ATP FinalsRoger Federer

JesusFed Destroys Murray in London

BOOM! Total GOAT display from Roger as he turned up the heat at the o2 to see off Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-2 and make his third consecutive final in London where he'll now face Djokovic to decide the best player of the year.

There's no two ways about it, I wasn't confident going into this match, after the two lackluster displays against Ferrer and Del Potro everything pointed to a Murray win. I said in my prediction post that I thought Murray would win today and to win Roger would need a JesusFed performance. It's like he was listening to my request as from the middle of the first set onwards Roger weathered the Murray storm, got his shit together and started to dominate on both wings.

Could this be Shanghai all over again?

Unlike a typical JesusFed like performance things started horrifically badly for Roger, he got broken in his opening service game after making 2 terrible forehand errors. It's worth noting Murray has broken Roger's opening service game in their last 4 meetings. Scary!

Murray got out of the blocks at light speed yet again and was really going gung ho on his ground strokes. He finds the Federer backhand so easily and once he got into a dominant position in the rally he very rarely relinquished it.

Even though Murray was the one in control early, I just felt like Roger could click into a gear at any given moment, a couple of points could get him going and that's what happened.

Enter Back Street Fighterer

Back Street Fighterer

At 4-2 Roger finally started to dictate play, he started going for the backhand up the line and cut out any sloppy errors that were handing Murray cheap points. Murray went from looking dominant to being put back in his shell, the crowd were pro Roger and he just moved up a gear to get back on level terms.

A backhand shank got the tie break off to a poor start for Roger has he slipped down a mini break 3-1 but a huge inside out forehand and then a big serve out wide got the score back level at 4-4. A drive volley followed that and then a Murray error saw Roger move within 2 points of sealing the first set and he did just that on his own serve at 6-5. Allez, there's a reason this guy has the best record in tie breaks of all time.

Second Set – JesusFed Runs the Show

The second set was all about Roger, he kicked off in the best possible manner with a love hold to level up at 1-1. In the next service game Murray went from 40/0 to deuce, deuce soon became break point and Roger sealed it when Murray made another backhand error. 2-1 was soon 4-2 and then Roger found another break point which he converted again! 3/3 out on break points, total destruction!

Roger then served it out in style, by this point he was in full flow, no longer was he scampering to his backhand side trying to retrieve Murrays big groundstrokes, he was camped on the baseline in full flow and moving seamlessly into the final.

JesusFed Rises

It's tough to put into words how big a win this is for Roger. If he'd have lost today it could have had negative consequences on next season. It'd have meant he'd have lost 3 matches in a row to Murray, a near disaster and would also mean Murray moved 3 clear in the H2H.

Now the tables have turned yet again and it's Roger who heads in 2013 with the final say in that rivalry and he proved that even when Murray gets off to a barnstorming start that he can weather the storm and find his own way back into the match and make sure the match lies on his racket.

As for Murray I think he'll be disappointed, he went from dominate to passive in the blink of an eye. I think Roger's play put him there but he definitely made a few sloppy errors that cost him. I guess the atmosphere, Roger's level and the disappointment of dropping the first set effected him mentally. If he'd stayed aggressive and moved in more then things could maybe have been even closer but one's thing sure than when Roger plays somewhere near his best it's tough to find any sort of way back into a match.

Federer vs. Murray Match Stats

Federer vs Murray Statistics

Predictions for the Final against Djokovic

Well this is definitely the most fitting final possible, it's the two best players of the year going head to head to decide who comes away on top. In my mind Roger has been the best player on tour this year, winning 3 ATP Masters 1000 titles, a Grand Slam and returning to World Number 1 for a record 300 weeks so I think he's coming away with another World Tour Final trophy tomorrow.

I didn't think it was possible after the Ferrer and Del Potro matches but it looks like Roger had me fooled and he does have one last push in him. If he can keep up his level from today then I think he's gettting it done against Djokovic tomorrow.

I watched the other semi final today and Del Potro dominated the early parts of that match, yet again it boiled down to his joke levels of fitness. The guy is puffing and panting after any sort of lengthy rally. Djokovic clearly saw he was dead on his feet by the middle of the third set and just worked him over. It was a shame as when Del Potro is on a full tank he can be pretty unstoppable.

The last time Roger played Djokovic in London was in 2010 and it was another JesusFed display, I think he broke his serve twice in the opening set, tailed off in the second and went down a break but then hit back to completely dominate. Hopefully that happens again tomorrow. It's clear Roger wants this now and perhaps it's written in the stars. It'd be a fitting end to a great year if he was to come away with the title and I hope he can do just that. Allez!


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

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  1. WHAT A MATCH! I sad before that I am so sad, but now I AM SO PROUD AT THAT MAN! Great show, great performance, wonderful match! I LOVE JESUSFED! πŸ™‚ THANKS FOR GREAT NEW LOOK OF SITE JONATHAN! AND ALSO GRAET ARTICLE! My predictions for Đole: ROGER WIN!!!! GO ROGER!!!!

  2. Great review/preview as always – been reading this blog for a few weeks now and loving it. Especially cool how quickly you get posts up after a match!

    Btw, Fed didn’t drop a set to Nole in 2010 WTF: absolutely crushed him 6-1, 6-4 (Djokovic said in the post-match presser that Fed was “playing the best tennis of the year” – this in Rafa’s 3-slam year!). He had a brief lapse early in the second, when Nole went up a break, but then he broke him back twice to seal it comfortably in two. He only dropped one set that entire tourney, the middle one two Rafa in the final, sandwiched between two glorious sets of pure JesusFed.

    Let’s hope for something similar tomorrow. Though I’ve more or less shared your expectations this whole week – i.e., not very high. But it was great to see the lion fight today. Reminded me a bit of the birthplace of Fed 3.0, the Davydenko match in Rotterdam, in that he simply took the early trouble on the chin and kept his cool and fought.

    1. Hey Nelson,

      Thanks for commenting, glad you like the blog! Haha I have to type pretty quick to get them out, takes me longer to correct all the errors I spot afterwards πŸ˜‰

      You’re right too about that match, I was at the o2 that year but wasn’t at that match, remember watching first set, jumping on tube to go out and seeing he’d gone down a break, refreshing scores when I got back to the surface and he’d just moved up another gear. Epic performance.

      Like you I hope he can keep it up tomorrow. You can tell in his on court interview that he was fired up for this one. The crowd were awesome too, hoping they are the same tomorrow and a Monday night final doesn’t lessen the atmosphere.


  3. GREAT GREAT GREAT! Do you know what Jonathan? I am glad that you weren’t right this time, but hope that you will be right for the final tomorrow!! As I sad on Twitter, Roger even was’t JesusFed I think, but anyway he won it!! πŸ˜€ I just loved the first dry volley, backhand half volley from the baseline and backhand passing shot on the 3th break point!! All in all – wonderful !!

    1. That backhand half volley down the line was crazy good. Open stance too. Such racket head control. I don’t know which channel you saw on, but did you hear Robbie Koenigs commentary? “the last we saw one of those, god was a young boy” classic!

      1. yeaaahh I read this comment on your twitter and could’t stop laughing! πŸ˜€ BTW I watched it on Serbian SPORTKLUB and do you know what? The commentators wanted Roger in the final! Hope they are going to regret tomorrow!!!!

  4. Well, what can we say other than JESUSFED. Mugray really got owned today and im sooo glad you were wrong because i am proud to say i watched fed live and saw him destroy murray in straights. I sleep today with a smile on my face, lets just hope its the same tmrow.
    There was a backhand in the match down the line which was sublime and federer plays djokovic, which is fine. Lets hope for a win tmrow!
    Allez Roger.

  5. Played v tough matchplay tonight, impressive risk taking, chip charge, aggressive second serve, very mentally focused as first 3 games were disastrous and I was thinking Murray was going to roll him over. But, boy did he ever keep his cool. Interesting that he broke in second set from 0-40. Exactly as at Wimbledon. Lendl will hv something to say to Murray about that. Hope Fedcgets enough rest. His confidence will be up, and think he reads the Djoker game better, so feeling good about tomorrow. I am going, so hoping Fed will play JesusFed once more. Agree this was an important win for Roger casting out any doubts which may hv crept in after those 2 defeats by Delpo, and Shanghai. Loved that he got more support from the crowd than Murray!

    1. I loved that too! They were chanting, it was great… πŸ™‚ Must have given him a buzz too… And agreed: he does read the Djoker game better. Chances are good. Looking forward to tonight!

    2. Yeah I was worried after that start. But he regained composure and then steadied the ship. It was good to see after Shanghai!

      Hoping for another win tonight and that you’ll be helping Fed over the line! Allez Roger!

  6. Unreal win from the Fed. I too thought he wasn’t winning this match. When roger walked out on court leaving his forehand in the locker room I was worried it might be a pumping. And then Roger goes and steps it the fuck up!
    That was really good to see. Usually when shankerer comes out he rarely turns into jesusfed, especially halfway through a set (to be fair most times he doesnt even need to, can grind out the match) but against murray in the form of his life I was really pleasantly surprised that Roger found a way to turn it on. I think a lot of credit goes to the crowd on that one, it really got rowdy and fired him up. Also for federer to have more support in london than muz is huge for him and probably quite demoralising for muz. I think the backhand down the line is the key shot, people seem to think its a weakness… erm LOL. watch that backhand half volley pickup in the first set. some weakness.
    Looking forward to tomorrows final, shud be awesome. Jesusfed is no match for anyone.
    Stage is set for next season. Hope rafa comes back and would like to see Delpo get in the mixer aswell, really think he can do it if he just goes for a few more jogs.
    bring on the final, Allez!

    1. The shank made a guest appearance at a crucial stage in the bester. I was convinced, “this is it”. I was wrong! Del Po needs to hit the treadmill. His win against Roger was a freakish one. At least he gave Roger a great workout on his backhand wing.

    2. Yeah the crowd were electric. To be honest I think they have been pretty flat in the other matches this week so when they really turned it up last night it was all the more noticeable. Seemed to inspire Roger quite a bit. Hope they can do the same tonight!

  7. I had a hunch that Fed was going to bring his best and I’m glad I was right! He adjusted so brilliantly after getting down the early break, and Murray had no answers for Federer’s genius. The final should be amazing. I have always seen Djokovic as a better match-up for Roger, and Fed has beaten him the last two times rather convincingly.

  8. Didn’t see that one coming. Gave Roger very small chances of winning, which he reinforced during the first games. Put my daughter to bed then. Nothing to see here, I thought. Well, couldn’t resist taking a peek some time later and, boom, Roger in front. When I finally got time to watch the match, it was all over. Luckily, I had just paused the stream from tennistv.
    Roger is clearly a player very different from everybody else on tour. It seems to be shear inspiration. A times, its just not there and he just can’t force it. But when its there, its like he is not into the same sport as the opponent on the other side of the net. I can’t imagine what’s going through his mind during matches. Totally understand his comment after the quarters in US Open, “it’s just not happening for me”.
    When Roger stops playing it will probably be because it’s enough with the traveling, what’s one more US Open when his daughters keep asking, when will you be back home daddy. It will not be because his body fails him or he can’t get fit enough.
    Good luck tomorrow Roger.

    1. Hey Londo,

      I agree he definitely got inspired last night. The crowd willing him in on. Would have been easy to get down about losing serve in the first game but he kept focused and found a way back. Epic.


  9. I feel that the loss against Del Po was a blessing in disguise. Del Po pounded Roger’s backhand so much that he looked strangely comfortable in that wing against Murray. Considering Roger didn’t have to “spend” too much to get this win, I feel that he has a strong chance against Djokovic in the final. London, the O2, partisan crowd and a fast indoors court. Djoker will have to step it up a notch to win this one.

    1. Where you been hiding man?

      Seems like it was, I thought a loss to Del Potro was curtains for Roger but he made the finals. Hope he can keep the level for one more match. Allez!

      1. I’m here πŸ™‚ Been reading your posts but not commenting that frequently. Also, spending some time with TTV chat so…gotta balance the budget, right? πŸ™‚

  10. HI Jonathan,

    Awesome match yesterday. Long back I had mentioned in a comment to you that Fed is pretty much unbeatable indoors. Of course Delpo beat him twice but it was more due to Fed not serving well at all. In effcet Delpo beat a 50 % Fed. Winning indoors is really more to do with serving and Murray lost the second set easily as his serve wasn’t as good as in the first set while Fed picked his serve up. The courts are playing slow and thus the second serve is rarely effective and more so Fed’s.

    As for today’s match, Fed needs to be on 70 % first serve to beat Novak who is an awesome returner. Gutfeel – Fed in straight. No tie-breakers


    1. Hope you’re right again Murli!

      70% is up a level from what he’s served all week. I think this could boil down to 1 or 2 points. Hope that Roger is the one who wins the key moments.

      1. It did end up being two points. One, the set points Roger wasted in the second and two, a crucial point in the first set tie break at 3-3 that should’ve been a winner that Roger barely missed. Two points, yes, that’s what it was. I’m devastated. I don’t care how much he did this year, he blew this win, big time.

      2. Ah man it ain’t that bad. He missed some chances but losing the World Tour Finals ain’t too big a deal I don’t think. I mean Davydenko won it in 09 and nobody talks about that anymore.

  11. My God. I wasn’t even aware until a few minutes ago that Fed had even played Murray! Maybe he wins whenever I don’t watch. Lol.

  12. Great blog. Thanks for writing that up so quickly. Loved loved loved the match last night. Woke up with a smile again! He was on fire last night and left Murray with hardly any answers… He converted the breakpoints when he had to and I thought he was so much more creative on many levels… And the oncourt interview is indeed pretty cool πŸ˜‰ The crowd was still going mad (!)

    Predictions for tonight: I think he’ll have a very good chance to win. A very good one. There is a tricky thing about Djokovic though and that is that he can seem beaten (incl the body language and all that) but he never is. So as long as Fed stays focused the entire match, that’ll be a huge plus. It might be more of a mental battle than anything else maybe even… I am saying this about Nole btw, but the same goes for Fed actually… So… Awesome fight it will be tonight. That’s for sure. I’d be thrilled if there’ll be another epic win for Roger.

    1. Cheers Natasja. 3/3 on break points, too good!

      Yeah Djoker pulls those down and out tricks, hobbling to the chair then running down a 40 shot rally in the next game. Think Fed is too wise for those games though.

      Hope Roger has enough for one last push. He knows it’s the last match of the year so he doesn’t need to leave anything in the tank.

      1. Well… It wasn’t enough as we all know, but it was still pretty amazing I thought… You know, that I particularly liked the amazing shot at 5-6 tiebreak… My jaw literally dropped when that happened. Didn’t think he’d get that… Rob Koenig, I believe, referred to it as unheard of if I remember correctly… Nice way to put it πŸ˜‰

        Overall, as he said himself, Novak was the better player last night, although I really do think it was close with a few momentum changes. First serves could have been better, but the stats of returning serves were pretty great (esp returning Novak’s 2nd serves) and he was fighting like hell, which I thought was really great to see. Now a few expos and then ‘crash on a beach somewhere’ πŸ˜‰

        As I wrote somewhere else, I was a bit worried that this year or next year, might be his last (there were some rumors at some point) but I think that won’t be the case looking at and listening to him. He still seems very eager to win, to continue what he’s doing, up his levels and put together a sensible schedule… I’m looking fwd to the Australian Open πŸ™‚ New year, new chances!

      2. That shot was epic. Koenig is probably my favourite commentator actually. Some people say he’s not a fan of Fed but I don’t think he ever says anything overly biased against him.

        Exhos, beach, skip Doha, practise sounds like the peRFect itinerary.

  13. Vers Strong article! JesusFed destroyed Andy so much. Best of luck and I hope he chase the 7th ATP WTF crown and a Grand Slam win here in ATP WTF!! #GRF

  14. Not trying to be a party pooper, and I am THRILLED with this win, but was that really jesusfed? His winner/ UE ratio is just 1:1, and he’s serving at a little over than 50%… I was rather with the impression that murray lost the match. great net play and BP conversion, that’s a fact πŸ™‚ Any thoughts on that? Hopes he gets it his way in the final!! come on Rog!

    1. I think whenever Roger is able to come from a break down and win the breaker it has to be JesusFed.

      1:1 is pretty good. It’s only when he falls into a negative ratio that it costs him. If he can keep winners level, or just in front of errors then he usually has a chance of winning.

      I agree Murray faded, but I think Roger put on quite a lot of pressure, he was holding to love and was in quite a few Murray service games.

  15. I loved the game fed vs Murray . I did not like the ending today. The Fed played great. The score did show how close it was. It was such a hard match to watch. The only thing I can really complain about is his first serve was not strong enough. He played 3 tough players bank to back. The goofy Joker got a break on Sat. not a tough opponent. Some rest and he may come back stronger and tougher. He is 31 playing a much much younger player and one who uses the EGG for a hype. He deserves the name the Joker.

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