French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Flat Federer Foiled by Gulbis at Roland Garros

A choke of epic proportions here as Federer dumped himself out the French Open with a 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 loss at the hands of future world number one and all time great Ernests Gulbis.

Not a hugely disappointing loss but the manner of the defeat sucks. From being a set and 5-3 40-15 up Roger completely lost his way. At 5-2 in the fourth set Gulbis then took a suspicious looking medical timeout and came out fresh as a daisy with all guns blazing. Roger managed to serve out the set the second time of asking for 6-4 but played an exceptionally poor fifth set that allowed Gulbis to run away with it.

Like I said it's not exactly a killer loss; I figure Fed would have been crushed by Berdych next round anyway and there's no chance he was going to win the French but it has to go down in the list of Federer chokejob specials based on how he let the match slip from his grasp.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Fed reacts in his presser too, it looks like he's completely given up on clay since 2011 with some of his performances in the last 3 years. And when you see quotes like the one below from Edberg it's hard to believe that Fed really thinks he has a chance himself:

The French Open may not be the highest priority, but with a bit of luck in the draw he has the chance to win Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.

So a surprising loss on paper, a very flat performance overall and not many positives to take into the grass court season which starts in Halle the week after next.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Backhand French Open 2014

The first set saw the Latvian start confidently firing down some huge first serves and justifying his 2nd spot on the Aces leaderboard on this years tour. At 2-3 Roger dropped served for the first time only to break back immediately after a terrible service game from Gulbis. No more break points came the way of either player and the set resulted in a tie break which Roger took 7-5 hitting a wicked cross court whipped forehand pass to take his first set point.

Into the second and Roger again recovered from an early break but started to look much more comfortable from the back of the court. At 4-3 Roger then got the breakthrough and soon found himself up 40-15 when serving for the set. Here things began to unravel as Roger managed to hit a routine overhead into Gulbis's path which he guided up the line for a clean winner before breaking back.

What looked a nigh on certain 2 sets to love lead was now a tie break which Gulbis ran away with, winning 4 straight points from 3 all to level the match at one set all.

The third set saw a complete meltdown from Fed has he lost serve twice en route to dropping the set 6-2. It looked like the overhead on set point was still playing on his mind and Gulbis just had to play solidly to put himself in the driving seat.

The fourth needed an immediate response from Federer and we got it as he broke twice to lead 5-2 with some solid point construction. Gulbis then took a medical timeout and was off court for at least 5 minutes receiving treatment for an unknown injury. Pure gamesmanship in my opinion and considering he came out blasting winners to break back it looked even more suspect. Fortunately Federer managed to regroup his thoughts to hold and take the set 6-4.

Fifth set shootouts have historically ended badly for Federer, at least in recent times anyway, and true to form he faded meekly dropping serve in his first service game with some sloppy play and then failed to create a signal chance to break back as Gulbis served it out to 15 to take it 6-3 in the fifth. Another fifth set let down that ends with a whimper.

Match Stats

Stats Ernests Gulbis Roger Federer
Aces 13 7
Double Faults 4 3
1st Serves In 93/154 (60 %) 102/161 (63 %)
1st Serve Points Won 65/93 (70 %) 70/102 (69 %)
2nd Serve Points Won 37/61 (61 %) 30/59 (51 %)
Fastest Serve 222 KMH 206 KMH
Average 1st Serve Speed 205 KMH 186 KMH
Average 2nd Serve Speed 159 KMH 152 KMH
Net Points Won 19/34 (56 %) 31/50 (62 %)
Break Points Won 7/12 (58 %) 5/7 (71 %)
Receiving Points Won 61/161 (38 %) 52/154 (34 %)
Winners 53 42
Unforced Errors 53 59
Total Points Won 163 152

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Loses to Gulbis

Bunch of missed overheads, no real gameplan, shit fifth set and a nice dose of gamesmanship from Gulbis means this isn't a match that will live long in the memory for me personally.

I don't want to be too harsh on Fed as Gulbis is bang in form, this is clay and the new set of twins no doubt cost him some sleep but it was still a match on his racquet that went begging. Lots of things he could and should have done differently really and I doubt Edberg had fun watching it. Probably why he left the stadium after the third set πŸ˜€

The huge problem with clay for Fed is that it's extremely difficult to hit winners and there are no cheap points. If you want to win on this surface you have to grind it out and play extremely patiently. I don't think Fed really has the desire to do that at this stage in his career and it's not really his game anyway.

Going high risk isn't going to pay off for him either as he'll make errors and fatigue quickly so he's caught between a rock and a hard place with clay, to win his game needs to be very balanced just like the 2011 semi final against Djokovic. When it's imbalanced like today then he really is walking on a tightrope, just look how quickly this one changed after that missed overhead. One second it looked like the showers were already running in the locker room the next he' down 2 sets to 1 to a guy with a joke of a forehand.

When all is said and done it's not a heartbreaking loss or a big deal as there's no way he would beaten Djokovic or Nadal here anyway, believing otherwise is just wishful thinking. I'm not sure he even would even beat Berdych on this surface who dispatched Isner in straight sets today in impressive fashion.

So had Fed won as fans we'd have got another match to watch and Fed would have defended his Quarter Final points but I think the outcome of the QF would have been the same as today's match. That's not the sort of mindset Fed should be taking heading into matches of course but just how it is πŸ™‚

Positives are it's highly unlikely to cost Fed the Wimbledon 4th seed spot as Berdych will need to win the French Open for that to happen and now Fed has longer to prepare on grass. It's going to be interesting to see if this loss has knocked his confidence heading into Halle and it might be a tough ask to defend his title. At least on grass the serve + forehand can dominate so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

PS. Berdych will be taking out Gulbis in straight sets and expect Verdasco to edge Murray in 4 sets tomorrow too πŸ˜‰

Review Overview

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

CHOKE

Poor choke at 5-3 40-15 in 2nd set. Never recovered. Looks to have given up on clay.

User Rating: 2.4 ( 12 votes)

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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226 thoughts on “Flat Federer Foiled by Gulbis at Roland Garros”

  1. very sad. Too many young players playing at their peak level and Roger just does not seem to have enough (energy, desire, power..?) No question about him ever winning another FO. Just too sad today. Just hope he plays his A game on grass. His service game is just not what it used to be. Not sure if his level is dropping or more people are just returning much better these days. Probably a combination of both. Too many unforced. In clay, he needs to play long rallies without overhitting or hitting the net. Wonder if he had won the second, it would have been a win in straights and all of us hoping if this could be the year for the second FO πŸ™‚

    1. He would certainly have won it in 4, in my opinion. But his first serve today was noticeable by its absence: I’d have thought that in the last set his percentage must have been about 25% – it certainly felt like it πŸ™

      I go back to saying what I’ve said for the last year: if he needs more help dealing with the mental side of things, I wish he’d go and get it.

      Hugely disappointing – and particularly in a match which I was still convinced he wouldn’t lose, even when Ernests was serving for it πŸ™ Based on their respective performances today, though, I couldn’t have seen him getting past Djokovic, even if he had got through and beaten Berdych.

      1. Agree re the serve and the speed seemed to diminish too? The back? Or just mentally tight?

  2. “I figure Fed would have been crushed by Berdych next round anyway ”

    That’s overly harsh! Berdych is not a great clay player and Fed has all the tools to handle the likes of him.
    I also seriously doubt Gulbis will surrender to Berdych in 3 sets (if at all!). Let’s chat after the QF matches are played.

      1. You called it wrong, Jonathan.
        On both counts! Gulbis has just demolished Berdych in straights.
        His forehand may LOOK like a joke, but’s a heck of an effective shot.

  3. Had he converted the set points (especially the overhead)…and a few of the commentators mentioned that played too much to Gulbis’ backhand throughout the match, which is the more stable side of Gulbis’. Understanding that Roger probably was thinking Gulbis’ FH was more explosive, but the strategy was if you go after the FH sooner or later it would break down.

  4. He just folded meekly… Wasn’t that nice to watch either… Now just hope Dull doesn’t win it, simple as that! πŸ˜› Moving over to grass, new chapter

    1. Yeah, at least we don’t hv to look at that outfit anymore!! Back to the whites! Can’t go wrong there!! And yes, it is clear Edbergs goal is Winby! Time for Rafa to take a long knee break!

      1. He will wear the same outfit in Halle, he always does πŸ™‚ And it’s not so bad πŸ™‚

      2. Back break. Said in a interview he’s been holding his serve back ’cause he feels a twinge in his back…

      3. Which interview’s that, Simon? The only one I’ve seen so far is on the French section of the RG website, where he says: “Je me sentais physiquement trΓ¨s bien, mentalement prΓͺt Γ  me battre.”

        It would explain his first serve % being quite so horrendous, though. I did wonder what had happened to it in the last couple of days.

      4. Oh, sorry, Simon, we were talking at cross-purposes. I thought you meant Roger had said his back was troubling him, not Rafa. Mind you, the way his first serve disappeared, I did wonder … (I checked, and his percentage in the final set was 50%, which I find hard to believe. It felt as though about 3 out of 4 were either hit long or into the net).

  5. I agree with Jonathan that Gulbis will be taken out in 3 by Berdych. Gulbis does have a joke of a forehand. Too bad Roger was not able take the second set. Cost him the match. He needs to return better and cut down on his UFEs to be able to win any major. The next two this year could be his last real chance to win one.

  6. Bad day, bad game plan or no game plan? Fed was stubborn today, no other way to say it! BH was too brittle to win the battle if the cross court BH’s and he simply wldnt change tack!
    1) why didn’t he approach the net more in 4th/5th sets? Gulbis was seeing the ball big and Fed cld not put rally him! But Ernie doesn’t really hv a great passing shot!
    2) why didn’t he attack the FH more?
    3) too many crappy drop shots!
    His 1st serve deserted him in 4th/5th sets. I actually wondered if he was injured as he seemed to lose speed as match went on but like J just concluded he was flat and a touch weary! I was actually surprised by his 1st serve stat as seemed much lower, and Gulbis picked it every time!
    Slightly worried about his form as has declined from start of the yr…he needs a title badly so hoping he gets his mojo back at Halle!
    Kind of hoping Gulbis carries form thru to beat Berdych but not sure! Tomas has looked solid.
    To be fair, the tourney might as well just stick Rafa and Novak into the final now!
    How anyone thought Jo Willy had a chance v Novak is laughable! JW just outclassed!
    Not sure, Jonathan, about Verdasco! Muzza likes playing lefties and likes playing him! Picking Muzza to reach at least the semis!

    1. Hey Susie, I thought Jo Willy had a chance against Nole…. but that was after I saw him play the perfect match against Jerzy and dismissing him like he was nobody πŸ™‚ But who that guy was against Nole??? Not Jo Willy. Or it was Jo Willy who happened to be dismissed by a nearly invincible Nole πŸ™‚

    2. Tsonga didn’t have a chance. Until end of 2011, he was 26-32 versus Top 10 players. Since then he is 3-27. He’s faded badly. No real structure to his game. No brains.

      1. You know what the problem is with Tsonga and Monfils? They are more interested in beeing showman than in winning GS. They will upset potential winners, but not win GS….

  7. First Gulbis serve and mostly his backhand was very strong today, but in my opinion this match was a complete mess all the way through. Fed diden’t have any gameplan or so it appeared, but that was caused by Gulbis’s aggressive go for broke gameplan and Fed was left with no answers.
    And the missed overhead, especially the one on setpoint in the 2nd made me think this is how my own opponents see me try to finish a big point, I diden’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    But I don’t think this loss will affect Fed and the rest of the season to much FedBergRin has a plan for the season and I don’t think that plan included much of the clay giving the twins arrival and all. Can’t wait for that grass season!!!

    Agree with Nando over Murray but Gulbis-Berdych is going to be close I think, but Berdych could edge it in three close sets. And how about Djokovic today? Great play and very low level from Tsonga!

  8. What I’m actually most surprised about is the points over 3 shots won. 3-8 and 9+.

    Federer was trailing in both of those and by a fair margin. Against a player like Gulbis!!!!??? Comeon that is a joke. It’s perfectly understandable when Federer’s playing a defensive grinder , but against a guy against whom Federer is the better defender!!?? Downright abysmal if an all out ball basher like Gulbis is out playing you in short AND long rallies. Neither are you hitting him, you’re not even out LASTING the guy.

    Just wait and watch. If not for Berdych. Djoker will tear him apart as he did Tsonga.

    And then of course there’s the choke. I like how you’ve put it. Choke of epic proportions. It truly was. In the fifth set, where’s the GOAT mentality!!? The guy’s won 17 slams, has the momentum and has the ENTIRE stadium behind him for crying out loud. Add to that, his opponent isn’t exactly known for his mental stability. To choke then, is a disaster and needs serious looking into.

    On the bright side- the return and the BP conversion stat/ @

  9. I can’t believe this. I watched YouTube highlights, and the Master of Overheads, throws away Set 2 with a bad one. What happened there? As Gaurav said, a choke against one of the mentally weakest player out there. Honestly, if it weren’t for Roger’s bigger frame, the result could’ve been worse.

    Anyways, I had given Fed a 0% chance of winning the French Open. He didn’t disappoint. I’m giving Roger a 100% chance of winning Wimbledon though!

    Jonathan, epic opening statement in you post πŸ™‚

    1. Those overheads where the worst play from Fed I have seen in clutch situations, I couldenΒ΄t believe it! But hey clay is over for Fed, now the grass and I like your chances og Fed succes at Wimby πŸ™‚

      1. I think the last time I saw Roger playing what I’d call clutch was in that Olympic SF πŸ™
        There was a total lack of clutchness there yesterday. Even if his serve had been on song, I reckon he’d have taken the match easily, brainfog or no brainfog.

        Oh well …

      2. There where some clutch play during Dubai and IW also this year, but yes thereΒ΄s far between these days, and thatΒ΄s where the big difference is between now and in the past. In the past he also could play some really poor matches but when it came down to the wire he stepped up and played some real clutch game. Why heΒ΄s not able to that now I donΒ΄t know, but it must be something with mental tiredness after many years in the game.

    2. Yeah Fed was never winning the French, he hasn’t had a realistic shot since 2011. 3 years is a long time. He played clutch plenty times this years though, Dubai, Indian Wells etc just things have to be balanced for him. Any sort of setback and he dwells.

      1. Exactly. It seems that he can’t put preceding points behind him very well any more: compartmentalisation is needed.

  10. Recently found your blog, Jonathan, and I really enjoy it, so thank you!
    Really disappointing loss today, but as you say, it’s good it won’t affect the Wimbledon seeding. The W seeding formula is interesting though, as it probably will kick Wawrinka out of the top four and place Murray as #3. The good old Big 4 order is restored (although possibly for the last time in history).

    1. Hey Stefan (Edberg?)

      Thanks. Yeah Murray is almost guaranteed to be #3 and Fed can only not be 4th if Berdscat wins the French Open I think.

      Jonathan

      1. Yeah! How did you figure out my surname!? πŸ˜‰
        Well, Edberg was actually my childhood hero. I didn’t get my name from him but he (not RF) is probably the reason why I play Wilson. πŸ™‚

  11. Hard one to move on for us….Hope thats not the Case for Fed and he get things correct in Grass. He does seems deeply disappointed by last year Wimbledon, US open result and this is one more painful match…. Will be surprise if Gulbis move on SF…

      1. Hmmmm…. . wonder if that was messing with Fed’s head? Was the family not courtside either?

        By the way Jonathan, I did notice your clever alliteration in the title!

  12. Thanks, Jonathan, you summed it up very well as usual. I watched the match until Roger got broken in the 3rd set – I smelled blood and could not take it so that I switched off telly.
    Agree with you, Jonathan, the manner with which Roger lost is very disappointing, more so than the outcome but it was not entirely disastrous. Somewhat, Roger did not appear to be happy much earlier at the beginning of the 2nd set. I did not catch as for why he was complaining to the umpire then. Obviously, his confidence just went after Gulbis returned his overhead smash when he was trying to close out the 2nd set – I just could not believe why Roger hit straight to Gulbis while half of the court was open. Moreover, he was still thinking about it while the match was on. As I said yesterday, Roger really needs to concentrate at some of this sort of tough and critical moments. I thought that Roger lost some of the matches in recent years due to this sort of mental lapses, which cost him. In addition, Roger’s body language was not very good throughout the match. He seemed very cagey throughout.

    1. Yes, the lapses in concentration are increasingly worrying. Was it another of those post-set-win slumps? He’s had too many of those lately. And the post-set-loss slumps, for that matter.

    2. Nadal has the quality of short sightedness. Which is why he owns Fed H2H. Of course match up issue is a big contributor too but I think Fed is probably good enough to overcome match up issue as we’ve seen before but mentally he is too easy to knock back. Nadal has done what Gulbis did with the overhead many times, same result.

  13. Living down under, the only positive thing for me about this loss is no more staying up late or sleeping at 1 or 2 am just to watch and finish the game! time to recharge for Wimby! I don’t like the look on his face, he looks so stressed and tired…

  14. I wasn’t surprised he lost as I thought his form wasn’t that great in the games I had seen so far, but the fashion of it was disappointing in the end. Rog seems to let the flow of a match happen to him rather than grab it himself which he would have done years ago.

    I don’t think he can compartmentalise defeats and just move on so easily nowadays. It is clear that his nerve is not what it was, and this often happens to older athletes, despite the experience behind them. There’s nothing like a winning habit and Fed doesn’t have that so much now.

    Fingers crossed for Halle and Wimbledon he can get his game and winning mentality together again. Has to be remembered by all his fans he is in his 33rd year now in a sport when you are generally past your peak by 27/28. So no-one should be too disappointed by losses when they happen, the French was never going to be a happy hunting ground for him.

  15. Tough one. Critics writing him off like always. Not good he lost before QF 3/4 last slams,but still for 32 is playing amazing! off to the grass courts now! Maybe a miraculous Wimby; serve and volley will be key! You rooting for Djoker I take it? You actually think he has a shot here against Rafa(Idk what to think anymore lol)?

  16. Things unfold when Fed could not serve for the set in the 2nd. He never looked comfortable in his past 2 matches to be honest. Lack conviction and rhythm, he was unsure of himself. Oh well now that FO is over, he can focus on grass and defend his Halle win last year. Nothing much Roger can do right now but to pick himself and practice on court.

    p/s: he mentioned that he might change his BH a little – is that true?

    1. Nah, I saw that tweet, makes out like he completely changing it πŸ˜†

      When you are playing on grass you have to shorten the swing as it’s a quicker surface and a lower bounce with less time to react. Clay you can wide up all day long, like Chardy style as you have a long time to setup for the shot.

      1. Thanks Jon for clarify πŸ™‚ can’t wait for green grass court to start next week. Go Rog!!!

  17. Terrible lost, I am done with this kind of games, he is lost and totally in the low side of his career, he will never win another GS even an ATP 1000
    I am tired and not believe in him anymore.

  18. Hi Jonathan, I felt like I was back in high school reading “Things Fall Apart” . Thanks for your analysis. I am still hurting a bit. Really wanted him to win this match. Gulbis is a cheater. I hope Fed will do better on grass. @ Dippy – He did mention he would shorten his back swing . (ATP world Tour .Com)

    1. Thanks Maxi…wonder if he has enough time to change swing mid-season. Surely we will be witnessing a huge amount of shanks.

    2. He adjusts his swing for grass every year for the last however many years he has played on grass. You need a shorter back swing on this surface because the bounce is lower, the surface is quicker and bounces are also inconsistent. Short swing is more adaptable and allows you to react much quicker to spin or change of trajectory.

  19. Yeah you said it all Jonathan, epic epic choke in the second set but what can you do. Interested to see the presser comments but as you said, when you see things like what Stefan said about this not being a priority, it makes you wonder how much effort Roger puts into this part of the season or if he is holding back. Definitely not impressed with Gulbis’ medical time out, and also agree that Berdych will take him out. 2011 was the last time we will probably see Roger go for it when it comes to RG. Novak and Rafa are finding their way to each other quite easily now, looking forward to that final and I think Novak should be well prepared to finally take Dull down!

    Onto the grass now. I found an interesting stat that said last time Roger lost before the quarters at the French, he went on to win his next 4 tournaments πŸ˜‰ but this is a whole different Roger now so there’s no inference to draw from that. I don’t believe this will have a major effect on his tennis coming into the grass but that moment in the second set can have an effect on his sub-conscious, just gotta hope that he’s fully motivated and ready physically and most importantly mentally to go for it at Halle and Wimbledon. And now with Edberg along side him, this is his second to last shot to get that 18th slam. Another Rolly G comes to an end for us Fed fans but the Djoker might have us have some fun yet.

    1. “I’ve been flushed out” πŸ™‚

      He never really committed himself to this clay season. I knew it from the very beginning that he was focusing solely on grass. His last best chance. That racquet will serve him well, and we should see the oomph on the serve he used to get during 2003-07. This is it folks. This is where our Champion makes his [last?] stand.

      P.S. Watch out. Nadal’s been secretly preparing himself for Wimbledon too. I know what I know.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more Sid, absolutely right in regards to both statements πŸ˜‰

    2. Fed has given up on clay since he lost the 2011 Final to Dull that he should have won. Should just play grass warm up events next year πŸ˜†

      1. Clay may not need RF anymore, but RF needs clay. Hasn’t he pinned the Rio Olympics as his final goal?

      2. Mr. Edberg, the Rio Olympics gold, is a pipe dream. I mean come on , are you kidding! You expect him to win on Clay, in 2016!

        I suggest the two of you focus on SW19 πŸ™‚

  20. Even though Roger hasn’t played that many matches lately, he looks exhausted. Maybe 4 kids is too much. Makes life so much more complicated.
    Wondering if his back is becoming an issue again. Playing the week on clay in cold damp conditions. He looks uninterested when his back is bothering him, think 2013.
    I don’t think he likes to loose to a player like Gulbis. Makes the loss that much more disappointing.
    Good post, Jonathan. You tell it like it is.

    1. It’s quite conceivable they haven’t any of them really adjusted yet – it’s early days to adjust to an extra 2 family members, and remember that there are 4 of them who need to make the adjustment, even if the boys *are* sleeping 23 hours a day. I imagine the last few weeks have been a bit stressful and unsettling at the least. Hoping things will settle down soon.

      Yes, Sue, I wondered about the cold and damp, and whether it was causing him problems – even yesterday it seemed the sun disappeared when his match started. Nothing seems to be going right, really, and when I look at players strolling through the other half of the draw against players I would expect Roger to beat even in his current state I start getting really annoyed. Still, what’s done is done, and all that.

    2. I don’t think back was a factor. He generally moved well just didn’t look like he had much intensity or aggressive intent. All a bit floppy.

  21. I so expected this.. I knew Gulbis was a dangerous player and Roger is not great against Dangerous players these days.. Gulbis didn’t even had to play his best to beat rog.. That is wat is disappointing..Moving on, I so so so so so so desperately want Rafael Nadal to Lose the fucking french Open and my inner side says that he wont… The conditions, the court speed are so favorable to his style of gameplay.. The one and only man to beat him is NOLE.. I just hope he somehow does it…

  22. U can give thousands of excuses for the loss.. The main one is the Mental part.. Hasn’t been confident enough to go for his shots in the early part of the match but goes for the shots n crucial junctures.. I mean how stupid is that.. Gulbis is a type of player who is eventually gonna make an error if u force him to play those extra balls.. On the contrary roger was the guy who was making those.. U guys can all hope for wimbledon but i dont think it is the wa U r thinking… The grass is slower and to beat top top guys One still has to play long rallies.. Roger is still depending on his serve to get him out of trouble.. That is wat happens when rog plays a better returning player and the ones who can play the long rallies.. I just dont see another GS for ROG.. I hope I am wrong..

  23. Gutted – I did not want Gulbis to be the banana skin but thought he might be anyone to win the French open but dull – PLEASE !!!

  24. Fed Fans,
    I don’t want to be harsh on Roger and get into why he chocked in the second set when he was serving for the set. So much talks and its been covered all over the places in the net and news πŸ˜‰ . What I want to highlight is two things the I believe is a combination that cause him to lose the match:
    1. Lack of interest on RG: You can smell it easily, the quote by Edberg is an evidence. Roger doesn’t want to invest much on RG anymore, knowing that he has, I would not say 0%, but its minimal, which led him to not really put so much effort on any match he played. Yes, he has reached the 4th round, but guys, look at the opponents he played!
    2. Gulbis smelled blood after Roger gave away the second set and his BH start working and dominated: The BH was really solid and impressive to see how he hit winner after winner from his BH side. very impressive!

    So, I still believe that roger, deep down, not really hurt bothered of this lost, knowing that he wasn’t really putting much efforts (the point is, the commitment wasn’t there). So I guess HALLE will give us more clue about Roger intention 

    All the best

      1. Jonathan,
        if he would be annoyed, he would be only because he got beaten by someone like Gulbis ” the talkative chatterbox πŸ™‚ “

  25. Well, I knew this was coming after the second set. His body-language will tell you everything. Well for me it doesn’t hurt that much now. He was going to lose to Novak anyway. Just hope that he will defend his Halle title and prepare for Wimbledon. I personally don’t care who will win the French Open. If Rafa win this one then good for him, if Novak or any other win this one then good for them.

    Well for me this DRAUGHT session will be over in a week and I can smell some nice GREEN land round the corner!

    At this stage of his career, Federer will not win everything but he will only focus on some of his favorite tournaments. I still believe this year he has big chance of winning tournaments stated below :
    It starts with –

    Halle,
    Wimbledon (he needs some luck in draw),
    Cincy,
    US Open (he needs some luck in draw),
    Shanghai,
    Basel,
    Paris,
    WTF,
    Last but not least Davis Cup

    So guys, be happy as we are still half way of the 2014. He is still Roger Federer; yes he is a bit old & rusty but not shattered.

    1. He badly needs a title if he’s going to reach the target of 5. Tbh I think he was a clown for saying that was his target, plenty hot air in some of his presser’s lately. I said earlier in year he needs to spend more time doing than talking. Was a positive start after AO and Dubai but now he needs get back on track.

      1. Ya, You are right about those 5 titles statement this year by Roger.

        i think he should just concentrate on some of the tourney where he has got the most success in the past. Rest he should not even care at this point of his career.

        Actually by now he should have 4 titles in 2014 instead of 1 LOL. Totally wasted.

        He really needs to defend his Halle title badly man to have a chance in Wimbi.

  26. I didn’t manage to join live chat for this one. Life interfering with tennis. Did watch the whole match, though on someone else’s TV. Flat is the perfect way to describe Roger’s game. Can’t believe how many times he hit the ball straight back at Gulbis when he had the whole court to choose from – a la Robredo last year! But thinking about it I don’t think he’s got his game, or his mind, together really since the second set of twins were born. He was already absent in the MC match against Stan and this tournament each match has been iffy. It’s almost like the clay season was something he (and Stefan) felt had to be got through and attended to keep ranking points reasonable, but not taken too seriously. Although obviously he would have preferred to win. Anyway. It’s over now and I’m looking forward to grass where I think we will really see where he’s at. If things aren’t better in Halle then we need to start worrying.

    Gulbis said in his pre-match interview that he had a game plan to beat Roger. Do you think the injury break was it?

    1. Gulbis is a talker. I think his plan was just try draw Fed into backhand errors or get the short ball. To be fair he did that pretty well, hit some decent winners of Federer short / weak groundstrokes.

  27. As of this RG I have given up hope for another GS for Roger. The killer instinct is just not there. What we saw was the flickering light of his talent but it just faded in the end. I will watch his matches (and probably not many other) but that’s all. It is almost as tennis lost a great champion on Saturday.

  28. A strange loss, I’m not sure if it was just a genuine choke by Roger or did he deep down have other things on his mind -still not over twins, lack of belief, Wimbledon his priority…- and maybe wasn’t willing to fight with the conviction required to defeat a red hot Ernests Gulbis, but be fair to the guy, he played unbelievably! This match has some similarities with that infamous 2011 US open semi-final with Djokovic for obvious reasons. It’s a pity Paris has ended for Roger, I was enjoying seeing him out there in his very smart v-neck ^^ Alright so Halle but most of all Wimbledon next, what have you got up your sleeve for us this time Roger…??

    1. That’s just the trouble: I wouldn’t have minded (so much) if Gulbis *had* been unbelievable, or red-hot, or whatever. I haven’t actually seen much of him, but I’d guess he played a lot better than usual, but not “lights-out” tennis – he was still making numerous errors as well. It’s just that Roger made just as many – or at the wrong times.

    2. The match was more similar to Del Potro 2009 USO Final. Fed also had a chance to go up 2 sets to love in that one but choked. Then lost. He is very easy to derail.

      1. He’s not as mentally unflappable as he used to be, perhaps a result of success on such a scale such as only he’s experienced it. But I think he’ll be pretty unflappable at Wimbledon, or at least I hope… if it really is his house… Oh God damn it come on Roger Federer! We’re all down here :p

  29. Hi Jonathan I have never played tennis but i have learned a lot from your blog. Fed had been an inspiration to me in life. So much so he featured in my speech by father of the bride

    1. Hey Shirley,

      Thanks, you don’t need to play to watch or enjoy I don’t think. I know lots of people who never picked up a racquet ever but watch tennis avidly, and Fed is the most watchable player in the history of the sport πŸ™‚

      Jonathan

  30. Hey Jonathan, that first picture you use…. is heartbreaking…..

    So, I am hoping for Nole or Ferrer to win the title. Andy has a very good chance to come far.
    But…. Ferrer is not to be underestimated…. And Nole will beat Raonic. Now that he knows there is no Roger…..

  31. Anyone else follow Stan on twitter? He tweeted a very funny cartoon about the Swiss (and French) being eliminated. Wish I knew how to link to tweets but I don’t.

    1. I felt really sorry for the people on Chatrier yesterday: all the French got knocked out (ouch, that Tsonga defeat was painful) plus Roger, who you might call adopted French, and who most of the crowd certainly appeared to want to win. *Not* what they were expecting for their Sunday afternoon out.

      I just hope he can get his head back in the game for the grass-court season. It’s not exactly a long one …

      1. I saw an RG interview with Roger a couple of years back where the French commentator was asking him if he wasn’t really French as he was apparently born near the border. Roger insisted he was Swiss which disappointed the French commentator I think. He was really hoping they could claim him πŸ™‚

      1. Roger’s obsession with Twitter brought him down. Stan is following suit πŸ™‚

      2. Stan *re*-tweets too much, too. I suppose it’s the novelty value at the moment, but can you imagine if Roger RT’d everything that’s written about him?!

  32. jeez, like anytime i looked at the scoreboard last week, this Mladenovic lady was always playing: singles, doubles, mixed, overall

  33. I think the approach for Fed going forward is to just not play on clay. He will be 33 in couple months, at next year’s french open he will be almost 34. Clay is just too demanding at this age. If he just focuses on Hard courts, Indoor and Grass for the next couple of years, surely he can win a few 1000’s and maybe a slam? Yes his ranking will take a hit if he misses the clay season, but ranking doesn’t matter anymore. The chance at another Hard Court or Grass slam is all that matters.

    Think of Andy Murray in 2013, guy misses most of the clay season, and yet won Wimbledon.

  34. Just to add to my post above, the great Pete Sampras never came close to winning at RG. Fed has done much much more with a game not really suited for clay (similar to Sampras’). Several runners up trophies and the big one in 2009. Yes, another run here would have been goof, but it’s just not realistic. Focus should be to get the number 17 to 18 or 19 by winning at Wimbledon or US open.

  35. IMO, Roger’s game on clay is as good as anyone except for Nadull. Having the 2nd set of twins clearly interrupted his RG preparations physically and mentally. The difference between now and a couple of years ago is that Roger now will get fewer chances to get ahead. If he does not grab them, he will not only end up losing but also inflict self doubt, which could be fatal. Having so many BPs and being unable to convert them (in Tursunov match) sowed the seed of this match. They are the same thing – lacking the confidence and/or concentration. Even cheater Gulbis needed ‘medical time out’ to steady himself.
    I don’t see any technical problems in Roger’s game at all and he used to beat grinders left, right and middle. Truth is, at this stage of his career, that Roger needs to use his limited energy more efficiently. Not wanting to do something unsusal at BPs just plays in his opponents’ hands. I so sincerely hope that Stephen E can help him out on this.

    1. I think over the last 10 years he has been the 2nd best on clay overall. But in the last 2/3 he has dropped off which is expected 30+ Look at his results, still top 5 I think but Nadal, Djoker, maybe Ferrer have overtaken him on this surface in terms of performance.

      No question marks about his ability though or technical aspect of things, you need to play patient and be willing to grind it out on clay, that’s not Fed’s game.

  36. This loss bothered me a bit. I didn’t see a very inspired Federer in this match. Federer was earning more points hitting to the forehand of Goober in the fourth set and then he just lost the plot in the fifth,Annacone said that Federer should have mixed it up more and stayed focused on the forehand wing. That MTO was a classless joke! Pure Nadal tactics! What’s up with Federer losing concentration in important points? I don’t know but if That big mouthed Latvian loses to Berdych ,like most opponents do when they play Federer all out, I will be pissed! Looks like we will have a Nadull and Djoker final coming our way! YIPPEE!

    1. I think Berdych will win tbh, looks in decent form. Gulbis probably happy with his tournament even though he been saying he thinks he can be top 5. Doubtful.

    2. Oh well, guess Dave won’t be pissed, then. I’m quite relieved Berdych is out, actually, although I didn’t expect it: I suddenly had the dreadful thought last night: “What if he actually were to end up in the final against Nadal? Doesn’t bear thinking about.” Not sure that the result makes me feel any better about Fed’s loss, though.

    1. Fiasco is the worst mentally in the sport. Period. I saw quite a bit of it and he just falls apart at the business end of sets. We give Fed shit for choking but this guy takes it to new levels. Verdasco is a huge talent too, perhaps a bigger underachiever than Gasquet… so my prediction was wrong in terms of result but I think if Fiasco wasn’t so poor mentally he wins this match based on what I saw.

  37. Muzza winning RG??? Anyone??? Would that not be nice and kind of a payback?? Critics thinking a top 50 player has more chance to win than Andy, that it will be between Rafa and Nole…. and Andy winning the title?? πŸ™‚

    By the way, I saw Andy playing…wow, I think he watched a lot of Rafa matches. He was playing high balls to the opponent like Rafa does…..

    1. Katyani, it’s official. You and Jonathan have been banned from making predictions of any sort. We’ve had enough πŸ™‚

      1. Oke Sid and Ajay, then hereby my LAST prediction (one last for the road πŸ™‚ )
        Roger will end his career with 25 GS and 10 WTF and an Olympic Gold Medal and before his retirement he will or there will be talk of a Roger Slam πŸ™‚
        Don’t say I didn’t told you guys, you heard it from me first πŸ™‚

      2. Oh and Rafa will not go through Ferrer, Muzza and Nole…
        Damn…sorry, I can’t stop πŸ™‚

      3. Succeeding in easy and reachable goals will give you temporary satisfaction. Making and succeeding in almost unreachable goals is what gives you indifinite pleasure and knowing that you will never achieve it, makes you work harder to achieve it and the satisfactory then is undescribable. That’s life. No easy roads dude πŸ™‚

      4. You been eating space cake Katyani?

        Although my predictions have fallen by the wayside so not really much room to talk πŸ˜€

      5. Spacecake Jon? Noop, never done drugs, smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Boring huh?? πŸ™‚
        Right now I am sad for Berdych, he did not deserve to lose like that… If somehow Gulbis wins RG, he better mention Roger in his speech πŸ™‚
        Roger and Delpo, what a pair, both make it possible for others to win πŸ™‚ I miss Delpo….

  38. Unfortunately what I was sensing happened, Federer didn’t go so far…
    Expected, really, no reason to be so frustrated. My dark horse is still alive (Monfils), maybe I’ll become a psychic πŸ™‚
    I’m very excited to Wimbledon, and this time I’m sensing good things for Roger.
    Trust in the the psychic, Roger will win the thing.

      1. This one is easy: Brazil (Pure politics with FIFA and Brazil’s government, makes me think that it is already clear that we will be champions). But Gerrard and Co. will do well πŸ™‚

      2. I hope the nation of dope doesn’t win it. In 2010, when other players were pooping after 75 minutes, these dopers were playing like the match had just started. What Fuentes said was right. If he had spoken, the Spanish win would’ve been under question.

        I hope Brasil wins. They play the most beautiful game. But they also have a habit of doing monkey business. Remember Uncle Carlos not staying with Henry in 2006? And what about that own goal vs Holland in 2010? And the goal before that where they left a defender unmarked inside the area? Sometimes I feel these results are “fixed”.

      3. Yes, I love football, but sometimes I feel the same, and this year the results will be secured in favor of Brazil of course.

      4. What makes you think they will “let” Brasil win? The host nation has won on home soil just once in the last three decades- 1998 France, to be precise. Also, the last world cup was the first time a European country won outside of Europe, or technically, in the Southern hemisphere. I hope Brasil wins, but the odds are against them.

      5. IΒ΄m especially hoping for Gerrard and co. to do well but I think they will go out early as usual. It would be awesome if Brasil or Argentina took the title! Spain has peaked and will not win but they will go deep in the tournament, and rather Spain to win over the Germans for sure!

      6. Spain is the best team but we wiill se what happens. Brasil has its worse national team of the last 30 years. Argentina and Germany are the second and third best teamin my opinion,

      7. Brasil all the way πŸ˜‰
        I love this team since the day I saw Romario πŸ™‚
        well, I loved them before when Zico and socratic were playing, but I adored them since Romario era πŸ˜‰

      8. Sid, Brazil will win for reasons of money and politics between FIFA and
        the Brazilian government. There are several internal issues you don’t know, there is a lot of corruption in this country, for example: this is so far the only edition of the World Cup that FIFA will not have to pay any tax to the government of the host country, all business aiming to favour Brazil in the competition.
        And this is only one factor, of many that makes me believe that, in fact one of the weakest teams we’ve ever had, will win the World Cup at home.

      9. Sid, I can’t believe I am going to say this, but here it is. In the Final 2010 Spain deserved to win from Holland. Wow, that hurted, but it is the truth. After 32 years we finally made it to the final (beating Brasil on the way no less) and what did we do?? Anything BUT play soccer. Our Dutch players were schwalbing, hitting, attacking, pulling shirts, pulling everything else and tackling any Spanish player who came in their way. It was so embaressing. Spain playing soccer and we… kickboxing. So the goal in the last 4 minutes was deserved by Spain.

        Hopefully this time around we will beat them fairly πŸ™‚ My hopes are Brasil & Holland ofcourse….

      10. Shamtoot, looks like for a month, we will be cheering for the same team. Who would have thunk that? πŸ˜‰

      11. Katyani, Holland didn’t play like Holland. It was embarrasing but fortunately the result was fair. And this year is gonna be tough for them to go to the last 16 (be careful with Chile).

      12. Exactly Pablo, unfortunately Spain deserved to win that night. I felt embarrasing about us, let alone what the world thought of us. Actually, we were pretty trashed in the papers all over the world if I remember correctly. Hope this time we will come far.

        Sid, be glad you didn’t watch that match….

      13. Katyani, thanks, I don’t watch anything that involves Spain. The only time I’d watch them would be if it’s vs Federer/Stan, or vs Brasil. If my favorites have to put up with those cheaters, it’s only fair I watch them πŸ™‚

      14. Sid, you know what, I haven’t thought about it πŸ˜‰ yeah, can you imagine, me and you cheering for the same team wooow, yeah very weird πŸ˜‰
        And YES go Brazil, and you know what, Go Roger for Wimb only πŸ˜‰ just for you

      15. Stamshoot, Romario was my childhood hero, he was so awesome! Along side with Bebeto, Dunga etc. that Brasil team was my favortite πŸ™‚

  39. Jonathan or Sid – (or whoever wants to offer)…
    given his age and his form – and all weve learned of 2014 so far … do you thiink Fed has an honestly realistic chance of marching through 7 best of 5s and taking SW19?

    Really realistic – not just fans hoping?
    Is he really a clearly serious contender?

    1. Yes, just look to the Australian Open earlier this year, faster courts + Federer healthy = High level of tennis. Can’t wait to see him make chip & charge again.

      1. Yes he had to face 3 top 10 in a row (he’ll not have to do so with 4th seed in Wimbledon) and he was a bit mentally tired on the semi-final. But overall it was a very good tournament for Roger.

      2. Pablo, you can’t stop, can you? How about I stop predicting and you stop trolling Roger? Deal?

    2. From the start of 2014, I felt that he would be focusing on grass. I believe he has a realistic chance at SW19. He has mentally given up on clay, and how he described his experience in Paris was valedictory. Hard courts are not very different either. As Jonathan put it, grinding play is not Roger’s style. That leaves grass as his only hope. He has a better serve, and we’ve seen in recent tournaments that his net game is where he wants it to be (except that ugly 5-4 40-15 point vs Gulbis).

      Some of it depends on the draw too. He should mathematically stay in the top four, so that should help. He just needs to stay healthy.

      1. I have to say, I’m not convinced at the moment. Has he got enough time to get his match-playing mentality back? Fingers crossed.

      2. Grass is different Alison. Clay, and slower hard courts are where rallies are extended, and there’s not much you can do with your serve, or aggressive ground strokes. Grass lets Roger dictate play. He’ll be fine.

      3. I believe Roger will do well in Wimb, I don’t have any doubt on this, but will he win it?! I guess it will all depend on the draw and how the other big 4 approach Wimb.
        if Nadal win RG, I can see some hunger to have a third title there to close the gap between him and Roger, if he lose, his confidence will be low and he might lose early as well.
        for Murry, I could see him reaching the semi or final.
        Djoko, Wining RG will satisfy him, and I guess Wimb will be low priority by then, but if he lose, mmm I cant really predict his willingness for Wimb if he lose RG, it will all depends on the way he lose RG! If its very tight game, I guess he will not do well in wimb, if it wasn’t, then I guess he will do well πŸ˜‰

      4. Roger wants to win Wimbledon. Badly, after what happened last year.
        This year is his last big chance to grab a slam. After that, it’s only going to get a lot more difficult.

        Some good luck with the draw, he won’t mind as well. As long he gets someone like Murray or Djokovic in the final, he has a chance.

      5. He defintley has a shot at Wimby this year and next year also. And also US open, he has prooved already this year that the game is there, this clay season was never gonna be a succes with the twins arriving. He just needs to get his clutch game back for when it really matters. A victory over Nadal at Wimby could be awesome and possible, but not at US open.
        LetΒ΄s just get this Roland Garros done so Halle can begin!!

      6. Don’t you guys think Wimby is more important for Roger & Nole & Andy?
        Roger and Nole, because it looks like they hired especially their coach to help them with Wimby (netplay?) and Andy because he wants to win Wimby more than once for England/Scotland. I think Wimby is for Rafa what RG is for Roger (would love to have it, but not a priority).

      7. Katyani, Wimbledon is a priority for every player. Rafa said many times is his favourite tournament and it was his child dream, the problem these last couple of years is that it is the worse surface for his knee.

      8. Sid, Roger will probably be fine, but if he keeps hitting his serve long as he was the other day it’s not going to be at all helpful.

        Katyani: I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Wimby is *the* one for Nadal, too.

      9. Alison, a surface like clay requires you to do a lot more on your serve, and hence the long serves (though I didn’t watch the match). Grass is different. Grass was different πŸ™‚

  40. My prediction for Roger Federer’s rest of the career is he will end his professional career in 2016 as he has already stated. By then he will win at least 2 more grand slams with total 85-90 ATP titles in total as top 5 rank player. He will win some of the tourneys like Davis Cup and Olympic medal (Don’t care whether its Gold, Silver or Bronze).

    I am not sure after that I will continue to watch Tennis but it would be very very sad scenario for world of tennis.

      1. “1 slam is going to be very very difficult but not completely impossible…”

        …That is not a confident note for SW19.

        Not that you have to be confident – but as a Fed fan/ blog king i respect your assessment as much as any in the entire Federverse.

        Thanks for helping me prepare my heart.

  41. Nole going the “Roger 2009”-way?? Roger learned that Mirka was pregnant and won RG and Wimby. Will Nole do the same?? How about the new dads just split it? Nole RG and Roger Wimby πŸ™‚ Nice deal right πŸ™‚

    1. Well if the dejavu and the trend worked its way, it should be Nadal πŸ˜‰
      Nadal lost a match he should have won on AO like Roger did in 2009, Nadal shed tears like Roger did in in AO 2009, he was supposed to equal Sampras Slam records like Nadal was supposed.

      Roger then WON RG and then Wimb …… We will see 

      1. Shamtoot, come on man, how may “random” Slam or Masters winners predictions do I make in a year? The only “winner” prediction I have made in like ever, had been for Roger at Wimbledon this year. And if you think hard about it, there’s nothing random about it πŸ™‚

      2. you know what. I am starting to like the chances of Roger for Wimbledon this year. so go Roger, although I wish Nadal win it πŸ™‚

  42. [email protected] Katyani. Well in the spirit of predicting. I will say because the twins came a bit early hence Federer didn’t win RG because if they kept to timing, he should have missed RG πŸ™‚
    Now in the light of that and following the 2009 streak, Fed will automatically win Wimbledon and USOpen πŸ˜‰
    #drunkenlove

  43. Aww, same here @ PhantomTheGhostWorks (wow, that’s a long name)!
    But my heart tells me, keep watching to see Nadal not win another grandslam πŸ˜‰

      1. Even if Roger loses 4th rank, he will be in top 4 seeds at Wimbledon. They have their own seeding formula which gives more weightage to grass performance in last 2 years

      2. I think he stands to lose no. 4 if Murray makes the final, doesn’t he, according to the live rankings? Hmm, that leaves some very interesting permutations for Fed fans: knock Murray out and protect the ranking; knock Nadal out and … well, we know what that would do; knock Gulbis out and what does that say about Fed’s loss to him?; knock Novak out …

  44. Wow I was watching the Novak n Raonic and Novak just out classed him. Really boring match exactly the same as yesterday’s match with Nadal and Lajovic even though Lajovic was playing out of his skin he simply got blown off by the same old forhand to backhand, pulling him wide and then down the line. Zzzzzzzzzz what a crap match and I don’t blame Lajovic as he was trying to play proper tennis but someone named Nadal who is one of those sore losers just has to win all the time.

    So far apart from the Federer matches the highlight for me has been seeing the legendary musician PRINCE at the Nadal match. Thats saying something as this year French Open has been absolutely crap. Lol. I really hope Federer can defend his Halle title and win at Wimbledon.Long live tthe greatest, Roger Federer!!!

  45. Hey guys, Gulbis is one lucky guy or both his opponents didn’t look good where he stood. In the 1st set, I think 5-4 0-15 for Gulbis, Berdych came to the net and tried to make exactly the same overhead smash Roger made and it ended up right where Gulbis was standing…. Lucky dude…. Gulbis.

  46. The last? Or a wooden spoon if anybody leaves a comment after me πŸ˜‰

    It was one of those days that I wanted to pretend nothing happened, forget about Fed and the sport for a while and move on. But I couldn’t resist coming to the blog, reading through the post and comments to learn what and why actually went wrong as a therapy. It’a a great forum for Fed/tennis fans to share their emotions and thoughts freely here.

    Can’t wait for the grass season, Allez!

  47. Well, my dark horse, Gulbis still alive. Hmm. Haven’t watched the match yet though. The women’s side seems more interesting than the men’s. Bouchard is doing so well. I like her style, very aggressive. She’ll be in the top 5 one day.
    Agree with you, Wanda. A great place to come for therapy!

    1. I’m a Genie fan as well! She is certainly a future top 5 player and still very young. Maybe even winning a few slams in possible. As you said, she employs powerful groundstrokes and great abilty to hit winners from anywhere. Done some research – she is the best performer (most consistent) in Grand Slams this year – reaching two semifinals. I think I still can watch some tennis after Fed retires, if Genie carrys on with her fantastic performances!

  48. Well IΒ΄m saying it now, I want Mugbis to win this one! By the ones remaining it could be the most interesting victory, imagine what he might say in his speech after the match πŸ™‚ And I kinda always liked his weird personality and he says things as they are.

    1. How about no? πŸ˜›

      That would be for me the biggest tragedy at this years RG, only Novak can take Dull out I believe (or a very good Ferrer against a subpar Dull). So I’m clearly rooting for Novak. And that guy’s grown on me πŸ™‚

      On women’s side: Go genie!

      1. A Gulbis on top of his game could take out Nadal because he has the same weapon as Djokovic, a huge backhand to deal with the heavy spin. Of course the chances of Novak doing it is bigger, but IΒ΄m hoping Gulbis can get the job done! HeΒ΄s growing on me and his attitude could spice things up πŸ™‚

  49. Suddenly I’m a Ferrer fan, just for this evening (and potentially tomorrow if the match last too long). Come on, bring Dull down πŸ˜›

    1. Respect for Ferrer. But what can you do when you face the Beast?? He tried, but failed. Backproblems much Rafa??
      Kudos to Muzza. Wow, he is becoming a clay giant….

      1. Murray is fantastic, shame he had injury problems. And yes, if Rafa plays at his Beastmode nobody can stop him. We will see if can do it.

      2. I have seen the match yesterday from start to end. Nadal for the first two sets play shits. he was lucky not to go two love sets!!.
        is he plays like this in the semi or final, this year won’t RG belong to him. although I hate to admit it

      3. Pablo, Murray will not outplay Rafa, but he will stick to him for 5 sets. Against Monfils, momentum was with Monfils after he won the last two sets, even with beeing tired and injured, Murray turned on a switch and fought in the 5th. Just like he did against Nole at USO 2013. Don’t be so sure Rafa will win the SF.

        Shamtoot, won’t it be awesome if Gulbis somehow wins RG?? Rafa angry at Roger, knowing that if Roger stopped Gulbis the way he should have, Rafa would have won RG πŸ™‚

      4. Katyani,
        you know that I love Nadal, but I am not blind worshiper and not biased πŸ™‚ . if he play like he did in the semi against Muarry in Rome, he would undoubtedly has a better chance of winning RG, even against Nole not to mention Muarry πŸ˜‰
        if he reach the final and play shit like he did yesterday, I would rather Gulbis is at the other end to win it, he is an awesome guy to be honest, and I like him as he reminds me if Safi πŸ˜‰

      5. Hey Shamtoot, I know that beeing a fan doesn’t automatically mean beeing a blind worshipper. Trust me I know πŸ™‚ I love Roger way way too much, but I am not a blind follower, I do see his many many mistakes. But that is also why I love him, he is not perfect. And I admire Rafa. He is not evil. I can never be his fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see how good he is. David played an amazing 1st set. If he wanted, he could also win the 2nd set, but Rafa came back. David tried to do the same in the 2nd set he did to Rafa in the 1st, but now Rafa knew about it and found a way. I didn’t like it, but that was very good of Rafa. Have to be honest about that too. But this is what my problem with Rafa is… when he won the 2nd and 3rd set with that “play”… I was kind of bored with it in the 4th… That is what my problem with him is, no… variety after that, just blasting and blasting. Atleast Roger or Nole or Delpo go for different stuff, he doesn’t. That is his right, he is winning afterall, but that is what I think. Maybe not a good explanation, but in the 4th I had like, oke, come on already, finish the match…

        And Safi, haven’t seen him play, except that hawkeye call he made against Roger at Wimby, which was so far in or out, even Roger had to laugh about it πŸ™‚

      6. Shamtoot, you are a blind worshipper. If you weren’t one, you would’ve seen the light by now πŸ™‚

  50. Well, well, well. Nice to see I’m not the only Bouchard fan! Watch her play against Sharapova tomorrow. She’s a fighter and for you guys, not too hard on the eyes either.

    1. Hey Sue, I don’t think Sharapova will let this one go. With no Serena, Vika, Na Li, Aga…especially with no Serena, she will go all out for it. I would like to watch her play, but seriously, they have to put more pressure on her to stop shrieking. It is becoming so abnoxious…… She is such a good player and fighter, but who notices that with her grunting??

      1. She’s like many in the mens game, put on all the time. Pure distraction… Notice how rafa, Novak, tsonga, monfils and all those other guys suddenly gain 50 dB when they’re downd break point or 0-30?…

      2. Hey Simon, you know what is so strange? When the first 2/3 minutes they are warming up with the opponent (hitting the ball over and over) I think I have never heard one of the girls grunt. They only do that the minute they have to play. That is why I don’t believe for a second that they cannot stop grunting or atleast try to do it more quietly…..

      3. And, notice that as soon as the ball hits the net, the grunt abruptly stops. Have you ever, seen any player, continue for a second or so after the ball has hit the net, or when they know that their shot is going to sail out? If the grunt was a part of the shot, then it should continue as an [after] effect, regardless of where the ball ends up.

        Grunting should have no place in tennis.

  51. I hope Simona Halep wins it. She took a huge sacrifice to have breast reductions just to keep stay competitive.
    It will be a great gift!

  52. @ Alison, I would choose Murray knocks Nadal out, don’t care if Fed’s rankings drop. Would like Djoker to win RG.

  53. @ Guilherme Fed, your dark horse is dead πŸ™‚
    @ Jonathan, are we going to be having world cup match reviews πŸ˜‰

  54. The same old Nole-Rafa finals will come up.. Rafa will beat Murray in straights… Nole wil struggle past Gulbis in 4-5 sets. Nole wil win against rafa in 4 sets… … Lets Go Roger Lets go..
    Instantaneously liked Nole when he imitated Rafa and other players and the guy is so likable..

    1. Hey Batfed, sometimes it takes something very small to like someone who you were not fond of. I didn’t know Nole that well and the things I found out about him, I didn’t like. Then I saw his imitations of Roger, Rafa, Sharapova. I still was not impressed. Many players mimic each other for fun. But then…. I saw a clip on YT where Nole was imitating Rafa (clip is some 2,5 minutes or so). And he imitated Rafa the way no other has ever done: When Rafa begins his serve, he looks up and… bites his lip. Just writing about it makes me laugh. Nole did exactly the same thing πŸ™‚ Everyone imitates his ocd-stuff, but no one imitates him biting his lip. Priceless. I liked Nole immediately from that moment on (ofcourse sometimes he still does something stupid).
      And the interacting during the raindelay with the ballboy was really gold. One of his best moments.

      I so hope Nole wins RG, not because I don’t want Rafa to win it, but Nole deserves it too much and something really says me that if he doesn’t win it this year, he might never get such a good chance again…

      Go Nole πŸ™‚

      1. Agree katyani.. If it is Nole-Rafa final, Nole has to has to win it. Else he will be broken mentally much the same way he was the rest of 2013, this time even more. I don’t think he will be denied though. He has worked too much towards this goal. I am sure he will be rewarded.

  55. Nole is through to the final. Hope Murray can help to stretch Nadal to brink. I don’t mind if Murray pulls off a W even though Fed will drop his ranking to 5/6. Nole you have go to win this!!!

    1. Just came home to see an exiting match and….. Rafa was just about to serve for the 2nd set….. BACKPROBLEMS MUCH?? Sorry Nole, you had to work for it, unfortunately you have to do it on your own. Andy couldn’t tire him out. So hope you can get the title you deserve…. Go Nole

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