Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer’s Melbourne Magic Ends as Djokovic Makes Australian Open Final

The laboured Swiss fell to a 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 defeat in two hours and 18 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Novak Djokovic is through to his eighth Australian open final after defeating Roger Federer 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3 in their fiftieth meeting.

There had been much debate about Federer's participation after his hobbled five-set win over Sandgren but it was never in doubt the Swiss would take to the court in a tournament he's often described as a second home.

And while the six-time champion showed glimpses of brilliance, a troubling groin injury hindered his movement to prevent him making it truly competitive as Djokovic shook off an early 1-4 deficit in the first set to progress in 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Federer will now head off back to Switzerland for the ski season (where he's purely a spectator) and then prepare for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which start in February.

Djokovic, on the other hand, will be in Sunday's final where he will face Dominic Thiem or Sascha Zverev for a chance to win his seventeenth Grand Slam title.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Novak Ao 2020 Sf

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. The Swiss found himself down 15-40 after some conservative serving but he quickly cranked up the pace to hold after a multi-deuce game.

It was then Novak's turn to face early breakpoints when he hit a forehand wide at 15-30 but unlike Roger, he couldn't escape,  falling victim to a ridiculous backhand pass threaded down the line.

In game three the Serb opened another 0-30 window and despite Roger making 30-30, a netted forehand gave Djokovic the break back for 1-2.

Djokovic then had two game points to level, but Roger reeled three points in a row to create a breakpoint. Novak saved it with a big serve.  A second breakpoint followed which was again saved with a big serve but on the third chance, Roger connected on the return with a crisp backhand that Djokovic couldn't handle to break for 3-1.

A hold to thirty consolidated the break for Federer and the six-time champion quickly had three chances to secure a double break at 0-40. However, Djokovic saved them with some impressive serving before holding for 2-4.

Federer responded with an emphatic hold for 5-2 and again had 0-30 on the Djokovic serve but couldn't land the killer blow as Djokovic held for 3-5.

It was then Federer's turn to face 0-40 but he couldn't find a way out as Djokovic broke back for 4-5.

A quick hold put the score at 5-5 and it looked as though Djokovic was en route to winning four games in a row when he fashioned 15-40,  but Roger laid down the hammer to hold for 6-5.

Djokovic then fired down a clutch ace 30-30 in game twelve as he went onto hold to force a tie break. 

The Serb had played flawlessly in their three tiebreaks at Wimbledon last year, making zero unforced errors and this followed a similar pattern as Djokovic ran away with it 7-1.

Into set two and Djokovic kicked off with a comfortable hold for 1-0. Two breakpoints then gave him a chance to fully seize control but Roger dug deep to level at 1-1.

Both players then began to roll through their service games with neither player facing a breakpoint during the first 8 games.

In game nine, Roger decided to take up an aggressive return position well inside the baseline but it didn't disrupt the Serb who held for 5-4.

Federer then had a game point to hold for 5-5 but a slick pass at deuce gave Djokovic set point which he converted by expertly tracking down a drop shot to push a forehand into the open court.

Into the third and with intensity levels not quite there from both players, little was created on the return early doors.

In game six, Federer failed to close out the game from 40-15 and went on to drop serve. Djokovic then held from 0-30 to lead 5-2.

Federer then held to force Djokovic to serve it out and he went into hyper aggression mode on the return to blast a couple of winners to make 30-30 but Novak sealed it 6-3.

Match Stats

Aus Open SF 2020 Roger Federer Novak Djokovic
Aces 15 11
Double faults 3 1
1st serve in 65% (68/104) 73% (74/102)
Win 1st serve 66% (45/68) 73% (54/74)
Win 2nd serve 42% (15/46) 54% (15/28)
Breakpoints won 29% (2/7) 36% (4/11)
Net points won 67% (20/30) 92% (11/12)
Receiving points won 31% (32/102) 39% (41/104)
Winners 46 31
Return winners 2 2
Unforced errors 35 18
Return unforced errors 1 3
Total points won 93 113
Fastest serve 200 km/h 206 km/h
1st Serve Average 182 km/h 192 km/h
2nd serve average 157 km/h 161 km/h

Highlights

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Djoker Ao Sf 20

I think Novak summed this one up well in a couple of sentences when he was speaking to Jim Courier after the match:

It could have definitely gone a different way if he’d used those breakpoints. He got off to a good start and I was pretty nervous at the beginning. I have to say I respect Roger for coming out tonight. He was obviously hurt and not close to his best in terms of movement. It wasn’t the right mindset at the beginning, because I was watching him and how he was moving early on, rather than executing my own shots. I managed to dig my way back and win the first set, which was obviously mentally important. Djokovic speaking to Jim Courier on court after his win

As Djokovic alluded to on the court, in that first set he wasn't playing his natural game. With a lot of the pre-match build-up being around Federer's injury and Novak aware Federer wasn't moving as well before they had even hit a ball, he wasn't sure how to play. As a result, he made some errors and Federer was good enough to get that early lead.

However, once Novak got his act together, it was always going to be plain sailing. No doubt fans are rueing that first set as some kind of missed opportunity but even if Federer had taken it, barring back to back miracles, Djokovic would have taken the match in four sets.

A tad disappointing he didn't get the double break of course, but it made very little material difference to the outcome as the Serb is simply far too good to come a cropper to a player who only had a serve and limited offence on the night.

Other than that there's not really much to look into. The tennis was never going to be the highest quality but I thought Roger showed what can happen if you just try to flatten out the groundstrokes as he hit 46 winners, some of which were ridiculously good. If he brings that mindset when fully fit, then we will see a lot of fun matches this year and hopefully more against Djokovic as it's a great matchup when they are both on it.

As for Novak, business-like as usual. After those early troubles, he played a solid enough match to get through without any hitches and he's a big favourite regardless of who he faces on Sunday.

Finally, looking at the tournament as a whole, it can't have gone much better for Roger in terms of how far he progressed. Making the last four with no lead-up tournament and managing to scrape home in a couple of matches that he could easily have lost is a stellar performance.

In the short term cruising through without dropping a set and facing off against Djokovic with plenty left in the tank would have trumped getting dragged to five by Millman and Sandgren. But for the rest of the season, he has some good intel on where his game is at and how he responds to five-setters which should help him peak later in the year so I think it's been a good eleven days in Melbourne.

Fed Ao Press Sf

Well, I thought I was going to make it to be honest. I went for a scan that same night and it was alright. After that, we just didn't push it. I didn't practice, I took a day off and then today I really rested it until the last possible moment. I didn't have any pain in the daily stuff that was a positive sign. Also, the way I felt in the fifth was in someways encouraging compared to second and third in the match, I had with Sandgren.

So I felt like I was always going to make it the timeout is something that needed to be done I thought to prevent any further problems. Once in the match, I felt like I was able to finish which is a good thing. I was playing with nothing to lose obviously, I was trying to take big cuts at the ball. Trying to keep the rallies to a minimal. Make sure I keep him off guard and mix it up as well as I can. I think I returned very well in the beginning and I got some really good conditions. Unfortunate I wasn't able to serve it out, I feel like I should have found a way to do that but wasn't able to do. We know how tough he is especially when you give him too any second serves and he was better on the way today, no question about it.

Overall I guess I am very happy. I think this was the maximum to go in the tournament, especially after the Millman and Sandgren match. Today was horrible to go through what I did, nice entrance, nice send-off but in between it is one to forget. Just because you know you have a 3% chance to win, you go for it, you never know but once you can see it coming that it's not going to work any more it's tough. But at the end of the day, I am happy. Overall I played alright, I know I can play better, but I can play much worse as well and with no tournaments beforehand it's a very good result. Federer speaking in his press conference after losing to Djokovic

 

As always let me know your thoughts on the match against Djokovic and the Australian Open as a whole in the comments.

Jonathan

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

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140 Comments

  1. As you say, can’t really be sorry at Roger’s last fortnight, although disappointed at the ending, but I guess it was always likely to be third time unlucky. It is disappointing that in his last 2 slams he’s lost at least partly due to injury problems, though, but I guess that’s something we have to deal with as he gets older. I think that the fact that he showed up to play tonight even with an obvious problem is more evidence of how bad the injury was at the 2014 WTF, and that he wasn’t just skipping it in favour of the Davis Cup.

    On to Dubai, then, I hope – and I’d really like to see someone other than Djokovic win the final – it’s time the younger generation stepped up.

  2. Honestly, this was a terrible, stupid match effort from Roger. Yes, the tournament overall was a success, but he absolutely sucked when it mattered. A chance to go up 5-1 in the first set (double break opportunity) squandered. Fine. Then, serving for the match at 5-4, broken at love? That’s absolutely pitiful and Roger should be embarrassed. He didn’t look, old, slow, hobbled, tired, or any of the other excuses constantly trotted out to excuse his lack of clutch play against the best. He absolutely dumped the game with uncompetitive play, and in the tiebreak, he was completely useless, getting blasted. I dared for a second hope that he’d win the first set when he came out brilliantly, but as soon as he was broken to 5-5, I knew it was over. His mental strength against Novak is nonexistent, and it showed again in the second set, serving for for 5-5, broken to lose the set.

    Fed is a loser against top competition. It’s one disappointment after another. I wish this farewell tour would end already. The goodbye is too long.

    1. And here we go again.
      “He didn’t look, old, slow, hobbled, tired, ”

      Well, all I have to go on is the radio commentators, but they said early on he was clearly hampered, particularly in his movement to the right.

      1. The commentators said nothing negative about his movement in the first set. They were heaping praise on him the whole time. Then the tune changed. Yes, he should’ve lost the match, probably, but not that first set. Fed needs to find confidence wherever he can against Novak, and here he really disappointed.

      2. So you base your physical assessment of Fed purely on what the commentators say but then come here and critique his game to the max 😆

        You can’t read into this match in the slightest. Half the tour wouldn’t have even bothered to play.

      1. Certainly not trolling, and regarding his condition, I was responding to Alison’s comment about the radio commentators noting his condition. The US commentators on TV said nothing about it, so my point is, it’s up for debate whether he in the first set he was indeed as hobbled as the general understanding says. I didn’t think so, judging by his play. And of course I’m critical…he bungled the first set. If he won it and went out at love the next three sets, I’d have been perfectly content. Not winning a won set against the main rival with so many opportunities…it rankles, like so many of his matches against Djokovic of late.

      2. If you thought that Fed was moving fine in the first set, then all comments from here on in are null and void 😆

        Just because he isn’t grimacing, gesticulating or clutching body parts doesn’t mean he is fit. He had huge issues moving to his forehand side.

        Novak: “He was obviously hurt and not close to his best in terms of movement” but we’ll take your assessment that he was firing on all cylinders.

      3. Jonathan, he still had to close the first set with the chances he had. He was completely outplayed in the tie break (again).

    2. “Today was horrible, to go through what I did. Nice entrance, nice sendoff, and in between is one to forget because you know you have a three per cent chance to win. Got to go for it. You never know. But once you can see it coming, that it’s not going to work anymore, it’s tough,” Federer said.

      Holco, I don’t understand how you can call yourself a Fed fan.

      1. Have to win that first set, for his own self-confidence and to at least put a small stamp of his on the match. He didn’t need to battle that hard, just needed to make two or three good balls. He blew it. Obviously the match was lost, but the set had to be won.

        I’m certainly a fan, but I won’t constantly make excuses for him and tell myself things that aren’t true in order to maintain Fed’s shine. I was thrilled when he came through Millman, and now I’m disappointed for him with his play in just that one set. He is too, for sure.

    3. Give it a rest, man. I was harsh on him after Wimby, but today was never going to end well. We all knew that. The fact that he came out knowing full well he was in for a drubbing speaks volumes about his professionalism and commitment. Leave it at that for today. I will forever be mad at him for messing up Wimby ’19. But not for today. Come on.

      1. I’m not saying he didn’t have any problems, but my only point is he was a ball away from a 5-1 lead, even with the difficulty moving to his right. You’ll pardon me (and Novak, obviously; he wasn’t sure how to play, at the start, and with Fed blasting winners at him, he didn’t promptly note how obvious Fed’s problems were) for not thinking he looked handicapped in that first set. Of course it became an issue with time, but I still think Fed was in a good position to take the set, and should’ve. It would be a good marker for future matches, and I think he needed it.

    4. Holdco, By the way, this is a Fed fawn site. Which is to say, we all admire and fawn over Roger Federer based on his talents and character. The only real criticism of Fed that is appreciated on this site pertains to clothing and scheduling decisions. Thank you, that is all. 🙂

  3. So sad.Havent been able to do anything other than follow the scores,but I knew that when Fed didn’t serve it out in the first that was it.
    Still ,he turned up and played although injured,how brave is that.
    So now Sascha and Dom.Plase let one win easily so that at least Djoker has a tough match.
    This has been far too easily for him s far.

    1. Yeah advantage Djoker with the extra day off. I feel Thiem has the best chance given his record. Fed showed you can have success with going big and flat, Thiem can do that but can also make it physical.

  4. Comment peut on parler comme cela de cet ARTISTE, c’est vraiment stupide.
    Roger est un immense champion, pas beaucoup aurait pu affronter Novack avec ses soucis de santé, et, il est là et, fait mieux qu’un autre artiste Nadal.
    encIl a toujours des points exceptionnels et d’une élégance incomparable bravo MONSIEUR vous êtes un immense champion, il n’y a qu’à voir sa popularité sur les cours du monde entier.
    Il est encore 3 ème mondial, nous espérons qu’il va se retaper et poursuivre cette année 2020 avant peut-être de se retirer, il ne faut pas oublier qu’il est là pour se faire plaisir et nous donner encore des moments tennistiques absolument incroyables à son äge un grand merci à cet immense CHAMPION et à JONATHAN
    France Bensa

  5. Bottomline, Novak made the shots when it mattered. To Holdco’s point (which I largely disagree with), Fed failed to grab some points that he should have. Overall, proud of Fed for making it competitive and giving people their money’s worth despite being less than one hundred percent.

    1. Maybe he was gonna lose the match, but he should’ve won the first set easily, even if he wasn’t at his best. Novak was on a plate. Fed blew it.

      1. Come on. Everyone blows things one way or another, one time or the other.
        Failure is what values success.
        No failure is infinite boredom.

    2. THANKS Stuart. Agree with you completely, judged from the highlights here. Thankful that he did it, and for the treat of the several wonderful brilliances, giving appetite for matches to come, also with Djoko.

    3. Yes,it was a great effort.
      No way was he going to win this against a fit and deadly opponent who had hardly been tested.
      But that first set.. Four good serves…

  6. Playing this level and being slightly injured, is still impressive at this age. if Federer plays attacking tennis for the rest of the season he will have a good change at winning big titles. I think he will win Wimbledon this year provided someone takes Djokovic out. Conditions at the French Open and US Open do not suit his game enough for him to be a factor so Wimbledon Remains his Best Chance.

  7. After the QF match I said “well, let’s call it a tournament.” (insert sound of a balloon deflating)
    I didn’t even bother to watch the SF. There was next to nothing at stake and the outcome was more than predictable.
    Even if Fed got the first set, there was no way this tungsten Novak would lose the match.
    In the grand scheme of things, we can’t complain much, can we? Everyone was expecting him to make the semi-finals and that’s what we got with a lot of spice on the way.
    Moving on:
    I’m just mildly curious about the other SF and how Zurumuga will fare in the women’s final.

    1. I’ve never seen Kenin play to know what to expect. It’s of no real interest though tbh so can’t imagine I will watch but will pick Carbine to shoot to the title in two sets.

  8. Such a shame that he missed those opportunities in the first set, that really hurt and brought back some Wimbledon bad memories. Agree that Djokovic would have still won (probably), but still, the fight would have been tighter.
    Have to disagree about Djokovic being clearly the favorite on Sunday, after seeing the outcome of Thiem’s match (and some highlights) as well as Thiem’s favorable head-to-head with Djokovic, he has a great chance here (if he manages to beat Zverev). Time for the next gen to rise (-ish) 😁

    1. I’m picking Thiem to the final, but there’s something about his game I find a bit awkward.
      Maybe it’s the grueling effort he puts on the strokes. Maybe it’s the body language that expresses too much negativity.

    2. I see Novak winning in straight sets. He is just the superior player, specially at the AO.

      Frankly, Roger never stood a chance no matter how fit he was. He barely made it to the SF in a cakewalk quarter and Novak looked on top of his game.

      1. Nadal lost too, right? “Never had a chance” are strong words, and you’ve said the same many times in these matchups, including when Roger played Nadal, and you’ve been wrong many times. Why bother. It’s easy to be an expert prognosticator after the fact.

      2. I’m human so have been wrong in the past but not many times. In this case I said time ago that Nole was going to win the AO easily and frankly it is not a tough prediction. Novak when he is on the top of his game is the best player on HC by far. This comes from a Rafa and Roger fan who is not blind.

  9. Just too good and solid from Djoker against not 100% goat. Well, 46 winners – I can live with that!
    Many thanks both Roger and you Jonathan for the Melbourne magic.

  10. Well he was going to lose this match, no question. It is disappointing though that Djokovic was off and Federer had a chance to make a statement by winning the fist set. He was hurt etc. but there he was serving for it at 5-3 and got broken to love. And he held again at 5-5, so you have to say a lot of that was mental. He was hitting some amazing shots up to that point. The teibreaker was similar, he got just 1 point after all.

    Actually it was a hot evening and the ball was moving quicker than previous matches. I remember the 2016 defeat in the semi final and this match was actually closer in a way. In that match, Djokovic blew Federer away the first 2 sets. Here the difference was not as large and the rallies were short. Yes, Federer was going for more risky shots, and he a lot of his shots went into the net because he flattened things out.

    Anyway, you have to admire his performance in this tournament. I just hope he gets better and can play Dubai, IW, and defend Miami. Then relax for the rest of the spring and one last push at Halle, Wimbledon, and I guess the Olympics.

    1. Exactly, thank you! He needed to make that statement, even if he was feeling the pain in the first. And he could’ve. Maybe he knew he wasn’t winning in the end and he just didn’t go hard enough, but still. He needed to take it. He NEEDS to beat Novak in a meaningful match. He can lose to Nadal ten times this year, but he needs to take out Novak.

      1. Didn’t last year’s WTF count as “meaningful”? He took him out of the entire competition there.

  11. I still happy to see two 5th set escape , we all know today is hard condition to win hope he back healthy and do well in dubai

  12. Easy to see how some people really upset about the first set,because we know Fed can beat these guys,but so often blows it.Such a mental game.Four holds of serve in a set when he had held serve so brilliantly.
    But when you think of Millman,arguably the better player throughout,then blew it at the end.
    That’s why I hate tiebreaks.such a lottery.
    .

  13. Federer always plays to his ability, hurt or not! True Champion whether you win or not! Glad I got up at 3:30am to watch. We know there will come a time when you retire and we will miss all of your talent! I will watch all that I can of what you have left to offer. Still an amazing talent to watch you move on the court even if you are injured!
    Good luck, good health, may you be back to your fit self soon!

  14. Best outcome expected out of this tournament after the draw was announced. I’m glad we got it and he is fit enough to play and give tough moments to Novak who is at the peak of his career. Should have won the first set, but other than for stats, would not have affected the outcome. He really needs to cut down on his UFEs the rest of the year to stand any real chance of winning another major. I know some of it is due to the opponent and with his aggressive style of play he would have more errors than the patient base-liners, but some of the horrible dumps into the bottom of the net need to disappear. Looking good for the rest of the season as long as he is healthy.

  15. I’m still mad at him for giving away a match in which he had no chance to win it. He should not have played it at all.
    Keep losing his serve while serving for the set doesn’t do him any good for his mentality against Djokovic, in the future.

  16. Many thanks Jon for all the good posts. We tennis fans
    are so good at saying a player should do this and that.
    My take on it is that Roger gave his all to be up in the
    first set, but just couldn’t keep it going.

    1. I’ve been thinking this too, Elizabeth – that he had a flare of great form in the beginning, but it didn’t QUITE last long enough – maybe a combination of the injury going, um I’m not actually ready for that much more intense stuff, and Djokovic starting to dial in, and as Fed said himself, feeling like he was playing with the emergency brake on to avoid aggravating the injury.
      Really delighted that he was still able to produce some amazing shots. And sure, there’s still improvements that could be made – I daresay he knows those better than we do.

    2. I think there is just that forehand missed which was a big chance. Wasn’t quite sharp enough to get to it early before it had dipped quite a bit below the net. Didn’t hit it with enough conviction, so less racquet head speed, and into the net.

      Other than that, Djoker played rock solid for the rest of set one.

  17. Of course, I am sad Roger lost. But he gave what he could and did it respecting his opponent and his public.
    Thank you, Jonathan for your wonderful chats and posts. You take care of your audience as well as Roger does.
    I hope Domi and Alex will enjoy their semi despite the extreme heat tomorrow. I hope they’ll close the roof and that the best will win to catch a chance getting a first slam. I love them both.

    At last, here is a piece of therapy that beautifully sums up our feelings, I guess.

    https://allineedisapicketfence.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/this-is-your-therapy-federer-fans/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    1. Thanks.

      Should fans really need therapy when Federer is making the last 4 of a Grand Slam, coming back from 4-8 in a super breaker and saving 7 match points when injured? I thought it was a great tournament, there is nothing to be sad about.

      Sign of the times I guess, it’s fashionable to be ‘depressed’ in 2020.

    2. Thanks FBRF. Haven’t dared to look and read here for several days, but words like this are really encouraging. And thanks to Jon for really sober commenting. Yes Roger did well, in spite of being defeated, so never mind that, actually (well a little hard though, but STILL!)

  18. “Someone had to be the shoulders on which Rafa, Novak, and the Next Gen stood. Federer has been & will always be that person.”
    Whatever happens now, we should frame that sentence !

  19. I followed the match scores and have seen the highlights. It’s unfortunate that Fed couldn’t close out the first set and that seems to have been a factor of both poor play and injured body. From the highlights he definitely didn’t look like he could track down balls. Oh well.

    I am hoping Thiem comes through because from the highlights I thought Djokovic would be vulnerable to someone with his wheels and his firepower. Roger now pretty much only has the latter, but he still has it which he why he isn’t being blown off the court at his age (obviously it’s not what it was in his 20s, but still). I would love to hear others’ thoughts on the Thiem/Djokovic matchup, or even Zverev/Djokovic. I certainly am hoping Thiem can get through in straight sets.

  20. Roger did better than I thought he would, given the physical issues he was dealing with. But I agree with the commenter that he really should have taken that first set. It seems to me that Djokovic owns him mentally, as Nadal once did (although Djokovic owns everyone mentally, including the Spaniard). It is probably too late now to turn that around. Maybe it is Thiem’s time.

  21. This is by no means the worst match Fed has ever played. Chances, big and small, are missed all the time in tennis, so, for me, I just enjoyed some of those wonderful winners and the aggressive points Fed tried to play. Before Dubai we will hopefully welcome Roger and Rafa to Cape Town for a record of a different kind. For most this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, myself included. I think the occasion will be huge for the more than 50 000 people expected to attend the charity match. I attended a concert in this stadium last year and the atmosphere was awesome. Really hoping Dom can go through and finally get GS on Sunday.

  22. I’m coming in late on the commenting, and want to say that I am pretty chuffed with Roger and his AO 2020 run. He played with focus and elegance through what wasn’t much ‘fun’ from the Sandgren match onwards (?new injury ?irritated something). From his explanation the decision to play made sense and *apparently* he was prepared to pull the plug during the Djokovic match. To be ranked 3 and lose in the semis is pretty great for a 38-year old GOAT. (PS not sure who is going to stop Djoker from winning this thing.)

    What do you think of Roger’s quote from the press conference after the quarters, “it was just a matter of coming to terms with what do I have, what don’t I have in my game”. That’s the mindset I admire so much and he doesn’t just say it he obviously lives it. So that is one reason RF is my #1 no matter what the 2020 ranking says 🙂

    1. Yeah, that’s the spirit. I keep saying this: appreciate sport for the enjoyment it brings.
      If one is not entertained by entertainment, (s)he has very serious issues, including the lack of a life or real problems to deal with.
      Number 1, number 2, goat, sheep, won, lost, missed, hit, botched, blah, blah, blah. Get a sexual partner. Or do it yourself.
      Save the anger for the other nasty things as there’s already plenty of those around.

      1. Nice one, thought I was the only one who could write rubbish but
        I guess you have been listening to McEnroe!!!!

  23. Haha. Sometimes I do, although not this time. The guy can be funny when he wants and is far from being completely stupid, although he tries hard to convince us that he his.
    (This is coming from someone who absolutely hated him when he played)

  24. To me the barometer of doing well at Wimbledon is obviously health and then how he does at: Dubai, Indian Wells and Halle.

    I think that Thiem has a great chance to beat Djokovic in a day.

    Then, if Roger recovers, I think it would do him well if he manages to do well in Dubai (if he is at 100% before that) and then obviously in Indian Wells/ Miami and then at Halle.

    Roland Garros might even be skipped but it really depends on how well he does in the tournaments before the clay court season.

      1. Plus he has a nice bag of points to defend there. Who asked him to make the semi-finals last year only to lose against Nadal in the middle of a sand blizzard? Damn, these old chaps never know when to stop performing!

  25. Forgot to write my thoughts on the match, got a bit sidetracked over the last day or so. To be honest I think it was all fairly inevitable. Would it have been nice if Roger had managed to win the first set? Of course it would, and you can maybe say perhaps he ought to have won it. However, in the grand scheme of things it wouldn’t have made a difference. I play tennis competitively, though not at anything like that level of course. Even at the level I play at, a slight injury is all it takes to turn a difficult win for an opponent into a pretty easy one, or a pretty easy one into a massacre. Also given Roger seemed to be getting worse as the match went on, it’s not like he would have played any better in the fourth set if there were one than he did in the third, if anything it’s likely he would have played worse.

    Again I suppose it demonstrates the importance of not getting bogged down too much in the earlier rounds, sadly Roger couldn’t quite finish the Millman match in four when he had the chance to do so. Nevertheless, it’s a good tournament, and the way he’s still playing he’ll make more semifinals this year, and then anything can happen. Sometimes the expectations are too high. Roger’s been past his prime and dealing with the retirement question from journalists after nearly every loss since Wimbledon 2008. People said he was past his prime then, and in the period between 2012 WB and 2017 AO I remember one journalist saying something like ‘not only is he past his prime, he’s past the point where players are considered past their prime’. What are we onto now then? Past the point where players are considered to be past the point where they are considered to be past their prime?

    The fact he is still playing at all beggars belief really, haven’t checked the stats but he has to be in the top five oldest players in the top 100. Nearly every single contemporary of note, from Roddick to Nalbandian, Davydenko to Hewitt, and last year even Ferrer, has retired. The guy is ridiculous. He should be playing the Seniors Tour, an odd exhibition every now and then and his day job should be in the coaching box or the commentator’s booth. That is what previous history tells us. For Roger to win another slam now would be a contender for the most extraordinary achievement in the professional era, and I’m not even exaggerating. For that reason, I’m not holding my breath. If it happens, it’d be amazing, if it doesn’t then it’s not a big deal. Just enjoy the brilliant shots, like the incredible pass to break in the first set against Djokovic. Roger can play better tennis with a dodgy leg than half the tour can play with both legs, at 38 years old mostly playing against people five or more years younger. Just enjoy it while it lasts. It won’t last forever, because nothing in sport does.

    1. Well said Charlie. Very well said. But it would be even more astonishing if he were to put that pesky, smug Serbian in his place.

    2. Thanks, Charlie! A little late commenting but you have said it so well.

      I ran across extended highlights of the 2001 4th round of Wimbly. That was nearly 19 years ago. A super fast grass court and didn’t see extended rallies at all.

      Yes, we must always remember Djoker is and always be 6 years younger. Have fun in SA people!

  26. So ,who’s going to win tomorrow.
    I feel it could be Thiems time.Experienced enough now,very strong,great serve and backhand.
    Crowd will be rooting for him I reckon.
    Men’s tennis needs a new champion…….

    1. Hmmm. I don’t think that will happen just yet. Thiem’s game looks to be more fit for slower courts where his powerful shot making benefits the most from that little extra time. Fast courts somehow don’t look like his natural environment.
      He has been making progresses, though. For instance, he is getting better at taking the ball earlier. Maybe he can get a set but that’ll be it.

      1. Clay is deffo his natural surface. But he improved on hard courts no doubt, making final in Aus wasn’t on anyways radar 12 or 18 months ago.

  27. Proud of Roger, he played really well and was quite brave. The year is young, and there’s so much to play for, surely Wimbledon and Tokyo are his dreams, even though he clearly seems rather fond of Halle and Basel ^^ I hope he gets another chance to take on Djokovic in a big tournament, and that he beats him. He’s too good to just continue to lose to him everytime they play each other in a big match.
    I’m very glad for Alexander Zverev; making the semis at a major, playing to his potential along the way, will do him a world of good. As for Thiem, well he needs to focus tonight, so I won’t cloud his mind with praise, but man what power he has!

    1. I was impressed with Thiem, pity he faded in that fifth.

      I am guessing he was tired as he went for some rather risky shots towards the end. Resulted in way too many errors.

      For all his power, he still doesn’t have those go to plays to win cheap points. Fed was the master of it, Djoker now has it too. Thiem still a bit reliant on blasting 10 huge hits from the baseline.

  28. Thiem sucks balls. This is why nextgen is absolute arbage. They have no idea how to moderate or adjust their game under adversity. Thiem misses one easy volley at 3-4 in the fourth to get to 15-15(!) and is so rattled he loses the game and set. And then serving at 1-1 in the fifth, he overhits so much on two neutral forehands to lose, it’s unbelievable. Two break opportunities in the very next game, overcooks another neutral forehand, then a makeable passing shot sailed a mile. Just going for too much all the time, stupid shots. It’s a wonder he’s so good, largely one dimensional player with terrible volleying skills. He’ll probably never win any major titles until the big three are gone. He absolutely flattered to deceive this match, that he looked in control of for so long. What a bum. Djokovic will tie and maybe break Feds record next year. What really helps him is closing out big matches when serving for them, something Fed finds a challenge nowadays.

    1. Yeah, very rarely I’ve seen a player miss so many doable balls long. I get that against Novak one must not concede 1 mm but handing him free points is suicidal. Thiem should have studied Wawrinka’s game more.
      What’s more irritating is that last year he was finding the lines time and again in the Indian Wells final.

      1. Right, he was, and he shined for one match, but a five setter, and slam final, to do that over and over, that’s very hard to sustain. And against Djokovic, it was idiotic. He let thiem beat himself once he took the fourth at the end. Again, you dont get broken at 3-4. Make him win in a tiebreak or 7-5 at least! Dont just hand it to him, dummy.

    2. Thiem beaten mentally by a sub-par Djokovic. Stupid errors and misses at crucial times in the final two sets. He was nowhere near the level that he was when he played Nadal. Djokovic kept asking the question and Thiem failed to respond. He’s becoming a great “runner-up”.

      1. Nadal is not a completely different match-up; Federer would be a completely different match-up. Nadal and Djikovic are attrition baseliners, who present similar problems to their opponents of how to hit through them. If Thiem had played Djokovic with the power and consistency he showed against Nadal he would have had his maiden slam – in 4 sets. So far, he is good for an upset but not for the title.

      2. We need Specsavers or WADA to test for mind-altering drugs if you think Nadal and Djokovic are a similar match up.

        They have hugely contrasting styles and require a completely different approach. I wouldn’t call Djokovic an attritional baseliner at all. He dominated the shorter rallies against Thiem, which had nothing to do with Thiem failing to hit through him, but Djokovic getting on top in rallies quickly.

        Nadal has consistently tried to keep the points short in this stage of his career, especially off clay.

      3. Both Nadal and Djokovic have made defense a cornerstone of their games. That is not to say that they do not try to shorten points or lack an attacking game. Both players possess weapons when they gain the ascendancy in the point – which is their tactical goal – but more than any other players on the tour and perhaps even the history of the game they possess an unparalleled defensive game that requires their opponents to red-line theirs in order to win the point. As Tim Henman has said, “Djokovic won’t beat himself”. Thiem will – and sometimes we see that Roger will, too.

      4. No one else plays 6 hour finals as they did at the 2012 AO. Both can outrally and outlast any other player on the tour. Djokovic is the better and the more versatile but the basic formula is very similar. No other player on the tour matches what they do.

      5. I agree Novak is the best defender of all time. His game is built around impenetrable defence. But even though they both defend well, he and Nadal are not a similar match up. Thiem needed to make big adjustments so you can’t really compare his level between the two.

      6. There are differences in playing Djokovic and Nadal. Djokovic is a more complete player with a more aggressive game, taking the ball earlier and hitting it harder and flatter. But Thiem couldn’t miss against Nadal, whereas against Djokovic he was blowing it on neutral and even easy shots. His consistency wasn’t there in the last two sets, and was especially off on the big points. He was also allowing Djokovic to dictate too much and that is fatal because Djokovic won’t make the easy errors (as Roger often will). Djokovic is beaten when players take the game off his racket, with constant accurate power. It’s a very big ask, but Thiem more than had a chance. To me he didn’t look like he believed enough.

      7. Djokovic and Nadal have very different games. Nole is more consistent from the baseline on hard courts and poses similar danger from both wings hitting flater.

        Nadal has arguably the best FH ever and he can hit it in many different ways so opponents need to be much more worried about that wing (his BH is not as good as Nole’s).

        Nole’s return is aggresive, Nadal’s is defensive. Nadal has a way better volley.

        Nadal is lefty, Nole is not.

        Their games are very different. They are very similar in a couple of things: They are the most intelligent and have the toughest mind I have ever seen in tennis (by far).

  29. Well,I don’t think we should be hurling abuse at a young man who tried his hardest and fought to the end n a five
    setter.If Djoker hadn’t had such a straightforward way through to the final the result might have been different.

    Thiem is definitely knocking on the door,it won’t be long before he gets a slam,hopefully .😊

    1. In the men’s game at least, you have to be mentally strong to win a slam. Djokovic is supreme in that respect. I don’t see that Thiem has it.

      1. It is a very tall order though to beat both Nadal and Djoker at the tail end of a slam.
        I think only Stan has done it and that was when he was Stanimal.
        Fed was within two points last year but couldn’t quite squeak over the line.
        Thiem seemed to me to be tiring in the fifth set,physically and perhaps mentally as well.
        Having had a much tougher route to the final he really needed to win it in four.
        I still think he will win a slam,perhaps RG,but it will depend on Nadal not getting an easy run through and advantageous scheduling like last year .😊

    1. …and his beloved record (310 total number of weeks ranked No. 1)
      is now in real danger: 310-275=35 (less than a year)…

  30. Well, that was disappointing. Djokovic….just don’t like him and never will. If he surpasses many of Roger’s records, oh well.

    He will never be close to Roger in every way. The tennis player that wears a mask.

      1. There’s no question he will. Three more slams? Please. And total number 1, even easier. Fed went off a cliff, nadal is still super competitive, and nextgen is useless. If fed had won that one goddamn wimbledon, novak would still be 5 back now. Probably he’d still reach fed, but it’d be quite tough. That loss is by far the most meaningful in feds career and it should eat at him. Legacy changing black mark. All his other handful of tough losses are trivial on comparison.

      2. No, those things can happen. What he shouldn’t had lost was 2014 or 2015, and definitely US Open 2015.

      3. Djokovic is a helluva competitor but he also wins when opponents find ways to lose. He should have lost at Wimbledon last year and again last night. At the highest level, the game is mental. He has no one to match him in that regard. Without such steel, Thiem, for his part, looks always fated to be the bridesmaid. But that’s the next-gen.

        Djokovic’s miraculous mid-match rejuvenation last night raises some questions: was it all gamesmanship, or the taking of a stimulant, that probably shouldn’t have been allowed? This was no mere “bathroom break”.

      4. Ye Djoker is a beast mentally. Just goes into lockdown and rarely misses.

        Thiem is improving all the time though, French Open isn’t unrealistic.

      5. Djokovic’s mind is right there with Nadal’s but I don’t think he was that strong mentally on the Final. He got completely distracted after he got the two warnings in the second set and he looked like a zombie for the next 2 hours. If he did that against Federer or Nadal he would have lost.

      6. Honestly, you can’t feel bad about the losses at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015. In the latter, Federer peaked against Murray and didn’t have the magic in the final. Djokovic’s form was lights out. Fair outcome. In the former, Fed was down 2-5 in the fourth and was on his way out. Only a miracle run pushed it to a fifth, where he faded. Even Fed conceded that Djokovic deserved this one. You can’t say he “should’ve won,” because he never had the opportunity too. His opponent was just too solid. I think he should win every match, but that’s not a real measuring stick.

        As for the USO final in 2015, Roger played like garbage. Let’s say he capitalized on a few of those break points. Does that really mean he would’ve won? Of course note. He was the worse player for pretty much the whole match. Painful to lose when the USO has been tough for him to go deep in of late, but again, fair outcome. The only losses in his entire career that trouble me are the 2011 USO (just a semi, after all, but he needed to close that out, or at least not lose as he did; not such a big deal), and last year’s Wimbledon (down in the score for the entire match, despite fantastic play, and a 3-6 loss in the fifth after Djokovic got that key break would’ve been much easier to bear, I think; but on that stage, on his court, he needed to deliver some big serves and close out). My problem with the Wimbledon loss is that it could be a legacy-tarnishing one, given the stakes. This is why he needs to upend Novak at a slam, even if there’s no hope of retaining the slam record. There may not have been much hope if Novak was still five back, given the new longevity on tour.

  31. Saw this.
    The three most reliably crowd supported players in men’s tennis.
    1. Federer
    2. Nadal
    3. Whoever is playing Djokovic

      1. And his fellow countrymen fans wearing T-shirts with “Serbia against the world” printed don’t help.
        (People should read more History books. Whenever one nation makes grandeur claims or sets itself as everyone else’s adversary or sets everyone else as their adversaries, the result is never good. I guess humans are the only species to stumble on the same rock over and over again. Go figure…)

  32. Well as a tennis fan you should congratulate the winner! Andy
    Murray (if he was watching) must have been shouting at the
    TV for D0m not to be taken in by Djo when he was tired.
    They are always trying to put Federer out to pasture, but
    they really should do it with Eurosport commentator Sir Frew.
    I really don’t care about numbers we can’t expect Roger
    to keep winning the age difference is too much….however
    I think for a lot of people when you think of tennis you
    think of Federer.

    1. I think Frew is ok but when he’s with Bradnam they become a bit tiresome.

      The ideal commie setup is a commentator who is more a broadcaster then a summariser (or two) who is an ex pro that can add a bit of insight. Although I suppose Frew and Bradnam fit that mould 😆

      I prefer someone who has a few stats. Bradnam or Frew never mentioned Fed’s serve speed dropping 10km/h.

      Tennis broadcasting could learn a bit from cricket tbh, Talksport have nailed it since they won the rights. South Africa tour was spot on.

  33. ¿Can anyone explain me how it is allowed for Djokovic to have his bottles provided by his team on the crowd?
    The tournament provides everything, Federer uses the drinks from the fridge there… And Djokovic even jokes about it naming them as magical potions.

    1. I must say I agree with you there.This is the second time I have seen him ask for this stuff when losing in a match only to be totally invigorated by it.
      Why doesn’t he bring it onto court if it is so important to him?
      Very odd.

      1. It is amazing how a bathroom break can so turn a match around. And I thought it was just “pointing Percy at the porcelain”.

      1. Which got me wondering: does WADA or someone ever do random pre-match tests of players’ “home brews”? There’s nothing wrong with mixing your own, and in fact it would be sensible to do so, but is it potentially open to abuse?

  34. Overall isn’t too bad of tourney result for Roger even though as his fan we all want him to get to trophy no 21. The thing that irritated me the most is the way Djoker celebrate after winning 2nd set. In your face and right back at you celebration was very disrespectful of the game and his opponent. Djoker knows he will beat Roger regardless as Melbourne is his turf. Yet he is baffled why people don’t warm up to him. I loved how NK posted on his Insta – Tennys and I love Novak, hilarious shade at Djoker ha ha ha.

    As for Dom, I felt so sad for him. He was in position to win his first GS. Many a times I felt he pulled trigger way too early and choosing his shots poorly. I thought he could be Djoker bogeyman like how Stan stopped him. I am still proud that Dom was constantly pushing Djoker. Oh well lets move on to next GS – Roland Garros

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