Hey guys, I thought I'd put together a quick compilation of my favourite Federer matches this year (thanks to Brandon for the suggestions in the comments of my last post). Roger of course has one more match to play against Stan in Zurich on December 21st but I'm 99.99% certain that won't be making this list 😆
I originally planned on just doing 5 but those spots quickly filled up so I had to make it 10 instead. I've listed them in chronological order rather than my least favourite to favourite as I don't really think I can separate some of them. Some of course are better than others but they all came at very different times in the season and contributed in different ways. The Tsonga match in Aus for instance was only a 4th Round but it was a great platform to build on for the rest of the year. Anyway without further ado…
10. Federer defeats Tsonga Tsonga 6-3 7-5 6-4, Australian Open 4th Round
The first slam of the year and Roger's chance to start the year how he meant to go on after a forgettable 2013 season. With a new racquet and coach in tow he produced a masterclass performance to see off Tsonga in straight sets, coming to the net 41 times during the match winning 34 of the points, putting Fedberg on the map.
Looking back this one of those matches that setup the year nicely, a big confidence booster and he went onto defeat Murray in the Quarters before Nadal ended his run in the semis in typical fashion. No damage done though, Fed has exceeded expectation especially after losing to Hewitt in the Brisbane final.
9. Federer Defeat Djokovic 3-6 6-3 6-2, Dubai Open Semi Final
One of the most exciting matches of the year here thanks to the quick court speed that makes attacking tennis prosper. In this one Fed got rattled early when Djokovic pulled off some incredible gets in an early rally to win it before going onto win the first set.
2013 Federer would have folded like a cheap tent after that moment but he dug in, played some ultra clutch stuff and defeated Djokovic from a set down for the first time ever. Truly epic stuff and he saved multiple break points with pin point aces in the decider to get the job done. This match gave the GOAT a huge shot of confidence and he went onto win his 6th Dubai title defeating Berdych in the final.
8. Federer defeats Raonic 6-4 6-4 6-4, Wimbledon Semi Final
I had to include a masterclass against a huge server and this came against Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon Semi Finals.
This match was a complete clinic from Roger and he got the job done with consummate ease, clearly not an encounter with extended rallies but Fed made the Raonic serve look like child's play, breaking once in each set and only facing 1 break point on his own delivery to move into the final.
Always fun to see Fed handle guys with huge serve and render their main weapon useless, Karlovic, Isner, Roddick, Phillipousis and now Raonic have all been on the end of it since 2003.
7. Djokovic defeats Federer 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4, Wimbledon Final
The only loss on my list of top matches from 2014 and not the fairytale end to Wimbledon we wanted but still a great match. This one went the distance and had a little bit of everything; Fed had his chances to go 2-1 up in sets and of course had a break point in the fifth which could have quite easily swung the match his way. Ultimately though Djokovic was the more solid player throughout the match and deserved the win.
Like I said in my match report, Djokovic was too good a player to lose so many slam finals on the bounce and he was clearly ultra focused to make sure he broke the losing streak.
As for Roger, so close but yet so far. But he did leave it all out on court and some of the play he came up with in the fourth set from 2-5 down to take it 7-5 was just unbelievable. Jaw dropping stuff that had the crowd on their feet desperate to see more Tennis.
6. Federer defeats Benneteau 7-6(4) 6-0, Shanghai Quarter Finals
Excitement from start to finish in this one and all thanks to Benneteau's gung ho first set approach that nearly paid off. I remember watching this one at work and it was just so fast paced from the word go. One of the keys to the match was at 4-4, Fed serving at 15-30. Benneteau had a huge chance with Fed in no mans land but Fed read the forehand to make a passing shot down the line before taking the first set on a tie break.
Benneteau threw the kitchen sink at Federer in the first set and that made the match hugely exciting. However Roger just wore him out and then cruised through serving up a bagel in the second set when Benneteau had expended all his adrenaline trying to win the first set. Tennis at 100mph and 33 year old Fed was more than up to the task.
5. Federer defeats Djokovic 6-4 6-4, Shanghai Semi Final
Probably my favourite match of the year here as Roger produced some of the best tennis you will ever see to defeat Djokovic 6-4 6-4 and inflict the Serb's first loss on Asian soil in 28 matches.
It was an absolute masterclass and I think one of the few matches of 2014 where Roger's forehand was really back to its best. So much confidence in the shot and that allowed him to keep coming forward to end points at the net and constantly pressure Djokovic to make passing shot after passing shot. An epic performance from the GOAT.
4. Federer defeats Dimitrov 7-6(4) 6-2, Basel Quarter Finals
A high quality encounter here which saw Fed save 4 set points in the opener before going on to win 7-6(4) 6-2 against Grigor Dimitrov in Basel. With Nadal crashing out to Coric earlier in the day it did look like it could be a day of upsets but Fed played extremely solid and showed Dimitrov how to play indoor tennis that gets the job done – take chances and move forward when you have the chance.
Really just a fun match to watch and one where Roger yet again showed he is a class above even when pitted against players who are billed as the future stars of the game.
3. Federer defeat Murray 6-0 6-1, World Tour Finals Round Robin
I had to include this one as it was just a beatdown of epic proportions as Roger crushed Murray 6-0, 6-1 to enter the semi finals with a peRFect record.
Roger's handed out some real thrashings to players over the years in London including whooping Nadal 2011, crushing Djokovic in 2010 and then embarrassing Murray in 2014. All of them have been great to watch and none so more than this one as Fed's game just clicked from the word go. Murray had to win in straight sets to qualify and his chances were over after about 10 minutes of play. Clinic.
2. Federer defeats Wawrinka 4-6 7-5 7-6(6), World Tour Finals Semi Final
A real nail biter of a match this one as Roger had to save 4 match points before coming through in a final set tie break. Stan played at such a high level throughout but couldn't close it out when he had chance and Roger took full advantage to pull himself over the line with a chip charge play ended with a stop volley to close it out.
The encounter was filled with drama throughout and we had crowd involvement, Mirkagate, poor umpiring from Mourier, match points being saved and some real high quality tennis.
Of course we now know Fed injured his back late in the match and was playing with it taped for the whole match. That resulted in a disappointing end to the World Tour Finals but take nothing away from this match, it was all left out on court and Fed got the job done yet again when not playing at peak level.
1. Federer defeats Gasquet 6-4 6-2 6-2, Davis Cup Final, 4th Rubber
I never imagined including a Davis Cup match in my top 10 matches of the year but this one was the icing on the cake for Fed and one of his most memorable performances on clay as he defeated Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to win the Davis Cup title for the Swiss.
There were huge question marks over his Davis Cup participation after withdrawing from the final in London and after Monfils crushed him in straights on the Friday it wasn't looking too promising for the rest of the weekend. However he played the doubles with Stan and they played top drawer tennis to defeat Benneteau and Gasquet in straight sets to lead the tie 2-1.
Then came Roger's second singles match and he delivered the goods in style, moving fantastically and dominating Gasquet from the back of the court; never allowing the Frenchman to get a foothold in the matc and ending his hopes in straight sets. Hopp suisse!
So there you have it, my 10 favourite Fed matches of 2014. No real surprises in there I don't think but I'm interested to hear what yours are and how they differ. Remember mine are in chronological order not in order of my favourites and to be honest lots of them are hard to separate; the Djokovic match in Shanghai tops my list though without a shadow of a doubt.
Federer a Sky Full of Stars
Finally, a cool tribute video from Brandon aka sashasimba123. Pretty epic for a first attempt at making one and I honestly have no idea how you guys put this stuff together to make it all run smoothly along with the music. Top work!