelines so far. Are players not attacking his seconds serves, or has Fed just been to good in rallies or is the aggressive retuning paying off? Who knows 😛

    2. I don’t know about Jim but John really seems to suffer from Fed envy. It’s in his voice. Perhaps best summarized when he said, “Thanks a lot for making us to look so average.”

    3. Hey Scooter,

      Ah journalists write him off at any given opportunity. I guess it’s an easy target and they know it will sell papers / adspace on their websites.

      As for McEnroe he’s just jealous which is a shame, for someone who had a good career and is now in his fifties you think he’d just appreciate tennis a little more.

      Courier – I didn’t hear the interview so can’t comment, I think he respects Fed an awful lot though. And he’s probably correct in favouring Nadal here. Come Quarter Finals he will be the favourite at the bookmakers and they do their homework on things like this. Fed is the underdog in my mind, he has to get out of his comfort zone and deliver.

      Jonathan

      1. Jonathan I know that Nadal is definitely the favorite no doubt about that. I read that they were discussing GOAT claims are all that and he was on the side of H2Hs being really important in that regard. I like Courier though, well at least I like his interviewing process in Australia.

        Anyways, what are your thoughts on Fed’s 1st serve being in the 50s? I don’t think it may be good enough against the top guys.

  3. I am just glad he is not wasting energy on 5 setters. I find being stretched to 5 sets does more harm as a lot of energy and confidence is taken here. At Roger’s age, easy match will do him more good. Coming into USO this year he is all time low and quite fragile. Every ounce of confidence is vital. He does not need any dent in his weak armor. Let’s go Rog!!!

    1. Yep, hugely important. Save those legs at all costs!Hoping for a quick one v Tommy too. Reckon he will be on Ashe again as still the biggest draw, which again favours him as he likes the big arena!

    2. I agree Dippy, I think he has to breeze all his matches for the lost of 0 or just 1 set. Any more and it may have negative impact.

      Hope so Susie, but I’d like day session!

      1. And he has it! On Ashe about 7.30/8 uk time! Yey!!! Looking forward to the live chat! Currently watching Sloane v Serena! Come on Sloane!!!!! Best women’s match by far!

  4. A very very good match from Roger, and I like the fact he played the night session (The Nadal match, if they both win their 4th round matches, will most likely be at night).

    On the other hand, that outfit is an abomination 🙂 . Okay, maybe not that bad but it certainly isn’t up to his usual standard. Nike WTF?

    1. Yeah I think the QF showdown will be a night match, that’s where they money is at. I’m sure tickets will be selling on street corners for considerable amounts.

      Outfit is very poor. Blue shorts? So uncoordinated, the top and shoes are ok but the shorts need to be darker.

      1. The shorts are disgusting…. I like the top though, bar the pink. and the shoes, total black 😀

        About the match, I though it was decent (even tough wozniacki could’ve lost a lot quicker……) I especially liked his return, like Jonathan pointed out.

  5. Good win again. Wish the first sere percent was higher. He needs it to be in the high 60’s to have a chance against Dull who seems to get it up to the 70’s easily.
    Best part of Fed’s interview:
    ” It’s been a tough year, but it hasn’t been a horrible year, you know. I’m still ranked in the top 10. Okay, I have had better years, no doubt about it, but I can still play great tennis and sort of ten months ago I was world No. 1.”

  6. I didn’t watch the match, but checked out the on court interview later and…I was a bit shocked that Roger was cut off by that Justin guy in the middle of his reply. I mean, there wasn’t even a pause from Roger, he was stopped mid sentence. What was that? I’ve never seen such a thing happen to any player on a tennis court.

    Something is really going on behind the scenes.

    As the Joker would say, “To them, you’re just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”

    1. I thought that was another awkward interview. The people who have interviewed him on court seem quite tense and that kinda rubs off onto Fed.

      The line of questioning is also poor, it’s always pandering to the crowd. “What’s so special about night sessions at the USO?” “What makes playing in NY so special?” “Why do you think the American fans are the best fans in the world?”

      I mean they can’t even cheer for their own player when he plays the Circus act that is Monfils. Weird USO I feel.

      Strange goings on.

      1. In an earlier post match interview Fed said something along the lines of America being a place where people can dream big and then some really nice words about NY. *joking* Propaganda 😆

        By really what strange shenanigans could be going on?

      2. Ultimately, it’s about the fans, sure, and you have to say, or rather, are trained to say things that please the crowd. It’s about winning the ground. But look at Jim Courier. He asks some of the wittiest and funniest of interview questions. I still remember that epic line, “I only have one question, Roger. Why’d you do it?”. I think it was after Roger demolished Roddick at the AO.

        By strange things going on, I meant this collective half hearted animosity against Roger these last few months.

      3. Yeah Jim Courier is witty. Remember his interview with before Roger before his match with Tomic: “Now Tomic, he wasn’t sure you were going to make it to the third round but you did, so Congratulations” and Roger gives the camera a look. That was funny.

        [By strange things going on, I meant this collective half hearted animosity against Roger these last few months.]

        I agree with this. Normally I wouldn’t care, everyone has different opinions of course but since Indian Wells it seems to have reached fever pitch. It’s strange. But hey Dull is in fashion now and everyone is kissing his ass so…
        Though I’m glad that in most of Fed’s interviews he has being speaking about his love for Tennis that means he’s above it.

      4. I call them the “clown band”, particularly that geriatric John McEnroe, and have developed filters to tune out their frequencies. But, it still gets relayed to me via PeRFect tennis some of the time 🙂

    2. “By strange things going on, I meant this collective half hearted animosity against Roger these last few months.”

      It’s rather more than half-hearted: I’d say more like 3/4. And yes, I agree with you, it does feel distinctly odd and rather deliberate. Not been helped by Fed’s poor results, of course, but it’s more than that (sorry about typos, the site has been doing it’s 5-second catch-up routine again, and it’s really distracting). Partly, I think, because in the case of the British press they’ve really jumped on the Murray bandwagon to an extent which I find nauseating, and after all, that nasty Federer did make him cry at Wimbledon last year, didn’t he? But the whole shoe-sole saga (and maybe Djoko’s pimples saga, too) at Wimby this year felt like a definite sea-change to me. Then there’s all the press going on ad nauseam about Decline, and a heck of a lot of bad reporting. Do I really have to keep trailing round newspaper websites to correct pieces of misinformation?

      No, I’m afraid Roger is not flavour of the month at the moment, very clearly. There’s an unbeliavable lack of respect around, even from people who should know better. I just wish he’d make it through to the finals and show them all …

      1. Alison, I like your comment. It’s a nice comment.

        You think they have a beef with Roger because he pushed for more prize money at the US Open and got it done? Roger after all is the head of the ATP Council and his agenda is to make it better for the players. No surprise he has been given the sportsmanship award by his fellow players since the dawn of time. It just so happens that the US Open is the worst of all slams, at least when you think of how much concern they have for players, and the general organization of the event.

        Djoko’s pimples saga? What did I miss?

      2. Agreed Alison, nice comment.

        I think Alison was referring to the pimpled shoes Djoker had for Wimbledon, he had to change them ahead of the final due to them having pimples on the side which is against regulations.

      3. Sid, sorry, I missed your reply. Jonathan’s explained the pimples business (apparently designed to help Djoker slide better on grass), although I didn’t think it was *right* before the final?

        I wasn’t particularly referring to the USTA, more, from a UK perspective, the British press (but also I’ve been a bit shocked to find over the last year how critical certain sections of the Swiss press are of him). For example, only the other day, the tennnis correspondent for a supposedly respectable UK paper was claming that Roger was still refusing to play Basle because they wouldn’t pay his exorbitant appearnace fee (sorry for typos – site is wading through treacle again), when he agreed to play, and with no fee, back in April. It just seems to be general bad-mouthing (plus of course all the “retire” nonsesne), and quite frankly it’s pissing me off.

      4. I’m not sure how you guys come across articles like that one. Do you actually look for them? 🙂 That’s called sensationalism. It targets those who dislike Roger Federer and it succeeds. And it also succeeds in riling up Roger fans.

        I just looked up that “Djokovic shoes” thing. Isn’t the gear approved before the tournament starts?

        I feel Roger was unhappy he was cut short in his interview during the previous match, then moved to Armstrong when he would’ve preferred Ashe. So, he responded, “Here…you want me to play a QF vs Nadal? Sure!” 🙂

  7. Yeah, I also watched the bighlights( glad I didn’t stay up for the match, Mannarino was sooooo poor) and the interview was weird! The interviewer must hv had the controller screaming, ‘adverts! in his ear and suddenly cut, very rude!
    Federer was not tested at all, no long baseline rallies and I am hoping he has to work some rallies longer and harder v Tommy to practise staying in the point v Nadal!!!!! Fed Wld obviously prefer to play Nadal in th heat of the day for the speeding up of the court/balls, but a night match might work for him psychologically! Ps agree re outfit, horrendous! Sack the Nike team! They have been crap all year! Why not just stay with dark shorts, then it would hv worked! The pale blue ones show all the sweat marks too!!! Not a good look Roger!

    1. Yeah you didn’t miss much Susie. Mannarino started ok but he faded badly.

      I think Robredo will hustle but depends how bad his injury is. He is a grinder though so should prove a little test. Still think straight sets though.

    2. Although during the day conditions are faster, I assume the ball stays lower and doesn’t explode of the ground as much at night. So, lower bounce should help Fed actually. Remember the WTF, courts are medium paced there but the ball stays very low.

      1. Hard to judge which conditions favour who since they never played in New York. I’d say there’s no real distinct advantage for either player be it day or night. It’s a showdown.

  8. I tried to stay awake and watch the match but at 2:30 am I couldn’t resist and litterally sept over my tablet. I’m really happy Roger didn’t waiste tome on court and won this as easily as you expect him to 🙂
    I wwonder though show many resisted and attened the live chat? If there is anything I regret besides missing the match, it’s missing another opportunity to discuss live with you guys. Hope I’ll make it for RF next win 😉

    1. Yeah it was a tough one, Wozniaki as usual dragged her match out before losing. I set my alarm for 1.30 and then 30 minute intervals until it was over!

      Live chat still had decent numbers, I think there were about 10 of us in there. I closed it pretty much as soon as the match finished though, needed sleep.

      The comments here are sometimes better for discussion as people write more and everyone can see them as they are permanent though.

      I hope Robredo is day session!

      1. Roger is scheduled before Nadal. This means no tanking in advance 😀
        I saw Games, Sets and Mats and apparently Nadal knee is still in pain but he doesn’t want to talk about it so maybe he will lose to Kholi…I doubt it but one can hope 😛

      2. It is 🙂 Roger is scheduled after two women singles matches, so probably I won’t look like a zombie again on Tuesday. Which is a shame because I didn’t even watch the match and yet looked really terrible today just by waiting.
        Anyways, I watched match highlights, read your post (did I ever say CONGRATULATIONS for your excellent work? 😉 ) and from the match statistics too, I think that should he improve his 1st serve %, he really stands a chance to reach semis 🙂

      3. Going off of Scooter’s comment. I have never really noticed this until Wimbledon, but it seems as though almost everytime since around the 2008 grand slams, whenever Nadal has been upset, the next match Federer plays is either extremely close, or he loses… not necessarily saying that there is a causation here, but it seems like Fed chokes a little when Dull loses early.

      4. Fed-Robredo match is day session, but it is supposed to storm this afternoon. Hope it is before or after Fed’s match and not during. Hope it pushes dull’s match into late night and gets him weaker and tired for the quarters 🙂

      5. Ganesh, did you just say, “gets Nadal weaker and tired for the quarters”? Are you joking? Have you forgotten his AO 2009 SF and F matches? That man has druids that make him a drugged up droid. He doesn’t feel fatigue. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen, heard, or read about any human being with that kind of endurance 🙂

  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVrMDQLJN1o

    Lovely interview with Credit Suisse. You can make out that it’s an interview Roger enjoyed giving as opposed to the countless times he’s interviewed by sports journalists, always asking him inane questions like when he’s about to retire or why he missed the 3rd volley in the 4th game of the 2nd set etc.

  10. Tennis Channel missed a number of points during the match, because the guys were getting started before the chair called ‘time’ and there was not enough time for their ads. The on-court interview was definitely cut short, but not by Justin, I don’t think. Courier, who I normally love to listen to, was entirely focused on head-to-head, as the sole basis of determining the best ever. But today he is talking about how rough Hewitt has had it due to the slower balls and courts, um, well, Jim, don’t you think that may have unfairly advantaged certain players and disadvantaged others besides Leyton which might have maybe skewed those head to heads?

    1. Wait…so the most rational of commentators/interviewers out there thinks H2H is the sole basis? Wow! The H2H shouldn’t even be in the top three things to consider. Slams, YECs, Weeks at No.1, Masters, and then maybe H2H. In case of Roger, you can’t discount his QF, SF, and F streaks in slams. Look, it’s all about who the cash cow is at any point.

      Courier of all people should know that H2H is all about match ups. And does he know how carefully Nadal plans his meetings with the top 4? Extended periods of absence, playing them a majority of times on his favorite surface/conditions etc. Check out Nadal’s record against Djokovic, 21-16. Take a closer look, and find out how many of those wins were on clay.

      1. And doesn’t anyone ever consider the technical aspect of it? You know, the brilliance of the play, the shot-making, etc. etc.?

      2. Totally agree with you Sid, although I hate it when I agree with you 🙂 (Jonathan, where is the agree and disagree button 😉 )
        And yes, the H2H is the least criteria that can impact the GOAT debate. For me, the Slams count should be the first and then other aspects might be interchangeably ordered.
        Also, I agree with you guys about the media and their unrespect comments for Roger, I don’t know what it’s behind that really, it might be money, haters, jealousy, to give their QF some hype etc etc
        I also agree with you (see I have so many mutual agreements with you these days 😉 ) that Nadal choses the right time to meet his rivals, it’s a tactics he used so frequently specially for roger in his prime time (between 2006-2008 and not anymore) and Djoko after his superb year in 2011 ( He does apply that tactics with Murray 😉 he does not need to)

      3. Nadal has every right to choose the time and location he wants to meet his opponents and take as much of a break as he wants. But then, we must also factor in that it skews up H2H. It’s unbelievable that after his string of seven losses against Djokovic, he stopped the bleeding by ensuring that their next five meetings over a nearly 18 month period were on clay. That’s a full year and a half that Nadal didn’t play Djokovic during his prime on hard courts or grass.

        As for Federer, well, he never is on a break so he plays whoever, anywhere. Even if he wanted to be picky, he couldn’t because he would be left only with a few tournaments 🙂 He truly is an entertainer and plays for the fans, not for the H2H.

        Now, Shamtoot, if only you could agree with me on the topic of…you know what it is…right? 🙂

      4. Yeah I know the topic, your favourite 🙂
        And can’t agree with you fully 😉
        so give up on this 😉

  11. Roger is the most criticized player. No question. I remember Roger once saying, he watches matches with the sound on mute. Sounds like a good idea. So many idiot commentators.
    Although, I will criticize the shorts!!

    1. Yeah definitely a good idea. I wonder if Fed will do commentary when he’s finished? I reckon he’d be pretty good, his assessments of other players strengths and weaknesses are spot on.

  12. Surely Roger is only the most criticized because for so many years he dominated the scene with ubelievable consistency. This past year has been pretty bad by his standards & with plenty of negative things to write about & several ‘indicators’ that age has taken its toll and the GOAT is on his way out, or that Fed is as good as he ever was, but a new breed of better players has risen up in Nadal, Murray Djokovic slowing his slam total down to one over the last few years.

    I don’t agree with either, but I can understand why journalists would focus on the negative. It’s natural. When Nadal was injured, several jouranlists wrote him off & said injury would end his successful career.

    Murray was nailed by negative press till he won his first slam. When Roger retires after winning Gold in Rio I think all the press will write glowing reports.

    He should get a few good ones after winning USO this year as well, though a few will say it’s his last one. I’m in favour of him winning a golden grand slam then retiring.

  13. Hi Jonathan, good post. I saw the highlights of Fedrere-Robredo match last played in AO 2011, I think Robredo played well by taking one set from Federer. Given his form now, Roger may have slightly tougher match than your scoreline prediction. However, I will be very glad to see that easy scoreline if that comes true. Whatever, Roger should not be pushed to 4 or 5 sets, no doubt, he will win but if this is a lengthy match it will make Nadal’s job easier in the next round. I feel a bit nervous that Roger should have all the energy and health to fight Nadal since it is a great chance for Roger to win this slam if he wins QF against Nadal.

    1. Cheers Ramesh.

      Ah I’d forgotten about that match at the AO. Slower surface helps Robredo. I think he will be a test but Fed is looking sharper each round. Hopefully the upward curve continues.

      Jonathan

  14. Imagine what will happen if Roger gets to play tonight and Nadal has to play tomorrow. Here’s what Nadal would say after the match:

    “And today I was playing almost three hours on court, and my opponent was playing with his children in the hotel room. So if you told me that’s fair, I say that’s not fair. Only thing that I can do is be positive, smile and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow.”

    🙂

      1. That’s an actual quote by Nadal except I modified it for Roger after winning his fourth round. Alas! Roger had other plans, which included wasting 14 of 16 break points 🙁

  15. Landed on UK after attending a 4-day big fat Italian wedding. Haven’t managed watching any of fed’s matches so far 🙁 What’s happening now? Is he playing?
    Can I login the chat on mobile? Hope I can see him play at last!

  16. I cant believe whats happened to Roger against Robredo. WTF this is defo the worst Roger has played. Sooo many unforced errors then not capitalising on break point. I meen why use up the energy to get a chance and then totally fuck up the next point. Man i am dissapointed its time for Roger to go back to basic and flippin use a bigger and powerful racquet what all the other players are using and stop being stubborn. Fucking hell what a let down.

    1. How can the racquet that worked so well two days before be a problem two days later. My guess is that Nadal is in Rogers head. He does not want to face him, but for sure, there can be many other reasons to what happened today.
      I’m thoroughly disgusted with the outcome of this match but perhaps somewhat prepared. It was not the lightning bold from a blue sky. I’m not too good with stats but has Roger defeated anybody with a ranking to speak of after Tsonga in the AO?

  17. Absolutely Gutted! Couldn’t watch the match, but was lying in bed watching the score change. He would win several points in a row, build up a break point opportunity and then lose several in a row, almost as if he tries to go too big and force the break point, but just gives it away. Most frustrating though was seeing how many times he got broken.

    I do wonder if Roger has ‘lost half a step’ now. Commentators always said how Roger got on to the ball so quickly, putting the opponent under real pressure. Maybe now they have a bit more time. I’m sure it’s a combination of things, but I just keep hoping it’s one small thing which Roger can fix, like a new racquet.

    On a happier note, I loved Sid’s impersonation of Rafa. Genius!

  18. Flippin hell, I cannot believe what a mighty fall it has been for Fed this year. I’m totally and utterly gutted. Doesn’t the plans to try again for gold at the Olympics in 2016 look a bit daft now, there’s just no way he could be sharper in 3 years time than he has been in 2013, and this year has been nothing short of woeful. Not a single victory worth bragging about. His best win arguably Tsonga in QF at AO, even that was a match he was expected to win, yet scraped through.

    This is the lowest point, there is no doubt. Where do you go from here? There’s always a chance for making changes, improving fitness, but it has to be said the manner of some of these defeats against very average opponents, it would take total rebuilding to get back to where he once was.

    Slaughtered gutted and heartbroken.

  19. Roger didn’t play terrible at all! If he does, then he wouldn’t have all these break point opportunities (2/16). He simply couldn’t capitalize them for some reasons! Is it mental, is it lack of consistency, and is it the opponent. I see it lack of consistency which been the case of this entire year and I relate it to “Age”. Every professional athlete would go through it, the GOAT is no exception, and I still believe he can have better year in 2014 but he should reclaim his confidant and that he can do, I just believe he can.
    I saw so many Fedfan in another blogs writes him off and ask him to retire! This is crap, sorry to say that. But as a fan I wouldn’t write my hero off unless he say “am done”

  20. It was a tough loss for me to stomach because although Robredo played well, we all know Federer is streets ahead of him in terms of quality. It definitely doesn’t hurt as much as the USO semifinal losses in 2010 and 2011.

    On the plus side, at least we won’t have to look at that horrendous night session outfit again.

    1. Wrong attitude! 🙂 There are still a lot of cities left to conquer. Paris, Shanghai, Basel, and London to name a few.

      1. We could sacrifice a few cities for a few nations next year. For the greater good.

        If he can spend the rest of the year mastering a new racquet, I know it won’t solve all the problems, but could give that extra edge that will help him convert break points. I suspect it will mean a few more disappointments though as he gets used to it.

      2. Good comeback! I guess at this point I’d be happy if the bleeding stops, even if it means no play.

    1. The list of players to compete in WTF will be finalised after the last Master 1000 event at Paris.

      Roger is currently at No.7 in race to London ranking with 3,055 points. Nadal and Djokovic have already been qualified. Murray, Ferrer, Berdych and Del Potro will also most probably qualify. So he has to fight with Tsonga, Wawrinka and Gasquet for one of the last two remaining places.

      Given that both Wawrinka and Gasquet are still competing in USO and Tsonga will be back from next week it is not an easy task but I think some mediocre results in remaining tournaments will be enough for him to make the WTF.

      1. It will be tight for that group . Berdych and Delpo need need to push as all tightly grouped! Delpo cld ne injured again? And Berdych cld suffer loss of confidence after Stan loss! Depends on the Asian swing!! If Fed healthy he cld add in 1/2 more tourneys! Reckon he will get there in 6/7 place! Now that will give him confidence after his annus horribilis!!!

  21. Roger’s ranking will jump to No.6, because delpo had QF points to defend but lost in the 2nd round (Talking about 52 week rankings). About race to London; he will most likely qualify, unless he loses in the first/second rounds of all the tournaments he plays. But it doesn’t mean much if he shows up in his current form.

  22. Well, well, well! Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your TV sets, to watch that live streaming video, just when you thought it couldn’t possibly, absolutely positively get any worse … it got worse! And this time there is no “bad back” to blame it on, no “new racket” to use as an excuse! So are you going to face the truth now, cheerleaders?! The truth is not just staring you in the face, it has taken you by the scruff of your necks and rubbing your noses in it! Or at least it is trying to – but I guess it can’t because where your noses are the sun doesn’t shine!

    It was at the US Open exactly one year ago that Fed got blown off the court by Berdych, the first time that had ever happened (aside from Nadal and the French Open). He had lost tough three-setters (in best of threes) and five-setters before when he lost his #1 ranking twice and then won it back – but those losses were to people like Nadal, and Tsonga and Del Potro and Berdych again, but he never had gotten blown off the court like this. That should have told you something, cheerleaders. And then not winning a single tournament the rest of the year, losing in straight sets to Murray in Shanghai (do you remember how the Scot was all over Fed’s second serve) and then losing to del Potro in Paris and the Djoker in straight sets at the Barclays final – that should have told you something. And then the loss to Murray again at the AO, then to Berdych, then to Benneteau (okay, Benneteau pays him tough, but still – Benneteau!), Nadal again, and then the capper, the loss in Madrid (the tournament he won in 2012) to Nishikori – Nishikori, for God’s sake! Didn’t that make you open your eyes just a little bit. Didn’t that make you wonder that maybe something was going on, something out of the ordinary, not just another slump, or mono, or back strain. But of course not because you are true blue do-or-die fans!

    And then there came Wimbledon and the 116th ranked Stakhovsky – and if that wasn’t enough, the pathetic losses to those two nobodies (whose names I have forgotten and couldn’t be bothered to look up). So now guess what? The “top four” is no more! Now it’s just the top 3 who are in a class by themselves, and Fed, the GOAT, is just another also-ran – and with some real possibility of failing to make the cut for the year-end Barclays finals (unlikely but possible). I remember how Jonathan had scoffed at me when I suggested this earlier in the year!

    I think it is time for Roger to sit down after this year is over and seriously consider what the future holds. Age has caught up with him (as it has and will for everyone), he has lost a step, which throws his timing off, and that is fatal to a player who plays such an aggressive, high-risk, game. His serve (especially his second serve) has lost its bite. He has to change his game, play with more patience, learn to rally more and stay in the point – no racquet change will help unless he does that. But I don’t think he will – and I am not sure I even want him to. I want to remember him as he was , the controlled aggression of his game, out to WIN every point, not just avoid losing it like so many do. But it’s not just physical, it’s also mental – he has lost the will to win, the hunger which drives those who play against him because to them he is a legend. He has nothing left to play for, nothing left to prove. He has done it all. That is why I think it is time for him to go, to retire with grace and dignity, secure in the knowledge that to most people he will be the greatest player to have ever played the game. It is only the selfish and self-deluded, the “Ooh, I love you Roger” fans like you who want him to go on playing and losing and playing and losing – because you are true-blue die-hard fans – hah! All those “cities to conquer” indeed!

    P.S. As I write this Wawrinka is up 2 sets to 1 against Berdych – oh, the irony! Are you ready for a new Swiss #1 cheerleaders?!

    1. Even if he had won against Robredo, the way he’s playing this year, he would have lost to Dull worse than last year’s loss against Berdych. That probably was in his head keeping him from winning any of the break points. If the strength training and new racket are not doing the trick in 2014, it is time to face reality and say good bye.
      It would be sad to see him go, but not as sad as watching him lose to all these average players.

    2. Hey Arif, you fa****, it’s not we who are forcing Roger to play. It’s his decision to stay or go. You have no right, neither do we, to tell him when he needs to go. True fans stay with their favorite when the times are good, and don’t abandon ship when things go wrong. So, shut your pie hole.

      As for your new Swiss No.1. Well, I’m a Stan Wawrinka fan too but in case you haven’t noticed, he is four years younger than Roger. Can you tell me what Roger achieved at the same age? Stan in younger and has evolved with the current generation of power baseliners. No wonder his style will be different, as is his equipment.

      You just waited for another Roger loss and here you are, ranting like a sadist, who just wants to see a great player fall, without regard to the fact that time catches up with everyone. For the last time, as long as Roger Federer wants to continue playing, we will continue rooting for him, regardless of results.

      So, get the heck out of here you fa****!

      1. [You just waited for another Roger loss and here you are, ranting like a sadist, who just wants to see a great player fall, without regard to the fact that time catches up with everyone]

        You know, I didn’t see this guy when Roger game back from the brink to defeat Haas in Cincy.

    3. You know Arif, actually you are much more stupid than I thought. No wonder you are a fa****. I guess you missed the sarcasm when I used the phrase, “cities to conquer” 🙂

    4. Arif – you obviously do not realise that true fans support their sportsman of choice namely Roger Federer no matter what type of season they are having and do not jump ship or ask tham to retire when the results do not go the way they want them to – Roger will make his own mind up about retiring but until he does every time he walks on court Fed fans will cheer him on no matter the result. He will always be a legend you on the other hand are just an idiot

    5. A fan is someone who cheers on their player regardless of the result. Yup he’s had a terrible year. Yup it’s tough to watch him lose. But hey, we love watching him play, and that’s that. It’s easy to be a fan when he’s winning all the time, a bit harder when everyone around you is writing him off.

    6. I am now, on behalf of everybody, officially requesting Jonathan to ban Arif “the troll” fa**** from the blog. If someone doesn’t agree, please let us know. He has been trolling the blog immediately after Roger’s losses this year and has tried to rub it in as much as he possibly can.

      Scooter, thanks for that piece of equipment that helped us track down this idiot 🙂

      1. @Sid @ trudi @simon @scooter sorry for missing any names but my response is well done guys and girls for explaining to Mr Arif aka fakerer what true loyal fans are. Yes i was upset but for @Arif to call us cheerleaders is absolute BS. Any other top 200 players would love to have Feds results this year. But Feds extraordinary axhievements over the past years, people like Arif want to strike him down every chance they get. Then to top it off give everybody else including Federer life skills advice to coaching to retirement rhetorics is beyond me. Clearly Arif is a closet Nadal or Djokovic fan and cannot stand the fact that nearly all tennis accomplishments, records and statitics are now always judged with Federer as scale that its probably killing Arif inside. Which therefore resulting with hatred as Federers legacy is cemented even with these shock result at Rogers twillight years. The fact the whole media calling it shock is sentiment to Rogers GOAT title. Long live the GOAT that is Roger Federer not your Nadals or Djokovics or Murrays You still have a long way to go Arif and ps you are defo on the wrong fan site. Serajul

    7. I was the WTF final and he ( and Djokovic) played amazing tennis. There is simply no comparison with his recent loss of form. This yr has been different. 2 issues which he has already so spoken about, loss of mental confidence, and loss of consistency, staying in a point. Much of this is caused by his lack of a winning match play run. He has dipped in and out since Oz which has been detrimental in all ways. I also think he is mentally and physically fatigued , the 1000 matches + have caught up with him. Like hitting a wall at 23 miles in a marathon. Needs a proper break end of yr, and one big push in 2014! Allez. Also another word from Mirka as at the end of 2011 which sent him on a tear indoors!

    8. I have said time and time again Fed has never lost his hunger, in my eyes if his hunger dipped to 99% he would retire, that’s not the problem here. It is more a combination of age, confidence, fitness, today’s game more aggressive by the day, he is older by the day. I would never write the great man off, I never stopped believing during the 2010-2012 slam slump (post AO-10 and preSW19-12), that he would come good again. 2012 was an incredible year for titles.

      I have to admit, this time it will be harder than ever because whether we like it or not, age is catching up with him. I can’t see him winning another slam, I know that hurts to hear it (so don’t bite my twins) but I do believe we will see some spark of the old Fed again, it’s not his last title.

      I trust in him that he’ll know when the time is write to retire. I think he knows what is not quite right and is waiting for the chance to fix it. If he is 100% ready mentally, and 100% fit, and still getting smashed, then I believe he will call it a day.

      But Olympics is 2016 is completely unrealistic now.

  23. Wawrinka is about to make the quarters. Atleast one Swiss is playing well of late.Wonder if he can outrank Roger by end of year.

    1. If he makes the masters, he just might. I wouldn’t put my money on it, but it’s a possibility. Roger has a semi to defend at shanghai, a final in basel and final in WTF right? And stan didn’t go too far did he?

      On a side note, I’m wondering if he should play davis cup vs ecuador? Good practice, he needs it… Maybe a chance to test racket without too much on the line (if he’s actually changing…)

    2. Good win for Stan, I think he has a chance vs. Murray.

      I am surprised he beat Berdscat though, he was looking sharp.

      As for Davis Cup – Nah I think Fed needs to work with the new racquet behind closed doors.

      1. Don’t think he needs wins? Any kind? 😛 And Stan is pretty good right now, I also believe he has a decent chance against muz.

  24. Stan the man, with a one handed backhand, beats Berdych rather handily. Why do you think Roger can’t do the same? Thoughts?

      1. Oh come on! Rog can’t beat Berdych because he’s too stubborn to play him with tactics that hurt him: He tries to go for the strength contest and the Berdych can blow him off court! Simple as that. Stan had the good plan yesterday of moving him around and changing rhythm, and it worked (Okay, and maybe Berdscat has a tendency to play lights out tennis against Rog….)

        Same with Nadal earlier on, like 2006-07, he wanted to beat him at his own game. Had he tried a different game plan, Rog might have a calender slam now 😛

      2. You might be right Simon, but how Roger would beat Nadal on clay?! The only way I see it, is Söderling way. Power, flat shot, big serve with high percentage first server-in and you will need two-hand backhand shot along with all that, you need to do it consistently for at least 4 if not 5 sets.
        That’s the only way, so I guess Roger was right by playing Nadal his own Game as he has one element that does not fit formula “To be a one handed backhand is a nightmare with Nadal’s topspin”. Did you see kohlschreiber’s match, he has done exactly the same, but Nadal worn him out on the backhand side and he still failed. That’s why Novak explored Söderling technique and evolved it and he succeeded in 7 consecutive finals! Which was an extraordinary.
        Sid might jump now and say “mmmm nnnnnooo, with big racquet he can concur Dull’s nest and beat his ass all the way” 😉
        Bye the way, I noticed one thing that kohlschreiber’s did differently, he applied a lot of spin on his one handed backhand shot, which was impressive and gave Nadal some issues and it worked out and got rewarded with one set, but this is so exhaustive task to do.

      3. I dont think so shamtoot. Check French 2011. He was bossing nadal around the bigger part of the first set. But then he allwqus let’s up. His real problem is consistentsy against dull. I think.

  25. The match got delayed and I decided to sleep and set an alarm for a few hours later. Woke up to the shock of my life. I didn’t see the match, but from what I’ve read, Roger played pretty well…EXCEPT on the break points.

    For some reason, and I don’t know why, but does anyone think he tanked this match? I say this because

    a) Apparently he was playing pretty well all through the match on non-break points (Robredo said so himself)
    b) Come break point and he’d throw the point away
    c) The only time he did take break points was when he was down in the set

    To me, it just seemed that Federer was trying to prove that he could win if he wanted to but that he just didn’t want to play Nadal in the next round. I would understand the reasoning completely.

    Maybe he played the match of his life at Cincy on a faster court, but couldn’t pull off the victory and so he felt that his game needed some work before facing Nadal again. I don’t think he wants to get beaten by Nadal at the US Open, which is like the final frontier for his defense against his rivalry against Nadal. Were he to lose here, people would say that Nadal had beaten him at every slam. Not something that the GOAT wants to have against him.

    It’s a tactic Nadal has employed fairly well over his junior years, avoiding Roger on as many indoor/ fast hard courts as possible. No reason to think why Fed wouldn’t try it. To me, it makes sense. If his gut feeling is that he can’t beat the guy tomorrow, come back and fight another day when you’re ready. It’s smart. Not courageous and probably not the right thing to do, but it’s smart.

    I’m not sure how my opinion might be taken, but I just thought I should put my thought out there and see if there’s anyone it resonated with.

    1. And you know what, he’s going to be back. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in the next tournament. But he’ll be back. And he’ll be stronger, hungrier and better. And I can’t wait for that time to come. Regardless of that, I know that he has a legion of fans who believe in him and will support him through these lows. He’s only human at the end of the day (as much as we all hate admitting it :P) and after the frighteningly high bar that he set, and the consequent expectations placed on his shoulders, this phase is to be expected.

      And I know most of us on this site will be there for him, cheering him on despite what happens in a match. Bring on Roger 4.0

      1. I don’t envy you. Analysing a match like this must not be fun. I can’t even bear to watch the highlights again.

    2. I completely agree with you, Gaurav, that Roger threw this match away. He is not in any sort of form to beat these top guys. Why would he want to play Nadal who is at his peak again? What does Nadal do when he is not feeling well enough to complete? He hides, visits his doctors for “procedures”, and keeps his H2H healthy at the same time. Why should Roger play when he isn’t feeling right?

      Think of it this way, Nadal stays away from competition for extended periods of time when he should be losing to anybody and everybody because of the fatigue from his physical style of play. Roger should do the same.

    3. Gaurav that’s interesting you should say that, it would seem to add up. But, personally, I don’t believe for a second he genuinely tanked the match. Perhaps the likely QF with Nadal was in the back of his mind with all the “what ifs”, most of them negative, so maybe that made him a little apprehensive and affected him against Robredo.
      That said, maybe the opposite was the case: maybe Roger desperatly wanted to play Nadal on Ashe this time round. Just think if he’d won… if would have been right up there with any great Roger Federer moment, and he’d have had a great shot at the final and ultimately winning his 6th US open. Nothing would have made him happier and it sure would have shut the critics up.
      Now it’s up to Roger to bounce back from this and show us all AGAIN why he’s the greatest. I feel “2014” and “Roger Federer” will go well together…!

      1. Theo, phweaase! If Roger Federer met me over coffee and tried to convince me for an hour that he didn’t tank the match, I wouldn’t believe him.

        These professionals do not think about the next match. They will rarely think of the next point, let alone the next match.

    1. No but Gasquet has beaten Ferrer and cldnt believe that either! ps Ferrer has had a nightmare 2 months! Maybe he shld retire! And he will lose 1000 points in Paris! Top 3 will draw away!!!

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