ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRome Masters

Roger Federer Withdraws From Rome Masters Quarter Final

The Swiss start hands Stefanos Tsitipas a walkover due to a right leg injury

Roger Federer has pulled out of his quarterfinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia because of a right leg injury sustained on Thursday in his win against Borna Coric.

I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete today. I am not 100 per cent physically and after consultation with my team, it was determined that I not play. Rome has always been one of my favourite cities to visit, and I hope to be back next year. Federer on his withdrawal

Federer, who was looking for his first-ever title in Rome made reference to his leg during his press conference yesterday when discussing the wet lines after the court had been watered.

So I don't quite understand how players just go with it when they water the court. They call time, players check the lines and say ok we can play. But the lines are wet. Wet lines mean you slide. And when I slid, I caught myself. I did hurt my toe for like two games, my leg also was hurting a little bit. This is exactly what I don't understand, they don't make us play but why do you call time? That makes us feel the pressure from the crowd and TV audience. I don't think we should play with wet lines. Federer on wet lines

There's no more news as of yet but I'm guessing he didn't want to risk further injury ahead of the French Open which starts in 9 days time.

Was this the slip at the start of set two?

Fed Slip

Or this one in the second game?

Fed Slip 2

They both look fairly innocuous with one in the first game the worse of the two but who knows. Roger's bugbear was wet lines in the press conference which suggests they played a part in the injury. They only became an issue at the start of set two when he questioned Bernardes in the chair about it after the slip.

Further updates coming soon.

Fed Withdraw

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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151 Comments

  1. Pity for such an avoidable problem. Somehow strange that the conditions are not made to eliminate risks like that.

  2. Oh no not good for injury at this time we still don’t know it bad or a little French Open is near by hope he can full recovery
    But I don’t care about French Open he can skip it and get full rest for halle and wimbledon

  3. Good call by Roger. Would have been a miracle if he had come out and defeated a 20 year old who had 2 easy matches yesterday. Not risking further injury is a good decision. Hope he is ready to go for a good showing in French in a few days. Much better showing by the 37 year old than Thiem.

  4. Arrived in the office to find this news! Obviously not happy, but I’d rather he didn’t risk aggravating it. I did wonder why he was making such a fuss about the lines being wet yesterday – this might explain it.

    Hoping it’s only minor, and that he’ll be okay for RG – or at least for the rest of the year.

  5. Not too concerned. It’s a shame but he’s got some good clay court play in here, makes no sense to risk the rest of the season to play a match or so more in Rome. Hopefully that’s all it is, but given he finished the match I’m hoping it’s nothing majorly worrying.

  6. That’s a drag, I was looking forward to it but more worried about a serious leg issue. Hopefully it’s just precautionary and more to do with playing 3 matches in 2 days rather than an acute leg injury that takes a month to heal or something. Who cares about RG, I just want him to focus on Halle and Wimbledon, Cinncy, US Open, and Shanghai.

  7. Smart precaution! Avoiding a repeat of 2016 in Rome when he wanted to withdraw in the 2nd round and didn’t and should have withdrawn in the 3rd against Thiem and injured himself futher where he had to withdraw from RG. Rome should have a roof and never place players at risk. Roger told the umpire the lines were wet. It’s dangerous! It’s also beyond comprehension they would force players to play 2 matches in 1 day in any tournament because of rain delay. Add a roof or another day to the tournament!
    He has won over all those guys before many times so it’s best to rest and be fit for the most important Grand Slams.

    1. Rome doesn’t need a roof. And the roof isn’t going to the stop lines being wet 😆

      “It’s also beyond comprehension they would force players to play 2 matches in 1 day”

      Ah come on. I know everyone needs mollycoddling now, but it’s not a big ask for a player to play twice in one day. The players are absolutely fine with it.

  8. Well, this is nothing new on clay courts. Courts are regularly watered. With sunny weather they do this every few games or at least between sets. The clay is wet. lines are wet. This lasts a minute or two and everything is dry. There can still be places on court (not only lines), where it’s slippy. The same on grass (or even worse).

    There is no way to water the court and avoid wet places. Playing on clay everyone must be aware of this and adapt movements. If it was the moment on your video, it does no look after line but rather wet (or uneven or soft) clay close to the line.

    Slipping away happens. Fed is a bit stiff in sliding. Simply unfortunate. Possibly to tired legs to slide instead of slip. Many fall to the ground in such situations. Nothing to claim about. That’s clay.

    Injury prevention should always be first. And I guess, Fed was too tired after Coric match, to feel chances to defeat Tsitsipas. Good decision.

    1. q

      Remember it rained all day on Wednesday and that is why all matches were postponed. It was not just a case of watering the clay. It was probably totally saturated by the rains. Also, if you look at the second play in the video, when Fed went up to the net, he actually limped right afterwards. Maybe that is when he hurt his leg.

      1. They do have covers for most courts. I think Grandstand was covered? A clay court will dry surprisingly quickly too. So the rain wasn’t an issue.

      2. @Jonathan
        Of course Grandstand was covered. Don’t know about outside courts. But courts have built-in drainage, so in 1-2 hours after heavy rain the court which was not covered, must be watered artificially.

        I know, what I’m telling about – courts, where I play, have no covers. After heavy rain and when there are water puddles, we collect the water with a big sponge, powder it with dry clay and they are ready to play in 15 minutes. Wet courts are good, right and nice to play. If the court is wet, unavoidably also lines are wet or covered with wet clay.

      3. @Jonathan
        In any case Fed’s match was not the first of the day 😉 If there was cover or not, the court was ready to play.

        It was an accident,, partly due because of Federer not sliding so well now.

      4. @Jonathan – I think I saw that it was Court 1 that didn’t get covered, even thoughbthe tarps were there.

    2. Fed withdrew because of a leg injury not because he was too tired to feel he didn’t have a chance against ST.

  9. Another occurrence of the case, for which ATP rules should be changed. Coric against Tsitsipas would be better than W/O, no?

      1. I’m not talking about chances.
        But why should it not be possible? Just Lucky Loser rule. Of course not getting the points/prize from the lost match.

        Another things is. Maybe it should not be allowed to withdraw because of prevention. It was not a serious injury. Maybe not allowing to be 100% competitive. This a poor reason to withdraw.

        The ATP medical staff should decide, not the team.

        This is not fair to Coric and to Tsitsipas’ next opponent.

        An ugly kind of privilege.

      2. I agree wholeheartedly with you.

        In fact, I’ve just looked into it now and there was one player this year in Indian Wells who got a walkover into the semi-final which in my eyes completely voided the tournament as it was not fair for Kohlschreiber or Raonic.

        The only real solution here is to scrap the result of Indian Wells and replay the tournament after the World Tour Finals in London. You didn’t mention it at the time, but I’m glad to have you in agreement here, such an ugly privilege ruined Indian Wells.

      3. Some hours before mentioning “u.p.” the same fan wrote “Injury prevention should always be first. And I guess, Fed was too tired after Coric match, to feel chances to defeat Tsitsipas. Good decision.”
        I guess some kind of fan’nes has 2 sides of the coin. Reminds me of the frequent “hate”/ “love” syndrom in human mind.

      4. @Jonathan
        Nice but stupid irony 🙂 But you are kicking the ball into your own garden. Why? You know of course, but maybe not everyone?
        1. I’m talking generally about expected rule change. not specifically about Federer’s case.
        2. Of course such new rule would affect everyone.
        3. I don’t understand what’s the harm of the one, who gives walkover, if your defeated opponent replaces you (without overtaking ranking points and prize money), only the position in the tournament. Just like in LL rule.
        4. Yes, Thiem got a walkover into SF and I cannot tell, if Thiem would defeat him. Does not matter. It’s about rules, not names.
        5. Finally, I heard about someone (maybe something wrong with my ears) who got a walkover into finals at the same tournament. Only for both to play each other (everyone having one day free because of the walkover, but the second had a free day before the most important match of the tournament, while the other needed to play long and hard match against Raonic, while the “you know who” lost the final at the end.
        6. If we are at names, Federer’s present was worth more, because the chance for Thiem to defeat Monfils and advance was bigger (given H2H) than the chance for Federer to beat Nadal and advance (given their H2H). But this belongs only to the blabla-corner of your blog. Neither DT nor RF could have done anything against unfair rule.
        But irony aside – would you support the change of this rule, not thinking about who would be affected? In the case of IW naither Thiem nor Federer were harmed. After Federer’s walkover in Rome Federer would not be harmed, whatever the rule.

      5. LL is belongs to the qualifying prep before the “real” tour. If one belonging to that makes a late withdrawal just before the start, they make an exception from the rule, because it’s at the very start. Counting the ranking points and so on might be too complicated with LL’s later during tour, wouldn’t it?
        Actually Jon had a point, pointing on your “ugly privilege” no time before Fed made one of his very rare withdrawals. So I think it’s one of many symptoms of your one-sided attempts to downspeak RF. And knowing it is provoking and irritating here. Well I guess you have some pleasure out of it. Or whatever the reason is for your doing it.

  10. I feel it’s a very good decision, the only possible. He has made very few withdrawals earlier, so when conditions are like this, and still maintained like this in spite of his telling them, and consequently injuring him, then only solution that is, is to leave. Hopefully the Rome-director may learn? And hopefully the pause before RG will be enough to recover, but if not, better leaving that too.

      1. So what? Is this some competition? Every walkover is different.
        I guess, those 3 before had more serious reasons.

      2. PRF, you don’t need to answer every comment on my blog with a devil’s advocate response. I do enough of that myself but better. Cheers!

  11. Lots of rain expected this week end in Roma (70% both days). On top of injury RF surely did not want to risk slippery conditions and one or two delayed matches on top of that. 10 days will be useful to rest and recover.

  12. BTW – do you know, how slippery are lines when covered with loose dry clay? By far worse than wet. And after watering there is no way to hold them dry. After a game or two all lines are partly covered with clay, wet or dry.
    I’m playing on clay 7-8 months a year and this is my experience. I’m 70 and have had different injuries in tennis, but never by slipping on lines (lines on courts, where I do play, are not so even as on ATP Tour, so there are more surprises than in Rome.

    Nobody can change this, even for Federer not.

    PS: apologies – I don’t how it went, my nick in the last post to show “q”. Probably I have hit the Q by accident 😉

  13. Just asking, has anyone noticed how Nadal seems to be regularly taking toilet breaks after the first set, several matches now, seems very strange. Hope Tsitipas will step up to the plate tomorrow, as Nadal’s first set against Verdasco again showed potential vulnerability.

    1. Tbh I would probably feel like a toilet break in that sort of situation. Probably not a lot to read into.

      1. This business with toilet breaks seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon .
        Borg ,MacEnroe et al seemed to able to go five sets without them.
        Perhaps more recent players have weaker bladders😃

      2. Nadal’s habit of taking toilet breaks after the 1st set dates back to, oh, at least one of those unexpected losses at Wimbledon – maybe the Kyrgios one? One might need to suggest that he see a doctor.

  14. Well ,Fed with his talent for attracting easy draws had the prospect of Tsisy,Nadal and Djokovic,playing on slippery courts
    with potential rain delays and aggravating any injury and that blister on his finger.
    A very sensible decision and I think he should miss Roland Garros as well.
    The grass season is undoubtfully his primary aim perhaps he should just focus on that.

    1. Tough decision. What he really wanted, was Paris. after good start in Madrid he wanted more. Maybe too much. Maybe younger player would not be hurt by such slip.

      I guess, Fed comes to Paris but will play with more caution which means, he probably exits earlier. But even one match won would be something for Parisian crowd.

      1. Younger players do get injured as well…Naomi Osaka (20) withdrew from Rome. Bianca Andresscu (18) had to withdraw from Miami with shoulder injury. Younger ones may not have the maturity level to listen to their body, rest and heal adequately rather than play tournaments to chase points and rankings. Madrid and Rome were good practice before RG for Roger should he choose to play Paris or skip it again and focus on Wimbledon. Federer is the only one to be the best judge of how he is feeling in his body and if he is in top form to compete and to ultimately make this decision alongside his team. This is a good example of smart health management younger players can learn from.

      2. Yeah I agree with Diane. I don’t think you can say “perhaps a younger player might not have got injured”

        Maybe that could be true but it’s like saying perhaps a left-handed player wouldn’t have got injured 😆 Is there any medical stats that back up that an older player is more susceptible to injury?

      3. Just checked the case of Osaka. She withdrew because of right hand injury. What could it have to do with wet lines? And we are not talking here generally about injuries but about wet lines eventually causing injuries.

        The age has not much to do with hand injuries. But probably yes with slipping on wet courts

  15. @Jonathan
    I have edited a bit the second video (taking the original record from TennisTV), so I have it now in black-white and 10% slow-motion.
    This must have been this. Fed slipped some 30 cm (?) but for sure before the line, than the movement was halted (still before the line), so I guess it was maybe an wet area of the court and then abruptly the surface changed to dry, which stopped the movement. This could have been a kind of slight shock. If it was stronger, could cause some ankle injury.
    Do you want this video compilation? If so, tell me how to send you.
    I can post it on Dropbox and send you the link via Contact, if you want.
    Then you can post it here if you want.

    1. It was alarming enough for Roger to alert the chair umpire. So he may have stretched something that could be a cause for concern as players want to be 100% going into quarters, semis and finals. Look at Rafa who pulled from semis at Indians Wells ahead of his match with Federer. He said himself he didn’t feel 100% to compete. So in between that, (only Roger knows what happened to his leg and no one else) blister on his finger, rain forecasted for the next few days (every Centre Court of every tournament should have a roof!) and RG in only 9 days he made a smart decision to withdraw. One must always listen to their own body and nobody can feel what they are feeling.

      1. This happened in second game of the match. If Roger is so wise to listen to his body a.s.o., he should have retired from the match and let Coric go.

      2. Wonder what the stats are re serious rain at Rome? I certainly remember quite a few occasions when it’s happened.

  16. But the first video (don’t know, which part of the match) also show some problematic slipping/sliding, so Fed probably started (after the first time) to be cautious, which makes things worse, because you are not sliding naturally then. This may have something to do with the back (ageing faster than the rest of the body), so he is no more able to bend deep during sliding and gets a bit unbalanced.

      1. What do you mean “after serve”? Not on his own for sure. So it was either return or a shot in the rally.

        If this was slipping or sliding, does not explain much.
        On a clay court – actually on every surface, but on a clay court more than on hard and on a grass more than on clay – you must be prepared for the possibility of slipping.
        Instead of “lefty would not slip” take rather “younger Federer would slip without consequences”.
        Didn’t you see Federer slipping or even falling to the ground?

        In Indian Wells 2018 (no clay!) Thiem played with Cuevas and slipped so, he twisted the ankle. He didn’t call for medical aid (not wise) and did play more than one set before he retired (extremely unwise), but … it only shows, you can slip on any surface. Wet hard court is worse than clay, because it does not absorb water and players don’t expect slippery and have no possibility to save themselves from slipping by sliding.

        This was 5th match of the day on this court and it was sunny day, so not possible, the court would be wet from the rain. Maybe it was watered after last match, for sure not after first game or just before. And not between coin tosds and warm-up and the match. So it was also not directly after watering (which was necessary, because the court was completely dry and windy weather.

        Looking for culprits has no sense. Roger is old, has his age-related limitations and cannot slide or correct the slip like 20 years old. That’s it.

      2. All very interesting 😏.
        At least he managed to win a couple of matches which is more than the beloved Thiem. It may be that’s your problem. Well I’ve nothing against Thiem but no need to take it out on Federer for talking about wet courts.

      3. Were there more occurrences of slipping in this match? Maybe the cause was stiff back or something, hindering him to move well?
        It’s quite normal, players slipping and falling to the ground on any surface. Mostly without injuries, sometimes with minor injuries.
        Potential falling to the ground is maybe what Fed is scared of, which makes him additionally moving stiff. Falling not good for older people 😉

      4. This is not interesting. All speculation. Me thinks he had a reason to talk about the wetness/slippery. What reasoner that, he knows himself, not we. To take it on old age (- he’s not 80, he’s a youngish man still very very fit -) seems a bit…yes, what would you call it?

  17. Welp. First reaction was “oh NNOOOOOO!!!!!!”

    Still disappointed, of course, but better this than feeling he might have to withdraw in the middle of his next match.

    I’m just hoping it really is just the leg, & not “maybe the back too”. That can take a long time to get over as we know. Otherwise pretty much what everybody had said – he & his team know himself best, & we all want him to play as long as he can.

    1. “Maybe the back too” is what I first thought. Maybe clay not the best idea for his age and bad back. If the back is a bit stiff, you cannot move well and such things can happen.
      If you have to think about your back, you save first your back (via instinct) and your movement is no more natural, so you can slip in situations, you normally wouldn’t.

  18. I did think there was something slightly odd in his presser yesterday “I gave him a chance to win, and he didn’t so I took it at the end.” Made me wonder at the time whether something was a little off. Anyway, let’s hope it’s nothing serious.

  19. Reading PRF’s comment here. I realized that he is basically just a piece of shit who would comment on two persons’ light-hearted reply thread with bullshit “pseudo analysis”. You’re a a wanker. If two people are having their own banter, don’t mix and ruin it.

    1. Do you have something to tell about the subject? I’m not the subject of this blog. Didn’t you realize this? Nobody is required to read and comment my comments, OK?

  20. @Tennisfan

    I have no problem with telling, Thiem has played poor or was unwise to not listen to his body. I have no problem with Thiem loosing, when he does not deliver.

    Show your arguments about Federer slipping (just Federer, nobody else) and taking privileges, which officially don’t exist.

    Yes, you have nothing against Thiem so long he does not beat Federer, right?

    I have no problems with Federer beating Thiem 🙂

    1. “Yes, you have nothing against Thiem so long he does not beat Federer, right?”

      Seriously no you don’t get it do you 😆

      That was a good win of his against Federer at Indian Wells in his well deserved M1000 title

      1. Thank you for the answer. I didn’t get it, because I often get answers like this and I have no blacklist of people answering my posts with obvious badwill.
        I see, it does not apply to you, so I’m sorry – mistakes happen 😉

      2. I also think Thiem has come a long way since last year. Be nice to see him lifting the RG trophy

      3. Unless it’s Roger of course. But that’s quite a big ask 🙂. I’ll just enjoy watching him play what matches he can

  21. Del Po is back😠and how.He very nearly blew Djoker off the court last night and would have done if he hadn’t
    over hit a perfectly makeable forehand on match point.
    His backhand is back and Djokovic didn’t get any joy from targeting it.
    If you like players blazing cannon balls at each other this was an amazing match,especially as the commentators had completely written Delpo off before the match.
    He will be a big threat in someone’s quarter if he plays like that at Roland Garros.
    Please God don’t let him be in Feds if he does play.

  22. I’m sorry Fed withdrew and I can only imagine he was being
    mega carefull when commenting on the wet lines. I can’t
    ever remember him saying anything before, but doesn’t it
    make sense? I recall Djo having a full blown argument
    about same but then it was spitting rain slightly so if it
    comes from the skies or a hose it’s still water. Not a Djo
    fan but it was a good win, Delpo played well a force to
    be reckoned with…as a tennis fan I think it shocking that
    Djo and Delpo were playing so late, both angry at the court.
    Dom T not pleased either so I’ll be glad when they all move
    on!

    1. Indeed.I don’t like either of them! However Delpo lost that break point against him in the second set
      because of the uneven court.I know this happens on clay but this whole tournament has been a fiasco.
      Of course they can’t help the weather but the scheduling has been lousy.
      Why make the men hang around for hours,instead of moving the women onto another court where they
      could play their interminable match.😎

      1. Do you think, top women have not the same rights as top men? Interesting (if you are a women according to your nick ;)) …

    2. Spitting rain during the match?
      This is water and from this is a water too. But it’s not the same. Nobody waters court including players. It’s controlled and made by professionals. Spitting rain is falling all the time, not letting the court to dry out.

      So if in Djoker’s case it was about raining during the match, it does not compare with intentional watering the court, onbly because it’s going to be too dry, causing whirls and clouds of the fine fraction of the dry clay, which is by far worse than wet court. Wet court is something every player prefers compared with dry court. Dry court is getting hard and uneven, you can slip on the loose dust, on a wet court you don’t get dust into eyes all the time. Wet court is cooler.

      Try to play a dry and a wet court, if you play at all 🙂

      And: Roger was claiming about umpires to call time to early after watering and his peers to accept this. Why had he not told the umpire, the court is not ready and as we can see in TV, every player is allowed to call the umpire to correct places, where they could slip or the ball could die or something.

      Looks like all the Tour accepts such conditions, but not Federer. And for unknown reason don’t tells the umpire but claims after having slipped. What if was the opponent slipping?

      I guess, that’s because they all play on the same courts and in case of doubts claimed by one of the two (could be tactical to break the momentum of the opponent) and both must accept to play.

    1. And we all know, who benefits from closing the roof, if there is any (Australia).

      From rain delays benefits only the one, who just lost momentum and is going to lose.
      Remember AO 2016, when Fed was losing badly to Djoker first two sets, but then came the rain and longer break to close the roof was necessary. Then Fed regained momentum for a set and won it. Finally he lost, but this is another fairy tale.

      Probably Djoker was simply better this time..

      And showers have left Rome some time ago now (you can see on Accuweather radar) , so no rain delay this time.

  23. PRF.. for goodness sake take a break, why the need to nitpick,
    we know you like to stir but at least have manners to allow
    people to post without you checking it for marks out of ten!
    You are giving the rest of us ‘oldies’ a bad name x

  24. Secretly hoping for a Nadal Djoker 5 hr slug fest with Nadal the victor.
    Tennis Gods, I beg you, find the off switch.

    1. I’m hoping they battle each other to a draw, both men are forced to retire from the match when they both simultaneously collapse on-court from exhaustion, and no one ends up sitting on the Iron Throne of Westeros.

      1. 😊
        We havent got long to wait now for the ending.
        As long as Samwell Tarley doesn’t get it I am okay.
        Actually he probably wouldn’t fit in it anyway.

  25. For those of you who live in France or use the L’Equipe app on their phone : they issued on Friday a special edition (hors série) of l’Equipe Magazine  about Fed. It is called : Sa majesté Federer – 10 moments de légende…
    1.99 euros on the app.
    3 euros for the paper copy.
    Very nice !

  26. Alas, two matches in one day on the soggy clay was too much for this near-38-year-old 🙁 Hopefully the injury isn’t very severe and he withdrew just as a precaution to avoid really seriously injuring himself before RG and Wimbledon.

    I think he is playing as well as he ever has–just lacked competitive matches on clay, which he remedied in the last two weeks. He should be very sharp in Paris.

    Remember 2011 when he had a desultory clay-court runup and then played amazingly in Paris, dispatching the nigh-unbeatable Djuggernaut who was on a 41-match win streak and then giving Nadal a run for his money in the final.

    This time he’s got the new racket and, more importantly, his mental block against Nadal is gone. If he makes it to the final in Paris, he’s going to take care of business no matter the opponent.

    It would be an incredible feat if Federer were able to pip Nadjokovic at the age of 38 and capture another RG title. C’mon Roger!

  27. OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYY GODDDDDDDDDDDD

    We won Eurovision Song Festival 2019 !!! I am sooooo proud of Duncan and my little important country.

    Now it is your turn Roger. Never give up. Winning Roland Garros is still possible, I BELIEVE !!!

    The Goat for RG 2019 🙂

  28. It’s nothing, he’s preserving his body for the future, he got what he needed there.
    Mark my words, he’ll win Roland Garros.

  29. Glad he withdrew . He needs rest. Nerveso already for Wimbledon because he will be fresh and I am sure he going deep probably SF at RG

  30. Djokovic severely tested in two late night matches.Will the curse of Schwartzman have deadly effect today?
    If Nadal with his usual draw cannot beat a tired Djoker he won’t win RG.
    Sadly for the young Greek God,he is learning the hard way that a single handed back hand does not cut it on clay against
    Nadal.
    Yes I know both he and Thiem have beaten him in Masters but a five setter is a different matter.

    1. If Djoker is tired after 2 3-setters, how can he win RG? And it was on his racket to win both in 2 sets. Who had tougher draw, it’s difficult to say. Del Potro did play first tournament after long injury break. Schwartzman is a nice guy and can play with courage, but should not be a threat for RG crown contenders.

      Djoker is again not in a big form while Nadal’s form is rising. That’s all

      With one-hander it’s not about it’s a weakness on clay, but no any shot is good enough against-in-form Rafa on slow clay and even more in Paris – not because of 5-setters but because of more space between the baseline and the wall.

      If clay GS is played in Madrid (faster and shorter court, both Thiem and Tsitsipas have more chances. Thiem first, because he has more experience in playing Nadal on different courts and more wins.

      1. Any player will be tired after the 3 setters Djokovic played, they were physical, close scores and required a lot of mental effort. So if anything they boost his RG credentials. Win Madrid, Rome final. That is impressive form after a poor US hard court swing.

        A one-handed backhand is absolutely weaker on clay and will be Nadal’s target against any 1 hander. High bouncing ball requires you to use weaker muscle groups to hit the ball. You fatigue much quicker. Not many players can handle the higher ball up there with any consistency, Stan probably the best.

      2. Stan the best, Thiem second or both even.

        With Nadal’s high bouncing balls to your one-hander, it’s not possible to hit topspin backhand or you must stay far behind to take the ball lower but must have power and skills to hit good backhands down-the line. Thiem potentially can, but it’s risky, so against Rafa he uses more forehand.

        On the other side, Nadal would attack backhand less for opponents like Stan or Thiem.

        Against Nadal the best is to attack his forehand. If he has not much time to reach it, it gets a bit less dangerous. Thiem used this tactic with success, but not in Paris, where this does not work.

        To deefeat Nadal in Paris you must find places and hit so fast, so Nadal cannot reach the ball at all – almost impossible 😉

        So I guess, Nadal will win Paris so long he can reach his best for this tournament.

  31. Sorry, it was hanging in the form somehow and I didn’t realize. The avater is correct, the nickname is not. It was me, PRF :

  32. And a post-scriptum to the “wet lines” debate. Just watched last set of the final and seen Nadal slipping (almost falling and consequently losing point) on completely dry clay near to the line, but not on the line. Where Nadal can slip on clay, many would slip too.

    I don’t expect Nadal to claim about too dry court 😉

      1. You mean, Federer would not claim about wet lines, if he won the title?

        I have reflected again about slipping and sliding on clay, because I play the most on clay and while playing I’m not aware of slipping, sliding or having hard braking.

        Given Federer must have 2 things in mind (similar to me, ha ha ha …) – he is quite old (for a pro player) and has problematic back – me too.m 😉 and: he had a middle )not really major like Stan) injury on the knee – me too ;), he must be careful with slipping/sliding.

        Actually you slide not only on the last step to stop the movement. You slide also on every small step – a kind of instinctive protection of losing the balance or have a hard stop (more dangerous then slipping away and falling, because in the last case your body is closer to the ground).

        I have observed Fed’s movement on clay from replies. His footwork is not made for sliding. While his footwork is perfect on hard, it is not on clay.

        Slipping is like uncontrolled skid in the car /if you have no ABS, FSB, whatever.

        Sliding is like skid, when the car has all those control aids.

        I think, Fed may have problems with this part of the movement on clay and when he starts to think, he could slip and hurt himself, he will get more stiff and potential slipping can be more dangerous.

        Better to skip RG and skip clay for the rest of the career.

  33. So the Argies did for Joker.
    But what a fightback in that second set.
    He was playing on fumes throughout and those stupid drop shots were very ill advised.
    Thank God that chaotic tournament is over.

    1. Djoker was out of fuel. Yeah, both Delpo and the small Batman could have defeated him before, so his clay form is probably not very high.

      Dropshots were maybe good advised but badly executed. Not a normal djoker’s level.

      1. His clay form isn’t high!!!
        He has just won Madrid and got into the final at Rome!
        Not only did he play a Delpo who was absolutely hammering the ball but Scwartzman who is
        very good on clay,indeed I think he was the only player to take a set off Nadal last year at Roland Garros.
        Plus these were both late night matches.
        We have seen before how Delpo can wreck players chances,not by winning but by tiring players out.
        Murray owes his gold medal to Delpos efforts on his behalf.
        Nadal had everything going for him here.The draw,the scheduling,playing in the daytime so no need to adjust from night to day,even the sun came out.
        Yet it still took him three sets to get by an exhausted opponent!

      2. Yeah, it took him 3 sets (one was a bagel and the other a competitive 6-1). Funny to read how exhausted the Djoker was after 2 3 setters and then nobody mentioned Nadal’s exhaustion for example in the 2017 AO final after a long and hard 5 setter. Funny.

      3. I suspect there is a difference between playing 2 matches and only 1, regardless of length.

  34. After watching the final, surely they have to do something about
    when the two semi finals are played I’m not trying to take away
    from Nadal’s win. I look forward in the future will commentators
    say Nadal won but Djo was tired, you know the way they do
    when They talk about Federer’s win against Nadal at Madrid
    I wish I had a pound for the many times they say Fed won but
    played against a tired Nadal (who had played I think Murray in
    the semi final)

  35. Hey Jonathan, Rog’ probably feels reasonably satisfied with his performances in Madrid and then in Rome, he’s now battle hardened and sharp going into Paris. Indeed, a shame he felt it more prudent to withdraw before playing Tsitsi’ but still, I feel pumped going into Paris, and I think he does too.
    What an intriguing clay season it’s been. Fabio triumphing in Monte Carlo, Thiem always such a threat, Tsitsipas going from strength to strength. Djokovic, simply put, the world #1. Then, of course, Rafa. What a player. I wonder how Alexander Zverev feels, he’s probably under more pressure than any of them. Paris will be huge for him and his confidence.
    I’m going to the French Open this year, so excited, first time I’ll have seen these guys. Got a ticket for the fourth round on June 1st on the new Simonne Mathieu court. Wonder who I’ll see… Hopefully the weather will hold up.

    1. I don’t see Zverev returning to the top this year. His confidence is low and the negativity of his mental attitude impairs him a lot. And when you factor in the unidimensionality of his game… Unless he gets an adequate coach to deal with that, no dice.

      1. For sure not in Paris. Without confidence you cannot win a Challenger, but in Paris you need a lot more. Zverev has no skills for Paris.

        If Lendl could not have success with Zverev (looks like it was just the opposite), who would be good?
        Zverev should go in direction Delpo, but his lower body (actually the whole body) is not strong enough.

        I don’t see Zverev back on top at all. Maybe he can stay in Top10.

  36. Thoughts on Rome…..
    Djokovic needs anger management therapy. It’s the final, all the big-wigs are there. Smashing his racket like a 2 year old. What is it like at home? hmmm. Yes, he was tired but geez. Those droppers made me laugh. What, 5 errors.
    I was happy Nadal won. He is my 2nd most hated player after Djoker now. He played well. RG will be interesting.
    Always seems cold when they play Rome. And this year, seemed chaotic. They could have done a better job.
    I used to like Thiem, but now I’m not so sure.
    I heard Fed will be ok for RG, old man look and all.

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