Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Sweeps Aside Zverev to Make Semi Finals in Melbourne

A 13th Australian Open semi-final appearance for Roger Federer looms large as he defeated Mischa Zverev 6-1 7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 32 minutes in today's Quarter Final.

The win sees the Swiss record his 85th match victory in Melbourne, and he'll next face Stan Wawrinka who comfortably defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Aus Quarter Final 2017

Zverev won the toss and elected to receive, a strange choice for his game style, and he got off to a dreadful start as Roger held to love and broke to 30 for a 2-0 lead.

Memories of Halle in 2013 must have crept into Zverev's mind as at 5-0 it meant he'd lost 17 straight games to Federer, but he managed to get on the board before Roger served out the set 6-1 in just 19 minutes.

It was tough to see how the German could make a fist of things in set two as he wasn't making an inroad on the return and having to hit volleys off his toes in his service games. But in game 4 Roger virtually broke himself to give Zverev a 3-1 lead. The lead, however, was short-lived as Roger broke back and at 5-5 got the break as he went on to take it 7-5.

Roger was always going to be a huge favourite in set three, and after missing a break point chance in the opening game, the Swiss broke to lead 3-2. At 2-4 we got the longest game of the match which featured ten deuces and a half SABR, Roger went on to finally break for 5-2 and saved a break point of his own at 30-40 before serving it out 6-2 in the third.

Match Stats

Match Statistics M. Zverev R. Federer
Aces 5 9
Double Faults 0 1
First Serve % In 72/97 (74%) 54/79 (68%)
Win % On 1st Serve 38/72 (53%) 37/54 (69%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 13/25 (52%) 17/25 (68%)
Net Points Won 30/75 (40%) 23/32 (72%)
Break Points Won 1/2 (50%) 6/15 (40%)
Receiving Points Won 25/79 (32%) 46/97 (47%)
Winners 30 65
Unforced Errors 13 13
Total Points Won 76 100
Distance CoveredΒ (M) 1456.3 1177.5
Distance Covered/pt.Β (M) 8.3 6.7
SABR 0 3 x Almost SABRS


Thoughts on the Match

Fed Zverev Quarter Final Melbourne

A super quick and fun match this one which featured some sweet volleying, impressive passes and all court tennis that's great to watch as it's such a rarity to see on tour these days.

Not the five-set thriller or baseline slugfest where the fittest wins, but one where hand skills, anticipation and quick movement get the job done. Everything happens so fast, and even if you're not a Federer fan, it's hard not to be in matches like this when he's whipping clean forehand winners inches from the ground.

Regarding how the match panned out, Zverev got off to a dreadful start as he looked nervous in the opening games but once he steadied the ship, he was able to work his way into things. Roger always had him at arm's length, but he still needed to be on his toes throughout as Zverev came up with some solid volleys to keep the scoreline close and he'll have been disappointed no to hang onto the break in the second set. After breaking back, Roger got back in the driving seat and from there on it was relatively plain sailing.

Naturally, little to learn today on how he'll fair against Stan as it's an entirely different game, but he moved well throughout, served ok and was the better player from start to finish. It wasn't physical in the slightest either, so he should have plenty in the tank come Thursday.

Predictions vs. Wawrinka

Next up is Stan The Man who defeated Tsonga in straight sets. That's an impressive win as you'd expect Jo to at least get a set but like we've seen with Stan before, if he comes through a big test early he can go on to play some great stuff at the back end of the tournament.

Roger dominates the H2H, but it's not the best indicator as Wawrinka has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is a threat to anyone when his game is firing.

I think it will be an exciting match; we saw Roger give an absolute masterclass in how to blunt raw power when he schooled Berdych in Round 3 so he'll need to replicate that against Stan.

Wawrinka is, of course, better in virtually every area than Tomas, but the same principle applies – deny him the opportunity of playing his game and taking over the point with his heavy groundstrokes by taking his time away.

So can Roger make the final or will one of the twins get her wish and be skiing in Switzerland on Sunday? I think if he plays a similar level to the Berdych match, he can win in 4. If it turns into a game where he ends up grinding from the back of the court behind in the rally, Stan will come out on top.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Any comments about Roger grunting on his serve?

      Stan is playing great. He was brilliant against Seppi. But Federer knows how handle his game if anyone. IΒ΄d say itΒ΄s 50/50 who comes out on top.

      1. Thanks Jon πŸ™‚ and it was my second overall! Not an impressive ranking…yet!

        Vidde: Fed grunting? For sure not systematically, just natural groaning on serves and other hard shots, and this is to be forgiven. But no way Rafa’s or Djoko’s or for instance Fererr’s, dreadful! Many do it, and in those cases I just have to sound-down all – commentary, audience, balls bop etc.

    1. Can’t even begin to explain how excited I’m getting with Fed playing so well… Though I try not to get carried away…
      And now comes Stan, who is playing top tennis too. Can Roger defeat Stan? I think he has a fair chance though it’s no surprise that Stan is the clear favourite for this match…

      1. Isn’t it crazy Fed is doing so well given his draw? Now we just need Dull to be shot down by Raonic and then have the other semi go to 5 sets with 16-14 final set score and Fed has it in the bag πŸ˜‰

      2. Haha.

        Yeah it will be a tough match, Fed knows Stan’s game well but if he catches fire then he is mega dangerous. Bookies have 57% chance Fed wins…

  1. Fed has to win in 4 at most if he wants a shot at the trophy. Even if he wins in 5, it will be a tough ask to win the final me thinks. At this age, its not easy anymore as we saw at Wimby last year.

    Straight sets will be ideal if he is to face Dull in Final.

    But Stan won’t make it easy for Fed. I hope the H2H plays in Stans mind and he chokes a bit. It has always been the case.

    Faster court will help Fed nullify Stan’s game. Stan likes to hit through the ball on slower courts where he has the time to hit his own shots and use his power. On faster court, he doesn’t get that time so another positive for Fed.

    1. Nadal ain’t that good. He is maybe a bit above average. At times, his shots can be attacked because they are vulnerable. Rafa’s journey will end vs Raonic. I think Raonic will win in 4 or 5. I just can’t see Rafa beating Raonic. Nadal ain’t what he was, and if Fed were to meet Nadal, he could have a chance to win. Just remember Basel 2015. Fed beat Rafa. So why not here? Fed is playing differently, Rafa ain’t really into an attacking style, but more on a playing all shots possible. If Fed can play like vs Berdych with short points combined with aggressive shots, he can beat Rafa.

      1. That’s all on paper. The only issue with Fed about Rafa is that he has gotten under Fed’s skin and in his mind. the AO09 final is the best proof. Fed completely trashed Delpo and look at all other matches of him in that slam. Watch his match against Safin. That match itself was worthy of a final even tho Fed won in straight sets.

        Dull on the otherhand wasn’t that impressive and he barely won the SF against Verdasco if you remember.

        But Fed lost to him in 5 sets. Same in the 08 Wimby final.

        So if Fed can overcome the mental block against Rafa, he has more than enough weaponry to not only beat him, but blow him away.

      2. Well, yes, that’s why I made my comment about Roger clearing out mental baggage in the previous thread. It *would* be interesting to see a Fedal match at some stage and see if he does manage to remove that block, but possibly AO final is not the place. Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves: there are still 3 matches before that.

        I have to say, though, I’m delighted Roger has got this far. I never expected it, so I guess any more will be a bonus.

      3. Agreed, even if I would have ove to see them battle it out , I just dont see Nadal overcoming Raonic in the semis. I hope I am for all the Rafa fans but If he was pushed to five sets by Sasha , Raonic can clearly beat him in 4 sets.

    2. I think Fed is definitely playing with no weight on his shoulders but can’t underestimate the Nadal factor, it’s too engrained I think to ever disappear. But that match is a way away from happening.

      1. I think Fed has all the necessary to beat Rafa. I think mental status ain’t a factor today. Today is a whole lot different than before. Rafa’s game is weaker now. Fed’s too, but give Fed some time, he can reach an incredible level for his age. He can beat members of top 10 constantly, and probably make a challenge to the current top 2. Basel 2015 is an example that Fed can beat Rafa. Don’t look at AO 2014. Rafa was #1 then. It was his second peak of his career. Fed wasn’t better in AO 2014 compared to AO 2017. In fact, I think that AO 2017 > AO 2014…
        Fed is much more aggressive now. Plays points smarter and as quick as possible. This is a factor that Rafa hates. You push Rafa, he will concede. You don’t push Rafa, he will push you before you realise it… In their H2H, Fed didn’t push Rafa enough. He didn’t S&V as much, he tried to beat Rafa on the baseline by doing long rallies. Roger’s chances to beat Rafa are much better now because Rafa’s game is not what it was, and because Roger is still playing well.

  2. Yes, indeed sweet match, and sweet report – thanks Jonathan and also some sweet prospects for future tennis. A lot respect to Mischa, whom I wish many future kills (except Rog). Second set might nearly have been a bit rattling I think, had he held his multiple juice πŸ™‚ game…

    1. Yeah will be interesting to see how M. Zverev does rest of year, hard to see him factoring on clay but that game can work too. Indoors best time for him.

  3. Its nice to watch old school tennis instead usual baseline slug fest. It takes a lot more skills against s&v playing style. Roger was quick and hitting his spots well. Initially I was a little worried earlier as Roger sometimes come out flat after 5 sets win. I am sure he still have plenty left in the tank. How he will fare against Stan, its 40/60 in favor for Stan. Roger has already surprised everyone by reaching semis. Now that the draw has open for him a little, I hope he takes with both hands.

  4. More than 17 straight games cus he won the match before the bagel as well. So like 18/19 probably! That’s gota hurt

  5. Mirka will be a great factor in the semi-final match. If she can make eye contact with Stan ( like what Tsonga accused Stan of ) and mouth a couple of ‘cry baby’s then Stan will disintegrate.

    Jokes apart, its going to be a cracker of a match with Fed being the underdog for the third time in this tournament.

    Zverev’s taking out Murray could be a pre-destined sign, not because Fed would have lost to Murray but would have expended 2 times the energy to beat Andy as he took to beat Mischa.

    So all signs pointing to a Fed victory, Mirka notwithstanding

    1. Someone will have to hand Mirka a loud speaker, otherwise, I don’t think Stan will be able to hear it, even if he wants to πŸ™‚ .

    2. We want to see a cat fight between Mirka and Donna !! I think ppl will cheer them more than they will cheer on Fed or Stan πŸ˜€

  6. Good game from Fed. Need to climb that Win % on 1st serve, though. Wawrinka match will be 50/50. Don’t base yourselves on Tsonga match. Tsonga didn’t push him at all and played a bit below average. If Fed can play like he did vs Berdych, holds his serve, and plays quickly (even on Wawrinka’s serve) then I can see his chances of winning in 3 or 4 tight sets. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I am a bit basing myself on their meeting in the US Open 2015.

    Anyway, SF is already great. Fed has defended successfully his points, so if he loses to Wawrinka, I wouldn’t really mind. Who would have predicted a SF, after a tough draw? I think Fed is capable of reaching the finals. Although, I really wouldn’t want the final to be Fed-Raonic. Yes, I know Fed can beat Raonic, but I am a bit scared from Maple Leaf.

    1. Vik, a key is that Roger go pass Stan first. If Roger does this in 3 or 4, I believe that he is more than capable of, whoever is on the other side does not really matter. Let’s see to if Milos could pass Rafa first and then Gregor (most likely). If Milos needs more than 8 sets to dispatch these, Roger will beat in straight! Clearly, there are way too many ‘if’s at moment. We will see.

      1. Ofc, Fed has to pass Stan first. I think Raonic will beat Rafa in 4 or 5, and Grigor in 4 or 5. I can’t really see Raonic winning both these games in 3. So 8 or 10 sets.

      1. Why does everyone think Rafa will beat Raonic? Raonic beat him in Brisbane, and I am favoring his chances. Maybe the situation where Rafa could beat Raonic is if the match goes to 5 sets.

  7. Thanks Jonathan. It was much nicer to watch the game without having to worry about its outcome πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ . As anticipated, Roger passed Mischa well. It was surprising that in the 2nd set, Roger threw in two lobs in one game πŸ™‚ , never remember he did that before. The 10 deuce game in the 3rd set was a bit tense and I was worried that failing to put it off could make Roger lose concentration in his subsequent service game, as happened in the 4th set of the Kei match; Roger hanged tough πŸ™‚ .
    On SF with Stan the Man, Roger has never lost to Stan on HC and yet it is true, agree with you, that Stan now is a lightly different player after winning USO last year. Still with this year’s faster court/ball, I feel that Roger will win, if he plays like what he had done in the last three rounds with the similar tactics. This year, balls will not bounce as nicely as those in the past for Stan to unleash his trade-mark BHs. Darren Cahill said that this year balls are slightly lighter and less fluffy. A fractionally lower bouncing will see Stan’s successful rates of crushing ground strokes to come down a bit. This might not help his confidence, unlike in the past three years; whenever he crushed the balls, the balls landed on lines or just inside. Besides, who is to say that Stan does not age; he is 31, heading to 32. If we look at what happened to Nole and Andy, we will see.
    Allez Roger

    1. JMac said same about the balls, said they don’t fluff up and keep in good condition for longer.

      Although I think lower bounce favours Stan just as much on the backhand side, waist height is perfect for a one hander. He’s just immensely strong that he can also make good shots when it’s up around the shoulder.

  8. Wow, loved that pair of magical lobs! Such a joy to watch not just him playing like God but also the type of match just as old days, serve and volley, passing galore! What a fun πŸ™‚

    I missed more less two third of the match so appreciate the highlight, thanks Jonathan.

    1. Yeah that point was cool. I forgot to mention his challenge as well where he played a lob, knew it was crap so challenged. Then apologised to Zverev’s box πŸ˜†

  9. Fed certainly has met a diversity of players’ way, so in that respect AO has been perfect training for him. Stanimal is different too to all the others. But still nice, that he knows him so well! You can say that Stan also knows Roger inside out, but I’m not so sure. Rog wants to win still of course, but I feel his way of aggression has changed a bit. The fun takes a maybe even greater place. To win is fun, and find the way is fun. In this way balance is there. I never saw him desperate. At the most a small bit in second round vs Rubin.
    I think he’ll stay calm and let his phenomenal eyesight find his chances. Stanimal maybe not that calm.

    1. I think Stan knows Fed’s game just as well, and Norman will have his say. No secrets as to what each player might do. I am guessing Stan might actually look to volley a bit against him and see if he can bag cheap points.

  10. Well, there is all the ranking points defended. I’m ready to just sit back and enjoy the semi final, it would be wonderful if Fed wins but regardless of the winner I’ll be rooting for them in the final. Should be fun.

  11. I’ve gone through their stats of all the previous five rounds in terms of winner/UE (result) at this AO, the finding is what I’ve found:
    Stan 17 (3:2), 21 (3:0), 1 (3:1), 12 (3:0), 13 (3:0) – top 16 seeds: 12
    Roger 20 (3:1), 7 (3:0), 23 (3:0), 36 (3:2), 52 (3:0) – top 16 seeds: 5 and 10.
    So far, in all Stan’s winning matches, he had a substantial number of UEs in each one of them, confirming the implications of Cahill’s court speed and ball analysis. So I will put my money on Roger πŸ™‚ .
    Allez Roger!

  12. As it seems like Hermione Granger lied about the Ministry of Magic Time-turners being all destroyed, here are some literary redefinitions according to what I have seen this AO so far:

    Pride: my constant feeling whenever I tell I am a fan of Roger

    Prejudice: my friend’s constant reply that his glory days are over

    Sense: admitting that the probability he loses has become higher

    Sensibility: whenever I think of it, feeling broken-hearted, however

    Crime: that is writing off the greatest man to ever play the game

    Punishment: just ask Roddick, Ferrer or Berdych… it’s all the same

    Great expectations: that’s what I have every time he steps on court

    Beloved: the only way to describe a man who gets all this support

    The time machine: a magical engine activated before he starts to play

    A midsummer night’s dream: that is seeing him lifting the trophy on Sunday

    1. Literally Awesome Alex ( pun intended )

      Its going to be War & Peace on Thursday.

      First the War which Fed will win

      Then the Peace between the two buddies

    2. I’m speechless, Alex. Just love it! So clever and Murli, the Master approved.

      Hope it would be Peace in the end, well I’m already in peace πŸ™‚

  13. Well, Jonathan, bet you cant believe you are suddenly writing about RF in the SF… I can barely believe I am reading it! Scratchy 1st 2 rounds, silly out of the archive performance v Tomas, gutsy belief performance v Kei! Today was a given, had too much game, too much brain for Mischa. And suddenly we hv defended all our points and are at the very business end! Stan Shld be the fav, 4 in world, won last GS but Rog knows this and hopefully can just play fast and loose, take Stans time away, and use the crowd ( and Mirka?) . Not even going to think ahead. Rog in 4! Allez!!

  14. Loving Federer’s movement and his forehand that last few matches. This is closer to the Federer of old! When he would glide over the court and his forehand was a fearsome, reliable and often ridiculously good weapon.
    I think the extended block of practice and training is really paying off. Roger is hitting his forehand with so much more speed, spin and angle. And he is hitting it confidently. Backhand working really well too. Down the line and cross court. Serve clicking – which happens when Federer is feeling good. And the movement is sublime. I really feel that the hours of practice are paying off! Makes me want to practice my forehand more!
    Jonathan – before Roger’s comeback you asked what we were hoping for and from Federer on his return. I said I was hoping for a little of the Federer of old. Seems like we’ve got that!
    The Mighty Fed πŸ™‚

  15. A very solid performance by Fed, didnt really need to play his absolute best (which is good given his upcoming task). Federer has lost last 5 semifinals at the AO, I believe he’ed certainly woild wamt to change that. I predicted Fed to make his 13 semi appearance here he’s done that, I have a feeling federer will come out the blocks early and this is where I am predicting another fedlike-counter-attack tennis in the semis.
    I believe I am being realistic given how well he s played and how fresh he is mentally now, plus roger is too smart not to get in those long gruelling rallies with stan.
    Prediction : Federer to make his 6th Australian Open final by winning in 3 tighr sets against his fellow swiss.

    1. Been a long time since he made the final in Aus really. Even made French more recently.

      It will boil down to who does a better job at preventing the other from playing their game. Stan not a bad matchup for Fed. Should be able to S+V a bit too on the chip return from Stan.

  16. Great match and nice summary of it. In the 2nd set, in the game Federer was broken, he took a weird fall/stumble at the net and sort of grimaced. Afterwards he was moving well. Did anyone see that or was there a comment about it afterwards?

    Overall there i no pressure in the semi finals. He has entered 3 GS since 2015 and made semis in each, which is ridiculous at his age.

    I have watched him lose to Nadal too many times in finals. It is a matchup issue as Nadal can play his comfort game – grinding attrition tennis and let Federer punch himself out. Then a couple of amazing passing shots, a few fist pumps, and it’s over. Maybe watch highlights of the 2014 AO semi final match. So the way I see it is a no-lose semifinal, even if Stan wins (he is the favourite here) at least there is a better chance to stop Nadal because Stan can punish the loopy shots to the backhand.

    I believe Nadal will outlast Raonic like he did Zverev. Raonic did beat him from 1 set down in Brisbane, so he will have belief. But a best of 5 is something else. Dimitrov or Goffin might as well concede as neither believes they can beat Nadal either.

  17. I am about to watch a replay of Stan vs Jo so may change my mind after that, but I think Fed has a slight edge over Stan, based on the courts and balls being faster. Yay for the faster conditions, it meant Zverev did well and we got some unexpected results. I am a fan of Milos as well as Fed, so hope the faster conditions means he wins over Rafa.

  18. Hey guys, Katyani Wisdom is still going strong πŸ™‚ I said the Nishi match would be extremely difficult and…. it was. And I also said his match against Muzza would be much easier (like the Berdych match) and… it was πŸ™‚ So 2-0 for me. Oh no, wait…. it wasn’t Muzza but Misha…. oke 1,5-0 for Katyani Wisdom. I’ll take it πŸ™‚

    Just kidding, but this is not kidding:

    Roger will beat Stan. Remember what Stan said after he beat Satan at USO last year? The journo asked him if Roger gave him some tips or advice. And Stan said with laughing “about what, how to lose”. Trust me…. Goat remembers and will make him pay for it πŸ™‚

    Fedal Final will happen eventually, but please NOT at AO. But I think we are heading that way. If you guys think Raonic will beat Rafa…. no way…. like I said, Rafa is not going to let this one go (no Satan, no world nr 1)….

    Come on Roger, make the Final and beat Rafa there πŸ™‚

      1. “Katyani Prediction” is sooooooooo last year, so I changed it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Vik, I sooooo hope you are right. I don’t want a Fedal Final, atleast not at AO. If it is to happen, then please somewhere like Dubai or IW, but not AO.
        But like I said… even Dull knows this is his chance so he is not going to give it up, but please let “10 Min Toiletbreak-Raonic” beat him πŸ™‚

    1. I bow to the wisdom of Katyani and wish for a Fed – Nadal final.

      And if that happens, then for Fed to beat Nadal ( obviously )

      That should settle this stupid GOAT discussion forever. ( for the rest of the world, I mean )

    2. As long as Nadal is still in this tournament, I just can’t celebrate it. In fact I’d rather fed lose to Stan if his final opponent is Nadal. Stan has a much better chance to beat the dripping bull

  19. Am I the only one on the planet that isn’t that crazy about Stan. I thought Fed was giving him a little dig about the old days when Stan was asking Roger how to play different players. A bit of a mind game?

    And am I the only one not wanting a Fedal final?

    1. I’m with you Sue. Rather see Fed lose in semis than lose to Rafa in a final.

      Fed has a good shot against anyone but Rafa in the final.

      Rafa and Fed are both on their way back and fresh. Rafa on the ascendency counteracts and nullifies Fed’s ascendency.

      Rafa – in fair to good form – beats Fed in best of five 99 out of a 100 times except on grass.


    2. Count me in Sue. Last thing I want to see is a Fedal final. I’d hate to see Dull win another slam at the expense of Roger going mental in that unfair matchup. Even though a part of me wants to see Roger kick Dull’s ass some day. Not now. Let Roger win 18 first πŸ™‚

    3. Definitely dont want that Spanish guy in the AO 17 final. I would die to see him come up against Fed at Wimbledon and USO.

      But the chump never shows up there when Fed is good form. Sad!

    4. Hey Sue, on your first and last sentences…. you are not the only one on the planet πŸ™‚ I am very thankfull to Stan that he stopped Satan twice from winning a slam, but… there just is something about him…. I try to like him and I succeed, but then he does something….. no, I am not his fan and no, no Fedal please πŸ™‚

    5. Sue, as you can see some share your opinions about Stan and a possible Fedal Final. Me too! A Fedal final would be way too nervy to my comfort…So let Raonic, dear God, beat Nadal today, that I from full heart can wish Fed to final!
      Has anybody followed ladies’? Lucic-Baroni is in SF to meet Serena? Stunning?

  20. Roger has passed the test with flying colors and against all odds he has an A for the tournament but you must be thinking that this is a Huge opportunity for him. In a way it will be interesting to see how the Nadal-Raonic matchup will pan out. I also expect my compatriot Dimitrov to make the semis. That way if Nadal does get pass Raonic, there will be at least another fail safe mechanism to a potential Fedal final.

    Roger should be able to get it done against Stan but there might some thoughts creeping up in his mind about Nadal should he make the semis too. The good news is that Roger’s semis will be played first and if he wins he’ll have 2 full days of rest to prepare for the final. Forecast for tomorrow night is 23 degrees Celsius and for Sunday night 29 degree Celsius. The reason why I am mentioning that is that should he make the final, for once Roger will have fast conditions on his side. We all remember the US Open 2015 when for the should tournament it was hot and fast only for the final to be played in chilly conditions after it had rained which gave the Djoker a big advantage. Anyway, we are not there yet and for now I think that Stan will be a test. Especially in tiebreaks. He’s won 4 in a row now and we know how important a first set is. I think that if Roger is able to win it, things will fall into place rather nicely. If he loses it, he can still win the match but it will much more difficult. The speed of the court and the ball should be too his advantage. Plus, he has the night match conditions experience but one should never underestimate Stan. Yet, Wawrinka has not solved the Federer riddle on hard courts so I hope that Roger will take advantage of the scenario that is presenting itself. Tonight will be I rerarung especially with the Raonic/Nadal matchup. Is Raonic for real now or will he fold against Rafa? I haven’t seen much of either player but that doesn’t matter. Dimitrov is also a potential spoiler so you never know. I guess one step at a time and let’s see where it all takes us. I assume that all of us Fed fans are cautiously optimistic and we are too smart to premature cheer since we know how many times we’ve been burned before so let’s just see what happens. Anyway! ?

  21. “It’s weird because you share history with someone,” the 34-year-old said. β€œIt becomes a part of your definition for a long time. I’m happy that a part of my definition is as respectful, as classy and as good of a human as Roger. It would be tougher for me to hear if the person that ruined me on court for a decade didn’t have the moral fiber of someone like Roger.”

    – Andy Roddick

    Full article:

      1. I like to think of Roddick as the Donald Trump of tennis. Straight shooter. πŸ™‚

      2. My goodness…what do you call straight? To be honest or what? I won’t say more to this provocation. Time will show.

      3. I did’t mean always right when I said straight shooter. For example, what Roddick said about Federer is totally inaccurate, but that still makes him a straight shooter πŸ™‚

    1. The faster the court, single-handed backhand players will thrive. Thus no surprise that 3 of them are in the semis.

    1. Imagine him getting past Raonic and then guaranteed one handed backhanded players throughout , the spaniard is showing form of 2012 , where only a serbian machine could stop him in 6 hrs.
      I still believe Dimitov will make the finals, I see the spark in him.

    2. Even more depressing, Raonic and his fragile body. MTO for his hip or leg, Nadal gets free pass to semis, lucky fella

    3. I think the FH is still a huge liability in that game. Raonic choked in the second set and wasn’t having a great serving day but huge win mentally for Rafa to come out of that Zverev match and make his first slam SF in nearly 3 years. I was definitely leaning towards him making the final once Djoker left but I’ve been very impressed with Grigor after watching some of his matches. Picking him to make his first slam final.

  22. Raonic better pack his bags and head back to Canada.

    He had couple a set points in the second set on Nadal’s serve and then one on his serve in the TB. Didn’t take it. Will lose third set 6 – 2.

    Doesn’t deserve to win or for that matter has the game to win. All serve and nothing else. Fed let him off the hook at Wimbledon, unlike the highly intense Nadal now.

    Nadal Dimitrov next. Baby-Fed doesn’t stand a chance. Nadal in Finals for sure.

    1. OOOOF – I hope not….Milos HAS improved, has got some decent net play, and I think from mentioning (don’t follow the match myself) he has been so bereft of luck….
      A Rafa on fire is hard for anyone to beat, Fed included. I trust the benefit of fast court, though. Should they meet in final.

      1. Of course Rafa is on fire. And maybe Raonic has improved because he lost 4-6 in the third instead of 2-6 as I had predicted.

        The problem with guys like Raonic, Nishikori etc. is that they themselves don’t think they are Grand Slam Winner material.

        Of the new lot, the guy who probably believes that he can do it is Alexander Zverev. And I think he will too in 2017 itself.

        Now for tomorrow.

  23. Raonic choked, did nothing but serve. Rafa was OK. I have observed that most of his shots land a bit further than the service line. When Milos attacked Rafa, Rafa conceded. But Milos choked for the majority of important points, as he didn’t push Rafa enough, and Rafa made him pay.

    I don’t know why people are scared of Fedal final.
    Fed has all the weaponry to currently destroy Rafa, as he is playing than Rafa.
    Biggest question is: Shall we rely on Basel 2015 about that mental block???

    1. I didn’t see any of it, but a double fault on set point is bad news.

      Fed certainly has the game but there is no chance he destroy’s Nadal over best of 5. Anyway like I keeping saying, both guys are potentially 5 long sets away from the final

  24. Oh crap, just realised that if Rafa wins AO, he will be the first player ever to win all Grand Slams more than once! Grigor, don’t choke.

    1. I think if this was the 90’s or early 2000’s then winning all 4 more than once would be incredible. Still big but there’s not a whole lot of difference between them all now.

      This AO has been one of the best slams in recent years though, all thanks to the courts.


    That’s what I think. Fed cannot beat this Nadal and never does.

    Basel ’15 : Nadal in broken fragile state and he still tool it to 3 on a solid Fed in killer shape. Fed could easily list that final.

  26. Rafa will employ the same strategy he uses against Fed against Dimitrov. Attacking the single-handed backhand.

    Even Fed took a while to counter that strategy, doubt whether Dimitrov will be able to handle that kind of persistent pressure.

    Fed can do it and so can Stan.

    So what stands between Rafa and GS No. 15 is Fed or Stan and not Dimitrov.

    1. I think the H2H shows Fed hasn’t been able to counter that strategy yet either.

      Stan can do it, he’s physically stronger on a higher ball. I actually think Dimitrov can do a better job than Fed on the backhand as well. Perhaps on this court fatigue from a high bounce to a single hander is not a factor though.

      Fedal is a long way off, but if it happened I think the key would be how well he returns Nadal’s serve… he was pretty aggressive on Zverev’s serve, needs to be equally dismissive of Nadal’s serve.

      I guess the question is can he do that? Zverev was coming in behind every serve so he had no choice but to go after returns. Nadal won’t be, so does he revert to type and just float in slices? If he does then Nadal is taking over too many points that way and you know he’ll always keep running to get a break of his own.

  27. I’ve always thought the problem with Federer vs Nadal is that Fed has no consistent plan to win points, even on his own serve. His inside out FH goes to Nadal’s forehand, so that weapon is not very useful. So then there’s more risky down the line shots over the higher part of the net. Nadal’s a great passer too, so it’s harder at the net. I remember in 2014 AO I had hopes that Federer with a new racket and strategy could do something vs Nadal, but he was straight setted, so I have no illusions about this anymore. It’s fine: the fact is Fed beats a lot of guys Nadal has trouble with.

    It’s all a moot point anyway as Stan is still the favourite in the semi final – just a few days ago I didn’t even think Fed would pass the 4th round…It’s been a great start of the season.

    1. Thats was Federer with the new racket maybe 8 matches old trying to build uo to the stefan edberg plan (clearky early days ) if we were toctalk about AO 2014, and has good hold on the racket (3+ years) , he renwed game plan was instoppable for grandslam opponents not named Djokovic (because he s the best returner and was able to nuetralise Federer s serve from impossible angles). I dont see Nadal doing that equivalent damage other then running around the courts and use the same FH to BH stratergy.
      Keys for federer : 1st serve percentage, agressive in the back hand and those flat forehands.
      Federer needs to trust his gameplan and stop thinking about the opponent and respective hth. That is where I believe he loses mentally and trust is gone.
      If I am not wrong Federer mentioned that those loses againsr Nadal scarred him and he thinks the world of him : I like him being candid and open about it , and its hightime he stops over-respecting his opponent. This court clearly looks faster to me that the WTF’s in 2011 (we know what he did to Nadal) and thats the bottom line , his game is capable of not onlt beating Nadal but dismantle him.
      I wish if at all they were to meet Federer trust his tennis and not think about Rafa and the occassion and the 17-14 slam ratio (those are all stats really).
      How evilish of me : the reason I might want that final is because I am not able to digestthat 2009 final yet. Yes he could loss to nadal , but what if he wins?

      1. I agree with this, it’s a good point about getting used to a racket. It’s just that in 2014 he manhandled Tsonga and Murray so completely before Nadal, I felt like he was on top form. But they were lesser opponents for him match-up wise.

        As you say the key is to stick with the plan. EVen after Nadal passes him with some ridiculous miracle shots, accept it. Fine. Can he do that for 3 sets? If so, then he deserves it.

        Second – and this I feel is important – don’t go for winners quickly, but construct points to tire Nadal. So make him run back and forth over and over, even if there’s a chance to go for a winner outright. It sounds risky, and some points will be lost, but overall it might tire Nadal eventually.

        Ha that 2009 final, I still watch highlights of it on youtube as I can’t believe he lost that. Should have won in 4 easily. He had the first set, and the 3rd was gone when Nadal saved so many break points .

  28. The only succesful tactic that Roger has employed against Nadal is the down the line back hand and the inside-in forehand. When Roger pins Nadal to his backhand side, it’s harder for Nadal to pin Roger to his backhand side. Again, it’s easier said than done. There is a lot at stake for either players.

    I hope that my compatriot Grigor makes a match with Nadal. Plus, it will be a decent barometer since both he and Roger have a similar game. Grigor has a weaker serve and an average 2nd serve but he is 25 years old, plays with confidence and can stay toe to toe with Nadal on the long grinding rallies. So we’ll see. I still expect Nadal to win but you never know. Roger will probably win tonight also but I am sure that Nadal is already in the back of his mind and that is very tough to overcome. We’ll talk about it when and if it happens. For now, let’s try to ride this and see where it takes. Nadal is a favorite if and when he plays with Roger but if the fast conditions and the warm weather don’t play into Roger’s hands, I just don’t think that anything can help him win. I am sure that Roger will try to make the most if it but Grand Slams are never easy to earn.

    I predict Roger to win in 4 tonight and Nadal to win in 4/5 tomorrow night.

    1. The trouble is, if Roger and not Grigor were to win, Rafa would very conveniently have had some very useful practice against Roger’s type of game in advance of a final. But this is probably all academic: I suspect that Roger won’t get past Stan anyway. Although he’s got to put any thoughts of a potential final opponent out of his mind, since the other semi isn’t until tomorrow and he can’t influence the result.

  29. Serious Question, Everyone understands How bad match up Roger has, but i am having hard time recalling the match where match Roger ducked out thinking the possibility of playing Nadal in next match…I really doubt he thinks that way approaching SF against Stan, if he does I didn’t see he is going to win SF anyway. I sincerely believe he is looking for reaching final and take shot at Slam rather than going out in SF. Let’s see.

    1. There s almost a sense of panic here on the blog since Rafa beat Raonic in straight sets. Too many errors in Raonic s game today, what a shame, never liked that guy anyway :p
      I know Rafa can get in Roger s head and all of those things but regardless of that I ed still like to see them face each other in the finals and see what happens : as a Fed fan.
      Nadal does stand a very good chance winning that match , but we re predicting about finals.
      Its funny how people already feel that Dimitrov will get rolled over and stands no chance.
      I really think he s got the flare AND the GAME to make it to the finals (not just saying it in a desperate-hope to avoid fedal final). The guy is playing very well. I made prediction about fed making the final, my secind prediction
      ; dimitrov beats Nadal in 4 sets and make the finals.
      Federer vs Dimitrov will be a treat to watch if it happens. :p

      1. Interesting. When was the last time both finalists at a slam had one handed backhands?

        If that happens now, I’d be very happy as it would mean no Nadal in the final who I think is going to go all the way. Thanks largely to partnering with another doper. Fuck you, you Spanish dopers!

      2. Yeah, Nadal is probably doping.
        People just never support my theory that all those years Djoker was doping, and he was secretly stopped, but allowed to play without them.
        Sid, I think the last final with two One-Handed Backhands is 2007 Australian Open.
        Federer vs Gonzalez. Fed winning 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-4.

      3. That was the last year Rebound Ace was used. Makes sense if two single handers make it to the final on this “faster” surface.

        Nadal is severely doping. Last I read he was doing some stem cell regeneration or something in his knees. He waited out Djokovic’s peak period and now he is ready, fully juiced, and no Djokovic to worry about.

      4. Oh really? Crap this is worrying. Another Nadal doping moment with a probably banned Djoko from dope and who else knows what.

      5. I have no doubt in my mind that Djokovic doped. These multi slam winners are money makers for the organizers, for the sponsors. I guarantee you, there’s an understanding between them and the players. Doping is rampant, players get protections, deals are made. I think it’s time they gave Nadal a slam or two after keeping him away for years under a silent ban. What of Federer? I do not know. Maybe he is doping. But it’s definitely not working. Maybe he wants to stick around and not leave tens of millions of dollars at the table?

        Sorry folks. Enjoy the tennis as if it is a WWE event and everything will be just fine. All I’m doing is watching Federer play. I just can’t believe I’m seeing a 35 years move like a 27 year old in his prime. Maybe even better.

      6. Isn’t Nadal amongst those who were exposed by the Russain hackers after the Olympics last year? He used some banned drug under the medical exemption provision. Which year I can’t recall, but off competition. Serena Williams took stuff IN competition in FO15 if I remember correctly

  30. I simply have no emotional bandwidth for understanding how ANYONE could want a Fedal final. (I know you courageous people are there and see what i can’t hearts more robust than mine. )

    I may just be a sniveling coward.

    And f course it would be the very greatest way for Fed to win 18.

    But it would be the moist humiliating of ways for him to lose it.

    And there is NOTHING…nothing in either of their games or ages to suggest strong evidence greater than the total confidence/ game plan brain collapse Fed brings to the match would not just happen again.

    1. Alb, There is difference between anyone WANTING Fedal final and wishing Roger to reach final here rather than losing in SF… Especially when Roger playing first SF if he lose the match thinking about Nadal possibly in final, that only seems coward… I prefer he gives his 100% in SF as any other match and see what happens in F. If Rafa makes it so be it….Of course its disaster he loses final but in right mind we can not wish he better lose in SF.

      1. Agreed Nambi. You have the moral high ground! Of Course he needs to give it 100%!

        Show me the path of courage!



      2. Haha Alb, feel same thing. BUT! We HAVE seen our hero as a true top tennis master in his 3 latest matches, prevailing over 3 most different, and all of them dangerous players. He’ll show off tomorrow, win/lose. Same thing eventual sunday, no matter vs whom. We can be confident master is back, he will win tournaments again now, so if he should slip this time, never mind that, it has all been perfect training, the results less important this time.
        We have also seen his sound tendency just to go on, do his best, no matter what just happened. No better match training than that, focus in present challenge and nothing else, and it’s a huge benefit he had so many wins to go further that way. He’ll of course still follow that course, and regard every opponent as a new opportunity to train his way. That’s what I tell myself. To do as he does – be curious what happens next, the way to handle that, and does it work..? Wether yes or no, just go on to next point. But I’m still deadly nervous!

  31. Rqonic seemed to me that he didn’t move around the court or even play like he normally does. He seemed to behave a bit awkwardly.

  32. Oke guys…just a thought… I am getting ahead of myself and am already thinking about a Fedal Final:

    Well, we don’t really want that right? But didn’t we all think Stan would be destroyed by Rafa in the AO Final 2014?? What happened? Stan beat Rafa. So… who is to say that Roger will not beat Rafa in the Final? Yes, it is Rafa, he is unplayable, he is getting to his old form, but he is also older… Roger is playing AO like he has nothing to lose because he knows people don’t expect him to get that far. Maybe he will play the Final that way… he knows no one will think he can beat Rafa, so he can play freely and maybe even play the way Rafa doesn’t expect.

    Only other thing that worries me, is that if Rafa beats Dimi, he will have had an extra “practise” against Roger…

    Ps; I read some tweets saying that fans rather have Djoker back than watch a Fedal match where Roger will lose and it will break their hearts…. Really??? You rather have Roger getting beaten by Djoker than a heartbreaking loss against Rafa??

    1. Oh and…. where was Rafa in 2014 and 2015 when Roger was literally kicking everyone’s ass??
      NOW he plays Roger when Roger comes back from a 6 month injury and little matchplay?? Now he gets a chance to play him??

      Strong Roger vs not so strong Rafa never go together right?? It seems like it is always the other way around…

      Still…. I am backing you Goat…. lets beat Stan first and then kick Rafa’s butt πŸ™‚

    2. Fed can unquestionably beat Rafa.
      At the same time, we all ask ourselves the same old question: Will he mentally block again?
      If Fed mentally blocks, he will lose.
      If Fed plays freely like he does, he can beat Rafa.
      We would probably never know until it happens.

    3. Yes I’d rather Roger lose to Djoker than to Nadal. Less of the two evils. Plus this title will bring Nadal to 15, to close to 17 for my liking

  33. Nadal in the finals is almost like a Bad Comedy. I am not too worried about it since I think Roger has the weapons to defeat Nadal this time around. Its all about handling the most important points using a better ROS and FS. Nadal got to the SF courtesy of many MUG performances from the opponents. I can’t think of any of Nadals opponent who would have troubled Roger as well here. Dimi might have a chance since he looked the least MUG. Still, I wont count out the next gen on deliering a MUG perrformance. STAN, based on his USO and AO performance, is the biggest match for Fed. I am not sure how this is going to turn out.

    Hope for the best!

    1. I am glad I know my tennis.

      Damn that Stan. He sure took a piece of Roger. He could have just let it go if he was that injured. I am pretty sure Queen Mirka is least pleased with that antic from Stan.

      Hurray for Roger. Dreams are still alive!

  34. How easy it is to forget how much I hate Nadal. A few years have passed when he wasn’t really in the mix.
    My hatred shifted to Djokovic and his stupid lovefest.

    Now the old feelings have come roaring back. What a bummer. Any therapists on this blog?

  35. Just realised a thing. Fed is doing great right now. At 35, getting SF at slams is great. But here are my thoughts. How much more years will Fed play on the tour? When Fed retires, what will happen to this blog?, what will happen to tennis?, how will us Fed fans survive in a new era of a possible boring tennis??? I am realising that we should be enjoying every bit of Roger because we should all know that his retirement will come so quickly, that everyone of us won’t be able to react. Who will be our favorite tennis player in the future? Will there ever be a tennis player that can be close to as graceful on the court as Fed? I definitely hoped for Dimitrov, but after years of disappointment, I think he is just not that guy. (Is he peaking now???) We Fed fans should realise that when our player retires, we will be the most impacted compared to other fans. Novak fans, Rafa fans, SABM fans and other fans will take it more easy. Their players were more to the standards of tennis for their career. Fed, on the other hand, is a different story. He is a completely different player who plays with a style… Style that is a pleasure to watch. What almost sheds me to tears, is knowing that every match is closer to the end, seeing Rod Laver appreciating Roger every bit, hearing Fed scream come on, hearing the crowd going wild on a great point, seeing Roger just play is joyful and tearful at the same time… All of that represents not only the emotion of watching Fed, but realising that we are watching one of the best players in tennis who is going to retire soon. In the future, I will watch tennis, but no emotion will probably flow to me. Seeing players staying at the baseline hurts. Every time I see Fed himself, I almost shed into tears. Knowing that this very person that I admire, adore watching will retire, as we will no longer see him on the court. Of course it’s life, but everything happened so quickly. I remember Fed starting his career as a youngster, winning his first slam, and now all is quietly coming to an end. It’s a fact that of course we should embrace. Definitely it will be a sad moment. Tennis will receive a mini-apocalypse. We will be shocked by Fed’s retirement. We would be all sad, not knowing who to watch next. There is a big chance that tennis will become full of robotic players. Possibly the past becoming a forgotten era, with new fans enjoying robotic players. Tennis will never be the same. Already now, you can see that tennis is not the sport that used to be. A big wave of robotic players are in the rankings, with no sight of someone who can be a sheer natural in the sport. Already now, fans like us enjoying guys like M.Zverev means that Tennis is going nowhere… Sheesh, I have so much to say. Let me skip most of it. Coming to current time, let’s all have a smile on our faces, joy in our hearts, and let’s all enjoy these last years of Roger playing on the court. πŸ™‚

    1. This back in our minds, yes. Edberg was – is – adored as well, still has a fan-site, I think. – Roger will always play the tennis and IF πŸ™‚ he ever retires from the main tournaments, the “legend’s” tennis will suddenly get an unseen attention. As long as he lives, I think we’ll hear about him. And hope: rumor is there, that the courts will go to faster conditions again. The organizers may finally be aware of the robotic play, boring everyone. Mischa has done a contribution, being this sensational cindarella old-school, taking advantage of the faster conditions here in AO. Hope is alive, that his kind of tennis comes in vogue again. (- I also quite like Rubin. And Schwarzman and such.) And too early to write Grigor off – can be quite enjoyable to watch. But he’ll never have Roger’s charisma…

    2. We’ve already had a 6-month taste of Roger not being around – and I didn’t like it. Couldn’t sum up much interest in the rest of the tour. Once he’s retired, I guess I would pick up again eventually, but I doubt it would be to the same extent. Not unless someone I liked nearly equally came along.

      I wasn’t able to catch any of the match, but I guess I’m still stunned at Roger having made it back to the final after all this time. And never so glad that he has 2 days of rest before the final.

      Now, Roger, just do us all a favour and don’t run any baths for *anybody* for the next few days, huh?

  36. Please tell me Roger is doing this on purpose… he wants to experience a 5 setter before going in the final…. Come on Roger…. what’s up?? What are you doing?? Focus Goat…. you can still do this…

  37. Not sure if any one noticed this, but for the first time, I saw Federer save his wristband, bandana and towel after the Wawrinka match. He thought about throwing it in the stands (as usual) for a second, but then decided against it and wrapped it up into a plastic bag. I don’t think he’s ever done that before. Strange.

    1. You’r right, this was exception. He wasn’t happy with his performance in last part I think. His mto, and quite long – injure? I wondered if he would retire from the match. He was also somewhat coughing, and looked tired at the end. I think he was surprised to win this from Stan’s upper hand after 2 first’s, where Rog certainly was outstanding – like vs Berdych. Nice the luck was with his bravery – and excellence of course – anyway at the end.

      1. I don’t think he’s injured at all. The MTO was just a tactical thing from what i gather. He didn’t even give a straight answer when Courier questioned him about it. He almost wanted to avoid the question.

  38. Well…that was strange.

    Driving away with it for 2 sets.


    Then Complete confidence loss. Serve vanishes.

    Almost losses serve 2X in 5th.

    Then somehow… Suddenly…Stan folds.

    And Fed was super subdued post match. Battling A “leg thing”?? All week? Is it the knee again?

    That was weird.

    I can only think he’s injured again. And he’s bummed.

  39. No worries. He said in a swiss interview that he has some issues with his adductores. But already since the whole tournament. Also he has now 2 days to recover, so nothing to be concerned about. He’ll be fit on Sunday he said!

    1. Also he didn’t say, he felt same as first set even after MTO in fifth…Its all speculation now..No way for us to know…..Just hope he can bring his best in Final and give all out there as he told…

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