Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Millman Bowls Over Federer to Make US Open Quarter Final

A shock on Arthur Ashe as John Millman pulled off the biggest win of his career defeating Roger 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(3) in the fourth round.

The World No. 55 came into the tournament with little form to speak of having lost first round in Winston Salem, but he played solidly throughout, rarely missing from the baseline to bag his first ever win against Top 10 opposition and set up a maiden Grand Slam Quarter Final with Novak Djokovic.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Millman US Open 2018

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. He was under pressure immediately having to save breakpoint but he held and strung together a string of solid baseline points to break for 2-0.

A hold to 15 consolidated the break, and at 4-1 the Swiss had a look at the double break. Millman held, but the one break proved enough as Roger took the opener 6-3 to get off to a good start.

Into set two and serving at 0-1 Roger came through a marathon game where his first serve went AWOL. He landed only 6 of 24 in the game, and at one point had only made 2 of 20 first serves. However, he saved all seven break points to hold and that looked like it would be a pivotal game in the match. Millman had to save two break points of his own in game three but in game five Roger broke through with some crisp ball striking.

The break was consolidated for 4-2, and at 5-4 40/15 it looked like set two was virtually in the bag; instead, a double fault gave Millman break point which he converted en route to winning four games in a row to snatch the set 7-5.

Both players left the court at the end of the set, and upon resumption, Millman saved a break point in the opening game. That was the only look either player would have on the return, and the set resulted in a tie-break.

The tie-break saw Roger move up an early mini-break for 3-1, but a horrible volley miss where he didn't close the net handed it straight back for 3-3. The first set point came Roger's way at 6-5, but Millman put in strong second serve to save it. Roger then had to save set point of his own aided by a bit of frame to level at 7-7 but Millman ramped up his groundstrokes to snatch a crucial mini-break for 8-7, and he took the set 9-7.

Dripping with sweat Roger again left the court for an outfit change and in game one of set four, he played four drop shots in a refusal to rally en route to holding for 1-0. Millman levelled, but after trading holds in game six, Roger broke to lead 4-2. In trying to consolidate Fed slipped to 0-30 but showed the first bit of urgency in a while to hold game point at 40-30, but he again slipped up, missing a makeable smash and Millman broke back.

At five all Roger again slipped to 0-30 but somehow found four first serves in a row to hold for 6-5. Millman then recovered from 0-15 and 30-30 to hold and force a tie-break.

Into the breaker and Roger would have been up a mini-break but a poor forehand miss let Millman off the hook as the Aussie moved into a 2-1 lead. Then came two of the most untimely double faults you will see from Roger as he dropped to 1-4. Those were the nail in his coffin as although he was able to save two match points on his next serves to make 3-6, Millman sealed it on his own at the first time of asking to record the upset.

Match Stats

J. Millman R. Federer
Aces 8 13
Double Faults 1 10
First Serve % In 91/143 (64%) 84/173 (49%)
Win % On 1st Serve 68/91 (75%) 68/84 (81%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 31/52 (60%) 42/89 (47%)
Net Points Won 17/30 (57%) 50/81 (62%)
Break Points Won 3/11 (27%) 3/11 (27%)
Receiving Points Won 63/173 (36%) 44/143 (31%)
Winners 47 65
Unforced Errors 28 76
Total Points Won 162 154
Distance Covered 12167.8 Ft 10926.7 Ft
Distance Covered/pt. 38.5 Ft 34.6 Ft

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Millman USO 18

I just thought it was very hot tonight. Was just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn't get air. There was no circulation at all. I don't know, for some reason I just struggled in the conditions tonight. It's one of the first times it's happened to me.

Yeah, it's uncomfortable. Clearly just keep on sweating more and more and more and more as the match goes on. You lose energy as it goes by.

But John was able to deal with it better. He maybe comes from one of the most humid places on earth, Brisbane. I knew I was in for a tough one. Maybe when you feel like that, as well, you start missing chances, and I had those. That was disappointing.

But, look, at some point also I was just happy that the match was over, I guess.

A big upset here and one I didn't see coming. Federer had been 40-0 at the US Open against players ranked outside the Top 50 and with Millman, a quintessential grinder at 55 in the world with no real weapons it looked like a hard fought, but straight sets victory would be on the cards.

That prediction looked to be coming true right up until Roger served for a two-set lead but he dropped serve from 40-15 and Millman got right back into the match. He's certainly a guy who needs no second invitations as he's capable of running all day and forcing his opponents to make one more ball time and time again.

From there Roger looked hot, bothered and not up for the fight. It was Low Energy Roger Federer who didn't have the answers out there; he couldn't break through Millman with aggression from the baseline as the surface is too slow and he didn't have the energy or solidity to grind it out as Millman was the better player from the baseline. 76 unforced errors show Roger was always the first to miss. Couple that with only landing 49% of first serves and it's an uphill battle.

As a result, it was a mishmash of drop shots, weird shot choices and just generally untidy play. Plenty of nice points as is always the case with his game style but in terms of putting it together point by point and game by game it just didn't happen for him. Too many rudimentary mistakes, one that sticks in my mind is the volley in the third set tie-break to put himself up 4-2, a basic net close but he stops moving forward and dumps it into the net. Clearly not thinking straight and that pretty much sums up the night.

How big a factor were the conditions?

As you can see from Roger's quote above he says the heat/humidity did for him on the night. It's very rare you see him affected by stuff like that but it's certainly the most I've ever seen him sweat.

There's no doubt it was uncomfortable in the stadium and @Rfighterer who watched courtside pointed out the problem very early in the match via Twitter.

heat-vishnu

I guess some will say that's an excuse as it's the same for both players and Djokovic had to deal with it in the day session which is fair enough but from scanning Twitter it sounds as though even just being there sat watching was uncomfortable.

For me, the loss is a combination of conditions on the night, patchy form in recent weeks and slower conditions not giving him any free points. So it just gets chalked up as one of those things. The performance is forgivable as it just didn't happen but the one thing I don't like is after all his recent losses Fed keeps saying he's “looking forward to a rest now” when he's barely played and you have to say he's looked a little less up for the fight in his matches recently that have gotten close. Any time there has been some stiff resistance then I kinda got the feeling Fed has given up the ghost. We need 1-3 fifth set AO 2017 Federer back sharpish.

What are your thoughts on the match? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Millman 2018 Rating

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

SWEATYERER

Flat match from Roger, sweating buckets, all very untidy and couldn't find a way to break through Millman's defenses.

User Rating: 1.03 ( 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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342 Comments

  1. “We need 2-4 fifth set AO 2017 Federer back sharpish.”

    Yes, indeed (although wasn’t it 1-3?). Not to mention his first serve – that’s clear. But I’ve never seen Roger drenched through in sweat before: indeed, there was a photo from the USO a few years back on a really hot night when his hair was soaked, the sweat was running down his face, but the shirt still looked pretty dry – I thought Nike should have grabbed it and done something along the lines of “even in the cauldron of New York the shirt remains dry” or something. I had been wondering earlier in the tournament whether the roof structure was actually contributing to the heat problem. He does have my sympathies, because I feel I struggle to get air in when it’s muggy, this summer especially, and I’m not playing top-level tennis 🙁 Obviously the conditions are the same for everyone on court, but at the same time they may change during the course of the day – there can often be more breeze during the daytime and then it gets really still at night. Just the luck of the draw, maybe.

    But yeah, this was a hugely disappointing loss. I’m almost glad I was ill yesterday so just went to bed rather than staying up.

  2. Yes that will to win seems to be missing.Those blasted drop shots!!
    I wonder,his family are growing up and you could see the concern on the faces of Mirka,his parents and the team.He has
    said I believe that he will give up when they have had enough,I wonder if that time might be approaching,sadly.Also those
    horrible clothes,he mentioned how he was soaked with sweat all over,though it was of course terribly hot and humid.
    Still it is only one match,48 hours ago he was a completely different player.Wouldnt it be great if Millman won the whole
    thing😀

  3. I realized what happened.
    When Nike realized Roger is about to run away they have decided to take action.
    They made a voodoo doll with the RF logo on it, but they weren’t sure how to utilize it to the best effect.
    So they hired the services of George RR Martin to build a script that will make Roger and his fans suffer the most.
    Sometimes they let him off the hook and he seems to be getting back to his old self. We begin to build hopes, only to see our hopes dashed by an imploding Roger. Not his fault, what can he do?
    He’s happy to be off the court knowing that he’s completely safe there.
    He just doesn’t know when is voodoo time is going to come and his confidence is melting away.
    Vicious move by Nike, no doubt.

  4. I agree with your analysis in the last paragraph Jon. The fighting spirit is not there anymore. Perhaps 20 years on tour is finally getting to him. Mentally he just wants to go. It was only for his work ethic and professionalism he still tries out there, on a day like today. I’m extremely sad. This might be it. TBH I’d rather him leave in dignity than continuing to lose like that and finding excuses for the public every time.

    1. Well April weren’t you happy for his win vs. Kyrgios? Don’t take the latest as the ultimate truth about him, once and for all future…?

    2. He was only flat once the conditions got to him mid-2nd set till the end. Like he said – he was “glad it was over” one way or the other.

  5. Yes, but life is Ups and Downs. I still hope for Ups, and have reasons for that: “…Plenty of nice points as is always the case with his game style..” I think as long this is the case enough motivation is still to continue. Regardless that he may now have a period of “…“looking forward to a rest now” when he’s barely played and you have to say he’s looked a little less up for the fight in his matches recently that have gotten close. – ”
    Yes yes worrying. But haven’t you all have periods like that? Downs are sometimes necessary, and of course at some point can make you give up. I still feel Roger is positive, still wanting to learn and try out his mastership many good times still.

    1. Having ups and downs is a normal part of life, but ot win a major, you need to string seven ups in a row.
      Or six, if you get a bye.
      Or five, if the opponent retires.
      Or four, if Paire is in the queue.
      Or seventy if you have to face Nadal in the final…

  6. Roger looks so “normal” in his play now, like other journeymen, he relents in the pressure situations. The margins at this level are so small and so unforgiving to those that cannot close a set or a match. I love Fed but I suspect the future will see this patchy play, let’s appreciate the highs when he hits them. I suspect he still believes he has what it takes to win tournaments, and we will all be euphoric when he reaches 100!!

    1. Yes he has a period of relenting a bit in too many matches. But not in all of them. It may be just a down period, which he may get out of – hopefully and very possible I think.

  7. Yes the Grand Slams may be out of the future but I still hope he makes it to 100 this year. One GS and his 100th victory would still make for a great 2018. No matter what Roger will always be the GOAT in our hearts. NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

    1. 1) Possible, Paul. But it’s less than a year that he won his latest GS! Still too early to let them out completely. And although he didn’t convert them, there were still chances in the other 2 GS’s, and there were still matches won and enjoy. So…
      And to me it’s not that important with number of tours won, if it’s not some important ones – and all he takes part in with heart and soul, are important 😊
      2) Agree completely “…Roger will always be the GOAT in our hearts. NO MATTER WHAT!!!!”
      To me he has proved much more than enough to stay so. And long since!

  8. Fed has had an incredible finale the last year and a half.

    I think He might just find it too much to ask more of himself, being satisfied with the Indian summer he’s had since AO 17.

    20th and #1 this year to boot.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if – When push comes to really hard shove – deep down he just feels he’s done what he needs to do, has satisfied his hunger, and that his aging body would like to have more relaxed time with the family then more overwhelming intensity on the court.

    1. We can only guess. But I think it’s not so much about satisfying any hunger, it’s more what he LIKES to do. IMO he likes to be on court and contest, feel the huge emotional waves from the crowd, do his genius shots, feeling the opponent, perform excellency in strategy and sound instinct, see what happens (next). But I might fear too, that he might think his Indian summer might suffer right now some lack of sunshine. We’ll see – and try to wait patiently for his next move

  9. Imo he should shut down his season. Mentally it doesn’t feel like he’s ready to really dig in and compete at all. He needs to find that hunger again. I’m never going to write him off as some reflection and time away from the game can always help him refind this, and it’s something that is within his powers, but maybe it isn’t something that can be turned around immediately.

  10. Thanks Jonathan for a really good balanced write up. That’s what you do so well, evaluating facts not being caught up with hysteria and emotion. (When you actually watch are like many of us moving between ecstasy and devastation, shouting at the television?)

    Surely everything we are seeing/have seen this year is the effect of age? Lack of Endurance, speed, Consistency, hunger, fight, concentration etc. I have written Roger off prematurely before, but let’s be honest none of his play this year has been a patch on last year, even Aus 18 and it’s been sliding. He was rested, fresh, eager and fit for the U.S. and still fell well short.

    Some interesting thoughts re shutting down his season for next year but surely there is no injury or fatigue that can be reversed, just terminal end of career tiredness. Surely as mentioned above he will question his poor physical resilience and form despite the many hours put in as preparation. All was perfect in preparation for this one. Put me straight Jonathan if I’m jumping the gun.

    Personally somewhat relieved he didn’t face Novak and kind of feel beating a fit Rafa or Novak beyond him now. Is that also being too negative? (Typical Novak was nowhere to be seen in the h2h during Rogers golden stretch).

    After Roger defeats I often consider the ‘what ifs’ in his career regarding his legacy. Ie Wimbledon 08, Aus 05, 09, a few FO etc. But for me the biggest regrets and missed opportunities are the US Open – 09, 10, 11 and losses in 14, 15 and 17 (bad luck with injury) effectively cost year end number ones as well as GS titles. Only a fun reflection not torment to look at these but really his game deserved more US titles. But if he’d won some earlier ones he may have not had the hunger to stay as long as he has. And in the end he exceeded all of his own career expectations.

    Sorry for the long post.

    1. Kevan, I do that too! Think of the what-ifs. And with the pretty large number of tough matches that Federer has lost very narrowly, there’s a large list of what-ifs to think about! Yes, even I feel that his hard court dominance should have resulted in some more USOs. But, think about it, Novak is also really good on hard courts, and even he has 2 USOs (till now). I think the USO is a pretty tough slam to win, what with it coming towards the end of the season, the heat, the noise and everything. From that perspective 5 USOs in a row (2003-2008) looks absolutely incredible!

  11. It is true that Ashe stadium is incredibly hot. I have never been so hot in my life while sitting in the shade of the roof. There is no air to breath so when a player isn’t coping, I get it. I sat there with my cool clothe, spritzing water on my face and using a fan. Tons of water and that horrid Powerade to drink. When I was there, someone said it was 42C with the humid-ex. Last night it was 27C and 82% humidity at midnight.
    I was in the Uniqlo store on 5th Ave. In the entrance is the Fed gear for the Open. It is SO SO thick and stretchy. That material will not breathe at all. Hence the soaking wet Fed. Nike dri-fit are paper thin. Uniqlo…get it together!!!!
    Disappointing loss but I understand.
    Perhaps Laver Cup will be an inspiration to Fed. I feel 2019 will be the last year so lets enjoy the NK moments!
    And for all the criticizers out there, Fed always tries his best with what he has at the time. Last night, the heat did him in mentally and physically.

    1. @Sue,
      Do you have any idea why they closed the damm roof if it was so hot?
      I totally agree about those horrid clothes,although Millman looked worse as if he had been wrapped up in a black bin liner.
      Did you see any exciting/noteworthy matches?

      1. @Annie,
        The roof was open but because of it’s design, it covers a lot of the stadium. We were standing on the concourse overlooking the other courts to get air. A breeze was there at least.
        I plan on a fan report if I can remember what I did and saw, lol.

      2. Seems like building the roof in the way that the did it was a terrible idea but still it is the same for both players although the USO should be outdoors and it looks like the conditions are closer to indoors.

        It was worse the Wimbledon SF, I still don’t know why they played the whole match under that terrible roof. That was a big advantage for the Djoker.

  12. Totally agree with the part about him keep saying that he’s looking forward to a rest. To me that makes no sense and I don’t really know what to take from that. Also don’t like how he seems to fade badly when, as you said, someone puts up some resilience. Delpo, kokk, ando and now millman. His movement is still there which is always a positive at 37 but his baseline game is way off and I’m not too sure where that’s come from, maybe purely confidence? He’s definitely stressed out about it. The laver cup is probably a very good thing to happen now though because it’s the perfect platform for Fed to come out and play freely and gain back that confidence and hopefully get on a bit of a roll. Would be great if he can go into Hopman with some positive thoughts of this season

  13. Yes I agree with pretty much everything that has been said.But it is still only one match in horrendous conditions.Well done
    to Millman for weathering them better(I presume he is younger than Roger,he actually looked the same age!)
    I am so glad that we had that one great match only a couple of days ago.I am pretty sure that he will play Basle but even
    that is not a given(win I mean)because Delpossum turns up there and Fed only just squeaked out the win last year.So we will have to see.

    1. Delpossum indeed! Although I do not mind it if he wins the USO, anybody except Rafa and Novak will be fine. But Delpossum usually fades out against Rafa, so that’s not a big possibility.
      Yes, glad I watched the Nick match. How up-and-down has Federer been post-Rotterdam this year! Nothing can be predicted, and we just have to go one match at a time.

  14. As much as I detest the forever running, grunting, fist-pumping Señor Bad Knees I cannot imagine him saying – or thinking – that he was finally “happy that the match was over”. But for Roger, when his weapons fail him he loses all stomach for the fight – and that is what the game is more and more now, a grinding energy (and morale) sapping physical and mental contest; an “extreme sport” and a battle to the little death that produces a loser for every winner. Nadal plays with an obsessive passion for winning (and hatred of losing), that his very life seems to depend on how he strikes each and every ball; he is a cage-fighter on a tennis court. Roger plays like a musician, able to summon exquisite technical talents together with imagination and inspiration so that the visceral nature of the contest is disguised as a kind of aesthetic experience and the despatching of the unfortunate loser is seen as necessary to the beauty of the composition – and is achieved with an almost chivalric grace. But when Roger’s orchestral ensemble of strokes becomes discordant and inspiration deserts him, as it did so palpably today, he flails about like a novice and then succumbs with an apparent meekness that must leave even his opponents baffled – Millman (an “Aussie battler” if there ever was one) among them. You see Roger has no taste or indeed temperament for the cage-fight. Without his lethal artistry his game evaporates like a mirage. It never completely goes, as we saw in a few extraordinary moments in his match against Kyrgios, but neither he nor his opponents (and us) can tell now when it will return. However occasional moments of inspiration will never be enough in a cage fight; he cannot play and win on equal terms with brawlers. And nor, I suspect, would we want to see him do that; a gentleman with a rapier never descends to fisticuffs. But without a reliably keen blade and honed reflexes it is best not to duel, as we have just seen.

    1. What a lovely use of extended metaphors😀
      I think that they(including Roger)are all intense competitors who hate to lose.When they loose that hunger
      their game suffers.It happened to Djoker,what Nadals excuse was I wouldn’t like to say,it seems to be
      happening to Fed now.
      Also Fed has a very full life with four young children,charity work as well as tennis.Nadal does not have those commitments ,so less distractions I guess.

      1. They are all great competitors but there is no doubt that Nadal is very special in that regard. The guy fights for every ball like his life is on the line no matter what the score is. that in addition to his fitness and mental strenght make him the greatest competitor in sports IMO.

    2. Lovely description of Fed (and Rafa). Rafa’s fight is very very visible, Roger (as he has himself said so) used to fight as much, it was just not so obvious, mostly because his play at its best is more graceful and because he sweats less. But this year, as in 2013, he has lost a lot of matches because he has been unable to play well on big points (set points, match points, break points). That’s worrying. I hope it will pass, though.

    3. What a metaphor, cage fighter for Nadal. To me it’s just sad that a beautiful sport like tennis has been reduced to just that, cage fight to see who grinds out in the end.

  15. For the players left in the draw. Who do we NOT want to win? My pick in order….#1 Nadal, #2 Djoker, #3 Delpo (at least he stops the other two from winning another slam). The rest, I don’t care. Hoping for Thiem or someone new.

      1. Cilic seems to be passing under the radar, doesn’t he? Someone was saying that he looked pretty ferocious early on.

      2. At this point i am rooting for Delpossum, Kei and Djoker to stop Rafa….I am getting desperate, this is pathetic

  16. @Sue,
    Thanks for that it makes things clearer but seems like a terrible design if everyone gets boiling hot.Remembering St
    Jakobshalle in Basle I was very uncomfortably hot in there .Architects should perhaps design with people in mind.
    Looking forward to reading the fan report when you have time😀

  17. I agree with all the good points made above. Does anyone else feel that something has changed technically with the forehand or was that just a product of the conditions? I feel since before Wimbledon it is more of a slap/steer rather than the crisp strike of before. Maybe just a product of the confidence and tiredness but possibly the one who raves like a lunatic when Roger is losing has a point from the previous post?

  18. I was not convinced with Roger’s performance against NK. I didn’t think it was a real test as Kyrgios does not play seriously with lots of terrible drop shots and strange shots. Having said that I didn’t see this loss coming but I guess the conditions were really difficult and we should not forget that Roger is 37.

    Anyway I don’t think he would take one set out of the Djoker in his current form but still I would love to see 2 of the greatest going at each other (who knows how many opportunities we will have…).

    Going forward I’m still not sure if Fed has anymore GS on him. I see him in good shape so I guess is more about how much he wants to go out and train every day or how much confidence he still has in him.

    1. I thought Roger played well to beat Kyrgios, showing focus against an unpredictable opponent who has made him work very hard for his previous wins. He steadied an initially shaky backhand, fought off game points, and then took his chances to break and seal the opening set, going on to dominate and finally close the match out first time of asking in straight sets. He quite neutralised the power of Kyrgios, who respects Federer enough to put in a decent effort against him. On his day, Kyrgios can beat anyone. There were even points of pure magic, of vintage Federer. But, in hindsight, it was like an exhibition, a one-off, not a consistent level of play of the kind needed over several rounds to beat increasingly formidable opponents, if he were to win another slam. It has been much the pattern we have seen over 2018; consistent excellence has largely been missing this year. At 37, I don’t see him regaining it. Djokovic and Nadal are safe.

  19. Having set points in both set 2 and 3 and not converting is very unusual for Roger, but the way he lost this match (unable to win big points, shanked FH, poor serving) is part of a pattern that has been recurring through 2018, and that’s worrying going forward. Although I admire him awfully for playing through the extreme heat and humidity, and not retiring mid-match, it wasn’t just the heat. There IS a substantial dip in consistency and form. Maybe it’s age, maybe he’s just mentally not that motivated (as Jonathan said, too much talk of “glad to rest”).
    Although as a fan I’m ever so grateful of all that he has achieved and I made a promise to myself not to want anything more after the AO2017 win (everything else are cherries on cake), it still makes me sad that just a few months back Fedfans were all excited about the numbers 1, 21 and 99-100, and now it is the stark reality of 37 that’s worrying us all. He has come back after being written off before, though, and I so, so hope he will again. This Federer is painful to watch. I hope he plays happily and freely again. That AO17 final set Fed (or the AO18 final set Fed) is being badly missed.

    1. [There IS a substantial dip in consistency and form.]

      Expected after the great 2017 and early 2018, bagging 3 slams and 3 masters. Age it seems has finally caught up. The field has become much stronger too.

  20. I watched sets 2 and 3 and it looked like Roger was annoyed with something, or somebody. We know now that it was the humidity. Isn’t he used to these conditions after all that Dubai practice?

    If he couldn’t deal with Millman, there is no way he would’ve dealt with Djokovic who is an even bigger wall. I think he was incapable of beating Djokovic, even more so had he won in 5 last night. It should’ve been straights. I saw it all and it hurt. It doesn’t make sense.

    I’ll say this again, this is a clay court designed to get Djokovic and Nadal into the final.

    1. Roger’s been looking annoyed, irritated and cranky quite often this year, ever since his loss to Delpossum (that’s such an apt name). Here he also looked kind of exhausted and downbeat. Yes, most probably would have lost handily to Novak after a tough 5-setter here. Any Fed loss hurts, but those where he’s close to winning (as here, as with Delpossum, Coric, Andersen this year…too many this year!) hurt worse, for me at least.

    2. Sid, Dubai is dry. Not humid.
      Agree with the clay court thing though. Courts have been starting to slow up since like 2008. How many majors Fed could have won if courts were not slowed up.

      1. I thought Fed said he practices in Dubai, perhaps during the more humid months?

        It’s not that all courts should be fast but some surfaces should keep their characteristics. Grass shouldn’t be as high bouncing (thanks to the harder soil, it is now). US Open courts shouldn’t be as slow. They are slower than Melbourne. AO can remain a low hard court. Clay can remain….well….clay. But at least make Wimbledon skid-dier and US Open faster. Maybe not a basketball court, but give it some zing.

        I was watching some of the other matches and you just cannot hit through the court, you just cannot. The ball just sits up nicely.

      2. Yeah, wasn’t really clear there but was generally speaking about grass courts and hard courts, the ball shouldn’t stay as up as it is.

  21. After that 2nd set DF, I knew RF was going to flunk this one. I was not too worried after that DF because it was a clear sign he lost a lot of his mental fortitude. I am not sure of the future expectations regarding RF. Only he can answer that.
    The resurgence of RF in 2017 was the greatest story ever. I will keep that. I still think he let himself mentally down at Wimb18 where he stood the best chance to bag another slam.

  22. If only Roger won the 2nd set, ahh the string of what-ifs. I think overall the condition is just energy zapping. Its a battle of who can stand the hot and humid condition to play. At Roger’s age, body might not be able to withstand such conditions anymore. Its bloody conspiracy by USTA – slow down court conditions since 2009, they dont want same person to keep winning USO aka Roger. Whats with the stupid close door draw ceremony, what are they hiding?! Bloody draw is ‘rigged’

    Twitter has been on a roll about the R word, sure we know its coming dont need constant reminder jeez. Its going to be more painful now watching him loss more often than more but I will continue to love them dropshits and shanks. There is no one like him. So what’s for Roger next, go on do something stupid like go on rollercoaster ride to scream out the pent up frustrations.

    I suspect his lacklustre tennis is due to a lot of off-court distractions, family, laver cup, RF Foundation, sponsors commitment and many others. Meanwhile I will get a shaman to break his ‘jinx’ at USO 🙂

  23. Well I think that everything that could be said has been said.No true Fed fan wants him to retire.Two days ago he played incredibly well against a talented but erratic player many years his junior.So let’s just see what happens.
    Meanwhile Del Possum battling Isner.Lets hope he wins(be still my heart,you know it’s for the greater good)😎

  24. I live several hours’ drive north of nyc, and the conditions here were such that I went outside, out of the air conditioning, for about 90 whole seconds for the whole day. Saw someone post an interesting graphic from the nearby airport showing that the highest dewpoints all day – ie how much water was in the air – were precisely during the time that Fed was playing. When the dewpoint is 75%, it IS hard to breathe. Still agree that it seemed there was something else going on too – especially with the failure to close out set 2 when he had set points.

    That’s a lot of ufes – but I note that the winner number is also high. As many have pointed out, the margins are slim, and several times this year have not gone his way. Just hope it’s not irreparably damaging his confidence. Nice point Jonathan about still seeing some wonderful points, even in the midst of such a poor overall performance. I too hope for a few more titles, which I think will come naturally IF he continues to enjoy himself out there. He enjoyed himself immensely just a couple of days ago, and so did I. Hope the next time is not too far away.

  25. Delpossum through in four and even the set he lost was a tiebreak against one of the best servers in the game.So I
    reckon he isn’t going to be gassed this year as he was after beating Fed last year.He is my pick to reach the final on
    that side of the draw.

  26. Been a while since I posted on here, been very busy lately. Just going to give my thoughts on the latest match.

    There’s a trend I’ve noticed with Roger over about the last five years. Unlike in his prime, where he could win tournaments without having a single off day, Roger seems to have at least one off day per tournament. Sometimes he is able to struggle through it and then play better in the next round, other times he loses. If we look at the grand slams he has won since the 2008 Wimbledon Final, almost all of them involved at least one difficult match:

    2008 USO 4R: Five sets against Andreev

    2009 FO 4R: Five sets against Haas (including ‘that’ forehand at 4-6 5-7 3-4 30-40 second serve)
    2009 FO SF: Two sets to one down against Del Potro

    2010 AO QF: A set and a break down, and break points down for a double break against Davydenko

    2012 WB 3R: Two sets down against Benneteau

    2017 AO 4R: Five sets against Nishikori
    2017 AO SF: Break point down in the fifth set against Wawrinka
    2017 AO F: 3-1 down in the fifth set against Nadal

    2017 WB: None

    2018 AO F: Five sets against CIlic

    From this, in Roger’s last seven grand slam titles, we see at least nine matches where he was in serious trouble, not hitting the ball well and/or an opponent firing on all cylinders, and managed to turn it around.

    Unfortunately this year some of those matches have got away, especially when Roger has had a lead. The Millman match seems to underline how reliant Federer has become on his serve and his net game. In recent years his court coverage and groundstroke consistency has declined slightly, but normally his serve is able to bail him out, and his volleying has become more and more of a weapon (not saying he isn’t still fast, but go back and watch some matches from Roger’s prime (for one example, take the Wimbledon final in 2007), and then come back and tell me he hasn’t slowed down). I imagine Roger will want to go away and do a lot of practising on his serve after he takes a break, because it is becoming more and more important as he ages.

    One last thing. I don’t buy this nonsense about Roger losing motivation or being close to retirement. I know how it feels to a small extent, having played tennis myself, when you turn up to play on a particular day, and the timing just isn’t there. Just a sinking feeling as you hand over point after point to your opponent on shots you would never normally miss. Now Roger would not have been getting agitated, talking to the umpire about noise in the crowd, or continued to give his best effort if his heart was not in it. I watched most of the match from midway through the first set to the end of the third, and you could see Roger shaking his head, not at all happy with his performance, not prepared to accept that this was the best he can do. That is not the attitude of someone who still loves the game.

    Another thing is that we sometimes have expectations that are way too high, and get far too disappointed when Roger loses. I first got into watching tennis back in 2012, and though I liked Federer, I never fully appreciated the 2012 Wimbledon win. Since then, I had hoped that I would get to see him win just one more title before he retired. Roger has given us not one, not two, but three more titles since then, and is fairly close to being the oldest man ever to have won a Grand Slam. Almost all of his contemporaries are now retired, with Ferrer playing his last Grand Slam and Benneteau retiring altogether after the US Open. For Roger to win another Grand Slam now would be essentially without precedent in the open era.

    The man has 20 Grand Slam titles, which for now is the record, and I believe it will remain that way for a long time. Even if Nadal or someone else surpasses it, many of his other records may not be broken during our lifetimes. Win or lose, we should try to relax and enjoy the last few years of Roger’s career, but maintain that hope that perhaps he has one more run in him. Even if he doesn’t, and even if all his records are eventually broken, we will never see another player like him. Let’s enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.

    As for the rest of the tournament, I’m backing Del Potro now, who is playing incredibly well, and he’s such a nice guy. Would love to see him tear Rafa a new one in the semi, and he’s playing well enough to do it (assuming, of course, that Rafa gets past Thiem tonight).

    1. “That is not the attitude of someone who still loves the game.”

      I hope that’s not what you meant to say, Charlie, but thanks for the post. I agree that he is going to have to battle at times now, whereas in the future he might not have done, but it’s going to make it increasingly difficult to get to the business end of tournaments.

      1. Sorry Alison, that line should have said “That IS the attitude of someone who still loves the game.” I got confused between “That’s not the attitude of someone who doesn’t still love the game” and “That’s the attitude of someone who still loves the game”.

  27. Mary Jo Fernandez @ espn mentioned how she saw Roger after the match, in the holding area and noticed that “he was not well, he was lying down and trying to get his breath back fully.”
    “Midway through the second set, I realized there was something wrong and like Bethanie (Mattek Sands) said, noticed he was sweating way more than usual He never hits that many UFE, never had that many double faults and didn’t have his legs” – Mary Jo.
    “After the match, he didn’t make it to the locker room but went to the holding area to the right of the entrance. He was checked out by the medical stall and had to lie down to catch his breath” – Mary Jo.

    1. Thanks for the info. So Fed could easily have gotten medical attention during the match but decided not to? The heat wasn’t going away all night, it doesn’t cool down. Don’t ever say he doesn’t always give his best people. We just never know what is going on because he keeps his cards close to his chest. Reveals some later but not always. And if he can’t breathe, he is being honest when he said he was happy the match was over in a way.
      We are not machines, oh wait….

    2. Thanks for sharing this info, no wonder our man was struggling so badly. It so like Roger not to take any MTO during the match unless he really have to #respect

      I can relate with the extreme difficult condition, I live in quite a humid country. Its very very difficult to play with clear mind when all you can to do is to find a freezer to cool off.

      1. Yes and that might be the reason he didn’t call any…but still he might have get a breathing break –
        Since AO the tennis gods haven’t favored him (opposite Nadal). Still he can perform marvelously, in spite of not winning – the margins were small, having chances , match points, set points, brilliant shots aso. So still hoping – and possible to enjoy. All encouragement welcome, thanks to all doing this – not the the least because of his still evident fantastic capability.

      2. Agree Jonathan nothing an mto could have done. Delpo even said on his ice break he lay there and wondered should he actually go back out there! A mini break from the oven wasn’t going to get Fed more air nor keep his clothes dry & could you even go off court for breathing difficulties when we couldn’t tell anything except maybe more grunting and missed shots. That in itself is how great he is really, his worst night ever & he was so close, yet near collapse. Also Djoko didn’t get a really easy win from John either despite the score line looking so.
        By contrast too If you saw Djoko carrying on to his box in his Millman match, win or lose Fed is still delivering tennis Nader extreme conditions and pressure to a conduct standard which is admirable.

        Charlie your comments are very beautifully stated, balanced and the approach to enjoy Fed being there for what he still brings at #2 in the world after 20 years is sage. It’s goat enough for me anytime he’s there, I can enjoy him even if it’s just for his exquisite footwork, but being Fed he can still send a ball round the net post to astound the supposed next superstar of the game, in his relative dotage!

        The latest ugly spectacle of Rafa and Djoko still demoralising decent young opponents in endurance tennis (USTA designed to suit them) and grab his records in slugfests, likely in future only 3 sets; is that our new tennis’ future?

        Genius and what Fed brings to Tennis will be remembered far beyond his current successors who really only have his numbers to cloak themselves in for their legitimacy !

        Thanks everyone on here, especially Jonathan who ceaselessly brings us perspective, insight & quick amusing quips in the darkest and best of times which has made following Fed and tennis an even bigger joy, come what may.

  28. So why was the roof closed yesterday and not today? This is an outdoor event first and only if there is a chance of rain it should be closed. What was USO officials exactly trying to do?

    1. No, the roof wasn’t closed. But it covers a lot of the stadium when open, only a square of air over the court.
      I believe that area is reclaimed swamp and they had to build a roof structure separate from the stadium so it wouldn’t sink with the weight.

  29. Did anyone see when , I think finishing the third game, he took an isotonic from his bag and drank it. Indeed he was winning there was something wrong with him, he never use to drink isotonic in the beginning.
    Anyway I hope he will be better soon. Since Final IW something on his head changed, not only the weather conditions. Would like never see him like yesterday. Best regards

      1. I think Sonia’s point was that he wouldn’t normally be drinking it that early on? Maybe someone should have chucked him a pack of menthol mints?

  30. It’s real simple as to why the GS have been dominated by 3 men. Watching these younger guys they can’t close the deal. THEY CHOKE EVERYTIME! It is so pitiful to see such a sorry excuse for these 20 somethings choking time and time again. Believe me no one will ever dominate men’s tennis like the big 3 ever again.

  31. Thiem you are sooooooooooooooo pitiful. You will never win a GS as long as the big 3 are still around. Seriously tennis will be a disaster when the big 3 retire. These young guns can not handle pressure and this isn’t even a final. NEXT GEN…..FORGET ABOUT IT!!!!

  32. I never saw Roger struggled as much as yersterday. I know his game is not at the same level as it was last year unfortunately. Yersterday it was not only a bad day the office but a fight against his own body under the heat and the humidity of the Arthur Ash stadium and it was clear that something went really wrong with Roger. Other players younger than Roger had to retire and even Djokovic struggled with the heat and the humidity during his last match.. I dont think it is fair to judge Roger’s game with his yesterday performance. He was not well at all but he chose not to retire and faced bravely the adversity. Even if it was his D game he managed to have 2 sets points during the match. Let’s hope he will recover quickly and have a lot of fun at the Laver cup because that is what tennis should be for Roger at 37. Maybe it will help him to find an other mindset to finish the season .

    1. But it now goes to five. It must be hard for Thiem to play someone with arms bigger than his legs. And Nadal is returning from
      Armstrong.

      1. Surprisingly, it goes the distance but the ridiculous defence of Señor Bad Knees ultimately pulls him through, as it does so often. Of course he will be fresh for his semi. Has he ever lost a match due to fatigue? Stocks keep going up on EPO’s.

  33. You know what makes Roger Federer great? Last year set 5 at the AO down 3-1 to Nadal at age 35. Now did he choke like these 20 somethings? Now if he were a Next Gen yes he would choke but instead he came back and won his 18th GS. And that people is why tennis will be in trouble when the great 3 are gone. Thiem thank you for proving my point how you 20 somethings will never have the title of one of the greatest tennis players ever. And Roger that comeback down 3-1 to Nadal is my all time favorite tennis moment ever. I doubt anyone like Jonathan will be doing a website for any of these 20 somethings.

  34. Bravo Thiem. What a fight. You gave all you could. You won five more points. Life is like that!
    Come on Del Potro. We’re backing you. We don’t mind as you aren’t a threat to Roger.

  35. Seriously Thiem! How this next gen flatters to deceive. If it’s a fifth set, and you’ve won the fourth (and gave a bagel in the first), and you’re 25 to your opponent’s 32, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WIN THIS! If not now, when???

    But then again, Rafa! Yesterday Federer was up a set, had set points in the second and third, all against a journeyman, and he managed to lose it. Today, Rafa ate a bagel, went down breaks in set 2 and 3, lost the fourth set, against one of the better younger players, and he still managed to win. Kind of a telling contrast about their *current* forms, inconsistencies (or lack thereof) and mindsets. Darn!

  36. As soon as a fifth set goes to a tiebreak you have got to back Nadal(I thought that they didn’t have them in the fifth?)Both players played some incredible shots,that get by Thiem from the drop shot was incredible.A tie break is such a lottery,one mistake and that’s it.A great effort by Theim,I hope that he is not discouraged by this,he has the game to beat Nadal,Roland Garros no longer the foregone conclusion it was.
    Now Nadal has played a tough five sets,whereas Delpossum a straight forward four.That semi should be good.

    1. Yeah good match from Thiem, a slow hard court suits his game nicely. For me he needs to find something different in his game though, his plan is just try hit bigger and bigger. I don’t think that wins slams in it’s current form.

      1. He won’t be worn out but he won’t be at his 100% and against Del Potro + Nole will need it. That is what happened in AO 2017 final after a really tough match against Dimitrov, Nadal waw not fresh in that fifth set.

      2. Fatigue had nothing to do with Nadal’s loss to Federer (who had played several 5-setters) at the AO 17. He was outplayed from 3-1 up in the fifth set by a player who put him under sustained pressure (and who had more reason to be fatigued). Yet the match was little more than half the duration of the record-setting epic 2012 final, when he lost to peak Djokovic. Was he also fatigued then? We all know Nadal only loses when he is “injured” or “fatigued”.

      3. I think Nadal was fatigued after the Dimitrov match. But so was Fed after playing multiple five setters + a groin injury. So it was fairly level in that regard.

  37. Yes,I think Thiem deserves credit there not opprobrium.I f that smash had been in he had two serves to come.Still tennis is all about what ifs is it not?
    I do wish that we could put to bed this notion that Del Potro is such a nice person.He is not called Delpossum for nothing ,all part of his time wasting.He is a ruthless competitor and those remarks about Andy Murrays mother were
    just shameful.Nevertheless it went to five last time they met and he will be the fresher of the two.

  38. Beating the cage fighter in slams is a big deal. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Djoker, Cilic and Muller and of course our boy for what they did this and last year.

  39. Thiem was actually the better player for most of that match and was ahead of Nadal on most statistical measures, including winners. But he couldn’t take his chances when he had them. Only in the era of the Spaniard is defence able to consistently trump the attacking game, despite the enormous pace and power that players are able to call on today. Maybe the Federer of 2017 might have beaten the Nadal of 2018 but it must be in the realm of science fiction that a Nadal aged 32 is not only better than he was last year but is in a different realm from where he was 4 years ago, when it was believed his career was over; before Toronto his last hard court masters win was in 2014. With Nadal nothing surprises now, even apparent miracle recoveries, but, as usual, the explanation for his unbelievable physical feats is much more banal – even if no one likes to go there. His knees were giving out in the Kachanov match, requiring bandages after an MTO, but despite being pushed in a subsequent 4-setter and now a brutal 5 sets today there was no sign of the slightest stress to the most vulnerable part of his anatomy. No bandages and not even a hint of a limp. If his overworked knees were fragile earlier this week they would be shot today. But nothing will stop him running as though his life depends on it when he meets Del Potro in two days time. Fatigue is never a factor for Nadal, even if it always is for his opponents.

    1. Nonsense. If you believe that about Nadal you can say the same about Federer. He was nowhere to be found for years and suddenly in 2017 looked like 10 years younger after recovering from a back “injury”.

      Let’s give credit to these amazing players and stop making stupid excuses and accusations without any proove. It is childish and unsportsmanlike. Take the example of the great Roger Federer.

      1. There is no comparison between Federer and Nadal; not in playing style, personality or record. In the period you say Federer was “nowhere to be found” he was losing only to peak Djokovic in slam finals (sometimes beating him in Masters tournaments) and was consistently ranked in the top 3 till his 6-month break in 2016 to allow his knee to properly repair following surgery. Nadal was meanwhile falling in the rankings in 2014/16 and routinely losing to players ranked outside the top hundred (Dustin Brown, anyone?) in the same slams that Federer achieved semis and finals. This was despite Federer’s chronic back issues throughout 2013. He never went anywhere. Nadal fans like yourself only seek to make these glib comparisons to deflect from the widespread and persistent speculation that has accompanied Nadal since he and his outlandish biceps first appeared in the tour. Among tennis players only Nadal has sued to protect his reputation. Because he arouses more suspicion than anyone else in the history of the game. Well, Lance Armstrong waved that stick, too. But he was eventually caught. It is beyond credulity that players like Cilic and Toiki are dopers (both have incurred violations) and Nadal, with his freakish physicality, isn’t. WADA hasn’t caught him yet but one can only live in hope.

      2. First able yes I am a Nadal fan but also a Federer fan and a Djokovic fan. TENNIS FAN.

        From 2010 to 2016 RF won 2 GS and 5 M1000 (0 Slams from 2013 to 2016). If you want to think negatively like you do with Nadal you could wonder how a 36 year old guy can find such a great form (2017) winning back to back 5 setters in the AO to earn the tittle (he still needs to run).

        Nadal dealt with many injuries and doubts from 2014 to 2016. He did not win as much not because he was old and these 2 couple of years are the proof.

        In the same way you say that Federer and Nadal have different styles you can also see unless you are blind that they don’t have the same level of physical attributes. What Nadal is doing is not unprecedented; 2 of the 3 selected best football players of the year are over 33 (Modric and CR7) in great shape, what about Lebron James (33)? Novak Djokovic (31)? All of them with amazing stamina.

        These accusations without any evidences only reflects the frustation that some hardcore Fed fans with regards to the possibility of Nadal overcoming his GS record. If it happens, deal with it.

        And yes, Nadal had to defend himself from false accusations. What you forgot to say is that he won the lawsuit. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/16/rafael-nadal-damages-over-french-minister-doping-claim

        Stop crying and enjoy one of the best players you will ever see.

      3. Nadal always has “injuries” – in that respect 2014/16 was no different from
        any other period in his career; he was wearing knee bandages as long ago as 2005; in 2013 he came off an 8 month injury break (for his knees, of course) to have one of his best hardcourt seasons ever. Why should he be having “doubts” in 2014/16? Oh, yes – that was the time that the tennis authorities introduced the biological passport as an anti-doping measure. Curious, that at the same time his form fell drastically away, to the extent many pundits said his career was over. But there is no doubt that today he is stronger than ever – which is saying something about the strongest athlete who has ever played the sport. So how does he do that?

    2. Oh come on! Yes, Nadal’s current form is nothing short of amazing, especially because all of us thought his brutal style will wear down his body by the time he hit 30, but there’s absolutely no proof of PED use. And I’m sure he’s tested as often as anybody else on tour!

      1. Testing is mostly ineffectual, because we have known since the early 2000’s that drugs can be masked; WADA admits they catch about 1% of dopers when their estimates put the likely level of doping as high as 40% of professional athletes. The sad fact is that professional sport wouldn’t exist today without it – a former head of WADA has said tennis clearly has a doping problem – and in all sports, including tennis, the fans want the spectacle of superhuman performances but they don’t want to know how they are achieved.

    3. I agree with you Armstrong what you stated about Nadal. How can he be fitter today then 4 years ago. And everything else you stated is true. As for Roger his game is much more gliding then grunting through a tennis match. Nadal is playing with the energy of a soccer player (amazing athletes). Do soccer players play well in their 30’s? I watch American football (not such great athletes).

      1. No sport is immune from doping: the experts say it is widespread in all sports at elite levels in all countries. Sadly, no athlete or sportsman/woman can be guaranteed to be dope-free; the best we can say is that they haven’t returned a positive test (that we know of) but that now means very little when most ped’s are undetectable. We may have to give individual sportsmen the benefit of the doubt, while acknowledging their sport is “dirty” – as with cycling. But doping is in all sports, and that certainly includes tennis. It is likely that for many athletes they cannot successfully compete without it.

      2. No athlete can be guaranteed to be dope-free except for Federer, right? And curiously you are accusing his biggest rival wihout any evidence at all. Some would think you are biased, no?

      3. There is evidence – if you know what you are looking for – that players like Nadal could be doping but not proof, which would be a positive test, for example. But that kind of proof is extremely unlikely; testing catches few; as RIchard Pound, the former head of WADA has said -“You have to be dumb or careless to be caught”. But the evidence for doping can be seen in the performances of athletes, such as in freakish stamina and strength, sudden and dramatic changes in physique, a succession of injuries which they recover from in short order, in “cycles” of performance, in sudden elevation of level late in their careers – these are just some of the red flags that justifiably give rise to suspicion. Here is not the place to rehearse in detail the case that Nadal is doping – it would take too long – but I will say that for the reasons I’ve just given above no corresponding case of any equivalence can be made against Roger. If he dopes he is very poor at it.

  40. I wonder how much they are tested?and when?Are the tests random or pre-arranged.One thing that I have noticed about
    Djokovic is that very often in the second set of a match there will be a game where he staggers a bit as though he is drunk
    and his eyes roll around.Sounds silly I know but look out for it next time he plays.Sharapova was caught of course,also
    Cilic and Gasquet.After his retirement Agassi revealed he was up to it as well.However what would happen if any of the
    top ten were caught.Would the powers that be in the ATP demand their trophies back and the prize money?No,I don’t think
    so either.What worries me is that any player ,say Thiem for example,could give his all in a match after months of hard work
    in training to be beaten by someone using PEDS.That is not just cheating but outrageous.Let us hope therefore that these
    suspicions are unfounded because the alternative is awful.

      1. Well, that has to be a statement of pure idiocy. But not unexpected. Serena can serve at the same speed as Roger, and his groundstroke pace and spin in no way separate him from the pack; variety, placement, feel and timing are his tools – not power. And when they are off he has little to fall back on – as we have seen.

      2. Annie you are basically saying that the ATP would mask potential dopers because of their economic interests. I said that Federer is the most powerful tenis player in the sense that he is the one generating more money and it is in the ATP economic interest that he does as well as possible. Why do you put the focus in one player and not in the other one who happens to be the most powerful?
        Bias and bad excuses.

      3. First of all, fuck off Pablo.

        Of all the top four, Nadal has been the most under the scanner when it comes to doping. You mentioned something about WADA. Did you know that WADA was denied,, denied blood bags by your Spanish government around 2008. In fact, your government ordered those blood bags destroyed.

        As far as economic interests are concerned, yes, they protect the players with silent bans for doping. Nobody wants to kill an industry that rakes in so much money.

        Federer is the most powerful? Yeah right. That’s why he ordered slow courts in New York.

        As to your inference that Nadal and Djokovic have played three finals in New York in the last seven years. Yes, and did you that it was during the same time frame that the US Open courts were being laid out much later in the year. That meant they weren’t played on as much as they usually do resulting in a much grainier texture and slower speeds.

        Look, I know Pablo you’re a Spaniard so you have to be a blind Nadal fan. Every Spaniard is. So go fuck yourself, and your King and Queen then gulp down some more Nadal protein shake you sick son of bitch!

        Want to continue this fight?

      4. It is almost amusing to watch the clear cycles in Nadal’s performance. They are so obvious you can predict how he is going to fare in a tournament. He usually starts the year strong (with an occasional hiccup at the AO, in which case he bails from the following hardcourt run) and then goes to another level for the claycourt season, during which he is essentially unbeatable on the most demanding of surfaces and is never injured despite his chronic “injuries”. He then typically declines after the FO (so he has fewer Wimbledon titles) with the most conspicuous fall-off towards the end of the year when he is beatable by anyone (Dodig, Mayer), and thus has never won a year end Tour final, despite notching up an incredible 11 slams on one surface, clay. Federer, on the other hand, you can’t predict how he will play from one day to the next, and even now from one set to the next.

        Nadal’s game is based on his physical superiority to other players; he outlasts them, outruns them and finally overpowers them; defence is everything for him; to succeed at this he must never tire or lose a step in speed, and to hit his high percentage looped spin shots from impossible court positions he has to have enormous strength. He is a heavyweight boxer to everyone else’s middleweight. Slow surfaces are his ideal battleground. (The only other player to match him physically has been peak Djokovic, who could stay with Nadal.) Take that physical superiority away from him and he becomes just another good Spanish claycourter. We have sometimes seen him fall to that level, such as the second half of 2009, when he couldn’t beat anyone in the top ten. He has to dope, or he loses his weapons. And he knows it.

      5. Federer is the most powerful tennis player in terms of economics for the ATP. I’m not sure why anyone would say this isn’t true just to suit this particular debate 😆 they are always saying how empty the stadiums are when he’s not playing.

        The reason the courts were slowed at this years USO was to help American players like Isner etc. Courier said it in the commentary that the USTA purposely slowed it down for this very reason.

      6. To your point Jonathan, yes, Federer is very likely the “biggest contributor” to this tennis business but if he is that powerful, why is he not able to make the US open courts faster? And if he is doping and getting away due to his powerful status, then as you’ve been telling, he is not doping the way he should.

      7. That’s because one stadium full of spectators to attend one Fed match returns less money than 20 stadiums 20% full to attend a baseline grinding match. And I’m being too optimistic here: for each Fed-style player (if that exists) there are at least 500 ball bashers.

    1. Another comments section turns into a Nadal doping debate all because Federer lost. Must be some form of coping mechanism for certain sects. Not a good look at all.

      1. Roger is by far my favourite 🙂
        It’s always hard to see him lose. Monday’s game was dreadful in a different way though.

  41. @Armstrong,
    Agree with all you have said particularly the post at 1-11.
    Cilic/Nishlkori should be good tonight,both playing well.

  42. @Jonathan,
    I have noticed in tiebreaks that half way through ,roughly,one player gets Three serves.This is quite an advantage and
    certainly helped Nadals cause last night.Do you know why this is?

  43. A few reflections two days after our dear champion’s loss (I was quite busy at work those days and wasn’t emotionally ready to immediately  comment – too sad for him first,  and inside my Fedfan little heart, then).

    Thanks so much to Jonathan and to all for your thoughts – very interesting and so rich !

    Reflecting about Fed’s 4th round match, a  comparison  came to my mind almost two months after the end of the soccer World Cup. Such great  players as Messi and Ronaldo did neither compete (so)  well in Russia this year nor will probably ever win any World Cup  (the next one being in 4 years). Most soccer experts  agree that both of them  missed the biggest soccer competition ever. But they brilliantly won other huge  titles in their sport (Champions Leagues…) during their career. Does this mean that we – as an audience – feel they are not so exceptional competitors ? I guess no.

    Losses occur in a sportsman’s life  : this is the DNA of every sport. As one of you accurately wrote on this brilliant  forum : each of us may experiment bad days, at the office or elsewhere. Female athletes may play a bad match, run a bad race, because they have their periods that precise day and suffer because of them. We, as watchers will  not even know it.

    Tiger Woods had bad times for other reasons… in a few days, he will play the golf Ryder Cup, one of the most prestigious competitions.

    This is what makes sport so beautiful : we are human beings. Our favorite Swiss champion is like others : to succeed on a given day, a combination of fitness at its best + a big amount of training work endured  before + a fighting spirit at its utmost + a pinch of good luck are necessary. But also, even though he is the exceptional and chiselled-by-the-gods-of-nature athlete we know, his body has its limits. Heat, fatigue may have harsh consequences on his results, especially at his age. We must accept that.
    What makes me admire Roger Federer is that he didn’t quit during his match against Millman. He could have. He was professional and admitted he wasn’t at his best.

    Nature will always have the last word and we will always admire people like Messi, Ronaldo, Woods, Federer and others because they do their best and  give us joy. Once retired,  other champions will replace them in stadiums and arenas.

    I like that comment from a journalist who just wrote for the Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” : 
    “Le déclin de Roger Federer a été annoncé bien trop souvent pour tirer des conclusions hâtives de son élimination mais il faut bien prendre conscience qu’à 37 ans, l’exceptionnel réside dans ses victoires, pas dans ses défaites”.

    I translate :
    Roger Federer’s  decline has been predicted too many times to imply a hurried judgement about his loss, but we have to admit that at 37 of age, his victories are outstanding, not his defeats”.

    Don’t you agree ?

    I copy again the poem I had written a few weeks ago after the Cinci loss in the finals. The USO is over now but let’s enjoy Basel – Shanghai – the WTF in London   and first, the enjoyable Laver Cup in 2 weeks from now ! It will be funny and full of surprises, for sure. Fed put all his heart in creating it (and winning it last year). He will do his best to defend the title, as he always does.

    “Season’s greetings, Roger…”

    End August is the time of the grape harvest
    The fruit may, this year, not taste that delicious
    Eighteen may not seem the finest vintage
    But no shame to compose  lighter wines at your age

    September will send back students to  benches
    All of them, as a homework, whatever their ages
    Should reflect on your deeds, read your recent pages
    And understand that sport, as life, is not an ease

    The year is not over, and a Slam – worth playing
    Then, other challenges, as autumn is glowing
    Please be sure that in you, your faithful fans believe
    As you’ll still be dancing like glorious waltzing leaves.

    PS : not as good as Jonathan’s analysis,  but a nice one on the link below :

    https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/09/roger-federer-us-open-loss-john-millman-2018-majors-win-again-goat

    1. Bfly, somebody said he was asked in French presse something about – I Think – the retirement of so many of his contemporaries all at once ( Benneteau, Youzhny, Ferrer…. ) – did you see that anywhere? I couldn’t find it but wasn’t sure I was looking for the right thing…

  44. @Pablo,
    this is becoming rather silly so,
    Fed is most powerful because he earns more money,but surely Nadal earns vast amounts too.?I would say that if anyone is
    biased it is yourself.For goodness sake no one is denying that Nadal is a great player but unless it had escaped your notice
    this a site where people who love and admire Federer join together to discuss his play,courtesy of Jonathan.It is not the
    place for Nadal fans no matter how much they describe themselves as tennis fans of all and sundry.

    1. I will repeat it again. I love Federer’s game. If you are not a blind, hardcore anti Nadal and Nole person does not disqualify you to be a Fed fan.

    2. To be honest my site is for Tennis fans and Federer fans. You don’t have to be a tunnel vision Fed fan to participate here. If I had time to write about other matches etc. I would, but Fed is my favourite player so I focus on that.

  45. When other players lose, they are merely outplayed. But when Federer loses, he comes agonizingly close to victory, only to squander his chances. That’s the nature of the tightrope he walks with his marvelous, high-risk game. Either you have the whole thing, or you have nothing.

    After he threw away three consecutive games (including two set points) to drop the second set, the writing was on the wall, but I kept watching hoping he’d turn it around. (IMO if he’d taken the second set, he still would have lost in five).

    It’s not just the conditions and age that are getting to him. Last year he felt liberated to play aggressive, taking bigger risks and taking the ball early and really flattening it out. Now he plays conservatively hoping not to lose.

    I don’t know what it’ll take for him to get out of this funk but I am sure he has some more big wins left in him and perhaps even a return to world #1.

    For the record, I’m an advocate of his playing on clay. His marvelous game is the product of a delicate balance, and skipping clay entirely disrupts that balance. Clay keeps him honest. He can’t use fast-court tactics to shorten the points. He has to construct the point patiently, strike every ball with purpose, and then go for the kill when he’s set it up well.

    Both in NY and at Wimbledon you could see him go into a shell, relying exclusively on his serve and net game to bail him out of trouble and hoping for luck to turn his way, rather than trust his groundstrokes to do their share of the work. That’s partly a function of his only playing on HC and grass.

    If he had gone into the match against Millman with a slightly different mentality, perhaps he would have been able to grind it out despite the heat and humidity. Then the next match would be totally different.

    Next year he should just skip Miami (a tournament he’s only done well at when playing his absolute best tennis) and enter Madrid to prepare for RG. The French fans are always happy to see Federer.

    Anyway, you win some, you lose some. Federer’s won more than most, really there is no reason to worry. The losses only serve to highlight how magnificent his late-career victories are and the magnitude of the obstacles he has to overcome to attain them.

    Still a few tournaments left for him this year: Shanghai, Basel, then the YEC. Would be great if he could win a seventh year-ending title after the losses there in the last few years.

    1. Same thoughts here. I had the opinion of RF playing one clay masters and RG in 2018. He could always withdraw if the knee becomes an issue although I dont think its going to be that big a issue next year. The downtime is certainly making him less match competitive. Also, he should stop back to back events at all cost. Stuttgart/Halle might have cost him a slam.
      Hope RF stays less Grumpier. Easier said than done. Just dont like to see him get irritated so quickly.

    2. If it feels like he is more reliant on his serve and net game lately, it’s because his ground game hasn’t been to the same level it was last season. Certainly last year in Australia, IW, Miami, Wimbledon, Basel, and Shanghai, he was hitting the ball sweetly, and having that groundstroke potency along with his great serving, returning, and net game meant he was near unstoppable when it was all in rhythm.

      I don’t think much has changed between now and then except his timing from the back isn’t as good.

      1. A “lot” has changed since the 3 month break. RF’s apparent lack of focus is one of the biggest and “the” biggest changes. In pressure situations, he just can’t focus. He gets caught up in the moment so quickly. Maybe he knows his game is not where it used to be last year. His serve is also on a long vacation. He couldn’t muster up a first serve for a whole set. His net game was even more atrocious.
        Off court engagements may very well have taken up him prime time.

      2. But when his groundstroke game goes off the rest of his game seems to go with it. It used to be that if the serve went his game unravelled but now if his ground strokes aren’t working it puts too much pressure on his serve. It also suggests that as a whole he is losing his feel and timing.

  46. I have to say Nadal lost Wimby because of 1 -2 punch from Delpo and Joker. Now if he wins the USO this year he will have survived a 1-2-3 punch Thiem, Delpo then Joker. Nobody can say he had a lucky draw this year as compared to last year.

    1. He could have lost against Novak anyway, specially in indoor conditions. This year I believe he will beat Del Potro and loose against Nole. This 1-2-3 punch is too much to take.

  47. I’m not going to post as reply to any of the above comments, I’m doing this as a separate one, mostly because I think it’s fruitless to get caught in a discussion as to whether Nadal dopes or not. Everyone will have an opinion and nothing will be proved.
    But on the subject of being a Tennis Fan (as said above) of which is my name, I believe a true tennis fan is one who appreciates beautiful tennis. Nadal has athleticism, endurance, fighters spirit, and has used it to his advantage on a tennis court and several five-setters, but does not have the natural flair, beauty, style of Federer. It will be a shame when Federer goes as this sport needs more of or like him. Watching Nadal is endlessly boring and hard on the ears. (my opinion 🙂 ) That is why I think it would be a shame for him to overtake Federer’s slam count as it would discount in many eyes all that Federer has brought to the sport. Although it never will for me.

      1. Jonathan, accusations aren’t levelled at Nadal because Federer lost but because of the way Nadal plays, which we have seen for fifteen years and are witnessing yet again at this tournament (which he could well win). The comments about him here followed observations about his matches here, and in particular his match against Thiem, and comparisons were drawn – as they can be – with Roger. Just as it’s possible to be a fan of other players as well as Fed it’s possible – I would argue entirely tenable – to see that there are competitors against whom he plays who give every indication of being part of the growing stain that is doping in professional sport. They all play in the same arena and against each other. The former head of WADA – among others – has expressed serious concerns about doping in tennis; I happen to think he is right, but there are some who come here who cannot bear to think their Spanish hero may be part of the problem. They are free to return to their Rafa fan site if that offends them. I, for one, choose not to be oblivious to what is occurring in a sport I have played and followed for many years; I have been a fan of many of its great champions, including Roger. Saying we have no proof against individual players and therefore avoiding the discussion is as big a cop-out as celebrating the Tour de France while knowing cycling is a truly dirty sport. It is my opinion – and it is of course only an opinion – that there is no real difference between Nadal and a Contador (or, for that matter, Armstrong) except Nadal hasn’t been caught – yet. No one is compelled to agree. But while tennis fans remain in denial about the sport nothing will change. The problem remains in front of us every time we sit in front of the tv to watch another match at Flushing Meadow – and every other tour venue. And, lastly, none of the above stops us celebrating what we admire in Roger as a tennis player and sportsman.

      2. “accusations aren’t levelled at Nadal because Federer lost”

        I know they’re not levelled against him for that reason, but they do always rear their head when he has lost. So putting all the evidence, theories and whatnot aside. It looks like sour grapes. We never get the comments when he’s won a match, do we?

        Every time Fed has lost to Nadal, the comments section descends into doping talk. Now it seems he can lose to Millman and the conversation moves onto it as well 😆

      3. Jonathan, while I hear what you are saying, that discussion about Nadal looks like sour grapes after a Roger loss, or can sound like a stuck record, in this instance it moved to Nadal because Roger is out of the tournament – there are other things to talk about – and there was disappointment amongst some here that Thiem couldn’t get the win when he was so close.

        BTW, I don’t entirely agree that Thiem’s game may be too one-dimensional to win a slam (or at least take Nadal at a major). I think the problem is that no one has the game currently to beat the “human backboards” at their peak – except another backboard. Hence Djokovic alone has had Nadal’s number. Roger, for all his diversity, has had the same problem with players like Nadal and Djokovic that Thiem apparently has – they make the attacking player have to hit too many shots to
        win the point. Where we might further differ about that is that I think there is essentially one particular reason why the backboards are now so dominant, because they wouldn’t be able to sustain that method of play without it, hour after hour, against the power baseliners.

        Are you also not surprised Nadal’s fragile knees have repaired so quickly this week despite his increasingly gruelling matches?

      4. So Nadal and Djokovic are simply human backboards… More nonsense.
        Both of them have the entire arsenal of tennis weapons at their disposal. They can play deffensive and/or offensive when they choose to. They have 30 GS and +60 M1000 combined because they are backboards as you said but also they are power baseliners, incredible fighters, and they have amazing mental toughness.
        Same as Roger who can defend incredibly. The 3 of them are all around players, the difference is that one have some aspects of the game more perfected tan the others.

        “Are you also not surprised Nadal’s fragile knees have repaired so quickly this week despite his increasingly gruelling matches?”
        How do you know how bad his knees were? Did they need to be repaired or it was a simple minor issue? He retired in the AO when he was winning. Why did he do that if he has some magical treatment to avoid injuries? Or are you implying he fakes his injuries? Did he retire on purpose against Wawrinka in the AO Final?

        Ridiculous arguments and false accusations.

        BTW I do think Thiem has the game to win a GS (specially RG). It is a matter of having some luck with the draws and avoid the big 3.

      5. Pablo, I have been following the game of tennis since the Laver era, I have seen all the great champions since. Have you? I have also seen the change to the game that Nadal has brought. At no point did I say that players like Nadal and Djokovic lack weapons, or mental strength, but their style of game is utterly different from that of a Federer – as most who come to this blog will attest – and what I have seen them do, that exceeds any previous generation of player, is to develop a defensive game that consistently suffocates the best attacking game. This largely reverses the trend in the development of the game over the previous forty-odd years. Only Federer at his peak has been able to find answers to that, and now, at 37, it appears well beyond him. This trend towards the impenetrable defensive counter-punching game is also despite the changes in racquet and string technology that have greatly increased the power available to an attacking player. Against all expectation, players can still outrun the ball. There is a simple and rather obvious explanation for this development of the always sprinting but tireless defender (and hugely powerful) that can be found in many other sports. To ignore that is to fail to see what is happening in front of you; probably because you don’t want to see it.

        I know a little about knee injuries, having had the same patellar tendonitis that Nadal has oft-complained of; unlike him I required surgery to fix it. Surprising that he has not sought that solution over 13 years of recurrent knee issues. Knees don’t heal while you play; tendonitis will only get worse. Nadal complained of knee pains in his Khachanov match, had his knee strapped, and then two days later he is out there running for his life in 4 and then 5 set matches, with no problems at all. Sorry, that is simply not possible for any genuine knee complaint – if his problem was real it would only have gotten worse. And Thiem would have had his win. So, yeah – I call bs on that one. But it fits with the player.

      6. If knees heal so easily I wonder why Federer required surgery for his knee prob and then a 6-month break to properly fix it. But Señor Bad Knees only needs 2 days rest.

      7. Thank you for your contribution Armstrong. I hear everything you said. You are one that makes unfounded accusations just because Fed loses a match

      8. April, I think you misunderstand me. Whether you agree with my views or not, they are not given in response to a Federer loss. My views on Nadal are made simply because he is a big part of the game, and he is taking part in a tournament that I and others here have been following. You can hardly ignore him. I have followed his career since I first saw him play in 2004, and watched many of his matches since. I took a similar interest in past champions -Laver, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, and so on, through to the present day. Whether you think my views are unfounded or not, I have played and followed the sport for more than forty years; I have known professional players and coaches. I have studied the sport as much as I have enjoyed it. I have had a similar degree of interest in other sports that I have participated in over the years. I have also read widely on the subject of doping – I remember dopers being exposed back in the 1960’s, well before Ben Johnson came along, and then of course Lance Armstrong – and I know personally anti-doping experts from WADA, with whom I have discussed the problem of doping in tennis and sport generally. My views are essentially the same as theirs, including with regard to Nadal, although they are constrained from saying publicly what they tell me in private. Despite what you may think, sour grapes my views are not; but I do care about the integrity of sport. For those of you who reject my views, can you say that you have put the same time and effort into trying to understand and be informed about these issues – or are you simply taking the easier and more convenient path of rejecting unwelcome opinions out of hand?

      9. @armstrong7, I’m so sorry I missed a “not” in my reply and tit caused so much misunderstanding. I mean you’re not one who makes unfounded accusations. I agree with everything you said.

    1. Federer will always be special no matter the GS count. What will change if they finish 20-21, 20-20 or 20-19? they already wrote history and in many cases together.
      Roger, Nadal and Nole bring different things to the table and that’s the real beauty of this era, we have the 3 greatest players of all time going at each other with different styles.

  48. The way Nadal and Djocovic play it is extremely demanding. We have much better medical surgeries today then say when Connor or Laver played. Djocovic’ would have ended his career 20 years ago and so to Nadal. Medicine today has prolonged athletes lives and that is great. I do know for a fact as they get older they will be on pain medications for the rest of their lives and I speak from experience. Our bodies are not so forgiving when we get older and it starts showing in your 50’s maybe even sooner for some.

      1. It was before 2011. He retired from 7 matches and was known as something of a quitter. How things change.

  49. Millman lost to Djoker after beating Roger….so typical after the high of beating tennis GOAT can’t sustain same performance. Making their win a fluke, is beating Roger takes so much out of them that went total bust in next match?

    On a separate note, USTA attempt by slowing down surface to give more advantage to their players backfires, the final four is being dominated oh wait non US of A players. American players since Sampras and Agassi have not been able to win any GS well except for Roddick. Its not about the surface, the x-factor that differentiate players like Stan, Roger, Nole, Rafa and Andy dont see it any American male players.

    1. Yes, but what were the weather conditions like? And Djoker took a heck of a long time over what was a straightforward, seemingly not-too-tight match, so I’m wondering whether it was actually as easy as the score suggests?

      1. Reading match reports it was anything but as easy as the score line suggests.Djoker was
        reeling around as though drunk and showing signs of heat and exhaustion until he had
        some drink his wife had prepared whereupon he got his act together.Millman played well
        as against Roger and certainly dealt with the heat and humidity.I think this goes a long way to vindicate Feds performance the other night when it was even worse conditions I
        believe.

      2. It’s a brutal match with slow court and extreme humid condition. No one can walk away unscathed, it’s just too brutal for all players.

        This year USO is not a tennis tourney, it’s hunger games with yellow fuzzy balls.

    2. So typical after the high of beating tennis GOAT can’t sustain same performance.

      Not true at all, Djokovic is a nightmare matchup for Millman. It has nothing to do with going away or sustaining a performance. If anything he played better than he did vs Fed…

  50. Both semi-finals should be very interesting/entertaining.I saw Djokovic play Nishikori a few years ago and was very impressed with how he was sending the ball right into the corners of the court.Unfortunately the match ended as so often
    with him retiring in the third set injured.I am talking about Nishikori not Djokovic😀
    Del Potro hits the ball incredibly fast and low over the net.So plenty to look forward to.

  51. It was really sad to see fed losing again. I’m still trying to get over with the loss.I think, the major turning point of the season was Wimbledon QF. This year’s wimby was his best chance for his 21st GS,I mean he was seeded no. 1 and relatively had an easier draw.
    He definitely needs to finish the year on a stong note,in order to be in list of strong favourites for AO’19,where he is the 2 time defending champion.
    I hope he wins Basel and Shanghai seems possible(Fastest Court on ATP Tour).

  52. I watched a replay of Djokovic v Millman. It was heavy weather for Djokovic. He is still not at his peak, I think. I would favour him over Nishikori, if only because of their respective records and that Nishikori has often proven physically/mentally frail in big matches, but that, notwithstanding, the Japanese player is looking dangerous as he flies under the radar. Djokovic (or Nishikori) should also hope for a Del Potro win in the other semi, because Nadal seems still to be playing at a higher level than the rest of them in difficult conditions. Brad Gilbert offered the view that the final set of the Thiem/Nadal match was the best 5th set of tennis he had ever seen on a hardcourt. And Nadal won. That must be concerning to his rivals. And evidence, too, that, on hardcourt at least, Nadal is better than he ever was. He remains the favourite – on his least favourite surface.

    1. yes I think Djokovic will beat Nishikori,but I dont expect it to be easy.Perhaps four sets.The weather is cooling down a bit which will help all players(But Djoker the most)
      As for the other semi,I won’t be watching,can’t bear the grunting I am afraid.However,this is the Possums
      best chance to beat Nadal.The latter has many hours on court.Jonathan informs us that Nadal was tired in
      the 2017 Australian Open final after a tough five setter against Dimitrov,so presumably he will be tired in
      this match also.😎Who knows.I would put my money on Delpo to be honest.He doesn’t choke.
      Whatever,let the games begin!

  53. You expect great things from great players. No question Federer…Nadal….Djocovic are great players. You can argue about the 1,2 and 3 but that said I would just say be happy that tennis is the most entertaining sport to watch (especially with Roger). My prediction for the Final Nadal vs Djocovic with hopefully a Djocovic win.

  54. Despite the straight sets scoreline Djokovic was far from convincing in the Millman match.No doubt this was due to the heat and he will play better when it is cooler.Nadal and Del Potro have the daytime match.

  55. I actually have a bad feeling about the Djoko/Nishi match.Very worrying.Hope that he can bring his best tennis.
    As for the other match,who knows,the greatest and most intelligent player of all time.Surely he will win.

    1. You were right, Annie. We may see the first major final not featuring a member of the Big 4 since USO 2014. Even if Djokovic does make the final, Del Potro is hitting the ball too well to be deterred.

  56. This Delpo & Djoker combination would have been to much anyway. So I guess Thiem did do some damage to Nadal taking him to 5 sets. It is amazing that this is one thing Roger Federer has never done is quit a match. I don’t think there is any other player that has accomplished that in a 20 year career.

  57. It’s a good break for Delpo but it’s a bit anticlimatic tbh. I didn’t want Nadal to win the whole thing but it’s a bit of a rubbish way for it to finish, Delpo didn’t exactly beat a fully engaged Nadal, which would have been far more satisfying. I like it when someone can beat him at his highest level. How much more satisfying for Fed to have got Nadal in five sets last year – no retirements. The Maestro outlasting Nadal. Would have been great for Thiem too, had he managed it.

  58. One thing, Federer always plays till the bitter end, no matter what. Whether or not he feels he can win, he finishes the match because that’s his responsibility.

    If Nadal sees no chance to prevail, he pulls the chute and claims injury rather than give his opponent the honor of victory. Also I suspect he also does it to hide the fact that he’d be annihilated whenever the edge comes off his freakish physical attributes. Unlike Federer, whose serve and versatility allow him to keep it competitive even when he’s not at his best, Nadal has no weapons to bail him out of trouble once he no longer has the power to hammer every ball with spin and the speed to retrieve every shot.

    That’s twice this year alone Nadal has retired from a major. Not a good sign for his long-term career prospects.

    Last year Nadal made three major finals and this year only one–he can’t sustain his peak level for more than a season at a time. I don’t think he will end the year as #1 because he won’t be able to repeat his post-USO hard court performance (Beijing + Shanghai final).

      1. Whoops – I meant “retiring from injury”. It is astonishing though that we have never seen Roger do this in a 20 year career.

      1. I think Steve may have been a little facetious there. But perhaps he also means it is unlikely Nadal will be winning majors at 36.

  59. I know we all think that Nadal is chasing Roger’s 20 GS. I think he needs to worry if Djocovic catches his 17 GS that is more a possibility then the former.

  60. Djokovic crushes Nishikori. I expected a much closer match but Nishikori unfortunately lives up to reputation. Djokovic is going to be hard to stop but I would hope Del Potro will ensure that it will be a decent contest, whatever the outcome.

    1. Good win by Osaka, well deserved win. She showed a lot of calmness regardless what was happening across the net. I am rooting for delpossum for his 2nd USO. Though Delpossum has always been pesky and irritating customer against Roger. This time i am rooting for him to win his 2nd GS title. Go Delpo…go get that title

  61. I guess Nadal won’t play the Davis Cup semi-final next week end against France. One more chance for my country to reach the final  ? One week to recover may not be sufficient for Rafa… or I don’t understand anything …

  62. Good that the grand slam gap remains at 3. Federer needs to rediscover the 2017 first half version once more.
    Being a part time player, the scheduling and peaking at the right time is becoming a big challenge but hope he works it out and wins a lot more.
    Nadal for all the records he has never ever dominated tennis beyond clay . He cant even play a full season. For all his warrior like demeanor on court (which does not extend to matches where he has no hope like the Delpo one) , hes too much a whiner off it, especially when he talks about the fact that he missed many slams . Will be a travesty if this guy gets the slam record.

    1. I don’t think that he will.Even Roland Garros isn’t a lock anymore with Djokovic back and Thiem stepping up to the plate.Interesting times.

  63. Injury or no injury Nadal was not going to win the match the way Delpo(not possum this time he meant business)was
    hitting the ball,especially on his backhand.Did anyone notice the strange looks he was giving Nadal at the end ?
    As for the other semi Djokovics returning was incredible.Of course Nishikori doesn’t get any free points on serve but
    Delpo will,so should be a great final .Still picking DelPotro to win the whole thing especially if the roof is closed as he plays very well indoors.

  64. I must say I am baffled at the sheer suddenness of the Novak comeback. As recently as Queens he didn’t look like a contender for yet more slam titles. Yet he has overnight risen to the top of the game once more. His slump 2 years ago was as sudden, beginning at Wimbledon 2016, and no doubt then prolonged by elbow issues, but for the first six months of this year he was nothing like the player he has been from Wimbledon onwards. We are somehow seeing the Novak of 2011-15 again. The explanation was previously that he went “gluten-free”. What will it be this time? Steaks? I’ve never seen anything like it.

    1. How did Roger manage to win the AO in 2017 after 6 months out and not coming close to winning it in 7 years? I’ve never seen anything like it.

      Novak got Vajda back, it’s made a difference.

      1. Roger’s game never fell away before 2016 the way that Novak’s did. Roger was still in contention for big titles over 2014/15 till his knee went – losing mainly to peak Djokovic – but Novak lost routinely to journeymen from Wimbledon 2016 through to his overnight renaissance at Wimbledon 2018, only 3 months ago. Until then he pretty much looked done. So what does Vajda know as a coach that multiple grand slam champions Agassi and Becker don’t? It’s 2011 all over again – but even more so. I’m waiting to hear about a new diet.

      2. Anderson being fairly gassed probably contributed to the Wimbledon win, and I’m guessing the win rebuilt his confidence. Plus everyone else has been pretty rubbish.

  65. For information.
    I had a look at the ATP live ranking  (Sept 8, 2018)
    1. Nadal 8760
    2. Fed 6900
    3 Delpo 5980. He will have max 6780 if he wins the USO
    4 Djokovic 5165. He will have max 6445 if he wins the USO.
    Nadal, Fed and Delpo will have points to defend, Djoko not many….
    Fed, Delpo and Djoko will keep one another warm in the rankings during the autumn…

    1. Does Nadal have any points to defend after the American Open?I can’t remember any titles.I know Fed has to defend Basle and Shanghai.

  66. In 2017, Nadal :
    –  won the Chinese open (Beijing – against Kyrgios)
    – lost the final  in Shanghai (against Fed)
    – retired in Paris in Quarter Finals
    – lost in the group stage of the ATP finals in London (against Goffin).

    Here are the points given at the WTF Finals London
    ATP Rankings Points (Singles & Doubles)
    Round-robin match win : 200
    Semi-final win : 400
    Final win : 500
    Undefeated champion : 1500

  67. I’m amazed at Djoko being able to still play at this level. The way he does the splits I would think his knees and hips would give him trouble. I hope for a good match for the final and I picked Djoco but I will be pulling for Delpo.

      1. But to play that way for 6 or more hours is incredibly taxing for anyone – no matter how good a mover they are. He is the only player I have seen stay with and beat Nadal in the interminable baseline battles that are typically their matches. But that was only after 2011. He used to regularly fade before that – as everyone else did against Nadal. And now, after a two year deep slump, he has overnight regained that ability. I don’t care how good an athlete you are, it isn’t naturally possible to eradicate fatigue in sustained contests. But that is becoming today’s new normal. In all sports.

  68. Nadal said that he suffers from a sort of Tendonitis in his knee.Now I know this does tend to just go,but only after a lot of rest.I had it in my foot three years ago and it was awful,for the first three weeks I could hardly walk.So I wouldn’t imagine
    that he will be playing tennis for a while,especially his sort of tennis!

    1. Annie, for me a genuine injury is like what Stan and Andy Murray have experienced – Stan requiring surgery for his knees (unlike Nadal – who’s had knee problems for virtually all his career and yet no surgery) and Murray the same for his hip. Both have had needed extended breaks from the tour and have returned at a far lower level than where they had been prior to their injury issues. They are struggling to regain any kind of decent form and may never return to their respective peaks. That I can understand.

  69. Regardless of the winner tomorrow, in 28.09 Marin Cilic, the youngest GS will turn 30.
    No under 30 guys to win a major title. Do you know another sport where this happens?

    1. Again it does seem strange.Just don’t know why this is.Perhaps tennis going through some sort of transition period
      and the younger players will come through.I do hope so ,all the top players,and that includes Fed,have won everything,done everything.So a change up is needed.

  70. Osaka service game to win the match against Serena Williams shows me that at 20 years old she is definitely not just today but a future superstar. The crowd was booing the umpire and Osaka was able to maintain her cool and win. She shows more nerve then a lot of male players. Congrats to first Japanese player male or female to win a GS.

  71. Osaka played great but Serena was honestly just exaggerating. Playing drama queen. Argue once and stop. Don’t give a f*** about it. 🙂

    1. S behaving like a – (not like a queen of any kind, except maybe that one in Alice in Wonderland). And this being an Idol of a young player, playing her first time. She lost not only the match, but maybe also the respect of a considerable fan. Maybe Osaka cried for that reason too.
      I’m sure the umpire’s club are discussing how to treat her correctly. Supporting each other not to be bullied by her accusations of racism, women bullying, thieving and whatever.

  72. Whatever was right or wrong, Serena was utterly selfish to Naomi, even if she supposedly was nice to her during the ceremony. Bit late. A true professional would have thought of the potential repercussions to the winner earlier during the second set.
    I hope Naomi can get another slam title with a sweeter taste.

  73. I hope Djoker today doesn’t do the same in the men’s final and act up as he usually does. Even when he is winning the guy loses his cool and many times yells at the umpire and breaks his racket. I know we have seen a young Roger act up but that was a young Roger. Djoker has always been a hot head similar to Paire and there is no need for it. Umpires get it right 99% of the time. The speed at which the ball travels I am amazed that errors are not frequent. But I hope that today’s final will be be exciting and that in the end whoever wins appreciates the win similar to the way Roger broke down and aopreciated his 20th GS at the AO. It moved me and I am sure all his fans and still does when I watch it. That is why Roger has been a fan favorite 16 years in a row.

    1. I have to say I only really give a toss about the outcome of a match when Roger is playing. Although seeing Nadal, Djokovic or Williams lose is kind of satisfying. Feels like karma.

  74. When I was at the USO, the crowd was going crazy for Serena. Throughout the match, I thought I better politely clap now and again. Otherwise, I might get beaten up in a back alley. They idolize her and her sister. TV ads and billboards all over the city. I was dumbfounded. This whole woman thing and mother thing. Many women playing well after motherhood. Kim Clisters wasn’t going on and on about it.
    I don’t know what bothers me more. Is it her selfish rude unsportsmanlike behaviour or the fact that people think she is the perpetual victim.

    1. It has to be the perpetual victim business! Why would someone go on and on about victimisation and women’s rights when they’ve won 23 grand slams? I hope she doesn’t catch Margaret Court 😆

    2. The tennis establishment and the media have joined in justifying the behaviour of this thug on a tennis court. It is hard to decide which is more repellent – her conduct or their sycophant response. There was a champion for women on the court – but it wasn’t Williams. Osaka was determined, focussed, gracious and mature – everything her opponent wasn’t. The young Japanese player didn’t just win the title. She showed how a champion should be, in a way Williams never has and never will. The game has a future in Osaka – even if the baying NY crowds fail to see that, in their worship of the cult of Serena.

    3. I am very disappointed that they robbed Naomi from enjoying her first GS to the point she has to apologise in her acceptance speech. She definitely showed them that age does not come with maturity and humility. Can’t wait for AO19

  75. She says she is fighting(LOL)for women rights , so I guess she was doing that when she told the female umpire she was ugly inside and the female line judge she would stuff the f……. ball down her throat.I think there are many women who do
    not want her brand of feminism.

    1. Billie Jean King has lost all credibility by jumping on the sexism accusation with Serena. As Jonathan said, there is no grey area on this one, but yet BJK had to endorse the baseless claim without any discernment or analysis on her own. Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post was even worse — she gave no quarter to the umpire but blames it all on women not getting a fair chance. Which brings me to a sensitive subject. Is women’s tennis more disadvantaged by being associated with men’s tennis or does it gain more advantages? I would suggest the latter. I would agree that the game is better with having both competing at the grand slams with each other, but I question the notion that sexism has suppressed women’s tennis. I think women’s tennis is doing quite nicely, that the players are respected, and having an integrated grand slams is a huge advantage. I think if you look at it on a mere commercial scale where supply/demand drives the purse, there is a significant gap in pay and attendance between non WTA premier mandatory tournaments and the ATP men only tournaments. More on point to the claim of sexism is that more men were fined in the US Open this year than women by 2 to 1. Ramos has also frequently penalized men for their misbehavior. Bottomline, this was all unnecessary. Do what I tell my children …. respect authority, be civil, treat others the way you want to be treated …. and you will be much better off.

    2. Narcissists are good at collecting toadies around them. Williams has also drawn the chip-on-the-shoulder-brigade to her by her posturing over women’s rights. Rhetoric wins over reason – as it usually does.

      1. The WTA statement supporting Williams’ claim
        of sexism is not substantiated by the USO figures that show men incurred significantly more Code violations over the tournament than the women players – although Williams was the only player to earn a game penalty. And she did earn it, with her 3 successive violations. An Australian cartoonist got it right, when he depicted a big baby having a tantrum on a tennis court. But the baby has the WTA dancing to her rattle and that deafening sound you can hear is her whining apologists in the media.

  76. Well Delpossum looks as though he is toast.No weapons to hurt Djokovic who seems to have all the answers.
    Still, a match between two rather unpleasant people so who cares anyway.

  77. Now you have Federer with 20 GS, Nadal with 17 and Djocovic with 14. Any questions how this era in tennis is like no other. Each have their particular brand to achieve success. Roger is always the fan favorite wherever he plays. Next years GS will be interesting. I am happy that Djocovic is 6 back of Roger. I still think both his style of play and Nadal have maybe one more good year. Roger I think will still look good to win number 100 this year.

    1. Paul, you raise an interesting question. How is this tennis era different from any other? Or, more particularly, why is it so different? We are seeing three players dominate the sport as never before (and a fourth if we include the women’s game). All are in their thirties, once considered to be well past an athlete’s physical prime. All have been playing at levels that surpasses their previous best. All have done so after a period of decline post injury, even in some cases a deep slump that convinced most observers their careers were over. We might say that we are in the era of The Great Comeback, and to a degree we’ve never seen before – perhaps in any sport. As the sports writers search for superlatives after this USO (and we did have Paris, didn’t we? And then Wimbledon) we can feel that we are entering a new golden age of the sport, of a kind never seen before. But we have. Baseball went through something of the same in the 90’s and track and field also, with its now untouchable world records, and of course there was cycling. (Lance Armstrong only came back from cancer; Djokovic’s feat is even more impressive.) Unfortunately, it turns out things weren’t quite what they seemed. In tennis we either have a small group of preternaturally gifted players occurring at the same time – their stars have truly aligned – for the better part of fifteen years, who are somehow able to see off the challenges of the up and not-so-coming generation (with the sudden and agreeable exception yesterday of Queen Serena), defying time, injuries and all other opposition, or we have a simpler and more banal explanation for these apparent miracles. Tennis has perhaps joined the ranks of these other sports. And why wouldn’t it?

      1. Well said and I agree 100% with your comment. But I do feel this dominance will end in 2020. So the big 3 better enjoy 2019 because I really feel their reign is ending soon. Roger can’t complain he has enjoyed this sport for over 20 years. I am including his junior years. What is next on the schedule for Roger?

      2. Paul, I think that 2020 deadline will depend a lot on possible injuries as I see Nole and Rafa in full form. They might end their incredible dominance but I believe they will still have chances to win GS’s for a couple more years.

  78. Thanks for the article Jonathan – https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/serena-furore-exposes-monumental-double-standard-at-heart-of-our-society-a8529656.html
    It’s always best to try to understand rather than condemn. It’s obvious Serena is totally unfair in her accusations, but to understand why she is so never hurts. . But still, – one thing is to understand, another to accept… You tell she got a warning for a coach gesture she didn’t even see – but why does she then claim it wasn’t coaching, just thumbs up? – The conclusion – if I understand you right – that a true winner (with hard childhood) has to be and behave like Serena in order to win, (and be great?) I don’t buy, though. If it was so, sport would be very very ugly all through. Serena has to – maybe – but still – HAS she really? And should people like that – Djoko too, – get special treatment for this reason? You seem to think so? I don’t. And she’s strong enough to come back regardless she was treated like any other player by this umpire.

    1. I thought you meant me, your comment is written as though I wrote the Independent Article 😆

      That article is absolutely ridiculous. I almost removed the link it’s that bad.

      1. Unfortunately typical of quite a lot of Guardian commentary. Incredibly privileged people -like Williams – cast now as victims. Because she’s a woman. And black. Lines are drawn over gender and race, regardless of the facts.

      2. Oh I apologize, don’t know your surname, I thought it was you, when you twittered the article. Sorry sorry. Glad it WASN’T you!

      3. Ah, maybe it wasn’t you either who twittered the article to my inbox? Then double apologize! Of course there may be other Jonathans around, but surely not in my inbox? I thought…surely wrong. Sorry.

      4. Nah not my work. Never heard of the author but let’s just say it’s written ‘in liew’ of any sort of common sense. But guess it’s written to draw comments.

        And I don’t think I retweeted it, I nearly did with a quote retweet but thought better of it. I didn’t even know you were on Twitter so didn’t send you it.

      5. I really don’t know about twitter. Sometimes it just multiplies and thinks I might be interested. I also get twitters from Chung and Sharapova and others. I’m sure they don’t post me deliberately…

    2. “that a true winner (with hard childhood) has to be and behave like Serena in order to win, (and be great?) I don’t buy, though”

      It must surely be pretty much the same childhood *Venus* Williams had, though. I rest my case.

      Meanwhile, in other news, some total nobody won a totally insignificant men’s match yesterday, and some Brit won the wheelchair singles. Yet unless I blinked and missed it neither got any coverage on the BBC news for the same day, while Serena’s meltdown of the previous day got quite extensive coverage. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

  79. But that is life really ,sadly,what starts out as something good then becomes corrupted into what it was never meant to be
    by people using it for their own political or economic reasons.🙁

  80. Did I hear that right? Novak is attributing his comeback to a walk up a mountain and the fresh outlook it has given him on life. Well, there you have it – a vigorous stroll is the way to roll back the years. Mountaineers must have the secret to eternal youth. I guess it was a bit much expecting a change of diet – that might be wearing a little thin. I’m going to go and look for a hill to climb and take in the view. After Novak, I’m expecting big things. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  81. I’m glad that Serena Williams pointed out to the world that she is fighting
    for the rights of woman, because I think she just put it back 20 years.
    Billie J King would have been better telling the world how good N Osaka
    played. Pleased that the U S Open is over not just because of Fed
    losing but it was all a bit off.

    1. Well said Elizabeth and Serena won’t be missed by me. And it isn’t a racial or macho thing for me. I am firmly a Osaka fan and hope “SHE” and not Serena becomes the poster child for how to act at a finals championship. Bravo young lady and I wish for you nothing but success. Shame on all the people that booed and took away her moment of glory and accomplishment at age 20. Osaka still handled it beautifully.

  82. Yes the whole tournament was a fiasco.As they have slowed down the courts to help the Americans(I thought big servers
    liked fast courts)perhaps everyone else should boycott it and leave them with Query(All round good guy)v Isner(gigantic
    nerdish looking person)battling it out.That would learn them.And Carlos Ramos in the chair of course.😎

  83. I don’t buy the story from Novak that all he needed was a good stiff walk up a mountain to rejuvenate himself and find the player who had gone AWOL for two years. I was not convinced by his going “gluten-free” as an explanation for his sudden elevation in form in 2011, either. The transformation was too great and too sudden. As it is now. Although, as Jonathan says, Novak moves as well as anyone has on a tennis court, his stamina and strength has often been suspect over his career. That was certainly so before 2011 – he frequently retired from matches – and then again between the two Wimbledons of 2016 and 2018. At his peak he has one of the greatest defensive games ever seen – it is almost impossible to hit through him; also, unlike Nadal, he stays closer to the baseline and is thereby able to move more quickly on the attack when the opportunity presents. He is a great counterpuncher. He thereby becomes a better player than Nadal – and unsurprisingly has his number. He also bleeds errors from Roger’s game. But – as with Nadal – this game requires incredible stamina, speed and strength to maintain it point after point, set after set. He suffocates his opponents – almost like a boa constrictor, progressively squeezing the life out of its victim. But that lethal capacity wasn’t there to the same degree earlier in his career and then – after four dominant years – he suddenly lost it after the FO in 2016 – and then just as suddenly regained it this last Wimbledon. It is as though the past never happened. Sorry, Novak – a hike up a hill doesn’t convince. It isn’t just a mental re-charge that was required; his whole game needed a reboot. An equally simple explanation, and one that I believe would fit better, is that he went off the juice two years ago – perhaps for health reasons or to avoid a positive test – and has recently gone back on it. That would do it. As I have said previously, there is no reason to believe professional tennis players are any different from cyclists in seeking to gain competitive advantage.

    1. With all due respect, I don’t think its a very strong argument. Mountain or not. If we start saying things like that, we can kind of expect reciprocal things to be said about Federer. A Fed-hater could turn around and say he took time out for an “injury” and came back and won Grand Slams on drugs. I mean, its just silly. We know perfectly well what a good level he maintained for years. But Novak fans would have valid arguments for a unfounded juice accusation.

      1. Tennisfan, there are those who have said the same things about Federer. However, Roger never went into a sustained trough as deep or as long as Novak has (or Nadal); over 2014/15 he was still making slam finals; the knee injury requiring surgery and an extended break can explain 2016. Yes, his comeback over 2017 was impressive but remember that Novak, Murray and Stan – in fact half the top 10 – were on leave with various injuries for much of the year. It did make it easier. And after an impressive year last year Roger is now showing his age in 2018. If he wasn’t, I would be worried. If you know what I mean.

    2. Same story than with Nadal. Seems like you can’t deal with the fact that Novak is a tremendous player who one day can surpass Federer. You are like Serena, a crybaby bad looser.

      “He thereby becomes a better player than Nadal – and unsurprisingly has his number” Get your facts right: when it matters the most (Grand Slams) the head to head is 9-5 in Nadal’s favor. In order to give you more information here you have other numbers in Grand Slams: Nole – Federer 9-6; Nadal – Federer 9-3. Totals:
      – Nadal 18 – 8
      – Nole 14 – 15
      – Federer 9 – 18

      1. Back here to break wind again, I see, Pablo. I recall Djokovic beating Nadal 7 times in a row. Just did it again at Wimbledon. I’m not picking Nadal to beat Djokovic any time soon. As usual your arguments are stupidly selective: in saying the head-to-head only counts in slams it suggests that Nadal doesn’t try in the masters. Typical fanboy bs. To be consistent you should not count any of Nadal’s wins in the masters, either – if his losses don’t matter. But I don’t think he would be keen to discount those titles. Of course, your definition of the relevant h2h argument would discount Federer’s 5 consecutive wins over Nadal, as well, because they didn’t occur in a slam. I think we know where your loyalties lie.

        BTW, “Looser” is spelt “loser”. Loser. Perhaps you also spell “doper” as “dooper”? You’re obviously very fond of them – being Spaniard, and all.

      2. Armstrong7: Nothing wrong to disagree – with you or with Pablo – I lean to support your RF-fan opinions – but still – nothing wrong in being Spaniard, spell an o tooooo much now and then and so oon. Being Scandinavian I’m grateful that not only correct spelling Britts can contribute to this entertaining site 😊

      3. I just brought data to the conversation when it matters the most. It’s obvious that Grand Slam matches are a different category (best of 5 is very different). .If you don’t think that you are degrading Federer’s biggest argument for the GOAT status.

        It is clear that Roger really struggled against Nole and Rafa in GS’s througout his career (specially Rafa). It is a fact.

      4. Roger’s achievements are not measured only by his grand slam record. That, too, is selective argument. He has an impressive record in masters tournaments, in winning the year end Tour finals over the top 8 – and let’s not forget his record number of weeks at No.1. There are more reasons again why he is considered one of the greatest – if not the greatest – to have ever played the game. The way he plays – and conducts himself on (and off) the court – sets an unsurpassed standard. Most tennis aficionados agree his best level of play is the best game that anyone has ever played – even if he has not always matched up well against some of his rivals. Sometimes, too, he can be a frustrating player to follow – particularly in his later years – when his shots and sense of how to play the game – and the big points in particular – desert him. He is human.

        However, it is also my belief – which others share – that he remains a beacon of integrity, style and class in an age where we see less and less of it. And this in an era when it is becoming more and more difficult to trust the game has not descended to the chemical farce that is cycling, track, or the WWE.

      5. I agree he conducts himself exemplarily. No doubt that he is a great embassador but for me the GOAT means the best player we have ever seen, I don’t care if he behaves terribly or amazingly, just the best and in that regard what sets him appart is his GS record. Then we could talk about who had biggest opposition but that’s a different discussion.

        “Most tennis aficionados agree his best level of play is the best game that anyone has ever played”. It is hard for me to think that when he has a losing record against his biggest rivals. IMO Djokovic had the biggest peak of all the players I have ever seen.

      6. I referred to Roger’s “best” game, which obviously means he will not play that way all the time. Unfortunately, we have seen little of it this year. But when he peaks those are the matches, or periods of play within a match, when no one can stay with him. He plays shots or points that seem off-the-charts in terms of feel and skill. The last 5 games in the final set of the AO 2017 come to mind. Roger does not bring to the table the same kind of attributes as players like Nadal and Djokovic, whose almost unbreakable defence is the hallmark of their game; it is an extraordinary obstacle to most players on most days, including Roger. Of course they have other skills but not, I suggest, at quite the same level as Roger – who can nonetheless be erratic and inconsistent. Nadal and Djokovic rarely hit more winners than their opponents. But it is the tireless physicality they bring to the game they I, and others, don’t trust; we have seen too often how it has been obtained in other sports. What also offsets the head-to-head argument is that tennis is played against a field, not other title contenders as in sports like boxing; his career overall has a wider and more extended range of achievements – records – than his rivals. That may change if they last as long as he has.

  84. We’ll never know, unless a new more waterproof test is created, and all of a sudden some of them don’t pass it – or lose matches in a outplayed way. So the dispute won’t get anything clear, but the suspicion is understandable. But HOW I miss disputes about Roger’s form, outfit and possible result of nearing matches…When is LaverCup? How to watch it?

    1. Muser, thanks for your views but being described as “a crybaby bad looser(sic), like Serena”, as the Nadal/Djokovic apologist chose to do, is hardly offering disagreement of my point of view, which is that I find the achievements of certain players dubious. If Pablo leads with his chin, by offering such infantile insult, no one should be surprised at the consequence. When he chooses to talk down to me he might strive to at least maintain a certain standard of literacy, including spelling his insult correctly. I will debate civilly with anyone, but if they depart from that then the rules will change. Yes, I said he is a Spaniard – which he is – but that is hardly a term of abuse but more an indication of his unquestioning parochial loyalty to the biggest doping suspect in sport today, who is also a Spaniard.

      1. OK – didn’t read Pablo so throughly – just eyed something un-interesting about numbers, which doesn’t fetch me. The offending part I didn’t grasp also. Never mind – I say!
        Well a lot of Spanish people are not interested in tennis at all, and many who are may not even like Nadal, but of course some support him because they like him and his style, and some just because he is their compatriot. I NEVER understood this kind of motive, as I never supported any of mine just for this reason. Could be to get an extra half point with me if being admirable in other respects. And here I don’t talk of just being a winner in sport. (Not THAT you win – but HOW you do the win – or loss!) And in that respect RF gets at least 1000 points more than everybody else, and so became my hero!

      2. Has anyone explained to Pablo that this is a Roger Federer website for fans not Nadal. There is a mock difference in styles and most of us respect somewhat Nadal we don’t particularly care for his style of play or his loud grunting.

      3. People here seem not to understand that you can like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at the same time. I love Federer’s style of play, pure class and talent but I also love the fighting spirit of Nadal, to never give up no matter how difficult the situation is. And Djokovic… I simply believe that at his absolut best he plays tennis better than anybody I have ever seen

        ” I said he is a Spaniard – which he is – but that is hardly a term of abuse”. That’s obviously not a term of abuse, you don’t need any clarification for that. What I dispute is your explanations of Nadal’s and Djokovic’s success with no proof whatsoever and leaving Roger out of your accusations when you can make exactly the same case.

        FYI: It’s not that easy to write in a language that is not your mother tongue but I believe that this is a global site last time I checked.

      4. [People here seem not to understand that you can like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at the same time]

        Such people are merely glory hunters. Adding their slams and gloating on that tally. Nadal is the worst kind of sportsman, the most recent example being taking the credit out of Del Po’s victory. Kind of like that Williams did. If someone tells me they are a fan of both Federer and Nadal, or Federer and Williams, they are liars, and are glory hunters.

      5. Pablo, I don’t dispute that you can be a fan of Djokovic and Nadal as well as Federer, if you so choose. You could also make a case against Federer for his comeback if you are making a doping case against Nadal and Djokovic for the same. But it would be a much weaker case. A comeback by itself doesn’t prove doping, or even necessarily suggest it. The issue, as always, is whether there is a reasonable and natural explanation for it or not. To me, Roger’s game and career ups and downs can be explained in ways that don’t require a doping explanation. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that if he has doped then he is lousy at it, because he succumbs to physical frailties like fatigue and can be very inconsistent. Doping helps counter those weaknesses. Nor does his career or playing year show curious cycles in performance. That is not luke either Nadal or Djokovic. There is so much about the way they play that I find very hard to believe as natural, such as their superhuman physical capacities, and their resepective comebacks were very different from Roger’s in that their decline was not attributable essentially to injury, and was deeper and lasted longer. During that period their performances were comparatively way below what Roger experienced in his own slump – and he was coping with back issues and the aftermath of a knee injury. I have followed the careers of all three over the years, and, as I say, there is too much Nadal and Djokovic (and certain other players) that doesn’t square for me, but does fit a doping explanation. Of course I cannot prove this because we don’t have positive doping tests to go on, but you have to remember that most dopers aren’t being caught and those big names that were – like Marion Jones and Armstrong – didn’t fail a drug test. But there is evidence if you know what to look for, and the view I take now when I watch sports is to ask myself, what can I accept of what I am seeing and what don’t I believe.

      6. Very long periods of being out of competition absolutely suggests athletes are rebuilding using illegal means. The in competition doping tests are so lax. Imagine what happens out of competition. Federer only recently has had such long leaves, particularly on clay, and very, very, late in his career. His recent slams have come on AO courts that were strangely faster compared to before 2017 (2017 was amazing!). Even Wimbledon 2017 was playing faster.

        Look up Nadal and blood spinning and more recently, stem cell regeneration. Nadal is a freak of Spanish scientific experiments. You have to be either blind or a Spaniard to not understand that.

        About Djokovic, I don’t even want to talk about. He goes on a hike somewhere and ends up finding some magic herbs I guess.

  85. I never really was too bothered or interested with or by Serena Williams but now she had shown her utterly truly colours I kind of have a vested interest in her retirement. All that screams at me is her selfish loser attitude towards Naomi and her lies. “I didn’t want her to feel like that for her first grand slam”. Everything about you tells me that you actually did.

      1. Ah, comeon, relax a bit. I don’t like her either, but I think she is just letting out a bad loser syndrome and angry crybaby ditto with some megalomania (which derives from the opposite) and is not behaving like a role model whatsoever, but I don’t think she deliberately wanted to make Naomi feel bad. She wasn’t just aware of anything else than her feeling of being pressed on court, caused by herself/her coach (and of course an excellent opponent), and like a raging baby not acknowledging this and behaved badly accordingly.

      2. Yes, maybe she didn’t deliberately, but she still seems unprepared to admit that her behavior ruined it for Naomi.

      3. How sad. How can people be so blind to this situation! I see so many ridiculous arguments supporting Serena’s behaviour from people with no idea about the rules and about whether Ramos has been inconsistent in his application of them for men. The fact that she went on and on after receiving 2 violations, repeatedly calling the umpire a thief and a liar (during these exchanges Ramos was seen saying things that we couldn’t hear, and no one seems concerned with whether he was trying to deescalate the situation) is never emphasized. It is also ridiculous that a 23 times GS champion, who just made a couple of million from the final, who has the support of the WTA and the USTA, and many former US players, is the victim here, compared to the umpire who has no one to speak up for him, explain his version of events (the ITF did come out in defence eventually, but only after 48 hours), and who made peanuts from such a high profile match. I fervently hope that the umpires boycott the US open and SW permanently.

      4. Armstrong7, the eternal money-question would prevent the tennis-deciders to throw out SW of slams – and she has fans (mostly in US I guess), who would start a war if that happened. She is like a baby not able to watch her temper and megalomania, but I’m not convinced of any other motive of hers (for instance in order to make the opponent sad). And yes, I always hope for somebody to defeat her out of any tour, because I don’t like the several examples of her unsporting behavior on court more than you do. I don’t want a raging, unfair crybaby on court to be the most winning woman in any sport.
        She was fined a good deal of money, and testimony has come out about this umpire’s integrity when playing the rules as strictly to male players also. Which might be the reason why he was chosen to so many slam-finals recently.

      5. Muser, you are right that there won’t be any serious consequence for Williams in all this, although the umpires are considering a boycott of her matches until she apologises to Carlos Ramos. You are right that she is a raging baby but we shouldn’t have to endure that – and nor should the officials and her opponents. Her retirement will be a day of celebration for many of us.

      6. Yesyes. But wouldn’t it be even more enjoyable IF she apologized to Ramos, AND all this might make her watch herself somewhat more just, and MAYBE let her think more before unjust baby-rage took power over her temper? 😇

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