ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Resurgent Federer Defeats Berdych to Win 6th Dubai Crown

Feels good doesn't it? Seeing Fed back to winning ways as the maestro won his sixth Dubai crown and 78th career title by beating Berdych 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the final.

It was another great showcase of mental strength from the Swiss who backed up his defeat of Djokovic with his second victory in as many days from a set down.

12 months ago matches like this were getting away from him but throughout the week he's buckled down and found a way to come through.

Against Berdych things weren't looking too rosy but he managed to find another gear when he needed it and come up with that bit of magic turn it around.

It almost feels like a turning point type victory considering it's his first title since Halle and now means he's won at least 1 title every year for the last 14 years. I'm hopeful this can setup his season and give him the belief to go deep in the Slams and the Masters 1000 tournaments.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Dubai Final 2014

So into the match recap and I always knew this one was going to be tricky. Prime Fed used to school Berdych but with a game as big as his it's not so easy anymore.

In fact so far this season the Czech has the highest % of points won behind the first serve than anyone else on tour. When he's able to plant his feet at the back of the court I would say he's the purest / biggest ball striker in the game. That's a tough proposition on any surface.

We've become accustomed to Roger starting slowly this week but here he came out sharp breaking to lead 2-1.

Berdych hit back immediately before holding and breaking again to lead 4-2. The Czech was dominant from the back of the court and able to apply pressure on the Federer 2nd serve. With Roger making only 33% of his first serves and only winning 1 point behind his second delivery the early warning signs were there.

It took 28 minutes for us to see the first serve and volley attempt from Federer but in doing so he held to love for 3-5 forcing Berdych to serve out the set. The Czech obliged with some big serving to close it out to 30.

It was an edgy set from both guys but Berdych was doing the job on serve. Fed only managed to make 40% of his first serves and looked static from the baseline. But it wasn't dire straits just yet, towards the end of it I felt like Roger was close to finding his game and had more of a willingness to move forward.

After firing down an important hold at the start of the second Roger's first serve again deserted him as Berdcyh broke for the 3rd time to lead 3-2. A killer blow.

It wasn't looking good but here we got the changing point of the match as Fed broke back immediately before firing down a love hold to lead 4-3. Finally it looked like he'd got more of a spring in his step.

At 4-4 he then fired down another love hold to lead 5-4 before breaking to love to win the second set. 8 straight points when moments earlier he was on the brink of losing. GOAT material.

3rd set and a hold to 15 meant Roger had won 12 of the last 13 points.

He then had 2 break points in Berdych's opening service game but they both went begging. A visbily annoyed Roger then had to save a break point of his own in his next service game. Here was great testament to his focus, after wasting chances he could have gone off the boil but he stuck it out.

At 2-1 and a couple of crazy rallies later Roger had another 2 break point chances. The rally at 30-40 was ridiculous and at least 3 of Federer's mishits landed flush on the line before a Berdych error gave him a 3-1 lead. Lucky? Perhaps but you make your own luck in this game.

The most important game of the match came at 4-2 with Berdych creating 2 break back chances. This was the ultimate test of Roger's resolve here and he passed with flying colours, coming up with clutch play to make deuce. He then shook off a double fault on game point to win the next 2 points and hold for 5-2.

A match point presented itself in Berdych's next service game but he found 2 big serves and it was up to Roger to serve it out.

He won the all important first point and then closed it out to 15 when a Berdych backhand sailed wide. Genius!

Match Stats

  R. Federer T. Berdych
Aces 8 5
Double Faults 1 1
1st Serve % 51% 48%
1st Serve Points Won 36/43 (84%) 27/41 (66%)
2nd Serve Points Won 19/41 (46%) 20/44 (45%)
Winners 25 25
Unforced Errors 23 29
Break Points Saved 7/10 (70%) 6/10 (60%)
Service Games Played 14 14
1st Return Points Won 14/41 (34%) 7/43 (16%)
2nd Return Points Won 24/44 (55%) 22/41 (54%)
Break Points Won 4/10 (40%) 3/10 (30%)
Return Games Played 14 14
Total Service Points Won 55/84 (65%) 47/85 (55%)
Total Return Points Won 38/85 (45%) 29/84 (35%)
Total Points Won 93/169 (55%) 76/169 (45%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer with the Sailing Ship

It's the mental belief that you're gonna win instead of losing – I think that's what I got back right now, I got a little lucky. I just fought well and I couldn't be more happy with the outcome. I was able to stay calm and once I got back on even terms I started to play better. I really enjoy playing against Tomas, who is a great player and has had a great streak.

Well where to begin? I sensed a lot of relief from the fans when Roger won this one so I can only imagine how ecstatic he'd have been himself. It's been a poor last 18 months for him with back injuries and tough losses but this victory is something to savour.

It's not just the winning aspect either, it was the manner in which he won it defeating Djokovic from a set down and then Berdych from a set and a break down. That shows serious character and mental strength. It also just reinforces that he is the full package, not just a genius with the racquet, he can also dig deep and win matches from losing positions. I, and many fans have sometimes questioned Roger's mental toughness especially of late but when things are in harmony he is very difficult to beat. The margins are so thin with this guy really, one thing out of synch and his whole game can be off but when he is balanced there is really no stopping him.

If we look at Halle last year, where he wasn't really playing well in fact his win was almost flukey; it's clear he didn't get much confidence from a win like that. But here it's different, he won it the hard way with 3 tough 3 setters in 7 days.

It looks like the racquet is working a treat too, his backhand is solid and he looks confident with all his shots. There's no second guessing or wondering about whether his equipment is up to the job. He can play with instinct and now his confidence is growing he can also play without doubt. Onwards and upwards I say, Top 4 ranking awaits if he keeps up this form.

Anyway hope you guys enjoyed the tournament, live chat was great during the week especially for the blockbuster matches against Djoker and Flappy Berdman so thanks to all who participated.

Next up is Indian Wells, I'll be doing a draw post once it comes out and live chat will of course be on during the matches. Time difference is a bit of a killer for me with this one but I'll keep up πŸ™‚


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

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  1. Hi Jonathan wonderful write up on the match and I am 2nd? cannot quite believe that. So pleased that Fed showed all his fighting spirit and then some, was a little worried at the start of the match but obviously he likes to keep his fans on tenderhooks – onward and upward. Also Jonanthan that was my first ever tweet to wish him good luck – my daughter set it up for me!! as she said my mother has arrived in the 21st century and she is on twitter – life in the old girl yet!! Love your blog it is the best just like Roger the GOAT

  2. Really chuffed about this win. Well done the Fed! Birdman earned my respect when he acknowledged and congratulated Rog as a legend in his tweet after the match and also as the greatest of all time in his post match interview. Whether he was trying to use that to neutralise a potential backlash for his near- cocky comments against Rog for sometime now and even before this match, we will never know. But smart of him to show respect.

    Look forward to the rest of the year.

  3. What a great tournament for Roger, he showed resilience, hunger and patience. Couldn’t have ask for more from his performance. Its important win for him moving into spring season and FO. I hope he will go deep into both IW and Miami. A tourney win will be awesome but he has to gain tons of points to move up the ranking. He needs to be at least 4th of 5th for easy passage at GS. Lastly its been great chatting up with Fedfans from all over the world. See you guys at IW.

    1. Miami is like sandpaper so gonna be slow. Hopefully he can go deep at IW.

      And live chat has been awesome, will be on for Indian Wells too.

  4. Dear John what a great feeling, after a terrible 1 1/2 year waching the truly and only GOAT winning is a unique sensation, now we only need to pray for him keeping it up and have a clutch season. Thank you for your blog also the GOAT on the internet

  5. I’m in awe over this win because he came through although the tennis was all over the map. Incredible shanks, incredible shots. Sometimes with his hands on the hips looking towards his box and wondering, what the h..l am I doing. Yet he came back and played and was determined to win. This was perhaps the best win he had for a long time, not because he played in GOAT mode but because he didn’t.

      1. I don’t think a couple of rim shots that land on the line really determined the outcome. It’s more the staying tough part that was key.

      2. Clearly a bit of self-belief makes a lot of difference. Very pleased that he got the win, because my scores feed got stuck just before I had to leave the computer, so I didn’t find out the final score for ages, but even if he hadn’t won I think I’d have been pleased: he’s done well to tough it out and stay in matches this tourney, even if he did give us a few palpitations against Stepanek!

        Hoping for better things from now on.

    1. Not sure on that, there were some mistimed forehands especially inside in or cross court that really ballooned up but just had enough spin onto to drop in. On another day they can drop out and he’s had plenty of days where they have so today was balancing it out.

  6. Admirable and well deserve win! What have impressed me is his mental department that he can still win when he is behind and struggling. I could sense that his confidant is back which was one of the main issues of his fall in 2013 was
    Congratulation for Roger and his Fans

    IW will be great show and will be interesting to see how Roger play it out when is he is seeded 7th or 8th with all top 10 playing

      1. Actually in my opinion slower surface can help him a little bit as he can think a bit more when to attack net.

    1. Ferrer out I think, and questionable as to whether we shall see Delpo. Stan will be very rusty. Novak and Andy out to make a statement given recent results. Fed and Dimitrov full of confidence. Tomas on form, and nadal back on hard…Cld be very interesting!

    2. Well I’m not sure on that Dhruv, I believe the surface in Dubai was of great assistance to his game. But it will be interesting to see how many times he looks to volley in IW.

    3. Isn’t it *such* a shame that there’s no tennis on for the next few days, so those scores are still stuck at the top of the ATP home page for all to see? πŸ˜€

  7. If you look back at our comments here and in the livechat, you can see very clearly how the confidence is affected by poor results. We, the diehard fans, did not believe he could win. A 20% chance of winning against Djoker was the timid expectation of Jonathan, and when Roger went down a set and a break in the final, many of us just gave up. Well, Roger has more belief in himself than we do. Sometimes he comes across as overconfident or arrogant, but this selfbelief is actually a crucial part of the preparation to win such titles. Well done Old Rogerhand! Good luck in the Wild West next week!

    1. I think all fans believed he could win. Just they know that odds wise he was underdog πŸ™‚ Nobody would follow him or read this blog if they still didn’t believe he could play good tennis.

    2. Not so fast! We all believe, indeed most of us thought Fed Wld beat Novak in 3! Funnily enough although like Jonathan I said he Wld beat Tomas in 2 tight sets, I was less confident because he struggles more with the power of Berdych than Novak whose rhythmic hitting he likes.

      Lots of questions hv come out of the first 2 months of the season. Novak’s match closure is lacking. Andy needs to get back to attacking tennis, was too passive v Dimi. Berdych making his presence felt. Will Delpo take another break? Most important? Can Fed win those 5 titles he targeted himself and get back to no 3/4. With his new found confidence and battle hardened belief, I say yes! I really think IW is very open. No definite fav at all. Many of top 8 hv a shot at it!

      Great post J.

  8. Fantastic win, what a week its been!

    I was particularly impressed with the turnaround in this match. He started very slow with the forehand and serve MIA in the first set but remained patient, started timing it better and sustained it for the rest of the match, something we did’t really see last season. Onwards and upwards!

  9. It wasn’t a very pretty match but I guess these are the moments that make all the pain losses we’ve had to endure for the last year now worth it. This is probably the most electric I’ve seen Federer fans in a long time and it all comes down to what you said in that Roger’s mentality this week was what pulled him through. Roger breaking Berdych back in the second set was the beginning of what came to be the perfect end to this week. To be quite honest, the thing I’m most relieved about when it comes to Roger is that it seems he has regained his consistency and that in a nutshell was something that lacked big time last season. He already has 4 top ten wins in a sphere of three tournaments and came from a set down against two of the toughest guys on tour at the moment. It just shows what a little speed can do for Roger’s game, he was really taking advantage of Dubai’s courts and it’s simply fun to watch him when he plays like this. Particularly impressed with his solid returning as well, that racquet is paying dividends. I haven’t seen Roger smile like he did after beating Novak and Berdych in an extremely long time, well deserved. If he can continue to maintain his consistency, his confidence will keep on mounting and when that happens Roger 3.0 is not far behind. But I won’t get ahead of myself yet, gonna savour this win with the rest of you guys and hope the fun doesn’t end here. Congratulations Roger!

    1. I thought it was pretty good in places. Both guys were cagey but it opened up more as the match wore on.

      Fed is looking confident that’s not been the case for a while. Hopefully this will spring board him onto good things.


    2. I thought it was pretty good. Tomas doesn’t hv the metronomic smoothness that Novak has which Fed likes, as he cracks the ball much more powerfully, but actually there were some cracking rallies and both played pretty well. In fact you must feel pretty knocked back receiving a huge Berdych shot, really hard to appreciate his absolutely clubbing of the ball on the telly, it is a clean bullet of a shot. So Fed took time to adjust after Novak. Also Berdych was hitting deeper than Novak did in the semi and Fed had to adjust to that too. Like you, loving the win, enjoying the moment!

  10. Also fun fact of the day…The year Roger has won Dubai, he has won a slam that year as well. Coincidence or Tasteful foreshadowing?

  11. Thanks for a great blog! A great start to the season for Fed fans, he has defended his points from last season, so the only way is up!!!

    1. Wld hv loved to hv been a fly on the wall when that hack asked about him being absent for a long stretch. Great riposte from Fed! Loved the comment about winning! Solves everything!

  12. Trust you can have a bit of deserved rest now, Jonathan? Excellent post for this fantastic win, especially agree with:

    ‘It’s not just the winning aspect either, it was the manner in which he won it defeating Djokovic from a set down and then Berdych from a set and a break down’…….and the whole paragraph.

    Loved the match, loved being on the chat and was a fab day for Fedfans. I’m so so crazy happy πŸ˜€

    1. Well we got Indian Wells in about a week so a few days off. This blogging lark is actually harder than playing on the tour I think, and the remuneration is significantly less πŸ˜€

  13. He wins, he wins! We all win! 78! Dancing in the streets!

    I was pretty giddy yesterday.

    He & his racquet are still getting better together. Hopefully that’s a good sign for the 1st serve %, which is a bit troubling. But double faults way down, UEs down – all good signs. I saw a quote somewhere that he wasn’t having to think about the racquet, could just use it, & I think that’s what we’re seeing out there. Maybe not the jaw-dropping tennis we saw against Nole, but as others have said, perhaps more importantly, he didn’t let himself stay down when things weren’t going his way. Mental state clearly WAY better than it was most of last year.

    What was with Mirka’s weird burqa-like outfit? She sure looked happy too though! Maybe they DID go dancing in the streets!

    1. Aside from the final I thought he served really well. And tbh towards the latter stages of it his serve was back in business. Pretty sure he fired down a 200km/h ace.

    2. Yes, should have made it clear I was just talking about this match. And to be fair, if 1st set was 35%, then he had to improve that sharpish to end up with 50%. I’m just hoping for % closer to 70 than 60, which we’ve seen the rest of the week. Perhaps that’s unreasonable.

      1. (Hm. This would seem to be fairly straightforward, but I’m seeing varying 1st set % numbers, depending on the source – 35% in one place, 40% in another. Having said that – ) –

        1st serve %
        Roger…………set 1 – 2 – 3………….35%, 76%, 40%
        Tomas………..set 1 – 2 – 3………….60%, 36%, 47%

        …. so Roger is, for stretches of time, getting 76% of 1st serves in – a fabulous number I hope to see more of. But I’m also hoping to see his “lower” numbers higher than this, because he’ll need it against the top players. This wouldn’t have been enough against Tomas if Tomas’ own % hadn’t dropped substantially.

        Guess I’m just saying that the improvements we’re seeing with the racquet lead me to think that continued improvement is something we can reasonably hope for, & I’m glad.

      1. I guess it was just such a big contrast in my mind with the pretty blue & gold top she was photographed in earlier in the week. Although even in that picture, there was a dark-colored … jacket? Coat? in her lap. Maybe she was cold?

      2. Yes, on review I think you’re right. I just didn’t think of being cold since they’re in Dubai. Women who’ve been pregnant – do you get cold more easily?

  14. A great day! The worlds press have had a field day, and like the Fed freak I am, I feel I hv read them all! But yr blog is still the best Jonathan, with the analytical strength and great highlights/photos. Thanks for all the reports, and get some sleep before IW!!!

    His mental strength has returned with his improved movement, no doubt. The two go hand in hand. And he is much calmer, far fewer rushed shanks, staying in the point fantastically well.
    And Dimi won, good for attacking tennis as you alluded to.

    And my daughter won her ratings match whilst I sneakily watched Fed on Tennis Tv! Thank goodness for WiFi!
    Oh, and I Think his twins will like the trophy.
    Hv decided Mirka is a saint. Clearly she is an absolute rock! There in the good times, supportive in the bad!

    I am liking the look of this season so far, his stats look good, hopeful for IW, and Wimbledon! And Cincy. And WTF ( greedy)

  15. I was waiting whole day to read this blog. Somehow, to me, Federer’s victory isn’t complete without reading about it in your blog. Especially after a big victory. πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah, we all miss his ‘High five, folks?’, don’t we? Let’s send him ‘COME BACK’ vibes πŸ˜‰

    2. Sid is currently filming his new film 302 where he got the leading role. It’s an adaptation of the Gerard Butler film 300 based on Roger’s weeks at Number 1. He must defend the Basel natives from an influx of Spanish warriors lead by Dopal. 500 strong, Dopal is carried round on top of a giant fridge that contains blood bags, HGH and other supplements.

      I don’t want to put out too many spoilers but Team8 resist the first wave of attacks but Brennwald, a deserter, lets Dopal know of a back entrance to the St. Jakobshalle arena and the real battle begins.

      Should be pretty good πŸ™‚

      1. Oh high five, Sid! Don’t go so quick, we want hear more than that from you πŸ˜‰

        Okay, how about answering these questions 1) What was the key do YOU think Fed won the title? 2) Can you explain if you could see he made any adjustment technically with the new flame so far? 3) Describe his win with one word.

        Thank you and welcome back πŸ™‚

      2. Hey Sid, don’t go. Now Roger is coming to your country, you cannot just say bye.
        Or are you going to watch him live??? Or is Jonathan right, are you working on that movie???
        Make sure only the nice Spaniard players make it alive out of there πŸ™‚

      3. I couldn’t possibly miss out on this celebration now, can I?

        Wanda, I can’t answer the first two questions because I’ve only watched part of his last two matches. But Roger said, he can now feel the racquet, and is comfortable. Watch out!

        The answer to your last question, “Describe his win with one word”.


      4. Katyani, the phrase, “Nice Spaniard players” is an oxymoron. Ok, with the exception of David Ferrer. He did yell at a crying baby in the stands once though, didn’t he? πŸ™‚

        Scooter, sup dawg? πŸ™‚

        Susie, it’s FedZone alright. Pity it isn’t a NoPabloZone 😐

  16. Hello. No time to chat at the moment as I have visitors. Just wanted to thank Jonathan for updating the scores on twitter. I was on the way to the airport during the last set and ATP livescores was useless – updating about every 10 minutes! Without Jonathan’s tweets I would have gone crazy and probably had an accident, so thanks Jonathan πŸ™‚

    Haven’t seen the third set yet either, and won’t have a chance to till Thursday. Doesn’t matter though if it wasn’t a pretty match – he gave us one of those the day before – what matters is he won! Yaaayyyy!

    1. No problem πŸ™‚ didn’t even realise I put out many scores on Twitter, force of habit! The 3rd set is well worth the watch, some clutch moments.

    2. You need the Wta/atp app for instant live scores! Immediate! Does all the Tour and challenger events!

    3. Glad you didn’t have a wreckcident Rita, I was wondering how you’d gotten along. I take it your company are not tennis/Roger fanatics, or you’d have them watching too!

  17. Didn’t see either of the matches unfortunately (only highlights of the semi) but it is great to see him winning again – make no bones about it, beating Djok and Berdych is an impressive feat, particularly after his struggles last year.

    It is still a big leap to Grand Slams but 2014 could be a much more productive year than I thought it was going to be. Seems a shame almost that he is come round to the bigger racket and more aggressive tactics at this stage of his career, but if he works hard on his fitness then he will still be a threat to all the players.

    I am happy to see him happy, mentally he is on the way up again which is key.

    1. There’s a full upload of the match vs. Djoker. Well worth a watch.

      Grand Slams and 500’s are a world apart, but it is a building process. All about getting momentum and he’s got the wheels of the FedExpress moving.

      1. He earned this title. Federer beat 2 top ten players after being down a set. I am glad Federer didn’t take the easy way out because he hadn’t won a title since Halle. This title is sweet because he had to fight for it against two quality players. BOOO! to the non-believers who were handing the Dubai title to Djoker or Berdych before the tournament started. I think Federer played just fine at the AO beating Tsonga and Murray. Any win over Murray and Djoker is sweet because their fans look down on Federer because of his age. The excuses coming out of those two fanbases are so funny after Federer beat them both. Good Luck to Federer at Indian Wells!

      2. Hey Jonathan,

        Have always been following your amazing blog but not active. But come Dubai Open, I need to get into the fray. Unfortunately could not go this time to watch live unlike last 3 years as the tickets were sold out much in advance. Watched on TV and what a delight. Your match reports are perfect normally but this time I have a point to make. You have not mentioned Stefan Edberg at all. Edberg was my pre-Fed hero and my contemporary so have followed all his matches and I think that Ed has given a lot of confidence to Fed. It showed in Aus and in Dubai. Of course Ed was never too great at French Open being passed at the net easily so I doubt that Ed would be able to help Fed beat Nadal technically but still if Fed wins Wimbledon 2014, lot of credit should go to Edberg.

      3. Hey Murli

        Yeah man you have commented before I remember πŸ™‚

        I didn’t really mention Edberg during Dubai because he wasn’t there. And I’m also not sure what credit he can take as we don’t know how much they have been in contact. I think more of it is to do with Fed’s own hard work and perserverence. Edberg might just have given some added words of wisdom to give him confidence or tactical ideas.

        I reckon the best of Fedberg is yet to come. If they carry on of course. A coach needs a few months to make an impact IMO.


  18. Great result! πŸ˜€ Now onto the US!

    When are the draws coming out? Next friday? It’s gonna be interesting, Want to see what Stan/ Roger/ Berdych can do there. Dimitrov as well. I can’t say I like his backhand, but he’s a breath of fresh air in this era! πŸ™‚ Wanna see how Gulbis does as well.

    Interesting times ahead! πŸ˜€

    And congrats to Roger!

    1. The draw is supposed to be out TOMORROW! Not sure what time. I’ve seen a couple of tweets suggesting Roger’s already in California.

      1. Look out for another Roger/Dopal QF or SF. Larry Ellison isn’t going to let this tasty opportunity slip by.

      2. Draw today Tues, 3 pm local time, which I think makes it 6PM in eastern US and about 11PM Jonathan’s time.

  19. Jonathan, thanks for the great posts! Not much to say here but I do have a question. Why didn’t Roger volley much in the first set….no opportunity to come forward or deciding to play baseline tennis against Berdych?

    1. I suppose trying to volley against Berdych is in a way much harder than against Novak. Berdych stands much closer to the baseline and is always looking to attack you, so Roger had to be very careful when he came to the net or he would get burned there. Against a guy like Berdych your approach has to be perfect because his power and accuracy are incredible on a good day, not to mention his reach.

    2. Hey Sue,

      Difficult to say but I think a combination of not really making the conscious effort to move forward. Looked a bit flat footed in first set and not sure of his plan. When that happens he usually just stays back. Plus the fact Berdych hits a big ball makes it quite tricky as he was often in neutral or defensive positions.

  20. Hi Jonathan.

    Great to read your post after the final.

    I had to postpone my office deadline for the finals which was worth it : )
    well, just hoping for great result from Fed this year.

  21. Such an amazing feeling to watch this 78th title victory live! Not often these days Federer reaches a final, so I thought ‘I must watch this!’, even though having to wake up at 2am in the morning to watch the match! Increasing chance of winning a slam again this year πŸ˜€

    1. Hey Conal, isn’t it strange? After USO he made like every SF or more??? And to think that last year even his so called fans told him to retire…… Seriously, if I get my hands on anyone of them !!!

      Makes you wonder how last year would have been if he didn’t have backproblems??? He would have won Rotterdam and Cincy for sure, maybe even IW and maybe even Wimby…..

      1. You’re getting ahead of yourself Katyani πŸ˜› Roger lost at wimby because he played a bad match (couldn’t adjust) and Stakhovsky played the match of his life πŸ˜‰

      2. No no no Simon, Stakhovsky played the match of his life and was in the zone, but he did not “destroy” Roger as Rafa did at the Rome final. Rome is the only match last year Roger could never have won. All those others he could have won.
        Wimby he lost 7-5 and 2 TB. He could have made it to a 5 setter. Roger could not adjust to him, but he did not play bad. Ofcourse there was a big big chance he might have lost to Andy, but oke…
        And these matches he all “could have won”:
        Against Brands (he lost in 2 TB).
        Against Delbonis he could have won.
        Against Monfils, one or two games going his way, you never know.
        Against Rafa at WTF he also could have won??
        Last two matches against Novak, they were so close.
        Against Delpo at Basel, one or two points going his way, maybe….

        He could not have won them all, but most of them, even the matches against Rafa at Cincy and IW, without backpain???

      3. DonΒ΄t get caught in the past Katyani πŸ™‚ Roger lost those matches fair and square! Yes his back troubled him, but lost is lost, and the other players deserved the win on the day.
        ItΒ΄s more fun to try to predict the outcome of this season πŸ™‚ I think weΒ΄re in for some good times ahead πŸ™‚

      4. Hey Mark, you are right. The others did deserve to win, even that Stakhovsky guy πŸ™‚
        I hope Roger wins atleast DC and the WTF and ofcourse Wimby. Would be nice if he could win Basel. Lost it 2 times in a row… And would be so nice if he would win Rome and RG.
        Hey, I can hope and dream right???

        Right now I am watching Sampras vs Agassi. Hope Sampras wins, but it does not look good for him……

      5. Simon: Yes, but how much of Roger’s inability to adjust to Stakh was down to his increasing lack of confidence in his own game? He seemed to be in a mess mentally against Tsonga at RG, and the same here at Wimby, from what I saw of the match. (Which wasn’t much, really: I was still at the office when it started, so watched livescores for the first set, assumed Roger would pull back easily in the 2nd, and it was only when Stakh took the next set too that I started getting really worried. But it was 30 minutes’ walk back home, and who knows what might have happened while I was en route). But anyway, that’s all in the past now, and I’m happy to leave it there.

        BTW, interesting that we now finally have confirmation that he only managed 2 weeks’ training in the post-IW period. I know he’d said something about it before, but didn’t realise it was quite that little. No wonder his confidence in his game was shot.

      6. Hey Katyani, those kind of Fed fans don’t want Roger’s legacy to be scarred by the likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, so that’s why they want to him to retire πŸ˜‰ They want Roger to keep his consistency in results and retire when he’s still at the top to cement his ‘GOAT’ status. True Fed fans like us would generally want Roger to keep playing – to keep entertaining us and to keep us watching tennis frequently.
        I prefer being a true Fedfan πŸ˜‰

  22. Hey Jonathan, I know others have told you this before, but really respect for writing the articles, maybe doing a little research with it, finding the videos, than reading and replying all the comments….. and still having to work and have a life !!! Me, I didn’t touch my laptop yesterday for a few hours, when I looked, there were more than 60 comments…. And you having to read them all, etc. Respect and thank you for it.

    Ps: Do you know what I like the most about the hotshots Roger makes? He makes them, gets back to his chair and drinks or eats… It is so “normal” for him to make those fantastic shots, he doesn’t even realise it anymore I guess. While the crowd is in awe and the commentators are wondering AGAIN how he can make those shots…..

    1. “Hey Jonathan, I know others have told you this before, but really respect for writing the articles, maybe doing a little research with it, finding the videos, than reading and replying all the comments….. and still having to work and have a life !!! Me, I didn’t touch my laptop yesterday for a few hours, when I looked, there were more than 60 comments…. And you having to read them all, etc. Respect and thank you for it.”


      1. Hey Conal, we await your majestic Federer best points of Dubai compilation!! so many to include!!

  23. Hey guys, don’t laugh….. but you heard it first from me: Roger IS going to win RG 2014 !!!
    Mark my words….I can feel it…. It’s Rogertime…..

    1. Why should we laugh? Roger is one of the best clay court players ever, and has been extremely solid in RG. There is only one problem, it starts with R and ends with afael Nadal. If Roger does not need to go through Nadal, he can definitely compete for the title, otherwise Nadal is end station.

      1. No no no Chris and Simon….. Rafa will not win RG this year. If he does, I will apologise big time here for saying otherwise. But last year he had so much difficulties. You cannot always mentally fight your way out. No matter how much you want. Even if you are “the greatest”. Look at AO. When you have an opponent who is playing the match of his life there is nothing you can do, no matter what you try.
        And lets not forget, 2012 I think, if there was no rain delay, Rafa WOULD have lost to Novak. Even the Great Uncle Toni said that.
        This is not Rafa aka Clay anymore. The guy IS getting older people. It gets harder and harder for him to win. Even if he won so many titles last year, how many times was he on the verge of losing??? This mental fighting spirit has to let you down sometimes.

        Roger or Novak will win RG. But somehow, Novak does not look good to me, so that leaves Roger (or someone else), but not Rafa…… Roger will win RG…..

      2. Point out to me where I said that Rafa was winning? πŸ˜› Just kidding. I have a feeling Rafa is not winning french, but he’s still the overwhelming favorite. Chris and I where saying that if Roger meets Rafa on clay, it’s a done story, not that rafa was winning it πŸ˜‰

      3. Katyani, you sound so convinced that I come THIS close to believing it myself – and then I remember last year, when I thought he might indeed have a chance with that draw (well, Novak did come so close to knocking out Rafa) – and then look what happened. So I’m sticking with caution this year, particularly since it seems that every time I start seriously considering the possibility of Roger actually *winning* a tournament he then loses immediately πŸ˜‰

        However, if it does turn out that you’re right and we’re all wrong, feel free to berate us all constantly with “Oh ye of little faith”. I’m sure we’ll be happy to take it πŸ™‚

      4. Actually, Chris, the problem doesn’t start with an R, it start with a D πŸ™‚

    2. Hey Katyani!

      Yesterday my little brother – who is 12 and not at all into tennis – saw me watching some Dubai final highlights, then asked me who’s number one in the world. I said “Nadal, but the best ever is Federer of course” πŸ™‚ He asked me why, so I went on a full dissertation on his records and slam wins πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ And when I arrived at RG, he said almost without thinking: He’ll win it again this year!!

      Should we beleive you both then?? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      PS. Each time he saw me watching a match live, he predicted a result… and was right about it… Unfortunately he always said Fed would lose… for once that he says he’ll win… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Alex, please let your little brother know that he is sweet and right πŸ™‚

        And Roger will win RG, if not, you can all “throw” tomatoes at me for beeing stupid enough to think Rafa will let anyone else win RG πŸ™‚
        But…. he won’t win it, Roger will. Lets all Roger’s fans say that as a mantra till RG, maybe it helps !!!

    3. It is possible Fed can win the French but he’d need a dream of a draw. I think he even rules it out in his own mind half the time. Performances there last 2 years have been kinda flat.

  24. I just realized how similar yet hugely different Federer and Nadal are. You can’t trust either of them 100%, the first one when he says he is fit, the second one when he says he is injured. They both tend to not be totally honest in order to hide something, yet their little secrets raise very different suspicions.

    1. “Federer BS”, as I keep saying :). Anything Fed says in interviews needs to be put through a few filters to work out what he’s really saying (or not saying).

    2. I find with Roger, he brings out the truth many months after the fact. I think he does that so people don’t accuse him of making excuses for a loss. Also, he doesn’t want his opponents to know he isn’t his best.

  25. Great post Jonathan

    And what a week of tennis from our hero! The way he won that tournament was in such a style that can only boost his confidence for the rest of the season. He beat two top 10 players , twice came back from a set down against classy opponents like Djokovic and Berdych and he looked so happy after that match point. Like you say Jonathan it took a lot of mental strength to pull those two victories of in the semi and final and that is what stands out for me. The 2013 Roger would have lost those matches in a very frustrated manner for us fans. But 2014 Roger found a way, found his game and found it big time and sometimes it was just mind blowing good tennis. The best tennis was in the semis against Djokovic but the biggest mentally challenge was in the final.

    So I also predict a good 2014 season with som great results, and why not keep it up at Indian Wells πŸ™‚

    Ps. Kim Clisters responded to two of my tweets this weekend, that was big πŸ™‚

    Pps. I also liked Dimitrov pulled of a big win Acapulco, Rasheed is doing a good job with him.

    1. Yes, if the mental strength holds up that will certainly do him a lot of good. Last year was so frustrating in that respect, when he seemed to have forgotten that the word “clutch” existed. Understandable of course, now we have a better idea of the circumstances, but still frustrating.

      1. I donΒ΄t youΒ΄re following me, my name is MarkWandy in there also! I have to follow you in there also πŸ™‚

  26. Hey Jonathan
    Great article…Thanks! That’s why we all wait for your post. You always nicely sum up our thoughts. But no “point of the match” for this match… I always wait whether your choice matches with mine or not. Couldn’t agree with the one in djoker match (to me it was the set point saving rally in the first set and for this match it’s the point on 2-1 15-15 3rd set).

    What a great tournament it was! The impact of this 500 win is easily more than some of his slam wins just because of the time it came. We the fans and Roger himself has got back the belief that he can still beat the bests in business. The Djoker match was the key. Against a power hitter like Berdy you can expect to have a chance but against Nole you have to be on top of your game…no other choice. In fact Djoker was playing fantastic and the whole match was kind of a highlights package!

    From these two matches I noticed a few significant improvements
    1. His serve. SO solid now. so few DFs.
    2. As you mentioned, his backhand is more consistent. Saw some out of the world backhand angled slice return winners.
    3. His mental strength. Playing more freely at key points. Fearlessly aiming for sharp angles.
    4. His passing shots. May be a result of 3. He is feeling less pressure when opponent is coming to the net.
    5. Coming to the nets at right time after reading opponent’s position. Not desparately doing it to shorten the point.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the season…Cheers Fed!!

    1. Cheers Ankur.

      I was a little rushed for time on this and no points really stood out for me. Some clutch moments but not ones that could be watched in isolation as they weren’t great viewing. You’d need to know the context of the match to appreciate them.

      The Djoker one you mention was a great point though. Shame it didn’t lead to breaking back but guess it made no difference in the end πŸ˜€


  27. Question now is, how does the road back to nr 4 look. Roger needs to get there before RG to have a shot at it. I really really dream about Roger beating Rafa at RG (it is a dream after all). Four masters events two of which are on clay.

    Indian Wells: Roger has to go to QF to maintain points
    Miami: Doesn’t have any points to defend
    Madrid: Has to make R16 to maintain
    Rome: Needs to make the final.

    I does seem to be possible for Roger to add another 2000 ATP points before RG which could put him at 6600. Might not be enough.
    Am I missing something important here?

    1. I think you’ve laid it out pretty well as far as what Roger needs to do to maintain/gain points (though I’m still not convinced he’s actually going to play Miami; I think how Mirka is feeling will have a big impact on that decision. We’ll be getting very close to projected baby date by then). The other side of the equation is what other people do –

      Roger, #8, has 4625 points right now. Numbers 5-6-7 are all within 20 points of each other, about 250 points above Roger; and #4, David Ferrer, is at 5160, only about 550 points above Roger. David is only losing 10 points by withdrawing from IW, but he was a finalist last year at Miami, so he has 600 points to defend there. If David’s injury keeps him out of Miami too, and Roger defends his IW QF points, David slips below Roger in the rankings.
      Delpo (4870 pts) is defending 600 (F) at IW, 10 at Miami – if he withdraws too (wrist), he slips below Roger (as long as Roger doesn’t lose in 1st round).
      Murray (4875 pts) is defending 180 (QF) at IW, 1000 (W) at Miami – again, he doesn’t seem to be back to his best form yet, so he could potentially come back closer to or below Roger.
      Berdych (4890 pts) is defending 360 (S) at IW, 180 (Q) at Miami – he IS playing well, so I don’t see Roger leapfrogging him unless he plays really really well, and a bit better than Tomas – this seems like a coin flip right now to me.
      Stan (5650 points, #3) is only defending 90 points at IW, 0 at Miami, so I think his #3 is pretty secure for now.

      Conclusion? I think it’s very likely that Roger will move up. Whether he will move up ENOUGH to get to the top 4 will depend to some extent on what happens with the other players. If David has to pull out of Miami, that #4 position is up for grabs, but Roger, Murray & Berdych are all within reach of it. As long as he plays better than those guys (Delpo too, but I have a mental asterisk next to him for injury), Roger could do it with only 1000 points.

      Of course that only takes us to the beginning of April!

      1. Wow Thinker,
        You are not only ‘Thinker’ but ‘Numberer’ or ‘Stater/statser’, aren’t you? Thanks for explaining πŸ™‚

      2. There are just so many “ifs” involved, & permutations of different combinations. The absolute genius at this is Vibhu over at – though I haven’t seen a recent ranking scenario update from him.

      3. I put him at 6 after IW unless of course he wins IW and everyone else falls early. Miami cld be the most useful to Fed if he can make semis or better! Personally don’t think Delpo will play, or if he does, will again fall early. Ferrer and Murray are most vulnerable in terms of points so Fed, if he gets an ok draw(no rafa plse) cld make a big move. i also think Stan will be very rusty, Berdych slightly tired so very very open!

      4. Suppose Roger makes semis at all 4 tournaments. That would give him

        IW +180
        Miami +360
        Madrid +290
        Rome -220

        …. that would be a net gain of 610 points. That’s above David’s current total. But if one of the 5-6-7 guys also does very well, they stay ahead of Roger.

        Not so sure about #6 after IW unless he makes the final. If he makes semis, he gains 180 points, but there’s a cluster of 3 guys about 250 points above him – for him to make #6, TWO of those guys (Delpo-Murray-Berdych) would also have to drop 70-80 points versus last year.

        As you say, if he wins it’s a whole different movie.

      5. Damn. Reading what all of you write, it seems 4th before RG seems a little bit out of reach. Quite honestly, my confidence in Roger hasn’t really recovered yet but I find a little comfort in the fact that last spring was absolutely terrible for Roger in terms of fitness and back problems. He may prove to be much more consistent this year. He lost in the QF to Tsonga last RG, maybe 4 by Wimbledon is more realistic.

        And, there is always the dark horse, his new racquet. Maybe what we have seen lately shows that he is beginning the master it and build on that. Quite honestly, I never saw the point with the new stick on hard court but on clay, it might even allow him to play closer to the base line which would mean a lot.

    2. Thanks for the breakdown and permutations Thinker.

      I reckon Fed has a great shot at making the top 4 this year just has to stay healthy and play consistent. The results will follow.

  28. We still don’t have any real idea of when Mirka is due, though, so it’s difficult to judge. My own feeling is that they left it rather later than the traditional 3 months to make the announcement, but we’ll have to wait and see. And babies, of course, are notoriously good at disrespecting projected dates anyway …

    1. Alison, my guess is based on the fact they announced it about 4 months ahead of time last time; and on the hole in Roger’s schedule in April.

      1. Federer was playing in the next Davis Cup tie which is in April. So him not playing a tournament in the month of April is not necessarily mean that Mirka is due in April. Federer said in the press conference in Brisbane that the good thing about the ATP schedule it’s flexible. Because Federer didn’t give any details we as fans don’t know when she is due. Roger said he will adjust his schedule when ever the baby is due.

      2. Yeah Conal, I wondered about Davis Cup too, but think that Roger may have more flexibility since they’re playing in Switzerland. Of course everybody’s right – the baby gets here when it gets here. But last time (when the girls were born) it was 4 months after the announcement.

    2. Hv a feeling its early May before the French Open i think. wasn’t she about 12 weeks at the WTF’s?

      1. Hey, we should have a baby date pool! Winner gets…. I was going to say a hat, but you had some issues with that last time, didn’t you Jonathan?! πŸ˜€

        so I’ll guess April 23, because I think it would be cool for the girls & newbaby to both be on the 23 of their respective months. πŸ™‚

    1. Complete bs article that took a bunch of quotes out of context. Look for the Australian GQ article from the beginning of the year – there are links on twitter, haven’t got it to hand.

      1. Yes, thanks! You have to click the “next” pictures in succession to read the whole interview, which is annoying, but the interview itself is pretty good. I’m sure we linked it here during AO or maybe Brisbane, but that’s a bunch of posts ago!

      2. …wasn’t me Conal, just happened to read about it on Twitter where Fed fans were up in arms & posting the original link over & over – just didn’t want the rip-off article link to sit here without clarification πŸ˜‰

  29. And now my prediction:
    Federer wins French Open and Wimbledon back to back :).
    Jonathan, plsssss save this…2 slams this year for Roger Federer…;) Impossible to think, but it’s gonna happen :).

    1. Very optimistic πŸ™‚

      I’m not really sure what to expect in the remaining slams. Australia was a great result in hindsight just a disappointing semi final.

      The good thing about Fed is you can never rule him out.

    2. Even if he does not win French, I have a dream (I guess all Roger fans would share) that is to see Roger beating Nadal on Roland Garros.
      A fairytale..
      2015 RG: Nadal to take on surprise finalist Roger Federer, who beat world no. 1 & defending champion Novak Djokovic in semis. It is widely expected that Nadal will win his 15th slam to inch ever so close to Roger’s 17. Uncle Toni has proclaimed that Nadal, who won the AO 3 months back, is already the greatest and would surpass Federer by next year. It’s a wet day and Roger starts outhitting Nadal, reminiscent of Soderling’s upset of Nadal. Federer 7-6, 3-1 and Nadal has called for a trainer. Crowd starts booing Nadal, but he is unfazed, returns to break Federer and take the second set 7-5. Roger looks shattered and drops serve to begin the 3rd. The backhand looks shaky as Nadal romps 6-1 to take 2 sets to 1 lead. Nadal serving at 15-30 in 1st game of 4th set as rain intervenes. after a 40 minutes rain delay, players return. There is a definite change in tactics as Federer looks to attack more and breaks immediately. Nadal looks definitely unhappy with the conditions as Federer runs away with the set. 7-6,5-7,1-6,6-2. We are in the 5th set of a Fedal at Roland Garros for the 1st time. Nadal calls the trainer again for treating his back and returns to hold to start. Players stay on serve with little drama. It is 4-5 and Federer serves to stay in the match. McEnroe, in the commentary box, proclaims that he can sense a break and Nadal will be the champion in 2 minutes’ time. Federer goes down 15-30. Federer serves, first fault. In a surprise move nadal comes to the net but Federer lobs him, which has the normally unflappable Edberg pumping fist. Federer has a couple of unreturnable serves as he holds for 5-5. Nadal serves and goes down 0-30, surprises Federer with 2 serves down the tee and a long rally ending with Federer backhand error. Nadal with game point. Uncharacteristically, Nadal double faults. Federer attacks the 2nd serve to his backhand to Nadal’s backhand, and ends the point at the net with a lovely backhand volley which has Edberg smiling for joy. break point Federer. Nadal mixes things by going for Federer forehand, who is leaning towards his left. But it seems Federer expected it and cracks a Forehand which Nadal fails to keep in play. The crowd erupts as Roger breaks for 6-5. Roger serves for the match. Federer has been saving his best for the last as he emulates his 2 idols, he hits 2 Samprasesque unreturnable serves and on third point drawing Rafa wide he ends the point with Edbergesque BH volley. match point Federer. Federer serves to Nadal FH, who cracks a Forehand to Federer backhand who fails to keep it in. 40-15, 2nd match point. Federer serves down the line Nadal returns to Federer backhand, Federer’s powerful down the line BH surprises Nadal and Federer moves in taking the weak return and whips an inside out Forehand winner and goes down on his knees as the crowd erupts. In the player’s box, we see Mirka and even Stefan in tears. Federer, finding it difficult to hold back tears, announces that this was his greatest win and then stuns the crowd by saying he has nothing else left to play for.

      1. Ooooh, I like it very much πŸ™‚ except maybe the end πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
        And I would like it very much to be this year instead of next year… don’t you too Katyani? πŸ˜‰

      2. Nice phantasy, but like Alex, I don’t like the end. What drives Federer is not to beat Nadal, but the love for the game. Therefore, he’ll move in to wim Winbledon πŸ™‚

      3. Hey Amit, 3 things:

        1) You forgot something:
        “after a 40 minutes rain delay, players return. There is a definite change in tactics as Federer looks to attack more and breaks immediately”.
        At this time Papa Nadal and Uncle Nadal stand up and point and shout at the umpire. “Stop play. Is raining. Unfair to our Rafa. Play resume tomorrow”.

        2) “announces that this was his greatest win”. THAT IS THE MISTAKE ALL THE PLAYERS DO WHEN THEY DEFEAT RAFA. Do not, guys, do not, make him feel THAT important. That you slayed the dragon or slayed the beast. It makes him feel important and makes him think, you see how good I am, this is what a win against me means.
        Seriously, to all the players: when you defeat him: hold your hands up in the air, walk to the net, console him, greet the crowds and than walk to your chair and eat and drink until the ceremony starts…. Do not make him realise that defeating him was the greatest win of your career. Make him feel just like you beat anyone else.

        3) “by saying he has nothing else left to play for”. Mark my words. He will be the male Date-Krumm, playing on till 45. If he does defeat Rafa at RG, he knows he can make it to 25 GS !!!

      4. Hey Alex, I will raise you with: it will happen this year AND next year πŸ™‚

      5. Wow!! Great dream! Great story! Liked it so much….
        Dream of all of us…. beat himONCE at RG….

      6. Lovely scenario Amit, though I have to agree with Alex and Chris about the end πŸ˜‰

        If anything I could dream for Roger, it would be his 8th Wimbledon title or winning another RG to make a double career slam, wouldn’t care whether beating Rafa or anybody. But I just hope he can play as long as possible or FOREVER!

        …or 6th US Open?

      7. It would stun me too if he said that, because by your definition he still wouldn’t have an 8th Wimbledon title and would still be tied with Sampras, so he’d still have that to play for.

        Nice script, though πŸ™‚

      8. Thanks for all the comments. I added that retirement word at the end, just I thought it would give a sense of completion to the narrative. For me RG has been the place of his worst sufferings and beating his chief tormentor at that site would be most redeeming & When you accomplish something you have waited for like forever, it actually ends up being a very strange feeling and your reactions sometimes surprise even yourself. So Federer’s announcement is unplanned, sudden and presents a poetic end to a great career. Also, as an afterthought I would like to add that having lost to Djokovic and Federer in consecutive years at RG takes a toll on Nadal who then has some sub standard results through the year and takes a prolonged vacation from tennis, never to return.

  30. Potential quaters for IW:
    Nadal – Murray
    Federer – Wawrinka
    Gasquet – Berdych
    Delpotro – Djokovic

    Guess first half Nadal Murray Federer Wawrinka; second one Djokovic Berdych Delpotro Gasquet
    Not exactly lucky this time Nadal, though it might not change anything… Though Roger might win it!!!

  31. possible 4th Rd
    Nadal – Fognini
    Raonic – Murray
    Haas – Federer
    Gasquet – Isner
    Dimitrov – Berdych
    Delpo – Tsonga

    1. Argentine press is saying he’ll decide after he practices on the IW courts, but I haven’t found an actual quote from the man himself yet. He basically hasn’t been able to practice at all since pulling out at Dubai, just done some rehab. It doesn’t look good.

  32. I like this draw! (bar the nadal semi, but we where all expecting that one…) Some great match ups on the line: Fed Stan, gulbis dimitrov (again πŸ˜€ ), potentially delpo/ Djoker (if his wrist is okay,which I doubt πŸ˜› ), haas/ fed, I think I’m gonna enjoy this! πŸ˜€

    Just make the Fed vs Stan happen, then I’ll shut up haha!

  33. I think it’s a good draw for nadal if you analyze it carefully (Larry won’t give him a tough draw, rest assured). Fognini or Dolgopolov don’t pose him much threat. Only challenge till semis could actually be stepanek first up in 2nd round. Then Murray isn’t up to his pre surgery level and he may get Raonic/Janowicz in quarters. Federer has a decent draw. Roger-Stan should be interesting. Wonder whom amongst the 2 Swiss I would prefer to win if Nadal is there in semis. Federer would like another crack at Nadal while Rafa will be keen to prove he was not 100% in AO final by beating Stan. There are dangerous floaters – Dimitrov, Gulbis and Cilic in the other half, but looks like Novak not making the finals will be a huge surprise. I actually think Del Po will pull out.

  34. Hey guys, there are 2 matches I look forward the most. Would love if it happens at IW, but NOT at Roger’s expense:

    1) The first match of Andy vs Rafa. My God, what has it been? 3 years or so?
    Cannot wait for them to meet, ofcourse Andy is back from his injury.

    2) The first match of Stan vs Rafa. Stan wants to prove his AO win was not a fluke and Rafa wants to prove that it was a fluke and that if he was “not injured” he would have won…

    1. you have just read my mind. I am looking forward for those as well πŸ˜‰ + Gulbis vs Dimi, this would be awesome

      1. Hey Chris, think Rafa is counting on that?? Do you think if there is a possibility if they meet first anywhere else than clay that Rafa will try to “get out” of that match (I mean losing a round before)?

    2. How long is Andy Murray going to ride that “I had back surgery” excuse. It’s starting to get lame. He or any other player shouldn’t be getting a free ride especially since he can take the court. Murray has that excuse already lined up before he plays any matches. The fans of top players are really arrogant with their predictions on who is going to advance in the draw. I think the draws are going to be more wide open and we are going to see different winners.

      1. I agree about murray, but for him it’s not that bad, at least compared to our other spaniard fellow…

      2. *Is* he “riding” it? I’m sure his fans are, but I don’t remember seeing him make any references to it.

  35. Really nice Amit, I also have such dreams but I’m sure it will come to reality this year.

    Err, I don’t like the end, there will be too many people crying around the world. let’s put a hold on that for now shall we :d. No retirement yet!!!

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