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How Federer Can Improve in 2014

Retooling Roger: A Fans Perspective on How Federer can Improve in 2014

Hey all, the US Open is now a distant memory, the cold nights are drawing in here in the UK and Roger's favourite part of the season, indoors, looms large.

Whichever way you look at things it's been a very poor year for him in terms of his level, titles won and the manner of his defeats. The way I see it from here till November it's merely a salvage operation and a chance to start rebuilding confidence. I'm hoping he can regroup for the indoor season and use that as a stepping stone for a good run next year at the Majors and in some of his preferred Masters 1000 tournaments.

We often discuss in the comments section what Roger should and shouldn't do in terms of scheduling, how he plays and tactics so I thought it'd be a good idea to do a post on what Roger can do to ensure he has a good 2014.

Rather than my thoughts, I thought it'd be an interesting change up to get some other fans perspective on it all, so I asked two prolific commenters and die hard Fed fans to give their thoughts on a number of questions that I sent them.

Before we start I'd like to thank them both for taking the time to write up these answers as I had a lot of fun reading them (which I'm sure you will too). Also it was damn sight easier from my end as I had to write virtually nothing so I should have thought of this sooner πŸ˜› Take it away Sid & Susie…

Q. 2013 has been sub standard from Roger so far, with just one title and his rankings on the slide what do you think he has to do to have a better 2014?

Tough 2013 for Federer

Sid:

In 2014, I'd like Roger to…

…re-dedicate himself and redefine his goals. If family and personal life is more important, he is better off quitting tennis than staying in it and tarnishing his legacy. The goal should be at least two slams in the next two years. He still has the game. In terms of total mileage, he could be right where Djokovic and Nadal are. He just needs a bit of extra speed, and any kind of help from a racquet change.

The second serve must be bigger. The backhand down the line should be used more often. The loopy backhands slightly above the strike zones have been a problem. He needs to do more with them, try to open the court with cross courts, and a bigger racquet will help.

Returning, especially on the second serves should be more aggressive. He must take at least a couple of more extended breaks in the season to help with recovery, preferably one during the clay stretch. Fresher legs would mean he can opt to get into more patient rallies if a match situation demands it. Recently, we've noticed he is throwing away points with shanks, and hitting forehands inexplicably long. These are all a result of impatience.

Something I'd like Roger to do is throw some loopy balls at opponents especially when they are under pressure, and keep them guessing. These change ups would have the opposite effect of what we see when someone like Nadal injects pace. In short, I'm advocating for change in his ground stroke patterns.

He should add the Brisbane tournament before the Australian Open to the schedule. Play Queens instead of Halle. It's understandable he had to skip Montreal because of the two extra clay tournaments he played but it's imperative he goes to both Montreal and Cincinnati, even if he prefers not to go deep in one of them. He did say that 2013 is a transition year.

I hope for the sake of his fans that is true and that he has something up his sleeve. I've already declared that 2014 will be a good year and he will win at least one slam. In terms of game play, he is not getting to the ball as quickly as he would like to. He seems to be a fraction of second late getting into position. We might see an improvement in that department in 2014.

Susie:

Roger has to steady the ship. He says he still wants to compete at the top of the game ( still no 6 in the rankings!) and his fans certainly want to see him at the latter stages of the tourneys he plays, although more realistic about another Slam…..So certain aspects of his game need urgent attention.

He can't buy confidence overnight without putting himself out there, trying to win as many matches as possible, playing clutch in the tougher games, and still being prepared to put up with some losses, as long as he plays a positive match.

I see the following as current negative elements in his matchplay which that he must turn to positives.

-Free points on serve. This has declined as he has had back issues, lost some power, and his ace count has gone down. For me, this is the no 1 priority because if he starts holding serve more easily, with more free points then he gains confidence to go for it on the return, and he can afford to be more aggressive against the lesser second serves of say a Murray or a Djokovic.

-Return. Attack the opponents second serve. Be prepared to step in, take risks, come over the backhand and drive the ball back. He's slightly too rigid in the chip return and that has become a bad habit.

-Break point conversion. Very much connected to the second point. He must maintain aggression on break points and put more pressure on his opponent. Mix up his returns with chip and charge, but come in on the right shot! Has been passed far too often this year on a poor centrally placed, flat approach. Converting break points will gradually make a huge difference to his confidence factor (note his immense frustration against Robredo which led to his downfall.)

-Get his consistency back! Stay in the rally a little longer before pulling the trigger. Consistency was always his byword in the past! So he needs to play more, even smaller tourneys because consistency equals form. Form equals confidence.

-If healthy, play the max he thinks he can. He did say earlier this year that 2013 was a transition year given the amount he played in 2012. Stated he cannot possibly do that every year at this stage in his career. Sounds as though 2014 could be a big year if he is fit. And if he plays more he must ensure he beats the lower ranked players, this gives him his invincible aura back again which he sorely needs.

Q. All the talk after Wimbledon was of Roger's new racquet, which of course he trialed on clay but held off using it for the USO. Do you think he should trial it for the indoor season, and should he stick with it indefinitely no matter what his results?

Federer New Racquet Prototype

Sid:

First of all, the new racquet was never user on hard courts. Nor was it used against any of the top four or five, so the jury is still out.

The Pro Staff 90 gives him superior maneuverability but the courts and the opponents equipment do not support that style of play any more. Whether or not he trials the new frame during the indoor season, he must stick with it long term. We noticed that his backhand was better with the new racquet but some other aspects of this game suffered, particularly feel on volleys and out of control forehands.

Here's an interesting fact: The Pro Staff 95 has slightly smaller sweet spot zones compared to Roger's Pro Staff 90, so it's not going to be a matter of just switching to a bigger frame, but accounting for variables, like extra weight and lower tension for bite, balance, that will give him the most forgiveness, without sacrificing the maneuverability he is used to. Hopefully, for his sake, and the sake of his fans, he will find the right balance.

Susie:

Yes, if he can steel himself to have some rough times, he cannot stop now. Otherwise he will get blown off court by increasingly bigger power players and out rallied by the consistent baseliners. He needs that more forgiving large sweet spot as he loses physical power himself! Sampras always said he regretted not changing and I see it as a brave, career extending decision.

Q. A small contingent of fans think Roger needs to bulk up and add some muscle to his upper body. Are you in agreement or worried it could it put extra weight on his back plus slow him down further?

Federer Press Ups

Sid:

Bulking up is not the solution unless Roger has decided to radically change his playing style. That is unlikely. Roger currently stands at 6'1″ and weighs 185 pounds. A five pound increase would drastically slow him down considering his game is based on anticipation, reading the ball very early, and quick effortless footwork on the baseline.

Djokovic is an inch taller, just 175 pounds, and has more power. It has got nothing to do with bulking up. If anything, I feel Roger needs to lose a few pounds. And because Roger's game relies on perfect technique and using the kinetic chain most efficiently as opposed to muscling the ball like Djokovic and Nadal, he can do a lot of damage if he can reach the ball a fraction of a second earlier.

Roger still has the game, and his slightly diminished movement and power can be overcome with the right racquet. A forgiving racquet will give him many more options to fall back to during a point and will improve his defense radically.

Susie:

No I don't hold with that at all as it's not his body type. Both Roger and Djokovic have shown that lithe, low fat strength can compete with raw muscle.

Interestingly I fear that Murray's increased bulk could compromise his back as he is not flexible. Fed hits with a relaxed looseness, through all the muscle chain links, which I believe would be compromised by bulk.

Very different to say Rafa or Serena who are less loose, far more reliant on brute muscle strength if they are off balance. And I do agree that the back benefits from keeping lean. I would prefer it he worked on maintaining good lateral movement, and flexibility.

Q. One thing we have talked about on the blog is the chip return and how it's becoming ineffective, if Roger wants to win another slam, or even a
Masters 1000, do you think he has to return more aggressively? Or can he still get away with chipping to just start a rally?

Federer Chip Return  2013

Sid:

A couple of posts ago, I commented in detail on how chipping the return back has given Roger a lot of advantages. There was a time when Roger's game was good enough to negate the effects of a weak return. Not any more.

With serves becoming heavier, the chip has become less effective and solid opponents have been picking up on it recently, including on grass. A certain left handed player has shown no respect whatsoever. He was returning aggressively with the new racquet and must move away from simply resigning to starting a rally. I have no doubt if you take Roger's statistics over 2013, you will notice that he is probably winning a lesser percentage of return points, particularly the ones that matter the most, break points, and the points that help set up break point situations.

The answer is, aggressive returning is a must if Roger wants to harbor any hopes of winning a slam in 2014.

Susie:

As mentioned earlier it has become a habit, his go to return when under pressure, but he should not revert to it when not under any serve pressure. It also depends slightly on the surface and the opponent I think. Chipping on grass right to the baseline can still be effective with the slightly less sure, lower bounce (watch Wimbledon Semi 2012 v Djokovic) and less predictable footing.

On hard and clay against Nadal, Novak etc it immediately puts the rally back in their control. Less experienced opponents can find it difficult to deal with, but against the top 3/4, forget it!

Q. How important do you think having a good end to the year is? And will his results indoors have any bearing on the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne?

Federer Year End Victories

Sid:

It's always great to have a good end to the year, regardless of how you've done before that. In case of Roger, winning a few titles can only help. If nothing else, it would assuage the grief of his fan base, which includes me. But, the results indoors will have no bearing on the first slam of 2014 because…first, it's a different kind of surface, it's outdoors, slower, and much slower during the semi and finals (played at night).

Second, there is a substantial break between the World Tour Finals and the Australian Open to carry any sort momentum that Roger may have gained. All these hobbled bird dogs like Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal (should he decide to play), will come back refreshed to play more fetch ball during the Australian Open, so the odds are stacked heavily against Roger. Don't forget what a nightmare Tsonga was last year at the AO and what he did to him in Paris.

Susie:

Although against many people's views, I think he should go hard for the end of season, rather like he did after his 2011 US Open loss! If he isn't playing until Shanghai, then he will have had a good break, no Davis Cup crap, plenty of practise, and ready to fly.

Ideally I would like him to play Beijing as a warm up but if not, just aim for London, nothing else, and keep that goal clear in front of him, no excuses!

Q. Annacone – should he stay or go? Give reasons as to why.

Federer Working with Annacone

Sid:

It's a no brainer. Annacone stays. I'll allude to what I mentioned in an earlier post. Do you keep Annacone for helping create 16 break points? Or do you fire him for wasting 14 of them? Annacone is a proponent of the aggressive playing style. He believes in trying to finish the point as soon as possible.

There really is no other coach who complements Roger game as much as Annacone does. The big question: Is Roger really listening to his coach? My guess is, Roger is being a bit stubborn.

Should we call him, Deaf-erer? It will also take Roger the better part of a year to adapt to a new coach and there is no guarantee the gamble will succeed. My vote is for Paul to stay.

Susie:

Interesting one. Arguments both ways.

Go. Served his purpose, got him the through to his last slam win by making him mix up the game more, proving he was an excellent net player, using the net charge etc. However, cannot help him any further in today's modern attritional game. Annacone himself belongs to another era, Fed needs a new voice, maybe a harder voice to see if he is prepared to graft and be selfish for 2 more years!

Stay. Doesn't need to give the critics (already at his throat), another reason to stick the knife in, to say how Federer is getting more and more desperate to stay at the top! Fed knows the game has changed, he knows he must trust his own game to stay top 5 for next 2 years as long as he keeps strong in mind and body. If Annacone is part of his unit, pushing him on, then no reason to change.

Q. Make some predictions for the big four next year – Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray – how do you see it going for them? Does Fed bounce back or is he going to continue slumping?

Tennis Big 4 2014 Predictions

Sid:

Nadal, who has achieved his objectives of a multi slam year and getting back to No.1, will slow down, if only to create an illusion of mortality. He will return though to build his case for hard courts, something Toni Nadal understand is essential for him to be considered the GOAT. I've given Nadal until the end of 2014 or early 2015 to do whatever damage he can.

Djokovic will come back stronger. I feel that we haven't seen him peak yet. But he needs to put his mind back into it.

Murray has reached the top of his potential. He has shown at the US Open that he is satisfied with what he has achieved so far and cannot be a threat to either Djokovic or Nadal. I suspect he will focus on his one slam per year strategy.

Roger will have a very good 2014 in my opinion, at least in comparison to the wretched 2013. I'll give him one slam, probably not the AO or FO. If he stays with the 90 sq. in. frame, I'm selling all his stocks in double quick time.

Susie:

Djokovic actually has work to do. He still needs better technique on his net play and smash. His service has been less effective and clutch play must improve. Although he will want to defend Australian Open, he will work his whole year around the French Open which is becoming his “must win” tourney to prove he is a true great!

Nadal, number 1 by year end. Will push like crazy to win a second Australian Open and will then take another long break! He won't win French, will get beaten early at Wimbledon again followed by another break! This will become a repeated pattern as his career extends.

Murray, I do see him as perennial no 3 although feel he will be at the business end of the Australian Open and Wimbledon (he's a fine grass court player now)

Fed? Interestingly I see the Auastralian Open as one of the Slams he could still win. I'm sure he makes at least the semis as he likes the surface, weather, fans, and the venue! Kind draw? You never know!

Also think he will be there at business end of French and Wimbledon if he mentally decides 2014 could be another big year! Also think he will get back into the Top 4 as I see Ferrer, Berdych, Delpo fading slightly!

And there we have it, a fans perspective on how Fed can improve in 2014. Again thanks to Sid and Susie for contributing to this, better than anything you'll read on Bleacher Report all year.

What do you guys think? Do you agree / disagree with the points above? Will 2014 be better than 2013? Let us know in the comments.

About 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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162 comments

  1. Ana Paula Simensato

    First fan of the fans?

    πŸ˜€

    • Yey! Had such fun writing it! Thank you J for letting me share my views! Thought it Interesting how many opinions Sid and I shared!! Roger! Are you listening????

      • You two would be great pundits for BBC’s Wimbledon coverage πŸ˜‰

      • Agreed! Get rid of the old guard and in with the new.

      • I hope heΒ΄s listening πŸ™‚ great job by both of you. Susie I really your prediction about AO, that would kick of the 2014 season in style!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I highly doubt Roger can win the AO, though it would give me immense pleasure if I am proven wrong. It just doesn’t make sense that he could win there. Too many factors are stacked up against him. Particularly after the type of 2013 he has had.

        Wait…2013 is not over yet!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Yes Ana, fan of fans indeed πŸ™‚

      Susie, it sure was fun but I was hoping we could differ on a few points πŸ™‚

      Tom, pundits? No. A welcome change? Yes!

      • Problem is that so many of his issues have been obvious and yes he has been stubborn! U r right! Thks guys! Mind set is key and once he decides 2014 is a key target yr, then that will set him on right path. After 2012, 2013 was always going to be tough, but wld hv preferred slightly less tough!! Nothing less than semis in all the Majors is what he must aim for!

      • Great job! IΒ΄m totally on board with all your quotes. And I hope youΒ΄re right all the way unless of course if Roger does even better than your predictions πŸ™‚

        My favorite quote in which I totally agree: “If he stays with the 90 sq. in. frame, I’m selling all his stocks in double quick time”

  2. I have always said that this blog echoes my deep thoughts and feelings πŸ™‚ The posts as well as the comments always make me feel normal as being a tennis fan and a Fed fan is more like being an alian at home :/
    So to have them both combined in one: big pleasure πŸ™‚ and guess what? Here again Sid and Susie more or less expressed what has been going in my mind since I fully realised this season is like no other.
    So thank you all for sharing the love of the game and the love of Federer through peRFect Tennis. You are peRFect F

  3. You are peEFect Fans πŸ™‚

    @ Sid: if he continues making errors he shouldn’t I think I’ll start calling him Deaf-erer too πŸ˜€

  4. Escelent job Sid and Susie, I think that the key for Roger and his chances for 2014 is a change of racquet and a much more agressive return; and for that he needs to listen his coach Paul Annacone, lest hope he start for the changing on the racquet and for listening his coach always.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Racquet change is very important. I hope he hasn’t given up on it. Wimbledon would’ve been the only place the PS90 would be suitable for but Stakhovsky proved it otherwise.

  5. This was a very intresting post, i thought the answers given by Sid and Susie were exellent and to the point. I totally agree with the answers given, i just hope on Rogers part that things improve which is definately possible with tweeks here n there without having to repeat whats been said by Sid n Susie. It can only go up from now on for Roger, so i cant wait for the next tourny. Swiss Maestro rules !!!

  6. Redefining goals is the main thing here. After achieving pretty much everything he set out to do in 2012 I do feel he dedicated more time to his family this “transition” year, which is well deserved! He’s a dad after all and he’s already sacrificed so much. But if he was content with all he achieved he would’ve called it quits, so it bodes well that he hasn’t, it shows that he’s going to set new goals if he hasn’t done so already and go for them! πŸ˜€
    I wonder what Roger’s ones are for 2014? We’ll found out soon enough I’m sure.
    My goals for Roger as a fan in 2014 are these two: to regain a level of confidence and consistency, and winning a certain grass-court tournament. I bet he can’t wait to be back at SW19, to regain the aura he lost and this time for good. An 8th title would cement his status as the undisputed greatest Wimbledon champion. How much more motivation do you need? πŸ˜‰ His chip return can still be effective on the grass as well.
    It all starts with a solid indoor season though. Here’s hoping!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      He needs to put his mind to it like he did in 2012. I don’t think he was mentally or emotionally invested in 2013 and the subtle hints he gave us when he said, “it’s a transition year” proves it. Hopefully Dopal’s 13th will inspire him to get back to work.

    • Yeah no excuses this year for playing poorly indoors like burnt out etc. Up to him to play well and not fold under pressure. No more losses to Robredo.

  7. There are better things to come for Federer and Fedfans. He will be back next year! There is still magic left in him. He must give his best in the Grand Slams. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

  8. I see a chance of winning a Slam if he doesnt face Djoko or Nadal but i think it is gonna be difficult, i see a 2014 absolutely dominated by Nadal and Djokovic

    • I think Roger can still defeat Novak and will find a way to defeat Nadal. There’s always an opportunity for Federer to win another slam.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Dave, I recently watched a movie called, “Pablo Unleashed”. I wouldn’t recommend it to you πŸ™‚

      • Roger lost his confident and mental strengthe maybe due to the decreasing of his passion for the game. Djokovic is gonna comeback stronger next year and about Nadal is easy, he doesnt beat him in GS since 2007, he is not gonna find a way now at the age of 32, he is his Nemesis

      • Beating Nadal is close to impossible in slam for Fed now I agree but there’s still a chance of it happening. Only Goderer performance from start to finish would do it though.

    • Pablo, and which arguments do you give to that?

  9. I also agree with Sid ans Susie who made very good points. Roger needs to bulk up a bit, and surely improve his serve. His confidence need a boost too. I believe Annacone should stay! Roger can keep winning, but could use encouragement from his trainor. I wish the media would back off a bit. Roger needs to end this year with a few wins, and he can do this.

  10. Thank You Sid and Susie for your excellent posts, wow, you are both so thorough and really know your stuff!!
    My only fervent wish – and yes, it is only one wish – is that Roger wins one slam next year. I will of course take two or more, but am realistic and not greedy. For the most part, if he can win a slam next year, I will be happy. I don’t see Nadal exceeding 18 slams before he retires and feel that Federer’s slam record will thus be safe. But he needs at least one more. I just could not bare to see that doping cheat exceed our Roger, it would be criminal in more ways than one. But I believe Roger will ultimately prevail because he will NOT allow his great legacy to be usurped, especially by that cheating Spaniard. Allez Roger!!!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Most of what we said is also what most of the readers here think so this post was more like a consolidation of our collective thoughts. I have my hoped pinned on Wimbledon too. Nadal has shown symptoms of grass allergy recently. Djokovic is an easier opponent for Roger on grass. That leaves Murray as the only legitimate threat. That is, if Roger doesn’t decide to clown up against the rest of the field.

      By the way, careful about your Nadal comments. Toni Nadal will unleash Pablo on you and trust me, it will not be a pleasant experience πŸ˜‰

    • Thks! I think we confirmed what most if us hv felt watching Roger this yr! Sid was hoping our opinions might differ but the areas Fed needs to improve are so clear That he himself needs to sit down and watch some of the bad defeats with Annacone( painful though it might be)!
      Still hv high hopes for 2014 as not sure his mind set was there from the start this yr, knowing it was transitional, getting the back injury early. All contrived to hv a negative effect however much he talked up his chances!

  11. Great post Sid and Susie!! Thanks for your thorough treatment! Sure hope you’re right and we’re in store for a solid 2014 from Fed.

  12. Wow, well done Sid and Susie. You guys are Super Fans πŸ˜› I think Roger’s biggest issue is confidence and that that has cost him some key matches this season (In addition to his bad back as well). Roger might not pay attention to the press but he is aware of what is been said now:

    Q. You’re such an instinctive player. The game always has seemed to come so easily to you. Do you think it’s even more difficult, someone who is a natural touch player when the timing is off, it even looks worse when we’re used to you hitting the ball so sweetly?

    ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Look, then again, it’s always been a fine line, especially in the beginning of my career when I didn’t have the results to back me up. People thought, Did he even try? Does he care much? Like, He can play so well. Is it so terrible? Now, with the results, I know you don’t believe that so much. That’s the good thing. The story of my life: when I lose, people are shellshocked to see me play this way. If I win, it’s the best thing.

    He will need to put all that behind him and just focus on just himself and his game. It’ll make a difference I think. πŸ™‚

    So with that here’s to a good 2014 for Roger. Hey the Swiss team have now qualified for the World Group in the Davis Cup so may they will finally win? πŸ˜›

    P.S Sid I think Roger has already signed up for Brisbane.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Scooter, a club Pro was telling me a few days ago that Wilson was coming up with a new 90 sq. in. but didn’t know if Roger was going to use it.The specifications might be different though. As I mentioned in the post, it’s not just about having a bigger frame, but how much he tinkers with the specs that will matter in the end. More spin means he can eliminate a lot of those long forehands and backhands. Can’t wait to find out what the specifications are if Roger were to use it πŸ™‚

      • Yuck that racket is ugly….

        Sid, I agree with the tinkering, but if he puts more spin, he’ll lose power and speed. That’s just not his game.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Only extra spin can help him negate the loopy Nadal moon balls, especially on the backhand. I don’t know, he just basically pats the backhand back and Nadal feasts on them. The extra spin will at least allow him to take confident cuts at the ball. Even help create more angles to open up the court. Agreed that flat hits will impart the most straight line speed, but it’s not necessarily true that more spin would mean lack of power. More spin also means you can take bigger cuts at the ball (even higher racquet head speed) and the ball will be deeper and drop just inside the baseline without sacrificing speed. Depth, spin, loop, after all are the keys to the game these days. Add grunting to that and you truly have the modern tennis player πŸ™‚

        Maybe he is sacrificing speed for spin? I wouldn’t be surprised if the new racquet is a bit lighter.

      • Ah, but do we want him to do that? Cause if he becomes some kind of nadal prototype, I’m not sure I’m gonna stay a fan for long… The reason we like Roger is that he is different from the others right? the fun part of watching Federer is when he takes a huge cut a the ball, almost flat, which is still going up when it hits the wall behind the court πŸ˜‰

      • Good find Scooter. Is that seriously the real deal though? Awful paint job almost looks like a Chinese produced fake that sell on eBay. I hope more than ever he switches.

      • I’m not sure that Roger is going to use it though. After all he said he will test some more racquets.

        [Awful paint job almost looks like a Chinese produced fake that sell on eBay. ]

        πŸ˜† Agreed. It’s not very nice to look at.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Correct. Confidence. He is not sure what he needs to do right now and ends up trying to do more, or finish the point quickly. I didn’t know he has signed up from Brisbane. That’s welcome news!

      • Welcome indeed, as long as he doesn’t play exhos….

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Someone mentioned somewhere that he is not doing the exhos? I’d like to see him play them. They are fun. He could try the new racquet and make upwards of USD 10 million. Win, win, right? πŸ™‚ And it’s not like he has to really exert himself with the preparation.

        He should play an exhibition mixed doubles set with Mirka. I really want to see that happen!

      • he doesn’t need upwards of 10 million πŸ˜€ and if he doesn’t play DC I thinks its pretty damn bad if he played his exhos, for his image. Media are gonna slam him again. Tough I have to admit a doubles with mirka would be great πŸ˜€

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Simon, screw the Swiss media, at least some of them. They weren’t exactly forthcoming recently when they compared Roger to Stan, did they? I mean, haters everywhere are now resorting to shameful low blows, like trying to justify that Stan must be great because soon he might become the Swiss No. 1. Oh for ***** sake!

      • I totaly agree, but being in the country reading at every corner that Rog is a piece of shit is not fun πŸ˜‰

        And come on, stan has been fantastic this year!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Yes, Stan has been fantastic this year and I felt really bad after his AO and USO losses to Djokovic. But let’s put things in perspective. At Stan’s age, what did Roger achieve? Stan has achieved virtually nothing. He has all that mileage left. He is about five years younger? So, he is going to go through a golden patch. If the Swiss media and other haters use that as ammunition to bring down Roger, that’s like hitting dirty low blows.

        Stan should also be very thankful to Roger who I have no doubt helped him out with his game as a compatriot. He has no business trying to take sucker punches at Roger in public. He is just being ungrateful.

      • Stan has only gotten into Rog in the davis cup problem, which is understandable from his point of view: he has always given so much for that competition, and Roger has never played that competition seriously. He hasn’t bad mouthed Roger, only the ***** media.

      • I would skip both Exhos and Davis Cup.

        Stan been asking him to play again I saw other day. Also Murray saying everyone should play in it after ignoring it for the last 3 years lol.

      • I really enjoyed the exhos last year, I was even up at 2 am sometimes watching. Haha it was pretty fun πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t mind if Roger decided to play them again, maybe 3 dates?

        Jonathan, I read Murray’s comments about Davis Cup being made mandatory and I had to facepalm. I couldn’t remember the last time he played and here he was running his mouth.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Simon, Roger isn’t the type of player who would like to expend energy on something he knows is never going to happen, without a support cast, that is winning the Davis Cup. I think Stan is in the wrong if he needles Roger about it. He shouldn’t. Roger has done too many things to make Switzerland proud.

        Scooter, I’m really looking forward to the exhos. Considering how horrible 2013 has been, the exhos will give us something to enjoy without sweating, throwing things around, praying etc. πŸ™‚

        Where was Murray during the French open? Hiding like a coward to prepare for Wimbledon? Hmm?

    • Yes he has, and as they just drew Serbia in the Davis Cup, that is a big incentive to play that event too. Needs those sort of motivators! Thanks all the positive comments! Heres to a vintage 2014 with Fed!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I’d rather Roger enjoy the exhos than try to duke it out with those Serbian dopers πŸ™‚ I mean really, what’s the point of playing in the Davis Cup? It’s just a business that rakes in money by fueling the patriotic fervor of fans πŸ™‚

      • I suppose it somehow did him good in 2011 when he play in Australia after the USO. I dunno though if he should play. I’m not interested in Davis Cup anyway so hard to get excited for it.

  13. I personally think Fed can and should retire next year with his head held high. Announce it in the middle of the year, hopefully during the ceremony of winning a title.

    He is such a player that everywhere he goes, ppl would want to know in advance the he is retiring so they can give him proper farewell.

    Ok, that’s just an example.

    But in bigger picture, I always think that player like Roger should retire when he is on a high rather than on low.

    As time goes on, he will only get lower and lower.

    That’s why I think Borg’s decision was correct in my opinion, to retire after losing the 6th Wimby final.

    Graf did the same thing.

    You don’t want to hear people talking abt Roger’s big years and then add “although he faded badly in the end before he retired”.

    I personally think that it will be a miracle if he wins another slam with Nadal, Djoko and Murray being around. He will win matches no doubt but he will struggle to go past QFs at slams. There will always be the likes of Stakhovsky and Delbonis and even Robredos of the world who will upset him at those stages.

    So I don’t see him gaining anything by continuing to play and only losing his aura more and more.

    Dhaval

    • Who would announce retirement during a trophy presentation? lol.

      I disagree, too soon to retire. Still has something left to give.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        That would be funny. Imagine raising the trophy to thunderous applause, then suddenly going, “F****** nuts! This is insane! I’m out of here” πŸ™‚

  14. Interesting, but I think a lot of delusion about. I think Roger has peaked and will not improve to win another major let alone more minor tournaments. Can’t go on forever and he has had his day. Djok and Nadal will be main contenders for some while. Sorry RF fans of which I am one!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Interesting perspective, Mary. From where I see it, he needs a bit of improvement in a few areas and he should be able to get two slams in the next two years. He still has superb form and technique on his shots. He is unable to absorb power, but only a bit, and his lateral movement has diminished. But not to a level where he needs to quit. Unless he is physically struggling, which only he is the judge of, there is no reason why he shouldn’t try to give it a shot. He hasn’t crossed the Rubicon yet. I don’t think he has πŸ™‚

    • Agreed Sid. There’s still another chapter to write.

  15. Wow, excellent posts Sid and Susie! And I’m in agreement with alot of what was said.
    He needs to mix things up on his return, because simply chipping the ball just won’t get the job done against the top guys anymore. You’d think because he’s ageing, and losing some foot speed, he’d want to be aggressive on the return and shut down the points early, right? He’s a touch step slower now and it’s affecting his lateral movement big-time (especially when retrieving balls to his right), perhaps like Sid said, losing some pounds might actually help his cause.

    It’s imperative Fed ends this season on a high; despite there being a substantial break between WTF (should he qualify) and Melbourne, it’s possible to still carry some momentum through. Would be awesome if Fed could repeat his 2012 heroics, which hinged on a successful end to a no-doubt tough 2011.

    Also, Susie why don’t you think Nadal will defend his title at the French? That’s like his second home!

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Ludwig, he can surely take the confidence of the indoor seasons but things really change down under as you must’ve observed. And the marathon men will be fully recharged.

      The indoor stretch will not be easy for Roger. Djokovic is in fine form. Nadal, contrary to what many may believe, is going to take a huge shot at the WTF. He would be naive not to. I’m sure he senses this is his biggest and possibly only chance to add the year end Masters to his cabinet chock full of clay titles and dope. If Roger qualifies for the WTF, it’s almost guaranteed he will be grouped with Nadal.

      We’ll wait for Susie’s answer but I think she is banking on the fact that Novak went from four sets to a tough five at the Paris, so next year he will do it. But she discounts the fact that Nadal will go out and get “what is needed” if you know what I mean to overcome the invasion.

    • First of all, I think he really wanted that 8th title, to stand alone above all others!. Secondly, wanted get a second hard court slam, such is Toni Nadals obsession with getting him to GOAT status! With that done, huge emphasis will be put on getting that second AO title, so he and Toni can point the finger at Fed with his single FO title! Sure, he will want to win the FO, but think he will succumb to Djokovic who knows he nearly got there this year, and who will use the off season to hone his clay court skills and go all out to win.

  16. Roger has always had the best game in tennis. With the slowing courts and better conditioned and younger opponents it has been harder to win as before. I think if he can get stronger and faster it would help him win more for sure. Nothing to lose by switching to the new racket either.

    Mostly it is the lack of confidence that has been hurting him last few years. Started against Dull when he could not figure out a way to beat his style of heavy top spin attacking his weaker backhand. It has spread to lack of confidence against the likes of Djokovic, Murray and Berdych. The more he loses, the less confidence he has and the opponents are starting to become more confident of beating him.

    The month+ break should give him enough time to work on his fitness and get used to the new racket. It has been a big bear market for Fed and his fans. Hope we roll into a long bull market starting in Shanghai πŸ™‚

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Ganesh, despite his severe style mismatch with Nadal, Roger played really well in slams and came just short simply because he couldn’t do the single most important thing in the game of tennis, win break points! Sure, Nadal has pulled away recently but take a look at the break point conversion numbers from three of the slam finals he lost before 2010

      Rolland Garros 2007 1/17 to Nadal’s 4/10
      Wimbledon 2008 1/13 to 4/13
      Australian Open 2009 6/19 to 7/16

      That’s 8/49 for Roger vs. 15/39 for Nadal. This is not an excuse for his losses. I’m simply trying to show that he has actually played better than Nadal in those finals but hasn’t picked up either one or two crucial points.

      Meanwhile, I’ve been buying Roger stocks like crazy over the last few months. They are so cheap these days and I know I’m going to hit it big time. I’d recommend you do the same. The stock code is FEDUP πŸ™‚

      • I think the rules of the game should change and the player who get more break points must win because it means he played better hahahaha

        You can’t be serious!

      • Oh come on man… This is getting ridiculous! Start thinking before you say something… If he gets more BP, it means he’s doing better on his opponents serve than the other is right? What Sid meant (probably) is that Rog played better overall in the return games, but he just couldn’t take that last point, effectively making him play less well… That make sense in your pea brain?…

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Simon, let me add fuel to fire. If you take Roger’s 8/49* break point conversion record, and change it to 11/49*, Roger would’ve had three more slams! πŸ™‚

        * non dope assisted

      • Feds story vs Nadal goes like this…

        Underestimates Nadal to begin with.
        Gets too arrogant and stubborn in their early ish meetings especially at the French and loses, gives Nadal the edge and mental advantage
        Lets Nadal in his head and then gets himself on the end of some tough defeats. Loses self belief.
        Sets the pattern for the rest of their meetings.

        Could have won far more matches than he lost if he’d just showed that edge when it mattered as is seen by the break point stats you just showed. Dull of course plays all the big points well and he has the memory of a goldfish on court, point for point epitomised.

    • With you there Ganesh! I am really keen for him to take a WC into Beijing. Hardly a taxing tourney, no little prep for Shanghai, pick up some Race to London points. Here’s hoping he is listening!
      Ps Jonathan, where are you? Not gone into early retirement we hope!!!

  17. Sid & Susie,
    You both have summed up everything, I couldn’t add more, but wanted to say one thing. The last game Roger played against Nadal in cinci, while nadal serving for the match, is the formula. He showed exactly how to treat Nadal first and second serve. I was on my couch edge at that time, I prayed a lot πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, if Roger would get his winning formula, I believe he should look into what he did back then and rewind that game more and more.
    Just watching it, it will boost his confidence back in which he need it at most big time going into Indoor.

    • Nice to see someone who’s a REAL fan! Pablo, I’m looking at you!

      Shamtoot, I totaly agree. I even think the entire match bar two service games was good. And I’d like to see him beat your guy sometime soon that way, no offense! πŸ˜‰

      Nice to see you stressing out for once though, now you know how we feel like 99% of the time πŸ˜‰

      • Simon,
        It’s always nice to hear different opinion with open-minded thoughts. And yeah, I could feel what you all have been through those matches, yeabsolutely πŸ˜‰

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Shamtoot, can you for once, for the sake of your fellow readers here, pray really hard for Roger? It won’t hurt the 21-10 H2H, not one bit. Throw us a bone here man πŸ™‚

      But you’re right. Roger went into the match with a nothing to lose mentality, played freely, and got the first set. Once he realized he can actually win, the demons returned, he became tentative and lost. He needs to exorcise his demons first to have any chance.

      • Mmm sorry Sid, I can’t πŸ˜‰
        But I really wish he could have some really tough wins over him, it will definitely serve as redemption for the skewed H2H.
        Somehow, I feel that Roger won’t leave tennis until he has some paybacks from his demons, can he get that? Who knows πŸ˜‰
        β€œOnce he realized he can actually win, the demons returned, he became tentative and lost. He needs to exorcise his demons first to have any chance” absolutely agree.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I see how it is, Shamtoot. You can’t pray for Roger to win once? Your man has 21 wins. This shows how much you like your fellow readers are PeRFect tennis. Typical Nadal fan πŸ™‚

      • No worries Sid, i can pray once for him just for you guys πŸ˜‰ if that would help πŸ™‚

    • Shamtoot I applaud you for sticking around. Regardless of what I think about Nadal you Shamoot are cool, unlike others πŸ˜›

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        From now on, we shall refer to him as, “Shamtoot the Cool!”. I think Shamtoot the Cool needs a Gravatar, a penguin maybe? πŸ™‚

      • Scooter,
        You have all the rights to think and believe the opposite of what others believe, no harm feeling at all. That’s why I love to come and comment over here, because I need to hear what others say about Nadal.
        I like the community out here, so friendly and sometimes unbiased ;), you guys are cool

      • Sid,
        Shamtoot the cool would work, but the penguins Gravatar mmmmmm no way πŸ˜‰
        i’ll think of something else and stick it πŸ™‚

  18. A bit slow to comment here but hey Susie and Sid, what a great post! And thanks for your effort to put words together to summarise the thoughts on Roger of late and his future which a lot of us fed fans are feeling and wondering.

    I am on a dilemma though…I don’t want him to change his beautiful attacking style of game, the precise touch with his small magic wand. On the other hand feel he’s got to change to a larger weapon, improve his defence, start winning, build confident and go back to the top again. I believe he will rise at least once more time but just hope it wouldn’t make his tennis less attractive. Having said that winning #18 or more would surely compromise any concern I guess.

    As for Nadal, I am kind of thinking he is putting everything, doing anything to win matches and titles as much as possible in order to go back to No.1, gets few more slams and demonstrates himself to the world as the greatest come back of tennis history. Then boom suddenly retires before anything to be revealed…no more question, no embarrassment and he would stand as one of all time tennis legends for ever…no?

    What ever happens to him or other top guys, nobody would surpass Fed as the greatest. Allez!

    • Hey,

      I don’t think a new racquet will change his game a whole lot. Still always going to have that attacking flair. Just the bigger head size adds a touch of forgiveness so not like we’re going to see him become a grinder :P.

      Jonthan

  19. Well, Fed will be extra happy tonight as his team just squashed Chelsea and the Special One in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge! Who saw that coming! Good omen????? Wonder if he was there???

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Welcome news! But Chelsea will go through to the eliminations after all. I still can’t come to terms with the fact that they won it all a couple of years ago. Mourinho is the soccer equivalent of Toni Nadal πŸ™‚

      • “Mourinho is the soccer equivalent of Toni Nadal ” you spot it πŸ˜‰ looool
        I really don’t like this guy, but if he decided to manage Liverpool, I would reconsider πŸ™‚

      • WOO LIVERPOOL! But yes, I agree about Mourinho. But to be fair Sid, he has his moments where he gets along with the press, can be funny etc. Toni Nadal is just a nasty piece of work start to finish.

  20. So Fed tweeted his delight at FC Basle winning! Take some lead from them Roger!
    So what’s the story with Murray? Back surgery, missing the Asian Swing! Cld either benefit Fed or not as Stan and Gasquet take advantage!!! Come on Fed,that’s an incentive as Muzza may not make London!

    • Hi Susie… Yep i was just reading about Mugrey and apparantely he is having surgery on his lower back. They are going to repair or remove a nerve on his disc on the lower back. So if this is true Roger has a better chance for qualifying for the WTF. Murray will be out for the rest of the season and not play the Asian swing, Paris and ultametely the WTF. I really hope Roger does well now and try to salvage what by his standard a really poor season. Plus the fact he will now be playing indoors Roger needs to capitalise and take full advantage of the conditions. But iv learnt the hard way not to get happy when Roger demolishes a player in the first couple of rounds because just when you think yep Rogers back on track with sublime Tennis, he goes on to lose the next round to ( no disrespect to other players) underclassed, less skilled, one hit wonders who just ruin the day. As these one time winners never ever win the next match. So i think why the f**k did you beat Federer when you know you cant reproduce your one off, lucky performance!!! Arrrrrrrrrrgh so annoying!!! Anyway sorry for my rant. Heres hoping Roger comes back strong and shut these critics, puntits,media the hell up. Come on Roger, please show why you are the GOAT!!!! πŸ™‚

      • Ummm guys, Muzz is allready qualified… πŸ˜›

        The only way it helps Fed is that he won’t meet murray early, or if muzz actually drops out of WTF.

      • Repeating myself but Fed needs to get a WC into Beijing! Cannot depend on 2/3 tourneys to get to London, notwithstanding that the organisers will be desperate for Fed to qualify especially if Muzza doesn’t play! Need the bums on seat name! Gasquet just doesn’t hv the same ring!! My campaign starts here! Listen Roger! You need Beijing. Too many others snapping at yr heels playing 3/4 more tourneys! You do not want to suffer the ignominy of being the Alternate!!!!!

  21. Sid,

    I read your comment above that ” Only extra spin can help him negate the loopy Nadal moon balls, especially on the backhand ” I ‘d appreciate it a lot if you’d explain this a bit to us, please. I don’t have the technical knowledge myself to understand what you are referring to.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      This is going to be a slightly long comment and I’ll try to keep it non technical.

      What is it that gives you the most control? Top spin. The more top spin you can generate, the more confidently you can hit and the more control you will have.

      Imagine a Nadal forehand cross court coming to your single handed backhand. The ball explodes. If you were to keep the racquet face static, the ball would have an massive allergic reaction and would simply bounce off it and land into the crowd sitting to your left, leaving you utterly embarrassed. Yes, that’s how I felt just over two years ago. To cover it, you need to close the face of the racquet. But then you would be just patting it back with a short reply. So, you have to add come over and around the ball and put a lot of top spin to send it back deep. After enough iterations, you will find that the more top spin you can put on the reply, the more comfortable and confident you will feel, and the more effective your returning will be. Unfortunately, Roger hasn’t been able to do that consistently. He was demolished in Rome particularly because of that pattern and the fact that Nadal has actually purchased more spin recently.

      The difference between the average rotations that these two put on a forehand ground stroke is not very much. Roger is probably a few hundred revolutions behind Nadal. But the cross court forehand creates a different scenario. Roger’s single handed backhand is now facing the Nadal forehand at it’s heaviest. The spin differential between these shots becomes a huge factor. The only way Roger can neutralize it would be by getting as close to the amount of the spin that he is facing. He will get control, and he will be able to send the back deep, and exactly where he wants to.

      We may have seen adjustments from Roger but Nadal has improved the forehand to offset that. Now, Roger already uses very low tension on his strings, perhaps low 50’s or even lower, but that hasn’t been enough because of the type of equipment he uses. It’s physics really. I just don’t know how Roger can match Nadal in that pattern, which has cost him at least four slams.

      You will notice that Roger, because of his vastly superior footwork compared to Nadal, is able to get to the precise contact point when hitting his backhand. Yet, he isn’t able to do much with it. What could be the reason?

      Of course, Roger Federer knows all that, and infinitely more than what a rank amateur like me knows. Why then has he not been able to overcome that problem?

      Or is he close to solving it? πŸ™‚

      • Thanks for your reply, Sid.
        I hope Roger will become indeed more consistent with his backhand and become less vulnerable for the loopy Nadal forehands.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        No problem, Wilfried. At first I thought you were trolling me with your original question. Then I decided to give you the benefit of doubt and answer it πŸ™‚

      • It’s not in my nature to do such a thing.
        It’s true that I have written some cynical remarks in the past, but only when it concerns a certain Spanish player.
        No, the reason for my question was that I don’t have any experience as a player with topspin, neither on the forehand nor the backhand side, and therefore it is harder for me to understand the mechanics of that spin.
        In fact I have always had a very good backhand myself with a lot of control on that stroke, more control than on the forehand. But I can’t play those backhands with any topspin. I play them either flat or with lots of slice / bite, in defense, or to play deep low bouncing approach shots or drop shots.
        Your skill level tennis wise speaking is certainly better than mine.

      • it looks very easy, I don’t know why Roger doesn’t use your theories, he probably can’t afford experts like you :). There are no secrets, Roger never could stop him; just one is the best.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Pablo, tu no comprendo Ingles, no? Para tu, Soy dira en Enspanol. Por ultima tiempo, soy no quiero hablar con idiotas . Por favor, no responda a mi! Gracias y Adios!

  22. The facts Federer’s always had in his favor over Nadal is more overall wins, titles and slams. He’s 5 years older which explains it, and I think Nadal’s probably ahead at the same age comparitively. So if Nadal ends up with more slams, in particular, than Federer it’ll be pretty difficult to argue Fed’s the greatest when his biggest rival owns him in head-to-head and would have more slams than him as well. Even if he never manages to beat him in a slam again -last time was Wimbledon 2000 and bloody 7-, then he must end up with more overall stats than him. If he wants to be considered as the goat, then he CAN’T let Nadal get ahead there too.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      True. If Nadal gets past 17, regardless of how we as Federer fans spin it, it will be hard to defend his GOAT status. Nobody is going to care about Roger’s year end titles, or overall domination. It will simply be, more slams, and way better head to head, equals GOAT. It will be hard to defend πŸ™‚

      But, that might not happen. We saw Roger go through a golden patch in 2009-10 when he won three of the four slams (four almost it it weren’t for that pesky Del Potro and the inaccurate challenge system). He was 28 years old then. Nobody thought he would slow down but boy, did he slow down! Nadal just went though a similar resurgence and it appears he simply cannot be stopped. We will see.

      My proposed solution for Roger is simple: just win two more slams and get it over with already!

      • Ah if he wins two more that’ll be 19… can’t stop there, gotta go and reach 20! But at the moment even one slam seems pretty darn distant. We’ll see…

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        But 19 slams would make even Nadal’s doctors go, “Oh Mierda!” πŸ™‚

      • Winning Wimbledon for and 8th time defeating Nadal in the final, that’d be alright.. Come on he’s definetly got something special in him!

      • Er, at this moment, I wld be happy with any title!!!

      • But can’t we dream Susie? I spent the weekend re-watching some Federer classics + some fan tributes on Youtube. Saw also the one Fed tweeted about last week.
        Yes I am realistic and any win will make me super mega happy, but he’s Rofer Federer. RF as in peRFect, wondeRFul, poweRFul πŸ™‚
        So I can dream of an 18th GS win, and over Nadal, and why not in Wimbledon as Theo described πŸ™‚ But you know what, an AO revenge would suit me as well πŸ˜‰
        Come on Roger! Show them who you are!!

      • Aaah that idiot could have had a calendar slam if he hadn’t mucked up that final. A final that he was in BEAST mode for a good part of. πŸ˜›

        Never thought about it then, but in retrospect. That and the tweener against Safin, 2005. (facepalm)

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        The tweener against Safin? I had no idea what you were talking about and then I looked up. But that video wouldn’t play. What happened? Was it a match point he messed up? I saw someone mention it in the comments.

  23. We can but dream Alex! Every day there are Retiremrnt, what now for Fed articles! So dull! But we need him to respond in the right way! Good to watch the classics (I watched the Pre US Open interview with him by Roddick)! Such respect between them! Gd to see! But now is now Roger, time to get back in the saddle and kick ass! Get ye to Beijing!

    Ps everyone, I am lucky enough to be meeting Boris Becker on Friday so hoping to get some thoughts from him!! Will let you know!

  24. Hey guys. Loved the article. Great work Sid and Susie.

    I’ve been reading a couple of retarded comments about how Roger won 7 slams from a weaker era. Which is absolutely ridiculous on 3 counts.

    1) So, apparently if you’re THAT good that you make everyone else in your era look pedestrian, you’re part of a weak era. So if he was to lose 4 finals to Andy Roddick, he would automatically have had as many slams as Nadal, but no weak era arguments would come up, because he was second best to a player who had 4 slams.

    2) Ok, let’s agree with them on the weak era argument. If they say Roger won 7 slams in that era, he won 10 in the Golden era. An era where he was starting to move beyond his prime. Nadal won just 3 more slams in his absolute prime.

    3) How can you randomly pick an a few years, twist the math to make it work to your advantage and then pass it off as a determinant in your arguments?

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Let me play the devils advocate….

      The three slams Roger won in 2009-10, well, Nadal wasn’t playing, or he didn’t face Roger because he lost in earlier rounds, or Nadal would’ve won those too. Because Djokovic only had one slam till 2011, and Andy Murray won his first at the end of 2012, technically, Roger won no slams in the Golden Era (remember, Nadal wasn’t around after Round 2 at Wimby 2012)?

      His two Wimbledon wins over Nadal was achieved when Nadal was only a Clay courter. He wasn’t focusing on other surfaces, you see?

      Whichever way you look at it, ALL of Roger’s slams came when there was no competition. With the other three around in full form, Roger wouldn’t have won a single slam!

      So, what do you have to say about that? πŸ˜‰

    • I agree with you, but we (fedfans) do the same:

      Take the HtH: we are always saying that the HTH is screwed because he pretty much only met him on clay, and when he was down in the dumps. Fact is, HTH is horrible and I agree with the arguments, but we don’t stick just to the fact either.

      • Two things bug me about the HtH thing: if Roger had taken several months off when he was ill (2008, early 2009) instead of playing on, and if he hadn’t done so well for so long in the French Open, then the HtH with Rafa would look very different. Also, if HtH means anything then Davydenko is a better player than Rafa and Murray a better player than Roger, right? Would anybody seriously suggest that?

  25. First time poster here. First of all, good answers from both Sid and Susie. I do have a question for Sid though, what do you mean when you said “In terms of total mileage, he could be right where Djokovic and Nadal are?” It seems Roger has way more mileages than either Novak or Rafa.

    • I can give my interpretation (Sid, you tell me if I’m wrong)

      Roger has an effortless game, whilst Nadal and Djoker are verz physical. Roger has never been out on extended injury time, while both Rafa and Novak have. So his game would allow him to play longer than the two others because they have extremly physical games and wear out their bodies faster.

      • U spot it simon, two thumps up! Unless Sid has other explaination πŸ˜‰
        I also think haas still in the game because of the same reason

      • Hello. I read the other day that Uncle Toni said if you want your kids to succeed better teach them to play like Rafa because no one can play like Roger. Not sure if he meant that to sound the way it does but he’s absolutely right anyway πŸ™‚

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Simon, you’re right. There is no wasted energy or movement in Roger’s game. Perfect footwork. Perfect timing. He could, if he puts his mind to it, go on for quite some time. Nadal, with his histrionic playing style, has been quoted as saying that the one thing he desires a lot would be, “to play tennis as easy as Roger Federer”.

      • Yeah, indeed he quoted that πŸ˜‰ every tennis player would love to have Roger’s talent. He plays that kind of game that pursuit perfection!

      • I honestly believe (trying as hard as I can to be non biased) that Roger’s game is what you’d call textbook style, and the closest to perfection. Nadal has talent, for sure, same as the other bug guys, but Rog just has that something else that I (unfortunately) don’t believe we are going to see again anytime soon.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Precisely, Simon. And it is for that reason that regardless of how many slams Nadal wins or him being considered the GOAT, Roger will be the most loved of all. Nobody plays tennis like Roger Federer. Nobody can play tennis like Roger Federer.

        It’s not just that. Roger transformed the sport by bringing humility to it. He added artistry and beauty to it. Today, the scribes who are jumping bandwagons may say that the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray are taking tennis to a different level. Wrong! Roger is singularly responsible for making the sport so popular. The rest are simply trying to continue carrying his work forward.

      • True, and credits where and when its due

  26. Hi to all of you Fed fans ,
    I m not able to participate more often , not that I am needed, cause of loads of obligations work, family . Ok and a little bit of playing tennis πŸ™‚
    Of course I visit each and every day and read almost everything.
    So I ve got this theory and I m giving it a 5% of being true.
    I ll name it β€œ modern game” theory and it is a kind of conspiracy theory and it goes like this:
    Everyone in the game is taking β€œ a little bit of a something” to boost his performance. Everybody apart from the player that happens to be the best, happens to love the game more than anyone else but also has two little angels and just doesn’t feel like putting daddy’s life in danger by taking any kind of s***t .
    All though he is burning inside he cannot open his mouth and there comes the sad dilemma to sit and watch lesser players winning him or just retire nice and quietly .
    Ok I guess this is just ballocks as you call it at your Island but come on the guy is just 31 he is not 65. Is it him that is the Olderer or is it the others that are the turboers?

    PS Jonathan and all, please give me any tips for the Tour finals in November. Probably I ll just manage to be there only the first two days. Should I wait to see when Fed will play or will it be too late? Should I book tickets in advance? What seats should I pick? Do you see anything from section 4 without binoculars?

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Loads of obligations at work? Yeah…right! Stay away from the casinos and you will make enough time πŸ™‚

      I like your theory. Roger has bigger concerns in life than tennis. The very first question I raised in my post was about Roger’s commitment. If he puts his mind to it, he will win multiple slams, I have no doubt.

      The Doper on the other hand will continue like this till he is 35. He doesn’t care about family life. All he cares about are his records. He is not self aware. The only emotions he has are anger and combativeness. He loves only his doctors. His uncle has brainwashed him. My bet is they are lovers, ever since he was a little boy.

    • Hiya gambler!

      I went last year to the O2 just to see Rog (got an autograph and a signed ball as well πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ )

      If you take tickets to the masters, take two consecutive days in the round robin stages, then you are guaranteed to see him play (if he qualifies of course)

      That’s what I did, and I do not regret it πŸ˜€
      cheers!

      • Hey Gambler,

        I think it might be too late if you wait to see if Fed plays in Group A or B.

        There isn’t a bad view in the o2 arena, I’ve sat about 5 rows back on the bottom level, and on the 2nd to last row of tier 4 before; there’s no major difference and you can see everything really clear. In terms of being able to see the action from afar it’s probably the best venue for tennis in the world.

    • Hmm, I don’t think I’d buy the theory that *everybody* on the tour apart from one person was “taking a little something”. Seems more likely to me that either rather more than one person isn’t, or they all are …

      Anyway, re your WTF query: it struck me last year that the BBC seemed to have some clout in deciding the casting, sorry, order of play of the singles matches: they cover the afternoon matches only, and it was noticeable for most of the tourney that we got the more “in demand” players in the afternoons. (They’d run out of clout by the time of the SF, so I never did see Fed v. Murray, more’s the pity.) So logically 2 afternoons running ought to do it – *if* he’s playing.

      Tickets: seats have been selling faster than ever this year – the Murray effect, I’d guess, although I suppose people may have put them up for resale on the assumption that he won’t be there. Based on my limited experience of 1 visit, when I was about 3 rows from the back, I was surprised how good the view was: I think I took binoculars but didn’t use them. *However*, block 4 is *really* steep, and a lot of people have problems with it.

      BTW, a friend of mine who went for a wander round last year said you could get at the practice courts without a ticket, and guess who he saw practising? I *paid* for a ticket and just got Murray/Djokovic (although Fed did come on later for an award presentation, so I did see him).

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        A lot of them are on some kind of PED’s. Some do it more intensively than others because they have the means. You can always blame someone or something to avoid a life ban, like Cilic did. He is a professional and had no idea that those glucose tablet I think he said had banned substances. Which really means that, “nobody dopes intentionally”, like Uncle Toni once said.

        These poor tennis players are like sitting ducks. It’s just not possible to know what they are on.

        Anyways, how many of you truly believe that Roger won’t make it to the O2 arena?

      • I don’t believe anything about the O2 arena. It’s just that there is a chance that he doesn’r make it. A lot of them (including stan and gasquet) are playing small 150 tourneys, as well as a 500 tourney that Rog isn’t playing. With the small margins he has, it could be a deciding point, though I do believe he will do (relatively) well in the big tourneys.

        And if tournament organisers know something about earning money, they’re gonna fix that draw in favor of him, and put him in ferrer’s quarter… lest he not make the O2

      • Hey Alison,

        Yeah you can get to the practise courts without a ticket. I’ve not seen Fed but I did see Nadal warm up once.

        I think quite a lot of players choose to practice at Queens club though rather than at the o2.

      • Alison, Simon and Jonathan, thank you so much for your help.

        I ll might as well hurry up and get tickets for the 2 days as you suggested or just gamble and hope I m lucky by getting tickets for 2 sessions… and then end up watching ferrer vs Berdych and Jokovic vs Raonic bahahaha

        Again sorry for taking such a while to thank as it s not that I am rude but as Sid says my job is pretty demanding.

        After all you should show mercy to a Fed Fan who is a creation of this blog.

        A great blog indeed! the Lamb as you say… Ehm no sorrry the GOAT

  27. Simon , I was thinking exactly what you said, however I m only staying for 3 days and I didn’t want it to be all tennis. Its just some quality tennis or peRFect tennis I wanna watch. See I m not going on my own to London…

    Sid , Fed is becoming just a tiny bit slower in his reactions , his footwork his movement and this could be easily mended. Look what happened to the Joker within a couple of years and even to Rafa within a year. Its just a click that he needs or even a placebo could do it, knowing that his opponents don’t have any secret advantages any more.
    I mean look at the game at cincy QF . If he could just maintain his game , but then suddenly he looked worn out. Again I guess that’s easy to fix. We ve all witnessed huge transformations in tennis and sports in general. This would be NOTHING.
    But I bet that Fed is a man of great quality and he is not going to do it.
    Or has he had enough of this circus and just needs to show everyone who is truly the boss before saying goodbye?
    Still a shaky theory but aren’t PEDs a reality in sports?

    Enough now with all this cheap fiction I got to get back to my job, fighting against those one armed bandits.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Unfortunately, PED’s are truly a part of sport these days, all sports. Tennis has turned into the sport of cycling, where endurance is the most important weapon. It only stands to reason that players, the unethical ones, will do whatever it takes to gain an advantage.

      Roger just needs to get back that fraction of a second he has lost and everything will be fine. I do not believe for a second that he put in the necessary effort to make 2013 a good year. For whatever reason, he simply did not.

      Good luck robbing those bandits! Buy some FEDUP stocks, you stand a better chance πŸ™‚

  28. Damn, nothing is going on now, pure boredom….

    Anyone know what Roger is wearing at Shanghai and the rest of the tourneys?

  29. Ha! Novak finally gets his career slam πŸ™‚

  30. okay i just saw the rankings to london, and fed has to play beijing… if stan make the final he gets in front and gasquet et very close behind… he just can’t rely on a good showing in the next masters 1000…

  31. I think fitness is the key thing really, if he gets that in place I think other things will come along. This needs dedication and is the hardest thing to motivate yourself for as it is hard work. Is Fed up for it? Not convinced.

    Aside from that, more cheap points on service would help a great deal, when you watch him nowadays no service game is routine and it puts extra pressure on him which his nerve is not handling.

    Am I hopeful? Not really if I am being honest. I think it should be a better year than 2013 but I suspect maybe one or two GS semis at best and more defeats at 4th rounds and quarters.

  32. Hiiii Rogeeer Plzzz Change Your Racquet To 95 or 98 Inch …
    Wilson Six One Or Blade !

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