Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Powers Past Nishikori into Wimbledon Semi Finals

The Swiss came from a set down to to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Roger Federer is through to the semi-finals at SW19 after seeing off Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to record his one hundredth match win at Wimbledon.

The Swiss will be making his 13th last four appearance at the All England Club but he didn't have it all his own way, recovering from a set down after the 8th seeded Nishikori came out firing on the return to capture the first set in style. However the 20 time Grand Slam champion switched tactics in the second and began to dictate with his serve to come through in 2 hours and 36 minutes.

Roger will next face longtime rival Rafael Nadal who defeated Sam Querrey in straight sets over on Court One.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Nishikori SW19

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. Nishikori then produced a couple of rip-roaring second serve returns to give himself two break points and he converted for a 1-0 lead.

A hold to thirty put the Japanese up 2-0 and in game three he was quickly up 0-40 but Roger recovered to hold for 1-2.

Another break point came in game five for Nishikori as he treated Federer's second serve with disdain however Federer held and then finally had a break chance of his own but couldn't convert.

That was his one chance of the set and Nishikori held firm to take it 6-4. The key being second serve points won with Roger at just 36% which meant he was under constant pressure.

Into set two and Roger kicked off with a hold for 1-0. A sweet return got him the first point on Kei's service game and the Swiss upped the aggression, setting up three break points and converting it with a clean inside in forehand winner for 2-0.

A love hold consolidated the break for 3-0 and Roger had inroads again at 15-30 in game four but Nishikori recovered to hold for 1-3.

Federer then fired down a love hold for 4-1 and reeled off another four points in a row to secure the double break for 5-1. A hold to thirty then levelled it at 1 set apiece.

The third set started with a lengthy game where Kei recovered from 0-30, saved a break point and fought off multiple deuces to hold for 1-0.

Roger then held to level and the pair exchanged comfortable holds and the scoreboard ticked along to 3-3.

Some aggressive returns allowed Roger to create breakpoints in game seven but Kei saved them both and it looked like he'd escape after holding two game points but a slick backhand pass set up a third break chance and Roger converted for 4-3.

A love hold consolidated it for 5-3 and Roger was able to serve it out 6-4, saving a break point in the process to move up two sets to one.

Into set four and after an exchange of holds Federer shanked a backhand on break point in game three to allow Nishikori to hold.

After Federer levelled at 2-2, two more break points came his way in game five but a missed makeable volley cost him the second and Nishikori again held.

Roger levelled at 3-3 and both guys were taken to thirty in their next service games as the score moved to 4-4.

Into game nine and a double fault then a backhand unforced error gave Federer 15-30, two break points followed and although Nishikori saved the first Federer converted the second when a Kei forehand went long.

The Swiss then served it out in style to take it 6-4 and move into the semi-finals. Sweet.

Match Stats

  K. Nishikori R. Federer
Aces 3 11
Double Faults 2 4
First Serve % In 79/138 (57%) 69/105 (66%)
Win % On 1st Serve 45/79 (57%) 56/69 (81%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 33/59 (56%) 21/36 (58%)
Net Points Won 22/39 (56%) 25/31 (81%)
Break Points Won 1/6 (17%) 4/14 (29%)
Receiving Points Won 28/105 (27%) 60/138 (43%)
Winners 31 54
Unforced Errors 28 32
Total Points Won 106 137
Distance Covered 2486.7 m 2612.6 m
Distance Covered/pt. 10.2 m 10.8 m

Press Conferences

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Wimbledon QF 2019

It was difficult in the beginning, it was brutal, Kei came out was smashing return winners, I had to make some adjustments and stay with him. I had some small chances but Kei was the better player. It was important to get the lead in the second set and protect it, start a normal match at one set all, I got some rhythm which helped me and I served great after being broken in the first set. Federer on his win over Nishikori

Super win for the Fedmeister here and he's managed to up his level round by round at this years tournament which is peRFect.

Kei came out firing on all cylinders in the first set and made mincemeat of Federer's second serve but after dropping the set it awoke the beast and the Swiss was able to take charge. He ramped up the aggression from the baseline, started to hit flatter which gave Nishikori less time on the ball and took control.

Roger's serve also improved as the match wore on (dropping just 8 first serve points after the first set) and the easy holds were crucial as they put the pressure straight back on Nishikori who was struggling to hold in virtually all his service games. That was the key as Kei managed to win 38% of return points in set one, but for the next three only averaged 21% which will have given him the feeling he was always serving.

To be fair the Japanese did battle hard throughout and fought off multiple break points in the fourth set whilst hoping for a Federer slip up on serve but it never came and Fed finally got the break before serving it out in style. Too good. Allez!

Predictions vs. Nadal

Next up is Nadal who dispatched Sam Querrey with ease after a close first set. The big-serving American needed that first set to stand any chance of coming through as he's not renowned as a fighting type player who can come from behind under pressure. He needs that bit of freedom to go for his shots and doesn't play with a lot of margin.

This one is a rematch of their French Open encounter last month and it's the first time they've met on grass since the 2008 Wimbledon final. The early betting shows Nadal as the favourite which is understandable as he's made serene progress through the draw for the loss of just one set in the second round against Kyrgios.

As always no secrets on the matchup and Federer will need to play high-quality first strike tennis to come through. A return of the neo backhand would also help matters ๐Ÿ™‚

Either way, I expect it to be close. There'll be no wind to spoil the level like Paris so it should be an even contest. Federer is by far the better grass court player but Nadal is five years younger and seems to be enjoying the conditions this year so it's a 50/50 match for me.

What did you guys think of the win against Nishikori? Predictions against Nadal? 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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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172 Comments

    1. Super fast report – thanks Jon! Watched only live scores this time – hoping on highlights somewhere. But nerves and passion still on – depression about 1. set and destroying wimby plans for saturday – but soon got resurrected back again fortunately!! Oh Thrillll

  1. Didn’t see the first set, assume Nishikori came out firing and Roger was a bit cold, but saw from the early part of the second set to the end and it was much better from Roger. Hope for the best with the Fedal match, heart says Roger in 4, head says Rafa in 4. Anyway, we’ll soon find out.

  2. Roger in 4:I think Roger really want Wimbledon win he will fight very hard for it also Novak is no easy task

  3. Exciting SF we have, it is close but this is Fedโ€™s surface so I would give him the edge. Although I donโ€™t think he is by far a better player on this surface when Nadal is firing in all cylinders and specially when it comes to facing each other.

    I donโ€™t think the age is a factor at all, Roger looks perfectly physically. You can even make the case that Nadal is the one who is farer from his career peak form with all the injuries he suffered.

    Regardless of the result I think Nole will win his 5th Wimbledon.

    1. Cmon Pablo keep it sensible. If Nadal is the far better player on clay yet Federer has made multiple French Open finals, won multiple clay titles etc. Then how can Federer not be historically the far better player on grass? He’s made 17 quarterfinals on the surface. Nadal has made just 6. He’s only played in 7 grass court finals in his career…

      H2H irrelevant for overall credentials on a surface but I agree, Fed only has 3 wins in slams vs Nadal, that is adv Rafa come Friday.

      1. I understand what you mean Jonathan, Roger overall has a far better resume than Nadal on grass but when it comes to the H2H is a lot closer. They are 2-1 on grass and one of the losses was a 5 set match when Nadal was a baby.

        In other words I think Nadal is considerably better on grass and a much bigger threat than Roger is on clay vs Nadal.

      2. Roger didn’t lose year after year to players ranked outside the top 100 when he played at Roland Garros. But, yeah – Nadal is better on grass than Roger is on clay. If you are a Nadal fan.

      3. @Armstrong7
        Everything arguing for arguing.
        In terms of wins in the rival’s stronghold, yes, Nadal is better on grass than Federer on clay. If you are tennis fan.
        Still this does not tell much about chances for tomorrow.

  4. For me, I can see Friday going either way. Not going to try and think about it too much and hopefully it will be a good match.

    Of course, if Nadal wins, we’ll all be accused of moaning about slow grass. And how it must mean Nadal is greater.

    But hey ho – who wins, wins, and I will still always enjoying watching Rogers style best.

    Go Roger!

  5. Nadal is playing better here than when he won it in 2008. He’s faster and stronger – despite all the years in-between, when he was regularly losing to players ranked outside the top-100. That’s like saying the champions of the late ’80’s, like Lendl and Wilander, would have been better in 2000. They had retired years earlier. For Roger, I fear the outcome will be much the same as in Paris. He can’t match the Spaniard on a slow-playing court – which the players say it is this year.

    1. Well well well – I think the outcome here is VERY unpredictable – so I won’t guess a thing – just have some cold beer ready – for celebration or consolation – good for both

    2. Rather my thoughts too. What struck me is that if Roger starts like he did against Nishi he’s going to take a beating. Do I think he can beat Rafa *and* Novak? Doubtful.

    3. It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

      1. Tell that to the commentators at the AO, the French and Wimbledon. I think they know more about the game than a Nadal troll.

      2. So, Pablo, you’re now trying to say that old age is finally catching up with Nadal, because he isn’t the player this year he was over ten years ago, when he first won Wimbledon. This is even with him only having his serve broken twice in all his matches to this point, and his swatting his opponents away – with the exception of Kyrgios – as though they are minor irritations. So Nadal is absolutely cruising through the field and yet is a lesser player than in 2008 – even though the game generally has gone up a notch in the last ten years. Sid was too generous in his assessment of your intelligence.

      3. Nadal explained it perfectly the other day. To a question about how he improved over the years andif he feels like now is a better player than 10 years ago he said he added things to his game like an improved serve, better return, playing more aggresive, etc to make up for other things he is worse now at like his movement.

        To conclude he said he does not know if the 2019 Nadal is better than 10 years ago.

        Sometimes you don’t need to elaborate biassed theories but hearing what the players say.

      4. Pablo, they say what suits them. I prefer to use my eyes. I have been watching the sport for a long time – probably longer than you have been alive. Nadal’s movement – and his power – is the cornerstone of his game. He cannot improve his game if those parts diminish. Federer, on the other hand, has to make significant stroke adjustments – as well as to his court position – just to stay even, because he is not as fast as he was in his twenties. His game is built on different pillars from
        Nadal.

      5. Your eyes are clearly not reliable. Nadal improved many of his shots throughout the years (Fed said that as well) but his movement is not the same.

        Saying that Nadal is movement and power is being stuck in 2005.

        Look at this yearโ€™s stats at W. Nadal has hit more aces and has lower average of shots per rally than Roger. If you canโ€™t see the evolution…

      6. Nadal is hitting more winners because he is hitting harder. He has lost nothing in terms of strength. To hit a lot of winners, the way he plays, he has to get to the ball in time and on balance. That requires speed. He’s lost nothing there, either. As I said, his technical improvements come on an established and undiminished platform of strength and speed.

  6. So happy for Fed’s 100th win here … just thinking of the many years of dedication and high level of fitness and talent he has brought to tennis over his career.
    It could go either way on Friday, so I will also be trying not to think of it too much, but the match is sure to attract a lot of hype. Go Fed!

      1. That’s what is hurting the young players coming up. The media go crazy and these teens try but struggle to cope with it all. Fed and company had it better without twitter, etc while they were beginning their careers. Now the seasoned players are media battle ready. They have the experience to manage it all. One of my pet peeves.
        What can we say about the semi match? Again, too much hype. Of course, hoping for Fed in 4 but at this point we could argue until the cows come home. Off to the pharmacy tomorrow to get my heart and anxiety meds.

  7. For me it’s Roger all the way! As he said 9 has a great ring to it! I would be thrilled for him to win this one and the 10th and then he can retire and play exhibition matches if he wants and be a great commentator.

      1. I hope you mean 9 and 10th – this about “then he can retire” etc is speculation I don’t want to think about

  8. The serve was amazing after set 1, best heโ€™s served all week with how he hit the lines. Letโ€™s hope the backhand is on form on Friday and he has the confidence to go after it, especially on return, for 5 sets. Going to be tense.

      1. Aren’t you a bit concerned with the number of backhand shanks that Fed hit against Kei? On most of them, he wasn’t trying to thread a needle but hit firmly crosscourt. His backhand was super fluid and reliable against Rafa at the 2017 AO, and it made the difference. Is this grass much slower than the AO that year? Maybe, but still, an inconsistent backhand will be deadly. He will need to be able to come over it down the line to Nadal’s backhand (hell, just in the court, not a winner) regularly to prevail. The crosscourts to stay in the point must be routine.

        And the forehand, didn’t you think he was whipping it around too often? That worries me too. He drove it way more once the lead was built, but he’s gotta be firing right out of the box with it against Nadal.

      2. Holdco, Roger will raise his game and to me he is the favourite but I wouldnโ€™t use AO 2017 as a reference because Nadal is playing better now.

      3. Why worry? He is the semi-final for the loss of just one set. Last year he was already home after losing a two-set lead. Making the semifinals at 37 is ridiculously good.

        You never seem to realise there is an opponent on the other side of the net holdco. If Federer misses a shot then it’s a disaster and he’s choking. You were on here instantly claiming his level was shocking against Nishikori in that first set which was clearly not the case. Does he make mistakes? Yes. But who cares. It’s far too easy to say what he should have done after a miss. I am just enjoying Fed’s tennis. The fact he is still able to compete at the highest level only ever adds to his resume.

        The whipped forehand is used when he has less time on the ball. Nishikori was bossing points. He has no choice but to do that. It’s either that or go deeper but then give Nishikori even more time on the ball which is not a good tactic. If he took a step back and started driving the ball then it might have looked aesthetically better for you, but the ball was travelling another metre to reach Fed, and another metre to travel to reach Nishikori. He would have been mauled.

    1. Great match against a tough opponent. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And Federer finished very strong. His serve was virtually unbreakable after the first set, and he really stepped up his ground game. Seems to finally be getting used to the slow pace of this court.

      Random factoid: Nishikori has lost to the eventual champion at the last three majors. Make of that what you will.

      A lot of nails being bitten down to the quick around here in anticipation of Friday. But really it’s pretty simple. Federer’s played Nadal so often that there are no secrets, and the Beast is nothing if not predictable in his patterns. The most useful advice: Papa Federer’s exhortation to hit through the backhand more.

      The torturous uncertainty around the outcome comes with the territory; Federer’s a creative artist while Nadal and Djokovic are winning machines. Each match is a unique, hand-crafted work while the others mechanically churn out a safe, bland, mass-produced product. You can never be sure which player will show up: Roger Federer, 20-time major champion, or his evil twin Roger Federror, who can’t hit a forehand to save his life. That’s part of the fun.

      If we knew the future, there would be no point to life at all. So let’s just hope for the best. C’mon Roger!

  9. Not excited for this at all, I think Fed’s chances are quite slim. They’re even saying it’s gonna be windy again like it was at RG. Might not even watch it to spare my nerves.

    1. Unlike that crappy slam Wimbledon has got roofs… I want it closed just to see Rafa and his fans whine about it if Rafa loses the match ๐Ÿ˜‚

  10. A bad bounce is all it takes to shank a backhand especially on faster ball exchanges. On the forehand side the wrist is just a bit more mobile and controllable to make that last millisecond adjustment.

  11. Thanks Jonathan for your very positive report. It was nerve-wrecking to watch, though Roger picked up the pace from the 2nd set. It was still very tight for the 3rd and 4th sets. It was hard to see what was on Roger’s mind in the first 5 games – it was painful to watch, a bit similar to the AO quarter final encounter. I just could not figure out why Roger was so all of sorts and could hardly play in the first 5 games. Could not understand why Roger was so aggressive on some BPs in the 3rd and 4th sets, ending up wasting so many of them.
    I’ve also watched a bit Rafa’s and Novack’s matches. Both of them’s serves were pretty average but rallied well. Roger must put pressure on Rafa’s serves and use surprise tactic on BPs to improve the BP conversion rate. The big reason that both Sam and Goffin lost is that they let those two with pretty average serves, thereby putting pressure on their own serves. Roger showed in this match that that may not work against Rafa. I tend to agree with Johnny Mac that Rafa appears to be a bigger threat to Roger than Novack. Hope that Roger will start SF match well against Rafa.
    Allez Rog!

  12. Among the 73 Roger questions answered by him was this: “Who are you most afraid to play?” – “Nadal” – “Who do you most want to play?” – “Nadal! – He has a heart of gold!”
    And so fun they wimble each other first time after 11 years – and soon they’ll cooperate in Laver Cup – This long rivalry and good spirit must give a solid mutual affection. And here they go again! Enjoyable? YES!

    1. Iโ€™m pretty sure they would rather play an easier opponent. I donโ€™t buy their comments. Of course if they have to play each other they will enjoy it but they would prefer to avoid that.

      1. Of course they both want to win. But when they play each other, there is a lot of good emotions out there and I’m sure, they like it.
        To defeat the biggest rival is almost better reward than winning another trophy.

  13. Does anyone know how can I watch the Federer x Nishikori match or a good quality highlights? I’m working in the Wimbledon matches time and I’m not able to watch it. Does anyone have it for download? I feel that Federer has improved a lot in this match and the trend is to get even better in the semifinals…

      1. I live in Brazil and unfortunately I have no access to those channels. But some angel has put the entire match in youtube ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  14. Agree with Alison that he canโ€™t be taking a whole.set to settle down. Agree with Steve that much depends on whether Fed or his evil twin FedError (lol) shows up. Hope he is able to control with grace & fluidity & joy that which he can control, & that he has a bit of luck for the rest. I may haveto avoid the scores on Fri, or Iโ€™ll be utterrly useless at work & make myself sick too. Or maybe Iโ€™ll be able to bring my best self & enjoy it – Iโ€™ll take my inspiration from Roger.

    1. For Roger or Rafa? Lol.

      In all seriousness I think it’s unlikely to be straight sets whoever ends up winning it. Both of them are playing too well IMO to not at least take one set, but we’ll soon find out!

  15. They may be playing on the same court but it isn’t a level playing field. Spanish doctors have seen to that. After being unable to win a tournament for the better part of 10 months Nadal has come out of the desert in better form since he won the French than any time previously in his career. Stronger and faster. WADA is as effective as a ladies knitting circle. So the farce goes on.

      1. What you smell is Spanish EPO. And it isn’t a very pleasant odour. I have a friend who was once a top-ranking WADA official. He told me Nadal and the Spaniards have been doping for years, and they’ve gotten really good at it. The East Germans of tennis.

      2. Just a question – Are you Ruan? Read a number of your comments on this blog. Your tone and style of writing are very similar to his.

    1. What about Swiss doctors? My WADA source says, some Spanish doctors have some nice deal in Switzerland. How the hell could 38 years old play like this?

      If you smell something here, it’s the smell of your hatred to Nadal (unfair =slam thief) and you trying to make Fed nonhuman. Fed is 5 years older than Rafa; never used any legal or illegal medication and is 100% clean genius.

      Try to catch the ground.

      Both are great players but you can accept only one. That’s good for rosary circle not for tennis fan forum.

      1. Says a worshiper of a certain Austrian player. Your own bias is very apparent. My reason for detesting Nadal is singular. For years I have believed he has doped. That is it. I have researched the subject of doping and spoken with a lot of knowledgeable people about it. I am certainly not alone in believing he is the Lance Armstrong of tennis – but hasn’t been caught yet. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, outside your own little rosary circle.

      2. Armstrong7
        I think, I have read this your argument some time ago. I know, what it is about. I know, there are many “believer” besides you.
        Do you know, how numerous are believers in God (this or another)? Still not a prove, God exists or ever existed (as a person like believers believe).

        Most of wars around the glob and since humanity exists, are about believing.

        What has it to do with me following certain xxx?

        If you ask me, if he dopes or not, you hear the same answer. I hope, he is not. But I don’t know. What I know for sure and WADA secret sources not necessary for that, is even small children take and eat things, nobody normal would give their normal kids. This starts long before they are professionals.

        They all eat and drink on court something, I would not be able to find out, where to buy.
        I’m able to play 2 hours (of course, not this intensity, but also not this age) and I feel, my energy tank goes empty at the end. Bu I have no change-overs and only drink clear water.

        So tell me, please, if you have so that knowledgeable sources and you have researched the doping issue., what is it?

        Must be under some control of ATP, I guess. So it’s allowed. Is this not kind of doping?

        So far I know, natural EPO levels are normalized and easy to control. Both during tournaments and in training or playing pauses.

        Do you need Spanish doctors to get EPO. Every doctor can prescribe EPO . I can buy it too from illegal but easy to find sources.

        What do you mean with my “apparent bias”? What has it to do with Nadal?

        Every time I hear from FedFans about Spanish doctors, it’s when a Fedal match is coming and they fear, Fed could lose. Maybe Rafa fans do the same, bu the other way. I don’t know. My little rosary circle in tennis is Thiem, not Nadal ๐Ÿ˜‰

        You may think and believe in your big rosary circle whatever you want, but I BELIEVE, Jon’s blog is a tennis forum, not a rosary circle of any kind.

      3. @prf

        Doping in sports is not a matter of belief in an invisible supernatural. It exists – and it is in all sports. There are over a hundred undetectable substances now available, and the black market in doping is over a billion Euros. With its relatively weak testing regime, tennis is regarded as highly susceptible to doping. All this is uncontroversial fact, reported by WADA and others.

        You can choose to disbelieve me when I quoted a WADA official whom I know as a friend and who spoke to me in confidence. I haven’t invented the account, because it is information that has shaped my perception of the sport. His actual words to me were, “what Nadal is doing is impossible; he is on EPO’s – all the Spaniards are; they’ve gotten really good at at”. In other words, they’ve worked out how to beat the testers. Of course, the official cannot say these things publicly and I would break a confidence to identify him.

        Call me a liar if it makes you feel better, but I have no interest in inventing accounts to justify my views. I am passionately opposed to doping in sport; that is the basis of my opinion about Nadal; defending Roger is the least of my concerns.

      4. @Armstrong7
        It seems, we are actually on the same side so why are we arguing?
        I believe your words (still not equal some hard statement because even your friend, official from WADA, seems to be helpless, which is what I would not expect from WADA) and don’t call you liar. I understand, you cannot tell the name of your source.

        But if we assume, they all have unlimited possibilities of using doping and we are not able to do anything, why don’z we rather allow professionals to take every doping available -on the end they will ruin their health.

        Or if we have courage to start an open battle, we should call names and son’d spread the word by private channels, but come and tell publicly, how it looks like.

        I also understand that a huge Fed’s fan would like to think/believe, Roger is clean. But the same will others do for their heroes and we are not a single mm further with the issue.

        If the situation looks like this and there are hard reasons to not tell the public, how it looks like because there are no hard proofs or because the sports business is too mighty and maybe even WADA officials are paid by rich sponsors of this business.

        I would not like to get to know, that Roger takes doping of any kind but I must take into account that this possibly happens. Equally I don’t like to hear, others are doping but we cannot prove it.

        So long you are not proven guilty, you are innocent. This is the foundation of the whole law system of the Western civilization.

        In any case it’s very sad, because if it was a problem of only one nation (Spain as you suggest), it should be possible, like it was once with East Germany and shortly with Russia.

  16. Weather forecast says ‘moderate breeze’ but sunny. So no roof, although I don’t thin that is a huge factor

    Both players will be nervous to start. I expect a few breaks in the first set. Nadal will elect to receive for sure if he gets the choice. Also, Nadal has been serving very well, speed wise and location wise. No obvious weaknesses – the CC backhand is very strong.

    Realistically I would expect Nadal in 4. I don’t buy this ‘Federer is moving as well as ever’ nonsense. At nearly 38 even if he doesn’t look tired, the strength and stamina will fade as the match goes on. The good news is Nadal is utterly predictable and you know what he’s going to do – hit the ball 2m over the net to Federer’s BH and then on a short ball, hit a FH into Federer’s FH side. My hope is Nadal will fall back to his natural counterpunching self vs Federer, and Fed mixes in slices and dropshots to get the ball on the ‘still grass’ part of the court near the net. Federer has to win the 1st set and make Nadal nervous. Even then (2012 AO SF) nothing is guaranteed.

      1. This is your best comment ever PRF. I am not sanguine that Fed can prevail. Nadal is an animal right now.

      2. @stuart belt
        Let’s give another try ๐Ÿ˜‰ You better don’t win first set against Nadal. If he is an animal at 0:0, he turns a beast at 0:1 ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Historically, Fed’s slices have rarely worked against Nadal. The Neo BH is the only answer to Nadal’s fh –> bh pattern.

      1. I agree and let me tell this – Wawrinka and Thiem are the best proofs, that hard one-handers work against Nadals patterns. But I guess, to hit hart trยดthe one-hander against Nadal’s heavy topspin shots is no more an option for Fed, just because of his age.
        But I think, Fed found something to replace both old classic slices and the neo backhand. It’s big repertoire of non-standard shots, agility and very good court covering when approaching the net and going to finish points with perfect placement, soft touch, small but precise wrist movements to make the ball have an unpredictable trajectory.

      2. PRF I have to say I disagree with you. The one hand BH does not really work well against Rafa and Wawrinka & Thiem are not the best proofs as they have a combined record of 8-1 in GS’s with the one loss being the AO final where Nadal played most of the game clearly injured.

        The reality is that very few BH can deal with the FH to BH Nadal’s pattern. To me only Nole’s BH.

  17. Some records from Fed-Nishi:
    -Roger the first to win 100 matches at a single grand slam! ๐Ÿ™‚
    -Roger breaks the open era for grass wins with his 186th win!
    -Roger now holds the open era wins records for both hard courts and grass courts. While his hard court record might be broken in foreseeable future (Novak is 210 wins behind), I can’t see anyone break his grass court record in the next 10-20 years at least, except… Roger himself of course. He has some more matches on the surface in his career. Let’s hope for the 188th win on Sunday. ๐Ÿ™‚
    -I didn’t verify it, but I think Roger is the oldest player to reach consecutive SFs in the GS level.

    As for tomorrow, I give Rafa the edge.
    Roger has to fight this ominous stat:
    Nadal made eight consecutive QF in slams (Since USO 2017). In the previous runs he either won the title (USO 2017, RG 2018-2019), Retired (AO 2018, USO 2018) or lost to Djokovic (Wimbledon 2018, AO 2019).
    In other words, when healthy, the Djoker was the only one to stop him.
    From this point, Roger is the underdog (assuming Novak makes the final). I hope he plays with no pressure, knowing it’s Rafa’s/Novak’s match to lose.
    The keys are to pick his spots well on serve, be effective on the backhand and manage to protect his second serve.
    The last match showed us the importance of his second serve.

    Go Roger! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nice stats.
      I don’t think he is the first to win 100 matches at a single grand slam though – Nadal has won more at Roland Garros?

      1. Nadal has 93. He has played less tournaments.
        This is Roger’s 21st trip to SW19.
        Nadal played his 15th RG last month. He can record his 100th win there with the Coupe des Mousquetaires next year.

      2. Ok. For some reason I kept seeing stats this year about a 112 – 2 record on RG but I was probably looking at something else!t

      3. Yes, it’s confusing.
        The additional best of five-sets are Davis Cup ties and Masters finals from 2005-2006 I think, were they played best of five-sets at the finals.

  18. We need yesterday’s 2nd set Fed tomorrow. Prepare another torture, guys. But quietly hoping for a great ‘FUN match’. Whatever the outcome, gotta celebrate his incredible achievements.

  19. Rooting for Roger
    I for one think their RG SF was very close in sets 1 and 2, and given the horrid wind, Nadal’s safe play with very few UE’s was always favoured, but Federer kept it close. He mostly played some key points with not enough inspiration, grinta or luck.
    Wimbledon, while still grass, gets closer to clay at this stage of the tournament. The mental will determine the winner here, because Roger learned a lot from his clay season, and I see the RG defeat as a blessing in disguise.

    1. Yeah RG was close for a set and a bit. Which is a positive in a way. But new surface, new tournament, new day. best of 5 shootout, let the best player win!

  20. May sound paradox. But I think, slower grass fits Federer well. I mean – right now – not 10 years ago.
    10 years ago it was a lot of running. These days it’s 2-3 shots. OK, some grinders (not Djoker-format)) can play 40 shots rallies, waiting for a mistake of the opponent.

    Fast or slow, less or more time to react, it’has all two sides.
    On fast surfaces a player like Fed can easily take time from the opponent, assuming, this opponent cannot run like a hall without time limits. Now being slower and less endurant on legs, what Fed needs, is just time to reach and hit well the coming balls.

    That’s, why he is playing high risk but so the ball possibly never comes back. Because if it comes (and it’s from Nadal or similar hard hitting player) Fed needs more time now.

    So the essence of Fed’s game is now the placement, to have maximum winners or at least the opponent in very uncomfortable position.

    Fed doesn’t build his current game on baseline shots. It’s a position game.

    We are used to hear (and so many to say), slow courts are better for Nadal. I thin k, it’s history.

    Current Wimbledon surface is optimal for Fed and that’s why I like Fed’s chances. On faster surface Nadal’s ability to hit deep and hard would make Fed>>’s life difficult.

    Actually optimum for Fed would be his courtside to be slow and opponent’s courtside to be fast ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope, I can produce more comments like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ I need to go for 21 such comments ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The court speed helps Fed with his serve. It means more cheap points (not aces, just unreturned serves). Grass also has a lower bounce, which means the slice is better and the single handed backhand is easier to hit.

      I think Federer has benefited from slower courts overall (i.e. if playing Cilic or ISner or Karlovic) but relative to Nadal and Djokovic it is worse for him since they can run down more balls. But I agree that a slower court gives him more time on the ball.

      While I like the fast grass of the late 90s, I admit there is less point construction because each rally lasts 1 or 2 shots. But we have 3 months of clay, so what’s wrong with having 3 weeks of fast tennis?

      1. Nothing wrong in having fast tennis (not only 3 weeks, add at least some very fast hard court tournaments).

        And I will repeat it, so often, I think, it’s just actual – Not courts or balls are fast, but players.

        The speed of serve is not only the real speed of the ball in the air, but also the whole preparation, first of all the toss. Read Federer, as he explains the prefect serve, telling, it’s all about the toss. And what can have the toss to do with the surface???

      2. Something to help Fed with serve, whatever the court, slow or fast, grass or potato field ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Underarm backspin serve. Something special for Nadal with huge kisses from Nick ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Have still some hours to do some drills before it goes on points ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. I agree PRF. Not to mention the really low bounce, I feel like this year is lower than and that’s perfect for his slides and drop shots.

      1. The TV’s commentator said the average bounce height is 4 cm lower than last year. Having said that I can’t find that stats anywhere.

    3. @PRF with regard to “the position game”:
      This is the best you have ever contributed, very good analysis.
      Makes me deal with all the other stuff you are writing much easier…๐Ÿ˜Ž

      1. Even trolls may have some good moments in their live ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or even change for ever …
        Look the reply of stuart bell to my another comment on this page ๐Ÿ™‚
        One hit yesterday, one hit today … you are encouraging me to post here. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. And an update (still thinking about) to that.
        Most of players know only some default good (eventually winning) positions on the courtside of the opponent. The corners. The lines, extremely close to the net (stop volley, dropshot). Every other position is an imperfection, not an intention.

        This is just the opposite for Fed (especially in his latest incarnation) – every (intended) position can be the way to win the point (not necessarily directly).

        Maybe his best and most beautiful game so far.

        Will it work always? We will see today. If it works against Nadal, then we have only one another question – will this work against Djoker? More complicated because Djoker is a position player too.

  21. Halep has done well to reach the semis. She is a top notch clay court player though, and this years Wimbledon surface clearly suits her well. Svitolina also has some clay court M1000 titles.

    1. Baseliners must not even touch grass, moving 99% on the potato field after the harvest ๐Ÿ˜‰ At least no slippery.

  22. What a match, apart from slow start Rog looked very determined. His serves started to click after coming down from 0/40. Extended rallies will be helpful against Nadal but I am still little worried about his BH.. not hitting deep enough to hurt Nadal and it maybe be costly. Cmon Rog you can do it. Put your game face on!!

  23. Wimbledon is different the way Roger loves this tournament so much I think he really wants it listen to his court interview after kei match he said the weather interference in Paris was sad however he read to win on Friday I doubt he will allow Rafa to smash him in 3 I think this match will be very long to be honest around 4 hours long. I’m just saying that when it comes to Wimbledon Roger is passionate he won’t go down without a fight

  24. So how did he beat Rafa at slowami ? that’s the slowest court it was never speeded up. Rogers problem is break points could have been 27 slams by now against everyone is always 3/17 I hope for his sake in the next matches is 100,% break points conversion

    1. ‘Slowami’ – that”s a good one. How’d he beat Nadal? It was tighter than the score suggested, especially the first set. Federer got the early break and then held on a bit. The key was the NEO backhand as people have been saying. Even with the high bounce, Federer stepped in the court and took it so early that Nadal was forced to rethink his usual strategy. Which means he gets nervous…and then goes for too much. Federer also beat Kyrgios that tournament in a really amazing 3 set match with tiebreaks in every set, I think. So he was playing like a guy who had won a lottery.

      Now I saw some good BHs vs Nishikori in sets 2,3 that I got to watch. It’s harder because of the less regular bounce . So Federer is less likely to be able to pull it off. Of course if he just slices all the time Nadal will kill it.

      Also Nadal has really been serving well. I expect him to hit as many aces as Federer or more TBH.

  25. For Roger to win tomorrow, he will need to return serves a bit more aggressively (not just a simple blocking back); convert BPs better (above 30% or more) and keep UFEs to a reasonable level (no more than 6 or 7 per set). Then Roger will win in straight sets or in 4. Failing one of the three could go to 4 or 5 sets still winning. Failing two of those, he could lose five setter. So far, Rafa and Novack did well to keep lots of balls in play but they offered nothing new. Rafa’s fastest serve against Sam Querrey was 124 m/h, whereas Novack’s serves did not go beyond 120 on most of the occasions. If Roger plays 80-85% of his best, we will see the 21st title.
    Allez Rog!

  26. For some reason I am not at all worried about tomorrow. I expect Roger to comfortably come through in 4 sets and move on to the final where Djokovic will surely be.

    Just not overanalyzing it.

    Allez Roger!!!

    1. Except that Agut MAY beat Djoko – he did so last 2 matches!?
      We’ll see, – I guess a LOT of energy on grassy Fedal – fun and laughter

      1. Yes,Djoker may well not be the shoo in for the final many people think.
        RBAs flat,low shots are made for this court.However I thought Query stood a chance
        against Nadal so what do I know.
        As for Fed /Nadal,if the courts have indeed been slowed down then it is obviously advantage Nadal.But this time hopefully Fed won’t be playing in swirling wind.
        I am going with Fed in five,but only if he wins the first set.
        I can hardly bear to watch it๐Ÿ˜Ž

  27. My projection on Fedal #40 : TOO CLOSE TO CALL. This is probably going to 5 sets guys, I believe there are going to be at least 2 sets decided on Tb. Something deep inside me tells me Fed is gonna prevail in the end. I just hope it’s the guts and not the heart telling me this.
    C’MON ROGER!
    Oh, RBA upsets Djokovic in 4/5 sets. Another hunch apparently. LOL.

  28. If the courts had played as they had in previous years I would have been reasonably confident of his chances. But the more extended rallies we have seen this year (and that includes in the women’s matches) shows the balance has swung in favour of the counterpuncher. I fear Roger will have to hit too many winners just to win the point, and the more extended the point the greater risk that he will make the error first. And longer points are harder on older legs. Roger will have to play at the top of his game in every department. Or he is gone in 4, or even 3, sets. To me, it looks like Nadal is hitting with more power than Roger – and certainly more consistency. He is getting to everything, and not missing. Beating him is going to be a big ask. I suspect that challenge will fall on Djokovic’s shoulders. As it usually does.

    1. What I find amazing is Why Nadal is so damned wonderful on grass this year.
      Or perhaps he flatters to deceive.Apart from Kyrgios who played him well by taking his time away
      and keeping the points short and had his chances to win,he hasn’t played a seeded player,I think.
      Fed will need to serve really well and keep the points short.Do or die by getting up to the net.
      What I do find worrying is the breakpoint conversion.Give Nadal a break point he converts,give 20 to Fed and still he struggles.Fed will undoubtedly have his chances,whether he takes them or not
      remains to be seen.But we know he is not going to be distracted by ridiculous arguments with the
      umpire and is pretty clutch in tiebreaks.
      As for the Djoker,I am conflicted here.The thought of Nadal holding up the Wimbledon trophy makes me feel sick,so I hope he beats Agut and goes through even though I don’t like his game at all.

      1. Roger is the first seeded opponent in Nadal’s path.
        Sugita, NK, Tsonga, Sousa, Querrey. All unseeded.

      2. “What I find amazing is Why Nadal is so damned wonderful on grass this year” It is amazing to me that you find that amazing.

        You are talking about a guy with 2 Wimbledons and 5 finals on his resume. Last year it took a historic Novak’s performance to prevent Rafa from winning yet another tittle. I don’t many players on the tour with those credentials on grass.

      3. Annie, there are a couple of reasons why Nadal is looking especially effective on Wimbledon’s grass this year: firstly, as the players and commentators are saying, the courts are playing slower. I just saw a rally of 45 shots in the first men’s semi. That would have been extremely unlikely last year, or before that. It’s what you might expect on clay. Secondly, Nadal has peaked later than usual this year. Normally, his run begins at the beginning of the clay-court season, to peak at the French; he is typically coming back down at Wimbledon. This year, he hit his straps later, at Rome, and so his peak form is now timed to include Wimbledon as well as the French. An unkind person might suggest that it all looks like some kind of “cycle”, since it has been like clockwork over his career. (He is basically done after September and the USO. He never peaks later in the year.)

  29. I think the outcome this time is totally unpredictable – – grass slow/ adv Rafa. Or maybe Roger. He played fast anyway vs Pouille. Ball bounce low/ adv Roger – or ? Weather – who knows? Windy or not, usually Roger wins when a bit windy, except on RG. Serve/ adv Roger so in TB adv Roger – maybe balls slow and heavy too because of damp or whatever – adv who? – Nerves? Who knows. Too big ego, so too much fear? Who knows. Who’s in who’s head too much? All speculation in some’s heads. An epic match, a treat for all fans, a drama with tears maybe. Take a breath and…

      1. Has Nadal revealed this plan or your guess?
        I think, Fed has not enough firepower but will look for “guess-what-I’m-going-to-play” game, taking Nadal off his patterns.
        Fed cannot play any pattern. Must mix up things like never before.
        The goal will be not to push Nadal back to the wall, but tolet him see the ball not in the zone, where he just decided to make a short stance ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. That’s been how he has played so far this tournament and of late. Not playing as deep as he once did.

        And I agree, Fed will need to mix it up and get Nadal moving forward to get low balls. Some firepower on the forehand is required though, needs to take Nadal’s time away and put away anything short. Maybe firepower not the best word for it but he has to play aggressive and go full-blooded when he has a chance.

  30. So far this tournament Nadal has out-aced Federer and has a shorter rally length. Interesting numbers. Although his opponents have been fairly weak players and returners so difficult to compare like for like as Pouille and Kei are far better returners.

    1. Nadal hit more aces than Fed??? Can’t believe. It’s rare for Nadal to hit aces.
      Fed is quite good returner (not like Djoker of course) – the question is, what kind of return he will want (or be able to) use.
      Slice return will not work. Block return better but still not enough.
      Fed must hit “positions” just from return. Tons of fake shots.
      Maybe not serve, but return will decide today.

      1. The aces could also be partly explained by who was returning Nadal’s serves. Nishikori is a good returner and it less likely to be aced, then Querrey for example . I am not sure about Sousa but these aren’t giants of returning. But there’s no doubt Nadal has improved his serve quite a bit with Moya. The motion is different looks like to me.

        Not feeling great about it . One good thing is I feel Federer’s mental game is better than before. If he goes down a break early he won’t panic.

    2. Jonathan, I think we aren’t seeing a version of the 2010 USO Nadal. He has more comebacks than Lazarus.

  31. Read somewhere that Roger practiced with former player Llodra of all lefties??!?!?!? Let’s hope he’s got something special to show us, who knows, maybe he starts ripping bh return winners lol. Go Rog!

  32. Got the first set! Inspirational from Federer. Pure class and courage. Can he keep it up for another 2 hours?

    Nadal will take a 10 minute break now, I presume.

  33. I didn’t want a match to break out but it had to happen. Roger needed to capitalize on one of those two break points he had, but he had just saved two on his own serve so it’s a balanced outcome. Nadal is playing better, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. He does need to tighten up the volleys, he had a few into the open court that he netted.

  34. That 2nd set just disappeared in a puff. One moment, Federer has two break points at 14-40, and then after that he completely lost all focus and 6-1 just like that . Can’t even remember the last time Federer lost a set on grass 6-1. Thought he’d at least put in the energy to hold onto this serve.

    1. I wondered what was up, then looked at the court and saw that shadow – it was approximately where it was when he suddenly fell apart in the final set of the 2014 final. I wonder if there’s a connection – and maybe if Rafa, being a leftie, doesn’t get so affected by the problem of struggling to see the incoming ball/the lines on the court?

  35. Federer is playing pretty poorly, his backhand down the line is non existant and he’s very scared to go for the winner.
    Luckily Nadal isn’t taking advantage like he used to in the past, fucking finally.

  36. Wow what courage in the 3rd. Got his focus back and played with a lot of courage. Come on Federer bring it home . You’ve got that break now now you’ve got to pull out all the stops.

  37. He did it. I didn’t believe he could do it. Kudos to the people here who thought he would pull it off. I expected him to try his best and lose in 4. Amazing performance .

  38. Awesome nerves, especially in that last game. Big for Roger’s confidence.

    Can’t muff overheads against Novak though! I gasped when he missed that, thought that was it, here comes the heartbreak. But he was zeroed in, this is a very creditable match to him.

  39. Ok, letโ€™s be fair: you eat my clay, I eat your grass.
    (Burrp!)
    How was yours?
    A bit dry. And yours?
    Bah, there was a worm in it.
    Should we give up cooking?
    Yeah. Letโ€™s play golf. At least the handle is longer.

    1. Hey come on, everyone knows clay is the most prestigious surface, most casual fans only know RG, not Wimbledon…:)

  40. I am breaking my promise as I’m quite happy and wanted to post a comment to share the joy of all Federer fans here. I watched the last two at a bar this afternoon during lunch time.

    Let’s not give that Pablo guy any grief. We are the type who will argue, but not the type to insult someone else when they are down. That’s not who we are. So, cut that Spaniard some slack.

    1. Hi Sid! Welcome back, hope you will keep breaking your promise, we need you.
      Yes, great joy for all Federer fans today!

  41. The amazing thing is Nadal actually tried to play a grass game here. He went huge on serves, tried to keep points short . And Federer was winning more of the longer rallies it felt. If Nadal had tried to play ‘make Federer hit one more shot’ tennis I think he would have had a better chance. Instead he was going for 125mph serves even until the end.

    So impressed with Fed’s return game today, some of those backhand blocks were just sick.

    That first set tiebreaker was key as usual.

  42. Nadal after the end of the game apologized to Roger. I am sorry Wednesday I said it will be tough to beat Roger because he is PROBABLY the best grass court player. I am sorry Roger I meant to say he IS the best grass court player EVER.

  43. Can’t be to upset with Rafa making that faux pas after all he only speaks Spanish he tries at English. Just a head up the stats on today’s games Time: Djoker match 2:50 played Fed match 3:06 don’t forget the 20 minutes of Rafa dribbling the ball. As far as distance goes. Distance: Djoker match 3,857 meters Fed match 3,047 meters.

  44. So happy!
    It feels like he is winning the trophy already.
    โ€˜
    One more to go, but I am just gonna enjoy the next one whatever the outcome will be (anyway I finished my nails on the last game today, nothing left to bite on sunday)

  45. I couldn’t watch just the second set with 1:6, so I can hardly understand, what happened there. Can someone explain it to me in one sentence? Did he realize, he maybe has not taken his paella from the cooker and was scared, his house does no more exist?
    The rest was, what I have expected.
    Fed played his last version (position game) with a bit of extra pepper, hitting neo backhand from time to time (which did not work so well), but the hitting anything, but quite fast and hard not over the whole length of the court, but being 2-3 m inside the court and hitting to “guess-where”.
    Nadal didn’t look well and could not find an answer.

    Will the same work against Djoker? Why not?

    1. What happened in that 2nd set is Federer had two break points at 1-1 (15-40). He lost them both, then after a long game was broken himself. Then he seemed to go off the boil . I think he had already decided he was going to lose the set so why waste energy. It was a bit like the 4th set in Australia 2017.

      As for the rallies, Federer decided to hit over the backhand flat direct to Nadal’s forehand, and I think that really threw Nadal off. I really don’t know why both guys don’t attack each other’s forehands. Nadal started doing that in the 4th but thankfully it was too late…

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