Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Succumbs to Del Potro in US Open Quarter Finals

No Federer Nadal showdown in New York as Juan Martin Del Potro defeated Roger 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(8) 6-4 to move into the Semi Finals at the US Open.

The Swiss looked to be on shaky ground throughout the tournament and despite winning his last two matches in straight sets wasn't able to negate Del Potro's firepower or play with the consistency required to have a shot at making his 8th final at Flushing Meadows. Had the Swiss converted one of his four set points in the third set tie break things may have been different but he was never in charge of proceedings in the 2 hours and 50 minutes on court.

He came up with the goods when he needed to, and I helped him a little bit sometimes too maybe. But he was better today, especially on the big points… In some ways I'm actually happy, I made the quarters, so I'm not disappointed because it's been a good run this year already. Unfortunately, I ran into a guy who was better than me today.

Quick Match Recap

Federer US Open Loss Del Potro

Federer won the toss and elected to serve and promptly held to 15 to get off to a nice start. With both players playing cagey in the early stages there were few chances to break, a hold from 0-30 by both players the only windows of opportunities. However at 5-5, 30-30, Roger double faulted to give Del Potro the first break point of the match which he converted before serving out the set to take it 7-5.

Into set 2 and Fed was up from the changeover long before the Umpire called time. A hold from a deuce game put him 1-0 up, and in game two the Swiss had his first break point of the match. Del Potro held, but in game four Roger broke through for a 3-1 lead. The one break proved decisive as he played a better set to take it 6-3.

The Argentine kicked off set 3 with a hold to 30 and then broke thanks to a double fault from the Wilson Wand. Roger then needed to save a further break point in game four to get on the scoreboard. Serving at 4-2, Del Potro returned the favour  with a double fault of his own on break point. Roger then levelled for 4-4, and both players rolled through their next two service games to force a tie break.

The breaker saw Fed move up a mini break on four separate occasions only to lose the advantage each time. The costly one coming at 6-4 on his own serve and despite holding four set points in total Roger couldn't convert. Del Potro finally took it 10-8 after Roger served and volleyed down set point.

Into set 4 and after exchanging back to back holds for 2-2 Roger's hopes of a comeback took a blow as he missed a routine smash en route to dropping serve. Del Potro held for 4-2 and stood firm to see it out, Roger pinging a volley to the back fence at 4-5, 30-30 to sum up his day.

Match Stats

Match Statistics R. Federer J. del Potro
Aces 17 12
Double Faults 5 3
First Serve % In 84/137 (61%) 80/119 (67%)
Win % On 1st Serve 61/84 (73%) 65/80 (81%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 30/53 (57%) 20/39 (51%)
Net Points Won 34/53 (64%) 10/18 (56%)
Break Points Won 2/3 (67%) 3/6 (50%)
Receiving Points Won 34/119 (29%) 46/137 (34%)
Winners 60 48
Unforced Errors 41 32
Total Points Won 125 131
Distance Covered (Ft) 6856.2 6589.3
Distance Covered/pt. (Ft) 26.8 25.7
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Del Potro US Open 2017

I think there are definitely things, you know, that happened in the preparation and throughout the tournament that led to my performance today, because I can play much better but I can play worse, too. So it was one of those matches where if I ran into a good guy, I was going to lose, I felt. I don't want to say I was in a negative mindset, but I knew going in that I'm not in a safe place. Might have depended too much on my opponent, and I don't like that feeling. I had it, you know, throughout the tournament, and I just felt that way every single match I went into. I didn't have that feeling at Wimbledon or at the Australian Open, and that's why rightfully so I'm out of this tournament, because I wasn't good enough, in my mind, in my body, and in my game to overcome these three pillars.

Tough day at the office for Fed here as he failed to set the record straight from the 2009 final against the Tower of Tandil. I had Roger going in as the big favourite after Del Potro went five against Thiem, but after the first few games, it was evident this was going to be a very even encounter.

I said in my two previous posts that despite him winning in straight sets, it was still too early to say he was ‘back in form' as both Lopez and Kohlschreiber played very poor matches against him. Once he ran into someone who can tee off, unfortunately, he came up short. Not by a huge margin or being blown off the court but by losing the key points and just not being able to play the instinctive free flowing game that's won him so many titles. It was almost like the 2013 Fed out there, still able to compete and stay close but too many routine misses and bad decisions cost him in a game of fine margins.

So disappointing loss aside, it's not been a bad 10 days in New York to make the Quarters after being forced out of Cincinnati. All the signs point to him still not feeling great physically, but we'll probably never know to what extent as he'll only reveal that later in the year if pressed about it. But even against Del Potro, he was out of his chair from changeovers long before the umpire called time so there's obviously still a niggle that's affecting his overall play. That's not to take anything away from Del Potro who served big but Roger's level was a far cry from the match he played vs. the Argentine in Miami earlier this year.

Anyway, enough from me, below you will find the full press conference transcript. Roger reveals a bit more than usual in summing things up so it's a good read. Just click the toggle to open it. As always thanks for reading and lLet me know your thoughts in the comments. 

Federer US Open Quarter Final 2017 Press Conference

Q. How do you explain what happened? Especially in the tiebreaker? Four set points.

ROGER FEDERER: It happens. I don't know. I mean, it's hard to explain. Sometimes you do the right things and he does, too. Then it matches up badly your way.

I didn't think I played bad. You know, towards the end of the breakers, you know, I can do better maybe, sure, but I think the decisions that we both took, me serving, him returning, or whatever it may have been, you know, it just didn't go my way.

But I don't think those four points make all of the difference. There was more to it that led to me being down two sets to one and being down two sets to one, and the break, I missed too many balls to keep me maybe ahead in the match or didn't put me into so much trouble where I needed luck or I needed him to take poor decisions.

You know, he came up with the goods when he needed to and I helped him a little bit sometimes too maybe. But he was better today, especially on the big points.

Q. Is it more frustrating, maybe you were thinking about the semifinal…

ROGER FEDERER: I wasn't. You were.

No, it's not more frustrating, to be honest. It's been a tough tournament throughout. I honestly was only thinking about tonight. My head didn't even wander during the match. I knew it was going to be a tough one. I had struggled too much throughout the tournament to think too far ahead.

In some ways I'm actually happy I made the quarters, so I'm not disappointed, because it's been a good run this year already. Unfortunately I ran into a guy who was better than me today.

Q. The fans were thinking of a potential matchup between you and Rafa. Do you think at all, like, maybe it's never meant to be, or is it just bad luck up to now?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Funny, again, I didn't even think about it, as I lost that match, that it's not going to happen. I'm dealing with just trying to understand what happened and just to overcome this in the next few hours, days, weeks, whatever it is, you know. I'll be fine.

Of course it is a pity, but, you know, Juan Martin deserves it more. I feel I have no place in the semis and he will have a better chance to beat Rafa, to be honest. The way I played or playing right now, it's not good enough in my opinion to win this tournament. It's better I'm out and somebody else gets a chance to do better than me.

Q. When you lost to Juan Martin in 2009, you said it wasn't a very difficult loss to get over…

ROGER FEDERER: Well, in some ways because of the great summer I had, yeah.

Q. Does the same thing apply to this year, in some ways?

ROGER FEDERER: I think only time will tell. But I think definitely — of course you're always disappointed when you lose, you know, in the very moment. It's terrible to think of what lies ahead, packing bags, going home.

It's just annoying, you know, as a tennis player. It's just not the fun part. You'd rather think about how you're going to relax tonight and have a massage and think about the match, you know, think about the great shots you hit.

Now you see all the bad stuff, you know. And it's just not so much fun, so, I mean, it should hurt, and it does, rightfully so, but, you know, I think my perspective at this age and with the season that I have had is easier to grasp faster, so I'll be fine quickly.

But, sure, I would have liked to do more here, especially with the year that I had. It's been tough, you know, so it's all right.

Q. Did the struggles you had before the tournament and through the first round cost you any energy or intensity today? It explains some of the shots you missed that maybe you don't miss?

ROGER FEDERER: I think there's definitely things, you know, that happened in the preparation and throughout the tournament that led to my performance today, because I can play much better but I can play worse, too.

So it was one of those matches where if I ran into a good guy, I was going to lose, I felt. I don't want to say I was in negative mindset, but I knew going in that I'm not in a safe place. Might have depended too much on my opponent, and I don't like that feeling. I had it, you know, throughout the tournament, and I just felt that way every single match I went into.

I didn't have that feeling at Wimbledon or at the Australian Open, and that's why rightfully so I'm out of this tournament, because I wasn't good enough, in my mind, in my body, and in my game to overcome these three pillars.

If you're missing all three, it's going to be tough. I'm okay with it, and I tried until the very end. And smashing certain stuff in the net that I normally wouldn't, smashing forehand volleys into the back fence, I mean, that stuff sucked. You know, honestly, it was terrible.

Juan Martin did well. He served well, had some big shots when he needed to. That was the part, that he did so much better tonight, and that's why he deserves to win.

Q. You seemed restless or stressed out there. Is there a reason you didn't have your usual cool to overcome it?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think I just explained it. I think those three things make you edgy. If you set up to a forehand, you don't know where it's going to go, I mean, you know it's not going to go where you want it to go, you're, like, Hmm, doesn't feel great. If you know you're going to hit it decent, then he's going to hit a rocket forehand after that. So you get the double whammy.

Yeah, you're not going to just walk coolly to the chair, like, Yeah, that was fun.

It just was a bad feeling. I think I stayed very calm throughout, because there is a lot of opportunities out there today and I missed a lot of them, which is a pity.

Q. It was possible you could have reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. May that have an impact? What are your plans from now on?

ROGER FEDERER: Not really. My schedule is similar towards the end of the season. Good thing is that I need a rest. I have a rest now, so that's good. That's actually the thing when I walked off the court, I was, like, Finally, I can rest. Because I'm tired. I put a lot into it. I was not sure I could play, to be honest, so I'm happy I get a rest now.

Now I have Laver Cup, Shanghai, Basel, Paris, and London. That's my schedule, and it won't change. I hope I'm fully recovered and 100% fit when Laver Cup comes around. When that's over, I hope I'm going to arrive really early in Shanghai to really get ready and make it a priority for me to win that tournament. So that's the schedule there.

Q. Obviously you just had a tough night, but can you step back and just talk about this incredible year, the two slams and two Masters Series? It's still a deeply gratifying run for you.

ROGER FEDERER: Yes (smiling). We could talk about it at the end of the year, but we can also wrap it up tonight. I just explained my schedule. So it's not over yet. There's hopefully more to come for me.

Of course it's all a bonus at this stage. I've had a wonderful year. This is part of the game, you know, I can't win them all. You run into guys who are better than you on the night.

Juan Martin fought like a lion, so it's fine there. But for me, you know, I'm upbeat what's to come. Sure, I regret that I didn't get the opportunity to fight for world No. 1 in Cincinnati, now again, but that's maybe also part of the process, and I'll be fine even without No. 1. Like you said, I have had a great year thus far.

I have big priorities for the rest of the year, and I usually play very well towards the end. Now I just really need to recover and go back to the practice courts and hopefully just finish strong. Whatever that may be, I just want to play good tennis and enjoy myself.

Q. You mentioned your body being a little off. How much of a factor was the back after all?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I was serving okay, you know, finally. It was getting better, you know, as the tournament progressed, so that was positive.

I'm happy I was able to overcome that, and that all the hard work we put into it with my team, that was what I was looking for throughout the event is actually it was going to get better, my back. Otherwise I wouldn't entered the tournament if I knew that the back was going to get worse.

There was a relief there that I was able to play a lot of tough matches, you know, and a quarter here. That gives me confidence.

But did it take away something from my overall performance? Maybe not on the night. But leading into the night, you know, I just think it slowed down my rhythm and whatever it was throughout the tournament, you know, because I was never really able to turn it on completely. I played okay, you know, but I never felt like I got to the great level I can play at, but that's okay.

Q. You have seen Juan Martin play tonight, and I don't know if you've been watching Rafa how he's been playing? Can you predict what kind of semifinal match we can see on Friday?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, in a way it's been a struggle for everybody here, except maybe Carreno Busta. He's just been cruising. The rest of us have all been fighting something, you know. I'm sure other players are fighting injuries, you know, but they're not talking about it. I unfortunately had to because of the Montreal and Cincinnati situation. Otherwise I wouldn't have talked about it, either.

No, I think it's going to be an exciting match, you know. Both are great shot makers. They have, you know, some of the best forehands in the game. They are both winners. They know how to get it done. I think it should been an exciting semis.

Yeah, I mean, Rafa now is playing within himself a lot. I think he was very focused here, in practice and also in the matches. I assume we know what we're going to get from him.

Juan Martin, I hope he recovers, you know. It's big for him now to have a day rest tomorrow, because again, it's an emotional night and all that stuff. Rallies weren't very long, so he did well to bounce back from his Thiem match, you know. That was nice for him. You know, I think it should be an exciting match. I'm sure the crowd's going to get into it.

Q. Do you feel like the third set tiebreak was a turning point in the match and that you let go the opportunity there and that played against you for the remainder of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, sure. We can look at it in many, many different ways. Yes, I mean, if I would have won, I would have told you it was the key for the match. Now losing, I feel like there were multiple keys lost along the way (smiling).

It was unfortunate. You know, I put myself in a good position throughout the breaker, had chances to — I was always kind of ahead the whole time, and then at the end, you know, I got caught.

I don't know if it was because of him or because of me. I thought it was more probably because of him because I didn't play a poor tiebreaker. I have played way worse breakers and I have won them. I just think it was a poor matchup at the backhand and that little magic was missing at the end to flick a half volley or hit a half volley, maybe serve the other way when I needed to.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough in the head. I'm sure I lost a little bit of momentum even though I got into the fourth set okay, but I just didn't have a good returning day on his first serve, and that throughout hurt me the entire match.

It was just hard getting into normal rallies, to be honest. Once I was in the rally, I was not playing good enough, you know, to match Juan Martin's power.

That was definitely a turning point, no doubt about it, because breaking back and getting into that third set was big, and then it would have been nice to maybe break his spirit a little bit, but I couldn't do it.


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. I’m not, really. I’m glad he’s out of there, but possibly not for the way it happened, from what Jon said (I followed livescores for a bit of the first set before going to bed). I’d really like Delpo to go on and win the whole thing now, given the SF lineup, but I doubt he will, although of course we don’t really know how well Rafa’s actually playing since he hasn’t even faced a top-50 player yet.

  1. Federer played a dumb match tactics-wise. Why did he keep hitting it to DelPo’s forehand and not target his weaker backhand side just like the 2009 Final? Not enough slices too.

    At least I’m happy that I won’t get to see Federer get destroyed by Nadal when he’s tired, half-injured and playing on a surface that favours the Spaniard more compared to at Australian Open

    1. Fed was reading his notes on how to defeat Delpo but mistakingly picked up the old notes that he used for the 2009 final

  2. I’m really sad for Roger that he could not play his best and I think he did his absolute best under the circumstances. There is no other tennis player I would get up at 2 a.m. to watch.
    It was fairly obvious that he was under par for the whole tournament although we all kept hoping it would get better.
    I hope he got a huge hug from his family and team and that, for his sake, he can recover to play well in the Laver Cup.

    1. Yeah I don’t feel too disappointed with the lossk was treading water all tournament, 2 straight set wins seemed to put him in the mix but they were very nice opponents to face so bit deceptive.

  3. Thanks Jonathan for the transcript.
    I’m really disappointed that he lost and it’s too bad but it was expected given is form. As he said , he wasn’t convinced he can win and we saw it throw all the matches. He lacks the confidence he had in the beginning of the year. I hope that the he’ll be better in the next tournament. The good thing is (if there is one) that he lost to Del Potro and not Nadal. Now I only hope that Del Potro will win it all.

  4. What the actual fuck. Really. Very poor match plan and game was too unstable except for set 2. I still wonder why RF chose to play Montreal.

      1. Yeah there is this but Montreal is quite a humid city, I’m afraid. Cincinnati is not that humid. I think humidity can affect the body.

      1. Home page or previous pages, then scoot to bottom for the links – quicker than waiting for Trending to scroll through.

  5. Looks like #1 is out… unless delpo beats Nadal, which I doubt… oh well, great year regardless πŸ™‚ and congrats to del Porto!

    1. Did you know Delpo has a winning side on HC vs Rafa? 5-4 for JMDP. Del Potro has also a 9-10 record against #1 players (all surfaces). On hard courts vs #1’s, Del Potro has a 9-5 record. For those interested for the other surfaces :
      Clay – 0-1
      Grass – 0-4

      1. Granted. But what are the numbers since his surgeries? I don’t see ANY way how delpo can get through Nadal with his shitty slice BH. When he could hit over, I totally agree with you, not any more. Plus he has to be feeling it physically now…

        Anyways, a man can hope πŸ™‚

  6. Well the man himself has said it well – he didn’t have enough belief. Curious thing though is why that was the cas. Because of his injury, because his under preparation? I’m really gutte because it’s such a winnable slam. I’m think he lost quite a bit of motivation after #19

  7. Good recap Jonathan, you pretty much captured everything…I particularly like the comparison to a 2013 like Fed. Let’s hope the pressure is off him now and he can play some free hitting tennis.

  8. Dissappointed I missed entire match, checking livescore like every second. A bit gutted Roger lost but he wasn’t as convincing as compared to AO and Wimby. Bad back hampered his preparations and as Jon sums up correctly – loss on big points and lack instinctive play. Not bad tourney considering playing with bad back. It shows up how high is Roger’s standard. Even with his B game, go deep into a GS tourney. I now hope Delpo can go all the way for the final, time for some other player outside big 4 wins this years USO. Time for Roger to focus on rehab and rest his back.

    1. Well, the USO’s been the best slam for non-Big-4 players (Delpo 2009, Cilic 2014, Wawa 2016), so NOW I’m hoping hard for the glass ceiling to crack once again. ?

      1. Yeah, rooting for Delpo to get himself out one slam wonder. If he beats our Roger, he better beat up Nadal and whoever in the final otherwise I am putting him in my shitlist!!

    2. “time for some other player outside big 4 wins this years USO”

      But NOT PCB, please?!

      The way the draw has turned out reminds me a bit of Wimbledon draws last century(!), except back then if you got some low seeds through this far it ttended to be because they were at least good grasscourt players despite their lowly ranking. That’s not the case here, of course πŸ™

      1. So long its not Nadal, I will be alright. PCB has been flying under radar even though he is in the semis. No thanks to media and rest of the tennis world, all hyping about Fedal semis. Thank god it didn’t happen otherwise Roger 4 match win streak will definitely gets broken. Perhaps I should thank Murray afterall for pulling out last minute.

      1. Well one thing for sure Delpo is in my shitlist. Thought he could pull off a W after 1st set but went away after. Damn he was on fire against Roger but went cold in semis.

  9. Yes, the shanks and netted overheads were eerily like 2013. Hope they’ll go away as the back gets better.
    I think because Fed underplayed his physical issues (by insisting he’s getting better) and Juan Martin overacted his physical issues (the Rudolph-nosed I’m-almost-at-Death’s-door stuff during the Thiem match), we all had a wrong perception of the health status of both players. And so presumed wrongly that it’d be a cakewalk for Fed against a tired, weak Delpo.
    Well, anyway Fed was never really playing freely and confidently in this tournament. This year’s been amazing already and with an unfavourable surface and a tougher draw than Rafa and the back issues, it’s perhaps for the best they didn’t meet.
    Here’s hoping that the rest of the season goes well for Roger and for us. What are the chances for reaching No. 1. position now?

  10. Roger made so many errors – it was hard to watch. As Roger’d said in his presser, he didn’t have the belief, his “3 pillars” were not in place throughout the tournament. So with that, I am glad that he has avoided playing Nadal.
    Still many points to chase for the rest of the season, so world no. 1 is still a possibility. Hoping that Roger will recharge and come back strong. And praying that there’ll no #16 and no 2000 points for Nadal.

  11. This time no parody, Jonathan, even if the mood here seems to be lots too bad for my taste. Who could not watch the match, should take a look on stats. All stats to Roger’s favor and such was his game. Good tactics . Playing longer rally to Delpo’s backhand means he can make the opponent asleep and don’t realize, it reached the moment to hit overrun forehand, which is the biggest weapon of Delpo. So to exploit his backhand, you must do the opposite – play mainly to his forehand (not too long) and then hit a winner to his backhand. Delpo can play backhand slice from static position so long he needs to. His backhand is really weak point first when he must hit it on the run. The “only” (but unfortunately most important) thing, which did not work (and you never know, why this happens one day, while it does not another day). He failed in all biggest points. I guess, Delpo was in this comfortable situation, he was not favourite and could go for more risk and then had a bit more luck than Roger.
    I’m happy with Roger’s game. No signs of back issues. Good serve, dealing well with Delpo’s forehand bombs coming from the air. Somehow he did the same as Thiem did two days before – losing all most important points. His coach, Bresnik, was asked to explain and his answer was like “I don’t know, what is happening in his head”. And this is just the right answer. Probably Thiem would say the same. BTW – who’s interested more for Thiem, should read this article
    Still good prospect for Roger for the rest of the season, including WTF. He will be fresh and fit after only Laver Cup in September. No reason for lamenting at all πŸ™‚

    1. Are you going to critique the GQ article? I don’t see Domi is unloved, the crowd like him and social media has repudiated this article resoundingly today from what I have seen.
      Wish this journo had seen Djoko in USO 2015 her narrative seems more suited to him lol!

      1. No, Katie, the opposite is true πŸ™‚ I think, this article gives a quite perfect image of some aspects of Dominic’s personality. I do differentiate between liking and loving. I know, Dominic is liked for his creative game (with graceful movement and outstanding passion IMO next one after Roger in this aspect), but they “love” rather likes of Delpo, able to trigger big emotions about his “netle giant” image, poor teddy baer and the like.. I don’t think Djoko’s personality to have anything common with Thiem’s. And I think, the tone of the article was obviously positive for Thiem. Describing well how he is and concluding, he is happy about how he is. This is/was not the case with Djoko. Djoko wanted eagerly to be loved like Fed, which was not possible but he tried with no effect. <thiem is not trying and not unhappy because of missing "love" of crowds. Just because he is rather introvertic personality, living for tennis and in his own world of tennis. He would play the same on an empty stadium. Of course my individual opinion πŸ™‚

      2. I think Thiem will be loved, once he has shown that he can deliver on the biggest stages. He has made 2 SFs, but didn’t play a competitive match in either. I’m not a fan of his game personally, but I really like his fair-minded personality. He’s the kind of guy that will concede points the umpire has wrongly awarded.

        Del Potro is a USO-winner and then got injured, so many probably speculate about his potential and pity him, because he didn’t reach it. Personally I don’t get the love for Del Potro (or his game), but it looks like his latest victories have opened some eyes to his use of gamesmanship. He’ll probably be the fan favourite vs. Nadal though and I won’t complain about that. Gamesmanship vs. Nadal is fair game. :p

      3. I think Domi is still a bit too new on the block for most people to have “got” him yet. They don’t know him or his game, and he’s probably perceived as a bit boring for now. I’m sure that will change in due course πŸ™‚

    2. Agree with your analysis re: tactics. To go exclusively to the BH is a losing strategy because you can’t just give up a big part of the court. Thiem showed how you have to play to exploit the Del Potro BH. He hit there with pace a few times in a row and got Del Potro on the defensive. When Del Potro got tired of that pattern he chose to run around there, but he left space on the deuce court or rather often he hit an error because he didn’t get into position. You have to be supremely fit to execute that strategy because you have to grind him down. I suppose Nadal will show to us how it’s done. πŸ™

      To have success hitting to Del Potro FH, you have to rob him off time on that side, so that he cannot unload. Hit deep, get him on the run. Else good luck, getting those bombs back.

      With all the talk about strategy the match was lost on execution, not tactics. Those approach shots were just tragic. πŸ˜€ Well, I guess we couldn’t really expect anymore after the spotty preparation. It’s honestly surprising how far he got in the draw considering the circumstances. This one didn’t get away, it was never even in reach.

    3. Thanks for the link to the article. I am a fan of Dominic and found the piece to be very interesting. Despite his reserve, I enjoy his one-on-one interviews. There is something very appealing about the young man, and I have a soft spot for the introverted players who must navigate all the media attention that being a top tennis player brings.

  12. I am not sad.
    I am happy that we avoided an unnatural, unbearable defeat next match. I am sure it played a role in Federer’s performance.
    Pfff, I can breath now, I was very, very nervous.
    I started to hate US Open..

    What a year!!!! It was incredible! Thank you all!

      1. Haha, me too. I had to get up v. early on Thursday and was totally zonked by the afternoon. Would have done it again for the Fed, though.

  13. The only part of this I’m annoyed about is that third set tie break. Fed should have won that, and didn’t.

    Otherwise I think Fed sums it up. He wasn’t playing well enough to win this tournament. It’s easy to look good (well, relatively speaking) against his career whipping-boys, but I had a feeling his game would be exposed here. It probably was physical, but he was playing so the bottom line is he didn’t play well enough to win. With #1 all but gone now I believe I want Fed to rest up and not repeat the mistakes of 2013, because as you said Jon, this was eerily similar.

    In terms of disappointment overall, I’m not overly emotional about the defeat aside from that tie break. At this point I feel it’s title or bust for Fed whenever he plays so if you look at it from that perspective then overall the US Open wasn’t a great one for him. I don’t know if I’d take it so black and white because Tennis doesn’t work like that, but certainly in terms of his level of play it wasn’t great viewing all told.

  14. Thanks Jonathan for the quick recap.
    I watched until the third set tie break, realized then that a come back would only weaken Roger’s possibilities with an eventual Nadal match. And I was glad it finished in four sets even if it meant a Delpo win. However I don’t see Delpo winning Nadal.
    Roger will get a boost out of this I trust and we’ll see him come back in force and confident.

  15. I think though that this was a very winnable match, despite all of the problems Federer had coming in. The key moment was the 3rd set tiebreaker. He fired a serve to Del Potro’s forehand – it was very similar to the famous match point vs Djokovic in 2011 at 40-15 – I have no idea why he would do that against the big man with a wide range. Just hit it down the T and induce a neutral return and then take over the rally.

    Another makeable volley cost him in the tiebreaker. That was it. To his credit he didn’t give up and fought hard in the 4th to come back after a lull at the start.

    I think he would have lost to Nadal in the semis anyway with this form. But Nadal’s form has not been tested either, playing people with no power or a youngster like Rublev.

    I am expecting huge mind games and drama from this SF…both of them will be taped at the knees, wrists, with Nadal running between points and Del Potro doing his usual ‘walking through the desert for 40 days and nights’ routine…

    1. “Walking through the desert for 40 days and night”……LOL! That’s so true. Delpo has got this Lazarus routine down pat. Maybe it is genuine, he has been injured so often, that’s true, but he knows how to rouse the audience through histrionics as well as with great tennis (unlike Roger, who always makes the crowd rise with divine tennis). Well, he’ll meet the Bull soon enough, and it’ll be a boxing match for sure.

    2. Haha yeah Del Potro between points is so laboured. But that is just him, it’s how he keeps his emotional level in check. Nadal on the other hand always moving to keep blood moving and stop nerves kicking in.

  16. There is obvious disappointment with a close loss in a match with missed opportunities (especially when the match ends with one needing to go work tired) but the better player won. Roger said it all in his presser. In hindsight we can now see US open hope was on a wing and a prayer. If one plots his route from Wimbledon he literally had no preparation: only 3 weeks to Canada including a good holiday, he then tried to transition to hard court during a tournament, not surprisingly got injured and had no prep for the us open only recovery. He is normally fastidious in his preparation but I wonder if on reflection he will admit mistakes were made. He obviously had his reasons for playing Canada. His success this year has been based on rest and preparation. I hope now he has a good break, then a solid block of training before playing again. Other than this strategic error he again did himself proud by fighting all the way, trying to make the best of the situation, not running away from possible defeat and always carrying himself with endearing dignity. Don’t be angry with him.

    1. Or possibly the injury was just bad luck and if it hadn’t happened all would have been fine and he would be in the semis about to beat Rafa:)

    2. Angry with him? I can never be angry with him! I empathize with him too much to feel something as harsh and as alienating as anger. Never ever.

  17. I take some consolation in the tiebreak that Fed and Delpo played in the Dubai semi in 2012, where Delpo was up 5-0, served for it at 6-2, and then again at 6-5, and lost the breaker and the match. So, perhaps things come full circle (and Delpo even played well in that TB, unlike Roger yesterday, which was embarrassing), although the quarters at the USO are a bigger stage. Still, this Roger would’ve gotten eaten by Nadal in his current form (tested or not), and I dunno about you all but I prefer a loss to Delpo over Nadal any day.

  18. I would be interested to see where Roger goes from here. By any measure, 2017 has been a remarkable success. Does he play the rest of the season, or should he take some time off and come back fresh to defend his title in Melbourne. Amazing scheduling and being rested and healthy has been the secret of his success. Not that RF is seeking my opinion (LOL), but he should take it easy and just play Basel and WTF for the rest of 2017. Similar to 2017, Roger should skip the clay season altogether in 2018.

    1. In the presser he says his schedule is unchanged: Laver Cup, Shanghai, Basel, Paris, London. And he says he wants to go early to Shanghai to prepare well and play to win. Skipping clay seasons are almost a given now, I think, unless it is his swansong year, and he may want to give a goodbye treat to his fans (that sounds so terribly depressing! Can’t think of tennis beyond Fed! Not yet!).

  19. Forgot in my earlier comments to thank you for the presser, Jonathan. It was so comforting to read how Roger himself rationalizes and processes his own loss – admitting the disappointment (that bit about feeling terrible when you have to go back and pack up after a loss was heartwrenching), judging hiw his play “sucked” at crucial moments (it did!), and also going back and forth, up and down, looking back at the good (miraculously good) things in 2017, and looking ahead with optimism. I will take a printout of this presser and keep it with me and read it when I have to get over a funk, I think.

  20. All I can say is I’m really, really happy that Roger lost. Now, the USTA won’t get their “dream” game. Oh, boy! Would they have hyped it up or what? Tailor made for Nadal to win.

    They did everything they could to rig it. Gave Nadal an easy path. Ensured they meet as early as the seedings allowed. On the other side, they made sure four American women reach the final. I guess with the bitch Williams out, they were finding it hard to get crowds. So yeah, let’s rig the surface so it’s an all-American semi. That should cover the full spectrum of US WTA fans.

      1. That, and given how Roger was playing, though it hurts, what would’ve hurt even more is losing to that doper in the semi for the first and only time in New York. I do not want that kind of memory of my favorite city in the universe.

    1. Sid, indeed I am argentinian I never want Delpo Win when he plays against Roger, yesterday night I was so sad but no tears (really sometimes I cry with tears) but you are right and it was worst to lose agains the doper.
      Murray was terrific when he withdraw the same day the draw was announced. I don’t know now if really he did it before and we only knew that after the announcement. best regards

      1. What does it matter, you Are Argentinian? Dou you want to tell, you support Delpo otherwise just because of being Argentinian? I must protest against calling Rafa a doper. Proves, please. Either they all are dopers, including RF, or we don’t know and should not accuse a player just because we don’t like him for another reasons really (winning too much over Fed). So long it’s not proven, Rafa takes illegal things, we must assume, he doesn’t. Just like you are assumed to not be a thief or crook or troll or something πŸ™‚
        Murray did do a horrible thing but we should take it as is – maybe he had still hopes to play USO.

      2. @PRF – most people feel obligated to support their home players. Just like you’d cheer Janowicz vs Fed right? πŸ˜€

        Tennis is a sport of the individual for me so no patriotism for me.

      3. PRF – There are a lot of theories for doping. Rafa and Novak are maybe doping. Why? Maybe because both of them had some super alien strong years (with incredible form) and they had their really bad moments. You could never see consistency! If they are doping then their doping is not an intelligent way of doping. Look at Novak. 2011 to mid 2016 – Super years, but now what? Maybe he was actually caught for doping? That is a way too big gap for a guy with his talent. Maybe he was really injured? Same for Rafa. (he never had a gap of performance this big though) Thing is we can never know if they are doping or not. But there is a probability they do. Fed has shown more consistency. No big slumps. Even if I am a Fed there is a possibility that he does doping or not! But the difference here is that if he is doping, he is doping intelligently or if he is not doping then it’s clearly proof that he is super talented which even if he is doping is still the case. I think it’s OK to take doping but it should be only allowed to players to continue to keep up with their form. For example if a player has an injury, It should be correct for him to do doping only as long as he takes it ONLY for removing as much as possible the injury pains or recovering faster and to sustain form. But doing doping for getting better physical performance for yourself and pushing your body to the limits is unacceptable. Doping is OK when wanting to keep form and if injured to keep the injury away as much as possible. Doping is not OK when a player wants to increase his physical performance as long as his body can take it.

      4. Nadal is a doper. Perhaps PRF missed that entire episode about that doctor Fuentes and how the Spanish government destroyed blood bags retrieved from his clinics that had samples of cyclists, footballers, and tennis players. There has been way too much smoke. So many doping accusations against him. Why has nobody officially accuses Federer of doping? Because of how he plays. Absolutely non physical. He does not go through the typical doping up and down cycles. Think Nadal and Williams. Nadal pretty much does everything he possibly can to dope. The time he stays away from potentially silent bans. Perhaps Djokovic and Murray are going through similar bans. Yes, there is a thing called silent ban where you “punish” the offender and preserve them and the sport at the same time.

        Anybody who believes that Rafael Nadal does not dope is a moron and must be summarily executed. If I had the power, I’d begin that process right now. Too bad I don’t.

      5. I believe you have a point. Thing is unless we have links with the ATP, ITF and doping organizations, we could sadly only speculate.,

    2. ROFL at Rafa’s draw.
      LOL at Carreno Busta’s draw (only challenge was a tired Shapovalov who was coming from qualifying)
      LOL at Anderson’s draw
      Delpo’s draw was more challenging.
      Fed’s draw was not that bad but I think that he got unlucky when a couple of players decided to not play US Open. Murray should have acted more quickly. I believe Fed should have been placed seed 2. It’s natural.
      But I’m also glad that he quit earlier because he did not feel well obviously and he really needs to rest.

  21. Thanks great post Jonathan….can’t understand how fans could be embarrassed by a guy playing his all, so it didn!t come off this time because he hasn’t played his best not anywhere near his best since the US open began. Deplo for Fed must be a nightmare to play, I so remember Roger losing his cool
    When last they played at the open because Delpo took so long to challenge. So it will be fun for the Umpire when Nadal and Delpo play. Bet neither gets a time warning. Glad Fed is out of it can!t imagine how he got so far with a dodgy back x

  22. Thank you Jonathan for such a great post! You have expressed my feelings so well as have most of the other “posters” here. I was very nervous about this match going in as Roger has not played very well the entire tournament, and for that matter did not play well in Montreal either. Some of his errors were just bloody awful and I’m sure he was giving himself a smack up the side of his head after them. I can’t recall him hitting so many backhands into the net, not just this match but during the whole tournament. And if, as the rest of you have said, he had to lose I’m glad it wasn’t to Rafa. I also believe Rafa;s only mission in life is to beat Roger and will play until he is 100 if necessary to accomplish it. I loved Roger’s presser, he is so darn honest and forthcoming. As for Mr. Del Potro, I have always been a fan but I’m beginning to think PRF may have a point or two although I will be rooting for him against Rafa. Tell me someone, did he (De Potro), really complain to the chair about the crowd!!!!! BTW did I tell you I got a picture with him and autograph in Montreal (along with my granddaughter and a hundred others, but that’s beside the point) Like a teenager meeting Justin Bieber LOL.

    1. Miss Elly, I agree always with Jonathan also and I am happy he lost now and not with Rafa, yes. and Enjoy your pic:-) I saw him sometimes but never had the courage to ask for a pic. May be next time

  23. May be he must to rest more and more with 36 years old just to be “in shape” to win. Indeed I thought he was a little insistent in some points making the same thing that two minutes ago was going bad. He knew better what to do on court so I try to think we must to be happy he is still playing because one year before we doubt if he will return or not. I was really unhappy since the beginning at Montreal. The first match was excellent and then it was not so good all of them. With Feliciano Lopez and Philipp , as Jonathan said, they were not too great just to have a real notion about Roger’s play today. I hope really he rest a little and come back in London to win again.

  24. Isn’t it amazing that we all think Roger played so poorly, but he actually won only 6 points fewer than Delpo! I know I know, it’s the big points that count …

  25. Incredible that he even reached QF with his poor old body, really. Great press conference as usual. Because of his honest, positive interview I feel much better now. Thanks Jonathan for the script as well as the excellent recap. USO is always tough for you with the nightmare time so get some good rest πŸ™‚
    “I just want to play good tennis and enjoy myself” – Yes, that exactly I want to see, too!

  26. Jonathan, I think this is your best post ever! Ditto, Wanda. After reading his presser, it puts in all in perspective. We knew going in Roger wasn’t quite right. Physically, mentally, match ready. His team didn’t seem to relax the whole tournament. When they look worried, we know something is up. Fed said he wouldn’t have mentioned the back but had to because of the Cincy withdrawal. Makes you wonder how much he didn’t disclose throughout his career.
    Not a fan of delpo, why is he so bloody gentile. How about Ivo being gentile.
    Roger…enjoy your rest. You did what you could with what you had at the time. Be proud with your year. Insane really.
    And enjoy Laver Cup. Hope I can see some of it.
    Hey, J, are you doing posts for it?

    1. Ha, ha, ha, Sue – “bloody gentle” that’s the real thing πŸ™‚ Of course Ivo is a genuine gentleman. Somehow livin on tour with nobody wanting to have a practice with him, with no any single supporter in the crowd. What is not really nice – he beats since ages regularly many players, having 100x his skills (if we take out the serve),
      I’m wondering too, who will stream Laver Cup. Maybe Eurosport? Well, we’ll get to know when it comes.
      Even if Jon makes (well deserved) holiday during Laver Cup, the Blog will be still alive πŸ™‚

    2. Thanks. Although 50% of the post is a copy paste job from RF πŸ˜† might do that more often and hope nobody notices. Just gotta wait 24 hours for them to come out if I don’t have a login.

      Regarding Laver Cup – I will put up a discussion thread and do a recap once it’s over, not going to do one for every match.

  27. Hey guys!! Need your advice. I’ll finally get the chance to watch Fed play live this year (fingers crossed nothing unexpected happens) since I’m in UK this fall. My options are WTFs, Basel, Paris in that order. Maybe I can catch two of those tournaments if I’m lucky. Any suggestions?

    There are still WTF tickets for sale (there seem to be quite a few). Does anyone know if there are generally tickets available after the draw is announced (that way I can pick tickets just for the session Fed plays in). Or should I play it safe and book two consecutive full day passes right now itself? (it does become a tad expensive). Not sure if I can sell them or exchange them after purchase?

    Also, any one want to come along for any of the tournaments?

      1. I’d love to Dippy, but like Susie said, it’s pretty expensive. Plus it’ll involve flights and accommodation as well. London won’t have any of that. Still tempted though. Definitely tempted :p

      2. Basel is great – accom can be expensive but if you airbnb a single room and don’t dine out then it won’t be.. Depends what you are after really, if Fed the sole focus then WTF. As a tournament / destination I prefer Basel. Done WTF a number of times and got bored of it.

    1. There are always WTF tix available on Viagogo and Stubhub. Depends what u want to pay. I purchase once OOP revealed. Basel is very expensive, Paris i’m not convinced he plays unless no 1 looking possible. To see him live WTF RR is Yr best bet ?

    2. The only thing that bothers me is that with all the other players who won’t be there (and assuming Roger *is*), there may be more demand for his matches at the WTF. Normally, Roger gets 1 daytime and 2 evening matches, although if they’re stuck for really big names it may be that he’ll get an all-evening schedule? The daytime matches are usually relatively easy to get tickets for reduced on Viagogo, although of course if Roger’s playing the prices won’t be particularly low. Last time, I went to the venue and bought the ticket online once I was there πŸ™‚ ( but that was for Stan vs. Kei, come to think of it).

    3. Thanks for the suggestions. Regarding the WTFs, I think I’ll pick up two consecutive days (evening tickets) and sell one of them online. And once the draw’s out, I’ll try to pick up another ticket. Are the prices a lot more expensive on resale? Do you have any estimates? An approximation would be awesome. I think I can currently pick up an evening pass in a decent stand for about 30-40 pounds off the website.

  28. Hello all,
    A burn-dressing on our mixed feelings after yesterday’s non-victory. Pleaaaaase urgently read this until the end :


    Great stuff…

    And let’s cherish the years that enable us to watch Roger still play at 36.

    I will also keep his QF post-match presser full of clairvoyance in front of (his own) human physicalΒ  limits. For me, what’s inside shows all the more how tennis is a demanding sport – physically and emotionally.

    Thanks a lot, Jonathan for your posts during the USO – a delight to read especially during my daily recovered train journeys from/to work.
    Rest well too !

    The upcoming 1st Laver Cup should be fun to watch… with Roger and Rafa on the SAME side of the net (No pressure, folks !).


  29. Well. We knew he needed another gear, and he just couldn’t access it. Hopefully he’ll be able to access it again soon.
    Just love the whole presser, thanks for including it. ‘Of course it’s more fun to have a massage & think about all the great shots you hit’, lol. And his last sentiment, about how it being better, with him playing this way, for someone else to have the chance to go farther in the tournament.
    We’ve all had a great year. Glad he made the quarters here; looking forward to the next.

  30. NOw I know why USO my least fav Slam. Awful celeb driven coverage, Fedal hysteria,( thank god thats not happening), slow court ( late aunt job I am hearing), and every player looking weary! Agree re his tactics, it was the execution that was lacking. No depth or bite on those groundies, ROS had gone awol and big points played poorly. Thank goodness he didn’t scrape thru only to be easily beaten by Dull.
    He knew the score, that eventually he wld be found out by the better player, and he was given his form. Onwards! QF ain’t bad! Delpo/Kev final but anyone but Rafa.

  31. So happy for Del Potro, wonderful triumph for him, go go go!!! He’s an unusually likeable and kind man, and wow, what a tennis player.
    On a separate note, it would be a real shame Federer and Nadal never do play each other in New York, 2008 to 2011 were the best chances and it would have been a final, that’s what I regret. Not 2013 or 2017. Who knows if this was the last chance… Either way, worse things have happened.
    All I care about now is Delpo winning this!

    1. Delpo’s game is one of the ugliest on tour. No grace in movement, only hammerthrowing forehands. Boring. Not artistic or creative. Pure power. Nadal is too good in defence for delpo to beat him. And 100x more creative game . What a shame it is and for whom? USO management not able to arrange the draw so to give them chance? Do we really need Fed to go for winning everywhere? Even Paris is better for Fed beating Rafa in final than USO. USO is thje most miserable slam at all and especially this year. All I care about now is Delpo losing this πŸ˜‰

    2. I like Del Po but agree with PRF about his game, he’s just a pure power player so not great to watch. But he does have a bit of likeability and has the the courage of his convictions when he steps on court. FH all the way.

      1. Agree. I still like him a bit because of his many charming activities (like embracing linespeople) and have lot of respect for his long hard way back to the top. I think, he lands soon in Top5, where he belongs. But his “dead walking” between points looks worse than Nadal’s antics. Well, I don’t plan to watch RafaDelpo, both being not even my second or third favorites. Now waiting for Laver Cup and hoping this to be for te rest of the season like Hopman Cup was before AO.

  32. I have just read a presser once more and one sentence from Fed sound a bit strange
    ” I feel I have no place in the semis and he will have a better chance to beat Rafa, to be honest.”
    Can someone with better command of English explain it? Sounds like giving the match away to beat Rafa with Delpo’s hands. Weird!

    1. You can put any thoughts you like on one sentence. I think Fed told us exactly why he lost…..but if you have been following his matches. We could see for outselves

    2. I think it’s a self explanatory statement. Based on his level, he doesn’t believe he was good enough to really be making the semi finals at a slam. And Del Potro is playing better so stands a better chance vs. Nadal.

      1. Tnaks foir language help πŸ™‚ Maybe expressed his thoughts, being frustrated, in a bit infortunate way. Of course I would never think, Roger could give the match away for any reason other than injury. But after watching Fed-Delpo match I’m quite sure, Roger could win both against Delpo and Rafa and then whoever comes from the consolation half πŸ˜‰ Somehow catched the same weakness as Thiem 2 days before. Playing good enough, all stats very good, only big points a disaster. The disaster was even bigger for Thiem, who has so many opportunities to win the match. I think still, Delpo will not be able to beat Nadal. Too good in defense, powerful enough to deal with Delpo’s fprehand, no way he loses all big points. My prediction – Nadal in 3, maybe 1 or 2 in TB’s.

      2. Well, I think Fed would have made a better showing today than this pathetic Delpo who even ate a bagel

  33. Thank You, Jonathan, for another good report of the USOpen 2017, not easy to to so at night owl times!
    Am quoting from the WSJ. September 9th. “The next-best-thing to Federer” by Tom Perrotta. End of article reads:
    “As for Federer, he now gets a rest. He needs that, he said and is not unhappy about getting some time, even after a loss. “I’ve had a wonderful year,” he said. “This is part of the game, you know, I can’t win them all.”

  34. Delpo didn’t come to play. Everything was working against roger and nothing is tonight. Roger would lose to Rafa tonight, but not love sets. Delpo is an ox out there, slow, stupid, and clumsy. However nice he is, he came to lose tonight. What a bum.

  35. I take it back. Roger had no worse than a 50% chance to beat Rafa tonight. At least he knows what to do. Delpos strategy is bash the ball insanely hard all the time and hope it lands. Well done, ox. You, in conjunction with Murray, that scumbag selfish buffoon, handed this one to Rafa.

      1. Rigt, it was Thiem and Roger. Both having perfect chances to defeat Delpo and ten one of them having at least 50% chances against Nadal. I was sure, Nadal would find an easy way, being by far better mover and thinker on court, using every inch of te court and letting the big giraffe run, so Delpo was out of fuel not only because of Roger (whou should have won) but first of all of Thiem (who could have won the hell with easy, would he have no doubts, if he is allowed to beat so hard the poor gentle gianbt πŸ˜‰ Somehow good, Rafa will win this. It’s just Roger-Rafa rivalry on the way, no Delpo needed here on highest stages.

    1. Delpo was playing, what he can. Rafa was playing what he can. The better (not this day but overall) prevailed. Good for tennis to eliminate giants, gentle or not.

    2. Delpo seemed tired. I think he said before the match that he was tired and needed rest. Sadly, he disappeared when tennis needed him to win.

      1. Are YOU tennis, Vik? Tennis needed Roger to win, but Roger was not ready. And the second or at this time even first best is Rafa of course. I know, what do you mean. “Tennis” needed Delpo to win not for Delpo but for Roger’s ranking, right? I’m sorry, but Fed, with all respect and love, is not the tennis, “only” the King. First Fed was not in shape to dare to meet Rafa and passed Delpo to do it. Then Delpo was not in shape to beat Rafa, so you will now cheer for Anderson, who is not this ligue, to somehow defeat Rafa. Don’t blame Delpo to be tired. He was first ill, then had a terrific match with Thiem, than 4-setter with Roger and should still have full tank? Not with his game style. Rafa made him run more than he can. Delpo has exhausted himself by using all the time his only weapon – full power forehand – this costs fuel too. Roger needed rest and reached this goal against Delpo. Delpo needed rest and reached this goal against Rafa. Do you expect, Rafa will tell before the final, he is tired and needs rest??? πŸ˜‰

      2. Wait do YOU actually like Rafa? Me tennis? I was speaking the tennis world. Of course the tennis world needed Del Potro to win. Not because of Fed’s ranking or something. When did I said Fed was tennis? Can someone else here please verify if I said Fed is tennis, please? Rafa got an easy draw, and I’m sure most people would want at least an opposition. Now I’m not blaming Delpo for being ill and tired. He’s a human being and it’s normal. And of course I will cheer for Anderson because I don’t want Rafa to get #16. Why should I cheer for Rafa? And I will remind you that if RF wasn’t injured, he would have probably reached the finals. Not trying to sound against you or something but you seem to be a Fed fan in disguise. Of course it’s just my impression.

      3. To be a Fed fan it is not a necessary to hate Rafa. The Spaniard is an unbelivable tennis talent. Roger himself is a big fan of him.

    3. This is making me sick. With Djokovic out, Murray in bad form, Fed “injured”, Nadal is going to vulture on the hardcourt swing and even win the WTF, unless Fed sacrifices a few tournaments to try to win that. The No.1 hope is all but shattered.

      If Fed can sneak in one Masters 1000 and WTF, we can call it a better year than Nadal. A bit of rest might also help at the AO where I hope they keep the surface exactly like last year. That would only be fair considering how much they fucked up the US Open this year.

      Otherwise I’m going to be pretty pissed.

  36. A Roger defeat one can come to terms with. If one for a moment forgets the unexpected gift this year has been and gets a little bitter. I was hoping Murray might reign for at least a year or two until the young guns could take over to prevent Djok and Rafa from winning. It truly grates to have Rafa back at the top winning GSs, when all the ‘experts’ said he would have a short career (that was always a comforting thought). Of course Delpo was going to be a shadow of his performance against Roger. It also grates that again Roger will be topped for year end number one after a closeish race (like 2012, 2014 and a few other years). Anderson player well in his semi but prediction for the final is that it will be a classic first time finalist situation 6-2 6-3 6-2. Don’t watch unless you like movies where the bad guys win.

    1. I feel you. Roger winning 2 majors was more than anyone of us expected at the start of the year, a wonderful achievement.

      But why did Nadal have to come back from the dead now, winning 2 majors after barely making even a QF (!) in 2,5 years? After not winning a title on HC in almost 4 years? That’s simply disgusting and having to watch his sneers beyond the QF spoils the sweetness of Roger’s victories and leaves a bitter aftertaste. It grates especially that the No. 1 was so close and it would have been so special at his age. That honestly bothers me more than the loss at the USO. Oh well, nothing to be done about it now. πŸ™

      1. Why must some FedFans be that obsessive, while Roger is happy with QF in USO and longer rest to have fun in Prague and more rest before indoors part of te season starts. And Roger telling, slam no. 20 is more important for him than to be some more weeks no. 1. Remember, next year Roger will have a lot to defend, maybe Djokovic and Murray and Stan are back in big form – so no real chances for Roger maybe to defend his current ranking. But to win another slam – AO or Wimbledon, is possible and this is his goal after the disturbed summer HC season.

      2. Yes, Dani. Darn Montreal in retrospect! So close, and now so far. Am feeling so annoyed with Delpo, too. Either kill both giants or don’t. What’s the point of playing such a tame, tired match? Would have expected him to be tired after the Thiem match, but no….this fellow has to all heavy in the legs one match later. Couldn’t even take it to 5 sets or something, Seriously, so disappointing,


        If Roger had not done well this year…

        Rafa gets 3 majors. Roger gets none = RAFA TIES ROGER TOMORROW!!!

        Instead of that: NOW IT’s 16 to 19!!!! NINETEEN!!!!

        W 3 wins against Rafa… INCLUDING A GS… all on hard courts!

        Don’t you think Uncle Toni is thinking: WHY DID ROGER HAVE TO COME BACK FROM THE DEAD NOW??!!! WE WERE SO CLOSE!!!

      4. You’re right, Alb. We always thought that Nadal might end up level with Fed on slams. Which like you said he would’ve hypothetically done tomorrow (had it not been for that 27 shot rally, or that inside out on break point), and will still need 3 more to tie. Nadal has at least one more French Open title left, so i believe he will reach 17. Fed needs more slams and he has one more left too at least. I hope they keep the AO as fast as last year.

        If Nadal can tie or equal 20, I’m going to start yelling, and cursing, and breaking things starting with my MacBook. No wait, no, no, not the Mac. Other things you know but things I will break.

      5. @PRF It would not be “a few more weeks at No. 1”, it would be the 6th YE No. 1, tieing Sampras. And yes, it’s a momentous achievement, more so than a 20th major which may or may not come (looks unlikely now imho).

        The major record will be broken sooner or later, but No. 1 at 36 is something for the ages. And of course it’s important to Roger, to suggest anything else, is disingenious to say the least. (“I dream to win slams again and be No. 1”) But of course he knows how hard it is at his age not being able to play the whole season.

        And YE No. 1 would have still been in reach if not for the totally unexpected revival of Nadal after a prolonged slump. And why are you making it sound like most Roger fans were disappointed about the QF result? It was a good result regarding the circumstances imho. The thing I am unhappy about is that it is the rejuvenated Nadal of all people, who’s brutal power-based style I see as the antithesis to Roger, who is benefitting from the other top players injured/ not in form and snatching not only slam No. 16, closing the gap again and likely to close further, but also closing the door on all chances to No. 1. I would have been happy with anyone but Nadal winning the USO, preferably a younger player.

        But as I said, nothing to be done about it now. This ship has sailed.

      6. Absolutely Dani. Number one was big and year end number one massive. If Nadal wins tonight I think year end gone, if he loses slim chance if Roger returns to his early season hard court form. Being a Roger fan, of course, involves supporting him directly, as well as indirectly, ie hoping his greatest rivals lose. No problem with that. When someone plays and threatens Roger he is the enemy, but when he plays Nadal or Djokovic, I am his biggest fan. I support Andy as the least threat to Rogers legacy of his peers. Of course I have preferences in personalities and playing styles, but right now Roger is the priority. This is just having fun as a fan. I am comfortable with Rogers legacy overall which is beyond numbers, and so be it if someone passes some or all of his numbers. I hope not, but so be it. And life goes on.

    2. @DANI,
      The word “pathetic” applies to FedFans too (if not mainly). If you can see Rafa benefitting injuries of others, can’t you see, Roger did the same this year? Would he be able to win 2 slams if Djoko, Murray, Stan would all be fit and in big form? Certainly not. And Rafa is not just the perect example of powerplaying tennis. He has a genius and instinct and touch and movement comparable with Roger’s. You want youngsters to win big things now not because you like them but in the hope, they all will beat rather Rafa then Roger. Whatever would be my wish, I will try to be realistic – Cannot expect from Roger to repeat 2017 after all thos bigger injured come somehow back. 2x GS for Roger + 2xGS for Rafa will not repeat anymore. If so, then rather for Rafa, simply because of potentially having 4-5 years more than Roger. But are all those numbers and records really that fascinating? Not the game itself? I stay with Roger so long he can play his best tennis. Even if it’s no more enough to make a tropy collection rise. And try to be objective. If you call Nadal’s resurgence bad luck, allow others to think the same about Roger’s resurgence. For me it’s a pathetic fan-attitude, whoever the hero.

      1. They weren’t injured for the AO, though. Wimbledon, I’ll admit there may have been a problem (although even then Roger did have to get through a couple of high-ranking seeds – certainly no question of not playing any top-20 players – so the situations aren’t really comparable).

      2. “Certainly not. And Rafa is not just the perect example of powerplaying tennis. He has a genius and instinct and touch and movement comparable with Roger’s.”

        Let’s agree to disagree here. To me Nadal is indeed the perfect example of power baseline attrition style based on high margin heavy top spin. He is indeed a gifted mover, but very different from Roger as he isn’t light-footed, his movement is brutal, comparably to Murray here. His touch is decent, but not great, at the net he shows mostly drop volleys or put aways. You can see his “genius” when his physical form isn’t 110%, he’s unable to get out of a tough spot then and will lose in early rounds regularly.

        Roger did not have a resurgence such as Nadal, He’s always been there. Even in 2016 he made 2 SFs while Nadal as I had written above made 2 QFs in 2,5 years! From several SFs/Fs to W it’s a much shorter jump than from regular 1R-3R exits. All Roger needed was a Djokovic drop in form, which was always likely to happen because it’s so hard to sustain form. The others are neither here nor there. When he won AO none of them were injured btw.

        Nadal otoh won USO with those players injured/just coming back from injury:
        Djokovic, Wawrinka, Roger, Murray, Cilic, Berdych, Goffin, Raonic, Monfils, Kyrgios, Nishikori and I probably forgot some.

        Of course he could have beaten them all too (except top form Djokovic) with the surface tailor-made to fit his attrition style.

      3. To add: I mean without great movement he wouldn’t be able to execute his consistent power baseline hitting.

        And make no mistake: Nadal won this tournament thanks to his superior athleticism and his high margin game, while other players tried to hit through him without success and on such a slow court you can’t beat Nadal like this as he can return serve from the stands and work himself into the point from there.

  37. I thought it was really interesting that Rafa adopted Fed!s tactics from second set. Rafa himself said he was serving too much to Delpo!s backhand… where are all you guys who said why did Roger hit to his forehand! Roger just wasn’t fit enough to carry out his tactics, Rafa was.

    1. Did you watch Thiem vs. Delpo? Thiem used this tactics since very beginning, making gentle giant think of retirement in second set. Thiem failed neither on tactics nor on execution, but just like Roger, on big points. Rafa done the best of it. Maybe forgotten in the first set he is a lefty, so the execution of his tactics must be reversed by 180Β° πŸ˜‰ (missed trigonometry in school? but te instinct told him, what to do). Rafa has done all in rthe right sequence, starting with lost, continuing with won sets πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately Thiem did the opposite (also missed trigonometry?) Started with winning, ended with losing.
      Roger was halfway between Thiem and Rafa and maybe did not want to go 100% for the win to save his back and maybe having in mind, losing to Delpo would be less painful than losing to Rafa.

    1. I think this is a really development, with Kevin withdrawing to make room for Billie Jean. For years she fought for equal pay. Now she has won equal representation in the men’s final..err…mixed singles final. I’ve always believed the women’s prize money should be larger than men as they finish their work in half the time men take. Pretty efficient if you ask me. There is a reason they put signs up saying, “Men at work. Expect delays”. Couldn’t be more true when Djokovic and Nadal play a final. In fact women’s tennis is so efficient, they barely spend time for something as rudimentary as a post-match handshake. I mean, why should you force the loser to shake the winners hand?

      I suggest with the next US Open, the top half be all women and the bottom half, all men. Ensure that Serena Williams is put in the bottom half.

      Anyways, this is a great day for Kevin, South Africa, and tennis, regardless of whether you are a feminist or not. Roger’s mom would be really proud. Huge respect for Kevin for doing the right thing in potentially sacrificing a maiden slam and fixing this farce we call a men’s final. This is definitely the most humbling moment for humble Rafa. Win or lose, Billie Jean will bring Rafa down on his knees.

      1. Wow. they deleted that post as “trolling” at TTW! i spent a lot of time on that little satire piece!

      2. Let’s make enother step forward. Let’s “real” ladies “very few out here” have nor only separate WTA tour but also separate slams. These would be rather short stories with draws consisting of 6 or 8 players. Now let other female androids play in the men’s draw (I mean, many females must produce more testosterone than all the men’s tour), why only Mr. Seren? Because FEMDROIDS are that efficient, they will make 5-setters last no longer than 1 hour (won oi lost) and tennis starts to be politically correct. Also let men wear almost nothing, like so many femdroids do. Or everyone playing naked, so you can see the differene (if there is any).


        AP Top News at 5:12 p.m. EDT

        NEW YORK (AP) – Professional tennis player Kevin Anderson, citing an “unshakably sad feeling” that he is not quite at a poor enough level to represent his half of the draw in the US Open final this Sunday, has withdrawn from this weekend’s mens championship match against two-time champion Rafael Nadal.

        In response to this development, the USTA has selected 73 year-old Billie Jean King as a replacement player for Anderson. “We respect Anderson for his humble attitude in wanting his side of the draw to be as poor as possible,” said USTA spokesman Patrick Donaldson. “We believe our wonderful friend and legendary USO champion Billie Jean has the elderly age, declining muscle mass, and terrible hair-do needed to do the top half of the draw the injustice it deserves. We’re looking forward to an unprecedented, unreal beat down for her,” stated Donaldson.

        Said 15 time grand-slam champion Nadal, “Whoever they are, I gonna do my best. She know how to win this tournament, no? If I don’t play my best then is very bad day for me. If I play my best, I gonna have chances, no?”

        King could not be reached for comment at this time as she is recovering from recent hip surgery at Cornell Medical Center in downtown Manhattan. But the USTA has confirmed that transport for King by Medevac Helicopter will ensure her arrival to Arthur Ashe in time for the pre-match warm ups.

    Certain Roger Federer (we are not sure if he ever did hold a tennis racket) has reacted to USTA call. Agencies quote his reaction “Dear USTA, You wanted King to play in the final, so I felt addressed and … while I’m in even worse shape to eventually beat Rafa then poor Kevin, here I’m”” When people are in need, the King cannot hide himself behing his wife and kids. You don’t need to send me your helicopter. I’m just on the way in my private jet (I know, USTA is not rich enough to send me a jet and I fear, the helicopter could meet Irma underway and I could come with more than 20 seconds delay, which I cannot allow myself being also the King of Sportmanship. So be patient please and please excuse if I get 3 bagles – unfortunately I had not enough time to prepare correctly and my back, you know, is not that good I would wish and my wife is just on the way for shopping and I cannot call her to immediately take the same jet. This told, you may still want to invite your local King?

  39. Anderson is the most unqualified player to be in the USO final that I’ve ever seen. He can’t volley to save his life. An entire career in tennis, can’t hit easy, sitting volleys. Double faults, miserable forehand misses feet away from the net, idiotic decisions. He is literally garbage, despite the nonexistent expectations that that giraffe could win a set from Nadal, let alone challenge for the title. The two slams this year were the easier in Nadal’s career, having faced literally no competent opposition. What a weak era, right?!

    1. I think Ando was just happy to be there. Not a dig as I think he improved loads in recent years but I guess even he knows he has no business in a Grand Slam final. Anyway least his missus can write a blog post about the experience πŸ˜†

  40. I am just glad RF won 2 slams. Just negates whatever this guy with unlimited stamina is doing now.

    RF has a long way to go before retirement, unfortunately.

  41. Well, fuck off Nadal and fuck off all you Nadal fans. When was the last time Roger won a slam without facing a single top 20 opponent? Or without facing a single top 50 until the SF? This guy is a vulture.

  42. Boring as hell. Most 250 finals are more competitive. Think of all those people paying over $1000 for a seat to that.
    Compare that to AO final, lol.

  43. Rafa 16 Fed 19. Will Rafa catch up with Fed ? Can Fed still pull away at the next AO. Will Rafa keep the same gap at FO ? Will Fed win Wimby again ? Will Rafa again…..

    Looks like there are no other guys playing tennis except Rafa & Fed. They made it look like that in 2017 for sure.

    However, Novak & Andy will be back next year. The less said about the NewGen the better. Fed will have more difficulty at AO & Wimby. Rafa at USO.

    So 17 – 19 end of 2018 ???.

    I think that Rafa will win FO and Fed Wimby and the questions will be back all over again…

    1. You underrate NextGens. Rafa was beaten this year only once on clay and it was Thiem. Roger was beaten by Zverev. Those to will come with greater force next year. Maybe Thiem wins RG and Zverev Wimbledon. And about AO and USO there will be harder battle, including Djoko, Andy and some NextGen surprises, lika Shapovalov. Or maybe Stan and Nishikori and Raonic come back stronger. I would not expect such an easy season 2018 for R+R. So maybe neither will be able to win a slam. Roger is next year year older again. And Rafa cannot probably hold this year’s form for longer. If Delpo does not hutz his wrist with this deadly (also autodeadly) power hitting, he maybe an obstacle for everyone.

    2. I don’t mind if the stats remain 19-16, thank you very much. 20-16 will be just peachy, though. What stings way way more in this season’s second half is the missed opportunity for a return to #1. That would have been just so staggeringly awesome.

      Come back, Novak, all is forgiven, just don’t go on too much of a tear. Andy, c’mon get that AO or FO that you’ve reached the finals of, and get your career slam! Stan, you’re the man, mop up those slams where your friend falters. Nish, Milos, those who have reached a slam final, come get yours. And, most of all, Sascha, Thiem, Shapo, Rublev, and most of all that infuriating but mesmeric Nick, come on, step up, grab those slams. Help me out on this, pretty please. Wishful thinking, may be, but that’s all I can console myself with right now,

      1. More than that Susie, you should hope for Nadal not being at his best. The bull at his current level would grab another two slams next year but I just don’t think he will keep this form for too long. Fed’s records is safe.

      2. This is just the most pathetic with FedFans (I’m too, but this category). Are you accountants or tennis fans? Do you loe Fed or his records? Do you admire Fed’s artistic tennis or convert everything to stats? It’s a shame you call yourselves FedFans. If you think, Michelangelo was a genius, count his works. <you will find hundreds or thousands "artist" having produced 10x or 100x more. You all speak about RF magics, but forget it suddenly if someone comes close to Roger in terms of numbers. Now as you fear, Fed could be done with big wins, you call for the devil to defend his records. Not it is all the world against Rafa. Year before it was all against Djokovic (this can easily come back). In all this noise you forget, who is your hero. Maybe you een don't know his name? It does not consist of numbers!

      3. For most fans when Fed wins it’s all about the love for his artistry. Not the records. When he loses and Nadal wins it’s all about their respective numbers πŸ˜†

      4. @Jonathan,
        Ha, ha, ha … good point πŸ™‚ Let’s take it easy. Fan comes from “fanatic”. So a kind of consciously being unjust πŸ˜‰

    1. Hi PRF, I appreciate Roger’s artistry as much as any other Fedfan or tennis connoisseur or David Foster Wallace (may be you’ve already read his essay on Federer as Religious Experience?). I (and I assume the others here as well) were speaking partly in jest (the “Come back Novak” bit), partly in frustration (it WAS frustrating to watch Delpo cave in without too much fight to Nadal; to see a hard court behaving as slow as a clay court; to see a player win a Slam without facing ANYONE in the top 20 for the first time since 2002….this is NOT to discredit Nadal but just to state facts), partly in regret (after Wimby, Fed was poised to soar during the hard court swing, at the very least soar up to a very reachable #1). Don’t call us “pathetic”. It’s wonderful that you can rise above your liking for Federer and appreciate the finer points of Nadal’s and others’ games. I can’t, not at this point in time. To me, numbers like GS count, ATP ranking, etc matter, again, at this point of time. And I think I’m only human (and not “pathetic”) and a rather worried Fedfan right now. Cheers!

      1. Dont mind this PRF guy. Just skip his big paragraph. He would go on and on and on about how “good” Nadal/Djokovic/Thiem is.

        This guy used to spam site when it had the “Comments” section. I was glad they disabled it.

      2. @Sucharita, Claud,
        Maybe you did not perceive my passion for Fed’s tennis (instead of numbers but I know they also tell a story). Sorry for having used the non politically correct word “pathetic”. Id did not mean you as persons, only your posts showing, how important are numerbs and records for you. My point of view is, Roger’s artistry will survive any numbers and records broken after he cannot improve them himself. Where did you find in my posts comparable passion for Djokovic? Fot Thiem yes, because I believe, he is the only follower or Roger’s game style. But yes, I think, it’s allowed to any Fedfan, to like also other players (like some of you like Delpo).
        Claud, if you remember posts of someone on Roger’s website and believe I may be the same person because of using similar nickname here, can you tell us your nickname from old Roger’s website? I know by heart some users of that website, being hater of everything. Are you one of them?
        And yes, you can skip my posts or ask Jonathan to ban them, if you don’t like them or think, they are not Fedfan-like. I’m skipping many of others posts after I have realized, they are not inspiring for me. This is allowed and you must (but may of course) not call others to do the same. I hope, here everyone is speaking for him/herself, not like on old Roger’s website, for some fighting groups.
        To tell here, how good Roger is, (and not a kind of analyze his game, his path in tournaments a.s.o.) means telling nothing, because this is obvious for Fedfans and for most of fans of other players too.
        How do you know, Claud, I’m a guy? I’m not interested in your gender and adress it as an argument.

      3. @Sue
        First -I can think what I want. you too. πŸ™‚
        Second – I don’t tell you to move on because i think, your posts (not you as person) are pathetic, but I don’t remember your posts to be like this. And I have excused myself for having misused the word. I’m not English native and such language failures can occur, sorry once more πŸ™‚ WΒ΄hat I meant was rather “strange” or “affected”. And I don’t want to move on, because I like this blog. I will try my best to avoid such mistakes πŸ™‚

  44. Winning a Grand Slam is not as easy as Fed makes it look at AO, Wimby & USO and Rafa at FO.

    The NextGen definitely is talented but beating a Fed, Rafa, Novak once in a while will not Grand Slams for the NG guys. Stitching together seven best of 5 sets matches in a row is definitely a tall order for the NextGen who seem short of physical fitness and mental fortitude for this.

    Even a prodigious talent like Novak could win his first Grand Slam only after reaching two GS semis & a final and that too at 21 only. The NextGen is mostly flattering to deceive.

    1. Agree, but some are close to this point. Maybe no more suiting the definition of NextGen, being now 24 like Thiem. ASccording to your explanation, he was just 2 times in a row in SF on RG and could have a breakthrough 2018 on clay. I mean without special conditions like those allowing Anderson to reach USO final. But so long Fed and Rafa, maybe again Novak and Andy, are in great shape, they would probably still resolve it within own circle, while NextGen will be required to wait a bit and ber happy to reach SF or F in slams.

  45. If this helps – I think we should put it in some perspective. As a slam draw, it simply does not get easier than the US Open. Period. And we shouldn’t use the results here as any barometer for the future, irrespective of who won. I’d say the same thing even if it were Federer holding the cup (okay maybe not out loud, but I’d be remiss if I didnt admit it to myself. Haha). So cheer up guys. We’ve got a fun year end to look forward to and if Fed’s back to his actual 100%, (I wish he’d can the Laver Cup for this year) I’m super excited to watch some spanking Fedporn on court.

  46. So many people now saying that since Rafa is now three behind Fed that he can overtake him, am I not mistaken wasn’t Rafa
    three behind Roger for quite sometime when it was 14/17. I am fully aware that Roger is now 36 years old but Rafa isn’t
    getting younger. Truly amazing that Nadal can shake off the many injuries that we have read about so I congratulate him on his win, I didn’t think it was ever in doubt after Delpo! I wish I could say I enjoy watching Rafa but I don’t… as a tennis fan I know it’s
    wrong but truly I’d rather watch paint dry x

    1. No, Elizabeth, it’s not wrong at all. Rafa is a conparable great tennis player, but you must not like his game style and consequently don’t enjoy watching him. I have a lot of respect for Rafa and his greatness and his different abilities, others don’t have, but I’m very seldom watching his matches, if it’s not against Roger (these are always epΓ­c and cannit avoid watching Nadal, when watching Fed in such meetings πŸ˜‰ or Thiem (my second fav after Roger, if you don’t know this from my other posts). And nobody can watch everything and there are still lots of nice-to-watch players, like Dolgo, Feli.

      1. Nadal is a mother fucking doper, is what he is, and that’s his best quality. He simply does not get tired, unless he is suffering from a doping down cycle. That’s when he disappears to rejuvenate. Notice the pattern throughout his career.

        Any body who does not believe Nadal dopes should be…

      2. @Sid
        Not an original mindset. Yiou believe so this must be true. Are you religious? If you read Roger about tennis not to be clean, you of course think, he means Nadal. Nadal’s fans of course think, he means himself. I’m more balanced. I think, they ale are doped and all the great have to pause for different reasons (but in fact it was doping) – Federer included. Why? Why not? Do you have a proof Roger to never have been doped? No, you only believe it. There is of cours a complot against Federer at ATP/WAD in favor of Rafa? Very funny. ATP should kill their best golden cow? It’s business. And they still need Fed, Rafa, Novakn- may they use doping or not. In worst case they get pause, officialy because of injzry. So, in case any of the greatest has a longer pause, you should assume, they were just caufgt on heavy doping and there’s no way but to let them have an “inury pause”. Including Fed. Where are proves, Roger had really a knee “bath injury” (very funny)? They are all equal, but some are more equal than others. To this small group count of course Roger and Rafa. So take it easy. Doping is a part of modern performance sport. Some are more allowed than others. It’s quite simple.

      3. I try not to reply to you, PRF, but this time I will. I may have posted a Roger comment but that’s not the basis of my argument. I’ve read too much. I’ve read about the Spanish doping doctors. And I’ve read a ton of articles. Nadal’s performances just do not add up. I’ve been suspicious several times about Roger’s performances too, more so recently.

        [ATP should kill their best golden cow?]
        That is precisely the problem. They dare not expose any of these. The would not destroy the very industry that is the means of their livelihood. So, once in a while, they hand out what are called, “silent bans”. Do I think maybe Roger was handed one of these? Possibly.

        I’ll say this again…anyone who believes that Rafael Nadal does not dope should be summarily executed.

      4. “Do you have a proof Roger to never have been doped?”

        How *can* you prove that someone has never done something? You can prove that someone didn’t commit a specific crime, say, by proving that they weren’t in the vicinity at the time, but you can’t prove that someone didn’t dope, can you? If you know someone’s character so inside out that you can say hand on heart that they would never have doped, then fine. I don’t think any of us here can say that: the best we can say is that, given everything we know of Roger, we don’t believe he would have done. And we could, of course, be totally taken in by appearances. As for a potentially fake knee injury, he wasn’t off for long enough to serve any sort of silent ban, was he?

    2. Nadal wins a slam and the doping argument crops up again πŸ˜†

      It’s been going on for the last 4 years but no new evidence or news so kinda going in circles with it. Who knows what really goes on.

      1. I call him a doper, wins a slam, or not πŸ™‚ Of course, the incredibly easy draw helped. This win is comparable to Bartoli winning Wimbledon.

    1. I always enjoy you take no prisoners approach to these things, Sid. You are right about this of course. The USO stats said Nadal was hitting harder at this year’s tournament than any time previously in his career.

      However, I think it’s concerning that Roger’s back issues have resurfaced. It’s not perhaps surprising at 36 but it makes me less than optimistic that he can shake this off, when he has already had substantial lay-offs, both last year and this year. He may not regain the form he showed earlier in the year – or kept playing till he is 40, as he hopes.

  47. Fed has compared Thiem’s work ethic to Rafa’s and has also spoken about his liking for Kyrgios & Zverev’s games.

    But somehow, Fed has not commented about their desire and hunger which is what separates the champions from the wannabes. Unless the NextGen has that, I see no hope for them in the immediate future. Of course we all want the Thiems, the Kyrgioses and the Zverevs to win Grand Slams as it is definitely boring to watch the continued dominance of the Big Four.
    Fed & Raf’s wins this year were also boring barring AO, but made big news due to their respective resurgences.

    Which only shows their continued desire and hunger.

    1. It’s not about deesire and hunger. It’s all about money. And it is a devil’s circle. The bestearn the most money and can afford for highly skilles and paid staff in their teams, expensive biological recovery, customized steroids, never on WADA lists, because they are only availabe for single players a.s.o. This is the limit, where younger fail. This is why we cannot see what we have seen 20 years ago and earlier. Big talents reaching their prime time starting with under 20. It’s not possible today. ots of big talents dies on this and old masters are now that rich, they will always be leaders until they decide to retire.
      Yes, to watch the BF still winning all big titles is boring, maybe for tzhemselves too. But nobody really having an impact on sport, is interested to “invest” in new faces, so long old faces (no more investment needed) can be sold that well. So don’t blame youngr players to miss desire, hinger and passion. There are at last some having this in excess.But many cannot withstand the pression of waiting so long for big things and give up. Don’t know so much about others, but it’s big mistake at least for two: Zverev and Thiem. They both have all which is needed to have big wins and they will do. But given the environment, dramatically changes from times, when Rog and Rafa were starting careers, they must have more patience for waiting. The best of them will maybe have even longer careers than R+R, so they have time to improve, collect experience (and never forget – MONEY) to stay close in the business and try assaults every season.

  48. @Sid
    Sorry, I cannot find the possibility to reply direct to your reply, so, I’m answering here.
    I don’t know, why you try not reply to my posts, but it’s of course up to you πŸ™‚
    In fact we are not replying each other. We are reacting on contens (if there is any).
    I substantially agree with you. And if I’m reacting to statements about Nadal’s doping, it does not mean, I do assume, he is clean. But I think, nobody there is clean and “sllent bans” is the clue. And we will maybe know after 20 years.
    Whoever tell stories like the one from Fed about naivity a.s.o., make himself suspect. Yes, it’s naive to think, a professional performance sport to exist today and be “clean”. Even chess masters need some kind of doping. I think we should stop to accuse Fed’s rivals because we are going the risk other to accuse Fed. Maybe both parts with good reasons. So either the problem exists and we want to know everything and then see the performance sport dead. Or we must forget it, assume, nobody is clean and we are then in the reality. And if everybody is doped, it’s a kind of bad but also a kind of just. And we can focus on the game itself, on rivalrties and results, because if everyone takes doping, the remaining difference is talent, woprk, skills and passion.
    BTW – I know some very small part of the problem from friends having sportly talented kids (6 or 8 or 10 yers old) and telling me, no chances for a big career, becausethe trainer told me, I must now start to finance myself some special “nutrients”, necessary to make a winner from the talent and maybe some day we get some sponsor and our kid starts to earn bigger money and what we invested in tuining the health of our kids, will be paid back and sponsors will hang on our phones, asking if we are not interesting to be sponsored a.s.o. My logins tell me, this is very close to so called “truth” and reality.

    1. ” Or we must forget it, assume, nobody is clean and we are then in the reality. And if everybody is doped, it’s a kind of bad but also a kind of just”

      I can’t buy that argument of if everyone is doping then the playing field is level again πŸ˜† if that is the case the sport is in ruins.

      1. I would like to see this like you, but I fear, in this terms performance sport is in ruins since long ago πŸ™‚ You are probably a lot younger than me (I’m just 68) and you could not see, what I was able to 50 years ago or even more, because I started to be fan of different sports very early. I could even watch so called Kramer Circus (precursor of professional tennis and so called Open Era) in Warsaw being young boy and then follow Pietrangeli or Santana in Davis Cup (befor the TV era). And even then sport (called “amateur”) was not that clean. The only difference were the amounts of money and the other – it was not private business but state-owned and for sure you have heard about politically organized doping in different sports in German Democratic Republic, Soviet Union, China … The only change since those old times is, this is (almost) all private business financed and doping metzhods are more sophisticated, but not less ruining for the health of still younger people. I don’t watch Olympics since decades, because it turned festival of business, not of sport. Really “clean” sport is when I’m playing tennis 2-3x a week πŸ™‚ (?) πŸ™ (?)

    Same thing – there is no reply button directly on your posts, so must answer here.
    What about such a vision of 2017 season?
    Both big rivals R+R were coming back from injuries (or whatever it was) and suddenly all other big names either injured or in decline. Imagine you are ATP and you want to make the best business on the season, which could be the last one on the highest level for both R+R, so let’s arrange for so many Fedal finals it’s only possible. Iff it goes, all slams and some Masters of course. Would it not be wide to ask some others (Djoko,vic Murray, Stan, Raonic, some more) to make a kind of holliday under different titles (injury, need for rest because of something, declining form, even fixed matches if needed) to not threaten the best scenario? Don’t know how it could not have worked for USO. Whatever the reason (on Roger’s side, not being competitive enough to reach the SF plus maybe not planned Sir Andy’s theater with pulling out just after the draw), the business at USO failed. Delpo was not the right match, Anderson could be a match for some ATP 250. Now guess, what is the scenario for 2018? Maybe no more R+R rivalry, but finals with one of BigFour against one of Nextgen? Federer vs. Zverev or Nadal vs. Thiem in slams and Shapovalov or somebody similar winning some Masters against Djokovic or Murray, both again in top form?
    Or maybe you have an uincle or older brother in ATP’ top management and can tell us? Fed and Rafa wre still golden cows but to reepeat 2017 would be boring and suspected. Or maybe both R+R pausing for any reason and all slams with 2 NextGens in the final , starting new epic rivalries? Some ideas more?

    1. You just need to scroll up the thread and hit reply. Threads are only ever three levels deep. So in this case you would hit reply on your own comment which starts with: “@DANI, The word β€œpathetic”

      That will then show below Alison and Dani’s last comment.

  50. Mr. PRF ( I assume its an abbreviation for Perfect Roger Federer !!! ), what you say about money is true for every sport, but is not a limiting factor for success. And we are not talking about 20 years ago. I am talking about 2008 where Djokovic won the AO at the age of 21 and by that time he had already reached two semis & a final. And that too at a time when Roger & Rafa were at their peak. I have seen interviews of a young Novak and of Rafa & Fed. These kids exuded extreme desire at that young age itself. Novak seemed like a kid mature beyond his years. Rafa had that same sullen don’t-piss-me-off look at that time too and Fed was as geeky as he can be. But they in their own way had that demeanour that there is no way that they will not be top guns soon.

    The current crop don’t even exude that now. I fail to see the desire and hunger. They all have ‘MONEY’ or else they wouldn’t have come so far. At a young age they don’t need highly skilled support staff, Fed, Rafa & Novak didn’t need super-coaches early on. I like Thiem but I am afraid he will go the way Dimitrov has gone. I like Zverev but Daddy Zverev has to do a Toni Nadal. I like Kyrgios but he doesn’t like tennis.

    And the pity is that I can’t think of any more names. No wonder tournaments need the Big Four – doping or no doping.

    1. @Murli
      Thanks for nice reading of my nick πŸ™‚ No, I have used this one (and many others, for joking) in old Roger’s website and it stays for PolishRogerFan. But I can buy your proposition and I like it even more than my own πŸ™‚
      I principally agree with your argumentation. I would only add, that since early years of current Big4 many things has dramatically changed and the competition is a lot tougher today as it was earlier, so not possible today to expect somebody to start the career with big things and than stay on the top for years, like it was possible 15-20 years ago. I don’t want to go too far with this, but I know a lot about Thiem and if you think, he misses the passion for tennis and has no desire/hunger, you don’t know the guy. Can’t tell this about others. Thiem’s case is a bit different (you could read Bresnik’s book, but it’s so far available only in German), because on his way there was still lot more hard work than gift. Thiem has one thing, not allowing him to win big things (yet). He is really shy, maybe unnaturally for a 24 years old guy. May sound strange, but I have seen him losing to Delpo in USO only because of being to shy to beat such a legend only because the legend is just a bit ill. But is this lack of desire and hunger?

    2. The big factor is slowing and homogenisation of the surfaces. It’s made it much harder for young guns to break through

      I don’t think Thiem loses because he’s shy. His game is that of a power hitter. He can be almost unstoppable when he has a big day on the right surface, and very beatable when he doesn’t. So right now he doesn’t have profile of someone who can win big match after big match. That may come when he adds more to his game…

      1. What do you mean with “homogenisation”? Eliminating differences betwen surfaces on different courts, so making them similar to each other?
        YXes, Thiem’s game is a power-hitter game. What’s maybe unique in him, is that his hard hitting comes from flawless technique (deep swing, long follow-through) and very good movement, not from row muscle power, at least not in the extent it applies to Nadal. And I think, he goes just this way. This season added more than decent play at net, which was his big weakness before. Must still make his serve more precise and less readable. I guess, he knows this, Bresnik knows this and they work on this and next year we’ll see Thiem doing things he was not confident enough to do before. If this will be enough to win slams? No idea. There are many very good players, never reaching finals or never winning a title. But I don’t see him to follow Dimitrov. Grisha was simply too happy with his own and lazy (Sharapova was his world, not tennis ;)). Now he is trying once more but I don’t believe, he will do it consequently. It’s completely different with Thiem. Thiem will work ion his game every day, week, month and year, so long he does not retire. This year only 1 title, but a lot better results in slams. 2018 maybe next step – starting to win Masters and reach slam fiinals. I hope he does, because I believe him to be the next good-to-watch player after Roger. Zverev has for sure a killer instinct and knows how toi use his advantage coming of the height and relatively good movement, but his game is boring. Good-to-watch mainly because of being a nice young guy πŸ˜‰

  51. Mr. Polished Roger Fan !!! I quite agree with Jonathan. I like Thiem’s game and it is really good enough to win a Grand Slam., but if he has the desire and the hunger it is not very evident. He really let Delpo off the hook in USO.

    I hope he gets that killer instinct because he also has a lovely game to watch – the flowing single-handed backhand and the power-hitting.

    Talking about shyness – I think off-court Rafa was quite a shy guy in the early stages of his career – but on court he was totally transformed with single-minded purpose. Fed on the other hand is always relaxed moments before the match but again once on court is a different guy. Ultimately your temperament on court is what counts.

    1. Call me PRF πŸ™‚ I’m not that “polished” as you can see, but P9olish (from Poland), ha, ha, ha …
      I know, what do you mean. Maybe he misses killer instinct. I seem always playing the ball and the court, not the opponent. And he is 100% involved in his every shot. I know, Bresnik was trying to teach him some more dominating body language – fist pumping, have threatening look into opponent’s eyes and all the szory about showing the opponent, who is reigning here. This does not work with him and looks rather funny than threatening πŸ˜‰ He is shy but very friendly guy. All he could make to help himself win, is a kind of forgetting, there is at all some player on the other side of the net and going with his skills a level higher – I think, this is his way and once he is 1-2 levels above his opponents (may they be the very top) he will beat them without having a killer instict. BTW – I remember times, where Roger as “accused” of missing killer instinct, thus failing to defeat Rafa or Novakl so many times, while playing his best and his best means the best in tennis. I think, Roger was also shy when about 20 and his way was just to rise his skills, no pimping, no heavy looks a.s.o. I think Roger was (and still is) this far above every opponent, he was able to win by doing just what I believe, Thiem is doing now – playing his own no matter the opponent and having the soft charisma of a winner.

  52. My conclusion from our discussion about doping. Whatever is true about doping, cannot change the reason for us and many millions on Earth to have the most fun and joy and inspiration when watching Roger’s game. Records or not cannot change this too πŸ™‚ So let’s wait for more of RF magic “here, there and everywhere” πŸ™‚

    1. Sue, nice idea. Maybe I will some day. So far I’m posting a lot on his fanpage on Facebook, but in German. But not sure I have talent needed to maintain a blog. Must ask Jonathan to give me some lessons πŸ˜‰ We could exchange links then, but I hope to be still allowed to post on Jon’s blog. This one is just a fixture in the tennis world. If I start new one, it will need some support. Hope, you guys and gals will post there sometimes πŸ™‚ And … whatever happens, Fed is of course no.1 for ever πŸ™‚

  53. Just trying to start. Not a big thing so far πŸ˜‰ I’m learning first lessons. If you go there right now,, you will maybe find in the chaos a small grateful defication to you πŸ™‚

    And please don’t blame for the current status – it’s just few hours after starting from scratch.

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