Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Passes Isner Test To Make US Open Quarter Finals

Roger's imperious record at US Open night sessions continues as he defeated big serving John Isner 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 7-5 to book his spot in the Quarter Finals. Isner hadn't dropped serve all tournament and he kept up his record, forcing Roger used all his experience to pull away in the tiebreaks before finally breaking at 6-5 in the third to record victory in 2 hours and 39 minutes.

The first set breaker was trademark Fed vs. big servers as he swept it 7-0, which was the first time in 428 tie breaks that Isner hadn't won a single point! The second then saw the Swiss recover from 3-5 down, which at 3.47am my time isn't the sort of scoreline you want to see πŸ˜† before finally breaking at the 10th time of asking in set 3 to make comfortable progress.

Quick Match Recap

Federer US Open 4th Round 2015

Federer won the toss and elected to serve holding to love for a 1-0 lead. Isner quickly levelled but in game 4 the Swiss missed a makeable backhand pass at 30-30 and the American got away. At 3-2 Fed then had his first break points, Isner saving 2 from 15-40 and then a third after deuce with a well dug out volley which span back onto his side of the net. Both players then went onto exchange comfortable holds and the set resulted in a tie break.

Here Roger upped his level, coming up with an insane return then a backhand down the line winner to establish a 3-0 lead. Two quick service holds followed for 5-0 and Isner couldn't land the big blows on serve, losing both points to drop the tie break 7-0. peRFect start.

Into set 2 and at 1-1 the Swiss again 2 more break points, coming from 40-15 behind but Isner held firm. The American then created 0-40 on the Federer serve and all of a sudden it looked like the set could get away pretty quickly; however Roger had other ideas, coming up with 3 timely first serves to make deuce, saving a fourth break point with another big serve before holding for 2-2.

Holds were exchanged and with Isner leading 4-3, he won 3 straight points from 40-15 to hold a fourth break point; which was again saved in style with a clutch serve. The scoreboard quickly moved to 6-6 and we were treated to another tie break πŸ˜€

This time Isner got off to a better start, swinging a big serve out wide to lead 1-0 and then establishing a mini break to lead 4-2 and should have gone up a double mini break but failed to put away 2 volleys. At 3-5 Roger came up with one of the best returns you'll see to get back on serve, then winning 3 points in a row to lead 6-5. Isner saved set point but Roger then came up with another epic return in the deuce court before taking set point with a Wawrinka like French Open backhand down the line from way outside the tramlines. 2 sets to love.

With Isner's hopes fading set 3 saw Roger begin to roll on serve, holding serve to love 3 times on the bounce from 3-3. Isner to his credit kept fighting, saving 3 break points at 3-4 before holding and recovering from 0-30 at 4-5. However at 5-6 his resistance came to an end with Federer hitting an epic backhand up the line at 0-30 before finally breaking the Isner serve at 15-40 to move into the Quarters.

Match Stats

Stats John Isner Roger Federer
Aces 17 15
Double faults 1 1
1st serves in 93/133 (70%) 65/111 (59%)
1st serve points won 63/93 (68%) 54/65 (83%)
2nd serve points won 22/40 (55%) 33/46 (72%)
Fastest serve 140 MPH 126 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 126 MPH 114 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 115 MPH 93 MPH
Net points won 25/45 (56%) 14/21 (67%)
Break points won 0/5 (0%) 1/10 (10%)
Receiving points won 24/111 (22%) 48/133 (36%)
Winners 53 55
Unforced errors 34 16
Total points won 109 135
Distance Covered (Feet) 6185.2 5627
Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet) 25.4 23.1
SABR 0/0 0/0

Shot of the Match


Thoughts on the Match

Federer defeats Isner US Open 2015

John is one of the best servers in the game. Especially the pace on his second serve, it’s unreal. You just have to hang around and not drop your own serve. I guess that was the key to the match.

Another typical Fed vs. big server display in this one where he takes care of his own service games and finds that extra bit of something at just the right moments to win the set and ultimately the match. Isner actually played pretty well but Roger has too complete a game to really get troubled by him; as long as he doesn't get broken himself then you back him to make a return when it matters and that's pretty much how he won all three sets.

From Roger's side, he didn't have the best serving day overall in terms of % in play, but he was big time clutch when he needed to be, coming up with 3 peRFect serves in the love 40 game which was pretty special and one of the key moments in the match. Some of the shots he came up with in the second set breaker, especially when he didn't have a ton of rhythm from the baseline, were special too, just timed and placed to perfection.

Overall exactly the sort of match we expected, Fed taking care of his own service games, applying constant pressure to Isner, moving him around with variety and peaking at just the right moments.

Predictions vs. Gasquet

Federer vs. Gasquet Davis Cup

Next up is Gasquet who defeated Berdych in four sets to make the Quarter Finals in New York for the second time in his career. Berdych won the first set 6-2 but Gasquet hit back to win the next 3 pretty comfortably, breaking 5 times and not dropping his own serve after losing in twice in the opener.

Federer leads the H2H 14-2, the last match coming in Dubai where Gasquet retired after dropping the first set 6-1. Previous to that they played in the Davis Cup final where Federer put in a vintage display to seal the tie. Gasquet has been in good form this year, making the semi finals at Wimbledon, but I can't see him being too much of a problem for Federer here. There's just too many factors at play which give the Swiss the edge: H2H, surface, crowd, Davis Cup final and Gasquet's spent way more time on court dropping 4 sets en route to the Quarters.

Unless Gasquet comes out with his swashbuckling shotmaking game on fire I just fail to see how he can beat Federer with how he usually plays; he drops deep behind the baseline and without possessing incredible retrieving skills it's not a good recipe to really get it done against Saberer. Federer's only dropped 1 set on hard courts against him and never dropped a set in 2 slam meetings. Fed in three for me, 6-2 6-4 6-2. 5 x sabr returns πŸ™‚


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

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  1. No SABR’s today, but it was a very consistent match by Roger.
    Hardly any super points, but the main thing was to keep his serve, which he did quite easily.

    Murray gone, Berdych gone… Makes things look easier.
    Gasquet next: should be an easy 3-setter.
    Semis… Wawrinka could be difficult, Anderson should be easy.

    But let’s take it match by match. Next Gasquet: I sense at least five SABR’s!

    1. There may have been no SABRs but Fed definitely fake-SABR’d Big John to psyche him out. Also Murray and Berdych going doesn’t really change Roger’s chances I feel. Stan was always the bigger threat.

      1. Agreed.

        Stan is the only one in Roger’s half right now who – if he is on – can ask questions Roger just can’t answer.

      2. Stan on outdoor hard courts isn’t as big a threat as you are making out. Fed should be able to handle him purely on how he returns second serves and gets up the court on this surface.

        I think Anderson has a good chance – depends on how much energy / emotion he spent getting rid of that Unknown Scottish Player.

  2. Hi Jonathan
    Thank you for your commitment πŸ™‚ . I couldn’t see the match because it was too late but thanks to your recap, it’s not that bad πŸ˜‰
    I think Gasquet in much better for Federer than Berdych so GO GO FED πŸ™‚

    1. In theory, yes, judging from their previous encounters. But Gasquet was hitting very well. His cross-court backhand was working very effectivelly in pushing Berdych out of the point discussion. In this respect, I think it is better than Roger’s, even 10 years ago. Well, who am I to send these warning signs? Sharp as he his, Roger has already figured it out long ago and won’t give Gasquet as many free candies to his left as Berdych did…

      1. Yes agre Reeshard playing much better but Rog aware of that and has referred to it so v focused and not underestimating anyone this yr.

      2. Cheers Anna.

        @Rui Gasquets backhand has more control than Federer’s, (on non slice shots), and he can do more with it but I wouldn’t say it’s better overall. Pretty close, Gasquet needs a lot of time on his too.

      3. With no knowledge on the French language whatsoever, it’s really curious to me how Richard can prounounce Reeshard πŸ˜€

  3. oh god, I thought I was the first.
    seems like everyone is already swarming on the blog to get this post

    (is swarming a correct word?)

    1. Yes – it’s a word that comes from the action of bees bunching together and then flying all together to establish a new hive.

      Or in this case – see what’s happening at their favourite hive! πŸ˜‰

  4. I fully agree with the analysis. This was a pretty canonical match. Roger laid the perfect plan and executed it. Against a strong server, you must first and above all, make no mistakes on your own serve. And then sneak and grasp every opportunity to break. I am quite sure Roger got really pissed off with himself when he netted a backhand slice on Isner’s serve (was it on set 2 or 3?). I also think that Isner failed mentally a bit at crucial moments, but when it was Roger under pressure, he stayed firm. These are the sort of details that separate the top champions, meaning by that the ones with a few majors in the pocket, from the rest of the pack, the ones the sort “would-be-but-never-quite-get-there-on-top-in-spite-of-a-few-flashes”.

  5. Yes swarming – I only went for a ‘bathroom break’ and missed it.

    Good commitment Jonathan staying up for that 3rd set. I watched the first 2 then went to bed knowing he was safe.

    The last 2 points of the 2nd set tb were awesome.

    Had earlier watched muzzer and the contrast between his ugly style and horrible curmudgeonly demeanor and Rogers calmness and elegance was striking

    1. Murray has reverted back to his passive/defensive style of tennis and that’s just not going to cut it, especially when Anderson was playing immense.

  6. Hey the genial Mr. Ben Stiller
    You must have watched the servebot killer
    There is something about Fed
    Must have been going on in your head

    Another prediction come true – Gasquet taking out Berdych. If Anderson plays like he played today, Wawrinka out. Not one bit of the Gasquet match was shown, so don’t know how well he is playing. Fed in 4 if not straights. Rooting for Lopez tonight. Djoko looks beatable.

    1. Why is Stiller even at the match, thought he was a huge Nadal fan. Yeah interesting match between Kev and Wawrinka. I think Anderson might be emotionally/physically drained though by making his first slam QF and taking out a top player to do so. Stan gets the edge through experience.

      1. The H2H is 4-3 in favor of Kevin Anderson. As a matter of fact: he won these last four matches the last four times they played each other…

      2. H2H don’t mean squat if Stan is on.

        Just ask Roger and Nole in Paris.

        I think Stan’s best – if it is there – is THE best in tennis right now.

        If Stan is on he can bring a level of tennis no one can stop – even Novak and Fed at their current top form. It is unreal.

        But “IF” Stan is on is aways the question.

      3. There is absolutely no way Stan’s best is the best in tennis right now. He doesn’t move nearly as well as Federer, Djokovic or Murray.

        Anderson match was pretty long so he could be feeling it. Depends if he’s content with making Quarters as to how well he plays…

  7. Today is such a great day for tennis! I’m so pleased that both Roger and Gasquet both won their match, and Murray is out. Roger returned really well today, created 10 break points on Isner’s serves while he was serving 70% first serve. Isner having won only 68% on his first serves is evidence of Fed’s great return and focus. And his play on the big points were just incredible.

    I’m also very excited and full of self indulgence today as I’m No1 in the Tiger Mobile challenge again after 4 rounds! I got all but one round 16 results right, which mean I correctly predicted 7 out of 8 quarter finalists. My colleague who has been following tennis for a long time told me I got great talents and must start betting ASAP πŸ™‚ But I know I’m still not winning the iPhone this time as I have the winner wrong!

    1. Credit goes to. Jonathan as I took your prediction that Chardy would take out Ferrer and Gasquet to make it to quarter final πŸ™‚

      1. Yes I’m leading the US Open leaderboard. No way for the whole-year overall. I didn’t play a few tournaments early in the year. Jonathan do you have a league there? What is the code?

      2. Haha didn’t even check it out, yes seems I’ve found my way into the top 10. Hope you end up getting the iPhone April- who did you pick to win the title?

      3. Alysha, I had picked Fed to win every single tournament I played on Tiger Mobile. I reckon I must have been jinxing his chances therefore I picked someone else this time for USO πŸ™‚

  8. Great report Jonathan- although Isner’s unbroken streak goes past this tournament all the way back to 2013 so huge credit to Roger for coming up with the goods in the last game although you sensed he would’ve liked to win the 3rd in a tiebreaker just to rub it in his face evenmoreso πŸ˜› Another great match from Roger who responded like a champ in the key moments. Isner did let a lot of chances slip away, especially at the net, thought he had some easy volleys to put away but just couldn’t get it done. Definitely think that 0-40 game was the key to the match, so damn clutch, hope he brings more of that to the table moving forward. Whilst those two shots at the end of the 2nd set tiebreaker were certainly something, my favourite shot came at 3-2 40-40 where Fed came up with a jaw dropping backhand pass to get a bp (which of course he squandered).

    Gasquet has had a really great year and been playing some lovely tennis especially after being so close to being thrown out in the first round had the Kokk not cramped up. Richie is 4-0 in GS QF strangely enough and I do think he’ll give Fed the challenge but you’d expect something was seriously wrong if he didn’t get out of this one. Draw being shaken once again due to Muzz’ demise so let’s hopefully take care of this one and focus on the next challenge ahead, Allez!

    1. Makes it sound like he hasn’t lost serve in 2 years of play πŸ˜† I just looked last person to break him was Kohli in 2013.

      4-0 is a good record, but a guy of his talent should have made way more QF than that. Kinda misleading.

  9. Saberer, l like that new nickname. Despite low 1st serves, Roger gets the job done. He has played big points well and moved Isner around a lot. Let’s do this Roger!!!

  10. Four of the quarter finalists are 30 plus for first time since the 80’s I think but even the unders are approaching 30 so average age must also be over 30. Wonder if this is the oldest grand slam set of QFs ever?

  11. Sounds like a good match. Fed’s W/UE ratio is insane! But I do wish the BBC would put these middle-of-the-night matches on Radio 5 Live, not 5 Live Sports Extra: as the latter is digital, I have to listen to it on a powered radio, and there’s nowhere anywhere near my bed I can plug it in without causing a trip hazard! So, since I was still awake, every now and then I’d switch on my battery radio and listen to 5 Live to try and get an idea of what was happening. Then I’d have to wait for 10 minutes through e.g. a discussion on encouraging STEM graduates, which wasn’t exactly conducive to sleep! And then when we did get news, it was along the lines of “Federer finally won that 2nd set tiebreak and is now giving Isner a masterclass” – no mention of who’d won the first tiebreak! I just assumed it was Fed …

  12. 2 days back I was thinking that Fed has a very difficult draw and it will be hard to reach the finals.(probably because Fed played sloppy in round 3.)Suddenly Berdych out ,murray out and the draw looks easy.I think he played superb tennis today and I believe he can just go the distance in this tournament. Those tiebreaks were wonderful to watch and at the start of the tournament I thought this would be the most challenging match for Fed but he got the job done.
    Just hope a miracle happens and someone takes out joker?.
    I don’t think Stan if he wins can harm Federer .

    1. Stan can’t harm Federer??

      I think you are thinking of Stan from a couple of years ago.

      Might want to check out the 2015 French open clips against Fred and Novak.

      Post 2014 Stan can destroy anyone if he is on.

      1. Well I know what stan is capable of but i don’t know why my gut feeling says Fed will defeat stan if they play here☺

      2. I had a similar hopeful gut after Fed demolished Murray like he was Sloan Stephens in the Wimbledon semis a few months ago.

        By the final it turned out – obviously – my “gut feeling” was a gastric virus.

      3. What Stan can do on a clay court is harder to replicate on a quicker hard court.

        When he’s firing on all cylinders, he is definitely one of the best but I dunno if American hard courts are where he can do his best work. Harder on the body for one thing.

    2. One match at a time. The good news was that Rog got out in 3 cos the scheduling tougher now. Another night match… And after some crappy oldies dubs. Honestly the USO making it hard for Fed. The good thing is that Rog not underestimating Reeshard and his QF record ( weird). He knows Gasquet playing tougher. Every match a final for Rog now as he gets closer.. Allez

      1. I looked at his QF record, it’s 3-0 not 4-0. Roddick, Ferrer and Wawrinka the guys he has beaten. 2 on grass and Ferrer at USO. I don’t think it factors, all that goes in Gasquets favour is that he’s been playing well this year.

  13. Great match by Roger! Managed to stay awake until the end of it.

    From previous matches I thought Isner was nothing but a big serve (it’s just lethal) but last night I was surprised to see he had some good shots from both wings, a decent net game (though Roger kept aiming for directs shots instead of passing shots) and a more than decent footwork for a guy his height. Roger managed to create some breaking opportunities but Isner’s serve was just impeccable and came to the rescue.

    Another good thing is that Roger managed to keep it to 3 sets (for a moment I thought it could go to 4 or 5 sets) minimizing on court time.

    1. He’s always had a good forehand but improved it even more lately. Backhand not so good.

      I thought 4 sets too in that tie break or at 0-40. At 3.30am it’s not a good feeling πŸ˜†

  14. What a nice outcome of yesterday! And I expect a beautiful match tomorrow, both players graceful SBH’s…
    Gasquet has improved, – so nice that the more sophisticated (but lower ranked) can still prevail over those thugging powerplayers. This match could be a thriller with 2 graceful dancers…lots of fun and brilliant shots –

      1. Oh yes of course, as you know, I would only be genuinely delighted if Roger makes it. But Gasquet is one of my favorite opponents for him…and Roger’s win percentage vs G helps πŸ™‚

  15. I think Federer Played a veey clinical match. 36% of Return points won I feel was vey impressive. The second set was massive like Rog himself pointed.
    I do feel berdych would have been more of a threat than Gasquet especially from the back of the court though Federer would have taken care of him anyway. Murray bowing out is a major plus for Federer for sure. Though Stan seems destined to meet him in semis, I think Anderson match is tricky for Wawrinka too.

    Moving on to QF against Gasquet. Have to agree with Jonathan, I dont see him troubling federer either.
    Federer should get the job done in 3 quick sets.

    Its interesting that SABR is an arabic word used for Patience. And the same word here is used for a tactic which clearly showes hustle in Rogers Game.Sorry :pp but I am not quite able to connect with the acronym they picked :pp

    1. I think the inform and improved Gasquet may make elegant shots, and possibly win some points for that. Roger doesn’t underestimate the challenge – which is good for my feeling. I do think Roger will make it in 3, but not necessarily easy. Both are fast players, and we may expect delightful entertainment with lots of fantastic shots and rallies.

    2. Yeah, I fail to see where the “sneak” is, too. It’s all but sneaky, it’s not like he is crawling out of sight like Gollum. “Sneaking? Sneaking? Fat hobbit is always so polite!”

    3. Well, rushing for a service line return would be anything but SABR in Arabic then. SABR would apply more to Murray standing ten feet behind the baseline for a return.

  16. I predicted Fed in 3 whcih turned out to be true, but the match was really a lot closer than I thought it would be. 2 hrs 40 mins is by no means a short match and sure it consumed a fair amount of fuel. Hopefully Fed gets it done easily with Gasquet to save some energy for the last two matches.

    Having said this, I have some worries:
    1. Fed’s passing shots against Isner were again not up to the mark. I don’t know whether he was intentionally aiming at Isner’s body as a premeditated tactic and keeping it low due to Isner’s height, but he seemed to lose some points by not attempting makeale passes towards sides.
    2. Murray (2nd favourite according to Jonathan, although he also predicted that Kevin can potentially do a damage) going down may not be a good news for Roger. Stan is much dangerous opponent than Murray. I was waiting for Murray-Stan QF and then Fed-Murray SF… not to be. But here’s an interesting stat: STAN HAS LOST TO ANDERSON IN THEIR LAST 4 MEETINGS with last win in Shanghai 2013. So I am praying for Anderson SF. Stan in SF almost spoils US open chances IMO. Even if Fed wins that, it would cost him a lot of energy to be fresh in the final.

    Oh! I forgot… 1 match at a time… My prediction against Gasquet is: Fed in 3.

      1. True. Trying to get the ball past him is like threading a needle. And he virtually eliminates the use of a lob. Back at him is a better play, if a passing lane is difficult.

    1. If Anderson/Stan H2H is pre-2014 – Stanimal had not been unloosed.

      And given what Stan has shown he can do in the last year or so, I think it means nothing.

      If Stanimal level Stan is present there is no place to hide. For anyone.

      And you’re right that he presents a bigger threat to Roger than Murray – (if they are both on).

      Stanimal-level Stan eats the opponent and poops him out right on court.

      Hoping InconsiStan comes out instead of Stanimal.

      1. 3 of Andersons 4 wins came in 2014. The 4th came in late 2013. All very recent matches that do mean something. Just not at slam level which is quite a bit different.

      2. It depends on if Stan in in Stanimal form.

        I don’t think it matters really what Anderson does if Stan is on. In that case I think He’s got no chance.

  17. Suppose Fed goes on to win the title by beating Gasquet, Stan, Lopez in that order (assuming those guys takes out their opponents), that would mean Fed wins a Slam by beating 6 single backhanders in 7 rounds. I thought that would be something unseen at least not since the 80s where there were more SBH

      1. No way Lopez beats Novak.

        I don’t think it will even be close.

        Djoker is the most consistently expectation mathching tennis player in the world and he’s been that way for years now. He beats who he should all the time. USO 2014 was a total aberration.

        He’s on a 10 final in a row run right now. Unreal primeFed-like numbers. The guy doesn’t break. Except for Stan, He just wears beautiful tennis playing athletes completely out and grinds them like fine dust into their favorite surface.

        And I can’t stand it.

        I just wish he’d get the flu or something right now. Nothing dangerous, just something to take him down to human endurance levels.

      1. Sid – I don’t know what’s gotten into you.

        I’m tempted to hope in your projections because you’re smarter about tennis than me, but don’t want to let my guard down and have to go back to the asylum for “therapy”.

        A couple of months ago – after Rome – you were adamantly proclaiming Novak had gotten in Roger’s head; had figured him out.

        Then you saw what happened in July to Fed – and that just after Murray got incinerated and the whole world made the Vegas bookies change their tune about the SW19 final.

        What has changed you? Or what is different about the USO?

        Yours truly,
        Frightened, cowering, bitter, hardened, and jaded

      2. I rarely ever predict, and if I do, please don’t go with what I say, especially if you’re putting money into it. I should stop predicting.

        Fed’s problem really is endurance. What happened in Cincy is Djokovic’s doing (scheduling, or otherwise). Montreal final, Cincy final, and not trying to push too hard keeping in mind the upcoming US Open. Fed was very well rested. The surface has always suited Fed. All factors contributing to the result.

        Fed progression of opponents in this tournament is perfect. If he goes into the final, beating Gasquet, and Wawrinka, without killing himself (no five setters, or extended four setters), it means he is playing well enough to beat Djokovic in the final. There is also a rest day, which I think benefit Fed, the significantly older guy, more than Djokovic, who is in his prime.

        The surface this year, I think is rewarding aggressive play a lot more, though I don’t have stats to back that claim. The biggest negative is that Fed would not be facing any opponent with an awesome two handed backhand, until the final.

        Take that as a fans analysis, and pleasae don’t run to town with it. πŸ™‚

      3. Thanks Sid. Got it.

        And no worries – I never wager money.

        All my bets are emotional. Which happen to be often quite costly when you’re a Fed fan post 2009.

      4. Good point Sid about the two-handed BH. Be incredible if Fed made it to the final playing 5 one handed BH players to get there.

      5. Thoughtful fan analysis above Sid (8:48 Sept 8) – thank you. Interesting thoughts about the opponent progression.

  18. Another night match for Federer .It would be telecast live at 6:AM in India .I assume I will just have 2-3 hour sleep but I think fed fans on this blog also alter their sleeping schedule to watch maestro play.
    Is there any difference in day or night matches and which will be more advantageous for fed?
    I wish I had got to know about this blog a little early .
    Great articles,posts and great fed fans
    cheers Jonathan ☺

    1. So if McEnroe doesn’t mess around too much in his ex doubles Fed will be on at 1am English time and hopefully finish by 3. I cant afford another recovery day off work this week

    2. Cheers, Pranshul. I got your Fed story email btw, I will look through it sometime this week.

      @Ian – you take a day off? πŸ˜† I was up at 7.30am after 5am finish!

  19. I guess I am the only one not watching the Williams hype. Zzzz. Sorry Tsonga lost because he would have been more of a test for Djoko. Djoko has had the easiest draw in GS history. Jeez.

    1. Where does this Tsonga being a test for Djoker come from that everyone seems to be on? πŸ˜†

      Djoker has won the last 11 meetings and hasn’t dropped a set against him in 7 matches. it’s as one sided as it gets.

      Cilic is far more of a test.

  20. I agree with the Sid comment above about Roger’s endurance. I suppose we should continue to take it match by match. Roger should really still beat Gasquet in straights. Of course, there will be some nasty backhand to backhand exchanges with Gasquet winning his fair share but I think that Roger will dominate with his serve and his forehand. Roger also has the mental edge over Richard so it should be a straightforward victory. Roger also knows what happened last year and he doesn’t want to waste time on the court…

    As far as the potential Wawrinka Semi – let’s see if he’ll make it. Also, we should not forget that Stan has beaten Roger 3 times – ALL on CLAY. Roger has dominated Stan on fast surfaces. Last year at the WTFs was different but I can tell that Roger was already pretty tired and that explains also the injury that occurred. Clearly, the first set would be key. If Roger takes it, he can beat him in straights. If Roger loses the first set, I would still take him in 4 sets – especially on this surface. But let’s get to that one when we get to it.

    As far as Feliciano tonight – I love how no one is giving him a shot. No one gave Bautista Agut a shot but he stressed out the “World Number 1”. I think that Lopez can squeak a set but I also think that Djokovic will come out extra focused today.

    Finally, I don’t know what to make of Cilic. That dude disappears for the whole year pretty much but here he is again at the Semis. I was counting on Tsonga winning in 4. And he barely lost in 5. Cilic SHOULD be TOAST now and be easy pickin’s for Novak but last year we thought the same when Roger was facing Cilic.

    Cilic did push Novak to 5 at Wimbledon in 2014 and that was before the US Open. Here he is the defending champion. He has to push Novak – maybe not beat him – but instill enough doubt and tire him out a little bit.

    Roger had a great day yesterday and he’ll need another good day at the office tomorrow again to keep the momentum going. πŸ™‚

    1. Novak is money.

      Lopez doesn’t have a prayer. Fed barely has one.

      This guy is solid as a rock. He’s heading for his 11th final IN A ROW.

      Once in a blue moon he forgets to set his alarm and wakes up late for his match.

      But he’s not looking like that here.


      1. Lopez just blew it in the third. Gifted game two of the third set to go down 0-2. This could be it.

    2. Of course Roger’s chances diminish hugely if it takes a mammoth effort to get to the Djoker but even if he does cruise into it, do his chances really go up by THAT much. Fed breaking the slam drought rests on how mentally strong he is. Couldn’t do it against Novak back to back at Wimbledon, odds against him even more on a HC.

  21. Cillic.


    No no NO YOU DI-INT.

    Stay away from my Fed, you “one hit wonder”.

    Don’t you be bringin’ that sorry 2015 record into this Grand Slam actin’ like you all that all a sudden.

    1. Djokovic played like absolute crap and still made it to the semis… Oh, well. Feliciano fought valiantly.. I suppose Novak is going to make it to the finals. I hope that Cilic will push him but I doubt it.

      Based on form, Roger should win this but I know that could change so I am not going to read much into this. I’ve been burned by this before.

      Anyway, let’s see how it all plays out tomorrow.

    2. Surprised by how Cilic has flown under the radar back into the semis in NY, awesome effort to defend but I think his run ends here.

      1. Somebody (you,Alysha?) joked in the draw post “Cilic to defend his title!! πŸ˜‰ ”
        Not a matter of joke NOW!
        USO is the fav tourney of this power hitter.

  22. You’re kidding me right? Isn’t there one female in this whole wide world who can beat this doped up she-male called Serena Williams? Whatever happened to girl power for fucks sake!

    1. I don’t understand your hate for Serena Williams. This hate, I presume, stems from either 1) The other-worldy power in her shots and ATP-like serve, 2) Her huge arms that seem un-womanly, 3) She screams like a bitch and makes annoying expressions on court, 4) She and her sister made tennis one dimensional and boring, 5) She is black and you, like thousands of others liken African Americans to apes. And you hate apes.

      Let me tear apart those points one by one.

      1) There are others in WTA (Lisicki, Keys, etc) who hit as fast as her both on ground strokes as well as serve. It follows what distinguishes her is her unparalleled clutch and not the weight of shot by itself. So if you hate Serena you should also hate many more players like Kvitova who can be just as powerful.

      2) Well, it follows from Point 1 that, clearly those huge arms of hers do not give her any sort of physical edge over her peers. Clearly then, those large arms are nothing but an aesthetic issue and should not play a part in judging a player’s game. So if you hate her for being a female with some oddball physical characteristics, you are no different from every other cowardly internet bully who body shames women.

      3) So does 70% of the WTA. Where is your hate for those people ?

      4) Tennis is a game of hitting the ball past your opponent to win the point while sticking to some rules. There are no extra points on HOW you are willing to accomplish that. There are some people who would find a net-rushing Federer just as annoying for constantly destroying the rhythm of a baseline battle. You could argue that he is a dick for not allowing the opponent to play his game. Let tennis change the fucking rules if it finds baseline tennis too boring like the FIA does every year with Formula 1, and stop complaining.

      5) And so, the only other plausible reason I could think of, and the one that probably makes the most sense.

      What I still don’t understand is, how your judgement of Serena Williams as a human being is clouding your judgement about her tennis game. Baffling.

      1. Waiting for Sid’s reply and my popcorn is nearly ready.

        But in the mean time my thoughts on your comment: Serena’s ATP like serve πŸ˜† if you think 120mph middle of the box first serve is getting it done in the Men’s game you’re mistaken. Most 16 year olds playing at a high level aren’t going to bad an eyelid at that.

        And for me personally, I don’t like Serena primarily because she physically threatened a line judge on the court. You can have no respect for her from that act alone.

        Combine that with all her other on court antics, telling an Umpire to “not walk past her in the hall” and various other acts of violence, petulance she’s just not a very likeable person.

      2. I don’t think you have watched Williams play much. In fact I think most of the people have got it wrong here. The fact that she is black is not the reason she is getting a bad name. She is the one giving the bad name to her race. Seeing her play and the the way she behaves and talks only makes people wonder if people who are black are really that violent. While Sid’s comments may be worded in the extreme, I don’t see how Serena Williams really has any sort of excuse for her disgusting behavior over the years. If you doubt what behavior we are talking, surely you don’t know enough about her to even defend her. I think its fair to say she may be called a good (even great) player but she is a horrible human being.

      3. Ok Ajay, let me stop you right there. Has anyone EVER said that John McEnroe or Connors bought a bad name upon the white community ? No ! Their community doesn’t even come into the equation. But it does with Williams, and that is the problem.

        And I have never said that her behavior is excusable, far from it. It has been downright disgusting at times. But then so has Mr. Connors’ who has actually crossed over to the other side of the court and actually got physical with McEnroe and YET the sort of negative press around those incidents is dwarfed by what Serena receives.

        While I do not offer this as justification in any way for her behavior, I think that quite a lot of how she is, is because of her upbringing, more specifically the role of someone like Richard Williams and the surrounding she grew up in, i.e Compton. But its a double edged thing because that rugged and aggressive mindset is also what has helped her achieve the kind of success she has seen.

        Finally, to call her a horrible human being just due to her on court behavior is inexcusable hyperbole. She hasn’t killed, looted, mutilated or vandalized anything. If anything, she has been one of the beacons for the African American community and role model to tens of thousands of people out there on how to withstand criticism and move on from your mistakes and has done more good to society than most tennis players.

      4. This is one huge can of worms you’ve opened up, Daya. Before I continue, I want to say that broadly, I agree with you that Sid is prone to too colourful language. There’s freedom of speech and then there’s personal attack.

        Re your points, the guys have already dissected a fair few, but the style game is not one that is entirely subjective. If you were to go about designing an ideal style for an aesthetic, you’d start with the basis of how you personally want to play. I get the impression the physical game is to make use of assets, such as the body. But then, if I want to see fast, I watch usain bolt. If I want to see power, I watch Olympic weightlifting. Simply put, the moment you edge matches on athletic grounds (by which I mean transferable skills, speed, strength, stamina) you run the immediate but almost never noticed comparison to a field you cannot compete in. No one in the world of tennis can achieve speeds like top sprinters. Now sure, you can say bolt cannot play tennis like Djokovic, but that’s because of the talent for tennis, the experience. Those non transferable skills are what creates the uniqueness of the great sport. So it follows that to master those is to find the greatest purity in a tennis style. The only question then is: is purity the right style? Subjectively, maybe not but you look across any record of time in any sport, and the admired most tend to be the unique. Sure, love ronaldo, but pundits all say Messi, footballers all do. Because they play the game and realise the physical is a matter of great dedication, but some things can never be achieved regardless of effort. It’s the unique skill sets they admire most. In any sport.

    2. Sure, in terms of pace she might just be average on the ATP tour but you cannot deny that her serve placement is excellent when she is on a roll (which is often).

      Having said that, I should have been clear in the beginning: I don’t think Serena is a likable person when it comes to tennis either. I like her on court antics as much as I like Murray’s, which is to say I hate it. In addition to all that you have mentioned about her Jonathan, I should add that she kicked Sam Stosur off the practice court last week.

      But all that should not detract from her tennis credentials. And despite her on court antics, her behavior isn’t exactly off the charts either. In fact, she has come a long way from her Kim Clijsters US Open incident many years.

      Most of all, I do not think she deserves the kind of venom that Sid spews her way. Hate her antics, hate her tennis style, but not that much. Because if you hate her that much, it says more about you than her tbh.

      1. My intromission:

        Behaviour is one thing; playing style is another. Sure, you can try to link the two, but the connection will be weak.

        The fact is that the rules in most sports (if not all) allow one to win by either playing in a boring or in an exciting way (yeah, weight lifting does not allow for much style variation!!!).

        Serena plays a boring and ugly tennis (as many more do, for that matter), in my opinion. But if that wins her trophies without breaking the sport rules, then it’s ok. Well, not OK, but ok. What is there left to hope for, other than a new player coming around and winning by playing with the opposite game style?

        Now, it she offends the opponents verbally, or threatens umpires at point of being disqualified at least in one occasion, and shows up on court drunk, or stoned, or whatever condition she was in, then, Houston, we’ve had a problem.

        Not all rules are written, such as “Thou shalt honour your opponent because (s)he is the only reason why you’re a victor.”
        Haven’t we got enough orcs in soccer already?…

      2. I agree. But many tennis players have shouted at lines people, chair umpires, ball boys and ball girls. Why only Serena gets most of the heat, although she has exhibited much better behavior on court since, is beyond me.

      3. “Sure, in terms of pace she might just be average on the ATP tour but you cannot deny that her serve placement is excellent when she is on a roll (which is often).”

        I disagree, her pace is the only standout feature. Placement / variety isn’t really there or anything to write home about. Her serve on the ATP would be eaten alive. It’s very simple why her serve looks spectacular – its too quick for the WTA returner to handle – and she just mops up from the middle of the court.

        I look like a world beater when I’m serving against poor returners or weak players. Then suddenly when I’m playing against someone who returns them for fun and I’m taking the first ball on the run and on the defensive things change pretty quickly πŸ˜†

        When do you ever see Serena having to run on the first ball? Never. Is her serve good? Yup, she’s an impressive athlete no doubt. But it’s not ATP level.

      4. “But many tennis players have shouted at lines people, chair umpires, ball boys and ball girls. Why only Serena gets most of the heat, although she has exhibited much better behavior on court since, is beyond me.”

        Yes, but I can’t recall a single male player in a televised match threatening to kill a line judge. There’s a world of difference between shouting at someone and threatening them with physical violence.

      5. Daya,

        I completely agree with you. SW is unlikeable in the extreme, I cant bear her antics and dont like her playing style.

        However, to use the language Sid uses to describe her is distasteful in the extreme. Its not funny and its not clever – its racial stereotyping. And please dont lets hear that nonsense about the PC brigade and not being allowed to express an opinion. Some things are just hate and should stay unsaid.

      6. Her pace might be average ? Lol I am not sure you know who Williams is. Maybe you are thinking of someone else no ?

      7. Jonathan, I grant you that I am mistaken with her serve. But as you said, she has an extraordinary serve with respect to the WTA and my original point is valid anyway.

        As for her threatening the lineswoman physically, I agree it is distasteful and deserved to be severely fined as a breach of the code of conduct. But to take everything that an athlete says on court when they are in a fit of temper at face value, is to be naive and frankly, its a slippery slope. C’mon, how many of you genuinely think that she meant what she said ?

        And I am willing to bet that, if some white woman (say), were to be involved in similar controversies, they would probably describe her as feisty.

      8. Although, Jonathan I did hear some commentary this week that a couple of the women on serve alone were equal to some of the men in the bottom half of the top 100 ATP. Cant remember exactly who but think Serena and another woman were ranked about 70th equal to Gasquet with 125/6 mph.
        I appreciate that’s not an average and in open play there is a massive difference although some winning shot speeds may come close to some of the men.
        Its academic tho as all the men/women comparison is bull.
        Women’s tennis is a different game or should be and I agree with the points made elsewhere on here that Williams has detracted from it by making it about power.
        On the plus side as Daya says they have empowered a lot of women and more specifically black women

      9. Oh yeah, Ian? I’ll tell you what, if one these empowered black women is playing tennis, I do not want to be a lined judges. This woman is a doper. That’s where all the rage comes from. Get it?

      10. I get it, Daya. She is “entitled”, to win every thing there is out there. The only reason her doping crimes haven’t been exposed is because she is black, and she and her stupid supporters will cry racism the moment you say anything about her.

        Give me one instance of any tennis player in ever threatening to kill a lines judge. If that wasn’t all, she came a long way from 2009, to 2010, where she misdirected her roid rage, and anger at a different umpire, for legitimately applying the hindrance rule. Then she came a long way all the way to 2015, where she yelled, “Bitch” at an opponent. I understand you can’t get the ghetto out of her.

        This woman is a world class asshole. Anyone who is a fan of Serena Williams, is also a world class asshole.

    3. Daya, I haven’t warmed up yet. I will soon. But here’s something for starters.

      [she has been one of the beacons for the African American community and role model to tens of thousands of people out there]

      You’re joking me, right? Role model? Threatening to kill lines judges? Yelling “Bitch!” at your opponent? Crip walking like a gangster at the holiest of places, Wimbledon? I guess that explains why the African American community is where it is right now.

      I haven’t even started yet. Be back later for more soon. Hang tight fellas!

      1. I have nothing more to say really. I don’t see this discussion going anywhere, but I wanted to just put my thoughts out there. In conclusion, I want to emphasize again that wanton name calling in public is a tad bit immature and not a classy thing to do. I’ll leave it at that

      1. change in schedule
        Federer’s match will be before the crap exhibition match
        7 pm USlocal time

      2. Well, it’s about time! I was sitting in the office earlier, realising it was raining, and wondering how on earth they were going to get the rest of the afternoon AA schedule completed, let alone this evening’s session. Bear in mind that you have to allow 45 minutes, it seems, to clear the stadium and get everyone back in, and that I was quite prepared for Kevin/Stan to go 5 rounds, and I was wondering whether Roger’s match would finish before morning *their* time, not mine!

        Gasquet’s been playing very well over the past few months. This could be tougher than we might have expected.

    1. Totally ridiculous and Novak/Cilic gets 2 days off…..hoping Fed uses that to really focus and win in 3. If he makes Final Fed will hv had hardest draw and toughest scheduling…allez!

      1. Haven’t we had instances where the extra day has actually been detrimental to the player who had it, because he got out of rhythm?

      2. Not fot Novak.

        His middle name is “consistent”.

        About to make it 11 Finals IN A ROW.

        And Fed’s warm up for Novak will be Stanimal. Not good preparation!

      3. He is indeed consistent but his draw is ridiculous, I am not even sure he needed whole level of concentration to win his matches…probably few mins of Hot RBS was his toughest time on court……As ATP article says, none his opponents until final never won against him….Not sure ever that happened before…

  23. Does one dare to hope? Cnt keep tearing the same surgical wounds open again can we? Just recovered from Wimby.
    So from today till Monday morning, i will remain indifferent.
    Won’t be surprised if Djokovic breezes past Cilic in straight sets.
    On Friday, Federer’s match just may be in the afternoon. What do you all think?

    1. considering both Stan and Roger played 7 PM today and other Semi finalists getting two days off, doesn’t make sense Roger plays in afternoon….Likely in evening just as today…

  24. For Gasquet, Federer should give like 10 SABRs , come to the net often before Gasquet can have the recovery time on his backhand. Win the first two sets and don’t let Gasquet sniff a tie break.
    It may be a bit difficult, but I think he should pull it off.
    May not watch this, but will be primed to watch both semifinals.

  25. Are you all sleeping? I had to watch! – so here is my BREAKAWAY for comments on Jonathan’s next – before first! –

  26. Fed waltzed through that one.

    Gasquet had no offense. Looked listless.

    Some of that was Fed not letting him.
    Some was – I think – just a bad night for little Gasqu-elf. Beautiful tennis, no power tonight.

    Here comes Stanimal and the power surge. Nothing like Fed has seen all summer.
    This will be a real test.

    1. I am not too worried about Stan. Roger is 11:0 on hard courts and this is fast hard court. Based on eye test and form, Roger will straight set him. Out of respect, I may give Stan a set. I like that Roger is playing Stan actually. A good test before the final.

      By Roger’s own admission, Roger said that because of the Isner match, Roger is seeing the balls much better on the return now and that is scary for his opponents. Also, again because of the Isner match, Roger is consciously telling himself to keep serving great in order to hold better.

      This draw has played out perfectly so far. Roger by far has the toughest draw and with a little help from Gasquet and Anderson he is now in the semis with energy to spare and feeling great. It would be a shocker if Roger doesn’t reach the final.

      Another thing to note with Stan is that in his 3 wins against Roger, they were on clay and he was able to have enough time to set up and unload on his shots.

      On a fast court like this and Roger hugging the baseline, Roger will take the timing away from Stan and Stan will have to hit crazy winners on the run, thus creating a lot of UEs… Another thing about his Paeis win – it was played on the secondary court with heavy and windy conditions.

      Arthur Ashe is playing fast with no wind. BTW I was there yesterday and the roof structure is amazing. πŸ™‚

      1. “Also, again because of the Isner match, Roger is consciously telling himself to keep serving great in order to hold better.”

        Well, I hope he remembers that. If he *does* manage to get past Stan, he’ll need not to lower his performance on serve like last time.

    2. Exactly Sue ! Lucky dog indeed. But Vily, the matches running in my head aren’t the RG QFs. It is in fact the last year’s WTF Semis and the first 2 sets at Wimbledon last year. Stan was absolutely unloading on Roger the first 2 sets and had match points with easy put away volleys on them as you all remember I am sure.

      More importantly, Stan has beaten Murray and has taken Djokovic to 5 sets at the US Open. So he is hardly a slouch on these courts, Stan. I expect a tough 5 setter for Roger.

  27. Vily : really enjoy reading your posts mate – they are very well-made and indicate your enormous passion for our Roger!

    Daya / Sid : let me give my tuppence worth re Serena Williams. I too detest this woman, but not for the reasons you put forward Daya, viz, being a black woman and being very macho and bulky. I do not like her for her faking and pretense in many matches or for her disgusting and vile verbal outbursts which are
    out of order. And whilst I agree Sid’s language is sometimes over the top – even inflammatory – his points are very well-made. In fact, I concur with a lot of what Sid says ( language excluded at times ) in many posts and admire his knowledge and intelligence of the sport of tennis. I also fully agree with Sid that this woman dopes – my opinion, but I can neither prove or disprove this. No readers, the reason why I primarily detest this woman is that so many deluded people are now saying she is the greatest female tennis player of all-time – which inflames me!!!!!! She is not. She has had NO real competition in her career ( most of the other WTA players are a waste of space, including Kvitova who is one of the most naturally gifted players I have seen in many a year but does not have it ‘upstairs’ – sadly ). Williams does not compare to either Navratilova ( my choice for the greatest women’s player ever ) or Graf, both of whom had SERIOUS competition during their careers. And as for this US Open draw – have the other waste-of-space WTA players – bad enough as they are – been paid backhanders to effectively give this pathetic woman yet another slam title???

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