ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Federer Struggles Past Wawrinka in Indian Wells

Hey everyone, apologies on the delay on this post, the time difference screws me over a little as the matches finish late and I have to work during the day so can't always get them done.

Anyway onto last night's match where Roger struggled through against fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes.

It was a terrible match from start to finish to be quite honest, the level was poor from both guys and Roger blew a golden chance to put it to bed when he served for it at 5-4 in the second set only to get broken to love.

I'm not sure what was up with Roger but he was mojoless out there for most of the match, sluggish, lacklustre, not his normal self call it what you will but he was lucky to come out of this one and as usual StanCHOKE played his part with some really poor play when he had chance to steal the initiative.

First Set – Sloppy

Federer Sloppy vs Wawrinka

After waiting an eternity for the WTA match to finish I was hoping Roger would come out and play like he did against Istomin. First game, he got broken to love πŸ˜€

It was a shocking start and I don't recall Stan having to win a point, he just had to watch the shanks and serves fly into the tramlines and he was up an early break. Fortunately Wawrinka is one of those guys that can't seem to step out of Roger's shadow even when he's in good form and he handed the break straight back with a string of errors.

Roger then got his act together to hold and broke in the very next game to take a 3-1 lead. The second break proved to be enough and he served out the set 6-3.

I'm hard pushed to remember anything of note happening other than thinking Fed wasn't at his best, not really moving great and thinking he was pretty fortunate that Stan was equally as bad.

Second Set – Wawrinka Extends the Match

Stan Wawrinka Indian Wells 2013

The second started a little brighter for Roger compared to the first as at 1-1 he broke Stans serve albeit quite luckily with a net cord. At 3-1 Wawrinka had 2 break points back but Roger turned it up a notch to hold and went on to lead 5-4 and serve for the match.

Like his very first game of the match he was broken to love, somewhat reminiscent of the Berdych match in Dubai but at least he didn't have match points this time around.

The breaker was pretty even with both guys exchanging mini breaks freely but it was Stan who got the set points on the board and Roger fired down a double fault to allow Stan right back into the match.

Third Set – Federer Creeps Over the Finish Line

Federer & Wawrinka Indian Wells 2013

By this point I was half asleep and not quite sure what to expect, Roger wasted 5 break points in Stan's opening service game and then relinquished his own serve in the very next game. Talk about following the usual Federer script.

It was actually the most entertaining game of the match as Roger had a mini meltdown with Umpire Fergus Murphy after he was denied the opportunity to challenge. Basically he hit a serve and then missed the follow up volley but wanted to challenge the serve as he thought it was out (which it was) but the Umpire insisted he'd played out the point.

I thought the Umpire was probably right to be honest, Federer had a point it was a natural reaction but he didn't really attempt to stop play. Either way I had flashbacks to the 2009 US Open Final incident with Jake Garner and we all know how that ended up.

Fortunately this melt down was short lived as Roger broke straight back yet again, I'd like to say through genius but he just returned marginally better and Wawrinka kept messing up.

At 4-4 Wawrinka had another break point but Roger saved it and with Stan serving to stay in the match at 6-5 Roger setup two match points at 15-40 and sealed it when Wawrinka made another error.

Today it was extremely close again. Okay, I should have maybe closed it out in the second set, but he did well to stay in it, at the end, I don't know what [got] me through. Maybe it's the experience or maybe [I was] a bit more calm in those moments. I'm not sure. Today I think I was a little lucky to come through it in the end.

Shot of the Match

Oil painting of a backhand πŸ˜›

Thoughts on the Match

Overall I think Roger was pretty lucky to get out of this one as the winner. He was way below part throughout, didn't look to be moving great or really have much confidence going for his shots. In fact he was pushing / moonballing at some stages which wasn't fun to watch.

I guess the positives are he still managed to come through when it looked like he could be heading back to Switzerland for a 2 month break off the back of another painful loss.

As for the reason to his sub-par performance I'm not sure, is it the back that's causing him problems? He didn't really move or serve fantastically well so it's likely there is some kind of lingering problem that means he can't really play his usual game.

It's extremely tough to play with an injury as it plays on your mind and makes you doubt all the time. That would explain the lapses in concentration and lack of consistency in his game right now. Since the Istomin match he's not been at the races. Whether it's the back or something else there is definitely something effecting his motivation and skill level on court. One minutes he's on, the next he's off. Quite annoying to watch but we just have to deal with it for now.

Predictions vs. Nadal

Well the Quarter Final everyone wanted and expected has arrived after Nadal beat Gulbis in 3 tight sets, I didn't watch it but by the scoreline and stats it was pretty close with Nadal only winning 2 more points than the Latvian.

As usual Nadal is playing down his chances for this one but I make him slight favourite based on the tournament so far. I said in my draw post I give Nadal the edge just because of how he plays and I'm still thinking along those lines.

If Roger plays like he did against Dodo Dodig and Wawrinka then he's pretty much toast as Nadal will eat that up all day long. Obviously if the Federer who destroyed Istomin turns up then Nadal could get blown off court like he did at the o2 World Tour Finals in 2011. It's somewhat in the balance I suppose. It all depends which Roger Federer turns up and if he can play without any sort of back problem hampering him.

If you think about it, that's probably the better scenario to be in, knowing that the match can be determined by how well you can play because your top level is higher than your opponents. But of course Roger's margins are much smaller so he's got to continually land the ball on a 50 pence piece almost to keep ahead.

Both guys are coming into the match with a few question marks over their heads and whilst Nadal hasn't exactly been impressive he's definitely the sort of player who can grind out matches whereas Roger isn't naturally that type of guy.

I figure this match will go 3 and whoever wins the first set takes the match. Having just watched the Fed vs Wawrinka highlights again I was perhaps a tad harsh of Fed's performance (still wasn't great mind) so maybe he does have something in the tank for tonight. We'll find out, allez!

Finally I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post about the Dodig victory. I won't name names but you know who you are. There were some great comments and discussion on that post and with over 170 comments its a record for the blog which is pretty cool so thanks! πŸ™‚

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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102 Comments

  1. Haha love the ambiguity. Frustraterer I reckon. Hopeful about tonight though. I reckon Feds will raise his game for Nadal. Allez!

  2. Definitely the back that made him flat. He even mentioned it afterwards (“I came into the match with a bad back”), so something must have been not 100% yet… Got the impression it was however already a bit better than after the Dodig match, so I’m hoping (just like he is and said too, and all of us actually) that today will be better again and he can just play more freely and not so cautious as he did yesterday…

    Can’t really pick a winner for tonight’s match. All depends on his back really. Not on Nadal’s knee. Saw parts of the match today against Gulbis and if there still would be a problem, you can’t move the way he was moving around the court (and that is coming from someone who had her fair share of knee problems). So I think he’ll be fine. Fingers crossed for Fed! Faith In Federer and a bit of luck please too!

    1. Hey,

      Yeah I saw that in his interview, just reading his presser now too as they came out not long ago.

      And like you said, he hopes it improves day by day.

      I think Nadal is back to his best now, playing clutch as usual. Fed gotta take it to him for sure.

      Jonathan

  3. Haha, your posting delays are just toying with commenters competing to be the first to post! The match last night definitely was disappointing and brought back the somewhat ominous feeling I had at the beginning of the tournament. But I think his back is bothering him more than he’ll admit (not that he needs to admit it). And it makes sense that his concern for it is causing his focus to fluctuate. All we can do is hope for the best tonight. As you said, Nadal is downplaying his chances as usual and I watched his match vs. Gulbis…didn’t look like his knee was bothering him. Anyway, I’m keeping a positive outlook!

    1. You’re right. I watched bits of it. And those didn’t look like knees that were troubled. Those knees look brand new, with a full, 5 year 50,000 mile warranty. Roger’s back really is a problem. It has shown in his game play.

      1. Unlike Roger’s back problem, I’ve never really seen Nadal struggling with his knee. Have you? He plays great, wins a lot then loses a match and suddenly disappears due to a knee problem…seriously? When he comes back, he seems to be the same old himself. Can’t help wondering.

      2. Totally agree. He was stiff throughout, failing to bend properly to low shots, orhyperextend on the serve. Just put last yrs match v Nadal on , and the difference on fluidity is HUGE. Not sure how he won! Stan was pretty crap at times though and made a ton of UFE’s.
        Hoping he is more at ease by today in his movement, he will certainly be more motivated to play and beat Rafa ( than the anonymous Dodigs and Istomins of this worlds) so hoping the adrenalin will help too! Fed in 2 sets Plse, and then REVENGE v Berdych!( who, I am forced to admit, is off to a good start this season).

        Anyway, off to bed, unfortunately, cannot work and watch Fed at 3am UK time! Stayed up for most of last nights game and hv felt ropey all day! Ridiculous scheduling, ridiculous cramming of all matches onto the Stadium court! Really felt for Djoko who was grim faced as he walked onto court whilst I was having breakfast!hoping to wake up to a Fed win!

  4. Wow guys, you’ve been already on board!

    I never given up watching even when he’s playing poorly. How could I be silly to forget the joy he’s been giving us over the years so easily? BUT I quitted at 1 set all at 2 am because the first 2 sets were so miserable. Don’t know he’s in pain? Then so I was. Thank God or Stan, he somehow got through! Saved from another 5kg of chocolate, yeah.

    πŸ™ Can’t watch Fedal live but agreed that the match will ‘depends which Roger Federer turns up’, haha talking as if he’s French. Hoping for ‘a nice surprise’ as Simon said earlier πŸ˜€ Allez!

  5. If Roger wins, which he will, I’ll be happy and commenting.
    If he loses…..which he won’t……. I’ll be to heartbroken to comment.

    Go Roger go, I believe in you. It is time to show Rafa who is the real deal !!!
    You are, the Goat, Genius, Maestro, Fed-express…. Lets see Jesusfed tonight.

    Katyani

  6. Ok, I’ve finally decided. I’m not going to watch it because…I have an early morning match at 8. The Roger-HGH game will end around 11 pm, maybe later. If Roger wins, I will be too hyper to get any sleep. If Roger loses…I’ll be too sad to sleep.

    So, the only sane thing to do would be, disconnect my router, and cable box, and put it along with my cell phone and tablet into my car, drive the car and park it 5 miles away, call a cab to take me back home, and go to sleep by 9 pm (game start time). That’s the best way to not know anything about it.

    P.S. Of course, I’ll have to make sure my friend gives me a ride to the club and then to my car in the morning. Oh the sheer logistics involved! Do you guys think maybe I’m taking all this a little too seriously? πŸ™‚

    1. Which country are you in? I can’t watch either as starts 2/3 am UK time! Dreaming of a Fed win! Hope to wake to the reality!

      1. United States, Central Time, so 2 hour ahead of Indian Wells. I’m pretty sure I’ll be dreaming about this match πŸ™‚

    2. I feel for all of you and the time zone issues but I must confess I’m loving this tournament! Since I live in California the timing is awesome – for a change! πŸ˜‰

  7. I think it will be a close match, but Jonathan gives a slight edge to Nadal which i also agree to an extent. But deep down i hope Roger can pull through like last year. πŸ™‚

    1. I’m calling it a no contest. Roger is playing only because Larry must’ve requested him for the sake of an interesting script, and a few tens of millions dollars in revenue. Nadal may drop a set to keep it close but will close it out in three. In fact Nadal is playing only because Larry must’ve talked him into playing.

      Last year, Larry was cheering for Roger against Nadal. This year, I don’t know.

      1. Hey Sid you may be right about Larry Ellie. Last year he was really supporting Roger. Also he was applauding alot and really happy that Fed won. He probably had a few millions on Fed to win. This year he is prob 50/50 with Fedal match. But i think Fed will win cos then they can sell seats and publicity for a Berdcrap and Fed rematch in S-Final. Heres to positive thinking whatever happens. :-X

  8. OlΓ‘ Jon!

    The last match was a real test for the heart, I have not even recovered myself from it and in a few hours we will face another wave of tachycardia…

    But, dont know why my intuition screams at me that Rogi wins in 2 sets!

    Allez Rogi

  9. Well I think Fed is not at his best rigth now, as much as I hated I have to say that I am not expecting a win today, Nadal is not playing that great, but Fed is not playing well either, so I think I am not watching the game as I can suffer a heart attack, I really get very very bad desperate, so I rather to read Jonathan post once the game passes. Jajajaja. Lets hope Roger shout my big mouth and takes Nadal out. I will be more than happy, like crazy you can say.

  10. By the way Jonathan I really love your blog, is the best on the internet. Congrats always and keep up the good work

  11. Alright everybody, enjoy the match. I’ll check the score in the morning. Whatever happens, Roger is always a champion in our hearts!

  12. My thoughts on the challenge from my blog:

    However, this was a unique situation and it could provoke some questions. If Roger had let the ball go by him, would he have been allowed to challenge his serve, or would he not be able to because a clean winner was hit? What Roger was trying to argue is that it was literally a split second between Stan’s return and the time where he could have made the challenge. When Stan smacked the return, that was the time that the “out” call should have been called and you have to bet Fed was waiting for it.

    1. Yeah if Roger had made the volley he wouldn’t have challenged the serve. Umpire was right. Fed got mad but it fired him up and we never get to see angry Fed well actually last time we saw him was in Australia and we all saw what he did. Maybe Roger should get a bit more fired up, let his emotions out on the court a bit more.

      1. Yeah weird scenario. I figure he should have challenged straight away though if he wanted to. Doubt we will see it again because nobody serves and volleys anymore lol.

  13. This is a question all Federer fans should ask themselves: is he going to win even one tournament this year? I say no. His skill level has measureably declined. He is a step slower, his serve has lost its consistency, his second serve is no longer very effective. The back will be a constant issue. He can no longer play even 2-3 good matches in a row. It’s been a long and beautiful ride – but it’s time for him to call it a day.

    1. Don’t write him off so soon Arif. People were saying that before he got back to no. 1 last year. After a 2 month lay off with rest, conditioning and practice, he’ll be good as new! I believe he has maybe 1 or 2 slams in him yet. Roger has a lot of class, he could have defaulted but stuck it out. He still has some great tennis left, and don’t forget he loves tennis. Being at no. 2 or 3 in the world may take pressure off, and let him really swing away. Then look out!

    2. It’s a fair question I suppose based on the last 3 tournaments. Too early to start saying retire. Especially mid way through a season. I agree with Tim.

  14. When he was playing Istomin, Dodig and Wawrinka I was more nervous, having little heartattacks. I told you guys that I was not going to watch the match against Rafa because I could not handle that. But to be honest, I was not nervous for this match at all. I knew he was going to lose (was hoping for a win), but I knew Rafa was going to win somehow. I thought in three sets, but definitely that Rafa would win.
    And when I watched the match I was not nervous, panicked or scared. That is what happens when you already know Roger is going to lose.
    When he came out you already could see that there was no fire or hunger in him.
    I am still his fan, I am not giving up on him, but he needs the two month break desperately.
    He needs to relax, focus and practise and work on getting his fire and hunger back.
    This not the Roger from a year ago. He has slightly given up.

    You deserve the break Roger, come back with more love for the game, the fire, the hunger AND the willingness to win.

    Love you no matter a win or a lose Roger. I am not writing you off and am definitely not giving up on you.

    Katyani

    1. Hey Katyani,

      Yeah I was the same, you could tell he was beat after the first set.

      Let’s hope he comes back from his 2 month lay off playing better.

      Jonathan

  15. I didn’t get to watch the Fedal clash because I got called into work but by the looks of if I’m happy I didn’t have to. Yeah not the best way to end and go on his mini vacation but there’s no doubt in my mind the back ruined Indian Wells for him and Nadal is back so there it is.

    I really think Federer needs this break more than anything right now, and also I honestly believe that Roger’s season starts at Wimbledon. He has phases whether it be first half or second half. He needs to regroup, spend some time with his family, let the back heal which it will and come back more hungry than ever. Givin the cirrcumstances, I’m not worried about Roger’s season just yet. However, that’s the Indian Wells tournament done and dusted for me.

    Btw because Roger didn’t make the semis does that mean if Murray does that he goes to number 2? If so it was bound to happen anyway. Rankings aren’t the concern anymore for the time being.

    1. Also Jonathan you and I both had a premonition that Roger’s run ended when he met Nadal. Solid predictions I’d say but didn’t see the back inflaming I guess. Where do you assess Roger’s mentality right now? I’d say he’s disappointed to say the least that he hasn’t won a title or made the final but nothing that hasn’t happened before. I only worry for his confidence when he comes back to Madrid which will be another tough ask to defend since it’s going back to red. Djokovic/Nadal war of attrition on clay should be starting soon…

      1. Hey,

        Good thing you missed it really, you didn’t miss much.

        Yeah, I guess with Rotterdam and Dubai panning out like they did it was likely he didn’t do that well here either… we should be on TV I think.

        If Murray makes the final he goes Number 2.

        Colour of clay makes little difference I think, it will still play quite quick due to the altitude.

        Jonathan

  16. Oh wow, just watched highlights. What an absolutely painful match to watch Federer limping around the court clearly not even at 50%. But such a classy and good man for coming out for the fans, really that’s why he’s the GOAT. This match means nothing to Roger and now it won’t mean anything for Rafa too, Gulbis was a bigger test. Unlucky for people who bought tickets and expected showdown, had a feeling this match was going to lack something. That something was Roger.

    Also it’s funny because when Roger beats Rafa, Nadal fans are the first to say that he was injured or something but now this time Roger is actually really injured when he loses to him and they will discount it. Oh well some Nadal fans for you, crap attitude even when Rafa even says that Roger wasn’t 100% at all today.

    1. Yup, it wasn’t fun, I didn’t even do a point of the match video in my recap post as there wasn’t one!

      Fair play to Nadal though, he played consistent and did what he had to do. Be interesting to see how he stacks up against Berdshit and Djoker / Murray….

      Jonathan

  17. Two things for Roger to do during the vacation:
    Avoid unnecessary injury and belief in himself, I just don’t understand why he is not having a great confidence coming into the match. He has to remember that he is the best. We all know what. And I hope that Roger 3.0 will come back in Madrid!!

    1. LOL Sid. You need to sneak that memo into his bag.

      Yeah Pollux, I have no idea what is up with his confidence levels at the minute. Hoping its just the back which has had a knock on effect but he’s really been quite poor lately.

      Jonathan

  18. Roger, you have nothing to be ashamed about. You were obviously in pain.
    But I am NOT taking anything away from Rafa. He played really good and some nice shots.
    You deserve a two month break. Rest well, take care of yourself and your back.
    And then come back all fired up and hungry to win. And with more selfbelief, afterall, you are Roger Federer, the others are not.
    Don’t dwell on this loss. You are not the first person to lose a match. Only one can win, even at the end. You were in pain, but just like the GOAT you are, you do not talk about it, you do not give it as a reason of your loss, you do not show it, you do not moan or complain or whine about it. You just played and lost.
    NOTHING to be ashamed about Roger. Take care of yourself.
    Hope not many people will tell you again to retire, etc. Even your fans. You are just having some bad months. Thats all. The other players should be lucky to be at the level you are when they turn 30/31 years old. Just remember that.

    I love you Roger, your die hard fan, Katyani

    Yes, Roger even I can doubt you sometimes, but I’m NEVER giving up on you or writing you off.
    (I shameful did give a little bit up on you around US Open 2011, but you showed me and all haters that you are not finished yet, so you will show us again, you just need rest and time to recover and rethink).

    1. Nice words Katyani πŸ™‚

      Luckily with the 2 month break I think the media will be concentrating on the tournaments so he will not get too much coverage until Madrid.

      Jonathan

      1. Yeh Jonathan, you just have to get used to that. Sometimes I feel so much for Roger that I am actually writing like I am personally talking to him or writing a letter to him !!!
        It’s just the die hard fan in me who is crazy about Roger !!!

        Katyani

  19. Clearly injured, and has been since Rotterdam. Can’t shake it off. Just compare LY’ s semi and look at his movement and serve speed. No comparison. For that reason I have nothing to add, except credit to Rafa for his now established comeback. Tennis does need him to keep the challenge up against Novak and Murray. And huge credit to Roger for playing. Imagine if he had pulled out too, as well as Stosur and Vika. ( They need fining). Clearly he has more pride, more of a sense of duty and has never retired mid match. Even the commentators have to recognise this as they write his demise.
    Lets hope he shakes it off,and comes back firing but we need to understand it is always there and more so as he ages.
    I predict a Novak/ Rafa final with Nvak winning yet again!!!!!
    Titles, predict he will win Wimbledon and Cincy.
    Yr end no 3/4

    1. Hey Susie,

      Good point, this year and last year was like chalk and cheese.

      I’m glad he stepped on court, he still competed to a degree even if it was short lived but it’s not in his makeup to withdraw.

      Djoker the man to beat I think too.

      Jonathan

  20. Guys stopped being Federer`s personal physician . This is one of the things that prevented him to overcome his mental issues when meeting Nadal after 2008. You constantly excuse him every time he loses. Now it the back, then is the age , tomorrow is smth else. he clearly cannot play Nadal and h2h shows it perfectly.He doesn`t even have perfect resume indoors versus him besides the 4:0 on indoor events. In general long before Federer entered his 30s he was not able to successfully compete with Nadal no matter the circumstantial. It`s good that once a year or 2 he still manages to get a win and we should satisfy with that until it lasts.

    1. Goran, before you made those comments, did you sit down and think a little bit about why Roger has issues against Nadal? And why someone like say, Djokovic, not that much? If you have the answer to that, you will know that every style of tennis playing has its own Kryptonite. In this case, it is Roger’s one handed backhand versus Nadal’s left handed cross court forehand. Everyone knows that. Roger knows that. But there really isn’t much Roger can do about it except deal with it. Especially now since Nadal has yet again gone back to technology and upgraded his strings to get even more spin. So much for talent.

      If Roger has been unable to overcome Nadal, it’s primarily because he is stubborn. Stubborn because he refused to change his playing style versus Nadal. And because right now he refuses to go to a slightly bigger frame. There is no way he will last if he doesn’t do that. And I get the feeling that we may see it happening sooner than later. I don’t like to see Roger suffer against these players who rely on their equipment, and the gym, and in case of Nadal, performance enhancing substances, gamesmanship, illegal coaching etc.

      As far as this match is concerned, I had predicted a facile straight sets win for Nadal. Clearly, the back is an issue. If you are denying that, then you are being irrational.

      Now if you would excuse me, I need to get a good breakfast and prepare for an early morning match.

      1. I just wish that more fans have criticized him in the pass about this stubbornness instead of “oh dear its just a bad day”, “love u champ”, “u were better just needed luck” etc.
        The one-handed backhand in now way created this mental issue with Nadal – there were several pretty close matches on clay in 2006 in which dramatically Roger lost matches he should have won after having multiple break points and match points!!! but he lost due to weaker nerves, not his one-handed backhand!!!! Roger just cannot win matches vs Nadal unless he wins the 1st set ..he`s not a fighter but just brilliant shot maker when not under pressure. he just stopped playing aftyer the break at 3:3 1st set. He DO NOT believe in himself and he is definitely able to beat Nadal even with back problems but he makes crucial mistakes at important shots.Even on steroid Nadal is no match for Fed at 32 years of age! Its all in his head.
        With or without his 1st serve sometimes he just goes on court vs Nadal that he will lose and seems pretty disinterested/bored/tired etc. I am happy that he at least is still able to win against him one a year or 2. Sorry if u don`t like it but i have seen so many losses from Nadal that a back injury is the last to bother him when he meets Nadal. he couldn`t even beat him at AO last year after Jokovich destroyed him 7 times in a row, now just few matches after his return on tour.

      2. FAO Goran, i think you r a Djokovic supporter deep down as i assume ur name is probably from former Yugoslavia area.

      3. @Goran I agree man, not trying to be be his physician but the back was a big part in this loss. I’ve talked about his stubbornness and mental weaknesses against Nadal many times. Stubborness cost him the first few matches in the H2H and since then Nadal has been in his head.

    2. What excuses? Hv always given credit to Rafa when he wins. But this time Fed clearly hampered. But he will not pull out, will try to compete. Can beat the likes of Stan playing with injury but Rafa too gd. Look at his movement, serve speed LY to see the difference. Huge!

      1. Yeah this match was lost due to his back. Other matches have been lost to Nadal due to mental weakness and melt downs but this one was pretty different, not even close really. Wasn’t as if Nadal had to come up with an magic like passing shots like he usually does.

  21. Even though Fed lost. I am not upset this time. The thing that gets me angry is that Nadal keeps playing down his chances for sympathy. Clearly Nadal is Ok its all a play act with him. And there is not much language barrier now cos he know exactly what he saying. Basically Nadal is one of thouse people who are sore loser and has to win at any cost, plainly he is full of S**t. Injured knees my arse!!! The whining, smelly fingers butt picker.

    1. Ps. I know Nadal is a good player, but its his arrogance and exuses that i dont like. Hes just a born lyer. In his autobio he said he was a bad loser. A leopard doesnt change its spots! As somebody said ” what a fn liberbty”

      1. Hey man,

        Yeah it wasn’t too bad a loss in the end. I expected it so didn’t hit me hard like the Berdych one.

        Nadal played pretty well I thought, I’m not a fan of his at all but credit to his comeback, been successful so far.

    2. Not a Jokovic supporter at all. I will never support player that use “space eggs” or any doping substances (Nadal) that provide them clear advantage before the rest of the field. That is not even my real name -its just a forum where fans can write about their favorites. Even if he was injured FED did exactly what he usually does when he meets Nadal healthy – he just looses belief after some stupid mistakes at crucial moments and stopes playing at his best afterwards. That was the case yesterday at 3:3 1st set after he screw that drop shot by the net. It`s good that he was actually hurting (hope so) cause FED is very sensitive player and takes loses personally besides never learning from them.

      1. So if u arnt a deep down Djokovic supporter or a Nadal substance, why the harsh distain and hating Fed when he loses. Or do just like people who win all the time. I dont understand the negativity towards Fed. If u already know that Feds losing to Nadal or Djokovic, why r u watching his matches then!! Clearly Fed fans and Roger has upset u. But u can make severe critism about Roger play and u seem know Roger mentals game better than him. Please explain cos i am confused why u r so called Federer fan.

      2. Seraj, go easy man. At first I thought Goran was a troll too. But he probably is not. Goran is just angry at why Roger simply refuses to do what it takes to beat Nadal.

        Sometimes, it also has to do with Nadal’s gamesmanship. Remember 2011 French Open final? Roger stepped to the line to serve for the first set and guess what? Nadal took a 10 minutes break to remove tape from his legs. Are you cussing kidding me? Tape?!? And right when he was about to lose the first set? Roger was broken and subsequently lost the set of course.

      3. Yeah relax guys. I get where Goran is coming from. Watching him play Nadal is infuriating especially because he’s infinitely more talented than him. The world isn’t fair though and it’s one of those things. Fed is a stubborn guy.

        Nadal is one of those guys that gets in his head. And him and Uncle Toni know it so they just replicate it each and every time. Same patterns of play, same methods etc etc. Fed should be able to block it out but he can’t.

      4. Now that i have read ur blog again. My apologies to GORAN. I think i misread ur blog. And i hope u dont think i am an idiot. I am man enough to admit when i am wrong. I hope u accept my sincere appologies for getting the wrong end of the stick. No hard feelings and i hope u read this as i didnt get a chance write earlier on. Serajul.

  22. For Jonathan… I forgot to mention ur last couple of Posts on Roger have had good thoughts and analysis. I am begining to know ur style of writing and i enjoy reading cos u also have humour and the same thoughts of generally the majority of Fed fans. That why u have alot of people like commenting and reading on this site. So keep doing ur thing. Nice one, cheers …..Serajul πŸ˜€

  23. I just got back from Indian Wells. I saw Roger play in the 2nd and 3rd round. He hurt his back at 4-1 in the second set against Dodig. After that he wasn’t even bending over on the return of serve. Watching live you could see how bad it was.
    I have a back issue and I know how unpredictable a back can be. One movement and there it goes again. It plays on your mind.
    I’m not making excuses for Roger but it’s a fact that he couldn’t move properly. I thought he did really well trying to find ways to play, especially against Nadal. Roger is between a rock and a hard place. If he talks about his back then everyone says he’s just making excuses.
    I think his back has been an issue on and off since the end of AO.
    He didn’t show up to practice at all after the Dodig match. People waited and he was a no-show. He could have pulled out of the match with Nadal knowing he couldn’t play near his best but I believe he didn’t want to let down the fans and the tournament.
    So, he walked into that match with Nadal knowing he wasn’t going to win. I think that takes a lot of guts.
    I feel this will be an on-going issue. It has nothing to do with desire or anything else. His back is what I feel will be the end at some point in the future.
    I feel lucky to have seen him play and practice. So many people truly love him.

    1. Well said. He played. Unlike Nadal, who disappears after a crucial loss and never gives his contemporaries a chance to beat him when he is not at his best. That way, he builds a positive H2H against everyone. Roger plays all the time and doesn’t disappear like a coward when things aren’t going his way.

      If Nadal had stayed on an played during 2009, and also late 2012, I’m pretty sure both Djokovic and Roger would’ve had improved H2H’s against. Oh wait, his knees were bad. Sure! πŸ™‚

      1. Totally agree with u there Sid. :-D. Also agree about Mr Larry E. Hes laughing all the way to the bank.

      2. Thanx Sid you got my point:) i don`t expect FED to win every time and i actually prefer to see him loose hundred of times in a row to Nadal as long as he learns each time and gets close to play him without fear. If he is injured and cannot move at his best that still doesn`t mean that he must miss easy balls that can make the difference in the scoreline. If u are given chances use them when its up to u:) he seems to panic too much when he misses some important shot and forgets its just a game and there are more chances till the match is over. he still has time to improve his thinking forget the stupid h2h which mostly shows how many matches Roger lost because of his stubbornness than nadal`s “””””talent””””

    2. And some of it has also got to do with the pressure/request from Larry Ellison to give everyone this match up. Larry got his money. Nadal got his win. And Roger paid the price of staying on and playing.

      1. Sid, this comment is the most hurting one I have read since last night.
        I am so angry now when I am typing this, because your comment is TOO much of the truth. Larry won, Rafa won, but it was ROGER WHO PAID THE PRICE.

        He knew when he walked on the court that he would lose, he knew that they would slaughter him online EVERYWHERE, but he still showed up for the tennisworld and for his fans.
        And how does the tennisworld repay him, by mocking him and by trashtalking about him.
        God, even now I am still so mad.
        REALLY, THE TENNIS WORLD DOES NOT DESERVE ROGER.
        I hope when he retires, they will open their eyes and see what was right in front of them all those years and how they did not appreciate that.

        They don’t deserve Roger. I almost want to say to Roger, just leave the game and let those haters sort it out for themselves, then they will miss you. But I don’t want him to retire just yet, because then tennis will lose its biggest and greatest ambassador.

        My God, I am STILL mad and angry. You should see me typing this angry.
        Larry and Rafa won (which means so did Novak and Andy), BUT IT IS ROGER WHO PAYS THE HEAVIEST PRICE !!!

        THE TENNISWORLD DOES NOT DESERVE HIM.

      2. Katyani, I probably shouldn’t have put that comment in. But, the truth is always very bitter. These players are employees of a company called tennis that they need to have a symbiotic relationship with. Which means, at times they have to do what they ask them to, to ensure that the sport thrives. After all, the sport has, and will always be bigger than any player. That is why I strongly felt Roger, if he had a choice, would’ve chosen to stay out.

        I made a prediction last night that Nadal would win comfortably in straights. It was easy to see how he was struggling against Stan. Just don’t get worked up by the haters. Roger will rest, recuperate, and he will be back. I still feel he can win a couple of slams as long as he is willing to make some adjustments. One of them being a change of racquets.

    3. @Sue – glad you got to see Fed play even if he wasn’t at his best against Dodig. Although by 2nd round I guess you saw him destroy Istomin? Bet that was fun!

      I heard about the practise sessions too, Tignor and Harman tweeted about them. Never a good sign when he’s not turning up for hits.

      @Sid Yeah agreed, but no point flaming Nadal every time man, he did win fair and square last night. Obviously he has a different mindset to Federer when it comes to tennis, injuries etc etc, just the way it is. Kinda helps him in some ways but not the sort of thing I like in a player.

      @Goran Agreed, it’s not too late just yet for him to notch a couple of wins over Nadal but it will be difficult. He really needs to do it in a slam for a change! I figure regardless of pressure from the top though Roger would have played, he aint the type of guy to pull out of matches when he can still take to the court in some shape or form.

      @Sid @Katyani – interesting way of looking at it. I suppose Ellison won in a way with the ticket sales, but the match was hardly memorable, not that will bother him or his bank balance.

      1. Jonathan, what the heck man πŸ™‚ I’m not flaming Cheatal. I’m not taking credit away from him. All I’m saying is he simply vanishes whenever he feels like he has lost his game and doesn’t give this opponents a chance to get back in the H2H.

        And, about Ellison, it’s not an interesting way of looking at it. It is the truth. A Roger-Nadal game skyrockets the ratings especially in the context of Nadal making a comeback from his “bad knees”.

  24. It really bothers me when supposed Fedfans think he is not trying or has lost his desire to play. He plays because of his love for the game. He also takes his responsibilities very seriously. Playing Nadal has probably created more injury to his back…longer to recover.
    Roger owes the game of tennis nothing. He owes his fans and the tournaments nothing. And yet he keeps giving. Lets appreciate that.

    1. Well said Sue. I don’t think he has lost his desire, but he’s definitely lacking something right now. I hope it’s just the back problem though and he will be back to full strength.

  25. Sue, you put it all in perspective. As for me, it is not enjoyable to watch tennis when it’s just Djokovic , Murray, Nadal, and Berdych left. I wish Tsonga could win, but I do not think it will happen. I am hoping Murray will go first. It was hard to see Nadal win last night. Roger was enduring the match. His team did not seem surprised. Paul just put his face in his hands. The others did not have expressions. They knew how Roger was feeling. I do not know why people like Nadal and Djokovic. Why are they sill getting away with their enhancements?When Roger retires tennis will not be the same for me. I will just hope that one of my Americans will get better. Larry will wake up without Roger. When Roger is not playing the crowds are very slim.

    1. Agreed, I have no idea how much tennis I will watch when Fed retires.

      Tsonga just got absolutely destroyed by Djoker just now, didn’t watch but very one sided scoreline.

      Maybe a Young American will rise through the ranks… it’s been a while. I mean Roddick was the last really? Crazy with such a large population…

  26. Call me odd but Roger is so Swiss his latest 2013 meltdown is mild against other players. Scrappy win but its a win regardless also means that if Roger wants this he can play ugly, scrappy and downright silly. To those fans who commented that he should retire, get a new coach, should concede a WO – please don’t call yourselves Fed fan if you don’t understand Roger as a person and/or a tennis player. A loss is nothing new, every player goes through period of ups and down. Like Roger, if you are not a tennis player then you would never understand about the game enough ( something along that line)

  27. I count myself among the really die-hard Fed fans. I have followed his career right from the very beginning. I watched his first break-through match against Samoras at Wimbledon in 2001. Is he the greatest player who has ever played the game? Absolutely! His achievements on the court, the style and beauty of his game, the grace of his personality – I consider myself privileged to have lived though it all.. But his glory days are clearly behind him. The loss to Nadal was heartbreaking – not that he lost, I expected him to lose – but the way he lost. The guy who would glide effortlessly and almost silently around the court court could barely move. After he fell behind 2 breaks in the second set, for the first time in all the years of watching the Fed play, I turned off my TV set – it was too painful to watch. Of course, I turned the set back on five minutes later to find that he had got one of the breaks back, only to lose iit and the match soon after. If he was being bothered that much by his back, why didn’t he call the trainer, get some treatment and see if that helps? Why just play on, barely able to move, against a player of Nadal’s calibre? It does no one any favours, certainly not the fans who did not come to watch him play so abysmally.

    I like this website. I think Jonathan’s commentary and analysis of matches are very perceptive, but even he doesn’t quite get it that this is different from all the other times that the Fed’s level has dropped and he has come back. Has anyone seen Federer smile lately, even after winning his matches? He seems to have a constant hang-dog expression on the court these last few months. When did he ever serve 2-3 double faults in a game? Where are the aces? Something is going on – I am just not sure what. I am a realist and I can see the writing on the wall. I refuse to live in a perpetual dreamland of false hopes. Some people on this website are just relentless cheerleaders. They have suggested that if he just takes two months off, he will come back as good as new. Others have said that this is all part of some grand strategy for the first half. In the immortal words of another great tennis player (but a lousy human being): “You cannot be serious! Chalk flew up!” Well, the chalk’s flying, folks!

    Of course, if he comes back to win even one tournament this year, let alone a GS, I will be eating crow – and loving it!

    1. Hey Arif,

      Why such a pessimist man?

      I think you make some good points about his performances of late. But I think everyone agrees they have been pretty poor and he’s obviously not in his prime any more, it’s just they aren’t treating it as a complete right off.

      I disagree about the Nadal match being heartbreaking though, heartbreaking losses are Australian Open final in 2009 and the US Open Semi finals against Djoker, this was nothing. Back problems were a big issue here.

      Were you one of the fan that thought the writing was on the wall in 2010 and 2011? Hardly great seasons, losing matches all the time. It’s too early. If come by the end of the season and Fed is playing the same as his last 3 tournaments, then we can start to say the end is nigh. But it’s only March.

  28. Arif, why is it so hard to believe that he is going through a down cycle and will come back strongly? Roger has already said that he is thinking of getting back to No.1 and he believes it is possible. I’m a realist too and believe that 2013 will be bad for Roger. He has been written off several times. It’s very easy to look at a struggling 31 year and commenting that, “It’s over!”.

    Roger has to pounce on his chances. No matter how well the other three (or two) are playing, there will be windows of opportunities. Roger needs to be prepared when that happens. Nobody is saying that he will be in God mode in two months from now. But after that gruelling 2012 campaign, it’s very reasonable to assume that Roger and his camp really weren’t expecting much from the first half of 2013.

    [Some people on this website are relentless cheerleaders] How very kind of you to mention that. That’s why they are called fans. Not every one is as talented an armchair commenter like you πŸ™‚

    As far as eating crow, many have tasted it. I hope you get to enjoy it too. Let’s call it Kung Pao Crow πŸ™‚

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