Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Neutralises Norrie to Make Wimbledon Fourth Round

The Swiss produced a high quality display to come through 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Roger Federer is through to the second week at Wimbledon for the eighteenth time thanks to a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Cam Norrie in 2 hours and 34 minutes.

After cruising through the first two sets, Federer looked set for an easy day at the office when he held a virtual match point towards the end of the third set.

However, Norrie hit back to force a fourth set before Federer prevailed, gritting it out to record the 1,250th match win of his career.

The Swiss will face Lorenzo Sonego in the last ever Manic Monday at the Championships, with play being held on the middle Sunday from 2022 onwards.

Quick Match Recap

federer win norrie

Federer won the toss and chose sides. Norrie elected to serve.

A nervous-looking Norrie fired in three double faults in the opening game, one of them providing Federer with a breakpoint. The Brit saved it with an ace and somehow came through for a 1-0 lead.

Federer kicked off his serving day with a comfortable hold to fifteen for 1-1 before Norrie responded with a much more comfortable hold of his own.

Another exchange of holds, including the first love hold of the set from Federer, took the score to 3-3.

In the seventh game, a Norrie double-fault helped Federer set up 0-40, and a forehand winner that clipped the back edge of the baseline secured the break for 4-3.

The Swiss consolidated the break, holding to love, meaning he'd won 12 points in a row for a 5-3 lead.

Norrie held to force Federer to serve it out, and he duly obliged, taking the opening set 6-4 in 30 minutes, dropping just 3 points on serve.

After a bathroom break, Norrie started set two with a hold to fifteen and then put Roger under pressure for the first time at 15-40.

Federer saved both breakpoints, and in the next game, he rifled a forehand winner to stay in the game at 30-15 and reeled off the next three points to break, thanks in part to some loose play from Norrie.

The eight-time champion slipped to 0-30 in the fourth game and was taken to deuce but held for a 3-1 lead.

Another exchange of holds put Federer up 4-2, and he was into a 5-3 lead thanks to more solid serving.

Federer then had a set point on the Norrie serve, but it was saved, forcing him to serve it out, which again he obliged, holding to love for a two-set lead. 

Into the third set and Norrie started with a comfortable hold to fifteen for 1-0. At 0-15 on the Federer serve, Norrie blazed a forehand off a second serve return long; Federer went onto hold for 1-1.

Norrie looked set to drop serve at 0-30 in the third game, but he strung together four solid points to hold for 2-1.

That gave Norrie a dose of confidence, and over the next five games, he began to get more of a foothold in the match.

However, Federer's serve kept him at bay as the scoreboard ticked over to 5-5.

In the eleventh game, Federer produced a great return to set up two break points at 15-40. The first saw him flash a running cross-court backhand wide before Norrie came up with the goods to hold for 6-5.

That hold gave Norrie even more confidence, and after being behind the eight ball for the majority of three sets, he made some more returns, created 0-40 and converted to steal the set 7-5.

The loss of the set undoubtedly left Federer asking himself a few questions, but he started the fourth with a hold for 1-1.

Norrie, however, was still riding the crest of a wave as he held for 2-1 to keep the momentum. 

Federer levelled, and then in the space of sixty seconds, Norrie's concentration dropped off as he slipped to 0-40, and Federer made him pay, coming up with a skimming slice to break for 3-2.

Federer then moved up 30-15 but was pegged to deuce, and a weak approach shot allowed Norrie to make the pass to set up breakpoint. A backhand winner converted it for the Brit to hit straight back.

Federer again got a foothold in the seventh game, holding a breakpoint, but he failed to make Norrie play the volley by dumping a backhand into the net. Norrie went on to hold for 4-3.

At 15-30 in the next game, Federer produced a high-quality cross-court forehand on the run as held for 4-4.

Sensing the moment, Federer upped the aggression in game nine, firing a forehand winner by running around a second serve and then using a chip charge to produce two breakpoints.

The choice to chip the second serve return didn't pay off as Norrie made deuce, but Federer didn't make the same mistake twice, running around the backhand on his third break point to draw an error and break for 5-4.

Federer then served it out, coming up with a low volley at 15-30 to avert any danger and book his spot in the last sixteen at a slam for the 69th time.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Cameron Norrie
Aces 7 12
Double Faults 0 7
First Serve % In 76/114 (67%) 87/132 (66%)
Win % On 1st Serve 56/76 (74%) 59/87 (68%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 25/38 (66%) 22/45 (49%)
Net Points Won 30/38 (79%) 16/25 (64%)
Break Points Won 4/11 (36%) 2/4 (50%)
Receiving Points Won 51/132 (39%) 33/114 (29%)
Winners 48 34
Unforced Errors 33 32
Total Points Won 132 114
Distance Covered 5221.5m 5432.7m
Distance Covered/pt. 21.2m 22.1m

Highlights

Interview

Thoughts on the Match

federer norrie wimbledon 2021

I’m super relieved as it was a tough battle. I was so close to serving it out in the third set and I thought he played excellent today. I think I kept a high level of play, but he did well to break me at the end of the third set. Overall, I can be very happy with the way I played. Federer on his win over Norrie

A great win here for Federer, and he's played his best two matches of the year now back to back against Gasquet and Norrie, respectively.

In the first two sets, I thought Federer did a great job of preventing Norrie from establishing himself in the rallies, going firmly into his backhand with his forehand and putting him in lots of awkward spots on the court where his extreme grip forehand isn't quite as effective.

The third should have gone his way too, but that makeable running backhand that he hit too hard allowed Norrie to stay in the match.

Roger then got a little passive, and Norrie got some more rhythm, use his forehand more effectively, and turned the match into more of the streetfight style he wanted.

The pleasing aspect was Federer's level never tailed off too severely when under pressure. In some ways, he benefited because Norrie isn't the type of player who can reel off points quickly to really rub salt into the wounds but also because his serve didn't waver under pressure.

He'll have been disappointed to drop serve in the fourth after working hard to capture the break, but to come through a match that could have easily gone five along with a partisan crowd desperate for it to do so was impressive.

As for Norrie, I thought he played some good stuff. He started a bit tight and made some uncharacteristic errors, but he made a fist of it in the end, showing why he's won so many matches this year thanks to a never say die attitude.

Final Thoughts

  • Excellent serving display
  • Moving well and way improved over the 1st round (still doesn't look as sharp as he can up at net or on the stretch)
  • Forced Norrie out of his comfort zone
  • Didn't let the loss of the third play on his mind too much

Predictions vs Sonego

federer sonego

Next up is Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated James Duckworth to make the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time in his career.

The Italian has shown himself to be a competent grass-court player, winning the title in Antalya a couple of years ago and recently making the final in Eastbourne, where he lost to Alex De Minaur.

So far, Sonego has dropped just the one set en route to the fourth round, and he'll be a threat to Federer on Monday.

While much depends on Federer's level, Sonego often has mixed days at the office; one minute, he can nearly take Djokovic out in the Rome semi-finals, and the next, he's heading home after a loss in the first round of the French Open.

If Federer serves like today, I like his chances.

What did you guys think of the win over Norrie? Predictions vs Sonego? Let me know in the comments.

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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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86 Comments

  1. “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.”

      1. O man. That was too good.

        Go get those Novak fan pages Roy!! They are undoubtedly out there!

  2. Still not tested. What was it with the third set? A kind of royal kindness against Brits to not beat their last man standing too hard? Looked like Roger was tanking in his last service game 😉
    Sonego is not (yet) a threat for Fed. The real threat for Fed is himself, following Murray’s mantra “I can play well if my body holds”. That’s the real thing. Then there is Zverev and this may be the last hurdle or Roger withdraws before the match with knee pains to avoid heavy beating like Murray got yesterday. If not before Zverev, than the heavy beating comes from Novak but it would be still very good achievement for Fed, given where he stands.
    Of course one may hope for Djoker to break his brain and start the final brainless, hahaha …

      1. Not tested at the level needed to advance to SF.
        He didn’t went to 5 because of Mannarino’s retirement.
        Tested does not mean playing a 4 sets against low level player. Testing means playing a dangerous player (like Cilic in form as he was yesterday) and survive.
        Fed didn’t play so far any hard hitting opponent. Sonego can serve well but not much more dangerous on grass.
        Medvedev will be the first serious test. He is learning grass game very quick. To beat in form Cilic on grass in a 5-setter is a proof. Medvedev is now dangerous on grass (he is my dark horse to win Wimbledon) after he adapted his crazy, unreadable game to grass. He will be Fed’s first opponent, serving big, hitting big, letting Fed run and take hard deep shots.
        After Medvedev we will know, where Federer stays. He says, he’s confident now. Confidence does not produce the performance – the performance creates confidence. So he has now confidence created by playing weak opponent with no tools to beat him.
        If you are happy with Fed beating Sonego and losing to Medvedev, so yes – he is tested.

  3. Excellent match from Fed.Served really well and almost seemed to be cruising.
    The usual agony of unconverted break points but he got it done.
    Loved the way he raised his game in the fourth to break Norrie and serve it out.
    Surprised how partisan the crowd were,a new experience for Roger on centre court!🤣

    1. Yes, combined with Norrie being down in the score they were really backing him. I think also Saturday crowd with England playing made a difference too.

      More riff-raff in there 😂

      1. Also the fact that tickets have only been available to people based in the UK. They were fair enough to Fed, though. I imagine it would have been different if he’d been Djokovic 🙂

  4. Roger was brilliant as usual. I just wish Tim Henman would stop trying to teach him about what he does wrong. Or was I asleep when Henman won a grand slam?

    1. Henman is good to listen to I think, at least he makes some criticism and not just talks about positives all day long. He was way harder on Norrie tbh.

  5. I can only hope he has enough gas to make it though them all.
    Luckily, it seems that Medvedev is turning around his match in the fifth. He has more chances of winning in three against him than against Čilić. Any match played in five sets means a defeat in the next round or in the final.

  6. Seemed like Norrie really raised his level by set 3 & it took Roger a bit to adjust; but the fact that he WAS able to adjust, & “up the aggression” as you said, is really positive. He’s made it now as far as he did at the French; here’s hoping his conditioning allows him to go further here.

    Have to think the Sonego match is largely on Fed’s racquet.

    1. Yes if he can go one further than the French that is improving. Then if he can keep fit for the end of the year, maybe something good can happen.

  7. My assessment is a little less rosy than Jonathan’s. Thought he looked shaky in the 3rd and 4th set. He was lucky that he was playing Norrie and not someone with more experience of playing in big moments. The good thing is that he won and hopefully he can build on it and go from there.

    1. Hmm,I thought Fed was pretty solid in the third until that game at the end when he dropped serve.
      God knows what was happening there!
      Okay in the fourth although there was the usual agony of missed break points.But he definitely raised his game,striking like a panther,to break Norries serve and serve it out.
      The first two sets he was cruising and Norrie was useless 🤣
      So overall,pretty good I think.

    2. Fed really cannot win, if he wins easy, then he was untested. If he has a few ropy moments but still wins he’s devoid of confidence and anyone else but the person he just beat would have won instead 😁

      He could have lost in the first round here.

  8. Good to see Roger playing better each round. I don’t think Sonego would test Roger much. I’ll be surprised if Roger does not win in straight sets. Medvedev is playing pretty good with very few unforced errors. These days that’s what seems to win the title than winners. Any way, one round at a time. Hope Roger keeps improving and winning.

  9. We can’t forget Norrie was the in form player. So yes, this is not great from Federer if this were 2019 (let alone 2009). It was worrying getting broken so easily at 5-6 and then again after going ahead in the 4th. The ups and downs are frustrating. It’s hard to blame that on age when 5 minutes before he was hitting great shots (and then 10 minutes later he’s playing well again). At least he pulled it together in the end and hit some 1st serves.

    But Norrie made the finals of Queen’s (and took a set off Berretini) for a reason. What was most frustrating was that he played a terrible first service game in the 1st set, with 2 or 3 double faults, and Federer didn’t manage to break him.

    Oh well in 2012, I think Federer went to 4 vs Matisse (back pain time out) and then 5 vs Benneteau saving match points. We just hope for a quick match vs Sonego, and then it will be Medvedev and most likely that will be it. Argh Cilic! Why couldn’t he finish him off today?

      1. The head to head between Fed and Cilic is 10-1 in Feds favour!
        Cilic was brilliant in the first two sets and then fell off a cliff.
        No way would he have beaten Fed in my opinion.

      2. H2H never wins you a match. Just because a high-numbers-H2H means, many of results come from historic times. That’s the case for Cilic. Most results come from Fed’s best times. Cilic unexpectedly did play an excellent match against Medvedev, meaning, he is still dangerous on grass.
        And we don’t speak about Cilic in the finals. For Fed to have to play Cilic or Medvedev before the final means only, he will have a lot in the bones, won or lost.

  10. Great effort for Norrie especially on the 3rd set and I think the cheer from the crowd also made him get confidence to match with Federer.
    For Federer, all the double faults and UE of Norrie affected his momentum and focus that is why even though for me he can close it in 3rd set, he wasn’t able to raise his gear.

    That pumped up after the win made us feel that he was really wanted to will that match and maybe he started to be nervous and doesn’t want to have 5th set. Overall it was a mid-level scale match compared to Gasquet but still gave me sweats especially on the 4th set..

    1. If the crowd can give adrenaline, then that can lead to a performance increase.

      I’d also say they can give confidence too if you hit a brilliant shot and the crowd go wild, the dopamine hit.

      1. I know, Jonathan, you are a force in biochemistry 🙂 Of course can the crowd help to win, but probably cannot help to recover after hard fought match. Just when you are Fed with all the current conditions.
        And – giving adrenaline (that’s what you must know, I guess) means, you can do more for a short time but then you are fatigued and need more time to recover. And this is just Fed’s main problem. How well he can recover, not if he can win just the current match. If he wins with a lot of adrenaline, he will have harder to recover before next one.

  11. Don´t know. Sonego is dangerous and young. Federer will have troubles, let´s hope for the best

  12. Something I wrote to celebrate Roger.

    Another fourth round at Wim –
    The green and purple universe –
    Deserves four fresh and joyful verse
    And a glass of icy Pimm’s !

    For the game versus Adrian
    We watched  TV as a legion.
    It was written : he’d be unbeaten.
    For the match against Richard,
    We admired his lion’s heart.
    Another Frenchman then fell apart.

    For the Cameron encounter,
    “The King’s name was a tower
    Of stength”, of mighty serves : betterer…
    One step nearer to the glory ?
    Another  chapter of the story !
    Congrats Roger ! You beat Norrie !

    Now, it’s not the time to let it go.
    On Manic Monday, comes Sonego.
    Let the grass of your dreams rest
    As well as our nerves, just Sunday to wait.
    It’s true you play a lot of tennis and love every minute of it.
    Be sure we watch a lot of your tennis and enjoy every second of it.

    * “The King’s name is a tower of stength”
    Borrowed from 5.3.14 = Richard III by W. Shakespeare

    4💃🇬🇧🟢🟣📜🍹🍓🧊🖥🤓🤔🤜✌🦁❣🇨🇵💥⚜♟👑👍📚😀🎉🌱💤🛌🧘🇮🇹💪🎾⏳⏰🤩🤲

  13. I’m very happy Roger is getting back there.
    Yeah, it’s not the 2019 level and I don’t see him beating the big bad wolf in the finals.
    But he’s playing good tennis, and that’s what I hoped for.

    It will be amazing if he gets to the QF and manage to beat some top 10 players.
    It will be OK if he doesn’t make it past the QF.

    1. This is realistic. Everything more would be a miracle or something special like walkover, injury of the opponent and the like. Djokovic will be not the biggest threat, but Medvedev or Zverev. Djokoic is not a big server or hard hitter. He has the best ever brain game, but he cannot surprise Federer with anything Federer does not know by heart. Of course he will be fitter. But I think, the story end in QF vs. Medvedev.

  14. I must admit I find many of the comments here a little too optimistic. Several saying Roger played brilliant or something to that effect. I mean, we all know about the things Roger has gone through and have lowered our expectations accordingly, but I would still hesitate to call his play brilliant. I think Norrie was rather lacklustre for most of the match, and the one brief time that he did raise his level, Roger lost the set pretty timidly after being on the cusp of winning it, and the match. That does not mean I am not happy that Roger pulled through in the end, of course. I don’t know if Roger is really worried in his mind about his knee or something else, but it is painful to see him so low in confidence. At the very least, he can do a better job of appearing more confident, if only for the sake of intimidating his opponents (won’t work beyond a point obviously, but still worth a try).

    1. Fed may be intimidating opponents by his name, but at the same time giving them the comfort of having “noting to lose” and play without pressure.
      His game may be called “brilliant” given his limitations. But nobody will drop his game only because Fed is old and had surgeries and was pausing for a long time. After one more intense match he can get back pains (like he did in Paris) and it’s over with all the magic.
      I’m not telling, this must happen, but is highly probable, more than not.
      Kopfer knew what he was telling, when he declared to give Fed a battle (what he did). And who is Koepfer??? Mannarino didn’t declare anything but gave Fed even bigger battle and who knows, how it would end if not the injury.
      Don’t expect anything and hope for everything (not the opposite) 😉

    2. Yes, that is right. He should his level of confidence along with the level of his game. He should improve his body language and try to intimidate the opponent rather than going through serve after serve, game after game passively without any life. He should yell his usual common, pump his fists now and then to boost up his performance and in turn the confidence.
      I thought Norrie was very ordinary without any big weapons. Federer should not become complacent with that win. We want the old Federer back to beat Sonega let alone reach Final. All the very best. We want to see his tennis for two more rounds.

    3. Interesting you cite how he comes across as lacking confidence.

      I saw this interview and thought that he seems at pains to try to explain how he’s really doing better / tranquil – but all the while he just comes across as very unsure and even scared.

      I do love how honest he is though. You really get the sense he’s being real in these interviews.

      Here is the interview from earlier today:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hFsw7rMDASE

      1. Albert, I share your love in Roger’s being honest. Best way to conserve the energy – and support yourself whatever happens. Best way to stay positive and restore confidence. Best way to excite interest and love for what you do and say. More essential to win yourself even than to win matches, and could help even in doing that.
        Thanks for link to this interview, Albert.

    4. People are analysing Fed’s game under a microscope as though he’s in his prime.

      He is almost 40, coming back from double knee surgery and still playing. I think that is pretty good going, it’s unheard of.

      1. 😊 And such a treat unheard of for us to be able to watch his wonderful and unique performing style still going not little strong

  15. It is foolish to consider Roger as hands down favorite for his 4th round against Sonego. The opponent is young and brings lot of raw power which will definitely test Roger’s backhand which is not on song yet. So many unforced errors happened from that wing. Surely need his A game from start to finish.

    1. And he needs his body to hold, first of all, just against big serving and big hitting opponents. Fed’s hand magics can get on display against solid but not hard hitting or big serving guys, like Norrie. It’s another tale against Medvedev (Sonego as well, if he has his day).

    2. Not to mention that Sonego has been doing well on grass this year – not something one tends to expect of Italians.

    3. Yeah, I don’t think he is the overwhelming favourite. Sonego showed what he can do against Djoker in Rome.

      His problem is consistency, he’s also not played anyone good so far. Sousa, Galan and Duckworth? That is the stuff dreams are made of.

  16. I think Roger is playing better with each round. He is slowly playing himself to form. The big question is when will he peak and if it is good enough against top players. Against Norrie, he played a very sound tactical match. He didn’t not try to hit too hard, its all about spins and placement using the full court dimension. The only minor blip was 3rd set but Norrie was the better player in that set, he took chances during the key points and gotten help by untimely shanks by Roger. Roger has been away for 16 months, other players have also improved and played a lot more matches. I will take any wins that comes, just happy to watch him play again.

    1. Yes, I wasn’t too impressed with Roger’s timing at times – probably third set – in this match: there seemed to be a patch when he was struggling with the forehand. Rather reminded me of – dare I say it – the QF against Anderson in 2018. Hopefully that will improve the longer he’s in the tournament.

      1. Fed had a wrist injury at Wimbledon 2018…(got it in Halle 2018 and kept it until the end of the year)

    2. Agreed, it’s only round 3. One shouldn’t expect him to be playing at the level he would show in a GS final, and conversely dominating all his opponents up to this point wouldn’t imply that he would dominate in the later rounds. If he dishes out a straight-sets masterclass of beautiful tennis, that’s gravy, but what’s important is that he keeps moving through the draw without too much expenditure of energy.

      Most important things against Norrie were 1) he won and 2) he avoided a fifth set and saved some precious energy for the later rounds. Can’t win the Wimbledon title in the first week but you can lose it. Then if he makes it to the late stages of the tournament he can focus more on raising his game.

  17. all people say medevdev would be the real test. but i think. with the H2H 3-0 against him, fed knows how to handle with the inexperienced person on a slam… so keeping my fingers crossed for both sonego and medevdev

    1. Medvedev seems very reluctant to come up to the net.Fed most certainly is not.
      The danger for Fed is getting involved in endless baseline rallies.
      But we are getting ahead of ourselves perhaps.
      One match at a time😊

      1. “One match at a time”. I hear and read it so often, told/written by zillions, I must think it’s only a proof, the author has nothing to say.
        In the most simple interpretation it is trivial – nobody can play 2 matches at a time. But who has higher ambitions, must think about what comes next and even what could be most probably his path to the title.
        Especially on higher stages of the tournament it’s quite easy to have an imagination of what could come next. Sometimes winning and withdrawing is the best option (like in Paris), so you must think if you risk your health in the next match and kind of planning to withdraw ´before upcoming heavy beating. Murray could have avoided this traumatic experience by withdrawing before Shapo.

      2. Most people who play sports know that thinking of what’s to come is a recipe for disaster.

        If you start thinking about your next match before the one you’re playing is complete, you will lose if you don’t regain focus on what is happening on court.

        I have played matches where I am cruising, then start wondering what I’ll do after the match, what should I make for dinner, who do I play in the next round-robin match of the club tournament and before you know it you’re still out there in a third set tie break.

        So there is nothing trivial about ‘one match at a time’ or ‘point by point’. Nadal’s myopia is the reason he has been so successful.

      3. @Jon
        I didn’t mean thinking about next potential match while playing the current. I don’t think it to be even possible. There is no time to think “what if”, even in a single point or during a single shot. So this that obvious, that telling this is trivial.
        And for fans it is of course allowed to imagine the whole potential road, which does not mean to expect this to happen. Simply nice (or not nice) speculation. Like speculating about who could take put Djokovic a.s.o.
        If you play yourself and think about the dinner during the match, means only, you are not really involved 🙂

    2. Don’t get that fascinated with H2H. Last time Fed playde Medvedev was Miami 2019. Medvedev was by then ranked 15 and started his big run first at the US swing 2019. So this H2H is with another player.
      Medvedev is no more inexperienced in slams, after US Open final 2019 lost in a tight 5-setter to Nadal. And Australian Open 2021 lost to Djokovic in straights.
      You need to keep your fingers crossed all the time (including at night) until Fed meets Medvedev (if he survives Sonego, which he will do, I guess).

    3. I would make Medvedev a small favourite should they meet. He is 3 in the world, playing great and has a ton of matches this year. Fed has still just played 11, which is unheard of by Wimbledon.

      1. Medvedev will for sure nor be intimidated by playing Fed. He is now the man on a mission, breaking barriers on clay and grass. His game (which I don’t like, but I start to like him because of his intelligence and sense of humor). He is still prone to anger explosions, if his game does not work. Fed would have to do what is Medvedev’s mantra “to break these guys mentally”. Not an easy task. Can Fed read Medvedev’s game? Another trouble. Can Fed make him mad using his magic? Must try to.
        If he is currently pain-free, the match-fitness he has now should be enough to beat Sonego. Sonego needs to start well. If he cannot, he will probably falter. So it’s in Fed’s hands. Medvedev is another class, having big tools and still being surprise. A kind of new Djokovic. Able to come back from 0:2 and liking it more than simple straight sets win. And you mostly don’t see on his face, in which match mood he is and guess, what happens next. He is also extremely good runner for his height, reaching balls, which most others would not even start to.
        Who dreams of avoiding Djoker’s 20th slam, should bet on him.

  18. Last time Medvedev played the Joker he was slaughtered in three sets.
    Albeit on hard court.Perhaps Medvedev is better on grass?

  19. I have to agree with Jon’s advice, a player never thinks about future matches (and Federer knows more about winning than anyone I would guess). But as fans we can speculate. Medvedev has an unorthodox and powerful style, and is mentally strong. Which makes it even more strange that he didn’t show up for that final at the AO. I watched that and it wasn’t like Djokovic was unplayable. Whereas vs Nadal at the US Open final Medvedev just lacked strategy and point construction skills. Nadal started bringing him to the net and the errors came. Maybe that is the price of his unpredictability and aggressive counterpunching style.
    Anyway I think we’ll be having hour hands full with Sonego, it will not be easy. I hope at least Fed can get get the 1st set based on his opponent’s nerves 🙂

  20. Someone needs to invent a term for this mental defect Fed has developed at important moments. Serving for the set at 5-4, having cruised in every single service game against an opponent with nothing but a serve, he dumps the game to love! What a clownish performance. He can only win against a determined opponent by luck, it seems. Sonego had to come up with one point to win that game, and Fed cheerfully donated the rest.

    How many bungled set and match winning opportunities do we have to watch him squander over the past several years but keep giving him a pass, saying “Oh well, remember when he came back from two sets down to beat Benneteau!” Who cares? He’s terrible now, and he can’t close half the time, and not even against Djokovic, but against Sonego! The best ever, can’t close a set against middling opposition.

    And what’s more, can he not mishit the ball every fourth shot? How many times can he dump the same backhand right into the bottom of the net? Where’s Ljubicic to say, “Hey Roger, maybe slice a bit more, at least make your opponent earn the point.” Nowhere, and meanwhile, Fed continues to generously give away points. If Sonego holds this game and wins the tiebreak (that Fed should’ve been nowhere near), it’s all over. He’ll be too furious with himself to win, and rightly so. Retirement needs to be around the corner.

    1. I’m not happy about it either. That’s all mental. He expected Sonego to give up there, and then he panicked a bit by coming to net too soon. Sonego made one really good shot there and it kind of shook up Federer a bit there. I feel though he’s striking the ball pretty well apart form that crazy dip in form. He’s generated lots of break points in a guy serving 1280mph regularly, yet somehow can’t get that 2nd break. THen another 20 minute pause fo the roof.
      If he loses in a teibreaker, then yes he will probably be so frustrated the whole match would disappear quickly.

      1. Yes,I was going to say exactly the same.
        If he causes so much annoyance the solution is obvious.
        However it was quite wonderful to hear the crowds appreciation of Fed during the after
        match interview.When Fed does enter the retirement that some deem so necessary,he is going to be greatly missed.

      2. Muser, I’m trying to recover a small piece of my investment here, fifteen plus years of fandom, now seeing him succumb to less gifted but fitter and mentally tougher players at big moments. I need one last big triumph, which was supposed to be here in 2019, but it was a failure. I want him to win and I want Djokovic on the other end, and then I promise, I’ll stop watching him. =)

      3. Ahh Holdco, don’t stop it, unless your pain doing it is too much – in this case watching has no meaning. (And we all want him to win, and we all want Djoko not to, but for me – as long as his style is challenging the other players, it’s worth watching, and I hope him to continue.)

  21. Well I didn’t even get to see it but Federer came back there and did break again to win the 1st set. Good for him. That’s why I cheer for him, there is absolutely no reason why he is playing apart from enjoying it. It’s inspirational even though sometime you feel like punching a wall.

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