ATP Masters 250Brisbane InternationalRoger Federer

Federer Suffers Tough Defeat in Brisbane Final

Well so much for revenge for Halle in 2010 huh? As a wise man once said, Roger Blewitt and he most certainly did losing to one of his old rivals 6-1 4-6 6-3 in just over 2 hours. I never saw this one coming in a million years as I thought Hewitt was a washed up former champion with his best years behind him, turns out for today at least it's the other way around.

I don't really know where to start but it was such a disappointing match from Fed, it started incredibly badly, got much better for a set and a half but then ended miserably. I'm struggling to take many positives from it as it's undone some of his good work these last couple of months and he's now back at another low. If Edberg thought he was just going to earn some nice cash to hit a few balls he was mistaken as he's got a big job on his hands now 😛

The worst thing about it is that he probably should have won it after winning the 2nd set, only converting 1 out of 10 break points and wasting 5 break points in Hewitt's first 2 service games of the final set is criminal. It just shows that on a fast hard court that one or two missed first serves or a couple of errors means you can be in deep deep trouble quickly and if you don't press home your advantage it will come back to haunt you.

From my point of view all the wasted break points came down to timid returning and waiting for his opponent to make a mistake, that might work against French players or juniors but if it doesn't work against a guy who's had 5 foot surgeries it sure as hell won't work against the likes of Djoker, Nadal or Murray and perhaps even anyone in the top 10.

If anything this match just highlighted that Roger was lucky to get past Chardy who self destructed. I was willing to give Roger the benefit of the doubt in that one but today when Hewitt showed resilience Fed had no answers.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Hewitt Brisbane
Federer actually using the string part of his racquet

I won't spend too long on the recap but the first set was some of the worst tennis I've seen Fed play, there was one moment where he took a swing at a Hewitt serve and just missed it completely. He was broken 3 times and made 21 unforced errors, it was almost painful. He looks sluggish, almost stiff and just generally not at the races.

The second set picked up a little but when Hewitt came up with a crazily good backhand volley to save break point early I thought Roger might struggle to get back into it. At 4-3 Hewitt had another break point but Roger saved it with some clutch serving and then somehow managed to break Hewitt coming from 0-40 down before serving out the set hitting 3 aces and a bullet forehand to seal it.

So in the space of 5 minutes Fed had turned momentum completely around, I mean this is talent of this guy, he looks like a deadbeat but then suddenly breaks serve and hits 5 consecutive aces over 2 service games to steal the set. Something Hewitt could only dream of doing.

As for the third, you would think with momentum on his side there'd be only one outcome and truth be told there should have been. Roger had 7 chances to break but didn't take one of them, like the first it was painful to watch as he just didn't press home the advantage. All mental really as Hewitt stood firm and didn't really have to absorb too much pressure just keep the ball in play.

Roger then managed to drop his own serve with sloppy play, had a chance to break back but failed and the rest was history as Hewitt won his first title since Halle in 2010. But fair play to him, he toughed it out Nishikori and then showed Roger how it's done to deserve the win.

Match Stats

Roger Break Point Jokerer

Stats R. Federer L. Hewitt
Aces 13 4
Double Faults 0 4
1st Serve % 64% 50%
1st Serve Points Won 38/55 (69%) 40/50 (80%)
2nd Serve Points Won 14/31 (45%) 26/51 (51%)
Break Points Saved 7/11 (64%) 9/10 (90%)
Service Games Played 13 13
1st Return Points Won 10/50 (20%) 17/55 (31%)
2nd Return Points Won 25/51 (49%) 17/31 (55%)
Break Points Won 1/10 (10%) 4/11 (36%)
Return Games Played 13 13
Total Service Points Won 52/86 (60%) 66/101 (65%)
Total Return Points Won 35/101 (35%) 34/86 (40%)
Total Points Won 87/187 (47%) 100/187 (53%)

Set 3 Stats:

Stats R. Federer L. Hewitt
Aces 3 1
Double Faults 0 3
1st Serve % 48% 50%
1st Serve Points Won 9/10 (90%) 19/24 (79%)
2nd Serve Points Won 5/11 (45%) 11/24 (46%)
Break Points Saved 1/2 (50%) 7/7 (100%)
Service Games Played 4 5
1st Return Points Won 5/24 (21%) 1/10 (10%)
2nd Return Points Won 13/24 (54%) 6/11 (55%)
Break Points Won 0/7 (0%) 1/2 (50%)
Return Games Played 5 4
Total Service Points Won 14/21 (67%) 30/48 (63%)
Total Return Points Won 18/48 (38%) 7/21 (33%)
Total Points Won 32/69 (46%) 37/69 (54%)

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

As far as I'm concerned this match is a tough tough loss, too many matches have slipped through Roger's fingers lately (post Cincy 2012) and it's not good viewing. If you watch the highlights and switch off before the final point you'd probably think Roger won that's why it's even more infuriating.

He plays a joke of a first set, suddenly starts moving better and hitting cleaner, creates multiple chances, doesn't have the confidence to take them and then manages to get broken himself despite looking solid on serve for his last 10 or so service games. Hard to fathom but all clearly mental.

Hewitt didn't really have to find another gear throughout the whole match either, just stick around and let Roger do the work for him. Looking back I think it was the lob from Hewitt on break point in the final set that really finished Roger off, he had a couple more chances to break at 2-4 but didn't have that instinct to seize them and at 5-2 he was never coming back.

So great preparation for the Australian Open? Not really I don't think, played some matches yes, perhaps has an idea of what he needs to do but in current form I think a Quarter Final would be the best he can achieve right now. Yet some fans seem to think he can win a Calendar Slam lol.

In response to a few tweets and comments we now have one camp of fans who are content he made the final as he plays for the love of the game which I think does Roger a huge disservice and the other group who have already hit the panic button and are adamant he should switch back to the 90″ which is just ludicrous. I disagree with both of those. And I also disagree with those who think we need to cut him some slack or that he was “tired”. This is the first week of the season and he routined both opponents in his first 2 matches. Tiredness is not a factor.

He needs to stick with new racquet but it's gonna take a lot of work. No matter how much he enjoys the game he still plays to win, so just turning up to play some pretty forehands isn't enough for me as a fan nor is it going to be enough for Roger himself. Losing today is a blow and don't take what he says in press conferences as golden or start waiting for April when “he'll be back to his best”. I've kinda had enough of listening to Roger talking at the moment to the press as it feels like just a lot of hot air. About time he translated some of how great he's feeling into his matches.

Positives? Well thin on the ground but he's serving well and the new racquet seems to have some advantages but it's not going going to magically change things. It's still Roger Federer in there deep down with the game to beat anyone but he's gonna have to dig deep to get that confidence back and losses like today don't help. I guess we'll leave that to Edberg or at least hope 🙂

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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279 Comments

  1. Well, he did play four hours of tennis the day before and the new stick is, well, new and the first tourney for it, so I’m willing to cut him a little slack. The first set, though, is inexplicable. We’ll see.

    1. Agreed. It’s a real bummer that he lost and the first set was dire, but there is a lot of positives to be taken from this week – Jonathan I think you’re being a bit hard on him. He had a horrendous season last year which is not going to be erased quickly in terms of the loss of confidence, he’s split with his familiar coach and is starting a new one, and biggest of all he’s just changed his racket. At 32 years old, after 15 years on tour. Remember when Djokovic changed his racket a few years ago? He was all over the place for months. Roger reached the final on his first trip out with his, had 7 matches worth of practice, got extra volleying practice by playing doubles, and finished the week still healthy and hungry. I don’t think he’s going to win the AO and I’ll be over the moon if he even defends his SF points, but I’m a very long way from writing off 2014 based on the first week of the season.

    2. It’s the beginning of the season, don’t know if Fed should be feeling tired now. Roger showed signs of a new mentality in his previous matches only to show up in 2013 form, this loss takes away from all the positives in Brisbane he displayed. Not a good way to start the season.

  2. Set my alarm clock for 5:30 but when it rang I said: well, let’s sleep a little more. Fed is gonna win anyway, I’ll enjoy the highlights later…
    Then a supernatural force woke me up at 6:15. I check the atp live scores app and… Oh! 2-0 for Hewitt… No panic though… Fed was so good, no need to worry, back to sleep… Half an hour later, 6-1… the first set is gone!!
    I decide then to watch… and I wish that I didn’t as Federer wasn’t there at all!! Some unforgivable mistakes and so many lost chances!! I was almost yelling at my screen. Then he lost… as simple as that…
    And the worst, it didn’t even hurt… got used to it it seems…
    But I won’t tell him to switch back to his old racquet, or find any excuses nor accept any from him. Today was ugly from him and he needs to find a solution fast! Unless Mc Enroe cursed him so that he never gets past the 77 milestone..

  3. Yeah….. that was terrible… I never once felt comfortable watching him play… (except end on second beginning of third)… Well, onto AO: that’s gonna be interesting… Think Rog can take a game of Novak if they play? 😛

  4. Mental! It’s all mental! Nothing else. Sure there might have been some tiredness from playing double and singles, but to be able to go more than 2 hours in the game, and getting broken only once in the final set shows- to me -not enough evidence to call for injury excuses…not just yet 😉

    Roger might have been uninterested in the match, missing joke smashes! He didn’t concentrate, how many times did he go the wrong way and lost a point even after being in a dictating position? The highlights alone shows twice. And Hewitt (man did Rusty show up today) doesn’t particularly hit very hard, even in serves. Maybe his mind went off thinking about the Original Baby Fed! Yeah. Nothing else to say really.

    The racket’s working fine, there is a visible and audible pop to his groundstrokes. Serve’s holding up well (most of the times 🙂 ). Switching back will be the the end of it, and we will again hear “too small racket” excuses from the very ones who asked him to revert back! ‘Nuff said. Do you think, maybe, Fed almost underestimated Hewitt?

    Anywho, let’s see how 2014 turns out. It’s still too early, and as long as the back holds up, Fed only has his mental side to work on. His game looks fine to me (albeit some tweeks maybe required). And a long time for me, commenting here again. Good to be back in perfect-tennis! Allez!

    1. I don’t think Roger underestimated Hewitt, I think it was just another example of a match lost by Roger, not his opponent. No positives from that.

      1. You gotta give credit to Hewitt! The match was never Rogers to take, Yes had Roger taken one breakpoint in the beginning of the third then maybe bla bla, he was one step behind all the way and Hewitt did what he should and could have done more but diden´t need to. Not many positives from the final no, but from the tournament overall there was some really good things.

    2. Cheers Alvi, good comment 🙂

      Yeah Hewitt deserves credit, he won a title for first time in ages, but watch him try serve it out against Mahut last year lol, Fed kinda handed him this one, if he’d pressed his advantage Hewitt was crumbling.

  5. Good Summary of the match Jonathan. There’s no way to spin this match or tournament as a positive for Roger, it was a disappointment in the end. Couple of days ago it seemed he might have two titles (singles & doubles), but he leaves Brisbane empty handed now. 2014 Fed was very much an illusion it appears, in the end Fed 2013 showed up for the finals. The problems that plagued Roger in 2013 still remain – inability to convert on Break Points, weak “nothing shot” returns, sudden and inexplicable phases where he seems totally zoned out and ready to roll over, totally weak mental game.

    First Set: Roger wasn’t even in there, it was almost like he forgot he was playing a tennis match.
    Second Set: Halfway through the 2nd set, you could see that Roger was absolutely disgusted with himself, he focused a bit, the Fed we all know and love came out and won the 2nd set.
    Final Set: It was painful to see Roger’s body language and mental strength on break points, it was almost like he didnt believe he had it in him to close out the match. Tremondously weak in clutch situations. Tough as nails Hewitt smelled blood and closed it out. Hewitt’s mental game is as good as Nadal’s (minus the tremondous skills). How nice it would be to see Roger play like that, a laser like focus and a “never say die” attitude.

    Roger in full flow can completely destroy Hewitt (as their H2H evidences), but in the end Roger could not overcome the demons in his mind, and Hewitt took complete advantage of that. With regard to the racket, I agree with you, he shouldn’t revert to his beloved 90″ right away. But this match showed that the “advantages” he got from the racket in his prior matches were an illusion as well. I saw as many (if not more) shanks from Roger with this bigger frame. I think his net game and slices are not as effective yet wth the bigger frame as well. There’s a lot of work ahead for Federer to get any real benefit from the bigger frame.

    Truth is not only the Big 3, but the likes of Wawrinka, Berdych, Tsonga, Delpo etc can beat this Fed easily. I’m a huge Fed fan, but a long tough road ahead for the elusive #18.

    1. Cheers Sridhar, agree with you.

      Although Hewitt has been fragile lately, he just took advantage of an even more fragile player I think rather than been rock solid.

  6. Warning long post ahead, but I must get it out now!!!

    “He needs to stick with new racquet but it’s gonna take a lot of work. No matter how much he enjoys the game he still plays to win, so just turning up to play some pretty forehands isn’t enough for me as a fan nor is it going to be enough for Roger himself. Losing today is a blow and don’t take what he says in press conferences as golden or start waiting for April when “he’ll be back to his best”. I’ve kinda had enough of listening to Roger talking at the moment to the press as it feels like just a lot of hot air. About time he translated some of how great he’s feeling into his matches”

    That´s words out of my mouth there Jonathan, well said!
    If Roger himself continues to say his goals is to win more slams, then I have the expectations for him to play accordingly. And then when I see a performance like today it´s okay to be very disapointed and call it what it was, *%&#*%&¤/(… Not good at all 😉

    But I said before the tournament we could expect him to go deep in the tournament but not win it. Over all the tournament was okay until the final in my opinion. Against Niemenen who was playing really good Roger played amazing, looking so solid and played at a high speed in both movement and groundstrokes. Against Matosevic is was hard to get a feeling of his game because Matosevic crumbled big time but Roger did his job. I diden´t see the Chardy match but 20 aces in a best of three set match with a new racquet is a very good sign.
    So until the final it was looking quite good. But what happend in that final was even worse than the midseason 2013 Roger, especially in that first set with 22 unforced errors and some of them was flying all over the stadium. I must give some credit to Hewitt who played great and kept the level from his semi against Nishikori, actually Hewitt was playing some really good tennis for large periods of 2013 also so maybe he will rise a bit in the rankings this season. But had Roger just played solid and lost in a competitive way without looking like a junior in that first set I would not have had these worries I have now.

    In the middle of the first set I was totally down because he was playing like he did last season, and I thought the back was an issue again. But it diden´t seem like that when he was letting out air in the presser though so hopefully it hasen´t comeback, I´m not so sure that it hasen´t yet.
    And the whole fatique issue I almost share your view there Jonathan, but the only reason I could believe it maybe could play a part is the fact that it is yhe first tournament of the season. Even though ROger has practised very hard and is in very good fitness practise and match is two different things. And coming of a long off season and to go and play 4 singles and three doubles in what 5 days? could maybe play a part. But not to a degree like the way he played that first set, not at all! Maybe the end of the third could be argued for some fatigue of the body getting used to the match play.

    So my overall conclusion and prediction is, if there´s not a back problem again, Roger can still go on and do great things in 2014. With the new racquet and Edberg and hopefully a good fitness there´s signs (I really though that in the Niemenen match he really played amazing) that points in the right direction. But he will not win AO, I can´t see it happend after the final today and defintley not a golden slam 🙂 Then he should have blowed a lot more air in that presser 😉

      1. It was more than a mental thing I think. On the breakpoints it could come down to that mental edge, plus Hewitt also was strong on them. But that first set and a part of the second was not mental. His footwork was of and that was due to fatique or maybe other things, hopefully not his back. But count part of the final out I must say the week was approved with all the new things that has happend on and off court.

  7. If there is one positive from the match it’s his serve, which was great all week. I don’t think there’s any reason to panic just yet.

    1. Yeah, he was been serving a lot of aces this week, even in this match, but then he got broken in that third set? Hewitt wasn’t even serving better, it was just that Fed wasted all the BP chances. This is Federer 2013 all over again. Its just one match though, but I don’t think he will change too much, unless Edberg can do something for the next two/three weeks.

  8. Wow, that was just insanely bad. Got up early to watch it, and the first set just dissapeared. Absolutely pathetic. I am not taking any positives from this, and I fully expect Roger to lose before QF in Melbourne now, obviously I hope he can prove me wrong, but I just don’t see it. He could have, should have, and 2013 AO Roger or 2012 Roger WOULD have won the match. I checked the ATP rankings and Berdych is only a couple hundred points adrift from Roger, and Del Potro is almost a thousand points away from Roger. If he doesnt get to the QF in the AO his ranking will drop to around 8-10 unless the guys behind him fail horribly. The recommendation from me would be to persist with the new racquet and hope things improve soon. I really hate to say this, and it pains me to have to write it, but if he cannot beat Hewitt in the final of a 250, a Grand Slam title is completely out of the question and Roger needs to have some serious thought about how he wants to bring his career to a satistfactory close. I will give Federer until Wimby to sort out his problems, whether they be mental, physical or whatever. But if we see no improvement by Wimbledon, I will still be a fan, but it will become very tough to watch.

    Sorry for all the doom and gloom in this post guys, I hope Roger can make me sound ridiculous at the AO. I think there are still chances for success, but for any chance of Grand Slam glory, Federer needs a good draw and more importantly a place in the top four. Not expecting much at the AO, but hope he can build momentum during the early hard court season at Bouncian Wells and Slowami. I’ll throw in my revised AO and early HC season picks.

    AO: QF
    IW: SF
    MI: F

    I think he will play slightly better at the AO than in Brisbane, put in a load more training with the new racquet, build momentum reaching the semis at IW and then reach the final in Miami. That’s my (fairly) optimistic prediction. I know I said pre QF loss at AO earlier on in this post but I think he SHOULD make it to QF, but whether he WILL or not, that’s something else entirely.

    Anyway sorry guys this has turned into a bit of an essay. I have probably repeated myself a lot as well, I hope it makes sense. Anyway before you guys feel like I am being too harsh, this is not what I want to happen, or even what I think is most likely. I am deliberately being very cautious because I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up TOO much.

    1. What Roger does at the AO depends on the draw mainly and if Roger can maintain energy and play into form in the first week to get success in the second. Your predictions are pretty fair except I would swap Indian Wells and Slowami around, courts suit him better at IW.

  9. Great review, i got angry at this match too. At one point his game looked so bad that made me think he is letting himself loose so the crowd gets what they want, then i come back to skeptical and reasonal thinking and realize that is ridiculous, wether i like it or not he is running out of fuel and waiting magically to return. He is going to have to work hard if he wants to play like some years back

  10. We’ve got to be patient. The feel of the new racquet is going to take a few months to get used to. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few more of these UFE plagued performances. Could’ve been worse, like Jonathan said, vs Chardy.

    I felt Roger lacked energy, while Hewitt seemed super charged, so it was a sort of doubly whammy. I know this might sound crazy but I’m taking this match positively (wait…don’t jump all over me, let me explain). If you discount the first set, which was a disaster, Roger outscored Hewitt in the next two sets, and produced 10 breakpoints only to win one, while Hewitt had just 3 but he picked up the all important one. It came down to a single point that Roger didn’t win in the final set, that would’ve ripped the soul out of Hewitt.

    Considering this was his first full, non-Clay outing with the new racquet, as a fan, I’m happy with this performance.

    1. Hmm, it’s just a very inconsistent performance from him, he was converting break points the whole week but could only manage 1/10 when it mattered? There’s more to it then getting used to the racquet Sid, this comes down to confidence and Roger still lacking it in the big moments. Got match practice but how helpful was Brisbane for confidence to prep for Aus? that is the question.

      1. 6 of one, half-a-dozen of the other, I should think. That said, there have been a lot of upsets, particularly among seeds, in this first week of the new season, so maybe a lot of people have been having problems readjusting after the break? It’s just that we wouldn’t normally expect Roger to be one of them.

        But yes, I suppose that the practical applications of the new racquet will take time to get used to in matchplay situations, especially against the better players. No matter how much practice you get, you can’t really tell how things will work until you start competing again.

    2. Have to agree on the racquet. Quite a few times, Roger found him self returning a fast ball close to the baseline without committing to it. I get the impression that there is more speed in this racquet than the old 90 which would absorb more of the pace. The new racquet sometimes seems to catch him off guard and just flies.
      Except today, the backhand looks better though. I wish he would rip some down the line.

    3. I agree with all of your post, except the last part where you said I’m happy with his performance because I only watched first set :P.
      I haven’t played nearly enough tennis in my life to know what a racquet change must be like. Can only imagine how big and difficult it must be since a racquet is the only physical weapon for a player out on court. Still I think some days if he just doesn’t ‘feel’ it with the new stick, he’ll make more and more of UFE’s.
      About the mental aspect, 2013 has got to have been a big scar. Something like that doesn’t heal up easily. With his pride, can you imagine losing 2R in Wimbly despite the back issue when he thought before the start he was good enough to win the whole thing (just an example)? He definitely needs to work on the mental issues, but it will take time. The more he wins, imo, the more confidence he will develop in his game and also his new racquet which even if he says he doesn’t think about when he is on court, has got to be there at the back of his mind.
      Meanwhile, he is serving so much better than last year (20 aces last match, 13 in this). The knowledgeable ones say his backhand has more pop. So couple of positives there, eh?
      I am looking forward to Australian Open already! Allez Rog 🙂

    4. “I felt Roger lacked energy” not only that, I felt he lacked emotions as well. I couldn’t see the match live as I was at work, but I saw the extended highlights at night, second set when he came back from 0/40 and broke Hewitt, man no C’mon!! And even when he took the set, at least show that you are there and not going anywhere with some noise. This lack of emoting I believe gave Hewitt a sign that although he got the second set be he still lack confidence. He need to show some frustration sometimes and get it out loudly

    5. Difficult to take positives for me, this was a 250, it was easy pickings to start the year, I mean won’t really get it any easier to start getting momentum here. Still got the game to win tournaments but whoa so bad in the clutch these days.

  11. All this talk of confidence …. that he needs to get his confidence back… could it be he is too confident?

    Delpo talked about how he plays up for the top ten….maybe that’s because he knows he has to work hard and be aggressive when playing their caliber…he respects them. In those matches maybe he has less confidence and knows he has to really be at his best all-out-killer if he’s gonna have the chance.

    But maybe deep down he still thinks he can just play the percentages with guys in the 60s or more like Hewitt, Brandts, Starkovsky etc…even Robrerdro.

    Of course he used to be right…not too long ago he could rely on his average level of play and rightly expect to win those matches going away.

    Those days are gone, but maybe he forgot again. Maybe after his success at the WTF he became “confident” again in the wrong way…just expecting a “percentages” average effort will?

    Maybe?

    I dont know how else to explain today.

    Sad for him though.

    1. Hmm. Earlier in the tournament, when he was still going through his opponents like a knife through butter, I couldn’t help being reminded of his imperious match at Wimbledon against Hanescu. And we know what happened in the next round there, don’t we? 🙁

  12. IMHO to all of you. Fast solution is go back to 90 sq in racket.
    With that racket solid play in London two months ago. With new frame
    defeat of 60. atp ranking player.Pls do not consider that I am thinking only one way.
    Sluggish footwork and another factors also important. But Roger stated in
    last interview that racket is of crucial importance. Respect all of you but if we like
    Roger we must find right diagnose and honest advise to his game improvement.Except
    some effect in first serve nothing else with new frame. Much worse balance between
    left and right wing. Sonner he go back to his winning racket faster he will be out of confusion and
    closer to RN and ND.

    1. Stop pressing the panic button. Roger does not need to revert back to the 90. It doesn’t matter what size the racquet is, it’s not gonna fix his mental fragility. If anything this racquet will be the only way he can hit through the court when he comes to play with the big boys, but it means nothing if he doesn’t have the confidence to use it.

      1. I am not pressing anything. Just telling truth. I saw much sharper Roger
        with old racket in London then in all four matches in Brisbane. He need a smart advise.He will personaly decide what to do.Not need poltrons around.New frame is not a medicine for better play.I am his fan from his begining.Do not want to see him to finish his role in a bad compromise.He is the best player ever.Want to help him, to regenerate his confidence.

      2. “It doesn’t matter what size the racquet is, it’s not gonna fix his mental fragility.”

        So true. It was getting to the stage last year where I was even about to suggest hypnosis, but it sounds as though he still has mental/psychological issues he needs to work out.

    2. You thought he showed “solid play” at the WTF? I was at the Gasquet match, and I’d have to disagree: it was just (judging by what I heard of other matches) the sort of thing we saw too much of last year from Roger.

    3. Changing back would be stupid, last time I saw Fed play in London he was getting schooled by Nadal on an indoor court not looking back to his best. Racquet change is a positive mood.

      1. I dont know what is your knowlage about tennis. Changing back to 90 sq in is his only solution now. If not want to finish his tennis on miserable way.With new frame he shows nothing. Not only in Brisbane but also in Europe last year.In the age of 32 of course he is not the same player like earlier.But only with his old/normal racket he can remain on best player in tennis history and save respectable ranking.I am beting that I am in right. For Roger is very important
        right conclusion in this situation.

  13. One Step forward, two steps back? Excellent post J, and some great comments already. I think some fanatical Federer fans needed this to put things back into perspective and bring it back to reality thinking Roger was going to win a slam or something already, can’t even get a 250 in the bag. Not sure what to make of this. Good one Jonathan on the caption of your photo lol. Fed echoed my last comment in which I said he was fighting himself on court and then guys like Hewitt take advantage. Still a great serving display but the returning and lack of taking chances on break points cost him AGAIN. Roger lost in the first game of the third,seen that more than I can bear in the 2013 season. Jonathan also totally spot on about sick of Fed’s talk to the press, he recently revealed to the Aus media he never actually believed he could win the US Open. Not sure what player actually reveals that type of info hey, so I don’t know what to believe when it comes to his pressers anymore. Also heard Edberg is only touching down in Melbourne once the tournament actually beings, not sure that’s the wisest move.

    Roger needs to go a long long way to get through these types of matches when it counts, McEnroe will be pleased no doubt. Fans (myself included) shouldn’t have expectations that then precede disappointment. At this stage, a second week appearance/QF run would be pretty good.

    1. I agree with what you say Alysha. For me the disappointing thing was that the third set was classic 2013 Federer, the way he was wasting BP you couldve bet the ranch he was going to chuck in a sloppy service game and get broken. It also shows that when he’s in that kind of mood it doesn’t matter in the slightest what racket he’s using its same old fed. The new racket will only help if he’s playing well, its not gona make him play well. I would love to know what he was doing in the first set, its gota be up there in the worst sets he’s ever played in his career. Still, early days, plenty of tennis left to play. Lets wait and see!

  14. I hate that i stayed up until 3:00 am to see him lose.. What was that first set?? I kind of thought Hewitt was going to give him some trouble, but not like that!!.. And Gosh! The crowd was craazy!! They were all about Hewitt! I mean, it’s understandable, but still, i thought it was gonna be the same for both.

    How can i be positive? I want to, but i can’t, i really expected him to win this title. Now, what can i expect from him? I want him to win another GS! 🙁 I’m so sad! Hope he can improve (Edberg, do something, please!).

    1. We diden´t saw the same match then, the crowd was 50/50 and in big parts more behind Roger, maybe because he was playing like a junior in those parts and they felt he needed that extra support 😉

    1. I heard from a guy who was courtside they were playing faster as Dokic was complaining. I think they maybe slightly quicker. Just because Tiley says they haven’t changed doesn’t mean the manufacturing process hasn’t made them quicker or slower.

      1. Could be outside courts Jonathan, I highly doubt they will have sped up RLA for any reason, money is at stake here. I have to agree with Sid here, the AO want another Djokovic/Nadal final. And also on the point that fast courts aren’t that much of an advantage for Roger at this stage, makes him more vulnerable in a way, but it makes for exciting tennis. The court speed comes up everytime before the AO starts and every year, the court hasn’t changed since the plexicushion move. We’ll see if the top players have anything to say about it in their pre-tournament pressers.

      2. Fast or slow, it doesn’t matter, the top 2 will be the clear favourites and all the tennis fans are hoping to watch the best posible match, another episode of the best rivalry ever.

      3. It does mater actually Pablo. Slow courts are really taking away from some exciting and unpredictable tennis. Yes Nadal/Djoker are the favourites either way and they have a great rivalry but does anyone want to see a 6 hour final again other than those who get money out of it? Not really. And also it clearly mattered to Nadal when he got told the courts were quicker this year, re his response “Shit, I thought Craig Tiley was a good friend/if it’s really quick, it might be a problem.”

      4. After that he said he have won tournaments in very quick surfaces. Montreal, Cincinnati and US Open in a row are good examples of that.

      5. Yeah but why say what he said at all if it wasn’t a problem? Also US Open, in particular Arthur Ashe isn’t that fast…

    2. Folks, let’s think of this rationally. Why wouldn’t the AO tournament folks protect Djokovic and Nadal, in an attempt to recreate their 2012 final? They are itching to unleash them at each other, trust me. That’s the big story they will be after in a few weeks. Watch out for Roger and Nadal being in the same half/quarter. I think this time they will spare Roger until the semi.

      And, faster doesn’t necessarily mean an advantage for Roger anymore. It only makes the riff raffs more dangerous.

  15. This is very deflating loss, oh poor Roger, his confidence would have finally been starting to return and then this….I really don’t know what to expect from him at the Australian open….anything really. Oh dear…

      1. Winning it is within the boundaries of anything… yesterday was a miserable day, England get whitewashed in the Ashes, Federer ruins his start to the year, weather was bad, felt down….

      1. Before the final in Brisbane, I think a quarter final in the Aus open would have been a big disappointment for Fed. But now, after again proving fragile when it REALLY counts (in a final against an opponent who doesn’t just give it to him like Chardy did), despite having a so-called excellent of season practicing hard, changing racquet, hiring Edberg, supposedly feeling confident and hungry, I think a QF wouldn’t necessarily be a big achievement for him, but he would have to be satisfied given the present unfortunate circumstances. It’d be a step in the right direction. But come on, I mean Roger Federer plays Grand slams to win them, not to be happy with a QF, SF or even Final! He’s gotta go out there ACTUALLY believing he can win it, it’s his only chance. I’d give him a 1/50 chance of winning the Australian open, compared to 2/5 for Djokovic, 2/7 for Nadal and 1/10 for Murray. It’s up to him to prove us all wrong, AGAIN. He still has that spark nobody else possesses, even Djoko and Nadal…

  16. Wow, very negative comments here. To tell you the truth I don’t know what to make of the match because I don’t really understand what happened. Found it bewildering the way he played and impossible to know if it’s mental, physical, the new equipment, the heat or what. But whatever went wrong started already in his match against Chardy which he was lucky to win. He did better in the nighttime matches so maybe the heat was a factor, who knows. No point, Jonathan says, in waiting for April to see an improvement, but Roger did say, before today’s match, that he only expected to be fit by Springtime. He knows there are problems, he knows things have to change, otherwise he wouldn’t have asked for Edberg’s help would he. Maybe today was as big a disappointment for him as it was for us, but in his press conference he didn’t look particularly down, or defeated, the way he has before. Maybe he’s putting his tennis into perspective and doesn’t care all that much any more. Who knows what’s going on in his mind. But suddenly I’m not looking forward to Melbourne as much as I was.

    I see the stupid press analyses have already started. One “journalist” talked about his making consistent errors. Perhaps his errors were consistent but I can’t help feeling he probably meant persistent – or even constant!

  17. Well, all very negative aren’t we but shld we be? Positives from the week? Played 4 competitive matches, served well, clearly no worse with the new racquet so that squashes that argument. Negatives from the final? Although I agreed that Fed shkd hv won, I had a funny feeling Hewitt might cause him issues. Aussies just beaten England 5-0 in the Ashes, that sort of thing rubs off on people like Hewitt! He by his own admission was seeing the ball huge and didn’t crumble as he can do. Also he has posted some big wins recently and is finally injury free so give him some credit. Feds movement concerned me more as it was poor positioning and footwork which made him hit those UFE’s most of the time, coupled with Hewitt’s v early flat ball striking which befuddled Fed. Positives? Ace count still up, created a lot of break points. Negs? didnt convert and Didn’t hv enough positive energy on court and in particular approaching and at the net. One big area of concern on timing was the BH! However, still see him in an upward curve pist 2013. Bring on Edberg who needs to tell him to shut up talking for a bit and focus on ball striking! Still think he can make SF at AO if draw prevails. Nadal and Djoko are givens. Muzza an unknown at this stage. Ferrer and Berdych bit out of sorts and Delpo, has never done well there so all is not lost!

    1. “I had a funny feeling Hewitt might cause him issues. Aussies just beaten England 5-0 in the Ashes, that sort of thing rubs off on people like Hewitt!”

      And, for that matter, on Murray. Remember a certain match in 2012?

      “He by his own admission was seeing the ball huge and didn’t crumble as he can do. Also he has posted some big wins recently and is finally injury free so give him some credit.”

      Yeah, I was going to say don’t underestimate Hewitt. Did you see the way he was playing for some of last summer? SF at Queen’s, wasn’t it?

    2. “Ferrer and Berdych bit out of sorts and Delpo, has never done well there so all is not lost!”

      I get very twitchy about these “nevers”! I mean, towards the end of last season Wawrinka was supposed to be “fading” because he “never” does well at that time of year. Er, WTF SF, anyone? And I think various other players were expected to do less well than they did because they “always” do. And if you’re applying those “nevers” to records against Roger, I don’t think that necessarily means anything these days: it’s like saying that Roger “always” wins tiebreaks, which he clearly doesn’t these days.

  18. It looks like we all need to vent. I love your caption with the photo, Jonathan. It about sums it up. We all feel bummed out. I wonder how Roger feels. He looked embarrassed out there. Now, what is he going to do? How can he maintain a confident level throughout a whole tournament. Many times in 2013, Roger would start a tournament playing well and then he would just self destruct.

    I saw Hewitt play at IW last year. He is a good striker of the ball and plays with intensity. But this final was Roger in self destruct mode. For me, this was a huge turning point. I’m at a loss for what will turn this around. I feel for him.

  19. Very disappointed on the outcome but I will give him benefit of doubt. He was flat to begin with, not entirely sure what happen. If Roger wants to turn this around he has to take risk and change. Otherwise having all the coaches in the world will not help him.

  20. I’m not all that sure that the AO will turn out all that bad. From Brisbane I got the impression that Rogers new racquet (arguably) has more power than the PS 90. If so, why would that be an advantage on a fast court? He would be better served using a stick with more control such as the old PS 90. However, now that it turns out that Melbourne will be slow as usual, more power and spin might be just right.
    I know most of us think Roger should have an edge on a faster court. This might be true with his old PS 90, however, in an interview when asked the question about court speed and what he prefers, Roger pointed out that on a faster court results are less predictable and lower ranked players are more likely to upset the top ranked.
    This might have been exactly what happened. New stick, fast court and an inspired Lleyton Hewitt that really doesn’t have much to loose.
    Roger could have used the confidence boos for sure, but don’t count him out quite yet.

    1. To a degree the fast court worked against him as 1 poor service game in the third and Hewitt was away. Maybe different in slower conditions but Fed choked this one.

  21. That’s pathetic, I tried, but i can’t take any positives of this showdown, face facts guys it’s sad to me to say that but our man don’t have any chance with the big dogs, at least at the moment (And if Federer doesn’t change things and start playing with more focus and real tactical application, that will never change). And the expectations for the AO get even worse with the news that the court is still slower than clay. Can it get worse?

    1. It’s not guaranteed though, he could run into Federico Delbonis in the first round of qualifying. Delbonis would be the heavy favourite in such a match up.

  22. Disappointing. I was ok with him losing as long as he acquitted himself well, which he really didn’t, overall. And there are certainly photos of him sitting courtside at the end looking pretty disappointed in himself too. I guess the positive for me is that he DID pick it up in set 2 – so those resources, those reserves, are somewhere, even if he’s clearly having trouble accessing them as easily as he has in the past. They’re not completely gone. Lots of good comments here. Of course it’s hard to be patient, as fans, but I agree that the positives we have been talking about all week are not mysteriously invalidated just because he couldn’t bring them to bear in this match (more’s the pity). As somebody said, if the BP conversion rate weren’t so awful, we’d be talking about a different outcome – in spite of the UFEs.

  23. If he doesn’t win a single ATP title but can win at least 1 GS, then it’s a successful year. There is still much left of 2014.

    I think Roger can learn from Hewitt. They’re the same age (Hewitt being a bit older) and despite his surgeries, he made a comeback.

    When he starts going out in R2 or R3 (in 2 or more GS), then it’s time to panic. We have to keep in mind, this was Hewitt’s home turf and we have yet to see how the new racket plays in the Slams.

    There is one major positive from Fed entering Brisbane. Hitting a phenomenal shank smash. 🙂

    1. There is no way Roger is winning a slam if he can’t win a few titles before that. Wimbledon 2012 was successful because of the momentum he gathered from beating top players and hence winning titles. It’s gonna take one hell of a run for Roger to just rock up for two weeks and play in God mode.

      1. It’s been done before by players. You don’t have to win a title to be in top form. If he were to reach a few Masters Finals for preparation and if something like Wimbledon 2013 happened and one/two of the Big 3 were to be knocked out/drop out, Fed has a chance.

        2012:

        Got smashed by Djoker at Roland Garros.

        Lost to Haas in the lead up tournament to Wimby (Gerry Weber).

        Media talks trash saying he won’t win another GS after the loss.

        Wins Wimbledon anyway by beating Novak and taking out Andy (on his home turf).

        Fed isn’t a “momentum” based player, period. He either plays perfectly or breaks down randomly. It’s very much possible for him to win without winning any ATP titles.

      2. Nah this is wrong unfortunately. He is very much a momentum based player. Case in point he won the FO in 2009 due to Madrid.

        To win Wimbledon 2012 he had built serious momentum before that with 2011 indoor season and 2012 start of the season – Rotterdam, Dubai, IW.

        Sampras won the USO out the blue, but he is polar opposite to Roger.

      3. David, I disagree too. Federer is most definitely a momentum, and rhythm (during a match) player. No wonder, as publicly admitted by Toni Nadal as a tactic, he had his nephew disrupt Roger during Wimbledon 2008 by bringing the game to a crawl, and has continued to do so.

      4. David, Roger went on a supreme run after the US Open 2011 to Cincinatti in 2012, in which time he accumulated titles, so Roger definitely needs momentum to build up the mental game and confidence to win a slam. If Roger wants to win Wimbledon/US Open this year, the work needs to start now, and winning a title in Brisbane would’ve been a great step but now back to sqaure one in a way. Next goal is getting to later stages of slams, can he do that in Aus? hope so, would helo him build another block to get that elsuive slam/title should I say, stuck on 77 forever. Hope he doesn’t have to wait till Halle again to get another title, Brisbane was his best best of getting 78 until that tournament I’d say.

      5. Flaws in the “Momentum” argument:

        1) Success in one year, does not automatically transfer over to the next.

        First of all, he didn’t win FO in 2009 due to Madrid. He won because of Soderling. Fed simply maintained his level from 2006 – 2008 (he reached FO finals through those years) and 2009 was no different. Had Nadal not been unexpectedly knocked out, 9/10 he would have lost in the finals. Plus, Roger beat a drained Nadal in Madrid (from his intense match against Novak).

        You’re saying that because he played well in 2011 indoor season, it transferred over to 2012. Well, he lost 2012 AO and FO. The two opening slams. So obviously, momentum didn’t help. Now, let’s apply that to all years. Including 2007 – 2008. He played perfectly up to 2007, winning all sorts of ATP titles but in 2008 lost to Djoker at AO in straights, bageled by Nadal at FO, and even lost at his strongest surface at Wimby. Both examples point to the fact that momentum gained from ATP doesn’t help him.

        2) Hard=/=Clay=/=Grass

        Being successful at one surface does not mean you’re successful at another. A player winning a Masters during hard court season, doesn’t mean they’re going to play well on clay. Fed said in an interview in 2009 after his loss to Djoker at the Sony Ericsson Open, that he was looking forward to Clay season because he can start over.

        In 2012, he bageled Novak at Western & Southern Open, the lead up tournament to US Open. On top of that, he just came back from winning Wimby and reclaiming No. 1. And yet, he lost to Berdych at the QF in poor fashion.

        In all of these instances, momentum gained from his ATP titles didn’t help. He plays perfect one moment, then simply breaks down the next.

        3) Federer and Sampras are very similar.

        This one I’m surprised by because of the obviousness. Both share many similarities.

        – Dominant on Grass
        – One handed right handers
        – Fast, offensive players
        – Enjoy Serve-and-Volley tactics (unlike current gen)
        – Sponsored by Wilson and Nike.
        – Weakest surface is Clay

        The list goes on. The opposite of Roger in terms of playing style is Rafa, not Pete. If Pete can do it, so can Roger.

  24. I won’t say that it is impossible for Fed to win the Australian Open, but does anyone here see Roger lifting up the trophy, three weeks from now? With this poor performance against Hewitt, I certainly don’t see he taking the title or reaching the final at all. It would be a miracle if he wins his 18th slam here. I think his big goal this year is win Wimbledon again, he has plenty of time to adapt himself to the new racquet’s characteristics.

    1. I can see that federer can lift the AO trophy if he is able to control the mental demon inside him.
      I miss the days when federer never showed his emotion on court.tough as a rock

    2. Tennis isn’t running or swimming after all. You find your groove, contact starts to feel great and you hit it almost every time and soon you start to relax and feel invincible.
      Roger is clearly not comfortable with the new stick. He needs time. He’s been using the same racquet since 2002. The great intuitive stuff that is his trademark will take time to find. If he stays healthy he might still build his form to accomplish just about anything.

      1. but that wasn’t the case in first three matches he looked like he was very comfortable with the racquet hitting great shots with fast movement

    3. Nope, just hoping he makes quarters at this stage lol. I think if Roger was to win Wimbledon, he’d have to have momentum like he did in 2012 and go on some sort of run from Dubai. I just don’t see him as the type of guy to rock up and win a slam out of the blue, doesn’t have the mental toughness and aura to do so.

      1. I guess after the past two slams, if he even reaches the quarters, we’ll be happy! I’m still sad from the end of Fed’s phenomenal GS quarter-final streak last year at Wimby.

  25. What Rog needs ins’t Stefan Edberg in his camp but a hard ass like Uncle Toni (or Roger Rasheed) to give him a boot camp in the following
    a) Tactics that look like tactics and not a random mess
    b) Learning to win ugly (inappropriately timed bathroom breaks)
    c) Learning how to hit a half decent approach shot
    d) NO CROSS COURT CHIP RETURNS (5 push ups for each second serve return chipped into the net)
    e) A whack for every moronic play on break points. (They could also team up with Mirka, in this case, where she withholds sex- one night for each break point and forces Roger to spend the night with Toni in bed)

    1. Roger respects Edberg too much to say no. Hopefully when Edberg offers Roger a suggestion, Roger’s response will be “Yes Master” 🙂

      [A whack for every moronic play on break points. (They could also team up with Mirka, in this case, where she withholds sex- one night for each break point and forces Roger to spend the night with Toni in bed)]

      Didn’t Roger say that when he plays like shit, Mirka calls him out or something like that? Maybe it’s time to start banishing him to the sofa 😛

  26. Sorry, I stupidly posted this comment in the wrong article, so here again.

    Thanks Jonathan, another well said article. I don’t think Roger has player particularly well in any of the matches last week. His serve was much better, and definitely more pop off both forehand and backhand, which means the new racquet is starting to work already. However, despite the usual moments of brilliance, there were far too many rallies where fed pulled the trigger too soon ending in an unforced error, or was dominating the rally then would suddenly lose the point. Not enough beautifully constructed points such as the ones against Delpo in the WTF. He also fluctuated between going for too much too soon and then playing so timid and safe that it gave them the advantage.

    I know it was a fast court, which makes defence harder, but I thought his weaker opponents absorbed his great shots better than he absorbed theirs. Often they would hit a great shot and his return (usually off backhand) would be short and high giving them oppurtunity for a clean winner. Maybe this will improve as he gets more used to the racquet, or maybe it was his movement, or maybe the way he was reading the game / his mentality?

    Obviously his returns of serve weren’t great either, but I feel his main problem is losing too many baseline rallies, which I think is mostly mental.

    I reckon he needs an Ivan Lendl type who can help his mentality on court. Lendl would be great as well in terms of return of serve. Not sure what Edberg is like on those fronts.

    1. Well he we got nothing to go on other than the fact he was an awesome player and a great exponent of playing attacking tennis. Guess we see what happens on the coaching front 🙂

      1. Slower courts = generally less errors, faster courts = generally more errors 😉 Of course this all depend on the playing style and in Brisbane, Roger was going for too much and made errors frequently, whilst in London, he was patient and waited for chance, not play first strike tennis too often.

  27. Wondering why my comment of yesterday, in reply to Alan, didn’t get moderated? There was nothing offensive in it, but I disagreed with your assessment. Do you only moderate comments that agree with you? #disappointed

      1. I appreciate the time thing, I write a blog too (not as good as yours 😉 ) I complained because my post went up when there was only about 5 up, so when I came back and found around 60 there but not mine I assumed you hadn’t wanted to put it up.
        Keep up the good work (but let’s wait and see a bit longer before writing Roger’s year off, an awful lot of negative comments on here!) 🙂

  28. Hey guys, for those who are not remembering, on Wednesday 8, Federer will be in action on RLA against Tsonga in the charity event A Night With Roger & Friends. Just to remind you, because has a time no one talks about it.

      1. Your attitude sucks towards things that matter to Roger. Some Federer you are. That night is to celebrate 10th anniversary of 1st AO title and the Roger Federer Foundation.

      2. Yes It’s very important to him and for the Foundation, and also has a thing doesn’t mean anything but … the last time that Roger left Australia champion, he also played a show for charity at Rod laver Arena (Hit for Haiti if i remember well), just saying …

      3. BS. You guys a self-centered when it comes Federer. Like when Federer played doubles this week at Brisbane. The tournament organizers probably asked him because it would benefit the tournament. Also it was fun because I don’t watch doubles and I watched because of him. Mahut got an autographed shirt from Roger. The match with Tsonga benefits the Australian Tennis charities and Roger Foundation. Brisbane International thanked Roger for participating in the tournament because of the record attendance. Roger thanked them on his acct. and no fans tweet ed any support for Roger. You guys only want Roger to do things that benefit his career. Way to be supportive. You guys probably think him having another child with a Mirka is meaningless too. Go Roger!

      4. Not meaningless for those who will benefit from it. I’m pleased the AO is streaming the event and that I can watch without losing sleep – both in the sense of timing and importance of result 🙂

      5. KFedfan, what are you talking about?! Go take a nap.

        It’s a meaningless match in terms of competition or assessing Roger’s level. It’s great for the Foundation of his and for people to watch and enjoy.

      6. Yes it would take time adjust to a different racket, but to say that his old racket is outdated is silly. Federer’s declining results maybe a result of declining confidence. When Federer regained the #1 ranking and Wimbledon along with other titles, nobody was saying his racket was outdated . You don’t bagel good players like Dj. with an outdated racket. Federer can’t compete because of his confidence . He is trying to hit the hell out of the ball on his ground strokes which is leading to errors. It may help his serve, but his ground game will suffer.

      7. That is the kind of reply from a jerk like you I would expect because of your comments. The charity match is for his Foundation not meant to access anything. I am glad Federer is not just chasing the fame and the glory but giving back.

      8. KFedFan, that’s because, if you think hard about it, the 90 sq in is designed for the faster grass surface, where Roger doesn’t have to stay too long in rallies for his racquet to break down. Yes, there were some incredible rallies in 2012 but then Murray wasn’t the player that he has become now.

        The Pro Staff 90 is outdated. Unless courts are sped up, the 90 should have no place in Roger’s arsenal.

        Try using the 90 sq in against Nadal with all his recently purchased, and “dope” enhanced power and spin.

      9. Too many Fed fans live in the past. They also have levels of fanaticism whereby if you criticise him you are instantly not his fan. Roger is not a god you know, when you cut him, he bleeds just like anyone else.

        I said I’m not overly interested in watching an exhibition, has nothing to do whether I appreciate in his off court efforts or not.

        I’ve paid for tickets to watch him play live, that pays his appearance fees, some of which gets put back into the RF foundation, so it all filters down. So perhaps you need to stop acting like you’re a better quality of fan just because I said I wasn’t interested in watching an Exho 🙂

  29. I just felt that Roger looked disengaged not tired. Especially in the first set. There was a couple come-ons in the second I believe. But he was keeping any bad emotions in check. I think it would have been better if he let out a little emotion for the negative things that were happening. But the Aussies who love him and Laver were on hand. Truly he didn’t seem to know what to do, how to correct things. The breaks converted and breaks saved have been trouble over the last years leading others to say he is mentally not tough. I though he would take the positives out of the 2nd set and go with it in the 3rd. I kept thinking all he needs is to break Hewitt and he would get that confidence back but he did break H in the 2nd but didn’t carry much confidence in the third. It was all painful to watch.

  30. Hey all, first post here. I’ve been a long time tennis fan, and Federer is the player that I watch most. I watch mostly to analyze play and tactics, but am no means an expert. This post will be long, you have been warned.

    First off I’d like to say I’ve seen the match twice already (neither time was live). Here are my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

    1. 22 UFE’s in one set is unacceptable at any level. As a top professional, and someone who has won 17 GS’s to come out “stiff” or “flat” is not an excuse for any match let alone a final. It may well have been what happened with Federer in the Final, but my point is that it SHOULD NOT happen period.

    2. In this match, and a lot of times in general, when Federer approaches the net he leaves something to be desired. He isn’t coming in on the right shot and that happened far too many times against Hewitt. His approach shot doesn’t have enough direction, depth, or pace of shot to trouble any of the top players and Hewitt made him pay time and time again. One of these exchanges stuck out for me. I think it was the second set and Federer approached with a CC FH into Hewitts forehand, and Hewitt returned it for a down the line pass. Federer’s shot landed past the service line but nowhere near the sideline. Had Federer created more angle on the shot (as we all know he can) he would have had the line covered and forced Hewitt into a much more difficult shot.

    Furthermore, Federer got lobbed way too many times in this match, and it wasn’t as if Federer was positioned too tight on the net. Those lobs are typically ones that Federer puts away with his overhead, but it didn’t seem like he could reach them even with a bigger frame. Maybe he doesn’t want to arch his back that far? I don’t know. But I will give Hewitt a lot of credit for playing some very good lobs at times.

    3. That break point conversion. It’s been the same story for Federer for a long long time. Against Nadal it’s the same situation. Against any of the top players it seems to be the same situation. Federer can have 10+ break points but only take 1-2 of them. It is a mental problem if you ask me. I get the feeling that Federer is playing these points and the big matches with the fear of losing rather than being determined to win. That’s the difference. Nadal and Djokovic play nearly every point with a determination to win unlike any we’ve ever seen. More so on break points. Federer just doesn’t do that. His current “confidence crisis” is part of it. He’s playing afraid to lose, not determined to win. Jonathan brought up a great point about how determined Hewitt was to win. That’s what’s lacking from Federer. I am not saying Federer should run and defend like his life depends on it, that’s not him. What I do expect is for Federer to go and TAKE IT. As was alluded to, it seems Federer is waiting for a mistake, that’s entirely the wrong approach. He can’t expect any of the top players to GIVE him the break. He has to TAKE it.

    If you look at what Federer did all those years ago, he didn’t play with fear. He went after it and was rewarded.

    4. No, Federer should not abandon the 98″ racket. No chance. I’ve been a staunch supporter of him supporting and I firmly believe it’s time he caught up and used the technology that’s available to him. He played well with the racket, and I see no reason why he shouldn’t keep going with it.

    Looking ahead to the AO, I expect Federer to make at least the QF’s if not the SF’s. If luck is on his side and he gets Ferrer in the QF’s he should be able to progress.

    1. “1. 22 UFE’s in one set is unacceptable at any level. As a top professional, and someone who has won 17 GS’s to come out “stiff” or “flat” is not an excuse for any match let alone a final.”

      Agreed. However, I’ve currently got the Djokovic/Murray AO 2012 SF out on rental, and I have to say that it’s only marginally worse than Andy’s W/UE ratio in the first set of that. The commentators there said something along the lines of both players looked as though they’d only just arrived and got off the plane, so there is some precedent.

      1. Thank you so much!! 😀 I wasn’t expecting this, so this is a nice surprise 🙂

        And I uploaded a new video to YouTube – Federer’s Best Points at Brisbane! It contains a selection of winners from all matches including the insane shank smash-lob-dropshot !

  31. Happy Birthday, Conal….where is your new video?
    KFedFan, I appreciate all that Roger does for the world of tennis and beyond. I believe everyone else here feels the same way.
    Thanks for the link, dhruv.

    1. That’s good, I just don’t like Johnathan’s attitude. It sucks for such big Fed fan. Roger wants to leave a mark beyond his tennis achievements.

    2. Unfortunately KFedFan, you don’t know what you’re talking about 🙂

      I appreciate the things he does off court, media, charity work, exhibitions for both promoting the sport and helping emerging countries just like everyone else but my point was the match vs Tsonga bears no meaning on his Australian or his career, hence why I’m not going to go out of my way to watch it.

      My site is about about competitive tennis. Some fans need to remember that nobody is bigger than the sport.

      1. My, My, My someone is a pompous jerk. What Federer does on and off court defines him as a man. Your comment is pure BS because you can’t come to terms you are glorychaser and anything else is meaningless. Who said Federer was bigger than the sport. No one.

      2. Sheez, pipe down… I don’t know what you can’t understand about his comment, he just said that his match tomorrow doesn’t have anything to do with performance… It’s just going to be his dorky attitude (which some of us love, including me)

        Now others are interested in the way he plays seriously, not just to get the crowd going.

        Did you even read his comment before answering?

      3. I did read his comments and I still think his attitude sucks. I like the things that Federer does on and off the court because they go hand and hand. I am glad Federer is not consumed with just glory. The Aussies and Rod Laver have been good to Federer. The only reason you want me to pipe down because I’m calling you out.

      4. Do you want to troll or talk about Roger’s tennis?

        This isn’t a spot for justifying why you should win Roger’s best fan award or why you’re a better fan because you think I don’t appreciate what he does off court.

        If I was following Fed for glory I’d have given up watching in in 2002 when he lost to Ancic or any time after his prime 🙂

      5. You really don’t read anything do you… Some are fed fans for his COMPETITIVE tennis game (bar exhos and foundation and all of that and like to just watch him play tennis, because he is, first and foremost a tennis player) and others like him for his game AND his off court appearance. I am one of the latter. When Johnathan says he might not watch the exho is because it is not a COMPETITIVE match. not because he is terrible fans a whatever else you called him…

        And they don’t necessarily go hand in hand: If you enjoy tennis, you like Roger for his tennis, not because he is a great guy off court… now how about you do some constructive criticism of his game (and not saying changing to new racket is a terrible idea bla bla bla) or just gtfo?

      6. So if I call your attitude sucky, I am a troll, right. What really caught my ire is his comment about not having a live chat Federer/Mahut doubles matches. Saying it wasn’t worth his time. Federer/Mahut had to come from behind in that match but acted like they won easily, which was not true. This crap about I only care about his COMPETITIVE tennis game attitude reeks of arrogance. I didn’t accuse him of being a terrible fan but having a pompous, arrogant attitude. I like Roger for his tennis, but if he was a jerk off the court, I would never be a fan. I don’t professional athletes that just take and never give back. Plus I did have constructive criticism about the racket change, but it differs from his, so I am being told to gtfo.

      7. You and I don’t have the same definition of constructive criticism… If you say it once or twice, sure, but reapeting something you cannot prove yet is not constructive. If he’s a ball basher within the next 6month to a year, then you can go on.

        And what you don’t understand, is that some like the tennis PRIMARILY, and his off court outings are secondary. Even if we know Roger is a great guy off court, some really like him for his tennis. And, Roger is not really a douche so your example just doesn’t suit the discussion…

        You don’t what Live chat takes for Jonathan to set up (I don’t know either) but this website is mostly for Roger’s singles matches, so it might not be worth the work. Maybe if enough people asked NICELY it could happen, talk to Jonathan about that… And calling him arrogant and pompous because he doesn’t have live chat for dubs… really?

        and just why does sticking to his competitive tennis make someone reek of arrogance and whatever else you said?…

    1. That racket Federer using is turning him to ballbasher and not a better tennis player. Sorry he should have stayed with his other racket. This rush to get a bigger head size racket could hurt him. I want Federer to be able to compete not be a ballbasher.

      1. Bravo KFedFan. Finally somebody who understand what is in the middle. Agreed 100%.
        Roger has to take other steps to make play better, not changing racket.But
        awfull is fact that me and you telling right vis a vis all these proffesionals in his
        team.

      2. Do you work for a company that only sells 90sq” racquets or something? lol

        Look, you all say oh he should move back blah blah, but nobody seems to give a credible answer as to why other than he won 17 slams with it.

        Newsflash, they are in the past. He could have won 17 slams playing with a broomstick, doesn’t mean he has to use one to try and win #18.

        The new racquet is a positive move. Next.

      3. Some these guys on here only care about the glory. Not the man. The results will not come if Federer is ball bashing instead of playing tennis.

    2. Completely wrong and more knee jerk reactionary stuff. Roger never was and never will be a ballbasher, and the new racquet doesn’t take him any closer to being one either.

      Not many people seem to realise what moving to a new racquet is for or what the advantages are meant to be. Too much misinformation.

      1. Dear Jonathan, I grew up in Belgrade with Bobo Zivojinovic/1,93 cm/ who used
        most of carier Prince Wodde big head and never shot backhand topspin only slice.
        Also played many times with ND like a junior he used 98 sq in but backhand with two hands.You are looking for reliable answer. I am not crazy man. Or man for bla,bla, bla.I am also not in love with 90 sq in. But Pro Staff 90 sq in is far away from broomstick. Watch again Roger match with Hewitt. Dozen of Rogers outball finished nowhere. Just stated that he is much faster, much danger, much sharper with his usual racket 90 sq in specially with his one hand backhand. Yes,
        he creates nice shots also with new frame, it is nice for eyes. See statistics of big
        points. Thats what he will be a lot with top guys. I am affraid he will be demolished with bigger frame. Details dsnt means much for us but on high tennis level means everything.

      2. You call it a “rush” to move to a bigger racket. He has stayed with the same one for what, 150 000 years now? You and I don’t have the same definition of rush… You where also talking about those professionals that “made” him change racket. That’s what they are: Pros. I don’t think you guys would know better than them. I was thinking the same when Sid kept saying Roger needed to change a racket: “He’s got a fantastic team, let them change when/if they deem it good”.

        And have you played with the PS 90? That thing is a dream when you are in top shape, and hit it perfectly, but if you are a 1/10th of a second late or do ANYTHING wrong, you’re hitting the ball into the stands… Now that Rog is getting a little slower, he needs something which forgives his errors more, hence a new racket.

        Anyway, his team and him chose to change, and no amount of ranting you can do here is going to change it… So you might as well stop, and talk about his tennis 😉

        Cheers

      3. A lot of Fed fans live in the past. They think the racquet Roger won with 5 years ago can help him win tomorrow. It doesn’t work like that unfortunately.

        Luckily Fed has changed and is willing to adapt to try stay relevant.

      4. Oh yeah Federer ball bashing and hitting the way out on his groundstrokes is really going to keep him relevant. I am all for change and looking for answers. But I think he was over hitting alot.

      5. He let people brainwash him into thinking the only way he can compete is servebot and ballbash otherwise why did go from a 90 to a 98. Along with all the fuss about court speed. He played a terrible match because he thinks he needs a 98 to get pace and depth on shots. Federer was playing hurt and now is trying to play with a racket that doesn’t suit his game. You can see his frustration with his groundstrokes. He sacrificed accuracy for power. What is the use of having power when it is a mile out of the court. Low confidence and pressure is a bad combination. Hopefully Federer will use that “meaningless” match with Tsonga to have a good time. “I” will be watching. Nice discussing tennis with you guys.

      6. Look, mate, I appreciate that you like Roger for the entertainment he brings and not for the success, but there’s nothing to say he’ll turn into a ballbasher by using this racquet. It offers him greater pace (ONLY a little), and we could clearly see that just whacking it hard didn’t really do him much good. That’s like saying a man will go on a killing spree just because he owns a gun. There are plenty of players on the tour who favour finesse despite having a racquet that hits through the court more, of a greater size. That might be because they simply don’t possess the power, or a choice. I believe the former, and I also believe Roger doesn’t have the former for any consistent period of time.

        And don’t judge his new racquet based on a warm-up tournament straight after a month’s break. You say he’s sacrificed accuracy. I saw no such problem in his first couple of matches. I choose to believe the lack of accuracy was because he played a very poor match as opposed to play with a poor racquet. And the match with Tsonga is perhaps not “meaningless” in the base sense of the word. But it will not in any way gauge how well he’s playing, its “meaning” lies in that it will entertain the people who watch it, and I certainly don’t believe short of an extra hour on court it will help Fed with his timing or improve his practice with the racquet. Perhaps you think it’s unnecessary that Federer should need to try to improve with the racquet, because victory as an end doesn’t justify the means, but Roger is a champion; if he’s still playing out there, despite numerous claims he’s doing it because he loves the game, that’s clearly not true. No tennis player would continue playing if they lost EVERY game. That means victory still means something to Roger. And as fans, should it then not means something to us, even if only to see Roger happy?

      7. It’s okay for Federer to change his racket, just not one that lends itself to wild and way out groundstrokes. I think Hewitt had to duck on forehand Federer hit. Just because he can’t move the way he use to, that shouldn’t mean for him to start bashing his way to victory. The exo is for fun. You know fun. I as a fan have the whole season to “gauge” how he is doing and besides Federer is not using this match to improve his game. It is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Foundation and raise money. So when 4am and 8pm Melbourne, Australia time rolls around, I’m not gauging anything.

        PS: I’ve never been called Mate before, is that good.

      8. Hi guys,
        I could see a lot of debate here about the new racquet specially. I am no tennis expert but what Roger did it’s very rational and logical. The only constant thing in this life is CHANGE! I am an IT expert and to cope with rapid technology changes and not stay behind, we had and have to adopt and adapt with new technology, the same applies to Tennis, and it’s no exception. So Roger need to change, period. Although this move was late but he is in the right path to stay relevant even if the result doesn’t show, but I guess result will be more devastated if he stick with old equipment.

        What Roger need is confidant back, how he get it, I have still no idea

      9. Haha yes it is, just a british expression people use, sometimes more often when drunk.

        I never said you should be gauging anything. I merely said it wouldn’t help to attempt to do so, and some fans prefer the competitive matches for that purpose.

        “Just because he can’t move the way he used to, that shouldn’t mean for him to start bashing his way to victory.” That was my original point. I think your assumption that he will start “bashing” his way to victory is wrong in the first place. So he’s not used to the new racquet fully yet, and hit a few more shots out. It doesn’t mean he was going for broke on those shots. I saw no evidence of “bashing” in any of his matches, including Hewitt, which I see as simply poor. I agree with you that he shouldn’t start “bashing”, as you put it, but I can’t agree at all that he will. My point is, you’re basing the effect of the new racquet or rather your interpretation of it on a few matches, and based on the matches leading up to the final, actually only on the final itself. I suggest you give Roger more time before you brashly conclude he’s going to end up sacrificing accuracy for power simply because the racquet allows him to do so a LITTLE.

        And I maintain that it was FEDERER and not the 98” that lended “itself to wild and way out groundstrokes”. It’s quite simple to say that the racquet is a constant, Federer’s form isn’t. So the only reason his performance against Hewitt compared to Chardy would be different IS Federer, and not whether or not he has a bigger racquet. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Federer has always tried to entertain, can’t you trust that he wants to continue to do so, and that he and his crew have every bit as much expertise in the new racquet’s effects as any of us do and have yet still made this choice?

      1. Happy Birthday Conal! I wish for you, heck, for all of us to fell the JOY and the THRILL for FEDERER as he wins one SLAM! God bless!

      2. Thank you Gaurav, Tilas and Scooter! 😀
        Another slam title will come, we just have to wait! Cheers 🙂

    1. Simon.You are apsolutely right. Your describe of PS 90 and Roger is truth.Only difference is what I
      stated that we can continue to prolong our illusion Roger to be the great with PS90 better then with new frame.This means talking about his tennis ability.Thank you.

      1. No wait you’re completely contradicting yourself! if he can’t handle the PS 90 anymore, then he’s got to change, which he did! It’s worth nothing to say that yeah, the PS 90 is great if he’s as fast as he was, cause guess what! He’s not!

  32. I have one question concerning the new racket: Why hasn’t Wilson painted it?… they’re probably loosing a ton on publicity here… You’d reckon that if they can actually get a racket out, painting it would be super easy?

    1. I am not contradict. If he is not anymore fast if his only way is way to retire my advise is go like
      hero, like original Federer not bashballer or so.Nevertheless, my opinion is that with good workout
      and smart game plan he has quality to be in 3 players in 2014.His usual racket 90 sq in will bring him closer to that idea. Bigger racket wil push him to average player.I am sure that tennis fans all over the world dont want to see Fed to finish carrier like Leconte for example. My standpoint is simple and clear.

      1. Mr.Alex Belgrade,
        Going back to the 90sq inch racquet would be the worst ever decision.
        Do U PLAY TENNIS ? IF NOT, BETTER STOP POSTING ABOUT THE RACQUET STUFF.

        Experts’ opinions on Federer switching to a larger racquet ::

        “I think a bigger racket can help in certain areas, maybe on the high backhand. That’s the shot I feel like it’s helped me. Maybe a little bit more pop on the serve. But, you know, it’s more racket, it’s more power and I just hope Roger just, if he sticks with this racket, can win some tough matches. Once he does that, he will be fine.”
        said PETE SAMPRAS who now plays with a larger racquet in the legends tour. Pete NOW regrets the fact that he did NOT switch to a larger racquet in his playing days because now he thinks that he could have had a better chance to win the French Open with a larger racquet.

        “If he can make this change, he is increasing his chances of winning another Grand Slam exponentially,” said ROMAN PROKES, an expert racket technician

        “It’s about that time in his career when you start tinkering, I love it.” former No. 1 MATS WILANDER said in an email.

        “I almost felt that with a bigger racket I was losing control, The times have changed, though. Maybe you don’t have to give up control now.” said former No. 1 Ivan Lendl.

        SO THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PROFESSIONAL PLAYER WHO WOULD ADVISE ROGER TO SWITCH BACK TO THE SMALLER FRAME. Find one professional player who would advise Roger to switch back to 90sq inch racquet and i would give u 1000 bucks bet..

        ONLY AMATEURS LIKE U WOULD ADVISE RUBBISH LIKE THAT.

        Pros of the larger racquet:
        DID U SEE ANY OF HIS MATCHES ?
        The first serve was above 200 kmph most of the times
        The FH and BH had a bit more pace and pop (See Niemenen match)
        These small improvements is all that Roger needs at this age to beat Rafa,Nole and others.

        REASONS FOR THE LOSS VS HEWITT

        1) Roger made all those Unforced Errors because he was struggling to control the extra power of the new racquet. UNDERSTANDABLE SO GIVE HIM 4 OR 5 MONTHS TIME.

        2) FAST COURTS OF BRISBANE DID NOT HELP 1) EITHER. If the courts were a bit slower, Roger would have had to play long rallies and definitely would have got his timing and rhythm right on his ground strokes and could have definitely WON THIS MATCH

        3) Roger played the MOST number of matches in Brisbane and therefore spent the MOST TIME ON COURT than everybody else. In addition to this, he was having LONG PRACTICE SESSIONS in the scorching heat. So this caused EXHAUSTION in the finals.

        4) Lets give credit to Hewitt. He played so well. I heard the commentators say that his speciality was the BH lob. He did execute a few lobs perfectly at some crucial points.

        The courts at AO are slow as usual this year. So i really think that Roger will play himself into good form with the new racquet.
        I would NOT be surprised if Roger makes it to the semis or finals or even win the tournament.
        At the same time, i am willing to give him some time (probably until French Open) to get used to the NEW larger racquet.

        We will definitely see Roger winning atleast 1 slam this year with the larger racquet.

      2. So basically you are saying Fed should retire as he is no longer in his prime… great thinking! You must be a great fan

      3. Hey Sakthi, great comment. Roger’s smaller racquet gave him everything, but he did the right thing by going for the bigger racquet. You don’t have to know much about racquets to see that he made the right decision. And the things that are now “worse” because of the bigger racquet…. well…. he is playing with it for like 2 months only. With time (maybe around April) he will have managed that too.
        I am so proud that Roger won everything with the 90-racquet in a period I think no one else was using it, but now….. thank God he changed it.
        Those who stay the same, are left behind in the same place they started. Those who take risks and changes are the one who benefit from it, even if you don’t see it right away. Trust me !!!
        After a few months he will kind of have mastered the bigger racquet.

        Ps: Love the way you end with hoping Roger wins atleast 1 GS this year.
        I hope that too, but no expectations, only having faith in Roger and his abilities…..

    2. as long as its in testing the racket remains black so that the player dose not get attached to it and reviews the way ist working as acuratly as possible.

      1. This is actually a fact. Read about this somewhere on the net. If I find the link, I will post it here. The color can subconsciously influence the final decision.

    1. Yup! It’s more competitive than I thought it would be 🙂 He looked really moved when he hit with Rod. And I LOVE the polo 😀

      1. How would you like sitting in those chairs haha! Just a little disappointed with Bernardes, There are some more fun umpires around (looking a you Courrier 😀 )

  33. Hello Jonathan hello to all Fed Fans,

    Happy 2014 to all !

    As an advice don’t attach your happiness too much on Feds results.
    Try to enjoy good moments and be cool with bad ones.

    Jonathan I noticed it took you a whole day to come up with this post. I checked a couple of times during that day and there was nothing. Whereas with previous 3 matches it was a matter of an hour or two.
    I was thinking “shit man, our boy is struggling with this result . Like trying to swallow and digest stones”. A good post though.

    I also liked a lot “Roger Blewit “ along with Syds valuable contribution as usual .
    “Roger Blewitt, Syd knewitt but jonathan couldn Chewitt”
    Then I also like Pablo cause I think he s very funny. A Rafa fan in a Federer Blog like a weird Spanish weed popping out of nowhere causing irritations : “ Hewit was doping” lol.

    “No one is grater then the game” is also an appropriate phrase I think. Ok sometimes Rogers way of playing and personality seems to be greater than the game but generally speaking the phrase is true.
    One thing I m not sure of is about the title of the post “Fed suffers a tough loss” I would rather “Jonathan suffers or even Fed Fans suffer another tough loss”.
    I consider my self being 25% of a FedFan of most of you in here or maybe even less. I would never set my alarm clock at 5 am to watch him play Hewit. Ok maybe I would do that for Australian Open Final against Novak but that’s about it.
    Still this loss came as a surprise to me and made me sad too. In chess a strong move from your opponent that you haven’t foreseen equals to the chock of a strong punch at your stomach. It was a bit of that even for me.
    What I want to say is that I am not that sure that Roger suffered that much from this loss or at least as much as his fans. He seemed to be so cool afterwards and so positive. No one can be sure about what happens in any athletes heads but even more so in Rogers head being the character he is or better the character he has become. I strongly believe that we are not going to witness any more rants, racket smashing or crying from him any more. Not many extreme emotions any more no boiling blood in him any more either . Ok he s in his 30ies now but mostly I have the feeling that he is getting increasingly more concerned about Federer corporation and Federer brand name rather than Federer the GOAT tennis player regaining his throne at 33 years old proving blah blah blah which is what most tennis fans would wish.

    He is the most popular player anyway, he is like the Nureyev of the courts, the crowds will forgive some missteps misplays and miss hits once he is doing everyone a favor only to being out there ‘competing”.
    Why even engage in dogfights with 5 year old younger and 5 times fitter Novak and Rafa , when he ll need 10 times more work to do in order to get close to them.
    Moneymaker is doing well , he is enjoying the game, crowds are cheering , tout va bien! Roger is a prince of a player, such a talented player , a man that never had to try too much. May be its to late to change that now. I was only surprised with his two last matches vs DelPo bringing this although tired giant down. I m afraid this is going to be the exception.

    New racket , I can’t have an opinion. I don’t even know that much so I really can’t say.

    New coach I doubt though strongly. It looks like a marketing trick to me. I can’t see much Edberg can give to Fed apart from mental help . Off course if he manages that maybe that we ll be all he needs. But is Stefan the best for doing that? Maybe Lendl would be better or even Brad Gilbert. But prince Fed don’t match with dirty dog Brad…
    Anyway time will tell I guess.

    Jonathan I like your work I enjoy your blog and I think it’s a good idea to ‘diversify’ a little bit. Remember I told you I found myself in here trying to find some tips for improving my own game 😉 I hope the best for Fed but for me it’s more important that the blog won’t “Fade with Fed”

    Happy New Year
    PS apologies for extra large comment but consider I only write once or twice a month so this is 4 or 5 stuck together :).

    1. Great post “The Greek Gambler”
      two thumps up
      I liked this part when you said “I have the feeling that he is getting increasingly more concerned about Federer corporation and Federer brand name rather than Federer the GOAT tennis player regaining his throne at 33 years old” I tend to agree with you

      1. Hey Greek Gambler, I like your comment a lot too.
        But the sentence Shamtoot agrees with is just the sentence I DISAGREE with.
        That is not Roger. Roger is the one who was the happiest when he made a shot at the Brisbane doubles (against Dimi/Chardy) when not only the players but the crowd were in awe for. That is Roger. He absolutely loves this game. Loves making up new shots that everyone is impressed with.
        If he was more concerned about his corporation and brand, he would be sitting on a beach somewhere sunny, counting his money and looking at how everyone else competes.

        The reason that he did not do any exho’s in 2013 and used it all to practise hard, should tell you that he is into all of this because he still wants to win. Of course a loss will happen more often now, but I really don’t think that his priorities have changed. He still wants to win.
        But I think he should approach the matches different. Roger says he does not want to lose a match, he should act more like he wants to win the match. Jonathan also said something like that.

        But still, your comment is great.

      2. Disagreeing is healthy sometimes 🙂
        well Katyani, its just a feeling I had during 2013 and now. I feel like roger has achieved everything and now he needs to worry about what is next for him. I tend to disagree with all these people that their concern is Roger is worry about his SLAMs stats. yeah, its important but not as important as what is next after retirement. he is human after all and a family man!
        its just a hunch that I have and “Greek Gambler” confirmed it to me 😉
        that’s all

      3. Hey Shamtoot, love to agree and disagree. That makes it so exciting !!!
        I do see where you are coming from, but I really believe Rafa winning his 13th is what is keeping Roger motivated to try to win more GS. He is worried about that. First when it looked like Rafa was not closer to Roger, he had I think not really a problem. But now he does and he wants to win atleast one to keep Rafa far.
        By the way, you know if Novak had won the finals of the GS he was playing in 2012 and 2013, we would all be worrying right now if Novak could pass Rafa instead of us worrying now if Rafa can surpass Roger….

  34. Anyone else watch the exho with Tsonga? Was pretty boring in my honest opinion, I only watched it to see Fed’s inner dork make an appearance, it was quite competitive and I think both were trying to get in prep for next week. Tsonga is looking pretty good if I might say so myself and I would make him the favourite between him and Roger if they were to meet in two weeks time. Fed and Laver hitting some balls together was pretty epic and Mirka was tearing up, special moment!

    FYI Rod Laver is looking pretty slow, so I agree with Tiley that nothing has changed. Hewitt mentioned that the court is playing basically at the same pace as last year but the balls have changed and is playing slightly quicker in the day time but other than that, same old, same old. Expect another 6 hour final guys.

    1. Hey Alysha, I agree with you. The first set was pretty boring. But I think that had to do more with Tsonga. He is always so funny at exho’s and then Roger is that way too. Now Tsonga was all serious and so was Roger. I guess they both treated it like the final practise before AO. But the second set was funny and the third was completely funny and weird. By the way, did you think Tsonga let Roger win in the last two or four games???
      Oh and all the autographs Roger signed, truly the Goat…… Oh and by the way, Rod Laver is such a nice guy…
      Ps: Roger was grunting a lot…..

      As for AO: I am sticking to this from now on:
      No more expectations from Roger. Only my goodwishes for him. I am taking it one point, one set, one match at the time. And if all goes well, Roger will be holding the trophy……

      1. BaaHaaaa! You tuned in just to see the court speed. I thought the match wasn’t worth your time. I sure Federer would appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to watch his “meaningless” match for the court speed.

      2. The atmosphere and the seat in front of my iPad were great. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make a donation because I might have to seek financial help from Federer ‘s Foundation.

      3. Oke Jonathan, exactly what did you do that KFedFan is so mad at you??? All the comments…..
        KFedFan, what are you after?? An apology?? You keep targeting Jonathan…. Let it go, good Roger times are coming… Be glad Jonathan has this site to comment on….

      4. No, no. Everything is cool. Me and Jonathan are getting along great. This site is great. Some comments by Jonathan not….so great. GO Roger….The Tennis Player and the Man. wink, wink.

      5. Court definitely looked a bit slow, but Tsonga said Federer was “shiny” so it’s obviously all good :p

        The tweener was entertaining, but far too much of a mistake on Tsonga’s part.

        You can’t help but feel a little like the results are fixed when the matches are so close, but then Fed did look irritated to get broken serving for the match once.

      6. In case you guys didn’t know it already, Jonathan and KFedFan went to school together 🙂

    2. Alysha, I thought you were being quite unkind to Rod until i finished your post and realised you were talking about the court 🙂

    1. What happened in the match? I saw the first 20 minutes and it seemed fairly serious. As in, they weren’t joking around. What level of seriousness were they playing at? I do believe Federer came back to win 7-5 in the 3rd.

      1. Patches of giggles and interactions with audiences. Its a pretty relax match by both players, tuning up for next week. Roger has entire Melbourne mooning over him and his friends. He is such a fan favourite

      1. Yeah, Laver still able to school those guys how to play ‘real’ tennis. I was laughing so hard when Roger name Novak and Serena as potential baby. Novak even tweet about it, I think he tried very hard to emulate Roger.

  35. I watched the first set and a bit of the second, then had to go out. Annoyingly I can’t find a link that works now. Just get a blank grey screen on the replay link.

    From the part I saw it seemed a bit more serious than the usual exhibition match, but given that Jo is returning from injury and Roger a little uncertain it doesn’t surprise me. They want to entertain the crowd but also test the water I suppose.

    If anyone has a workable link for the match I’d appreciate it.

    1. Rita, I think the links aren’t working at the moment. I’m getting the same thing but with a message saying they are working on the problem.

      1. Thanks Sue. Good news that they are working on it and it hasn’t already receded into history for them. I’ll keep checking back then.

  36. Mr.Sakthi,
    Playing tennis more than 25 years.Presently with Wilson pro staff 90 sq in model
    2014. Bought in pre sale.Lux alu power rough 1,25 mm string….
    Only to say to you. We will see.Respect to your comments.I am big fan of Roger.
    Just told my opinion honestly.AO first big test for Roger. Wish best to all you guys.

    1. I found this on another tennis forum. A fan suggested Federer to do this to get back on top. I just wanted to know if any of you agree expectably the CAPITALIZED part:

      Federer has become too distracted by the adulation he receives and by being treated as a living legend.

      It’s not a good place to be if you’re still out there trying to win matches.

      He feels under pressure to act a certain way, to do certain things and this slows down his mind and instinct on court.

      If he wants to get back to winning consistently or at least have a chance, he needs to forget about his image, the crowd, the cameras, his charity work, HIS FAMILY and just focus on the ball.

      Do you think it is unreasonable to ask Federer to FORGOT about HIS FAMILY which include his wife and two children, some to be three? I know some fans think Federer’s family is unfortunate by product of life, but really?

      1. Agreed.How to step in history is important.How to step out of history is
        much more important.All this disscusion is about how Federer will persist a
        living legend.His way of playing, his personality made a big impact on milions
        people around the globe.

      2. “Federer has become too distracted by the adulation he receives and by being treated as a living legend.”

        Well, that bit I have been wondering about myself: he does have so many potential distractions (see Brisbane, for example), and I wonder if he should narrow his focus somewhat. Plus I don’t think the “legend” business is very helpful at the moment: I imagine it’s only adding to the pressure to succeed. But as for forgetting about his family, the only way that’s going to happen is by him suffering from amnesia, and yes, of course it’s unreasonable. Mo Farah has talked about the difficulties of going off to Kenya for months on end to train, and how his twins didn’t recognise him when he came home, and I can’t see Roger ever regarding that much sacrifice as acceptable. And it certainly wouldn’t be good for him psychologically/emotionally.

    1. Assuming he gets to the fourth round, he’ll probably need to deal with Tsonga, Murray, Delpo/Nadal, and Djoker to win… it’s not unexpected given the seeding, but I think the really unlucky one was to get Tsonga in the R16. Obviously, god-killer Stakhovsky is lurking around too :p

      1. Don’t mock. Stakh has actually won a couple of “proper” matches this year so far. 🙂

        So, who’s Novak got on his side of the draw? Berdych and Ferrer, presumably. Bit like last year’s Wimby, in fact.

    2. Oh Dear GOD!! They couldn’t have made it tougher, could they??
      Eventually Tsonga at R16 then Murray in QF (souds like a replay of last year…) before Nadal or Delpo in Semis and most probably Djokovic in the final…
      I can be optimistic and all, but number 18 isn’t looking easy to reach in two weeks…

      1. Couldn’t they just have stuck Berdych in there too somewhere? You know, just to kill any hope whatsoever …

      2. Well, it’s never easy when you’re the 6th seed. Verdasco in 3rd is no walkover in AusOpen.
        I think if Fed gets past Tsonga, he should be able to fend off Murray only to lose badly to Dull. Djoker should win the title pretty easily. Better him than dull.

      3. We don’t know Murrays form today. Tsonga will have to go through Giles Simon. That could be a tough grind, especially on a slow court. I think we will see Roger vs Rafa in semis, unless Roger tanks against anybody in order not to meet Rafa.
        Delpo has fairly easy way through until Dimitrov or Raonic and he is a flat hitter which could possibly upset Rafa. Delpo legs may be a question in best of five though.
        To me it comes down to how good is Simon to cancel Tsonga. Their head-to-head is not that much in favour of Tsonga. Could easily be a five setter for Tsonga here which could open it up of Roger to come through in three.

      4. If Simon does good against Tsonga, imagine what he can do against Roger.

        Hello? Has everyone forgotten Roger vs Simon at the AO? 🙂

      5. I imagine he can loose as he has done their last four meetings. But sure, he is a pain in best of 5 which is why it’s good he runs into Tsonga first to give him 3.5-4 hours on court, or have 3-5-4 himself.

      6. “Couldn’t they just have stuck Berdych in there too somewhere? You know, just to kill any hope whatsoever …”

        Hey Alison, read your comment like six times and everytime I had to laugh !!! Loved it….

    1. I think it’s ok. It’s going to be a big test for sure. If he can’t beat the number 10th seed he got no business being ranked number 6.

      1. What if federer pulls it off?All dull fan,muzzard fan,djoker fan will shut their mouth.
        One can dream cant he.

  37. Looks like an ok draw to me considering Roger’s ranked sixth. Tsonga could be a problem. Nadal doesn’t have an easy draw. He just could be out in the quarters. Woohooo. Djokovic’s seems easy.
    Hard to say how it will all pan out. Murray might be out before the quarters too. Djokovic in the final vs ?.

      1. Aha hahhah ahhaha oh ahhaha hahhaha! Tomic playing the “match of his life” will be dispatched by Nadal. These are slow Australian Open courts. What were you thinking?

      2. Hey Ganesh, Rafa will make atleast SF, even beating Delpo. I don’t think Delpo normally does well at AO and Rafa losing before semis?? No way. Did they not think he would lose early at USO because he is always vulnerable in the first couple of rounds?? What happened?? He ended up winning the damn thing !!! No, Rafa will make SF, maybe even final, but he will not win the title…. That he won’t.

    1. Correct. Players ranked 5 through 8 cannot be choosers, and must prepare to beat three of the top four to win the championship. There Roger, you know the drill 🙂

      By the way, told you they will spare Roger in the QF, then give him Nadal in the semi 😉

  38. I get the sneaking suspicion that Nadal might just fall to Del Potro, if he’s playing well. Del Potro hammered Nadal the last time they met, albeit on a slightly faster court, but nevertheless, an interesting match.

    You never know about Murray, given his injury. There’s a chance for an early upset. Federer’s got Tsonga who will be a tough ask. But if luck goes his way, and were Nadal/ Murray to cop out ,it would definitely boost Federer’s resolve.

    As long as Nadal doesn’t win this, I’m alright. That’s a horribly negative way of looking at it, but I just can’t help it. Maybe slam number 18 is a tough ask in 2 weeks time, but hopefully slam 14 ain’t gonna happen as well.

  39. Oh my this blows…. Nadal plays some tough first opponents so he play himself to form agaisnt delpo. Then we all know what will happen if he meets murray/Fed… And that’s considering Fed’s gets past Tsonga, which is anything but a given…

    Funny how Djoker’s side of the draw is so bloody easy… Ferrer (no comment), Stan (I believe he is not going to do as well as last year, too much pressure now), Berdych… I mean come on…

    Oh well. Seems like #18 is gonna have to wait a bit…

    1. I think that’s not the ideal way of looking at it. If the Nadal get’s an easy draw, we complain. We can’t complain now that he’s got a tough draw, saying that as a result of which, he’ll play himself into form.

      We could say the same for Federer then.

      1. Well I bought tickets once I found out it was Del Potro vs Tomic. Probably the best final for Sydney in years! So its an extra birthday present! 🙂

  40. Everybody congratulate Federer for playing in his 57th consecutive GS and breaking the tie with Wayne Ferrira. That is nothing to squeeze at because look at the players who have to miss a GS or 2 in their career. Federer is playing in his 16th season and hasn’t missed a GS since 2000 or retired from a match. Good Luck Roger!

    1. Hey KFedFan, also… if Roger gets far in the tour he will surpass the most winning matches ever. He is right now on 925 I think and he has to pass like 929 or something…. He will be the third, behind Lendl and Connors…
      Another great record….

  41. Will Federer play on the first day ? I mean last year Djokoivc was the top seed and he played the first semi final and going by that logic Nadal will be possibly playing the first semi final this year vs Federer.So that means Roger plays on the first day right ?

    1. It’s random. Tough to know. When I went to see Fed last year, I bought tickets for Day 1 and 3, but then it turns out he was playing on Day 2, so I had to buy another ticket! Each year the schedule is different for the first few days.

  42. After seeing Roger’s draw, here’s my prediction:

    Chance of reaching R4: 85%
    Chance of reaching QF: 55%
    Chance of reaching SF: 45%
    Chance of reaching F: 10%
    Chance of winning title: 3%

  43. I’ve just re-watched Roger’s match against Rafa in the WTF 2011 – Insane! He just plays so calmly and completely dominates Nadal. The thing that struck me was that his shots weren’t unbelievable, just very well placed & he picked the right shots at the right time hardly making any errors. Hardly ever felt like he was forcing the issue or going for too much. He hit 28 winners and 8 unforced errors. I can’t remember the last time I saw him playing so calmly or error free.

    Especially watch the 2nd set from 0:45:43 on – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JzNePULOco

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