Roger FedererWimbledon

Making Headway the Fed-Way

The Times of London called Fed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. A pretty amazing headline I thought as Fed just won the eighth Wimbledon, so it kind of figured.

The other seven wonders are all also ancient stuff and still standing and that holds true for Fed as well. At 36 he is definitely ancient in tennis circles and of course still standing.

How did this happen and how did Fed make so much headway in 2017?

I call it the Fed-way. Read on…

Two steps backward to go 20 steps forward

One has to pull the arrow backward for it to race forward.

And that’s what Fed did.

Fed was coming up short in 2014, 2015 & 2016. Three finals, four semifinals and a quarterfinal in 10 Grand Slam appearances and nothing to show for it. For a normal tennis player, this would have been a great achievement but not for Fed. He was not making any headway, so to speak.

Decision time. Two steps backward time.

End of years play after the fall at Wimbledon. No two ways about it. Time to hang up boots ??? No way. Just the two steps backward.

A simple decision with far-reaching consequences.

And soon enough the arrow sped all the way to a magnificent Australian Open title. As it happened, two birds with one stone. One –  the end of the Grand Slam drought since 2012. Two  – a genuine ascendancy over long-time nemesis Rafael Nadal.

Headway made and how…

Don’t push your luck

This may sound a little too obtrusive while talking about Fed, but let’s face it and Fed himself would agree that luck does play a role many-a-time in one’s going deep into a tournament or to win it. Not always but it sure does and it always favours the brave. Fed was decidedly a bit lucky against Tomas Berdych & Nick Kyrgios in Miami.

Fed definitely didn’t want to push his luck at the French Open keeping in mind the treacherous surface and a resurgent Rafa, though he had handily beaten him thrice on hard-courts.

I, for one, being carried away with the euphoria of Fed beating Rafa twice, thought it would be better if he skipped Miami and took a shot at the French Open. A mouth-watering win over Rafa in the French Open would have been pheno-monumental.

I, for sure was wrong. Fed decided to continue the momentum on at Miami, beat Rafa ( no luck there ) and then decided to not to push his luck at the French Open.

A wiser decision if any.

Home is where the heart is

The famous turf of Wimbledon – home to Borg and then home to Sampras and then to Fed when he famously evicted Pistol Pete from Pete’s home. Of course, Fed didn’t take total possession till a bit later, but sooner or later he would, more sooner than later of course.

And then made it his home.

But for the past few years his home was being raided and despite his best efforts, he could not stave off the usurpers.

And this year he knew it in his heart that he was well on his way to reclaim his turf, so to speak, and put his entire heart and soul into it.

And when the King was back at home where he belonged, what he told people a la Harrison Ford, metaphorically speaking, of course, was “Get off my lawn”


Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be ?????

Good song no doubt, but not for our Fed.

It is No. 1 or nothing. No holds barred. And for that, the US Open is a must and to my mind and probably his, it’s for the taking.

There is Rafa in the path no doubt ( based on similar no-points-to-defend scenario ) but the two-steps-backward plan has already taken that into consideration and to a large extent that threat has been neutralized thrice.

Come September ( another nice song, no doubt ) the headway or should I say the Fed-way will be complete.

Murli Pillai

Fanatic Federer fan. Watch all his matches on TV if shown ( outside working hours ! ), and quite often drive down to Dubai from Muscat to watch him live. Apart from being an IT / Telecom sales professional, am a quiz-master, classic rock & blues fan, movie buff and a veteran tennis-ball cricketer. Love to research on Fed’s on-court & off-court doings – the Fedberg quiz an outcome of that.

Related Articles


  1. Thanks, Murli…nice read. Hey, we are still in Halle. Is this the twilight zone and we’ll awaken on June 19th?

    1. I like the new design. Refreshing. Simple. The old design needed change, but I definitely did not expect a new layout.
      I still cannot imagine how the price is so big. Seems too much, honestly. 😀

      1. I wasn’t micro managing costs on this particular project and they got a little out of control ?
        I’m sure the Roger Federer Foundation will come to my rescue.

      2. Hahaha (LOL) ?
        Speaking about the Roger Federer foundation, a dream came up to my mind…
        Wouldn’t it be great if RF could do an “AMA” session in this blog? Chat with all of us and stuff…
        If this happens, I would probably shed tears of joy. ?

      3. He did one on Reddit once.

        Would be cool but too small a fish here unfortunately. Far too much stuff going on as well.

  2. I am sitting at Rome airport waiting for London flight and thought that this free Wi-Fi is playing at with me, a wrong website? 🙂 .
    Murli, a good one, thanks.

  3. Great post, Murli. “Pull the arrow backward…” I love that metaphor.

    I like the new layout of the website as well. I usually don’t like changes just for the sake of change, but this is definetly for the better.

    1. Cheers and thanks for the feedback. I had the old design for a while so thought it was due a change, this one a bit cleaner, looks better on mobiles too.

      And with Fed pencilled in to be playing until 2050, you gotta future proof it right 😛

  4. I was gonna say – pretty sleek new design, Jonathan. Impressive, most impressive.

    It does look pretty cool on my iPhone.

    ?Good job!

    1. Thanks Vily.

      Glad it looks good on iPhone as guessing that’s what many of you guys use. I tested it via iPhone user agent to see what it was like but don’t have a device to really see. Android for me.

      1. Windos phone here. Works fine except that I don’t see the indentation, so I cannot tell what is a root reply or a level 2+ reply.

      2. Correction: On landscape orientation, the indentation shows but it’s a bit narrow. Now, I should stop complaining and go take another plunge in the ocean. Holy crap, the water is so good!
        Thanks Murli, here’s hoping for a lot more arrows on the bull’s eye… Ooops, no pun intended…

      3. Yeah will depend on the screen size. On my phone there’s a fairly small indentation for replies and the gravatar will be slightly smaller.

        More people should sign up for a gravatar so there’s an image of something rather than a silhouette, takes 2 secs 🙂

      4. I was wondering how to do that. I have no fb account (or in any other social network for that matter, except WhatsApp if it counts). Subscribing to the blog would allow one to pick a gravatar?

      5. There can be an awful lot of white space on a computer, though. Good job I have f.lux installed 🙂

        And the machine-gun-like rain in Halle is a bit disconcerting 🙂

      6. Agree, Alison. A bit too much for my eyes too. My eyes were better off with the old quiet design, with no sudden balks craving my attention…

      7. Actually, now I’ve got used to the new look a bit, there are two things which I really still miss:

        1. The “BREAKING NEWS” at the top. When I log onto the site I have no idea whether there’s a new post up until I scroll right down to the bottom and find the list of new posts. And the “Trending” bit is pretty deceptive: last time I counted, it listed I think the last 10 of Jon’s posts, regardless of how many people were still reading/contributing to them.

        2. The Recent Comments: there are way too few of them now, and if anyone goes back and posts in an earlier thread as I’m doing at the moment then the comment is likely to have vanished before most people will have seen it. There certainly aren’t enough for you to get any real idea of what’s happening on the blog.
        There isn’t some sort of “new comments since your last visit” feature that I’ve missed, is there?

      8. The new post is always the large featured image on the grid at the very top of the page. Along with the other recent ones. So you don’t need to scroll down the page. Trending I think is 10 but I can reduce it.

        I can add a few more recent comments, think historically it was at 5. Was at three but I will put back to 5.

      9. And it needs a Like button 🙂 But since it doesn’t have one:
        Thanks, Jon.

        I don’t usually go onto the site via the “front door” these days, but via my previous day (or so)’s history, so wouldn’t spot relative sizes of posts.

        BTW, is it my imagination, or have we lost one level of “indents” – don’t know the tech term – on the replies?

  5. Congratulations for the new design. Love it. Very airy and immaculate, like Wimbledon’s outfits. 🙂 Easy to read for long-sighted people, I guess too.

  6. Nice one Mulri! Really like the arrow metaphor. So far all his decisions have turned out to be the right ones. Even if he doesn’t win anything for the rest of the year, I’m content. Highly doubt he won’t though.

    Nice layout of the website too! Looks cool and clean. Why do you have Halle’s weather up though Jon?

  7. “Get off my lawn” – aha, that’s exactly how his performance during fortnight was to describe! A great post, enjoyed reading, thanks Murli 🙂

    1. I thought of Clint Eastwood when I first read that from Gran Torino as he says that word for word. Not seen Air Force One to know that ‘get off my plane’ quote so had to Google.

  8. Hey, loving this new black/blue look PeRFect Tennis, Jonathan. Really cool! Did the make-over go smoothly?

    1. Thanks 🙂

      Yeah it was fairly seamless, took me a couple of hours on Saturday to do it. I’ve done quite a few site migrations so this was easy enough. Nothing has changed other than design either and there’s no complex stuff on here really, just a lot of content and comments.

      I remember when I first changed designs after the first iteration of this site, there weren’t many posts or comments when I did it. So I just copied them over manually 😛 not sure I could have managed that now!

  9. Cheers for writing Murli. Think I agree with everything you wrote, well apart from the Seven Wonders still standing 😉 Fed is in elite company with the Pyramids.

    Hard to really ever question the Fed-way now or his decision making over the years. Seems to get it nailed on with scheduling. Although I’m sure come the next tournament he skips some of us will be saying it was a bad decision 😀

  10. Slowly getting used to the new design. At first IMO too much “air” between this and that, but I admit it gives a bit exercise for the fingers to scroll up and down all the time. A little too much sudden shadowing this and that with sudden black balks, and too much rain in Halle 🙂 ! And too little of the latest posts at the side. And don’t make the letters smaller now, please!
    I was very content with the quiet old design, but admittedly this looks smarter and more modern for busy people! So, anyway, congrats, I might like it also in some time, and hopefully reach to that before Jon changes it again!

  11. Thanks a great post Murli. Jon absolutely love the new look, looking forward for great stuff from this site.

  12. Hi Jonathan! Greetings to you and your new LOOK. Seems so smooth to read all the comments. Big Thank You to Murli for giving us his Time and Talent.
    Roger is much in the news….has anyone seen the article in the WSJ 7/21 by Jason Gay, called ” We need to Relax like Roger Federer”.?
    Good read, Jonathan and all.

    1. Thanks Dolores, glad you like the new design and I agree, think the comments look better and are easier to read.

      Just had a look at that article in the WSJ but need a subscription, unfortunately. Don’t even think they offer first click free from the search results either. No doubt employees will be putting in requests for 8 month sabbaticals 😀

      1. Thanks for the chuckle, Jonathan. Jason Gay says, “….you need to Federer it.”

  13. Very nice new design Jonathan! Very sleek, looks even more pro and clean than before 🙂

    Nice write up Murli 🙂

  14. Thanks all for the appreciation.
    Fed is no doubt a brilliant decision maker – on court and off court as well.
    Its time he decided to take a look at

    1. Cheers Mark.

      Yes I’ve seen that shared a lot with lot of good feedback, not had chance to listen to it yet but will try. Not huge fans of either of them though tbh so gotta find the motivation!


    Been thinking about 2017 and the bigger pic of Fed’s career.
    I think of all the matches I’ve ever watched or heard about in Fed’s career, the Final of AO 2017 is at the top. Maybe there may be better quality matches, but for how good the match actually was, for all of the history behind it for Fed as a 35 year old, for all the years of waiting for a slam , for 6 months of no Fed being repayed in spades, and for what coming back from 3-1 down in the 5th set meant vs Nadal, it is the GOAT of Fed matches for me. (Plus that 26 hit rally was unbeatable).

    How about you guys? What is your GOAT Fed match?

      1. Nobody talks about the Wimbledon 2009 title match vs Roddick. He won that match basically by breaking serve just once.

      2. Yeah that’s another good one. I think AO will be many people’s choice given recency.

        I’m not sure how you define goat match either. As lots of the good ones have different circumstances and show off different facets of his game. Some of his best performances have been total beatdowns, some of his best wins have been when he needed to tough it out. So very hard to pick.

      3. GOATness is not tested when Federer gives someone a beatdown. Federer exudes GOATness when the chips are down. I feel like Federer should never have won Wimbledon 2009, and yet somehow he did. Then the Wimbledon 2012 final. Fed plays half a dozen absolutely unbelievable points throughout that match. Anyone remembers that inside out backhand drop volley for set point? That’s GOAT stuff! So is coming back from 1-3 down in the the AO2017 final.

        When the going gets tough, the GOAT gets going.

      4. I think it’s interesting you mentioned that backhand drop volley, because in my opinion (and opinion only 🙂 ) the forehand drop volley he played to set up that set point was a better shot! It doesn’t make it into the best highlight reels because Murray got to it, and dumped a lob long, but the sheer improvisation and the way he had to actually get to it late before playing the shot…

    1. Hard to say on quality, balanced with drama, since he’s had so many. For significance, I think Roddick at Wimby, or Nadal this year. For significance balanced with drama, in retrospect, I can never look past that single moment forehand vs Haas at the French.

      1. Yeah that forehand was immense. Perhaps French 09 his greatest tournament in terms of significance. Dropped a ton of sets but ground it out.

      2. And, a similar forehand, erasing break back point against Nadal in the final game of AO2017. Pretty critical too as a Nadal comeback would have changed the texture of the match.

  16. We, Fed fans, are fortunate to have a place to come to, when our feelings (about you know who) run high and our emotions boil over, let alone appreciate all those wonderful comments made by your guys. For all of these, I am sure of that we are all very grateful to Jonathan ‘for providing this brilliant shelter’ – big big thank you 🙂 .
    While sitting at Rome Airport last Saturday and logged onto ‘’, this sleek nice looking page popped up, which surprised and annoyed me. Jonathan did not give us any warning about this new design. I thought that blimey who the hack stooled Jonathan’s website. So I logged out and re-typed the website and same thing popped up 🙂 . I decided to have a look at what was inside and gasped that what, another website, but this looks the same as Jonathan’s 🙁 . After a good minute of quick glancing through other stories, I then kind of realised that this might be the same website 🙂 .

    1. If my site got hacked and turned out with a better design I’d have been fairly happy 😀

      Yeah I gave no warning, just did it on a whim on Saturday. I’d thought it about it for a while but held off until after Wimbledon. Bit of a gap now until Cincy so pulled the trigger.

  17. Hi
    I’m a long time reader, first time commentator. Love the match analysis and insight from your writing, but also from some great comments. Keep up the good work!

  18. Karma meet Satan…. Satan meet Karma 🙂

    Sorry to the Djoko fans here…. I just had to go there 🙂

    #Molefarm 🙂

    1. It has got nothing to do with karma. Djokovic understand and sees the Federer and Nadal resurgence and his own dip in form. He does not want to expend energy and return slam-less in 2017. He virtually had no shot at No.1 either. He also understands that Federer and Nadal will likely slow down a bit in 2018. So, it has nothing to with Satan. 😉

    2. Don’t put yourself in the league of fans who want other players to get injured Katyani.
      Dunno how karma plays a part.

      Djoker injured and needs to put back on some muscle. Makes sense really.

      1. Agreed. I’d rather they all play at their best form at the same time. Federer in his current form is good enough to beat Djokovic in his 2016 form. Sadly, we will never find out.

        I don’t know if you guys know this but Federer is like 10-0 or something vs top 10 this year.

    3. No no no Sid and Jon, you didn’t read my comment the right way 🙂
      #Molefarm. It is meant for Djoko’s disgusting fans. I and we all here have been through 2013 and 2016.
      HOW would I want THAT for someone else?? I tweeted yesterday to Djoko and his fans that I wish him well and that I am sorry for his injury. I watched the moment he retired against Tomas. He really was in pain. Why go on then?? I am not his fan, will NEVER be. He has faked injurytime before, even you know when. But this time it really seemed to hurt, a lot. Best thing is to stop and not to make the injury worse.

      There are good Fedfans and ofcourse there are disgusting Fedfans. Just like that, there are good Djoko fans (Nolefam) and then there is what they say Molefarm. I am a lot on TL and the nice Djoko fans wished Roger well when he was injured. For them I don’t like this, because they are hurting like we did.
      For Molefarm however…sorry to say, but they were very hatefull, like seriously hatefull when Roger was out. Now… for THEM… again sorry to say, but it is Karma.

      I don’t like Novak, not new news here, but wishing injury on him…. no way.
      I want him to come back strong…just not “winning 2 GS strong” 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. Jonathan, in the popular comments tab to the right, the entire comment can be made clickable like in the previous version. Is that possible?

    1. I second this. My first instinct when coming onto the site is to scroll to recent comments and click the latest one to catch up.

    2. You can click the avatar or the person’s name, takes you straight to the comment…

      It was click the text before right?

      1. Correct. The comment itself was clickable. I can click on the name or avatar but that’s poor usability in my opinion – coming from a full stack front end developer 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button