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Federer Wins Shanghai Masters 1000 Title

Federer Takes Down Simon to Win First Shanghai Masters 1000 Title

Hey all, what a week for the GOAT huh? Save 5 match points on Wednesday and then lift the title on Sunday. As if beating Djokovic in sublime style wasn't enough, Roger topped off his week in Shanghai defeating surprise package Gilles Simon 7-6(6) 7-6(2) to lift his 23rd Masters 1000 title overall and 1st in Shanghai.

This one wasn't easy however as Simon showed why he's extremely difficult to put away, moving well laterally and striking the ball cleanly off both wings from the back of the court. It was inevitable Fed didn't quite reach the heights he managed vs. Djokovic but the good news was he played a mentally tough match and won enough of the important points to get himself over the line. A huge testament not just to his ability but also his competitive edge to win matches when not playing at peak level. Allez!

Quick Match Recap

Federer Shangai Trophy

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. His aim was obviously so start strong but he fired down a disaster opening service game to get broken to 15. Simon consolidated with a love hold to lead 2-0.

No fireworks from the Frenchman, just well placed shots and zero errors. Fed on the other hand got dragged into a baseline fight with Simon who massaged the ball round the court and Roger's clarity of thought wasn't quite there. Almost like he had too many options out there that he wasn't sure what to hit which lead to mistakes and poor shot selection.

This pattern of play continued until Simon served for the first set at 5-4. This time around it was his turn to deliver a horrible service game to get broken. Somewhat inevitable as he was serving at a mere 30% for the set but Fed had committed 14 unforced errors already by this point. Luckily the Swiss tightened up his game when it mattered to get back on level terms.

The break back gave Roger a much needed boost and he held to love for 6-5. Simon found himself facing 2 set points in his next service game but he stepped up to the plate to force the breaker.

Roger's tie break play this week has been exceptionally solid and here was no different as he delivered some timely first serves right when he needed them. The only real moment of danger was when the Swiss missed a routine volley at 5-4 which lead to Simon having a set point at 6-5. 2 solid serves snuffed those out and he converted his own set point with a tremendous dipping backhand passing shot down the line.

After dropping the first set Simon took a medical timeout off court for what appeared to be a groin issue. This meant the start of the second was a little flat for both players as the intensity Fed had built had faded somewhat. Roger was still pressuring but Simon just refused to go away, coming up with some very solid play and injections of pace when he needed them.

Both players held comfortably until 3 games all and at this point Roger was just starting to get a foot hold in the set, using his variety and slice to devoid Simon of any pace. It set up a break point for him in game 7 but again Simon held firm.

3-3 soon became 5-4 Simon with the pressure on Fed to serve to stay in the set. He did so emphatically holding to love in 1 minute and 20 seconds. The Swiss then had a 0-30 inroad in Simon's next service game but committed 3 consecutive errors as the former world number 6 held.

After holding in style at 4-5, this time around Fed got himself in trouble at 15-40 but he came up with the goods again when it mattered, playing fearlessly off the ground to force the tie breaker.

Winning the first point on serve is always important and Fed got off to a flyer in this one serving his way into a 5-2 lead. He then ran around the backhand on a second serve to blaze a winner to give himself 4 match points, closing it the first time of asking as Simon netted a forehand. Game, set, match, Federer.

Match Stats

R.Β Federer G.Β Simon
Aces 4 3
Double Faults 0 1
1st Serve % 70% 51%
1st Serve Points Won 39/50 (78%) 28/46 (61%)
2nd Serve Points Won 15/21 (71%) 28/44 (64%)
Break Points Saved 2/3 (67%) 6/7 (86%)
Service Games Played 12 12
1st Return Points Won 18/46 (39%) 11/50 (22%)
2nd Return Points Won 16/44 (36%) 6/21 (29%)
Break Points Won 1/7 (14%) 1/3 (33%)
Return Games Played 12 12
Winners 21 21
Unforced Errors 36 29
Net Points Won 24/35 3/9
Total Service Points Won 54/71 (76%) 56/90 (62%)
Total Return Points Won 34/90 (38%) 17/71 (24%)
Total Points Won 88/161 (55%) 73/161 (45%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer and Simon in Shanghai

Another great week for the GOAT topped off with a title that was missing from his trophy cabinet. Like he said himself he got extremely lucky vs Mayer but he took full advantage and ended up being the worthy winner beating the World Number 1 en route to the title.

As for this match it wasn't the greatest to watch and Federer played averagely I thought. Early on he got dragged into Simon's style of play and committed too many errors. It was only thanks to a disaster service game at 5-4 from the Frenchman that he stayed in the first set. After that he clearly realised that he had to play with more variety and more aggression to throw Simon out of synch. He did that by using the slice backhand and taking pace off the ball, Simon moves superbly well from left to right but when he has to step into the court and generate his own pace then his usually flawless ball striking begins to make errors. This tactic worked peRFectly for Fed and he managed to dig deep in the tie break when he needed to with some precision serving. I thought when he missed that routine volley it could have ended badly but he didn't let it phase him. The point for point mentality paid off here and he cranked up his serve at just the right time.

After the Simon medical timeout at the end of the first there was a bit of a lull from Fed but he really should have broken late on in the second only for Simon to play solidly to force another tie break. Fed used his experience though to get it done, preying on some weak second serves to seal the deal.

Just a very clutch match from a guy with a champions mindset. I thought as the match wore on Fed did a good job of focusing on what he had with his gameplan, early signs were Simon was going to hypnotise him with his counter punching style of play but Fed broke out of that by mixing it up and avoiding predictable patterns of play.

All in all a great week for the Swiss and this is the first time since 2007 that he's won a title on Asian soil. He's always played pretty well in Shanghai but has been on the end of some beatings here by Murray over the years so to finally win it is a dream come true really for himself and the fans. It's just another notch on his legacy too, still winning the big titles at age 33 and taking on guys that are smack bang in their primes. 4 titles already this year, back to #2 in the world and playing his best tennis of the year so far. Somewhat of a shame that he's fallen short in the Majors this year but I feel like there's still more to come from him on that front. He lost to the better player at Wimbledon and his legs were gone against a red hot Cilic so there can't be any complaints. I'm now looking forward to the remainder of the year that is hopefully sealed with a Davis Cup victory.

See you in Basel!

Review Overview

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

The GOAT

Emphatic win vs Djokovic backed up today with a mentally solid performance vs Simon to get the job done.

User Rating: 4.22 ( 15 votes)

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and 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 Fed and tennis in general.

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153 comments

    • Bit Nervous Match for us, but glad he came out good in the end….Titles could give him more confident…..

      Now Roger behind 990 points in Novak…let us see how year end pans out….

      Happy Sunday for us…

    • Nice win, right up there for the race to year end first comment leader πŸ™‚

  1. Chumm Jetz!!!

  2. missed it again HAHA knew I shouldn’t have went to the kitchen to grab that sandwich LOL congrats Nambi and to all of us fed fans!!!! what a lovely week it is to be one!!!

  3. Great win from Rog’, and with this he closes to Djokovic on number 1. This end of season will be thrilling !

  4. Great result! But fairly poor match from Roger I thought. Maybe again the problem of going from playing only night sessions and suddenly playing a day session?

    Got it done in the end, but I thought he often came up to the net when he absolutely shouldn’t have…

    Looking froward to the indoor season, could be some nice play! And year end number one is within reach! I’ll be interested to see if he plays Paris now, and what Novak is going to do now that his child is coming. Interesting month ahead!

    come on Roger!

    • So what, Roger missed Madrid when Mirka gave birth in May. ND should have performed better after Wimbledon. Him and RN thought their rankings were safe because they won a slam. And their rankings would be safe if Federer wasn’t around playing consistently.

      • I wasn’t giving Nole an excuse, I’m saying it could alter his chances. If he decides to skip Paris (which imo he should, but that’s his problem) he could really pay for it in terms of rankings later.

        And it’s crazy that Roger has a shot at #1 without having won a slam, he’s really been consistent this year! πŸ˜€

      • “And it’s crazy that Roger has a shot at #1 without having won a slam, he’s really been consistent this year!”

        I bet neither ND or RN anticipated it especially Nadal. Also Murray falling out of the top 10. Its like Christmas in October.

      • Usually only WTA players can be number 1 without winning slams πŸ˜†

      • That issue with WTA players being #1 without winning a slam is different because Roger has won a slam in his career just not this year. Also Roger has played the same number of tournaments as ND and RN even with some tournaments missed by RN. So its not like Roger played some extra tournaments plus you can’t get to #1 playing 250’s.

      • I was joking. Not comparing πŸ˜‰

      • McEnroe in 1982 was the last time someone was World No.1 on the men’s side without having won a slam!

    • I think in terms his usual shotmaking brilliance it was average but you can’t win a title in straight sets and be poor. It wasn’t high quality shotmaking but he played very solid in the big moments. More than 1 way to skin a cat.

    • “he often came up to the net when he absolutely shouldn’t have…” Simon

      “He’s putting a lot of pressure. He’s always showing you that he is ready to be really aggressive on every shot. So he keeps you under pressure.” Simon

      Make up your mind man ^_^

      • I agree hahaha

        But he did it much more better against nole. What I meant here, is that serveral times he hit a good shot, and instead of moving in straight away, comes in late and then is picked off in no man’s land πŸ™‚ I was totally for the aggressiveness, but he could have done it better πŸ™‚

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Simon, this wasn’t a court where you would know right after making the shot that you can move in. Modern tennis is extremely tough for S&V and transition front court game. Those days when you could hit, or chip and charge right away are long gone.

        The problem here isn’t when Roger moves in. From what I saw, in both the semi and the final, it’s the quality of the approach that wasn’t very good. Djokovic was killing Roger whenever he kept the approach a wee bit short. Especially, the chip and charge. Funny thing is that it was the chip and charge that gave Roger two very crucial points, including match point, if I’m not wrong.

        Roger did just fine. Could he have done it better? He had no business being in the second round. Think about it. πŸ™‚

  5. I am happy for Roger this week, he was staring down at a 5 MPs against Mayer and got back with each match. A great week beating Nole, getting back to no2 and winning Shanghai Master title. He showed that he too can be strong in mental dept and stuck to his game plan.

  6. Brilliant summary of match Jonathan – it’s a pleasure to read. As you said, Federer got dragged into playing Simon’s baseline game but you can see how difficult it is to come to net against him – some fine passing shots and Federer got ‘burnt’ a few times. But he settled down to a patient game and I was impressed at how solid he was generally in the 9+ rallies. What struck me – in the last two matches – is how much the second serve winning percentage has been; pretty poor (around 30-35%) in previous matches, over 50% in match against Djokovic and Simon.

    Showed once again how mentally solid he is and just why he truly is the greatest player ever! Love him. What are his chances for y/e No.1 – tough, but possible for the crafty old fox!

    • PS: On reflection, I think a DC win is closer to Federer’s heart. He’ll need to conserve his energy – Basel, Paris, London – that’s a lot of matches before DC; he doesn’t want burn-out. I just hope Stan, who’s confidence seems very low ATM, can come up with the goods at the right moment.

      PPS: Why did he agree to take Nadal’s place at IPTL? A mistake I feel; he should take a long rest and ensure a good practice block IMO.

      • @Thinker – true, it certainly won’t be exhausting as Brazil. Guess he knows his own mind and body anyway. Who am I to say πŸ™‚

    • I think Fed knows you are only as good as your second serve against the elite of the game. Defended it superbly against Djoker yesterday and did a pretty good job today too.

      Not sure on IPTL, only a few days and $$$$. Good for the fans too. Should be ok I think.

      • Yes it is only a few days and he has many, many fans in India (well, everywhere!) and he hasn’t been there it’s true so it would be great for them. I just remember Brazil, then 2013 followed…don’t want that again!

      • Godsick convinced Roger to play. Not a good idea.

      • I’m with Jonathan, I think IPTL will be ok. It’s an opportunity to play for the Indian fans without committing indefinitely to the league in the future. I don’t think it really compares to Brasil – remember that was Brasil AND Argentina AND Colombia, and he played what, 2 exhos in each place? Of how many sets each?

        This is one location, 2 sets only total. He loves the emotional highs & it won’t be taking as much out of him physically as the South America tour.

    • Yeah losing DC would be heartbreaking for the Swiss no doubt about it but playing Basel, Paris and London is kind of set in stone now because Fed has the possibility to get no.1 back.

      Also about IPTL, I also think it’s okay- Fed has played a tonne of matches this year so having a strong training block probably isn’t as imperative as it was last year when he had to regroup and get back to basics which clearly worked. Now that he’s healthy and has confidence, he probably thought why not. Of course though, we will see what impact it has in playing so many tournaments and exhos in a short space of time before he has to be back in Brisbane at the end of December. Hopefully it all pans out and Roger is experienced enough to know what works and what doesn’t so a little trust in him wouldn’t be too much to ask for πŸ˜€

  7. Oui MONSIEUR Federer! πŸ˜€

  8. Hi Jonanthan

    That was a little nerve racking especillay after he dropped his first service game, I had to keep dipping in and out of the match but will watch it again later – so pleased that he won – going to be an interesting few weeks – would Djoker really miss the birth of his baby to hold on to No 1 – his Mrs may have something to say about that. Looking forward to the rest of the year – Onward and Upward hopefully to No 1 and Davis Cup holders I would also say winner of O2 but do not want to be greedy or jinx him

    • Indeed, it was a match where Fed never really had much breathing space as Simon never went away. I thought Fed could steamroll the 2nd but like all their other meetings over 3 sets Simon just wouldn’t back down.

  9. Great work all week from Roger and Jonathan. Well, we weren’t expecting this, were we. Many of us thought Roger should not play in Asia to focus on Paris, WTF, etc. How wrong we were!

    I have to remind myself not to feel greedy. World #1 is in sight but I must be content with Roger’s awesome season so far. This is so much fun.

    Happy Thanksgiving to us Canadians! Time to get the turkey in the oven.

    • Have a lovely thanksgiving, Sue πŸ™‚

    • Mmmmm…. we don’t know yet really – yet to be seen how much this takes out of him energy-wise, though clearly confidence-wise it’s turned out to be phenomenal.

      If he had lost against Mayer we’d all be sitting here saying, I told you so; and that was SO CLOSE – and really down to Mayer’s failure to execute on his first MP, the one that hit the tape. I figure if it hits the tape & goes over, Rog still has a (slim) shot at it; but if he had made a clean shot over the tape, it’s gone & match over before Roger has time to turn around.

      I hope he doesn’t pick up another bug on the flight home; airplanes can be so bad for that. Wear a mask, Roger.

      • “I hope he doesn’t pick up another bug on the flight home; airplanes can be so bad for that. Wear a mask, Roger.” Roger doesn’t fly commercial. Roger isn’t the only player who saved MPs b/c the ball didn’t go over the net, so why is everybody making a big deal about Mayer? Monfils at the US Open hit a ball long on his first MP against Roger and Roger hit a forehand DTL to save the second. Roger forced him the have to execute and not just give it to Mayer.

      • I thought Roger didn’t fly commercial around Europe, but did when he traveled solo farther afield. Perhaps I’m behind the times.

        Yes, that’s what I said – it’s down to Mayer not executing.

      • My point is Roger saved the 5 MPs and won the match. That’s not luck. That’s bending, but not breaking.

      • Roger clearly does fly commercial sometimes, because otherwise how would someone’s mum or whatever it was have spotted him on her plane to Dubai after the DC SF?

    • Thanks Sue. And happy thanksgiving (first, and probably last time I’ll ever say that to anyone :D)

    • Happy Thanksgivings Sue….I wanted to know if the Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as the American Thanksgiving? ??

      • No, the American one is in Nov. They have it on the 3rd Thursday of Nov. Then Friday is called Black Friday where everyone goes out and shops with money they don’t have. Canadians go across the border and go crazy too.
        Not what Thanksgiving is all about!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Sue,

        Correction. Fourth Thursday of November. Other than that, everything else you said is true.

        “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

        – Will Smith

    • Happy Thanksgiving Sue- we don’t celebrate that here in Oz but I’m definitely giving thanks for Roger winning the title regardless.

  10. Saved 5 MP, beating No.1 in style and got the maiden trophy in the end. What more could we want from him! I am simply rapturous. Fantastic week for us Fed fans. And super post, what a great job from you Jonathan. Thanks, you deserve a short but very good break.

  11. How about Monte-Carlo and Rome for the masters 1000 set…

    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful…He nearly had MC this year! Whilst Nadal’s around that’ll be tough, but if the cheater has a few problems like this year, you never know. πŸ™‚

      • Roger had a chance to win MC because RN lost to Ferrer. So he not going to win MC every year. He’s getting older too. You guys are forgetting Hamburg when it was a 1000 event but it is a 500 now.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Technically, Roger has won eight different Masters 1000’s.

    • Should have won MC this year tbh.

      • You guys are being greedy. Remember he was playing Stan in the final.

      • It’s not about being greedy, I don’t care if he wins all Masters trophies or not, makes zero difference.

        I’m saying he should have won. Which he should and I’m sure Fed agrees, was just one of those days that didn’t go to plan.

      • Stan’s only two wins against Roger are in MC. Think about it.

    • Monte Carlo really feels like the one that got away this year; seems like he really should have had that match. Still, hard to be disappointed with his season overall this year!

      • Hm. Interesting. Several of us, me included, are remembering it as “he should have won Monte Carlo”; but I’ve just gone back & re-read Jonathan’s excellent article & our comments, & what we were actually saying at the time was, he took a last minute WC and it sounds like he had a cold; yes, both guys were kinda flat, but you have to count making the final at all as a positive under the circumstances.

    • Nah doubt Fed gets another crack at MC- missed opportunity since Nadal wasn’t there either but oh well you win some you lose some- Fed has had a great season regardless and whilst yes it would be amazing if Roger could win all the masters 1000, it won’t make a difference as Jonathan said. I honestly don’t believe Roger will Rome either. Djoker and Nadal struggle in Cincy and Miami respectively as well.

      • No, I doubt he’ll be back at MC next year: I gather it’s not a tournament he really likes, so assuming he’s not going to need the clay-court practice like this year …

  12. So happy he got the trophy this time!! It’s a been a great year for Roger and us! And I’d just love to see the faces of all the people who said last year he should retire!!!!!!!!! In your face!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Now, I don’t understand his chances to be #1 again.. He’s less than 1000 points behind Djokovic in the race to London, but in the official ranking he’s 3000 points behind him.. what is the one that matters?? o.O

    • Race to London is this year only; official ranking includes all results for the last 12 months. Djokovic finished last year very strong, so points will be dropping off for him over the next few tournaments – unless he does as well this year as he did last.

      The one that matters as far as year-end number one is race to London. Race to London numbers and rolling 12-month ranking become equal at the end of the year.

    • Djokovic has 2500 points left to play for this year whereas Fed has 3225 with Basel, Bercy, WTF and DC. 990 behind.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Let’s keep this simple. For 2014, here are the standings, as they will be soon, after the Shanghai final.

      Djokovic – 9,250
      Federer – 8,020
      Dopermann – 6,735

      It doesn’t matter what was done last year. There are 3000 points up for grabs. Technically, Dopermann could sweep everything to reach 9,735, which means Djokovic needs to get 500 points from somewhere to keep the year end No.1.

      The maximum Roger can reach is 11,020, which guarantees the No.1. In every other scenario, no matter what he does, he depends on how Djokovic plays.

      Also, my guess is, all these Nadal injuries are a facade. He avoided dealing with Djokovic in China and is now focused on the indoors part this year. With Djokovic distracted with the soon to come baby, it’s an opportunity for him to make it a straight shootout with Roger, who in theory, should do really well indoors.

      Roger can add, what, about 275 points from the Davis cup? So, that should help. It would be interesting to see a non-slam winner end up the year end No.1. When was the last time that ever happened?

      • Not sure on the men’s side but Wozniacki is a player who comes to mind who held the number 1 consistently and is yet to win a slam.

      • McEnroe 1982 apparently.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        McEnroe reached No.1 in 1982 without a slam? You cannot be serious!

      • Hahaha…seriously, according to Sky commentators it’s true Sid!

      • Sid, unfortanautely, I don’t believe that the Davis cup points will be added to Rogers 2014 year. According to the ATP Website, “The Emirates ATP Rankings Race To London include points earned in 2014 plus points earned at the 2013 Davis Cup final” . Anyway, they award the Year end #1 trophy at the 02 arena after the WTF, the Davis Cup takes place after that.

  13. Great sum up Jonathan. I watched this as a rerun after I knew the result so very interesting to watch tactically. Simon is very underrated, he kind of sucks up yr oxygen as the opponent and Fed’s mental strength is not to be underestimated here. Simon does not offer up nearly as much pace as Novak and it is therefore harder for Fed to generate his own pace, and very easy to over hit as Fed did in the first 9 games, being lulled into horrible counter punching rallies. Credit therefore to Fed for mixing it up and and changing his tactics, using the low slice more, inviting Simon to step in, and as you say, inviting more errors. He was actually more successful at net today than yesterday as didn’t attempt too many chip charge off the serve as he did ag Novak. And again the serve stats remained great, and he played the big points, set point down etc, very clutch!
    V pleased for him. Wanted it, rode his luck, and delivered a 2006 performance in the SF.
    Will he go for no 1? Not sure. I hv him to miss Paris due to his huge desire to win WTF and DC. If it happens, then great but still on Novak’s racquet really.
    Shedload of points to defend in 2015….. Don’t care, just want no 18 next yr!
    Enjoy yr break Jonathan, see you in Basel!!

    • Thanks,

      Simon is a player that feeds off pace and absorbs it well so Federer’s change was more about not giving him that rather than struggling to generate his own.

      Simon is the one who struggles to generate his own pace as he hits very flat. Never an issue for Fed as he hits with a ton of topspin and has crazy racquet head speed.

      Most of Simon’s early success was due to Fed getting into baseline rallies and then getting caught out by Simon’s own injection of pace when the ball was in the hitting zone for him. Simon lulls you into almost like warm up play and then catches you out.

      He’s definitely boring to watch but is pretty effective. A real tough player to face and prob why he is former world number 6. I don’t think Fed would like to face him on a weekly basis. Would be a nightmare πŸ˜†

      • Good summary on Simon Jonathan. The guy causes a tonne of problems for almost every player despite his size- last year at the AO, after a mammoth match with Monfils, he was still getting into the match with Murray and absorbed Andy’s power rather well. I thought Fed was rather patient in this match and held off on pulling trigger many a times and it worked effectively- Fed’s tactics were another impressive highlight of this tournament too I must say!

    • Susie- Novak is apparently going to miss Paris due to the impending birth of his child. I think if Roger wins Basel and Novak skips Paris, Fed will play Bercy to throw his hat in the ring and put pressure on Djoker to defend WTF. Will be extremely tight the race but makes it all the more exciting, would be quite astonishing if Fed can end the year as #1- when was the last time a player did that without winning a slam?

      • Yes, think Mrs Djokovic Cld hv an unseen hand in all of this! And who knows maybe Rafa really has got appendicitis. Whenever he has the op, it takes 4 weeks minimum to recover fully so timing crucial for Aus Open prep! Getting ready with the excuses already!

        Wld love Fed to get no 1 but already been a huge yr! Not sure any of us thought we Wld be where we are now! Ecstatic! Thank you Rog, and thank you Jonathan for recording it all for us to look back on in our dotage!!

      • lol Susie, “for us to look back on in our dotage”. I can see it now, the special community thread for members from way back when. “Remember when he had that terrible year in 2013 and how we kept trying to encourage each other and counter the naysayers who said he should retire, and then how ecstatic we were the next year when he won Cincinnati and Shanghai?” “I remember! And Halle and Dubai too! Didn’t he make even more finals that year too???”

      • “Yeah, that ‘terrible year’ when he still stayed among the top 8 tennis players in the world, & made the World Tour Finals…..”

  14. Did Roger also win the Mercedes car that was on display in the arena?????

  15. Thanks for the great write-up Jonathan. Been thinking about your comments on the last post about concern for Roger not getting too cocky, & I wonder if that was a factor today. He DID have a performance dip; however, it doesn’t look like he underestimated Simon, and it doesn’t look like he let that affect his confidence. So kudos to him for pulling it out in spite of not making everything like he was against Novak. And as others have said he still made some beautiful shots. But if he had played someone who was playing as well as Novak did again today, all those UFE wouldn’t have been good enough. I too wonder how much going back to playing earlier in the day affected ball speed & bounce; I remember he was talking about how different it was from practice, after his match with Mayer. And again after the semi with Novak, he said in press that he felt the court & balls played differently from other places – maybe effects of low altitude, or different humidity/temperature patterns?

    Maybe though he would have raised his game if he’d had such an opponent again. He beat the guy across the net, he won Shanghai for the first time, he’s got 4 titles this year, his confidence is sky-high going into the end of the year, we’ve seen him play some sublime tennis – this is all fantastic.

    When asked after the semi about Paris, Roger said “I hope I can play Bercy. If not, it gives me more time and more rest for the rest of the season.” He went on to say he’d talk to the team next week. Personally, I think he’ll wait & see how he feels after Basel.

    Cool-looking trophy, isn’t it? So cool to add one he didn’t have! πŸ™‚

    • Nah I don’t think Fed underestimated Simon either. I think if he had then he would have lost the match tbh. Simon made him earn the win big time. Any cockiness from Fed would have been punished by how Simon was playing. He kept Fed on his toes throughout.

      I don’t think you can really say Fed’s level today wouldn’t have been good enough against someone better than Simon. Sometimes you can only play as well as your opponent lets you, Simon kept Fed honest from start to finish. Replace Simon with someone else and it’s a completely different matchup.

      As for conditions, I believe all players said the courts in Shanghai bounced very low this year. They also use Srixon balls which aren’t used in any other places I don’t think? It flies fast through the air but slows up off the court. Was also indoors today too so probably altered things a bit.

      • Agree, has had too many tough tests from Simon in the past to think he is easy pickings!

      • Interesting about the balls. Fast through the air but bouncing low – isn’t that what somebody was saying it looked like at DC in Geneva?

      • Geneva was quick through air but bouncing high off the court. Looked sticky.

        Shanghai looked dead. Volleying quite short worked well as the ball just bounced and died off the court. Hard to pick up.

      • Ah yes, “sticky” was the word I was remembering – though I thought that meant they DIDN’T bounce, for some reason. All these technical terms…. πŸ˜‰

  16. Happy, happy happy happy!!!!! Merci Roger! What a delight this year has been! Roger is gaining so much respect, I don’t know, the way he is evolving, reinventing himself! Just incredible! I’m sure his fan base is just getting bigger and bigger! So inspiring! It’s no longer just about winning majors after majors, it’s much more than that! It’s the way he adapts to changes, him growing older and the field getting stronger… He is a true and complete genius!!!!!

    It’s a real honour to be his fan alongside you all guys! Thanks to Jonathan and all of you guys who contribute and make this experience a very lively, vivid and fulfilling experience!!! La vie est belle!!!

    • Yeah Fed’s popularity will never wane IMO. He offers too much to the sport and is the biggest draw by a long shot. Who else would you really want to watch? Nobody offers the type of game he can produce. Even on his shit days where his forehand is making a similar number of errors to mine he’s still great to watch as there’s always a ‘Federer moment’ around the corner πŸ™‚

  17. Great post and great win for Federer. Yeess.

  18. On top of the world for the Fed win today Jonathan. The greatest of all has added another trophy to the collection. It is just amazing. He is such an inspiration. Happy days for us Federer Fans. Thanks for all your reviews Jonathan. Today is the first match for me all week. You deserve a break. I am being nosy here – Are you going to Ja. to bask in the sun and sip coconut water while rafting on the Rio Grande (Big smile). If yes, You deserve it so enjoy. If no, whatever you do enjoy and we will be here when you return. Cheers friend.

    • What a difference a season makes, as shown by the rankings at the beginning of the year…

      1. Nadal 13,130
      2. Djokovic 12,260
      6. Federer 4,355

      …and as of Monday:

      1. Djokovic 11,510
      2. Federer 9,080
      3. Nadal 8,105

      Nole is scheduled to play Paris and London, where he’ll be defending 2500 total points. Rafa and Roger are scheduled to play Basel, Paris, and London. Rafa will be defending 1360 total points and Roger 1060 total points.

      • As of right now, it’s highly speculated that Djokovic is gonna skip Paris- if Fed wins Basel i have a feeling he might play though

    • Haha I wish Maxi, still on British soil πŸ™‚

  19. Boom, Roger won the title from losing to the opening round.. Lol.
    Great week for Fed fans and thank you Jonathan for writing the post so we can all share our feelings for our GOAT.
    Well guys I will be in Basel during the Swiss Indoors and would definitely like to go and watch Federer play for second time in my life LOL.
    Any advice on tickets? Is it possible to buy tickets on the day itself?
    I will be reaching there on 23rd Oct at night. Hope he will be there on 24th Oct so we can watch him play.
    Pls help Simon, anybody!!! : )
    Cheers.

    • Fingers crossed you get to see Fed play- especially at his home tournament, doesn’t get much better than that! Fed been the runner up 2 years back to back now I think, let’s hope he can get it done this time!

    • Good lucky getting tickets and seeing Fed.

      Fed isn’t playing Monday this year, so starts on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    • We look forward to yr post! Just heard Delpo def not playing til 2015. Tennis has missed that guy!

  20. Woah – you can actually buy Roger’s black racquet he used at the start of this year to Wimbledon! Quite pricey though https://www.rogerfederershop.com/en/shop/detailansicht/procat/2014/prod/rf-racket-2014.html

  21. I was shown this lovely article about Talent (Federer)

    http://nonstriker.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/on-understanding-talent/

    A nice read.

    • Hey Gaurav, good article, but this line just summs Roger perfectly up: “Stubborness is a talent”

      I still remember that the only reason he told about the backpain was because last year his own fans (who don’t deserve to be called fans if they only want their hero to win it all and all the time) thought that he should retire just to preserve his legacy.

      And what I definitely still remember it Roger saying over and over and over again in press conf that all he has is backpain. That once his health is back to normal, HE will be back. That he doesn’t believe that someone who was nr 1 a year ago suddenly cannot play tennis at all.

      We are all here, celebrating, because of Roger’s talent, hardwork, believe and faith in himself, his body and his team, but most of all because of his stubborness.
      To be honest him beeing stubborn does also bother me once in a while, but him beeing stubborn is also the reason we are all still here and able to dream big and bigger. If his familyplans don’t say otherwise, I really see him playing in his 40.

      That is why, maybe you all think I am joking or stupid when I make these weird predictions, but I honestly believe they will come true. Just because THIS Roger is still THAT good, still hungry for titles, still able to do it all with his family and most important, because he still loves it all.

      You want to know why Roger still plays? Not only because he loves the game, but he loves the love and adulation he still gets from all the fans. But I think the number 1 reason is because of the points he makes and the reactions he gets. Like the point he made at the doubles at Brisbane this year with Mahut. That point he “invented” where Chardy, Dimi and Muhut were just looking like how did he do that and where the crowd was in awe…. that is why Roger still plays…. πŸ™‚

      • “You want to know why Roger still plays? Not only because he loves the game, but he loves the love and adulation he still gets from all the fans.”

        Talking about fans, the UK-based readers here may have seen Simon Reeve’s programme on the Ganges on BBC2 on Sunday night, where he encountered a full-size shrine to Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer who has just retired. Given that Roger must be just as popular as him in India, it makes me wonder what they’ll do for him when he turns up there in December!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        [β€œYou want to know why Roger still plays? Not only because he loves the game, but he loves the love and adulation he still gets from all the fans.”]

        As I said once, Roger loves winning more than he hates losing. Nadal hates losing more than he loves winning. That says a lot about their character.

        That’s why we see Roger stand up to anybody, everybody, anywhere, no matter how he feels, no matter how much the hyped up H2H is tarnished. Nadal on the other hand is all about building a winning record.

        When you see Roger play, you can see he enjoys it. You can see the joy in his eyes. That’s what a ballet dancer is like. That’s how an artist feels like when he paints. Or a musician when he plays. Nadal on the other hand looks like he is full of hate, anger, and disgust.

      • You are so right Sid; it’s what I see also – Feds, he just loves everything about the game, and it shows – his happiness when he wins – no matter what tournament, big or small – he never loses his enthusiasm and almost child-like joy (reminds me of David Attenborough!). And that cheater – when he’s losing, the grimace, followed by toilet breaks and time-wasting at every opportunity, followed by the excuses and injury breaks because as we all know, no one beats a healthy Nadal…

  22. What a stellar week from ROARger! We were all doubting him playing Shanghai and then in the first round, Mayer was a backhand away from preventing Roger lifting up his first Shanghai masters 1000- kind of crazy how things worked out in the end isn’t it?

    Very impressed in Roger’s level of consistency this week- obviously beating Djoker was the cherry on the cake but Roger’s confidence and clutch play was incredible against Simon. Roger showed glimpses of his 2012 self this week and his commitment to come to net was rewarded immensely. Fed was at full throttle this week and it is moments like these that you just have to stand back and give credit where credit due as a Fed fan and a tennis fan- 2014 looks to be ending on a very good note already πŸ˜€

    As you said, sealing the year with a Davis Cup win would be out of this world. For Fed to regain number 1, he’d have to pretty much win the rest of the tournaments this year but I do think if he continues to play at this high level with this amount of confidence then he is definitely in contention and Novak may want to reconsider his decision to skip tournaments… All in all a peRFect week from the GOAT, still adding to his legacy at age 33 to win the big titles and challenge his contemporaries- this is what the ride is all about!

    • Yep. . Alysha…. I really like your wording of ROARger !!!! Absolutely great at the moment when he won. I prefer Rogers celebrations when he win rather than the lord of the jungle Tarzan antics by Djokovic. The worst celebration has to be Nadals as you can see the smugness on his face plus his uncle mafio-so clapping with gread. Totally horrible celebration s by them. I mean I don’t mind when Roger loses as you cant win them all, but when Federer does win you can see it means alot to him, wheras the other 3 are just not in the same league as Federer. Anyway what a fantastic season its been, although it would of been nice if he could of won a slam. But like one of your readers comments said ” in your face” to all those who said Federer should retire. When will they learn.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Yup, there was some article someone posted which said something like, “the long farewell begins”. Federer may well have premeditated a retirement. That’s not the question. That journalist wasn’t exactly planning on Roger winning Shanghai, and beating the defending champion, on a hot winning streak, and current world number one en route, and in doing so, actually putting him within striking distance of being the year end number one. Isn’t it about time they just shut up and let Roger decide what he wants to do?

    • I would prefer Fed to celebrate by climbing into the crowd and to hug a small child that was strategically placed by his PR team. A much better way to celebrate victory.

      Then since Mirka was at home text her from his chair but make it nice and viewable to the camera. If he could get the Apple logo in shot then that would also be good πŸ˜†

  23. Well done Roger! This Master 1000 win is a boosting element to his confidence and should improve his chances to win DC and WTF.
    Congratulation Roger Fans
    I am interested to see if Roger can get to #1 without having to win Slam πŸ˜‰

    • This issue about getting to #1 ranking without a slam is overrated. Remember when Roger lost to Djokovic’s at the U.S. Open after having MP in 2011 then Roger skipped Shanghai. He amassed 3000 points by winning Basel, Paris Indoors and WTF. He would eventually win Wimbledon to regain #1. So don’t believe the distractors from ND or RN camps about this part of the season is meaningless. That’s just an excuse to cover up rubbish results.

      • can’t agree with you more Karen. but it would be icing on the cake if he could do it, no doubt about that πŸ™‚

  24. Hey guys, who is to say that Novak will only play Paris and WTF?? Maybe he is talking right now with his team about skipping Paris for the birth of his baby. And that he needs to get his points somewhere else. Maybe he will also decide to play Basel (wildcard)? Or Vienna or something??
    If Roger was not closing in on nr 1, he would never do that, but maybe now he sees he has no choice??

    By the way, I don’t feel sorry for Novak and Rafa at all. They did this ALL to themselves. They thought they were safe. Having won so much last year and slams this year, I think they never imagined that Roger would “catch up” with them. Like the critics, they thought, oh well, Roger has backpain, is slowly coming back, will never be completely dangerous, so our nr 1 and 2 spots are safe….. Well…. they were wrong weren’t they πŸ™‚
    So maybe we will hear that Novak and Rafa will play more…..

    By the way, anyone remembers Muzza’s remark at the exho in 2013 I think in London? Someone was wearing a shirt of Roger and he asked why he was wearing that. The other person said because Roger was good. Then Muzza replied, no he is not, not anymore….. Well, Karma and Payback πŸ™‚ Now Roger is nr 2 and almost nr 1 and Muzza is struggling just to make WTF πŸ™‚

    • Don’t even get me started on Andy Murray. He was bitter because Roger beat him the year before at WTF preventing him from going to the finals. Jealous because Federer gets more fanfare and support in London than him. Younger players get cocky when they see a great older player struggle. Murray got cocky with Lendl and now Lendl is gone. Murray is ranked outside of the Top Ten. What goes around…..comes back around……

      • Hey Karen, totally agree with you. You know what it was with Andy? At the Wimby Final 2012 he got equally support from the crowd. Half was for Roger and half for him. Obviously. But at the Olympic Final 2012, oh my God, was there (outside of Roger’s team) even one person for Roger?? They were ALL for Andy. And he kind of got use to that. So at the WTF 2012, he thought, well I gave my country Olympic Gold, they will root for me. But… maybe that is how English people are (sorry guys), they already forgot that and rooted for the person they ALWAYS root for: Roger. Which is why during the match Muzza said the F-word to the crowd on camera and told them to shut up πŸ™‚

        But Karen, do you think it is possible that Lendl comes back to Andy??

      • The thing is, by no means all the crowd at the O2 is British, anyway – there are a lot of foreign fans, who won’t feel any particular allegiance to Murray. Last year, watching Roger, I was the only native English-speaker among the half-dozen or so people closest to me in my row.

        Didn’t know Andy had used the F-word: I just remember him getting booed after he broke his racquet just before set point to Roger – and the furore in the British press about “why do the fans treat him so badly?” when the reporters obviously hadn’t noticed the incident.

      • I don’t know if Lendl will come back or not.The way him and parted ways was wierd. That’s and and AM fans excuse when Fed beats them, “He won because of the fan support.” Murray was up a break in the 1st set and Fed broke back to steal the 1st set then win straights. They can’t believe a man 6 yrs older than them can beat them. This the strong era.

      • Andy *may* have been joking when he said that. It’s difficult to know, because he has such a dry sense of humour, and I’ve found some other “humorous” comments of his equally unfunny. Or he may not have been, of course …

    • “By the way, I don’t feel sorry for Novak and Rafa at all. They did this ALL to themselves. They thought they were safe. Having won so much last year and slams this year, I think they never imagined that Roger would β€œcatch up” with them.”

      No, nor do I. You need to be very careful about resting on your laurels, especially when the last part of the season is so often Roger’s best.

  25. Oh and… after Wimby this year I have been extremely disappointed and mad at Novak. Not for winning Wimby (because he did deserve that), but for the mto. But…. I have to be fair too.
    I did not see the whole match, but judging from the highlights the SF he played pretty amazing and fair to Roger. He also came up with some great shots and he really took it to Roger. So…. if you are reading this Nole….. well done πŸ™‚ I am still not your fan, but…. well played πŸ™‚

    Ps: Jon, loved your remark about wondering if Mayer was at home watching the final πŸ™‚ Still remember the commies reply when he said wonder what Mayer has to do to put away THIS guy πŸ™‚
    Can you imagine the players of the top 10, 20, 50, etc…. if it wasn’t hard to beat all the “top 4” players, now they have to beat this NEW Roger too??? With his new racquet, new coach and new confidence?? πŸ™‚

    Go Roger, good times are ahead πŸ™‚

    • Yes, from Jonathan’s extended highlights (and there really *were* a lot) it looked as though Novak was playing really well, it’s just that Roger was playing even better, so credit to both.

    • If I was Mayer I doubt I’d have watched, would be time better spent practising backhand passing shots πŸ™‚

      • Jonathan, ouch, hahaha

        I believe that will be his most hurtful and unforgettable shot. Wonder if he will remember that shot every time he do a backhand passing shots.

        Did you see that he didn’t let the ball boy take the ball. He took it and bitterly put it across the net, on Roger’s side. hahaha…

  26. I watching that match Federer vs Mayer and Fed wanted that and this title really bad. So Mayer was not going to get rid of Fed that easily. Ha! Ha! observers of the tournament already had Djokovic’s name on the trophy after winning Beijing. Berdych is so useless. I’m so glad Fed beat Mayer because Djokovic would have won the title. Another highlight is Nadal losing to Lopez in straight sets and Lopez is a known choker.

    • Fed played the match points well. He only really got lucky on the first but he did make a great volley before Mayer had a shot at the pass. Capitalised on winning to take down the tournament.

    • And even Lendl has rejected Berdych. Says he Wld love to help but too busy! Classic rejection!
      Still can’t over how genius Fed was to pick up the phone to Stefan! Just extraordinary how well he knows himself, his expectations, and what and who will fit with that.

      • Hey Susie, is that true? Was Birdy going to ask Lendl?? And what is up with Lendl?? He is so much in demand, why doesn’t he take it? What else does he have to do??

        And… I so hope Stefan will stay with Roger. Did they finalise something?? He better not leave Roger. No matter how much money he is asking, Roger should pay, before someone (or even Nole) steals Stefan away πŸ™‚

  27. Many thanks, Jonathan, for the quick summaries of the last two matches, happy days – I love the look on Nole’s face in their semi – very worried. So much to talk about. Just want to soak in the happiness for a while longer πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Thanks πŸ™‚

      Yeah got a week to let it settle then Basel.

      Wonder if Dull will turn up? I wouldn’t let him through Passport Control.

      • Dull won’t play exho in India but he will show up for Basel?? Nah, don’t think so. Probably the Great Uncle Toni and he are already cooking up an excuse: “Sorry Basel, Rafa fell during playing golf, so cannot play” πŸ™‚

        I do think Novak will play somewhere before Paris to add points if he cannot play Paris….

      • I was wondering about Nadal too, & I have to agree with Katyani. He’s bailed at the last minute for several years, and last year when he finally did show up he promptly lost his first match. This year we already know he’s got appendicitis, or something approaching it (there is actually support to be found for this idea of treating MILD appendicitis with antibiotics – I had never heard of it before, but I am continually finding that there are things I still don’t know πŸ˜‰ ) – I don’t see him turning up.

      • ….. on the other hand, apparently Mallorcan TV (IB3) is reporting some conflicting news, where Rafa says he’ll play Basel only, & uncle Toni says he’ll play Basel & Bercy, but not WTF.

        Check out @ChiaraGamTWI on Twitter.

        Some days I don’t get why Rafa hasn’t retired already & gone to playing Poker & running his tennis center.

  28. What a crazy 10 days, eh? There we were, wondering if Roger was even going to go to Shanghai at all or whether he’d pull out to make things a little easier for himself (and why not, because it’s been a fairly lousy tournament for him over the years), urging him *to* drop out rather than overload himself with WTF and DC to come, then all thinking we were seeing him fail at the first hurdle (he owes Leo Mayer an entire barrel of beer, not just a pint!). Then suddenly he scrapes through that – and I did wonder if making that lucky escape had somehow given him the belief that he would win the tournament – and just starts playing better and better, until we get the masterclass which was Saturday (thanks for the extended highlights, Jonathan – I managed to watch all of them, for once :)). And then he stands firm and somehow manages to win the whole thing, and I was so delighted for him, especially when I saw it was in straight sets, because I’d expected Simon to take at least one set off him.

    Various things did worry me about this prospective final, though. Firstly, there was the unusually emotional reaction after the win over Djokovic – that’s often been a precursor in the past of his level dropping in the next match, and frequently of him not winning something when he was expected to. Then there was the comment – which I only read, not heard – about how he certainly wouldn’t drop his level against Simon, which did make me think he might be a little complacent after beating Novak so comprehensively. I also thought that he’s played Novak 30+ times, which gives you a lot of familiarity with his game, so you really know what you can risk, whereas he’d played Simon only 6 times, and most of those not so recently, so the relative lack of familiarity might be a problem. Add to that the fact that he was moving from night matches to day matches, so a change of conditions, and possibly faster balls, and that it was Simon who advised Monfils on tactics for beating Fed at the USO – and they so nearly worked – and I was a little nervous, I must admit. Thankfully, though, it turned out all right, even if that W/UE ratio was horrendous!

    I must admit, though, that it’s such a joy to watch Fed back in the sort of form he showed yesterday that it’s almost – and I say *almost* – enough just to watch the way he plays, regardless of whether he wins or loses. But obviously I’d rather he won πŸ™‚

    • Thoughtful comments, Alison, thank you.

      Good point about it being *almost* enough to watch him play – the thing is, his own joy when he wins is so infectious, isn’t it? And when he doesn’t win we don’t get that vicarious pleasure. It’s not that we’ve had to watch rotten tennis, as a rule. It’s that we want that joy again. And we want him to have it too.

      • Well said Thinker. I spend hours trying to understand why We all love him, and that very simple pleasure he lets us share when he wins is very much at the heart of it. Such childlike joy, like a child scoring their first goal. Even time he wins, it seems fresh and new, whereas Novak has cultivated this awful in yr face chest thumping “look at me” celebration, and Nadal over celebrates, not only during the match, but acts as though he has won the title every time he plays, first, second, third round. All very self congratulatory!
        Roger just reacts totally naturally to the actual joy in the Moment! Lovely for him, great for us!

      • Someone asked me this not long ago – why I thought I was moved to be such a fan – and I finally said, It’s the integrity, I think.

        But you’re right – joy belongs in there too.

    • Oops, that “yesterday” in the last para. should read “on Saturday”. I originally tried posting all that yesterday, I mean on Sunday, but just as I’d finished and was about to hit Send my broadband conked out, so I had to save my post until Monday.

  29. When Simon lost the first set that usually means it has Fed right where he wants him πŸ˜†

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