ATP FinalsRoger Federer

Federer Sets Up Final Clash With Djokovic in London

The final showdown at the World Tour Finals is set and it's the 2 best players of the year as Federer defeated Wawrinka 7-5 6-3 to join Djokovic in Sundays showpiece.

This match was a repeat of last years Semi Final but it didn't quite reach the height of that one as Federer came through untroubled, recovering from a break down in the first set to take command thereafter hitting 30 winners to 19 errors and winning 24 points out of 32 at net to come through in one hour and ten minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer World Tour Finals Semi Final 2015

Federer kicked things off with a love hold to lead 1-0. Stan then quickly levelled to love and the serve was so far dominating.

In game 3 Fed got pegged back to deuce from 40-0 but held and Stan held to 30. At 2-2 Roger slipped to 15-30, and although he held a game point a net cord return gave Stan a break point which he converted when a Federer forehand clipped the tape and drifted wide.

Wawrinka then consolidated the break to lead 4-2 and he looked to be gaining control from the baseline but in game 8 he slacked off, hitting a double fault at 15-30 as Roger broke back to level. Roger then held his next two service game for the loss of just 1 point to lead 6-5.

Serving to stay in the set saw Wawrinka capitulate, playing some poor approach shots that saw him picked off by Fed's forehand as he lost serve and with it the set 7-5.

Into set 2 and Roger immediately found himself down 0-30 but he regrouped to win 4 points in a row and held. 30-30 in Stan's service game saw Fed produce a great return to hold break point and he got it thanks to an unforced error to lead 2-0.

A big serve from the RF97 fought off a break point in the next game as Roger held for 3-0. Game 4 saw the Swiss number 1 hold to more break points but Stan held to keep himself in it. 3-1 quickly moved to 5-2 with Stan serving to stay in it; things didn't look good for him at 0-30 but he served 3 aces in a row then saved a match point with a big forehand before holding for 3-5.

Would Stan's big hold put any pressure on Roger to serve it out? Nope ๐Ÿ™‚ 40-0, Game set match Federer. Allez!

Match Stats

  R. Federer S. Wawrinka
Aces 6 6
Double Faults 3 2
1st Serve % 64% 62%
1st Serve Points Won 31/41 (76%) 27/39 (69%)
2nd Serve Points Won 15/23 (65%) 10/24 (42%)
Break Points Saved 1/2 (50%) 3/6 (50%)
Service Games Played 11 10
1st Return Points Won 12/39 (31%) 10/41 (24%)
2nd Return Points Won 14/24 (58%) 8/23 (35%)
Break Points Won 3/6 (50%) 1/2 (50%)
Return Games Played 10 11
Winners 30 21
Unforced Errors 19 27
Net Points Won 24/32 3/8
Total Service Points Won 46/64 (72%) 37/63 (59%)
Total Return Points Won 26/63 (41%) 18/64 (28%)
Total Points Won 72/127 (57%) 55/127 (43%)
SABR 0 0

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Stan London 2015

Comfortable win here for Roger and after he slipped down a break mid way through the first set he seemingly woke up and took full control of things. Using a lot of variety to keep Stan off balance and draw plenty errors from that hefty Yonex Vcore.

We saw Roger come in way more to the net than he's done all week and it worked a treat against Stan – who likes to chip returns and is more comfortable behind the baseline. Fed got the first strike in himself, moved forward and put away some sweet volleys; that keeps the points short and negates Stan's power that can get him on top in a rally. All worked peRFectly really and Roger clearly knows Stan's game very well to put him in positions that he doesn't really like to be in.

As for Stan I thought he played pretty well, not quite as well last year but I think Fed did a good job of keeping him at bay. It was only that disaster game at the end of set 1 which prevented the tie break and after that he never quite found the balance in his game that worked for him against Murray last night. A very good season for him though winning the French Open which was a bit of a spectacular result – the shots he produced that day were just unreal.

Predictions vs. Djokovic

Fed Djoker Cincy 2015

Next up is the Djoker who crushed Nadal in straight sets without facing a single break point. It was a demolition really and I think it makes a big statement ahead of tomorrow's final.

Roger won handily in the Round Robin match but the final is a complete different kettle of fish and I'm not sure how it will pan out. The things in Fed's favour are he plays well indoors, over 3 sets is the only time he's beaten Djokovic this year and he has the confidence from the Round Robin. But is that enough against the World Number 1? Djokovic has had an unbelievable year, won their last match here in 2012 and has taken down the title at the O2 three years straight so I think he has to go in as the favourite.

For Fed to win he'll need to play near peRFect a la Cincy and Dubai where he was clinical and took his chances. Any sort of baseline battles are surely more often than not going to go in Djokovic's favour but if Fed can hang with him from there and mix it up to prevent the Djokovic metronomic rhythm from settling then he has a half decent chance. Long live the SABR! Hopp Suisse!


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. That is quick report J. Drama free Comfortable Match..Stan does had bit luck going on to break first and good that roger got that back quickly to even out..Stan also kind of went away after first set bit…

      Hope Roger plays one more high quality match and end it season with peRFect Win, though it would tough against No.1 as you said…

    2. Could be close between you and Alex for the first comment thing. T-shirts on the line.

      Wonder how many posts I’ll do between now and December 31st ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Have they extended podiums to 5 places now? It would be typical of modern day society to do that ๐Ÿ˜† haven’t they taken the idea of winning out of the classroom now?

  1. Highly improbable for a 34 year old to beat a 28 year old #1 who is at his peak twice in a week. But nothing is impossible for the greatest ever. Ever since Roger announced after the US open loss that he has figured out how to beat Djokovic, he has not not lost to him :).
    Hope that streak continues.

    1. Yeah I never heard him announce that? Sounds a bit of a ridiculous thing to say tbh. I just lost in 4, but I figured out how to beat him ๐Ÿ˜† ok mate.

      1. Not in so many words. He did say the below in his interview after US open loss. I sort of translated that to what I took fom that ๐Ÿ™‚

        ” A lot of opportunities miss there. If it’s backhand, forehand, volleys, it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.

        I know why I lost the match very clearly the moment I sat down at 5-2 down in the fourth or after the match was over.

        So something I will work on, and keep moving forward, you know. It’s no problem for me.”

  2. Three firsts… ๐Ÿ˜†

    Fantastic match from Feds – real quality, especially sharp at the net – a joy to watch. Apart from that one slip-up, where I thought he got a bit unlucky with net, he was pretty spectacular.

    Clearly Novak brings his best in a final, but the variety and superiority at net which Feds has at his fingertips, could certainly get him the win. If he can up the serve % just a bit from today (round robin match was around 70-72% I think), then he’s definitely in with an excellent chance. Yes, Djokovic looked good today, Rafa’s serve seems not to trouble him at all, and he absolutely knows the pattern of play and what shots are required – had him on a string. RF is different, and the variety he brings can often unsettle Djokovic. Let’s hope so. Allez Federer and his beard ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think he will struggle to come in anywhere near as much vs. Djoker like he did vs. Stan. I think it will probably be won and lost from the baseline. Hopefully though he can find a way to move forward and get some cheap points at net & unsettle Djoker.

  3. I thought he had kind of a slow start; 1st serves in particular seemed to be AWOL. But he regrouped well after being broken, & that was a positive for tomorrow. His 1st serves for the match as a whole were decent, so I take that to mean they improved over the course of the match (which was also my subjective sense, watching).

    Love your shot of the match – I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to get up there before the ball bounced, and to be able to get it straight over the net from that position was pretty phenomenal.

    I’m almost encouraged by the fact that he didn’t play such consistently luminous tennis tonight. When he’s done that a couple of times this year – Wimbledon semis come to mind – he’s had such a slight slump in the next match which, of course, was against Novak. This time… maybe…. I might dare to hope that’s he’s got some luminous left for tomorrow.

    Roger foreverer!

  4. It was fun watching him play more less freely as if he is practiceing. Looked so smooth and easy, especially at the net. Record 10th WTF final, it would be peRFect to end the season if he gets the win this time, been while since 2011. No.7, allez!

  5. Luminous is still lurking behind the grizzly stubble, who would have thought shaving or lack thereof a la Borg would be so effective?
    Great write ups Jonathan . Great result keep it going. Go Fedt

      1. Yes I hope all those greats get channelled tonight with special Edbergian emphasis and some more of that exciting break point excellence! C’mon Fed!!

  6. “But is that enough against the World Number 1?”

    I’m not sure, but I do hope so! Let’s face it, both guys have unfinished business from last year, and will want to prove a point. But it will rather stick in my craw, at least, if Novak manages to clock up a record-breaking 4 in a row after winning last year’s on a walkover. I also gather it’s Boris’ birthday tomorrow …

  7. I predicted Roger to win in the RR state only to lose against Djokovic in the final. I hope I am wrong. Novak has won all the meaningful important matches this year and Roger has settled to winning the ones that don’t mean as much. I hope that changes tomorrow.

    In a way, Roger is playing for pride and also to stop this bleeding of losing to Djokovic in important finals,

    He’s also playing to technically hold claim to the best season in history. In 2006 he has 92/5 W/L record with 3/4 GS, 5 Masters 1000 and Unbeaten WTF title. Djokovic has 3/4 GS, 6 Masters 1000 and if he wins the WTF, his could actually be considered better. But if Roger claims it, then Roger’s 2006 season would be the superior season. A small consolation prize and obviously Roger won’t be thinking about that.

    I am sure that he wanted Wimbledon and he wanted the US Open. And Indian Wells before that. But at certain point, he has to win.

    He’s won ATP 500 and ATP Masters 1000 titles. If he’s to win a GS title, he has to go through this last stepping stone – ATP 1500 event (the WTFs). I hope he gets it. Why the heck not?!

    Let’s go!

    1. Reminds of Roger’s jibe at Andy that whilst Andy might sometimes beat him he, Roger, always won when it mattered. Hope that’s not the case tonight

  8. Barring the early sputter Fed was on a roll
    Poor Stan kept getting deeper in the hole
    Tonight, its ass whipping time once more
    Tho’ it may not be easy as the one before

    Novak knows Rafa’s game so well that he can beat him with his eyes closed. Fed is a different animal altogether, lean and mean with a tough beard.

    Fed in three if not a tough straights.

      1. Thanks Muser,

        Before the RR match, I had said that if Fed wins the first set then the match is in his pocket as Novak gets rattled ( especially in three-setters ).

        Dubai – 6-3, 7-5
        Cincinnatti – 7-6 ; 6-3
        London O2 – 7-5, 6-2

        After Dubai where Novak did put up a challenge, in Cincy & London, he just capitulated in the second. Fed knows that very well and I guess the game-plan will be to wrest that first set at any cost. The rest will be simple.

        However, if Novak wins the first set, Fed has mostly managed to win the second set, losing the third inexplicably which he cannot afford to this time.

        So its going to be a battle for the first set.

      1. Yeah I agree murli 1st set is very important if he can win the 1st set then it’d be much harder for Novak to come back. Also it’d be great if Roger were to win the 1st set and the 3rd set in a gs final ( both are very important) as he hasn’t done it yet. Anyways it’ll be interesting. Whoever wins the 1st set will win the match imo

  9. In the other semj, I noticed that Nadal gave Djokovic a lot of short balls to feed on. I hope Roger doesn’t do that. I still feel that it’ll be very hard to put Djokovic away regardless of the tactics that our man executes. The conditions favour him and with the year he has had, he might just have that extra bit of confidence.

    The heart says Roger , but my mind screams Djokovic. Ah well.. it is the heart that matters……..

    1. Hi Siddharth, Fed has already beaten Novak in O2 where supposedly the conditions favour Novak. So all fed has to do is to double guess Novak this time around as Novak will try and change his game plan.

      The conditions do matter but Fed has got a hold over it by now winning 4 matches in a row and just one blip against Nishikori which should have been a starightforward straight sets win.

      Having said that Novak is not No 1 for nothing. he is going to come with guns blazing this time. Fed i guess will be prepared for it.

      My only worry is that Novak has had much more rest since his last match as compared to Fed. So if it goes to the third, Advantage Novak.

      So its all for Fed finishing it off in straights, for which he has to win the first set ( obviously )

    2. Djokovic may have played his best match in his semi against Nadal. I don’t think he can raise his game from that level. We know Roger can play better yet. We also know Djokovic can be beaten here. And so does Roger.

  10. I was so exhausted that I slept before the match began and didn’t even bother to wake up (1:30 AM in India).
    Watched the highlights and was amazed to see Fed coming to net quite frequently.
    I think fed has been playing with a lot of variety and although this surface is awfully slow it still is pretty much low bouncing which aids federer well.
    Fed has been super clutch in this tournament winning 17/26 BP so far (65% so unlike roger) and if he can just maintain it Fed will have a chance otherwise Djoker for me is the favourite (he was amazing and destroyed Nadal which makes things scary for fed).
    Let’s see what happens,I don’t have high hopes because everytime I feel this is the moment,Djoker the predator turns up.

    1. I agree with you Pranshul…. That has been the story for Roger this year. Everytime he cranks his level up, Djokovic appears more dialed in. He just seems more and more determined to outlast and frustrate his opponents.

      Djokovic may not have the biggest serve or forehand, but, the sheer effeciency with he hits deep of both flanks is unreal. I, as a viewer, feel flabbergasted. Can’t imagine what Roger goes through when despite mixing things up, he gets the same deep returns and at the same pace.

    2. Djoker’s movement makes all the difference for him. He in position so early that allows him to do more with his shots.

      Hopefully Fed an defend his 2nd serve well tonight.

  11. According to Vibhu batra, the stats man, it was โ€œ1st time in his career when Fed has converted 10 successive BPs (1 vs Nole, 6 vs Nishikori & 3 vs Stan). โ€œ

    The beard affect?

    1. Definitely the beard – he really looks the part – lean and mean – keep the beard, win the tournament, knock Novak off his perch, please! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I watched djoko Nadal with great seats (tv front on but much closer to the action than the tv) and my God was djoko hitting the ball superbly. How many times has he looked poor at the start and then picked it up when he really needs to? Great win from federer although I thought he didn’t really play great stuff and that wawrinka just exploded. On a side note although I’ve never seen a fast court live. This court was playing at a decent pace. Maybe the tv angle makes it look like play is ridiculously slow?

    1. Sounds like you had a good view. I agree Fed didn’t really need to play great, Stan went away in the 2nd set.

      London isn’t a fast court though. You just need to see the Winner / UE count along with aces. It’s very much medium / slow.

  13. Thanks Wanda, fact is that Fed has always lost to Novak of his own doing rather than Novak doing anything spectacular.

    In effect, if Fed takes his game to Novak, Novak is a goner.

    Also the beard gives a ‘bad-ass’ look which would help Fed in whipping ass tonight.

    Jolly Roger becomes Captain Fedbeard.

    1. Hi Murli,

      Can’t say that I agree with you fully. I’m aware that the US open final was awfully close in spite of the scoreline, and the match could well have ended differently if a couple of crucial points had gone Roger’s way.

      On these courts however, I feel that a dialled in Novak is almost impossible to beat and he looked quite scary against Nadal. Roger has to rattle Novak somehow so that his level drops and he loses his rhythm. We all know that if anyone can do that, it is Roger, but it is going to be awfully difficult if Djoker brings his top game today.

      Let us all hope our guy can rise to the occasion and finish Novak tonight, but I’m really really scared!

      1. Yes of course Tarat, I have been indulging in hyperbole. But many a time Fed has ‘handed’ over the match to Novak.

        It always seems that way because guys like Novak, Murray etc are more the defensive sort of players than Fed, Wawrinka etc who are the offensive players.

        So the offensive players are the ones who ‘lose’ and not the defensive players who ‘win’

        Of course I am generalising again, but in any sport the percentage player is not the one who is attractive but may be more effective. Imagine, Lendl has a winning H2H with John McEnroe & Jimmy Connors. Lopsidedness at its best.

  14. Federer played much smarter than last year to prevent Wawrinka from belting the ball, his persistence in staying aggressive despite the early hiccups was key.

    He attacked the net brilliantly and hit some really beautiful volleys in this match. The rallies were never played at a pace that suited Wawrinka, so he could never really settle into the match despite his early lead. Federer seemed to be very relaxed, almost like he was improvising as he went along.

    Djokovic looked great against Nadal, but the strength of Nadal’s game–its machinelike consistency and simplicity–becomes a weakness against Djokovic, who can beat Nadal blow for blow from the baseline and rip apart Nadal’s forehand with his backhand. Nadal can’t mix things up very much so all he can do is stand there and watch while Djokovic hammers him flat. There’s no Plan B if Plan A goes awry.

    Federer is a completely different proposition because of his great serve and his ability to vary his play and make first strikes. Indoors he can take the ball a fraction earlier and take more risks with his touch shots like the slice and volleys without worrying about errors. It’s harder for him to come to net against Djokovic, but he’ll need to as often as he can.

    Federer is well capable of winning this title. I know people don’t believe Federer can beat Djokovic twice in the same tournament, but then people didn’t believe he could beat him in the RR. Sure, Djokovic will be playing better in the final than in the RR, but then so will Federer. At IW and USO he didn’t seem to fully trust his game plan and couldn’t execute at the crucial moments, hopefully he’ll be able to do so this time.

    C’mon Roger!

    1. Steve nice write-up

      I believe Federer will fly
      I believe Federer will cry
      After beating Novak twice
      Now wouldn’t that be nice

      Lots of time I find people not believing whereas Fed always believes he has a good chance to win every tournament he participates in. Or else neither he nor we as participants in this lovely blog would continue to be active.

    2. Well said. If there is one player on tour who can take Djokovic out of his rhythm, it’s Roger. We have seen that throughout their entire rivalry.

    3. Right – Couldn’t agree more with you 3. NICE – as Jonathan tells – and so nice with your rhymes, Murli, can’t get enough.

  15. Holy smoke. Sorry to bring this up here, but has anybody read the latest article on I happened to wander on to the site today (I was never a fan) but boy was I surprised by the level of bitterness in the writing. Some of what has been written is absurd. Attributing things like Federer growing a beard and sitting on Djokovic’s chairas intentional ways to trouble Djokovic? Does any one know the story behind the newfound hatred for Fed here?

    1. Don’t know why he bothers Novak doesn’t need his help, he has tweeted he is going to do a post match Twitter session with Nolefam – confidence, hubris, the most accessible champ ever for his fans ??? That should set off a bit of a reaction LOL

    2. Yes I read it. I always read the posts because I like the breakdown of the tennis (much like the analysis here). I guess he just got sick of all the ‘Fedfans’ sending him angry emails about his change of focus and he’s gone the other way.

      I actually didn’t know that Federer sat in Djokovic’s chair (how do they even pick chairs beforehand?). But to be fair, the writer of ultimatetennisblog actually played in the ATP level so he sees and knows things that I would not appreciate.

      The comment about the beard is just silliness, I agree with you. The guy has been clean shaven for 10 years or something, he probably wants a change. Hell even Nadal dropped the sleeveless shirts and capri pants after a few years on tour, and he strikes me as someone who likes routine… ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Bharata,

        He doesn’t do a lot of technical analysis nowadays, only Nole fanboy-ism and provocative comments comparing Roger with Novak. His blog, so he can write what he wants, but that doesn’t mean we have to pay attention to it because he had played at the ATP level at some point of time. Anyway, supporting a guy who is the best player right now by some distance doesn’t require him to see and know things that amateurs like us would not appreciate.

    3. That simpering Djoker fan-boy/turncoat doesn’t get commenters to his blog anymore, except to question his aggro attitude. He has alienated most of his regulars – or banned them. Needs a therapist more than readers.

      1. Absolutely nothing there to read anymore. Because I proved almost everything he said wrong he banned me. And he is no ATP Player. He was barely a Futures/Satellite Player. What he is doing now is beyond pathetic. He is literally going after Federer for every single thing for which he originally liked him for. Sad life that one leads.

        To add a little bit more, everyone who kisses his ass and agrees to everything he says are the only ones allowed there. Kind of the beats the point of even having a blog. I always thought he was a bit extreme even with his praise of Federer now he is not only started doing that to Djokovic he has actually started bashing Federer in every single post of his. Nobody with even a positive IQ would agree with what he says.

  16. I stopped reading his blog long ago. He is night and day from Jonathan. Why people keep reading his trash is a mystery to me.
    This guy needs help, abuse is the word here.

    1. Why are we even discussing him? He’s a borderline criminal from a moral standpoint and I’d be doing a disservice to idiots by saying he’s one. Deserves to lose his readership because he has nothing intelligent left so say, and I would say that by talking about him, even in insulting him, we’ve given him far more than he deserves.

  17. Fed playing awful. Granted, Novak is dialed in, but these absurd approach shots coupled with the usual inability to play a decent break point are killing him. Even with Novak’s improved level, Fed is nowhere near his level earlier this week.

  18. Predictable. Fed played like garbage when it mattered most. No variety, not as much as confidence, and double faulting on match point? Absurd. He would’ve been better off losing to Wawrinka rather than lose yet another title match to Djokovic. Total crap.

  19. Fed math :

    Nerves + 34 + ROBOVIC + Finals + neutral court speed + premier event + nerves again =
    Always the bridesmaid never the bride.

    Love you Fed. Still the best. Still a fan.

    1. Ok. So there is a plan for Feds next GS. Lose a bunch of ATP point. Face Djoker in the quarters or R16. Play a half of his level in the final and hope to be Nadal or whoever is there.

  20. How many more of these painful defeats do we have to suffer, Roger? We know it’s infinitely more painful for you and we are and always will be behind you. But…sigh… It’s so painful… Keep playing, Roger. We Love You.

  21. You’ve got it Alb. Seemed flat out there; very disappointing. He needed first serves and they weren’t there for the most part. Djokovic IS Robovic – sucks all joy/excitement out of all the matches he plays. ๐Ÿ™

  22. In a painful way, the WTF summarizes the year perfectly. Perhaps the double fault on match point was a bit over the top.

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