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Roger Federer’s Best Matches of 2017

With an extraordinary season for Roger Federer now over I thought I'd pick out my favourite Fed matches of 2017. They're in chronological order as I can't really choose between many of them and I've only picked my top 10 so sacrifices had to be made! If I could only pick one then it'd have to be the Aus Open final as it set up the entire year. You can also pick your favourite at the end of the post 🙂

Federer def. Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, Australian Open 3rd Round 2017

The match where Roger announced himself in Melbourne and gained the confidence he needed to survive three five setters and lift the title. He'd dropped a set to Melzer in the opening round and Rubin caused him some problems too but here he absolutely obliterated Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in 90 minutes. View Match Report.

Federer def. Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3, Australian Final Open 2017

Match of the year? Despite taking place just 2 weeks into the season starting it could well be. It's certainly my most memorable tennis moment of 2017 with that classic point at 3-4 deuce on the Nadal serve in the fifth. Check out the video I linked above where Ljubicic gives Fed the Leeds United salute (Edberg's club btw) after that final shot. Epic. View Match Report.

Federer def. Nadal 6-2, 6-3, Indian Wells 4th Round 2017

Back to back Fedal matches on my list with their Indian Wells encounter making the grade. The Australian Open final was all about Roger digging deep to pull out the win. As a result, it was always going to make their next match interesting and Roger put any notion it was a one-off victory to bed as he dismantled Nadal from the word go. Check out how well he's hitting the ball in Game 1 on that second point. Class. View match report.

Federer def. Kyrgios 7-6(9), 6-7(9), 7-6(5), Miami Semi Final 2017

This match sneaks in ahead of the Berdych match a round earlier where Roger saved two match points to come through. It's not often you get a match decided by three tie-breaks and this one had a bit of everything. Tweeners, racquet smashes, crowd involvement, crucial double faults and some high-quality Federer shotmaking over the 3 hour duration. View match report.

Federer def. Nadal 6-3, 6-4, Miami Final 2017

Surprise, surprise another Fedal match but I can't exclude the Sunshine Double sealing victory where once again Roger put in a top quality performance. Saving early break points to stop Nadal getting a lead and coming through 6-3, 6-4 to win back to back Masters 1000's. View match report.

Federer def. Zverev 6-1, 6-3, Halle Final 2017

No Federer best match compilation is complete without a grass court schooling and the first of 2017 came in the Halle Final where Roger took apart Alexander Zverev to win his 9th title. Classic grass court tennis from the Swiss that had Zverev at sixes and sevens. View match report.

Federer def. Berdych 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4, Wimbledon Semi Final 2017

My favourite match of this year's Wimbledon was the win against Berdych. Not a masterclass by any means as Fed looked quite tense for parts of it but just played clutch on all of the big points. Berdych put in one of his best performances I've seen for a while too but somehow walked away without a set to his name.  View match report.

Federer/Nadal def. Querrey/Sock 6-4 1-6 10-5, Laver Cup 2017

I was lucky enough to watch the first ever Fedal doubles match live and it's made my list purely for the enjoyment factor 🙂 plus they actually played pretty well together! View Laver Cup recap.

Federer def. del Potro 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, Shanghai Semi Final 2017

Avengance of the US Open loss here as Roger defeated an in-form Del Potro in Shanghai and came from a set down to win. A real gritty performance from the Swiss that featured a 14 minute game in the second set which was the key to victory.  Just gets in ahead of the Gasquet match in Shanghai as the Frenchman played some great tennis in that match which made it highly entertaining. View match report.

Federer def. Mannarino  4-6, 6-1, 6-3, Basel Quarter Final 2017

I'm putting this one in purely for that half volley pickup up the line on break point 😀 huge shot after Mannarino hit a peach of a return. Had it missed then an 8th Basel title might not have happened. Talent, skill and luck all rolled into one. View match report.

Vote For Your Favourite Match of 2017

And as always let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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

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  1. Wow, just thinking about all these matches…what a year! I had to pick AO final. It was the most emotional, intense, significant match of the year. And one of the most important matches ever in Fed’s career.
    The most fun was the doubles with Nadal. And what about the final LC match against NK. Lots of drama there. And of course the match against Nadal in IW. And on and on…

  2. Awesome post for the awesome year, thanks Jonathan.

    Agreed with Sue, definitely AO final as the emotional pick. But oh yeah we all loved IW against Rafa, didn’t we! For pure entertainment was LC Fedal, though vs Kyrgios was better match in Prague as Sue mentioned. The match I rewatched few times, apart from AO final, was vs Berdych at Wimby. Tomas played superb but Roger showed who’s the boss on grass.
    2017 was my best year as a Fedfan 🙂

  3. My favourite match was the obvious one, the Australian Open Final. No other match comes close to the magic of this one, in the context of what transpired six months before, and just over 6 months later, it remains one of his greatest singular achievement in the sport.

  4. Thanks for putting this together Jonathan, very nice indeed. All the Nadal matches are my favorite but AO final takes first place. Let’s hope that Fed can recharge and exude the confidence and comfort he showed on the court in the first seven months of 2017!

  5. I have picked the Mannarino Basel match as I saw it live and really felt that he was not going to win it.Shouldnt have
    doubted him of course.I have to confess that I was too cowardly to watch the AO final.I thought it would be the same old,so went upstairs to do the ironing of all things,whilst checking the score at intervals.Then my husband shouted up the stairs for me to come and watch the award ceremony.I couldn’t believe it!To think that I didn’t watch one of his greatest victories against his nemesis.It has been a wonderful year and thank you Jonathan for recapping it.

  6. No doubt the most significant match was AO Final against Nadal and my favourite match. Coming from behind in the 5th to snatch that win. He did that a few times this year against Delpo in Shanghai and Basel. Against NK in Miami and LC not to mention against Mannarino. In fact i loved all the schooling he gave Nadal this year, its heaven to us fans. I am looking forward to 2018, lots to defend with return of Djoker, Murray, Stan and Kei.

    Side note: Roger has been given honorary doctorate so Dr Roger? 🙂

    1. It’s normal that he is called a Doctor…He already is !
      Somebody wrote a nice tweet after his Wimbledon victory this year :
      “Another masterclass from @rogerfederer combining the touch of a surgeon with the hand of Picasso. His canvas is Centre Court”.

    2. Dr RF. Good to have another one on tour alongside Karlovic.

      Picasso’s work looks pretty slap dash. that isn’t Fed 😀 which artist is Fed most like? Da Vinci?

  7. No brainer. AO final for several fundamental reasons: –

    1 – It was a Slam final.
    2 – The opponent who was conquered.
    3 – The implications of not winning it (18 slams to 17), and giving a quadruple-double (2 slams of each type) to the opponent.
    4 – The born again backhand was witnessed, and unleashed.
    5 – Because it was achieved after being 1-3 down in the last set.
    6 – That 26 shot rally and the breakpoint saving inside out in the last game.

  8. AO final for sheer drama, suspense and atmosphere!
    Halle final for a grass court lesson.
    Miami final for grit, fight and attitude. (Same v RBA, Berdych, it was all a struggle).
    LC dubs for fun and exurberance and Fedal.

    Shanghai SF v Delpo. He came to win!
    Wimby SF v Berdych who from nowhere raised his game and made Rog raise his.

  9. Jonathan you have set us a task, how great to have so many to choose from. I have to pick the AO it was just fantastic. But when I think of the sheer delight of Halle, the determination against NK at Miami and again
    Del Potro at Shanghai and the emotion of winning in Basel! I too liked the tie break against NK at the Laver CUp,
    the laughter on Roger’s face when Stan was doing his speech at IW, and I forgot I enjoyed every time he beat
    Nadal this year, so I guess it has to be AO x

  10. Susie and the Cookie thief’s response encapsulates a perfect response to the article above. It was for me the most exciting and unexpected golden season for the Swiss maestro. Indeed it was a golden season for his staggering performance at the Australian Open this year alone. Multiple titles on his beloved grass, punctuated by a stand alone 8 Wimbledon men’s singles title, the Sunshine double on the hard courts and another double title sweep during the European indoor season, not to mention victory in the Laver Cup teaming up with Rafa, was the fruits of his labour on the Rod Laver arena and the historical importance of wining that title, and the manner in which he achieved it. After the Australian Open Final I stated this would be a stand out season for the Fed, an easy prediction given what had gone before. Indeed his end of year ranking tells you all you need to know, having skipped the entire Clay Court season, and played only 4 Masters Series 1000 events he could have conceivably been the year end number one. What a season, a golden one indeed.

  11. There is a line judge that I see on court all over the world. She is always at Fed’s matches in IW when I’m there. She is very experienced and many times seems to be in charge. At the AO final, you can see the tears streaming down her face at the end of the fifth set. We aren’t the only ones.

    1. I have noticed her too although I didn’t see the “tears” that you mentioned. Wasn’t she also the one that called the fault on Serena in that infamous US open match?

  12. Of course, the Melbourne victory against Nadal is a work of art to be admired forever. That was the beginning of the 2017 fairytale for Roger. But I also enjoyed the Halle final against A. Zverev, the Berdych masterclass at the AO, the Wimbledon classy eighth symphony, the Kyrgios triple tie-break thriller in Miami and all Fed’s bright wins at the Laver Cup… but Dr Federer gift-wrapped the whole year for us, giving us a treasure   adorned with curling ribbons ! Thanks a lot Jonathan for the list, recaps and videos !

    I would like to share with you a question and the comments linked to it from the Quora site. Here was the question :
    Has Roger Federer’s 2017 success been mainly due to the dip in form of Djokovic and Murray?

    Deep answer by : Eric Tate – Played 41 years- Coach in Florida – USA

    “While it goes without saying, I hope, that without his supremely clean, explosive, and adaptable technique as well as his innate athleticism, none of this would be possible, Fed’s success this year is due, in my mind, to:

    1. Having had a vision to somehow, some way, return to the top. Both Federer and Nadal stated in interviews last year that they would love to return to being #1 in the world. These statements, given their injuries and track records in 2016, seemed absurd to the casual tennis fan. But they believed it, and, I certainly would never doubt their intentions and belief, let alone the power of intention and belief, generally.

    2.Being well rested, mentally and physically. He said himself that he didn’t realize until he had time off how much of a mental rest he needed. After all, twenty years on tour is a long time, especially with his duties. During that time off, he had a great time with family and friends. He said he came to peace with life after tour, for the most part; that he could handle it; that he would be fine and have plenty to enjoy. Surely, this freed him up some.

    3. His willingness to play his topspin backhand off returns more and off weak balls, attacking it and taking time away from opponents. If you watched the Australian Open final, Indian Wells and Miami Open matches vs. Nadal, then it was a striking change. This changed things tactically and psychologically for both players.

    4. Confidence. He and all other champions speak of the magic of having confidence. This cannot be understated. Imagine the boost in confidence it gave him to win the Australian Open after a 5yr Slam drought, especially over Nadal, from a break down in the fifth and by hitting topspin backhand winners. It had been seven years since he had beaten him in a Slam, and here was doing it at age 35. He then went on a tear to win Indian Wells and Miami adding more confidence to his psyche. After another long layoff, he wins Halle – more confidence, more momentum.

    5. Novak and Andy have had an insane number of points to defend. This surely must be a huge weight on their back to have to relentlessly compete well in order to maintain their place, especially for Novak in the first part of the year. Additionally, their brutal schedules the last two years have caught up with their bodies. Federer did not have to face another peak-performing Slam champion in the semis or the Finals of Wimbledon.

    6. Hard work. It was interesting to note after his Wimbledon win that what he credited his resurgence to this year besides the rest was hard work. He said he put in the hours in the gym, and he put in the hours on the court. In other words, he didn’t just show up this year saying, “I’m Federer. I should win.” No, he put in the hard yards behind closed doors, day after day. All champions have incredible work ethics.

    7. Federer’s self-image, plain and simple is that he is the best. While, admirably, he always appears quite humble, you simply cannot live the life he lives with such adulation, the commercials, the shoes, the write-ups, the most Slams and not, deep down, think that you can beat anyone. This deep-down belief in himself caused him to patiently accept the long lay off and to go back to work months ahead of the Australian – with vision.

    To be continued in my next post.

  13. Note, during his post-Miami Open win layoff, he was practicing with Wimbledon balls.

    8.Courage. This is as subjective as the last one, but I think it has to be pointed out. All of the above would be useless if he hadn’t had the courage in that 5th set, down a break against Nadal to say, “Screw it. I’m going to play to win.” The tennis he produced to come back and win in that set was some of the best shot-making ever seen on a tennis court, especially off of his topspin backhand, which had been his achilles heel for his entire career against Nadal. Courage then, you might say, was the catalyst for everything else that has happened this year.

    9. His racket change and his comfort with his racket change also has to get some credit. We are seeing far fewer shanks from him, and he has confidence to hit a topspin backhand off high balls and returns, whereas, in the past, he would have predictably sliced it.

    10. Positive sense of urgency. While he is, apparently, at peace with himself related to life after tour, Federer knows that he is at the tail end of this insane run of greatness. Few people in life get to experience being this good at something and this loved the world over. He knows that he has to bring the very best of himself to everything he does. Every time he enters a tournament, it might be the last time he has a chance to win it.

    Personally, as a huge fan of his, I always expected him to reach 20 Slams. I’m only surprised it’s taken this long to get to 19. The US Open semifinal losses to Novak and the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon losses to Novak were unfortunate and hard to take. Even more admiration to Roger that he didn’t lose passion, faith and will.

    At this point, he has nothing to lose. His best tennis may be still to come…
    Onward to 20 !

  14. Thanks for this, Jonathan. I think I will watch these clips many times.
    The AO was sublime, of course, the playing, winning and the long walk through the corridors afterwards, meeting and greeting his family and friends. It bring tears to my eyes even now. The long rally when the whole arena rose to cheer warmed the heart.
    I have to choose Wimbledon because of the way he played and the fact that he didn’t drop a set. Although Berdych played well, Fed’s playing was out of this world. I remember the commentator saying “poor Tomas”.
    The other I enjoyed most was the Halle where he walked all over Zverev with the most amazing playing and shots.
    And I loved the Laver cup for its atmosphere , the attitude of both teams and the great matches.

      1. Yes, the Berdych match was especially good because Berdych played very well but was outclassed.

  15. Best one was AO 2017 no doubt. Fed was making a comeback and he seemed rejuvenated. Not to mention he beat in 5 sets, his biggest rival of his career. Also that was an IMPORTANT win for Fed because he not only won his 18th grand slam but also STOPPED Rafa from being the first man to win all slams at least twice (Wawrinka also stopped him in 2014). Also if Rafa won, Rafa would have had won 16 slams (before the FO) and Roger 17 slams. And like Sid said, we saw an amazing comeback from Rog in the 5th set. He was behind 1-3, and everyone thought that the match was over and that Rafa would have won. Although I was patiently sitting on my sofa back then, as I knew that Roger would find a way to break Rafa and make a comeback. I still remember how all the fans here before the finals were SO scared, everyone was predicting a Rafa win, and I was 100% sure that Roger would have won… At one moment someone said that I was the most optimistic fan here. ?

  16. Thanks Jon! Look forward to have time to watch this treat!
    The AO may surely be the most important, to give Fed confidence to continue his fairytale course (and us fans a much needed emotional redemption) of joy). But equally important is his ability to keep it up – to consolidate that this AO wasn’t just a happy incidental outcome. Fans got spoilt by his extraordinary achievements, expecting it to be normal business! Well, if 2018 gets half as good, I would of course be a little disappointed, but it would still be splendid. Go, Rog! (And remember to rest, to recharge batteries!)

  17. Fed defeating Nadal in straight sets(6-4,6-3) at shanghai is also a best one i believe in fact all the matches that Fed won this year against Nadal(Aus Open,Indian wells,Miami,Shanghai) are the best ones and something special i feel since Fed has changed the outlook of their head-2-head with his attacking backhand.

    1. Not sure what makes Shanghai one of the best, but that’s your opinion, so alright. It was a one sided affair, a master class by Roger on a really fast surface. To me, the Shanghai win was a mere formality, but satisfying nevertheless.

      But then again, “best” could be a measure of how comfortably Roger won, or it could be how he performed under pressure. And for that, the AO final beats the rest by a huge margin. The GOAT admitted himself before the match that it would be the biggest win of his career. And in the context of how the year panned out, turns out it was much bigger than that.

      Still, having said that, I feel sour about not winning the WTF.

    1. Hahaha!, Wanda – this must be a spoof video – I hope?
      Love the idea of Fed changing his shirt during the bounces.
      I counted 18 bounces from Cilic recently.

      1. Haha Wanda. The young Canadians are getting way too much attention. Teenagers with a long long way to go. I think all this press and hype are a detriment to them.

  18. Guys and Gals : Here is my prediction for the Grand Slam tournament winners in 2018.
    AO : Federer
    FO : Federer
    WM : Federer
    USO : Federer

    It’s just banter…

  19. Hello all,
    If you understand French :-), I advise you to read the just issued number 61 of Grand Chelem magazine – readable for free on the web. Especially interesting for tennis fans are :
    – pages 38 to 41 in a file about : “la culture de la gagne”. (See page 41 the comparison Robocop-killer vs Federer-winner).

    – pages 18-19 about “l’année Federer”.

    Here is the link to this 61 issue of the magazine :

    NB : I also advise previous issues of the same Grand Chelem magazine, several of them containing in-depth articles about R. Federer …who became on Sunday the Swiss athlete of the year … for the 7th time… well done champion ! 🙂

    Here is the link to the welcome page to pick up previous issues :

    Good evening to all from Paris where it’s cold and windy those days.

  20. Hi Jonathan, as for the vote, judging from the comments AO final is obvious as the top but I’m wondering the rest of the result. Which match came second and third so on?

  21. Folks, for any of you in the UK, you might want to watch Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night: apparently Roger is getting the Overseas award again.

  22. It’s hard to pick the AO finals and Fed vs kyrgios miami were a tie, but well in terms of emotion I still pick
    1. AO Finals- fed vs nadal
    2.Miami- Fed vs kyrgios
    3. AO-Fed vs Nishi
    4. Basel- Fed vs Delp Potro
    5. AO- Fed vs Wawrinka
    6. Wimbledon- Fed vs Berdych
    7. US open- Fed vs Tiafoe
    8. Indian Wells- Fed vs Wawrinka
    9. Indian Wells- Fed vs Nadal
    10. Miami- Fed vs Nadal

  23. I know Roger/Rafa set 5 at AO isn’t a terribly original pick 😉 , but that’s what I find myself going back & watching again. And again. Especially from 1-3. How did he DO that? They keep telling us how tiny the margins are, but omg – you could them, the margins, hovering there on a razors edge. At the moment I’m feeling like I certainly am not asking for anything in addition to this phenomenal year… I imagine future visitors to Wimbledon reading the Champions board, and noting the multiple winners around the 90s, and then the 2000s, and then some new names, and then Roger Federer again in 2012 and they think, omGG, is that guys STILL PLAYING???!!!, and then they keep reading and there are some new names, and then they get to 2017 and their eyes absolutely bug out of their head, and they think, wait – can this possibly be the SAME GUY? – in any case, I’m thinking all that, and thinking that he doesn’t owe me a blessed thing – but omg, if we got to see him play with that freedom again – wouldn’t that be amazing?

    I too was glad to be reminded of the Mischa matches, with some lovely old school rapid-fire actual tennis. Thanks Wanda.

    Happy New Year everybody – see you in Australia! 😉 (Virtually!)

  24. I love your reflection about the visitors at Wimby, Thinker ! 🙂

    On my side, here is my Christmas gift for you, Perfect readers ahead of a “federistic” 2018 season …for sure !

    It’s a sonnet –  in French this time. I hope my alexandrine lines dont look too bad – equalling 12 syllables each ?!

    Have a warm Christmas and a healthy and peRFect New Year !

    Sonnet pour un artiste

    Voici l’éloge d’un artiste sur coussins d’air.
    Voyageant, si agile, dans son monde sans limites,
    Il fait vibrer les cordes de sa lyre, émérite.
    Planant, tel un Zeppelin, il se prénomme Roger.

    Il joue ce jeu cosmique où deux soleils brillants
    tapent, à tour de rôle, sur une petite planète.
    L’on exalte ses feintes, ses matches sont une fête !
    Une osmose est son art, athlétique et puissant.

    Savourons les envols, quelques années encore,
    de celui qui, du court, connaissant  Pythagore
    Distille, à merveille, coups droits, aces et revers.

    Et nous, sur notre terre, battue… non ! gazonnée
    L’astronaute du tennis, adulerons,  charmés…
    Que jamais l’on n’oublie qu’ici une fée d’air erre !

  25. Has anyone noticed that Jonathan has cashed out his bitcoins and abandoned the blog? Kinda sad, but can’t blame him, 😉

      1. Does this apply to me too? Ha, ha, ha …
        But don’t come back too often 😉 OK.
        Now it’s something special.
        If you didn’t know why FEDERER is just FEDERER, maybe you find some clue here?

  26. NO FAKE NEWS 😉
    Maybe you have not found yet, where to watch Hopman Cup.
    You can watch it on Eurosportplayer (has different links for different countries), if you subscribe for a month, than you have Australian Open covered too.
    It will be streamed also on Unibet (but who wants to register with a betting service?) – well, I have registered with them, paying the minimum required deposit, but so long I don’t start to bet, it’s OK for me 😉
    And here is a page, where you can frequently find some streams for events, you cannot watch on TennisTV or on “real” TV. With some know-how, how to avoid installing something you did not want a.s.o. you can watch for free and stay healthy 🙂

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