ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentATP 500Roger Federer

Federer Wins Rotterdam Open and Collects 97th Career Title

Title number 97 for the GOAT as he backed up his return to number one in the rankings with a third Rotterdam Open title after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes.

The Swiss now holds the record for individual Rotterdam titles and has guaranteed himself four weeks in top spot thanks to bagging 500 points against a pasty looking and below part Dimitrov who after a promising start faded miserably as Federer took full control.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Dimi

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Dimitrov was out the blocks at light speed with a love hold and he had the better of the opening exchanges but by game five Roger had reeled him in, breaking to 30 for a 3-2 lead and then breaking again for a 5-2 lead. He served out the set to love to take it 6-2.

Into set two and with Dimitrov now needing to win from behind he began to overplay firing a backhand long at 30 all to give Federer a break point. The Bulgarian saved it with a sweet transition to the net but returned to the baseline with a grimace on his face. Roger then won the next two points to break for 1-0 and consolidated for 2-0.

At the changeover at 1-2, Dumusois questioned Dimitrov's effort who replied that he definitely wasn't tanking. Roger then held for 3-1 and was able to get the insurance break for 4-1 thanks to a double fault and coasted to the title to take it 6-2 in the second.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Grigor Dimitrov
Aces 3 1
Double Faults 0 3
1st Serve 62% (24/39) 59% (29/49)
1st Serve Points Won 83% (20/24) 62% (18/29)
2nd Serve Points Won 80% (12/15) 45% (9/20)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/0) 50% (4/8)
Service Games Played 8 8
1st Serve Return Points Won 38% (11/29) 17% (4/24)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 55% (11/20) 20% (3/15)
Break Points Converted 50% (4/8) 0% (0/0)
Return Games Played 8 8
Service Points Won 82% (32/39) 55% (27/49)
Return Points Won 45% (22/49) 18% (7/39)
Winners 15 9
Unforced Errors 13 21
Net Points Won 67% (6/9) 80% (4/5)
Total Points Won 61% (54/88) 39% (34/88)
SABR 0 0



Thoughts on the Match

Fed Number one

It's definitely one of those weeks I will never forget in my life. It's unbelievable to get my 97th title and get back to World No. 1. It's very special. I was expecting it to be tough today. Grigor is a great player and a great athlete and he's been playing super well in recent months. I thought that this wasn't going to be the result, but he looked to be struggling a bit and I never looked back. I was able to execute my tennis the way I wanted to. I'm very happy.

A disappointing final here as after a promising opening few games from Dimitrov, Roger seemed to reel him in and the Bulgarian's level dropped off a cliff. I'm not sure if he was injured or just feeling under the weather (he certainly looked quite pasty) but for whatever reason, he wasn't able to play at 100% and that's not going to get it done against RF20.

From Fed's side I thought he did what he needed to do, he was very solid behind his serve and showed his class from the baseline to really take control of things when required. Even if Dimitrov was struggling Fed didn't let that bother him and he kept on moving forward. Never giving Grigor a sniff at finding a way back into the match or to feel slightly better about what was happening on the court.

So a great week in Rotterdam with 100% success rate as both goals were completed: get back to number 1 and take down the title. Perhaps it wasn't the best tournament overall with a couple of withdrawals, Goffin taking one in the eye and a few players falling ill but the GOAT took the wildcard and took full advantage. He started in style against Bemelmans, ground out the wins in the middle rounds and then finished with a flurry today. Job done!

Roger said he will decide in the next day or two about Dubai. Will he play? I say unlikely but who knows. Let me know your thoughts 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. What’s up with these strange numbers Jon? I mean on the first serve, break points and stuff like that? No percentages…

  2. 97 done can’t wait to celebrate 100!
    Think Federer should try and take the 500 on the platter at Dubai if the body feels good assuming donskoy story doesn’t repeat. He was too lucky at Miami in 2017 and as much as we can wish that repeats , picking the right odds will be the key to YE No1. Hoping for more success ahead for the maestro and us fans.

      1. Maybe you are right. Given that there is an exho scheduled on the 5th with Bill Gates etc he may skip. Really appreciate that you take time out to reply.
        Hoping for YE:1 maybe greed in the mind of fans like me. One tournament at a time. Watch the tally grow and record books swell!

  3. Many thanks, Jonathan, for all the write-ups. What a special week. There is so much great memory for us Fed fans to take away in years to cherish 🙂 . I hope that Roger will take a proper break after this. Perhaps, the 1st proper challenge will be IW and Double, if he is not intending to play any clay. Allez.

  4. I love the woman commentator. She is so polite, asks good questions and listens well. Wish they were all like that. Very special week. Enjoyed the ride. I guess it’s between Dubai and Miami? Miami might have Tiger lurking in the stands.

    1. I enjoyed all their interviews this week. Did you see the one after Fed got No.1 ranking and they gave him a pair of large red wooden shoes, with the date inscribed on them? Roger looked a bit taken aback, but, as always, said the right thing.

    2. Kristie Boogert and Jan Siemerink, both well ranked Dutch players in their time. I told Kristie on Twitter I liked her gentle interviewing technique as she seemed to get a lot out of Roger. she was sweet enough to reply!

  5. I watched the whole match and the first 5-10 minutes were very competitive but unfortunately Dimitrov self destructed after. Fed is a master craftsman and he handled Dimitrov’s serve with finesse.

  6. I hope Roger does not play Dubai. Playing every day this week and having late nights must have taken a lot out of him. He is injury-free, and the goal has to be to stay that way. A good rest seems in order. And it would be tight to have to go from Dubai to his exhibition match in San Jose.

    Anyway, a super week for Fed fans. It looks like getting to 100 titles, now that he has 97, is a reasonable goal this year.

      1. Thanks. What’s with the paint dripping into the shoes. Is this the norm? Back of the closet material?

  7. Well to mis quote Omar Kyamm’Oh moon of our delight ,that knows no wane’Etc Etc.Knew that pink outfit wasn’t a good idea?
    A complete tour de force by Fed Sublime.However I am starting to get a bit annoyed by this playing of the injury card.Due to the awful example of Djokovic and Nadal(who is only ever beaten if he s injured)now it seems everyone is injured particularly if they are getting soundly beaten.Okay,this has been a weird tournament with so many withdrawals and poor Haase vomiting into a bucket,but there must be some healthy players out there,apart from Fed.Still I doubt if Fed cares,number one until Indian Wells.
    As Fed is numero uno does this mean he gets Nadal type draws Eg:No Djokovic or Del Potro in his half?Wouldnt that be nice?
    What was that with the trophy,if you can call it that.Dimitovs looked like a tiny plate(very embarrassing,shame on the
    Tournament)and Feds wasn’t much better.Following on from the Play Group Cardboard for Number One,are they
    Strapped for cash or just mean.

  8. Look at all those dirty finger marks on the plate. They should be wearing white cotton gloves! Roger bought an extra plane ticket so he could securely strap in the #1 box.

    Never knew the ump was questioning Dimi about tanking. He isn’t Tomic. I have no feelings of pity toward all the “injured” players (except Goffin). I wonder how many times Roger was injured or sick and lost a match and we never knew the whole story. Many over the years, I’m sure. Specially 2013 when almost the whole year was a struggle with the back. People thought he was washed up AND off the boil. Rant over for now.

    1. Yeah, what a cheap “trophy”, totally unworthy of any ATP event, including Challenger tournaments. I know banks are bankrupt, courtesy of the mobsters who “manage” them, but this is plain ridiculous. Shame.

    2. You are quite right Sue.All these so called injuries when you consider that Fed has never retired from
      a match.I particularly remember Montreal 2017 when Fed could hardly move but let Zrerev enjoy his
      victory.To be fair to Dimi he didn’t play the injury card but Messrs Petchey and Cowan were certainly
      playing it for him m.

    3. Couldn’t agree more, Sue and Annie. We don’t find out about Fed’s injuries until much, much later if even then, and he was so good to Zverev at Montreal.

  9. Another accomplishment for the Uno-Maestro ! Superb The cherry on the cherry of the cake ! A very easy victory  and 500 more points in the bag ! Our nerves and nails did not suffer today  🙂 Thank you Roger !

    Thank you for the quick and brilliant recaps all week long, Jonathan. Have a good rest if you can.

    Just read on the Rotterdam twitter accourt :

    Federer tells his clay court season schedule is still open. “Nothing has changed since this week. I might not play a full clay court schedule. I decide after Miami to see what’s going on.”

    As for playing Dubai, the final is on Saturday March 3. If he reaches it (who knows ?) he would then have to take a 21- hour flight to California and the Match for Africa 5 is on March 5 there… would it be realistic/reasonable  to endure fatigue and a huge jetlag a few days ahead of Indian Wells ? No, for me.

  10. Good to.see Roger getting to 1 even though he has been the real numero uno for more than a year now. I think he should and will skip Dubai as he cannot skip the match for Africa and IW which are coming up soon after.

  11. I dont want him to play Dubai. Going to be tough to defend IW and Miami as it is. Miami was close last year!
    So happy to see him so happy! Thks for all the fast write ups Jonathan, you deserve a break too!
    Cannot believe where we are, so wonderful!
    no 1, no 97
    36 going on 25!

  12. Back to No.1 and title No.97. Awesome week! Actually awesome start of the year with zero lost matches including Hopman cup. Unreal really. We are so spoiled. Okay might as well to get No.100, only 3 more to go 😀
    I’d rather watch him play Dubai (the fast court and hope for Murli) than Miami (though I like the purple court) but yeah agree with French BF, it’s a tricky timing this year…
    Anyway, excellent choice of photos, Jonathan, especially the one with Fed and boys, love it. Great job posting recaps so quicky every day. Well done and thank you.

  13. Although the final didn’t make me as worried as I expected, I still think the two of them had some really awesome rallies. Fed showed much of his true class, a Numero Uno worthy!

  14. Actually guys the number one cardboard trophy for the number one spot was very clever, it lacked presumption, and showed appropriate respect to the other players in the draw. A more expensive decorative award, would have lacked appropriate diplomacy and regard to the rest of the field. Remember this is a tournament, not Nike his sponsors with their usual tactless and arrogant approach. Congrats to the Gr8at man, when all is said and done that’s all that matters. PeRFection 2Oger well done.

    1. True to a degree, but surely the ceremony and even getting something made for #1 was a bit OTT anyway and falls foul of diplomacy and regard for rest of the field?

      I didn’t really like the ceremony as a whole, but I see why it was done.

  15. What a fast match, I didn’t even have time to get nervous. Federer was on fire, I think he would have beaten anyone in the tournament today. Wasn’t it strange how the low-ranked players managed to up their games against him earlier on.
    I don’t think he will play Dubai. He needs to conserve energy for the Sunshine Double.

    1. Kohli best match I think. Imagine what he’d have won with a bit more height, better serve and perhaps a bit tougher in the clutch. Him and Fiasco would have dominated the tour.

  16. Yes,actually Kolschrieber was his toughest match although we didn’t realise it at the time.Although that might have
    been because Fed was super nervous.There were no nerves today though.A man on a mission.
    I don’t think he will play Dubai.,but how exciting if he does.

  17. Definitely a special week for Roger and all Fed fans.
    Hopefully he will skip Dubai and rest for a little while. Indian Wells is more interesting and demanding.
    So happy for his Numero Uno and his 97th. But most of all because he is healthy and that means we’ll enjoy his elegant and unique tennis for quite a while.
    Jonathan thank you for your recaps and videos.

    1. I kind of think you’re both righ. fed comes out playing like he did against Bemelmans, there’s got to be some omg, how do I counter THAT? among the other players. At the same time, yes, Fed is enjoying playing , and perhaps surprising himself too – but not “just” enjoying playing. I was kind of surprised at how candid he was about specifically wanting & working for the number one – not enough to hurt himself chasing after it for months, but definitely enough to be proactive when the numbers turned out to be so close.

  18. So 2018 has started even better than 2017!
    It’s just February and Roger has:
    – won 2 tournaments (plus Hopman Cup),
    – won 12 straight matches (plus 4 exho matches),
    – lost only 3 sets, and
    – amassed 2500 points!
    Wonder why Roger is still considering playing Dubai. Now that he’s already #1, it makes no sense to play a 500 level tournament so close to IW. The only reason I can think of is that he doesn’t want to disappoint the tournament, whom he has very good relationship with.

  19. What a week, Roger breaking another record as oldest no1. Hope he skips Dubai and focus on defending his IW & Miami title. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will skip clay as well. Its total waste of energy and bad for his knees.

  20. And he won! I don’t know what to expect about him. because he always surpass all my expectation.. The forehand, the backhand footwork was spot on!! I don’t know if Grigor was really sick but I don’t think that even if he was healthy he cannot beat Fed. maybe because they have the same play???
    A guy commented this:
    ” man of 36 is carrying the burden of tennis on his shoulders as young (and not so young) players are falling like bowling pins around him, due to injuries or lack of motivation. Fedfans, Fedhaters and the tennis world in general will truly realise the importance of this man once he decides to rest that magical racquet of his. What a player. Truly in awe of him.”

    Which is so true.

  21. Yes the Dimi illness or injury was a little strange. But then stress can do a lot to a body, which acts in mysterious ways. Fed is not the only one who benefitted from others injuries btw, Goffin got a walkover because of Berdych illness as well.

    And it irks me when people say Federer is benefitting from others injuries or not being on the tour..do they forget that Federer was injured in the beginning of 2016 and completely off the tour for the second half of 2016? Murray and Djokovic both benefitted from Fed’s absence!! In 2015 Fed was one of the very few who consistently challenged Djokovic in tournaments.

    1. Well, he *is* benefitting a bit from others’ injuries, but then so have others before him. Nadal would almost certainly not have got back to No. 1 without Roger getting injured in Montreal, Andy might not have made it without Roger and Rafa being out, Novak … It probably all evens out in the end.

  22. 97 is in the bag you guys 🙂 Going for 25 and 109 🙂
    13 left to play and win Roger 🙂

    Congrats to us all…… Roger’s way of thanking us for putting up with him, believing in him and most important…. not giving up on him when others did.

    Jon, congrats Jon, you believed in him too and stayed with him. Thank you for it all and this blog.

    Come on Roger…. now…. we are ALSO going for more wins than Connors…. lets take all his records 🙂 🙂

    Ps….. I will see the love of my life in my own country….. you just wait and watch 🙂

      1. Muser….. talk to me, talk to me…. remind me 3-0 in the 5th…. I can’t do it all by myself
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      2. With all pleasure Katyani! Are you talking about AO17 now? Because this 5. in the final at 0-3 was indeed a turning point. – Or is it something else to help about remembering?

      3. It’s a quote from the AO2018 final Muser. Fed said it to the Umpire at a changeover as he wasn’t sure when new balls were due 😆

  23. This is it. I’m quiting watching tennis. It’s getting downright ridiculous. Fed’s opponents either get injured, get a mental block, don’t show up, crap in their pants before the matches or get dazzled by an early glimpse of hope only to be toyed around for the remainder of the match.
    Come on, Roger, let the other wins something. Or… don’t!

    1. ? – well was good leaping prep. golden swing? Anyway Fed shows how – others worn themselves out to get to and keep their precious…Fed minds it, when a chance finally shows. Keep it healthy! We have waited for that since – end of – what was it 2014? 2015? – When the crybaby back crippling row happened after WTF SF…

    2. Please don’t do that Rui. I had a similar thought right when Roger was serving to take a two set lead at USO 2009. I said to myself, “This is just too easy. Here we go again. A two set lead, and Del Po will quickly fade away in the third.”.

      Guess how that turned now. Never will I think that way, ever!

      1. You’re so right. I still haven’t got over that one. I guess that when Fed enters waste mode he tops anyone out there… Or it is just us fans who see it that way?

  24. Well done Roger. You can only play the guy on the other side of the net. I did wonder if Dimi had
    hurt his ankle/leg, because the commentators were talking about it, however when he jumped up
    for the overhead and landed ok it was good. Nothing but nothing should be allowed to try to
    take the shine off this week, because as you Fedfans know it’s not just a weeks work! So Congrats
    to all you Fans and to Jonathon for allowing us to wallow x

  25. Great writeups and comments thanks everyone and what a triumph for Fed to be back at number 1.
    Rui are chanelling Ru-an all of a sudden lol?

    Fed might have got a number 1 that looked a bit like a chimney off a cardboard Wendy House kids toy and the plates might have been small but who cares… he achieved his goals, played well in two matches and got it done in the others, played in front of King Willem Alexander and pleased everyone from his fine interviewers to the ever adoring fans and respectful sold out Dutch crowds.

    Fed gives of himself in so many ways always with the right amount of gravitas, candour, humour, grace and enthusiasm. Rotterdam had to wait two years but it became quite special as Richard Krajicek was able to deliver an historic forty fifth anniversary event with the added global media attention of the Fed world number one return.
    Fed is still the wild card every tournament would like to have twenty years later! GOAT.

    1. Hahaha, not in this world!
      That is a comment a friend of mine, who happens to be the sickest Fed fan I know, uses to make about Fed matches: his opponents panic like shit when they know who they’ll have to face next.
      Incidentally I had read a text a few days ago about the Fed effect during warm up: he walks around casually, sometimes goes back to his bench, checks up a banana, gets back on court, practices a few services, plays around with the balls (not THOSE!) and the stick (not THAT ONE!), just like someone who happened to walk by and was asked to jump in and play a few games (who? me? ok…). At the same time the other guy is sweating like a horse heating up all his shots, only to be rolled over a few minutes later. Man, that must destroy quite a few egos…

  26. Yeah, Fed was terrific. Don’t think Dimitrov would have much of a chance even if he was at full fitness with Fed playing like that.

    Hoping he takes a break till Indian Wells now. If he can defend both that and Miami he’s likely going to be able to keep #1 through the clay season especially if he plays 2 tournaments there (probably Madrid or Rome and the French Open). Imagine defending the Sunshine Double…

    Anyways, just another solid week. It’s almost like it’s becoming routine that Fed picks up a title whenever he plays, can we say he’s fully back to dominating the tour now? It sure feels like circa 2007.

  27. The rankings are up,nice to see it in black and white.
    I was thinking,if Fed has won 97 tournaments,that means 97 trophies and they aren’t all teeny little ones like Rotteram.So where does he put them?I know he has a trophy room in Switzerland but it must be enormous and if he
    carries on like this it will need an extension.?

    1. I think some of them are pretty tiny. The AO trophy up until last year used to be a mini one. 2017 they made it full size for the first time so Norman was born…

  28. Just musing on trophies and then I will shut up.I wonder which he likes best?There are some rather awful ones out there,the one that looks like a tree with its branches cut off and that awful ceramic vase thing.I imagine he likes the
    rather elegant Wimbledon gold cup,but who knows.

    1. The Cincinnati trophy is Rookwood Pottery. The company is famous and around for more than 100 yrs. It has class. Now, the “tree” is a different story.

  29. I suggest the Maestro to be made the permanent sponsor/godfather of the Basel Fasnacht which started this morning for 3 days… A very funny event. I went there twice.  Great atmosphere, very kind people in the nice Swiss city by the Rhine. Music and a feast for children. I hope tons of confetti were thrown in the honour of Nummer Eins today ! Since 2017 (especially), his game has been a carnival !

    He went there in 2016. 🙂



  30. Quizz of the day.
    I found it funny and would like to share it with you.

    Do you know the meaning of those abbreviations ?
    GOAT :  Greatest of All Time
    GSOAT : Greatest Sportsman Of All Time
    FIOAT : Funniest Interviewee Of All Time
    GLOAT : Greatest Linesman of All Time 🙂 (isn’t he, Robin Haase ?)
    GGOAT :  Greatest Goat of All Time
    GOATSE : Greatest Of All Time Sportsman ever.

    Feel free to add more…

  31. I think Fed should play Dubai ( thanks Wanda ) not because of the let-down last year but because he has to defend 45 points only.

    If he notches up 455 points with the momentum he is on, he need not play Miami and then look to play Rome.

    Defending the sunshine double may not be a great idea now in order to stay healthy for a mini-clay season including FO.

    Would love Fed to win another FO. In the current mood he is in, who knows

    1. I believe Roger will play Dubai and IW, skip Miami, then play the clay season to take one last shot at the French Open. I don’t know how he misses the French Open again.

    2. That’s my idea, too Murli! Agreed with Sid. As much as I hate clay and it’s bad for Fed’s knee, instead of Slowami, playing a couple of clays including the one last FO would be interesting. And No.2 and the double grand slams would be totally amazing. So greedy, aren’t we? Though depending on Nadull’s shape. Who would have thought he would win two AOs let alone another one after it had been ruled by Novak. Anything could happen theses days in tennis. Almost 37y old No.1, it’s crazy! But I know his health comes first!

  32. To try out FO might be a tempting challenge/priority for his planning this year? What people wrote about the inconvenience of Dubai so tight to the Exho for Africa makes me doubt on Dubai possibility – was there maybe still to make new chance for his Numero Uno if he had failed it this time?

  33. Have you guys seen Fed’s insta post thanking all coaches and people helped him throughout his tennis life? Sob…is he even real?

    1. Indeed very touching. A special hero, special team, family, impact. He has a blessed career, we have blessed tennis. Happiness shines! Gratitude expanding…Delightful!

    2. Yes, I saw it, but had no idea who some of the people were.
      He can’t be real. We’ve invented the idea of him. What a great invention, though.

      1. Sheila: Besides family: His coaches during the years of his tennis courting. From Carter to Ivan. And Paganini in the center.

  34. Any news about Dubai?
    I think too that it is better for Roger to play Miami and not Dubai.
    Masters>Tour. He has got the world no. 1, so no need chasing smaller events and he can focus on the larger events.

  35. Whether he plays Dubai or not, I think he should avoid Miami and take a shot at FO.

    Precisely when he has the upper hand over Nadal. Upper backhand to be precise !

  36. Strange that there is no decision yet about Dubai,which does suggest it is being considered.Or is he playing mind games with Nadal.If so good,Nadal has done it enough in the past.
    One thing I am sure about is that he should not play the French Open.Not a good idea at all.

  37. For your Tuesday tea/coffee break : among the numerous press articles about our kind champion this week, the one below is not too bad. It’s called : “Philosopher avec Roger” (in French).
    Written by a French writer who loves tennis. (2-3 min. of reading).


    Shout if you need help from me to translate some words – towards English only :-).

    Spinoza, Platon, Kant, Descartes and… Federer  mentioned in the same press  article…that’s crazy, no ?  🙂

  38. An interesting piece of reflection I received from the Quora site herebelow which I copied for you :
    The subject is : let’s speculate how long can Federer stay as the number 1 in the world.
    Somebody answered :

    “It all depends upon how Federer performs in Indian Wells and Miami.

    At present it is between Federer and Nadal.

    Roughly speaking Federer will be about 300 points ahead of Nadal after winning his 97th title today. Now if Nadal wins in Acapulco in Mexico, then he will claw back 200 points but still not shift Federer from world number one. So it will be at least March before any change could occur.

    Now Federer did win IW last year, and beat Nadal on the way. So Federer has 1000 points to defend and Nadal has very little. Nadal will be seeded number 2 in Indian Wells, if he plays. One is never certain with Nadal. His knee may reach to the Acupulco tournament. Nadal has 300 points to defend there.

    If Nadal plays, it is possible (if Nadal reaches the final of Acupulco) and probable if he wins there that Nadal retakes the world number one spot after IW. However, this situation may change in Miami, where Nadal has a final appearance to defend and Federer a win to defend.

    I would say that Federer will retain his IW crown. I am not sure at all about Miami. There are very slow conditions there, the court is slow, there is always high humidity, and they play with bigger balls. For some reason Nadal finds it difficult there. I think the ball doesn’t bounce as high as other courts. And on a low bouncing court Nadal is very ordinary. I know Nadal fans don’t want to hear that, but 14 years of tennis stats show that to be the case.

    So It is possible that Nadal may not make the final in Miami. But then it is possible that Federer does not win. In fact I would be surprised if he did.

    So leaving the sunshine tour Nadal I think has a slight edge in reclaiming the number one.

    There is one possibility where the edge shifts decidedly to Federer, and that is if Federer plays Dubai. I can’t see it, but he had a physically easy Rotterdam tournament, so it is possible. I don’t see it because he has a charity match soon afterwards, and then he is on to IW.

    And that is where the pressure starts for Nadal. Nadal has an awful lot of clay points to defend. This makes it very likely for Federer not to play the clay season. It is unlikely that Nadal will defend those 4,500 plus points. Should Nadal drop points then Federer goes back to number one.

    And it is at this stage in the season where other contenders enter the scene. Federer’s real threats to end of 2018 number one, are Nadal and especially Cilic, whom I expect to be Federer’s main rival at Wimbledon.

    I don’t expect Nadal to win the US open. Nadal has never retained a hard court title in his playing career.

    I expect Federer to be the person to beat at Wimbledon, but nothing is certain. Without going through all the potential scenarios. I expect Federer to be number one after Wimbledon. If that is the case, then I think barring injury, Federer will end the year as world number one. True he has Basel and Shanghai to defend, and a final in Canada. But Federer did not play Cincinnati last year, and this and the other tournaments have been happy hunting grounds for Federer in the past, because they are played on fast courts.

    If there is any doubt, I expect Federer to play the Paris indoors. Granted it is quiet slow, but it is indoors. I do think the year end world number one is a major goal of Federer in 2018. He has very few great records to break, and this is one of them. Should he do it, it will never be repeated in the future history of tennis, a bit like Nadal’s 10 french opens. Though for a 37 year old to finish world number one requires winning about 65 matches, 65 big matches and very few loses.

    In my opinion being year end number one at 37 is beyond freakish. Freakish is about 33/34. It is in another class altogether, far greater than winning a calendar grand slam. A grand slam will be achieved a few times. A 37 year old year end number one, is a more than a lifetime achievement.

    And Federer is in a great position to do this.
    As the year progresses, Cilic and other players rather than Nadal will be Federer’s threats. Nadal has a predictable pattern. He plays great one year, then feels pressure to repeat, and falters. The most difficult thing in tennis is maintaining number one. It requires that one does NOT chase the number one in one year so as to conserve energy for the next year. It requires smart scheduling, and then incredible motivation and love of the game.

    Nadal’s history is that he has played every clay court tournament he can ignore to boost his rankings for the inevitable slippage in the non clay court season. This places a great strain on motivation, emotional pressure (to retain all those clay court points), and long term planning. Nadal it seems has never thought about the long term. Federer in 2005 after beating Roddick at Wimbledon, said in a post match interview that he plays within himself in order to have a very long career. This is how forward thinking Federer was back then. He said that he could serve much harder, but doesn’t need to, that he would rather be accurate and preserve energy. What a smart and future oriented guy.

    So you can be sure that Federer is thinking year end number one, right after winning Australia, and barring injury, I expect he will. He may lose the number one in the next month, but that will be just temporary. He will recover it in May, and if not then, in September, when Nadal will most likely fail to retain the US open”. X

    1. What an interesting account .Thankyou.
      I hear that Fed is not playing Dubai,which is very sensible.
      The article says something I think is very pertinent.Fed is a highly intelligent man.Not wishing to be
      rude but Nadal is not.He still doesn’t speak English very well and I can remember the time when Fed had to translate for him.So the statement that Nadal has not thought about the long term rings true.
      This year is going to be very interesting for sure.I still see Delpo as a threat to both Fed and Nadal,I
      just wish he could end up in Nadals half more often.

      1. Actually I think Nadal is intelligent enough to show he has some humor and self-irony, something I appreciate. And he is smart enough to win a lot. He still had lots of injures, something which he seemingly not is smart enough to avoid. Interesting about Fed’s capability to serve harder than he does. Well maybe the much needed aces some times tell about serving strong enough. -?

    2. > I am not sure at all about Miami. There are very slow conditions there, the court is slow, there is always high humidity, and they play with bigger balls.

      Not true, it was quicker than Indian Wells last year.

      @Annie if we are judging intelligence on how many languages one speaks then there’s an awful lot of people I used to think were very intelligent now classed as dumb out there.

      We have very little to go on for how intelligent a player is and how do you define intelligence anyway. But one thing we can definitely say is that to call him not intelligent for his English ability isn’t very smart at all 😆

      I agree his English isn’t great. But Nadal has had very few use cases for speaking it – all his family and coaching team are Spanish and he grew up around that. Fed, on the other hand, grew up in a household with a South African mother who no doubt spoke English, and many of his earlier coaches would have been conversing with him in English – Carter, Ljundgren et al. He’s had 100 times more practice than Nadal. Born out of necessity, not because he’s a cut above the rest with the old grey matter.

      1. I am not calling him out for anything,merely agreeing with the original article.I don’t know if you are English,but I am and don’t forget we didn’t where we are today except by shouting.?We expect everyone else to speak our language perhaps because of our
        educational system or sheer laziness.I don’t know which.But in my experience,people who speak several languages are usually pretty bright.
        You ask how we define intelligence.I am not going to answer this as I have no desire to get into a row online with someone providing such a great sight for Federer Fans.Surfice it to say that after many years of experience in education I think I can recognise it when I
        Encounter it.And it is often in the most unlikely places.

      2. I’m a teacher too (although not in languages). Agree it demands some kind of brightness to learn and speak other languages. But it is not necessarily the other way round – you CAN be bright WITHOUT having learnt to speak English or other. By the way, Rafa speaks better (although with strong accent) English than many other bright people I know.

  39. https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/laureus-awards-2018-mo-farah-roger-federer-and-new-england-patriots-among-nominees-shortlisted-a3742281.html

    If Fed does not go to Dubai next week, he may be in Monaco on Feb. 27 (next Tuesday) to receive one more award or two as best male Sportsman and/or best world  come-back of 2017… at the yearly Laureus sports awards ceremony.
    I don’t know if it will be shown on Facebook ?
    Another shelf needed in the trophy cabinet, Roger ?

  40. Sorry, misspelt site. Obviously, there are many highly intelligent people who speak only their native tongue or several others as chance, inclination or education degree. But the relevant argument was about Fed or Nadal.I would argue that Fed is such a great ambassador for tennis is that he speaks Fench, German, English and German-Swiss not only fluently but with humour as well. Very difficult to do if not in your native tongue.To say this is necessary and Nadal would be just as good with more practice is, of course, your opinion and I respect it.

    1. Fed is so fluent he even adopts local words, modifies his Swiss accent, even uses idioms and inflexions depending on where he is . He is an early adopter of emojis. What I find fascinating tho is Mirka’s language he professes little knowledge of, yet she and the kids speak it at home.

      I also think Nadal is more able than he makes out & its useful when he wishes to deflect pointed or hard questions ? He puts the cap on almost everytime he has an injury to talk about after a match …he’s no dummy for sure, no?

      When Rafa is winning he is very forthcoming look at his on courts with Courier no problems there? If anything maybe its journos mis reporting from transcripts that local interpreters miss hear or misunderstand.

  41. I think that we are arguing at cross purposes here.Of course it is not a definitive of intelligence as to how many
    languages one can and cannot speak.Perhaps we should just leave it at that.

    1. Yes but your earlier comment said Nadal is not intelligent because his English isn’t great 😆

      I think we have a classic case of Fed fans simply wanting Fed to be more intelligent than Nadal just to tick that box.

      1. The norm for a Spaniard is not knowing how to properly speak other languages, mainly for two reasons:
        -They have virtually zero contact with how they sound (all foreign TV movies and series are dubbed, just like in some other countries, which I find to be a disservice and a cultural crime)
        -Castellan is phonetically one of the poorest languages in the world so they are not trained enough to accommodate other more complex pronunciations.

  42. To be honest, it was a long wait before the AO win (in 2017). Yes, Federer had 17 slams but I still can’t believe that Fed now has 20 slams… Let’s say 10 years ago, if someone told me that some tennis player (talking about the men) would have won 20 grand slams, I wouldn’t have even believed it one bit. Yet here we are today!

  43. Sid is now the most intelligent one on the blog. Nadal is almost as intelligent. Anyone see the Virtue/ Moir ice dance skate at the Olympics? Masterclass like Fed.

    1. Thank you very much Sue. Hello, every body, it’s an honor to be here. It’s fantasticI I’ll try my best in every moment to be intelligent. This is a fantastic blog and Jonathan great ambassador and to me it’s a great opportunity to comment. This is my most favorite blog and……nothing better than being on this blog.

  44. I’m enjoying reading all these blogs. I’m a Federer supporter but not long discovered this site. There’s good discussions and less of the hater business. I like the balance on here that Jonathan brings – great federer admirer but also with a load of common sense and humour – perhaps it’s something we English understand ?

    1. Humm I’m sure we Scandics, some French, maybe even Spanish and so on also are smart enough to appreciate this site

      1. I’m sure you do, as you all reply in kind ?. In fact world over there’s great humour. I do find it cool however to come on here and see a very typical English streak due to an English owner I guess – a better phrase for me to use would be how well I find I relate to these blogs.
        Has anyone heard for sure whether Fed is playing Dubai?

  45. When I read this, I kept smiling and have the feelings that Ivan has been doing a great job with Severin as Roger’s coach. This is a guy who thinks that literally every aspect of Roger’s game can still be improved – priceless 🙂 🙂 🙂 . He clearly does not think that Roger is a genius 🙂 🙂 🙂 . Boy, I thought that the size of Roger’s ego for all his accomplishments could be the size of a water melon 🙂 . Somewhat, Roger has just shown his ego the size of a sweet garden pea! Long may this partnership continue 🙂 . http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/ljubicic-coaches-corner-2018-federer

    1. Must be terrifying. How many of us could play a doubles match with Fed on the court? I’d be collapsed in a heap on the floor…call for an ambulance! The promo for the match is so funny.
      @Claud…so he is playing FO for sure? No word on Dubai that I’ve seen, so must be a no go.
      Love how everyone is mother hen to Roger. He’s everybody’s son, brother,etc.

  46. I guess Fed’s schedule in the rest of this year would be:
    Mar 3: exhibition match with Bill Gates
    Mar 8-18: Indian Wells
    Mar 21-Apr 1: Miami
    Jun 18: Halle
    Jul 2: Wimbledon
    Aug 12: Cincinnati
    Aug 27: US Open
    Oct 7: Shanghai
    Oct 22: Basel
    Nov 11: ATP Final
    Go for 9th Wimbledon title, Fed!

  47. Should really have played Dubai as is such a weak draw. And then no need for Miami. I have a strong feeling he will play FO this year as a sort of farewell to RG.

  48. Stan retired from his match. Wondering if he will ever get back to the same level. Maybe he needs more time off?
    When is Djoker back..IW?

    1. Funny detail about Fed’s first appearance :
      “His first visit to the Dubai Men’s Open was in 2002 and that ended in a $1,000 fine for “under-performance” after the then world No. 15 lasted just 53 minutes in his second round match against Germany’s Rainer Schuttler ranked No. 40.” ?

    2. Ayree fik ya sharmooota!

      Um…that was some ticker buyer in Dubai swearing on the streets after finding out Federer is not going to play.

  49. Looks like he is planning on both IW and Miami. Hope that the match for Africa is on youtube. It was last year, right?

  50. What? He’s coming to my almost neighbourhood next week? I’m dying just thinking about it 😆 Laureus Awards ceremony…

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