ATP Masters 1000Miami MastersRoger Federer

Flat Federer Shafted By Kokkinakis in Miami

An upset at the Miami Open as defending champion Roger Federer fell at the hands of Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in 2 hours and 2 minutes.

In what's been an already injury-plagued career the 21 year old Australian recorded his biggest ever win and inflicted a second third tie-break defeat to Roger's in as many matches who sees his Number 1 ranking return to Rafael Nadal who will move back to the top of the tree when the rankings update on April 2nd.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Kokkinakis Miami open

Kokkinakis won the toss and elected to receive. Federer kicked things off with a hold to 15 and by game four he was nicely into his stride, overcoming a shocking line call to break for a 3-1 lead. The break proved decisive as Roger strolled to the first set taking it 6-3 with no trouble.

Into set two and Kokkinakis drastically needed to improve his serving numbers having landed just 42% in the opener. However, he began in similar fashion slipping down a break point but Roger couldn't seize the opportunity and the Australian held. Failing to get into what would have been an early and likely unassailable lead proved costly as Kokkinakis then broke to lead 3-1 and rolled through the set to take it 6-3.

Into the decider and Roger started confidently with a love hold. Just like the decider in Indian Wells the Swiss was able to hold his service games comfortably but couldn't get himself the break, frittering away a break point in game six and letting Kokkinakis sneak out of one too many service games which saw the set result in a tie-break.

Into the breaker the Aussie had momentum having held from 0-30 at 5-6 and he got off to a great start moving up a mini break. Roger pulled it back quickly for 1-2 but after the change of ends Kokkinakis held for 4-3, secured another mini-break for 5-3 and finally won through 7-4 to record the upset.

Match Stats

Thansi Kokkinakis Roger Federer
Aces 7 9
Double Faults 7 3
1st Serve 52% (57/110) 65% (55/84)
1st Serve Points Won 77% (44/57) 82% (45/55)
2nd Serve Points Won 55% (29/53) 55% (16/29)
Break Points Saved 80% (4/5) 67% (2/3)
Service Games Played 15 15
1st Serve Return Points Won 18% (10/55) 23% (13/57)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 45% (13/29) 45% (24/53)
Break Points Converted 33% (1/3) 20% (1/5)
Winners 25 39
Unforced Errors 27 31
Net Points Won 82% (9/11) 72% (26/36)
Return Games Played 15 15
Service Points Won 66% (73/110) 73% (61/84)
Return Points Won 27% (23/84) 34% (37/110)
Total Points Won 49% (96/194) 51% (98/194)
SABR 0 0

Trickshot

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Miami 2R 2018

A flat performance here from the Fedmeister and it's the first time since 2014 he's lost back to back matches. For whatever reason, he wasn't able to shake the hangover from Indian Wells and over his last three or so matches the Swiss has looked to be low on confidence and not quite sure of his game out there. He's not playing badly but just isn't winning the important points or forcing the issue enough.

Today he was able to start well enough, winning the first set with a +5 Winner to Unforced Error ratio but in set two his first serve dropped to 54% and from there, his level never really picked up. Once it was deep in the third he had chances but played the big points without any real conviction which was a shame as Kokkinakis looked to be there for the taking, blowing hard after a couple of lengthy rallies at the tail end of the set. But with no real rhythm (partly due to Kokkinakis taking an age between points) or flow to his game, the opportunities went begging and another poor third set breaker cost him dearly.

Perhaps somewhat misleadingly, stats wise it actually looks pretty good and it's the 29th time in his career that he's won more points but still lost the match. In fact, from the raw numbers, he's better in virtually all departments but Kokkinakis hit some decent serves when he needed them and reeled off some mini momentum streaks at the best possible times.

Following on from Del Potro we've had a couple of tough losses now but I'm not too concerned. Fed is still playing well he's just lacking that cutting edge and a bit of luck needed to get over the line in some of these close ones. I think Rotterdam and return to Number 1 has almost thrown him a little bit in terms of short terms goals, what's at stake and his overall freshness. Heading into Indian Wells he suddenly had the Number 1 ranking to protect and a title to defend, he came within one point of doing both but in those moments where clarity of thought is crucial things seem to get bit mid muddled. Given how much he's won of late he's probably due a let down too but at 17-2 for the year so far it's not exactly panic stations just yet.

Finally, after the match, Roger confirmed in the press conference that he's taken the decision to not play any clay this year. Smart choice I think given last years winning formula and perhaps even more so given his level over the past two matches. Time to go do some relaxing in the Swiss Mountains rather than chasing form and figure out how to win a final set tiebreaker again 😆

What did you guys think of today's match and his decision to skip clay? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Kokkinakis Miami 2018 Rating

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

NOT GREAT

Only able to play well in spurts, never on the front foot or playing with confidence and comes out on the wrong side of a third set tie-break for the second time in as many matches.

User Rating: 2.4 ( 5 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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151 Comments

    1. Sorry, Thanasi’s been out of the game so long I’d forgotten his nickname 🙂

      Yep, no clarification from the stats except that Kokk was superior in taking and saving break points. So, guess stats don’t really tell the whole story.

      Thanks, Jon. Not a post I’d really want to get on the leaderboard for – and maybe I haven’t, again – but just when I seemed to be developing a telepathic sense for when you’re posting you get a nice long break. See you in … May?

  1. Terrible result losing this match, but as long as he comes back better in grass season all will be forgotten…

    In Match, it mostly felt he lost rather than Koki won it…he was pressing in his serves but return games I am not sure he did anything spectacular…bit of bummer in the end..

  2. I think Federer is a bit tired physically and mentally. He has had an awesome start of a season and winning his twentieth slam. He’s 36 years old and really nothing left to prove to me or anyone. He could lose the rest of year and it wouldn’t bother me. I’m going to cut the guy a lot of slack and expect nothing from him.

  3. Disappointed not to see him playing clay. Since he’s out of the tournament early, a few wins on his weakest surface would’ve done some good to boost his confidence going into the grass season. He won’t be riding into Gerry Weber on the backs of two masters wins like he did last year. It’s puzzling considering how much he had hinted at not ruling clay out completely, even pointing out that he grew up playing on the surface and some of his successes despite the losses to Rafa. If it’s a psychological issue rather than a physical one, taking that long of a break might prove to be damaging.

    1. Yes, that concerns me a bit, too. 2.5 months without any competitive play? (And is there really nothing but clay over that period?)

    2. Me three. Listening to that very terse reply on the subject in his presser – and obviously he’s simultaneously disappointed at the fresh loss – it sounds to me like he’s disappointed to miss the clay.

  4. Didn’t see the match but not terribly surprised.

    I said that loss to Del Potro could derail the season, and this partially evidences that. That said, I don’t know if it is a sign for further concern or if it’s one of those one offs.

    Poor result, anyway. One and done is not good enough, though given this I think not playing clay is a good thing. Gives him time to sort himself out mentally. I hope to see him playing well from the offset after this though, because this… not a good note to leave the tour for 3 months on. At this stage he deserves to lose the number 1 given that he failed to defend titles and isn’t playing a whole section of the year, so I’m not too bothered by that. I just hope that when I see him play next, it’s better than whatever this is.

  5. Happy to see Federer skip clay. Hopeful of him returning to world no 1 sometime during the clay season maybe as early as end of the Monte Carlo week as Rafa may drop points returning to his groove.
    One other point.
    It’s not like I/we fans have the right to tell him what to do but does anybody else think him taking inadequate rest (5 hour sleep which is half his normal as reported) after iw final, going to Chicago for laver cup promo may hv contributed to his defeat? Hindsight is
    20/20 but I think Federer and team may need to learn from this to get even better at scheduling these promotions / exhibitions for him to be his absolute best during tournaments. Would love to hear from others if they agree /disagree…. Cheers!

    1. Well – not as much as the exhibition before IW, really. That was a quick one-day extra trip after a huge time change, & only a few days before his first match; for Chicago, he was only in the middle of a 3-hour time change between locations, he was already in Miami by Monday, and he didn’t play until Saturday, so he had more than 4 full days between arrival and first match.

    2. I thought those business and sponsor commitments took a toll out of him too. Everybody including himself wanted to make the most out of his time in America

      1. I wondered that, too. I’ve wondered that before in the past in recent years, as well – lack of focus – especially when they’re so close to tournaments. And I suppose that with the other high-profile players not around, the burden may fall more on him even than usual.

    3. He has been doing this sponsor stuff for years though, I agree it can’t be ideal all the time but he is used to it. Part and parcel of being Roger Federer.

  6. Welp. Not what we were hoping for. Hard to believe Kokk is still only 21, seems like he’s been injured for years. Kudos to him for sticking with it.

    I really wanted him to play clay, but after this, following on from some uncharacteristic error-making we saw in IW, I really have to think something is not right here, and given THAT, It’s probably best for him to take the time to work it out. I was slightly encouraged to read a quote that went something like, it’s easier to manage 2 surfaces than 3, and I want to play for a long time.

  7. We are so spoiled but what has Fed accomplished this year Grand Slam number 20 and Oldest Male player to be number one. I think both those records will stand the test of time. But I bet ticket sales will plummet. Watching IW things worked out with Fed making it to the finals. Miami not so lucky.
    Forgot that Fed will be number one again this year. If not, no big deal. We Fed fans went through the drought where people were saying they doubted Fed would win another Grand Slam after 17.

  8. By the time June rolls around Fed will have long forgotten about these losses and will have fully prepared for Wimbledon. Yeah, it sucks that he’ll lose the number one ranking but Rafa has a ton to defend and the second half will determine who ends the year #1 (maybe even Delpo, who knows?).

  9. I hate it when I am right. I felt that Roger would lose against Del Potro last week and I was so pissed when Roger blew it. And then after seeing the draw I knew Roger would have huge problems today especially because he is a bit low on confidence and just just not closing the matches he needed to close.

    I think it’s smart of him to take this break. He needs to recalibrate and refresh a little bit. And then we’ll see what happens. Can’t really know what to expect in the summer.

  10. Thanks for quick turaround on match report, Roger played a very patchy match. Not winning key points hurt him. This reminded me of 2007 where he lost 2 back to back matches to Canas at IW and Miami. I do wonder if his effort gunning for no1 spot sort of diluted Roger’s focus on IW and Miami title defense. Its a good thing he decided to skip clay, regroup and refocus on his title defense at Halle and SW19. I hope he dont get too sucked into getting back as no1, it will come to him eventually if he defends his titles Halle, Wimby, Shanghai and Basel. Dont deviate from his main goals – win GS and maybe WTF again.

    I am missing you already Rog, come back strong champ!

  11. Those match points in IW seemed like a big deal. One of those haunting events that is hard to shake. We store memory in ourselves. Hope he develops amnesia.
    Today, I’m not surprised nor than upset. It feels like a spilling over from the final. People call it excuses but he does way too much pr, sponsorship stuff, Laver Cup, interviews, and on and on. He looked burned out in Chicago, going through the motions. Too much of a ?good thing. Add it all together and very little downtime.
    No wonder he comes out flat. I will miss Roger but he needs to rest and regroup. Spend some time in the mountains away from the press and the spotlight.
    As far as Miami goes…PLEASE…..ANYONE BUT DELPOSSUM.

  12. Well, this one didn’t bum me out as much as IW. Although would have liked Fed to reach the QF to retain the no.1 for the time being. Not too worried about rankings, though. Initially this year I’d hoped Roger would play some clay, but of course he and his team know best. Come back refreshed and rested, Roger, with your forehands flowing and backhands stinging and serves on point and appetite restored.

  13. Not really surprised by this loss. Close match again and once more Roger is not able to elevate his game on big points or make the right decisions. Time to take a break and regroup. He needs to focus on the grass court season and let the sponsorship stuff take the back seat. Only interest in Miami is to see DelPossum lose. No tennis till June. Great time for IPL season to start 🙂

  14. well quick exit outcome but not much surprise he is low confidence and can’t take a chance when he have now roger can clear his mind and take long break before grass main goal should be back to win 9th wimbledon may be he play 3 grass tournament like last year Stuttgart,Halle, Wimby

      1. I had misremembered that then, for some reason I thought there was still a year left on the original deal. Interesting. I would think he’d still want to play it though, because otherwise he’ll be so rusty – heck, last year he was rusty after less time off and he lost to Haas, but it still got him back in tune for Halle.

  15. Happy and sad songs

    Sad …
    Watching you lose two matches in a row.
    Accepting you let the first ranking go.
    Beaten by a young  175-rank fellow.
    Seeing the Spaniard again as Numero Uno.

    Wise …
    Not to get your socks stained in the red dust.
    As to torture your knees, for sure, you must not.
    To spend springtime with those who count most.
    To take the accurate number of days to readjust.

    Downhearted…
    Not to watch you play for maybe three months.
    It’s for your sake, we know … but it will be long.
    Your fans and you, we wholeheartedly get along.
    But life is filled with happy and sad songs.

    Hopeful …
    To see you back fresh as a prairie full of clovers.
    We’ll admire your game when the days last longer.
    We will appreciate this year’s triumphs all the better.
    Whatever happens, faithful to you and your fans forever.

  16. I watched the match (and regretted wasting 2 hours in the end). KoKk served a lot of bombs and key moments and won most of the big points. Federer didn’t play that bad, it’s just he had a horrible service game in the 2nd set, and then a pretty flat tiebreak. In the 3rd set he was holding with ease and all of the Kokkhinakis service games were taking 10 minutes. Federer had 0-30 at 6-5 and I thought he was going to make his move there. He got a 2nd serve, then tried a chip and charge but his return went out. He then lost the next 6 points in a row and never really got back on track. Federer’s forehand was going long a lot…
    I was really hoping he’d make it to the QFs. It’s sort of a bad taste to go out like this with 2 straight losses.

  17. I agree with those that said Roger has overstretched himself by doing the exhibitions and Laver cup promos. He needs to get back to basics. Train. Rest. Hit more tennis balls.

  18. He was begging for a break and rest in this match and he got it. It may be a blessing in disguise in the long run. He was burned out and desperately needs a break. He looked pissed wiht himself in the presser which is a good thing.

    No tennis for almost 3 months for me and I hope Jonathan will take a well deserved break too 🙂 finger crossed someone will step up and steal some pts from Nadal and Fed cna go back to #1 in his holiday house somewhere in the world

  19. I think he needs the pause, otherwise he’d have gone for some clay. Good to hear he didn’t exactly play bad, so that’s not the problem. And VERY NICE his taking care of still long term performance. But I don’t hope Jon will take too much holiday from this entertaining blog, but find something to fill the hole of our Fed-miss-time.

  20. “I think Rotterdam and return to Number 1 has almost thrown him a little bit in terms of short terms goals, what’s at stake and his overall freshness. Heading into Indian Wells he suddenly had the Number 1 ranking to protect and a title to defend, he came within one point of doing both but in those moments where clarity of thought is crucial things seem to get bit mid muddled.”
    Can’t agree more…
    I want him to play FO and just one tune-up before that. He is too good a clay player to win just one FO. Double career slam is something which he might want to go for. He has won so much and at this moment of his career, that’s the most precious title. He is the second best player in clay and at this moment, he owns Rafa. Just two close losses should not alter his schedule.

    1. His trainer explained how clay is terrible for his body. I guess it’s also too much hassle to switch surfaces twice in two months time. The risk of injury is high and it’s not good for confidence either when it’s almost certain he’s not winning clay tourneys.

      1. Didn’t know that. If knee is the reason, why do people say- it’s a good decision,he needed this break, etc ???? He will never play a clay match to protect his knee. Period. No expectation anymore….

      2. It was a very interesting article with Paganini – said something like, the shock to the knee is harder on hard courts, but also briefer. With clay, it actually vibrates.

  21. I am finally preparing myself for the inevitable, the Federer retirement. I like many fans thought Federer could duplicate his 2017 season, now realistic thinking shows me the truth. His cutting down his schedule worked to perfection last year. This year you can tell a marked difference in his passion. It’s like been there done that and he has stated he does enjoy his life outside of tennis. Not just Roger I think Nadal fans are realizing the gift that Roger and Nadal gave them last year. Djocovic fans will also see that the era of the big three is coming to an end. I will follow tennis as long as Federer is playing but once he retires I will no longer watch tennis. I will enjoy watching YouTube to see past Federer matches. I just am not interested in watching baseline back and forth tennis, it is very boring. THANK YOU so much Roger for being not just the greatest ever tennis player but a real class act. Take care Jonathan and keep playing tennis.

    1. Long way to go yet, I think. I mean, let’s not forget that this year he is 17-2, had the best start to a year ever, won a slam and reached a Masters final. If that’s a comedown from 2017, it’s not a huge one. Last year in Miami he easily could have lost to Berdych and Kygrios, too, so it’s not like he swept everyone.

      I’ll be more concerned if when he comes back it’s an early loss like in Stuttgart last year followed up by another early loss and an early loss at Wimbledon. As of right now, the two matches he’s lost he’s either held match points or won more points – very very frustrating to see him lose those matches, because you know he can be better in the clutch than what he showed there, but not something to overreact to I feel. Sometimes those things just happen. I doubt anyone is more annoyed at Federer than Federer himself is as of now. It’s not a lack of passion that caused him to lose those matches, just unrefined play and sloppy errors at crucial points. At times, that’s all it takes to lose a match.

      Poor note to take a break on, for sure, but not immensely worrying. As I say, if we see more of the same on grass, then I think it may be time to be concerned. But right now? It is what it is.

  22. Good post Jonathan I agree Roger flat. Too many things to do and not enough time to do them
    in. I’m kind of sad that we won’t see him on a clay court only because it’s so good when he is playing
    well. However if he takes 3 months off he and Rafa will be level again, 3 months since Rafa played.
    And if Fed had to lose I’m glad it was at the start of the tournament. The No 1 well nobody can
    take it away he will still be the oldest to attain it for the foreseeable future. x

  23. I would love to see Roger competing for the FO, especially this year that there might not be a dominant contender (If Nadal is not 100%) for the first time since Roger’s early career.

    However, he definitely needs the rest.
    2018 has been a great year so far in terms of achievements (RF20#, world no 1), but in terms of level I think he brought his A game to a minimum of matches. He won the AO playing his B game about 80% of the time and pretty much the same for Rotterdam. Almost made it in IW as well.
    I have to say he got relatively easy draws so far, didn’t have to put too much effort to get the finals in both AO and Rotterdam, got to play inconsistent Cilic and off-day Dimitrov in the finals.
    He managed to play exactly good enough to win. Like a high jump athlete just gets over a bar with 0 cm to spare. So far in 2018 the bar wasn’t that high. It is enough to look at this blog and see that most matches are rated 4 stars and not 4.5 or 5.
    Don’t get me wrong, he did amazing things this year and accomplished a lot, and any of the above does not diminish Roger’s achievements. I’m just saying that we have to update our expectations.

    I hope he returns with fire and passion the grass courts, and for the rest of the season on hard courts, with not that much rest in between.

  24. Well Miami has never been a favourite tournament of his so not a terrible surprise.It is preferable that if he loses it is to an upcoming player rather than say Verdasco who he would have played next.I bet Verdasco demolishes the Kokk.(What an unfortunate name)
    Spreading himself too thin and perhaps at a stage in his life where he wants to enjoy his family and all the wonderful experiences and opportunities his great wealth can give him.The slams are always his priority so it is good that he is
    skipping clay and has plenty of rest and regrouping before Wimbledon.
    Feds last two defeats have been close,one only one point away from victory,yesterday against a zoning opponent with nothing to lose.Even in his great 2017 he had weird loses to Donsky,Haas and Goffin.So sorry for poor Goffin who was utterly humiliated in his first round defeat.I do hope there is no permanent damage to his eye following that
    Freak accident.
    So upwards and onwards and as others have said anyone but bloody Delpossum.?

  25. Not easy job for us to see our RF Maestro struggling since the final in Indian Wells :-(. But unfortunately that´s life – tennis. To see such a poor performance by Roger is much harder, because we are not used to this. As Jonathan wrote, high probably all the bad things have joined together by Roger in this match – tired/bounded mind from IW final, that could have been won ( unpatience and some kind of anger stole the victory in that final ), pressure from beeing Nr. 1 and need of recapturing the title in IW and Miami. That affected immediately Rogers performace – not optimal footwork sometimes, lack of confidence, not convering chances /breakballs, some more double faults, etc.. By leaving out the clay season has been made clever decision, if there is not any health issue ( hopefully ). Roger needs to rest his mind to renew his attacking win hunger game ! For us the tennis world will be a bit boring and sad for next three months :-(((, but if RF makes the trophy in Stuttgart, Halle, WImbledon and 1 000 hard court summer, etc., then we are satisfied, I think :-). I´m only a bit surprised, that Roger expressed his big dream to beat Rafa in Paris on clay some days ago and now he immediately canceled his plans concerning the Roland Garros this year. It would be interesting and challenging to see Roger´s play on clay since 2016 … So LET´S GO ROGER, LET´S GO !!! :-)))

  26. I really can’t understand why so many people,not necessarily on this blog,wanted Fed tp play on clay.Ifeel that he has nothing to prove there at all.The number of times he made the final at Roland Garros is testament to what a fine clay court
    player he is.Unfortunately he was playing at the same time as the greatest clay courter of all time.
    The decision to not play clay is completely sensible and rational,I believe.

    1. Agree with you 100% . Federer is hoping to prolong his career and this is a very welcome step in that direction. His chances on clay (RG) came in 2006,07,11 and maybe a bigger racquet head could have helped but bygones are bygones. Slow hard courts are proving to be tough clay is far far worse.
      Hoping to see a fresh Federer in the grass entertaining us and putting the slam record far beyond Rafa’s reach.

  27. One of the pictures above that Jonathan chose you see Federer smiling at the end of the match. Unlike the majority of the tennis world Roger enjoys his off court life. I think this year unfortunately we will see much less Federer especially at the level he was in last year. Roger has absolutely nothing to prove to anyone. We as his fans know his greatness on and off the court. Once Roger decides to retire tennis will end for me. I still enjoy playing tennis and hopefully Roger and Mirka can buy a winter home in Florida where I live and I can bump into him walking on the beach. All the best to everyone especially Jonathan for this excellent site he produced.

  28. When Fed comes back to the tour, I’ve decided to expect nothing. Taking a long break doesn’t necessarily mean good results. He seems to be spending more time in Switzerland and enjoying the family life there.
    Maybe Fed is lacking the motivation he had last year?
    The final at IW was a turning point in my head. All of a sudden, he was human and the beginning of the end is coming sooner rather than later. The ATP know what it means when Fed isn’t around. Less ticket sales, viewership, etc. I’m amazed (well not really) at how may people say no Fed = no tennis.
    Cheers, Jonathan. Hopefully you will come up with some posts before summer!

  29. I agree, Sue, in fact I had no expectations of this match.
    He doesn’t seem to be playing with the joie-de-vivre he used to have. Playing tight rather than free.
    I hope he has a marvellous long rest together with time to find his game again, and his team organise his calendar to suit him and not his too many commitments.
    By the way how successful do you think the Laver Cup will be with no Federer?

    1. I think Laver Cup is so much about Fed. The weekend in Prague was probably a one of a kind. Hope the Chicago one is a success as well.
      Wanda, I always love your optimism!

  30. Fed is exhausted. He has been carrying tennis on his shoulder for far too long. He just need a time away from it. Let’s others run the game while he and us fedfans get on with our quiet lives our own a bit. C’mon, it’s not the beginning of the end! It’s going to be another beginning of something good 😉 He loves the game so much that he’s probably already missing it and us 😆
    Wise move skipping the dart. Although I dreamed him lifting the FO trophy one more time, it’s no-brainer him to give it up to protect the health.

    Great job day and night, Jonathan. Both Roger and you, enjoy holidays!

    1. “C’mon, it’s not the beginning of the end! It’s going to be another beginning of something good ? ”

      Yes, you know, we *have* been here before. It’s just that we’ve forgotten about it among all the joys of the past 15 months. Hoping he does have a good rest, both mentally and physically.

  31. I dont know its probably not an ideal time but I hope he stays from the court for atleast the next 3-5 weeks and starts training beginning of May 2016-esque given how he has done in the last 14 months certainly had to have a let down for its course, somehow I am glad it happened here rather than the Wimbledon – US Open stretch , still no guarantees. And If he comes bacl like he did last year dont worry the No.1 would not go anywhere.

    In the meantime the man deserves some well earned rest and yea I might be thrown stones at for saying this but wish he went for a FUT transplant on his rceding hairline ideal for him to do it now since he wont have to wear the bandana for months (I know its crazy imagination):pp

  32. yes,it has been great coming to this blog to rejoice /commiserate,whatever.Thankyou Jonathan for making this possible.
    I am going to cancel my Sky Sports subscription now till later in the year.No intention of paying to watch Nadal grunt and
    bludgeon around the court especially if he is still wearing that pink outfit.

  33. Agree with Jonathan, agree with most of posts. Thought he wld lose. Completely knackered, playing a heavy hitting nothing to lose qualifier who has already played in on the courts. Not a good combo for Fed, who needs a complete rest.

    Understand re clay but sad not to see him on it. Pierre must hv been pretty forceful about the risks. I understand Delpo has actually said similar, that he might miss it too.

    Hoping Rafa’s lack of matches might mean lack of sharpness on clay and that Rog regains no 1 for Halle/Wimby.

    Tbh that was another Donskoy match. He was due one. Tiredness leads to frustration as we cld see in the interview..

    Onward! Krygios Plse for Miami or Chung.

    1. “Completely knackered, playing a heavy hitting nothing to lose qualifier who has already played in on the courts. Not a good combo for Fed, who needs a complete rest.”

      Yes, looking at the list of other defeated 2nd-round players, I’d say Fed pretty much had the worst possible option there. I’ve warned before about the risks of qualifiers already being used to the courts when Fed hasn’t got into his groove yet.

  34. Yesterday, on a tv programme on Be in Sports, Fabrice Santoro,  the former tennis player analysed the Fed-Kokkinakis match. He said that the usual Swiss-clock agenda prepared for him (ie block of training days – tournaments – rest) may have been “disturbed” by the late  decision to play in Rotterdam… which could explain the relative lack of rhythm he had those recent days.

    No regrets at all as it led him to recover the N°1 seat… According to what he said in his last press conference in Miami, it seems that Fed wants to stick to the original pattern to prepare the “veggie’ season  …

    1. Interesting, thank you, FB. I did wonder about that …

      It’s also struck me that, regardless of any effect clay may have on his knee, the block from Easter through to the end of the USO is so long that Fed clearly couldn’t have coped with playing all of it, in which case it makes sense to dump the part which is likely to cause him the most problems.

  35. Well, I think I said up thread that he would lose to Vedasco. To be honest, even if Fed had squeaked past the Kokk he would have had trouble with Verdasco who can be very troublesome in the early rounds as Nadal found out to his cost in the Australian Open, can’t remember the year. Watching that match I as really struck by how slow the court is. I suppose this is now quite an interesting tournament as anyone could win it. Quite impressed with Shapavalov who certainly goes for his shots.

    1. I watched a small piece of that match. Verdasco was complaining about the f….guy in the hat behind him. Turns out it was Kokk’s f…ing father. I guess his father was saying stuff to Verdasco. He wanted him thrown out, lol.
      Quit the constant fist pumping, Sasha. Go Shapo!
      Hey, Sid…get tickets to LC?

  36. The guy in the hat looked amazingly like Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the last crusade.Also Shapavalovs coach was wrapped up like the lead role in the Mummy.The whole thing seems to be mind numbingly boring or farcical.Meanwhile Delpossum plods on.?

    1. NK being a total ass on twitter, drama between Kokk n Verdasco and Delpossum getting on biz like a possum. Interesting times….Roger where are you????

  37. Joking apart what is rather concerning is the number of on-court verbal quarrels, punctuated with swearing being indulged in by the New Gen players with the umpire looking on and doing nothing.I feel that if they don’t nip this in the bud the next step will be physical.

    I know Verdasco was the prime mover in this and should know better, but some of the younger players seem somewhat lacking in respect for the game, the audience and each other. Matches at the moment tedious in the extreme Isner/Cilic/Raonic/Chardy.

  38. Just watching Shapavalov.Surely the best of the upcoming ones.Great shot maker and can volley too.Unfortunately
    he and Coric are going to wear each other out in this match.

    1. Shapovalov is good to watch but his game is wild, he will produce big upsets but then crash the next match. Time will tell if he gets the missing piece of the puzzle, got plenty time.

  39. Jon – suggest you set up at separate forum for us to post comments about on-going matches, its going to be a boring 2 months without Roger…we need something to entertain ourselves.

  40. Well, Delpossum one match closer to the double. First he asked for the trainer, then not good enough, he wants the doctor. So, of course, your opponent thinks something is very wrong. Then he is angry at the chair ump. Doctor comes out and ends up dismissing all of them. Next, he chases down a ball, jumps over the 30 cm high barrier and semi collapses hanging onto a railing. omg, he must be injured, he isn’t moving for ages. Raonic’s face is one of concern. Ha ha, fooled ya. Nothing wrong.
    And then the crowd, so rude. Not just routing for Delpo but yelling out during serves, between 1st and 2nd etc. Chair ump wasn’t effective.
    Why do people like this guy?

    1. Del Potro is a Nadal in possums clothing. I’ve been telling this to you’ll for ages. I remember in the 2010 Wimbledon match I think Nadal gave Del Possum a taste of all that in winning the first set. Wonder if thats’s what inspired him.

      At what point in the match did all this happen?

  41. The final set was about 4 o’clock in the morning here(UK)I didn’t get up just followed the scores on-line.Couldnt believe what I was seeing 4 breaks of serve with these huge servebots.But when Potro finally held serve I knew he
    Would get it.?Raonic fell apart in both tiebreaks.
    Can Isner(of all people)save tennis?
    On the other side of the draw just watching the deadly boring Anderson v Busta.The match I want to see is of course
    The early morning Zrerev V Coric.It would be so nice to see one of the young ones win this but I feel that the ghastly
    possum is going to get it.If he does he will be world Number 3!We seem to be entering the age of lumbering Giants
    dominating tennis.Anderson.Raonic.Potro,Isner,even Zrevev although he at least he moves occasionally ?

  42. I love it ‘the age of the lumbering Giants’ well put. That leaves us cheering for Coric, which would be
    no bad thing. I now realise why Fed loses the plot when he plays Delpotro…..I was losing it last night
    and for the first time I felt sorry for Raonic x

  43. Well that was a really great match!Amazing third set tiebreak.So glad Busta got rid of one of the servebots especially after having match point in the second set.I haven’t really taken much notice of him before but very
    impressed.Who will win out of Coric or Zrerev?I think I am going with Zrerev.

  44. Hmm possum-ing as usual this Delpo….can Isner beat him? Getting on my nerves, anyone else but possum to win Miami please.

  45. I’m no huge fan of Raonic either BUT when you have to put up with that, not fair. He tried so hard not to get sucked in and to stay focused but in the end the bullshit prevailed. Not moving for ages was the worst part. What an ass. A lot of you were disappointed by Fed’s behavior in the IW final but do we know all that happened? No, we don’t. When asked, Fed wouldn’t comment.
    Sid, this happened throughout the match. Second set mostly? Hey, did you get tickets to LC?

    1. The LC multi session tickets were too rich for me. Minimum $1,900 I think. I’d rather stretch that kind of budget and do more at the Open in a better city.

      What really happened in the Raonic match? Did it impact Raonic?

  46. I think that a lot of people,including some of his fans(no accounting for taste)are becoming aware of Delpossums
    time wasting,feigning injury and dragging himself around the court as if he is half dead and then running around at top speed on crucial points.However he will have to serve a lot better than he did in the Raonic match if he wants to
    win tonight.He was lucky Raonics serve deserted him in crucial stages of the third set.If Isner can do anything it is
    serve?

  47. In the age of lumbering Giants,the largest of all won.Amazing match from Isner,not only the serve but some incredible ground strokes.
    Now for Sacha.?

  48. Ahhh finally streak broken – good job Isner. Finally my wish for someone else to win. Let’s do this Isner – time for your maiden Master’s title

  49. I don’t like Isner’s playing style but he is a very cool and sporting character and is 0-3 in Masters 1000 finals. Zverev is 2-0 in finals. I guess I want Isner to win, even though I like Zverev.

    1. Isner was firing winners from all over the court while Del Potro’s service was having holidays at Kathmandu. Isner’s service was finely tuned but not always paired with volleys; the big fellow has quite a few problems in bending down but you can’t have it all, can you? Unless of course your name starts with an R… just like me. Hehehe.

  50. I’m routing for Isner. It would be nice for him to have a masters title to his name after all his years. Amazing that in America, they were cheering for an Argentinian. I like Zverev BUT too much fist pumping, too much ego. Pablo seems to have a nice demeanor.

    Jonathan is on a road trip to Morocco.

    1. Yeah. That fist pumping is just plain childish and the chains make him look like a mobster or a seller of counterfeit clothes…

      1. Well goodness knows what you make of Anderson then who seems to fist pump after every point?No great player of any sport doesn’t have an ego,you don’t become number one by being Mr nice guy.As for the chains people can wear what they like I guess.Serena Williams wears enormous earnings,I suppose that makes her a female mobster,whatever that might be.

      2. Anderson would stop pumping his fists if he actually hit something solid every time he did that. It’s just… over the top. As for adornments, be it chains, charms or viking hats, of course it’s one’s individual right to wear what he/she pleases and that’s not even debatable. But it does not mean that it’s not open to aesthetical considerations. Personally I think earrings frame most female faces quite nicely…

      3. Zverev just fist pumped a double fault. Way OTT. I think he has a rather limited likeability tbh, can’t really see him having huge appeal even if he wins more and more.

  51. Off on holiday tomorrow so will miss the final which is a pity.I think and hope Zrerev will win.If he maintains his current form he will give Nadal a run for his money on clay.How quickly things can change in tennis.Until recently people had Nadal as a complete lock for RG now things not so certain.If Z wins tomorrow he will be number 3.
    Happy Easter everyone,hope you all have lovely Easter eggs,Swiss chocolate of course?

  52. On a side note, if it weren’t for safety reasons, a player should be made to play the remainder of the current game with the smashed racquet, or the whole of the next one in case he/she smashed it on the last point. Then he/she would offer from his own pocket 50 similar (or lighter…) units to a tennis club he/she is not affiliated with. So it is written.

  53. Great win by Isner, coming from 1 set down to win. All the hype on Sasha is just ughh – passive play, dressing like hip hop artist and OTT fist pumping. If Lendl is going to be his coach, pls remove all those nonsense gold chains. So AA has left Djoker’s camp – agreeing to disagree, sounds like conscious uncoupling. The plot thickens for Djoker, what will he do next hire Paul Annacone?

      1. Yeap Pepe Imaz is still around, he is there to give Djoker lengthy hugs. At least we’re getting some side show while waiting for Rog’s return. He has really switched off these past week. Cmon Rog, some tweets or instagram pls.

    1. I watched the second and third sets and Zverev just wouldn’t pull the trigger when the situation screamed for it. The number of times he refused to go down the line is unacceptable, considering this guy literally goes around his forehand to make them backhands. Doesn’t make sense.

      Anyways, happy Isner won a 1000 title after four attempts.

  54. http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/23027866/a-look-possible-new-streamlined-tennis-ranking-system
    Here is an interesting read about a different tennis ranking system.

    On another topic. There are identical twin hockey players (from Sweden) that are retiring this week. They have played in the NHL as a Vancouver Canuck for 18 yrs. Henrik (jersey #33) and Daniel (jersey #22) Sedin. Last night was their last home game. Daniel scored his 22nd goal of the year at 33 seconds in the 2nd period. Then Daniel scored the winning goal in overtime at 2 minutes and 33 seconds. Henrik assisted on both goals. These players are class acts. All the players, coaches, media and fans have nothing but respect for them. The twins have raised millions for Children’s Hospital. They were always the most fit going into training camp.
    They remind me so much of our Roger.

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