ATP Masters 500BaselRoger FedererSwiss Indoor Masters

Perpetual Federer Wins 8th Basel Title

ATP title number 95 for Roger Federer as he finally got the better of Juan Martin Del Potro in a Basel final, winning
6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 to take down his 8th Swiss Indoors title and move ahead of Ivan Lendl on the all-time title list.

The Swiss needed to use all his experience to overcome a string of missed opportunities in the first set and to rally from a break down in the third to finally seal the deal on his second match point with a first serve that the Argentine could not handle.

Quick Match Recap

Federer won the toss and elected to receive, a decision which paid off as he broke to 30 for a peRFect start. Once the Swiss has gotten the lead this week he's runway with sets but here he couldn't consolidate as Del Potro broke straight back.

The pair then exchanged holds and in game seven Roger couldn't convert two break points as Del Potro edged out the game. It looked to be a similar story in game nine after Del Potro made deuce from 15-40 but Fed had other ideas, coming up with a ridiculous bit of defence then a forehand pass to move up 5-4. At 30-15 it looked like the set would be going the way of the now 8-time champ but he played a risky drop shot which allowed Del Potro back in the game and he went on to break.

A hold a piece later and the set resulted in a tie-break. Roger got off to a flying start to move up 3-0 but Del Potro was able to reel off 6 straight points winning a lengthy exchange before taking the set 7-5.

At the changeover, Fed was clearly wondering how he'd lost that set after breaking twice and looking set in the tie-break so he needed to regroup quickly. A love hold steadied the ship but in game three Roger needed to fight off a break point to lead 2-1. Game four saw Roger use that momentum to create a break point of his own but he botched a fairly simple volley into the tramlines.

With the frustrations clearly showing Roger fired down three double faults in game five including one at deuce but somehow managed to hold. At 4-4 it looked like we might be seeing another tie-break but an ace on game point put Roger 5-4 in front and he was able to steal the set with some sick defence to level things up.

Both Del Potro's Basel final wins went three sets with him winning the opener and he got off to an ideal start in set three thanks to Roger throwing away his serve. Fortunately, Del Potro wasn't in a ruthless mood as he handed the break straight back. That breathed life back into Federer as he was able to reel off four games in a row for a 4-1 lead and the Swiss maintained his advantage to seal it 6-3 in the third in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Juan Martin Del Potro
Aces 7 6
Double Faults 5 2
1st Serve 52% (53/101) 67% (72/108)
1st Serve Points Won 74% (39/53) 69% (50/72)
2nd Serve Points Won 56% (27/48) 33% (12/36)
Break Points Saved 57% (4/7) 67% (10/15)
Service Games Played 16 15
1st Serve Return Points Won 31% (22/72) 26% (14/53)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 67% (24/36) 44% (21/48)
Break Points Converted 33% (5/15) 43% (3/7)
Return Games Played 15 16
Winners 48 26
Unforced Errors 40 25
Net Points Won 68% (19/28) 50% (12/24)
Service Points Won 65% (66/101) 57% (62/108)
Return Points Won 43% (46/108) 35% (35/101)
Return Points Won 54% (112/209) 46% (97/209)
SABR 0 0

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Basel 17 Champion

Another Sunday, another title for Roger who's continued his 2017 renaissance with title number seven. It wasn't the prettiest match but he managed to settle just enough to get the job done in the end. It was a match of two Federer's really, when behind or level he came up with genius plays (those three passing shots to break for 5-4 in set 1 were immense) but when he got himself in front he played like a man too eager to please home expectations with some tight looking shots. That swipe at the net in set two after the volley miss put him in danger of his frustrations boiling over and costing him the match; but he snook out of his next service game despite three double faults and from there managed to keep his level higher than Del Potro's who was never really the better player in the match.

Other than that there's not a whole lot else to say, a peRFect end to a fantastic week in Basel where we got a bit of everything, Fed in beat down mode vs. Goffin, struggle mode vs. Mannarino and then frustrated mode vs. Del Potro but regardless of how, each one of those goes down as a win which is ultimately all that matters.

Finally, as I'm sure everyone already knows he's withdrawn from Paris, so next stop is the World Tour Finals in London. As always let me know what you thought of the final in the comments 🙂

Federer vs. Del Potro Basel 2017 Rating

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

8ASEL

A fighting performance from Roger who looked too eager in the first set but managed to overcome his frustrations to get enough of his game together to pull through.

User Rating: 4.39 ( 9 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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133 thoughts on “Perpetual Federer Wins 8th Basel Title”

    1. Yeah he looked dead set when up a mini break in the breaker but somehow flopped on the all the big points in he first set. Frustration boiling over.

      @Richard Noo idea where you mean? Not put he won it 7-5.

    1. Third? My best showing in quite a long time – since around Australia, I think?

      And I couldn’t believe the FS% was a measly 41% at one point! I was wondering if his back had gone again.

  1. Must have been nerve-wracking to watch live. Saw it after I got home from work. He was better throughout and controlled his nerves well. Some of those forehands he hit were jaw-dropping.

  2. Would have felt really bad if he had lost this one. Thank God he didn’t. And not playing Paris is probably a wise step… but can’t help the ‘what-if’s …

      1. Well, I do, a bit – I feel Roger deserves it more than Rafa, and I don’t think he’ll get it again next year. But I suppose it’s not the most important thing.

      2. I really meant that it would be better if he was healthy for London and not run down by Paris matches, as he seems to be determined to play in London.

  3. Great summary, thanks as usual Jonathan. What a nail-biter and ding-dong match! We’ve seen quite a few times in the recent past the results went the other way. This is why this one gave us a wonderful day 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
    On the match, what’s your thoughts as for why Roger’s serve deserted him in the 1st set? was it nerve, tension (for the 8th title in front of home crowd)? Clearly to me, some of his shot selection did not help his confidence in the 1st set. Time and time again, Del Porto read his mind, when Roger tried to wrong foot him. It clearly hurt a bit, especially when Roger picked more difficult shots while Del Potro simply did not move and sent them back!
    On the very positive note, it was Roger’s fighting spirit, abundant, to be seen 🙂 – You are not going to do that to me for the bloody third time in front of my family, my friends and my adoring fans 🙂 🙂 🙂 .

    1. Yeah nice to finally win a Basel final vs Del Po. 3-0 would have been a poor record 🙂

      Dunno re first serve, some days you just serve better than others. Del Potro has a good wing span too.

  4. Some great shots from Roger but somehow it was not a smooth match. I’m glad Roger came through and that he raised the cup -beautiful by the way. A wise decision to skip Paris, so we’ll see him at the Finals. An express delivery report, thanks Jonathan.

  5. First serve just wasn’t there today but who cares. He wanted to win, he wasn’t going to lose again to Delpo in Basel and basically gave everything to get it done! He already knew he wasn’t going to Paris so gave 100% of his back as well which looked stiff afterwards and at the pizza party! He had long given up no 1 post USO and now only cares about that WTF trophy! Rest and recovery imperative and honestly, who wld bet against him given his indoor form so far! Allez!

  6. Thanks for such a quick and accurate post Jonathan. What a match, my heart is just now returning to normal! Someone has to tell Roger he can’t keep doing this to his fans, some of us aren’t going to survive it. From absolute brilliance to “what the hell was that?” all in one game. I’m sure we all felt the relief that was evident on Roger’s face when it was over and I’m so happy for him. You could see how much winning this one meant to him More records going by the wayside and del Potro will have to wait until WTF (has he qualified yet?) to get another chance. Thanks for the heads-up on Paris. I suspected Roger would withdraw but hadn’t seen confirmation. Good for him and good for our nerves, we have a week or so to get ready.

  7. Here, we were all totally flattened by the end of this match. Too stressful.
    At least we don’t need therapy, Sue, although I could have done with it in the second set.
    I’ve just watched the last two sets again, much more relaxing now I know that Fed won and he won by determination and sheer willpower (and a bit of talent, haha!).
    I can’t imagine that Federer was nervous in front of his home crowd? He is Roger Federer.
    I suppose that once the shots stop working well, it is even more difficult to get them going again and a new set is often the trigger for a fresh start.
    I loved the support of the crowd. You could tell the way the match was going by looking at their faces.

  8. I will repost here what I posted on the previous thread: Federer’s biggest failures in Set 1 and minor ones on the rest of the match are typical errors due to human imperfection when the mind goes astray. This is what makes Roger a unique player who connects so naturally with anyone caring to watch. You see him failing like many of us fail in stressful situations (just not so often, gods forbid!), and you then see him trying getting a hold of himself, finding a way round, quieting things down, and letting his alien reflexes and technical skills get back into doing what he does better than anyone. So out of this world, yet so humanly fallible.
    Sid might disagree, but you can’t judge the exceptionality of a player (or other) by a subset of his skills, namely the ability to play a perfect (by perfect I mean varied, well executed, fun, you name it) game in almost unconscious mode. You must add the ability to properly handle the errors, failures and other setbacks. And live with that, because it’s part of it all.
    Cheers
    PS: I am holding on to my promise that if Roger won Shangai, as he did, I would practice and play for the rest of the year with my heavy 340g 95″ racquet. Just for the record…

    1. Yes Rui. I think you know what makes greatness. To be human and have experienced obstacles (from outside AND inside) and still having great spirit to fight them. The will to win whatever seeming loss comes along. Heroic! And turn the unavoidable losing (everybody has that – every human has that) to something positive – beautiful!

  9. Yes! Come on Roger! Seemed in control during the whole game,but seemed a little bit shaky which probably made the result look closer than it should have been! Now the target I guess is to win the WTF. Chum jetze!

  10. You would think that Roger has to be nervous playing in front of his home fans, heavens we expect so much of him and we are fans from the four corners! After all he doesn’t know if it will happen again
    Sure we expect it to, but this week I think he has been burning the candle at both ends having a cold
    and maybe uncomfortable with his back. So many thanks Jonathan for your many posts, oh I forgot
    To ask…has anyone ever seen Seve so pumped up? 👍

  11. That was such a nail bitter. I was a wreck watching that one. These matches don’t get any easier, do they? And then there is Jonathan, cool as a cucumber. What a joy and what a relief to see Roger lift the trophy. He must be exhausted. Such an emotional week. Smart to miss Paris but he will be missed. Look at the bottom half of the draw, who will come through? Is his back acting up?
    Hope he gets a good rest and comes out firing at the O2.

    Thanks Jonathan! Five star writing this week. Quick and sweet just like Fed’s net play.

  12. Who was that said Del Potro was said to be moving poorly?? Pshaw!! Peuh!, I say!

    95. Wow.

    Super to see him not giving up, mixing in the genius…

    Pity about Paris, but probably smart, and unless they’ve changed their camera angle I can never stand to even watch those matches.

  13. What a win, Roger dug deep and will himself to beat Delpo. Sheer determination is what drove him at AO, Miami, Laver Cup and Basel. Good decision to skip Paris, no point running himself to the ground to be no1. He is already no1 to us Fedfans. We want him to win another WTF. Speedy recovery Roger and please let his back behave.

  14. Fed hinted several weeks ago that Paris was not a priority for him, and I never really thought he would play it. At 302 weeks already at #1 that’s not his ultimate prize, the titles in his home town and the WTF (I mean World Tour Finals, not What The….)

    BTW I gave up watching after the first set fiasco. Tried to be busy not watching TV but peeking at the scores every 10 seconds. I turned it on again when Fed was up around 4 – 1. I really do need to see a Cardiac doctor before the WTF….

  15. Delpo was moving poorly in the quarters and semis but he always brings his A game against Roger.I didn’t see the final at St Jacobshalle but watched it on the television at the hotel as we waited for our plane.It is a totally different
    experience to watching tennis live and much more difficult to judge how well or badly someone is playing.Obviously
    Rogers serve was off at times-those double faults,but worrying that he is citing a back injury for not playing Paris.Really Del Potro is a damned nuisance,beating Fed at the American Open and then folding against Nadal in the next match and costing him the Olympics by wearing him out in that endless match before he played Murray in the final.Still Fed had his revenge today,toughed it out and was a very well deserved and great champion.

  16. Regarding Paris. Look where Murray is these days after exhausting himself last fall chasing #1. He managed to pull it off but paid a huge price with injury. Hope our man is fit for WTF.

  17. OH and by the way, Roger deserves a lot of respect for hiding his back injury and not doing the theatrical “back clutching ” that some other players do. I had a feeling it was his back when his serving percentages were so low. and when he hits a lot of double faults as he did yesterday and against Raonic in the Wimbledon Semi in 2016 it tells you something without Roger having to make a production out of it.

    1. Complaining about the physical condition is lack of respect for the adversary because it diminishes his deserving on the match outcome, should he win it.
      It’s not because of a whim that the book of tennis rules states that you are not allowed to get medical assistance due to physical impairment in the middle of a game.
      If one gets injured due to overplay, it’s (often) because the opponent forced you to, thefore it’s also his merit, although a somewhat wicked one. And that’s why you are allowed to get assistance *after* the game.
      Like one says, glory to the winner, honour to the loser.

  18. So happy for yesterday’s victory !
    What a year !
    I hope that he will be crowned athlete of 2017 in December.
    A stupid journalist was angry yesterday evening on the French radio. She did not understand why RF was desisting from the Rolex Paris Masters because Rolex is one of his sponsors.  She forgot to remember that he is 36 !!! 36 !!! and that his main goal now is to be fit for London. He is so admired everywhere that everybody would like to watch him play…   but he has the right to be tired and choose his battles.

    1. He got them enough exposure in Shangai 🙂

      I’ve seen the streets in certain areas of Paris lately, there aren’t many Rolex buyers there. They’ll sell you a fake one though.

  19. I had made two predictions for Basel – one right and one wrong.

    I had said if Fed gets past first round he wins the title – Right I was

    I had said Fed wins finals in straight sets – Wrong I was

    But that was entirely Fed’s fault – He had no business losing the set after being 1-0 up, 5-4 up and 3-0 up in the tie-breaker.

    Nevertheless Fed made up by winning the next two sets in style. Delpo fought but Fed was too determined. It looked as if Fed was thinking that if he loses this one he mat have to play in Paris which he wanted to avoid.

    From a moral perspective, Rafa can be called a real No 1 only if he wins WTF. Or else he is No 1 by default only.

  20. An emotional roller coster. Phew, glad riding along with you guys in the chat. Agree with Sue, how can Jonathan be so cool all the time? Or he’s just hiding behind the scene? Anyway, what a joy seeing Roger with his beloved trophy. No. 8 – Fed’s favourite number! Mine, too. Hope it does not end here. Not just No. 8 but 95, 19 and 302 etc…Fed, the infinite God!
    Many thanks Jonathan for the great work throughout the week and to unite us Fed/PT fans together. Deserve a good rest both Fed and you.

    1. I don’t think you can say he will beat Djoker 9.5 times, just like 12 months ago you couldn’t see he will beat Nadal 5 out of 5. They actually have to play…

    1. Non, il avait déjà souhaité “bonne chance pour Paris” à del Potro pendant l’interview après le match, et qu’il espérai de le rencontrer à Londres, peut-être pour les finales, ou peut-être pour une bière chaude… La dernière partie a été ajoutée par moi.

  21. Went pretty much as I thought it would go before the tournament really. I knew Delpo would be tough, I feel like Fed made it tougher than it needed to be but all that matters is he got it done. Good news that he’s pulling out of Paris, obviously he knows his body and he’s being really smart on managing it here. No doubt #1 is tempting given he has like 4000 points to defend in the first 3 months, but it’s all about titles and longevity now. I know some wanted him to have a stab but I think we’d all rather see him do well in 2018, than risk injury and force him to miss some of 2018 over it, and the fact that he’s shutting it down probably suggests he’s feeling it a little.

    Anyways, nice result, nice tournament. I doubt I’ll be watching Paris, always bored me and the field doesn’t look too impressive. As long as Nadal doesn’t win it it’s fine by me.

    If Fed wins WTF, and Nadal stays on 6 titles, surely Fed has had the better year, right? I mean, Fed would have won more titles, more big titles too (1 extra Masters and the Tour Finals trophy), at least 4 wins on the year over Nadal and would have a better win percentage. Nadal being year end number 1 is a big thing t factor in, but I don’t think it outdoes 0-4* vs Fed and less titles.

  22. Who cares really for the year-end – does it make any sense in tennis honor/glory? Who remembers any year-END thing? It’s an absurd construction. But the slams, records, epics and so on will stay, as will tears of joy and surprise (and some disappointments… but those not for long, as long as Fed is around!)

    1. [Who cares really for the year-end – does it make any sense in tennis honor/glory?]

      Yeah, it does. Consider this. Fed without a single WTF at this point could not have been GOAT. To put things in perspective, the WTF is rated higher than a Masters 1000 (don’t listen to Uncle Toni).

      I agree that the tennis media does not give it the coverage it deserves. That does not diminish the importance of the event one bit. You can win a Grand Slam without beating a single top 20 player. You cannot win a WTF without beating at least 4 of the top 8 players of the year, and in all likelihood, you would be beating 5 of them. Sure, it’s a best of 3, but you do that in a span of eight days.

      1. Arh, Sid I’m not talking about the WTF of course. That is MOST important. It’s the official ranking 1-2-3-4- in year end – such a very artificial construction. A better construction would be titles win regarding to ratio of (real) partaking in tours. And should run all year, subject for possible change and no special time better than other.

      2. So serena is year end number one?

        I disagree completely, sorry to say – it’s basic statistics. You can only have a statistically significant result if you do it enough times that people can be sure it isn’t variance. Serena is an extreme example, but the bare reality is: it’s disrespectful to almost every player out there that you only count winning a tournament as worthy of credit. Losing a final should be given credit too – oddly enough, that’s why Nadal is top, because he bothered to turn up and lose where Federer didn’t.

      3. [Losing a final should be given credit too – oddly enough, that’s why Nadal is top]

        Agreed. Nothing wrong with the point system. Could Federer have won as many titles as he did had he played a full schedule? Could he have won two slams? I doubt, given his age. So he took the titles route and Nadal took the Year End route. He got lucky at the US Open, and also the fact that Djokovic is out. And, he vultured on the clay swing.

        Still, to me, Roger is the No.1. Even more so if he goes on to win the WTF, which I believe he will. 🙂

      4. Oh yes I only thought of Roger’s achievements of course. So silly of me. But year end…now is year end from 1. of november last year – and so on. This only ranking year end at end of december seems to me so hysteric…

    2. Yeah getting to number one whenever counts for something. Year end is only valuable because you get that boost from the wtf which are dependant on qualification during the calendar year.

      That said, Roger has been the “best” player this year – he’s played the best tennis consistently and managed to pocket the slightly bigger wins, specifically Wimbledon (considered the most important major) and Indian Wells (5th slam at 1000 level). Let’s hope the wtf drops too

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the ranking at a particular moment (“moment” is usually one week because that is how long a tournament typically lasts) depends on the sum of points gathered in the previous 12 months up to that moment, accounting for the points dropped. All weeks are treated equally because the distribution of tournaments in the year is essentially homogeneous, so being nº1 at the end of the year means roughly the same as being nº1 at the middle of March. It’s arbitrary, so year end nº1 means jack poo, pardon my french. Why not the Autumn Equinox nº1, for instance?…

      2. Except that you get a load of additional weeks for free …
        I still think they should differentiate between the total of “active” weeks and the total of “passive” weeks, e.g. “302 (30 [or whatever it might be])”, where 30 is the number of weeks at year end in which no ranking tournaments were played.

  23. Be it Nishikori, Wawrinka, Berdych , Kyrgios, Tiafoe, Youzhny and Ofcourse Mr Rafa Nadal , Federer even when he is not been playing well has fought extremeley well and come ip with the goods well almost all the time. Given his age the achievement is unbelievable. Rafa can take the No.1 (Never really expected Roger to play Bercy) but we all know what Fed was clearly the superior player of the season. If he were to win WTF, 2017 season can be put next to 2004-07 esque dominant years(especially when you look at the win loss ratio).
    Its clear tjat Federer and his team are not done yet. They are looking at 2018 schedule amd these 500 and 100p level tournaments are looking much more like a detour to me really. Aus Open – Wimbledon – US Open is all that matters now. Expect his tutelage to convince him to skip the clay court season.

    Looking at the beginning of the next season from now , Federer has a maximum of 5 (competitive)matches on his schedule before the Australian Open starts
    in 77 days approximately.

    He should be ready to go !

  24. Ultimately a very satisfying win and Fed now rests to have a good chance in WTF. I’m annoyed with Guy Forget suggesting Fed should be in Paris and have foregone his home tourney to do that! Fed is loyal to a fault and has pushed himself to his peril to try to satisfy everyone until at least his mid 30s. An ex player TD should respect this aspect of Fed by now and just wish him well and save his criticism for local players like Monfils who frequently withdraws or plays oddly or shortens his season.
    Hope Basel gets an upgrade to a 750 or 1000 it has the look and feel of being more than a 500 and Forget could investigate other factors, rather than Fed presence, to make his event successful.
    Keep healthy Fed and thank you again Jonathan for all you do to enhance our tennis enjoyment.

  25. There was a time when players were gentlemen. They played throughout the year. They didn’t hide behind excuses of injury and avoid and entire season or parts of a season so that they could come back to win titles. What was important for them was to be a part of it all the time, so the best play against each other all the time, regardless of someone having their number.

    Those days are gone. Players are now more interested in conserving their effort if it doesn’t win them titles thus denying fans the opportunity to watch the best tennis. Federer understandably got picky with his schedule extremely late in his career and well past what would be considered a typical retirement age in tennis, and age when he should be coaching one of these NextGen punks. What about Nadal disappearing for months so he could come back to win titles while at the same time preserving his H2H? What about Djokovic, beating Federer who was clearly not at his best during 2013-2016, then avoiding him like a plague in 2017?

    Man up! Show up! Don’t act like, “Supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies”, in the words of Boris Johnson. This is precisely why I will never have even an iota of respect for Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray. And for standing up and facing his worst nightmare in 2013, and losing to him four times that year, respect to Roger Federer. It shows that he truly loves this game and his fans, something that Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray will never be able to understand.

    Now that Serbian Gaytard will be back to win titles in 2017 and all will be well with his retarded, fucked up fans, and they will rejoice and drink the Novak Djokovic protein shake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    1. And for standing up and facing his worst nightmare in 2013, and losing to him four times that year, respect to Roger Federer.

      Yeah Sid,agree with this every bit.
      Respect to Roger Federer

    2. Nadal was the first to take long repeated vacations – but maybe of real injuries – he was the first to change tennis to power play?? Then Roger showed the way – get out, get health back, win tournaments. On the same day (I think) the following year, Djoko stepped in track…and a herd of others followed. Could be the “modern style” of power playing wearing and tearing? I miss Monfils, though. The others (with possible exception of Berdych) can hop and run for their worn out, boring power performance and continue their vacation for ever, for my deal.

      1. I think power play really became prominent with players like lendl and roddick or agassi. Don’t forget safin and that sort of era. What Nadal did was take that existing blueprint, add spin no one had ever seen before, and light everything else on fire. He’s just a byproduct of the way tennis has developed. He was built to play tennis with this technology and with these courts. Roger could play anytime and win

      2. [Nadal was the first to take long repeated vacations – but maybe of real injuries]

        Aha…that explains all his visit to the Spanish doctors.

    3. I don’t really think you can accuse Djokovic of avoiding Roger like the plague when his results haven’t been good enough to get anywhere near Roger. Unless he pulled out of tournaments he was scheduled in with the main goal of avoiding RF?

      1. And in 2013, Roger’s results were good enough to face a two slam winning Nadal? Four times?

      1. This should have been under Sid’s Djoko gaytard comment and relates to Djoko obviously, for some reason my comments always await a long moderation and change position to where I replied ? Apologies .

    1. Bah! Subscription only 🙁 Why won’t these specialist papers understand that not everyone is sufficiently interested in their content to want to subscribe? The Financial Times is the same (although I’ve found a way to get around that – it doesn’t work for the WSJ 🙁 )

      1. Have to think about that one. A possibility for sure. You are not just another pretty face.

        It’d be nice for Benneteau to win Paris. Is this his last tournament? Or Isner. Not sad Delpo is out, but then I’m quite mean.

  26. I will play the cynical here: Nadal pullet out of Paris once n.1 was secured. Play a tournament to try to win it? And do your best against all opponents that you have to face? Nah, that’s for sissies. Grow up, people. Honourable sport is a thing of yestercentury.

    1. Yes I agree, he clearly just played to get the no.1 and got out. He doesn’t need the points, and although he might like winning a tournament he never won, the conditions are tougher than London in Paris (faster anyway, not sure about the bounce). He will be `recovered’ I suspect in a weeks’ time. I hope FEderer’s back holds up.

    2. Here’s are the reasons why I think he withdrew; (a) Be fresher for London as Roger will be fresh too, (b) He has already won a cheap slam without facing a single top 20 player. He doesn’t want to win a cheap Masters 1000 that way and tarnish his achievements, particularly after securing the year end No.1. (c) He doesn’t feel like he can win Paris given the conditions, quality of opponents and his not so good history at the tournament, so he doesn’t want to spoil his year end No.1 celebrations.

      What do you guys think? Which of them are true?

      1. That will be a).
        (am I wrong in having noticed that he has been wearing a band on his left knee but now the injury is reported to be on the right one? Going lefty when one is born dexterous plays bad tricks on your mind…)

      2. I think A personally – no point getting all conspiratorial about it. Nadal is, has and always will be injury prone, and while there’s loads of argument around whether he’s classy on or off court, which I don’t really think is relevant, he’s never showed me that he would give up on playing a match for stuff like tarnishing – ultimately, you play who is in front of you. We can hardly blame him because his opponents failed to turn up.

  27. Yeah, certainly doesn’t look good does it. He’s got #1 and that probably is his priority. Winning WTF is perhaps second.
    Feel Roger is #1 this year. Whos’ watching Milan?

  28. Nadal did what he had to – played Paris to clinch #1 despite not being 100% fit. Can’t fault him for that. Imagine this scenario:
    – Nadal pulls out of WTF because of knee injury,
    – Roger plays Paris and gets to QF
    – Roger wins all his matches in WTF
    Roger will end the year as #1. Not to be, sigh …
    And that Guy Forget really pisses me off with all the nasty things he’d said about Roger and Laver Cup. So for that, I am hoping for a Isner v Sock final. His tournament doesn’t deserve a home winner (sorry Benny). In addition, a player who has played in Laver Cup winning his tournament would debunk his LC comment.

  29. Or

    Fed plays Paris and loses third round in a 3 hour match
    Roger plays WTF and doesn’t get out the group after expending too much energy in Paris

    Number 1 was such a long shot after Montreal happened. No point even considering it.

    Guy Forget was just going for some easy publicity I think. Already old news.

    1. Not playing Paris was a no-brainer, unless pursing No.1 was even remotely possible. Seventh WTF more important in my opinion. Case closed.

  30. Just watching the Isner match.Somehow his play is like the death of tennis .Another one who does not move.Awful and I don’t care how great his serve is.

    1. Never liked Isner. He’s like a log that someone set upright. Even worse than Del Potro. Would serve better as a lamp post outside a grocery store.

      1. Isner was born with that body and makes the most of it. He obviously can’t move like a Djokovic. So, I can’t criticize him for his body shape…or anyone else for that matter. Today, his movement was worse than usual and I think he was carrying an injury.
        Maybe a lamp post outside Walmart after retirement would work.

      2. Could’ve done better at basketball, or volleyball. Made a wrong choice getting into tennis. Left a lot of money at the table, while at the same time stripped us of watching someone more entertaining. Glad he and Del Po won’t be at London.

        Speaking of which, I like this Krajinovic guy. Seems to have a full court game, tries to end points, and looks very comfortable at the net from the few minutes of highlights I watched. But, go Sock!

      3. I think that Isner entered tennis on the assumption that being tall and use that to serve big would lead him somewhere. That might work if one is able to complement that with fast legs, good volley and flexible core. Even so, it is a very limited game. See how Schwartzman nearly beat him for the second time this season…
        Karlovic is a slightly better “working example”.

      4. Agree with both of you. That said, if you’re good at something, which Isner obviously is, you don’t much give up on the potential success it can bring you because you’re worried some fans won’t like how you play. Isner could never with his body be great, but I think he’s done well for himself in his career. Seems an alright guy as well – wouldn’t blame him for genetics making his serve automatically the best weapon.

  31. Rafa knew all along that he will not go the full distance in Paris if he has to play WTF.

    So he won the first round, secured the No 1 ranking and he could have pulled out but it would have been too obvious. So he played another round – win or lose he will pull out.

    I think its ridiculous for guys to pull out of a tournament midway if you know you are injured and can get worse during the course of the tournament. Might as well no play the tournament at all and allow another player an opportunity.

    That is the thing which only Fed has the decency to do.

    1. Humble Rafa has spent what 160 weeks or so as No.1? And he now has his 4th Year End Number one. Of course he will still retroactively reach 200 weeks at No.1. What I’m suggesting is that he has milked the system to extract the most Year End No.1, just like he milks the clay swing to get most of his titles and ranking points. Federer is 302 weeks at No.1 with only 5 Year End No.1’s.

      Nadal, as we’ve extensively talked about, has built his H2H over Federer by playing in ecosystems and situations that give him the best chance of winning (until recently when Granpa Federer realized that he had wasted his entire life suffering at Nadal’s hands).

      He does the same during match situations but taking strategic MTO’s and delays between serves. I still a key tie breaker he won against Rosol where he averaged an outrageous 35+ seconds between his serves and went to win it and the match. That’s only one example.

      And now, with both his knees no bueno, he is off to the doctors, a clear and simple strategy that professional tennis players use to get treatment and “enhance” their performance. Possibly trying to hit a doping cycle high by the time AO2018 comes around. That’s his primary goal next year.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Rafael Nadal!

  32. Correct me if I’m wrong, but right after Krajinovic hit a winner on match point vs Isner, did I see some retarded Serbian fuck celebrating shirtless? Is this what tennis has become?

  33. The coach was channeling Djokovic. Re Shapo….he is getting far too much attention. Leave him alone so he can develop his game and mature without all this fanfare.

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