ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Solid Federer Defeats Djokovic to Take Home 7th Cincinnati Title

Whoopa, welcome to Sevennati Roger Federer πŸ˜€ . Nice win here for the GOAT as he defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6(1) 6-3 to win his 87th ATP title and 24th Masters 1000 trophy.

The win also sees him return to #2 in the Rankings, beat Seeds #1 and #2 en route to a title for the first time, win his second ever Masters 1000 without dropping serve or a set and no doubt some other records in there too all at the grand old age of 34! Not bad huh πŸ˜‰

Quick Match Recap

Federer defeat Djokovic Cincinnati 2015

Djokovic won the toss and elected to serve. Holding to 15 to get things underway. Roger soon levelled and then held 3 break points in game 3 but couldn't convert.

With the Swiss looking the better player, he again held a break point at 3-2 but Djokovic found a way out to hold. The Serb then had his first deuce game of the set on return but Fed held firm. Both players then exchanged 5 service holds for the loss of just 3 points and the set went into a tie break.

Into the breaker and Fed immediately snatched a mini break but then missed a forehand at 2-0 . No dwelling on the past though as he won the next 2 points on Djokovic's serve – one with a sweet backhand down the line, the next with a newly trademarked service line return which drew the error.

2 big serves saw 4-1 become 6-1 and Djokovic then lost his third service point in a row to lose the tie break 7-1.

Winning the first set was always crucial and with Djokovic looking somewhat weary Fed took full advantage at the start of set 2 to break for 2-0. Aided and abetted by 3 Djokovic double faults in one game, including one on break point.

The break was consolidated to love and then at 4-1 Fed had more chances to put the match to bed; only to overhit his forehand allowing Djokovic to escape and just keep in touch.

Luckily the one break provided decisive as Fed held from deuce to lead 5-2 and then served it out to love to win his 7th Cincinnati title.

Match Stats

  N. Djokovic R. Federer
Aces 5 7
Double Faults 4 2
1st Serve % 59% 57%
1st Serve Points Won 33/47 (70%) 29/35 (83%)
2nd Serve Points Won 15/32 (47%) 19/26 (73%)
Break Points Saved 7/8 (88%) 0/0 (0%)
Service Games Played 10 11
1st Return Points Won 6/35 (17%) 14/47 (30%)
2nd Return Points Won 7/26 (27%) 17/32 (53%)
Break Points Won 0/0 (0%) 1/8 (13%)
Return Games Played 11 10
Winners 19 32
Unforced Errors 22 23
Net Points Won 2 21/29
Total Service Points Won 48/79 (61%) 48/61 (79%)
Total Return Points Won 13/61 (21%) 31/79 (39%)
Total Points Won 61/140 (44%) 79/140 (56%)



Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wins 7th Cincinnati 2015

I tried to really mix it up on his second serve and I was hoping to serve good enough myself to keep me out of trouble. He had that one bad game at the beginning of the second set, which made the difference in the match. I've seen Novak adapt to my play over the years and he's also improved a lot. His movement and his backhand and forehand are always so solid. There aren't many errors coming out of his forehand wing now. Our rivalry has definitely evolved.

Allez! Pleasing win here for Federer and fully deserved after the level of tennis he's displayed all week.

Unlike the Wimbledon final he was able to keep up the solid serving to record his best ever numbers vs. Djokovic; winning 79% of service points. He had previously never topped 76%. Interestingly he only made 57% of first serves too so just shows you how well he defended the second serve.

It's also the second time he's won Cincinnati without dropping a set or getting broken throughout the whole tournament. Kinda crazy to think that the World's two best returners in Murray and Djokovic didn't create a single break point between them!

As for the final it wasn't one of the showstopper types that we've seen before between these two as Djokovic looked a little flatter than usual. A couple of niggles, back to back Masters 1000's and some tough 3 setters will have definitely taken something out of him. But take nothing away from Federer; he backed up his impressive wins against Anderson, Lopez and Murray with yet more big time tennis and again kept his opponent at arms length to never allow them into he match. Really it was just a fine display of attacking tennis and using his two main weapons to dominate out there – serve and forehand. Throw in a little bit of net rushing and attempting to return 2nd serves virtually stood in the service box and he found the winning formula to deny Djokovic completing his set of Masters 1000 trophies. I guess the only negative for Fed is 1 out of 8 on break points and the only conversion coming courtesy of a double fault, cheers Novak πŸ˜€

Next stop is of course Flushing Meadows where hopefully Fed can put in a good run. He's not made the final there since 2009 so it's been somewhat of a disappointment in recent years but if the surface plays quick I like his chances of making the latter stages. We saw today that even when he's up against guys in their prime, if he's moving well and the surface gives him that little bit of help then he's a handful for anyone.

What did you guys think of the final? Let me know 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. Amazing win by Roger, like Jonathan said, serving was SOLID and he played an aggressive match so he could win in two sets. Nole seemed to be kinda mad due to Rogers tactics, which was great to watch hehehehe

        I guess RogerΒ΄s confidence is at a high level for New York and hope he feels fresh and ready to conquer the Big Apple again


  1. COME ON!

    Also that narrative of “Djokovic has figured out Roger, he’ll never lose to him again” Sid, this title is for you, Allez! πŸ˜€

    1. Jesus! Get a grip of yourself. There was a fine print when I said that. I said only if there is a dip in form by Djokovic, who was clearly way below his best level today. A tough final loss to Murray, then two opponents pushing him to the brink in Cincy. He looked sapped, physically, and mentally. Meanwhile, Fed was well rested, and was playing on a surface where he had already one six times.

      So, while this is a good win by Roger, let’s not see too much into it. Slams are a different story altogether.

      1. Sid you’re ecstatic. I feel it.

        Anyway who said anything about slams, everybody knows that Bo5 (on a much slower surface than Cincy) is a different animal. Luckily other tournaments exists outside slams, and at 34 any victory for Fed is a good one.

      2. No, I’m not ecstatic. Not one bit. This is a meaningless win for Federer, in the context of what has happened over the last thirteen months or so. Is he a threat at the US Open? Yes. Does this win boost his chances? Absolutely not!

      3. Agree that this win is meaningless to boost his chances at the USO but to say Novak’s level was the prevalent factor in the win is also false.

      4. Not only was Novak’s level a prevalent factor, so was the surface. Anyone remember the bagel Roger served here?

        I was playing a match last night, and my opponent asked me, “Who do you think will tomorrow?” Before he could finish his sentence, I said, “Federer”. And that after his three straight losses. That’s how sure I was Novak was cooked.

      5. Djoker has gone through far worse physical atrocities and ended up winning tournaments so whilst yes he may have been slightly “burnt out”, Roger took away his time with his aggression and ended up causing Novak a tonne of problems that were not physically related.

      6. I think Sid has a point on all the factors that were in Federer’s favour. But winning a M1000 against a big rival is gonna be good for confidence.

      7. fed played a great match to win, but it does nothing to prepare for the U.S. Open. But I also think Sid dismissing the win as meaningless is harsh. This is a big tournament and well worth winning, whether as preparation for a major or not. I’m not one of those fans that thinks anything other than a major is pointless, we got to see some top class imagination from fed this week, and I can’t ask for more.

  2. Late again, but sooooo happy!!!!!

    87th ATP World Tour Title
    7th Cincinnati ATP 1000
    PeRFect 7-0 record on cincy final

    Thanks Jonathan for a great review during this tournament, you deserves a good sleep until US Open πŸ™‚

  3. The rating is cheating! I would give him 5 stars, clicking on the last, but they did not obey! Seems someone has decided on beforehand how many to give? THIS IS NOT FAIR! πŸ™
    But nevertheless – THANKS to Jonathan for this very quick and enthusiastic tribute, saying nothing to disagree with. Exciting how things go on in USo!

  4. Embarrassed to admit that I don’t seem to be able to add 1 + 5 any more! Turned on the livescores at about 10 past 7 to see if they’d actually started playing yet, and realised they were well into the second set and Roger already had the break! It’s still a bit nervy watching the scores, as you don’t usually get a very good idea of what’s happening – I was still concerned that Novak might have been about to come out of his “walkabout” phase and come storming back, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen. He *has* looked unusually vulnerable for the US swing this far, hasn’t he?

    Delighted for Roger to get the title, anyway, and hopefully it will do a lot for his confidence.

  5. Sevencinnati, go Rog!

    I’m surprised to see his 1st serve % ended up where it is – seemed better than that, watching. As you say he was outstanding behind his 2nd serve. On the whole he got into Novak’s service games way more than Novak got into his. Moved beautifully once again. Novak did look worn out – yet not an MTO to be seen. I was kind of expecting one at 1-4 in the second set.

    I see Ben Rothenberg tweeted that Novak’s 1st serve on the last of those 3 DFs to give Roger the break was actually good – ?? Haven’t seen the video that allegedly exists, but I daresay it will appear soon enough if true.

    Wonderful tiebreak in particular – might have to go watch that again! And delighted to see our guy take home the M1000. He’s already won as many titles as he did all of last year.

    Trying not to get too excited for the USO. Will be interesting no matter how it plays out!

    1. Yes, I watched the replay on TennisTV and they clearly showed Djokers first serve was in..but as he didn’t challenge the call stood. This is one of the weaknesses of the challenge system..the umpire clearly has the opportunity to check the computer himself without a player having to challenge.

      But oh well..the same system works (or doesnt’ work) for everyone. And Djoker was way down in the game anyway…I think it was 15 – 40 or 0 – 40 and might not have won the game anyway.

  6. Yes … A really great win by Federer. I am glad he stopped Djokovic to complete the set of 9 masters 1000. Whoooooooo , yeah. Please I hope Federer does good at the US open too. Fingers crossed. Allez.

  7. Despite what many here seem to think, I genuinely believe that Roger’s chances on the US Open courts are pretty good. The only reason he does better at Wimbledon is because the others really don’t know how to move on the grass and once you have someone like Djokovic who moves well anywhere it gets harder for Federer.
    Bottom line is that the US Open hard courts are faster than Wimbledon and that means Federer has an excellent chance of doing well there. Do not forget his match against Nole in 2011 ! That was a brilliant performance ! Freak losses are the only stumbling block for Federer at the USO and if he can navigate his way to the semis without spending too much time on court, I see him making the finals and pushing the Djoker when he gets there.

    Also, check Courtney Nguten’s tweet about what Federer said on the walkie to the press. Most hilarious thing I have heard all week !

      1. LOL. CN was a former Sports Illustrated writer and currently works for the WTA I think. She said as Roger was walking to press he took the walkie talkie and said “the eagle has left the nest.” Her twitter is most insightful in the press life/behind the scenes.

  8. What a perfect way to bounce back from Wimby. It really is an astonishing achievement that he manages to regain a positive H2H record at 34 years of age against Djokovic in his prime. Djokovic may have been a little fatigued, and the conditions were more suited to Roger, so I guess he was s slight favourite in this match. Although I had in mind the thing that Sid said about Novak having him figured out at this point (I still fear Sid might be on to something there), so I was a little worried.

    I definetly feel a little more optimistic for the US Open now, but like Jonathan said, it depends on how the conditions are this year. But right now we better make the most of this victory.

    1. [Although I had in mind the thing that Sid said about Novak having him figured out]

      That’s the second time I’ve read something like that today. πŸ™‚ Novak was tired for fucks sake. Late in the second set, his first serves barely had anything on them. Let’s not get too carried away.

      1. Tired tired tired…

        Fed was mentally and emotionally drained after peaking against Murray at Wimbledon so Nole got the benefit of a slightly deflated Fed.

        All these guys know they have to manage fatigue. Part of the game.

        But Novak was competing hard today. As awesome as Fed was in the first set Nole defended so well Fed could not break him. I didn’t see a lame duck world number 1.

        As far as “in his head” – Fed was playing aggressive and daring tennis all week including today.

        He was going after Novak hard.

        If anything Novak being “in his head” brought the best out in Fed and he went after it with full committment.

        Frankly I think he is tired of losing Wimbledons to this guy and is pulling out all the stops.

      2. Whaaaaaaaat? Fed was emotionally drained after beating Murray in straights at Wimbledon? How the heck do you guys conjure up such childish logic?

        Accept it that this wasn’t the best Djokovic that Federer played.

      3. Let’s make a list: –

        a) Fed lost because he got a tough draw, and the other guy was sailing smoothly, and was less tired.

        b) Fed lost because he had an easy draw, and the other guy was well tested by tough opponents. Poor Fed ran into a trap.

        c) Fed lost because he was emotionally drained after a straight set win. Just like he was physically drained after the AO 2013 SF. Three sets or five, he is drained nevertheless.

        d) Fed lost because he played all his matches at night, then had difficulties adjusting in the final under the sun.

        e) Fed lost because the final was played under lights, and the temperature was low, so conditions were slow.

        f) Fed lost because the sun was baking the courts, and the ball was bouncing high, like this high.

        g) Fed lost because he crashed out early in the previous tournament, and the lack of matches showed.

        h) Fed lost at the USO because he played both Montreal, and Cincinnati, and it was a bit too much for the old man.

        Grow up already!

      4. Fed lost because is 34 (was almost) and had no business still being in the vast majority of wimbledon finals since 2003

      5. I agree with Sid here. We as fans make up far too many excuses. Peaking too early, etc, I accept its a legitimate argument, but the reality is Djokovic got so much back and deep that fed couldn’t impose his game in the final enough. Any dip in federer’s level, serving and game, was down to Novak being too solid to pound into submission.

        But Alb is right, if Djokovic didn’t want to be so tired, maybe he should have finished off the crap without so much hassle. Maybe he should have scheduled himself better so he didn’t have two title runs in two weeks. Maybe he should have skipped Montreal. These decisions he makes are going to affect his efficiency. Fed had similar issues in previous times, and he’s the best scheduler ever. Overextending yourself mentally is not bad luck, it’s down to your own lack of thought, preparation, or game.

  9. So pleased he finished off his week with a win he so deserved it and it was wonderful to see him play like he did – attack, attack and more attack. Obviously as far as Fed is concerned 34 is the new 24, long may if continue. Still cannot get my head round returns of serve from so far in – wonderful. Have to admit I did leave the room in the middle of the tie break but have it recorded so will watch it calmly tomorrow. Allez Roger you simply are the best and the GOAT – one of the commentators said today that they thought Djokovic to lay claim to the Goat title – I do not think so

      1. Yup. I’m going to try it out next time for fun. I get to halfway between the base and service lines on second serves anyways, so it’s only a matter of taking another couple of strides. Would love to see my opponents reaction, if it works out. πŸ™‚

      2. Think he did that against Murray as well, maybe twice (or more, didn’t see the whole match). Amazing stuff.

    1. Trudi: I agree completely with your comments..I coudn’t bear to watch the match and instead elected to watch it on replay..I get so emotional!!!!

    2. Fed’s return from the service line is wowing people, but I have been doing that in my matches for ages πŸ™‚ against weaker servers you have to move in and take it.

      Next thing for Fed is to actually stand on the service line as a return position. A lot of players will double fault trying to go for too much on the 2nd serve when they see where you’re stood. At club level anyway πŸ˜†

  10. Delightful win, fantastic attacking tennis whole week! Such a joy, loved it.

    Jonathan, great job, excellent (and super fast) write-ups throughout the tournament, you deserve non disturbed good night sleep until USO starts! Well done and thank you πŸ™‚

  11. BOOM! It was only fitting that Fed denied Novak here after he lost out in Rome. Very impressive final and week from Roger in his first tournament on the hard courts. Serve, return, movement, net game were all A+ and were no doubt enhanced due to Cincy’s conditions. A deserved win and has some great momentum to end the season on a high note.

    Been seeing a lot of stuff from Djoker fans that he was too exhausted/pulled something in the Dolgo match etc but last year we saw Fed who just turned 33 make the final of Toronto and back it up at Cincy so…

    Onto Flushing Meadows we go. What to say here? Winning here and beating Novak isn’t that huge to say what happens in NY. Let’s remember that Fed has only gone on to win the USO twice after winning Cincy. Fed going back to #2 means he’ll avoid Djoker until the final- which actually may work in his favour rather than getting him in the semis where there is a potential to play him at night since Super Saturday has finally been scrapped. Saw an interesting comment that Novak’s dominance in Australia comes from the semi-final and final night sessions- slower conditions make him near unbreakable. In saying that though, I’m thinking WAY too far ahead. Hopefully Roger can make a deep run in New York and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

  12. Awesome play from Fed.

    Fast courts helped, as he said.

    Loved his aggression. Beautiful play. Joy to watch. (sorry Sid – I think it’s worth something great winning here if he can do it. Great to see his style prosper in a court context he can exploit.)

    Ironically all getting back to #2 means is he has zero chance of seeing Novak with less wear and tear – should they both meet it can only be in the finals (where Novak usually waits for everyone – this is his 10th final in a row I believe).

    Still – great to see Fed crush the field like the GOAT he is. Proves to all naysayers and weak era conspiracy theorists – the less age is a factor in these tourneys- the fresher the legs – the clearer it is how much better than everyone else this 34 year old guy still can be.

    1. Just saw Fed interview w pMac on Espn3.

      Fed denied number 2 seed is a help in NY. Said he’d probably fair better if he got Novak in the semis of the USO instead of finals. (of course, then quickly mentioned he’d not even made finals since ’09).

      I’m not the only one thinking too far ahead!

      1. Novak Djokovic USO SF record: 5-3
        Novak Djokovic USO F record- 1-4

        Djoker has a pretty poor finals record in Flushing Meadows for some reason even though he is probably the best hard court player ever. In the end, if Fed is to beat him in NY, it won’t matter if he plays him in the semi or the final, his level will have to be near flawless in both circumstances. However, as I mentioned above, one USO semi final will be played at night this year which will favour Novak heavily. Let’s see if Fed can even get to that stage of the tournament first before we start speculating.

      2. I think there’s nothibg wrong with speculating.

        Fed mentioned it himself.

        It’s not like I’m saying Fed’s a lock for the semis. I know he could pull a Robrerdo and go out before the quarters.

        It’s just taking shop about how he might – might – best get to #18.

        Like I said – Fed is thinking about it himself.

      3. Djokovic is probably the best hard court player ever? He’s won the US Open one time.. Same as Nadal, Murray, Del Potro, and Cilic.. He has the same win-loss percentage as Roger on hard courts while Fed is past his prime by 8 years.. Uhm, what do you talking about, Alysha?

      4. Numbers don’t prove eveyrhing always- Nadal has a better H2H than Roger, does that make him the better player? In my perspective, Novak is the most dominant hard court player of the game and he has many years left on tour with there being no signs of opposition to thwart him in an era of slow baseline tennis. Djoker’s defense, agility and movement on the surface is incredible and something I’ve never seen before. Is he the best player ever on hard courts yet? maybe not but it’s hard not to see him earning that title when all is said and done.

      5. Since 2011, Djokovic has lost (on hard courts) 4 times (out of 14) to Murray (one in a Slam final,) twice (out of 11) to Nadal (one in a Slam final,) and 5 times (out of 15) to Federer.
        From 2011 to 2014, Djokovic has lost 21 matches on hard courts, while from 2004 to 2007, Federer lost only 13 matches (and in 2005 he lost only one freaking match the whole freaking season, the last match on tour!) in the span of 4 years!
        The way I see it, hard court is the most neutral type of court, it doesn’t reward a special skill more than the other, not the serve, the ground-strokes or any other skill. And, Roger’s numbers and his dominance is unparalleled (even Nadal’s clay court dominance doesn’t measure to Federer’s! Remember, Nadal participated in small clay court tournaments so much back in his most dominant years!)
        He has won 56 consecutive hard court matches (Holy freaking monkey!!!) And, he’s won 40 consecutive matches in US Open! The way I see it and believe it, these records are better than any other records in the history of sport, and Djokovic doesn’t even touch (or ever will) these records.
        I know you said numbers are not always everything, but it’s a huge factor especially when considering a bunch of years or a certain player’s dominance, not a head-to-head.
        By the way, Djokovic is 28, most players decline hugely at 29 and thereabouts so he does not have many years to dominate, especially with his type of play (look at Nadal now!)

      6. As the current time stands, players are actually starting to peak much later in their career- Djoker only started to come into his own when he was 24/25 so to say his decline will start next year doesn’t hold up. Also Fed’s decline when he hit that age was facilitated due to his competitors becoming better + courts slowing down. There is really no competition hurting Novak right now, hard to see this automatically changing in a year. I find people undermine Djoker’s achievements in this era because Rafa and Roger are still around and have done it all before.

      7. Very hard for me to imagine a tennis player peaking more than 6 years (2011-2016) even if he had no competition! ESPECIALLY with Djokovic’s type of play. It’s all speculation now so let us all wait and see what Djokovic will be like when he’s 30 years old.

      8. I actually think Djokovic has transformed his game a bit now. He’s attacking more fluidly and learning a more all court game. So even though I doubt he will dominate much longer, I can see the guy actually lasting for a while yet.

  13. There’s too much fuss about the courts but I believe that they were supposed to use the same surface the whole US Open Series no?

    1. The surface is same, Pro DecoTurf II, but they can change the composition easily by putting more particles in the top coat to effect speeds amonst other things.

  14. Hey, guys! So happy for Fed. I agree somewhat that this win of this tournament is not the ultimate achievement but I think that it was an important one in these 3 departments.

    3. He won another Masters 1000. Good for the confidence.
    2. He is back to Number 2 which can potentially benefit him at the U.S. Open.
    3. He got a good victory against Djokovic and Murray back to back.

    Now, I have a question for Sid. I get his point that Djokoviv was tired and whatnot, so my question is:

    Now that Roger is at Number 2, what it this time he gets the good draw and avoids Murray and Novak gets Murray. Based on their very consistent seasons, it’s safe to say that Novak and Murray WILL make the semis. If Roger is able to avoid a Wawrinka and maybe get Nadal in his QF, I think it would be sweet. If Roger can finally reach the final here and Novak and Murray battle for 4 hours (which is what they’ll do), would you still pick the winner (if It’s Djokovic) against a Fresh Roger? A fresh and finally a confident Roger that just got a win over him. I’d say that there is certainly a chance that if things materialize than Roger will have a great chance this year. Last year he was burned out but this year he was smart and took a risk by skipping Montreal but it paid off. He defended his Cincy title, beat both Murray and Novak (something he probably won’t be able to do at a Grand Slam Level) but now if he has yo only beat one of them, I think that he can do. And by the way, he didn’t look near his best. He can play even better than that. 57% 1st serve and only 1/8 break points – I think that he play even better. I just hope that he can save himself by playing against easy opposition and BRING it in the final – instead of what happened at Wimby where he peaked a match too early..

    1. [Would you still pick the winner (if It’s Djokovic) against a Fresh Roger?]

      A cooked Djokovic, vs a fresh Roger: Roger will win nearly all the time.

      1. Very enjoyable reading,. Thankyou Jonathan for getting all this together. Think it was great seeing the EagleFed leave his nest and snatch that milestone golden master away, The Swiss so good at this., and that includes Stan at the French.

        The way he pounded some of those smashes and offensive shots was a statement of intent he was there to win, and yes it’s not two Wimbledons and all the runner up situations, but it was joyful in its result. A wonderful week in Middle America the guy adapts to everything and that’s exactly what I like so much about him, everything !!

        Win or lose he is an absolute joy to watch something so many of his opponents just cannot bring. or even try to do. This Fedberg pairing is so great for Tennis are they going rogue on the ATP redefining and bringing what people seem to respond to?

        Advice to Novak and Andy, and some of the new breed of thugs being given free reign, get some joy, skill and sportsmanship going . It’s not only about your wins .

      2. Haha well put.

        Djoker is pretty sporting though. Always handles losses well.

        Murray too, but he just beats himself up at any possible moment πŸ˜€

  15. A big thank you to Jonathan for super fast blogging this week.

    I think this was an important win for Fed. His hard work in this training block paying off big time.

    Nice to see him in the stands to see his family and team. The last time I recall seeing that was Hamburg 07 where I believe he bageled Nadal.

    Also a win for old man Nestor. He and Roger-Vasselin seem to click. Wonder if they will be paired up at the USO.

    The draw out on Friday?

    1. Cheers.

      I think he did it in Madrid too once. But says it’s not really his style, especially when it’s not easy to actually get to the box.

      Draw Friday. Last slam in the Tiger Mobiles Tennis Challenge. I saw Conal finished 6th in Cincy!

    2. Nestor and Roger-Vasselin will play together at the USO. Read that Roger-Vasselin will also play the qualies for the singles at USO.

  16. Actually I am being a bit harsh but there are elements missing that enhance the sport which I think the ATP are forgetting but of course dollars rule and you can’t really be joyful with all the pressures as you are carving out a career.

    The top players should not be taking suspect MTOs and wasting time and so forth as it becomes accepted , allowing it is the problem. Novak pleased everyone he did not do it yesterday and he even didn’t challenge a point he won but it’s not always the case.

    Tennis is such a special sport yet some days you look at whose whose playing and think Nah! It should not be that way. One star can’t win matches alone look at the WTA?

    1. I don’t always agree with certain antics either – but it’s within the rules usually and often they aren’t heavily enforced so if you can slow the tempo of a match down by doing it, most are going to do it…

  17. Last year Roger came from a runner-up in Toronto – back-to-back Cincinnati, and won anyway – the 33 years old was not too tired for that. So of course Djoko too tired to win – 28-29 years old – back-to-back Cincinnati? Of course there may be other things. Djoko had more mto’s in Cinci than Roger in his whole career. He had Goffin and Dolgo – Roger had Lopez and Murray – much easier?…so Roger fresher, and this the main reason?
    AND – only chance for Roger in USo if all the tough guys in Djoko’s half. You guys fans of Roger?
    Well, fair would be, if luck was even, and the guy who then wins really deserves it, and no one else. So don’t ask for more luck to Roger than to anybody else. I want him to win deservedly, and not from luck. And being a fan, I think he can do it.

    1. You have to admit now that Fed winning a slam has to have certain special circumstances. Yes, he might play lights out tennis for two weeks and win it all, but the chance of him stringing 7 consistent matches back to back is much lower than his prime years.

      Also, there’s no doubt Roger was the fresher player today, Djoker did look cooked in the second set (not so much the first).

      1. Simon: If Roger was the fresher, it might have been because he was quicker/better to defeat his earlier opponents. And maybe he skipped Toronto not because of saving freshness, but because he needed time for training his new aggressive game. In wimby he peaked in sf – but even that is rather well done for such a weak old man with low chances. So maybe you are right – to defeat fast may be the key on saving energy for the eventual final. Still, I’m excited to see this new add to his game vs opponents in next major.

      2. As I’ve said above, I think it’s a moot point. Tired or not, it’s your fault. Djokovic took ages to out away the crap and he scheduled himself two tough tournaments. Did he really think he wouldn’t be around for the finals of both? I think it’s not so much “oh, Roger only won cos Djokovic was tired”, more “the fact Djokovic was tired showed how poorly he handled his earlier rounds”.

        It is one of the great ignored things about tennis, in H2H arguments too, that not playing is worse than playing and losing. Playing badly is worse than playing well. And being unable to play well, whatever the circumstances, is therefore not an excuse.

    2. Exactly my feelings Muser. No one disputes 7 BO5 matches are tough – for anyone – but to dismiss Federer’s chances, and make the sweeping statement that ‘Djokovic has Federer’s number unless Djokovic is playing well below his best’, is far too easy. Of course it helps, but Federer never stands still; he too (it seems to me) has been looking at different (and creative) ways to challenge. His superb returning has been a revelation.

      I will agree that Djokovic has found a pattern of play (there’s that machine again) that works against Federer (particularly on the slower courts). I’m sure Federer’s game (and weaknesses) have been studied and analysed to the nth degree by he and his team, but he can often be caught out by players with whom he is not so familiar, and that (if they don’t choke; i.e. Nishikori at USO last year) could, and can be his downfall. Nothing wrong with being realistic, but let’s not lose the dream in the process is what I think you are saying Muser. πŸ™‚

  18. Didn’t comment before because I looked in last night to join the celebration, and Sid’s comments were like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face. πŸ˜‰

    Last year Rog got to the final of Wimbledon and Roger’s Cup, won in the final (albeit against Ferrer) in Cincinnati, got to the SF of USO after beating Monfils not acting like a clown, *and* beat Djokovic in the final of Shanghai. And this is a guy almost six years older than Djokovic!

    OK, it was a tough final in Toronto against Murray, and (not to take anything away from Djokovic’s supreme efforts) he has won an awful lot this year. But he had a good chunk of time off after Wimbledon, so I’m somewhat surprised that he’s already ‘cooked’.

    I thought it was a great final, with the usual array of amazing and creative shots from the champ. So it’s woo hoo! from me. πŸ˜† I’ll finish with this superb comment (from Mark Petchy I think, anyway one of the Sky commentators):

    ‘It’s not just his name that’s going to be etched on those trophies, it’s the memories that he’s etched into our minds over the years…that tiebreaker…it’s a single memory all of it’s own. Just genius.’ And that’s Federer; no one will ever match him. πŸ™‚

  19. Since last Tuesday there’s a smile on my face after Roger first showed his kamikaze second serve return.
    You can imagine that this smile got bigger yesterday (especially on 3-1 in the tie-break).
    Here’s a clip with 5 of these actions and an interview with Roger telling about it.
    Have fun!

  20. Nice review Jonathan…
    My thoughts on the final-

    1. Well deserved win for Fed. He was in his instinctive rhythm and looked the better player from the very beginning. After watching first 3/4 games I just felt – Ah! He is in full flow! Today Djoker has a tough task ahead of him. Something I felt in Dubai and Shanghai but not in the two wimby finals and the two IW finals. Nole was tired, right, but it’s hard to imagine that his fatigue came into play in the first few games of the match. Fed was dictating the rallies right from the start. Again it’s the Roger-rhythm that mattered. Surface is a factor, yes, but then, Nole has beaten Fed twice on grass. I don’t know if cincy or dubai is faster than grass but Djokovic has it in him to beat Fed on the faster courts. Fed has a slight advantage on grass and faster hard courts and Nole in clay and slower hard courts. But on any given day, the better player wins irrespective of surface.

    2. How many of you think that Fed in fact extracted those double faults? It’s Fed’s movements during the 2nd serve that unsettled Nole completely. He delivered some very good 2nd serves (even some aces) but he couldn’t concentrate as his mind was always busy thinking about what Fed’s gonna do now. And those half volley returns!! OMG! How can one think of it? We noticed and Peter Bodo mentioned it after the first match against RBA, but I wasn’t sure he’s gonna apply it to everybody. It was very frequent in the earlier matches but later he used it as a shock tactics. I think the 4-1 point of the 1st set tiebreak did a lot of damage.

    3. I am worried about the nature of the last few games of the match, from 1-4 Nole serving. That part was being played in Nole’s terms. Longer rallies, deuce-ad-deuce-ad…, break points not converted. Often Fed loses serve after failing to convert break points in long return games. Here also it was deuce on Fed’s serve after that 10 minute game. Was Fed playing safe game being in the lead? Not at all a good idea!! He should have gone for the kill. It could be very different story had it been 4-3 in the second. We would get to see what a “tired” and “fatigued” Novak can do! He wants long rallies in Fed matches even if he has heavy legs, that’s his comfort zone.

    Overall, I think it’s a far more important win than it seems. Hope these happy days carry on. Waiting for USO.

    GO ROGER!!

    1. Shanghai, Dubai, Cincinnati, Basel, Brisbane and Halle are the only fast surfaces around. Wimbledon is much slower than these courts and so are other supposed fast courts like US Open and Montreal/Toronto and the indoor courts like Paris and World Tour Finals are also quite slow. Federer has won 4/6 fast court tournaments this year while Shanghai and Basel are still left. Hopefully along with those 2 he makes US Open and the World Tour Finals as his top priority for the rest of the year.

    2. I think Fed definitely forced Djoker into double faults to an extent, he was mixing up the return a lot which Djoker doubt. Couldn’t just get away rolling in a serve and playing the point out.

    3. Good points, but I disagree on the third. The only reason it’s a common thing for players to drop serve after a long attempt and failure to break is in the state of mind, usually. But it happens to hundreds of guys, and all of them I’m sure think afterwards “I should have gone after him there”. But they don’t at the time. Even though they obviously know they have to focus, they still fail to, so it’s clearly not so easy as deciding to attack. You just feel heavier, the adrenaline is starting to ebb because you’ve just had an emotional let down.

      And I also think it’s a bit worrying over not too much, mate. Novak got to deuce in that game, and that is the FURTHEST he got all match. The greatest returner in history, massive boost after holding, against a guy who probably had just had a let down, and he only makes it to deuce, doesn’t even get a look at a break point. If anything, I think fed handled it supremely well.

  21. Its a good week for Roger, he tried new risky move with 2nd serves which has a lot of players shell-shocked. I love it! To be honest Roger put Murray and Djoker to shame as last year he manage to reach final at Toronto and win Cindy at age of 33. They are a lot younger and yet 2 years in a row they both looked lethargic. Roger’s skill and efficient killing machine is why he can still play with top guns even at age of 34. I hope he can get to GS no 18 at USO. Praying for good draw and help from his opponent too ha ha ha

    1. I personally don’t think Roger will be able to pull the service line return in NY, surface is too slow there.

      1. Yeah I agree, USO surface is slower than 5-6 yrs ago. This conspiracy has to stop. They should speed up court surface.

      2. They supposed to let the court speed as its nature speed. The beauty of this game is that we have a range of different court speed. fast, slow, bounce high, bounce low. The most versatile player and the one that able to adapt will rise.

        now everything is somewhat similar…

        years back, winning RG-Wimbly combo is so appreciated due to this difference and short time to adapt between this 2 GS. Now you just have to grind from the baseline, keep returning until your opponent make an error (this is what I see in tennis mostly nowadays)

        Bring back the beauty of Tennis!

  22. Fed was more than brilliant throughout
    Didn’t give Novak even a single shout ( read breakpoint )
    The half-volley off Novak’s second serve
    Was enough to break Djokovic’s nerve

    The tiebreak was the first nail in the coffin
    And Federer was no Dolgopolov or Goffin ( I know Goffin doesn’t rhyme with coffin, but poetic licence )
    Soon Novak’s goose was ready to cook
    As Federer never let him off the hook

    And soon the scoreline read 7-6, 6-2
    Fed had beaten both the No 1 & No 2
    This new feat was for the first time too
    As Fed was rarely any else than 1 or 2

    And now at the ripe old age of 34
    Fed’s innovating like never before
    Taking all by shock and surprise
    A veritable feast for all our eyes

  23. Seems like all the media is talking about Federer 2nd serve return.
    but yes, it is so good πŸ™‚

    anyway have a transcript of final press? or even better the link?

    1. Yeah, I’d like that too.
      What I learned from the presser with Djokovic is that he didn’t go into Roger’s new feature. This is what was asked/answered:
      “… I was wondering, you played him 40 times before and he hasn’t done that much. What did you make of that strategy?”

      “He’s very, very aggressive on his when he’s returning second serves; he was trying this week something new. I have no comment about it”

      Well, I say: no comment is in this case a comment too πŸ™‚

      1. Come on, Novak. After you make Fed taste bitter defeat two years in a row at Wimbledon and other finals, Fed was going to have to come up with some new tactics.

      2. Murray had a face of “are you taking the piss” when he did it to him. Too funny πŸ˜€

        He’s the motivator, innovator, creator of the new and improved tennis strokes of today.

  24. Hey Wanda & Slamdunk, thanks for your appreciation. I saw Jonathan’s lovely verse in the previous blog too. Looking forward to more Jonathan.

    Just read the pressers. Fed is always forthright and gives credit where its due. Wonder why he says that he prefers to play Novak in the semis. Is it because he has beaten him in two major semis, Wimbledon & French. But at the same time he lost that US Open semi after having matchpoint ( that awesome fluke forehand ).

    Strange no one asks him questions about Rafa any more. Or at least I haven’t read any lately.

    Also gracious of Novak to say that he may have to wait till Roger retires to win Cincy.

    1. Hey Murli, agreed Novak’s speech was classy.

      Fed was asked about Rafa after QF win (quote from ASAP).

      Q. Came very close to playing Rafa. Obviously lost the breaker yesterday. If he had won that you would’ve played him today. What are your thoughts on the state of his game at this point in time? Obviously he’s not winning as much as he used to, but still competing well. Thoughts on his game, where it stands right now?
      ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I saw a little bit of yesterday. Always going to be a tough match against Feli, Feliciano, on this kind of court for him. Rallies were longer than I thought they would be. He did a good job to stay in the rallies.
      Then of course Rafa, by not winning the French Open or dominating the clay court season, always going to be question marks. But maybe he’s just had a harder time coming back from this last injury that he had compared to other ones that he had in the past where he just bounced back and ended up winning everything again.
      So, I mean, it would be interesting to follow him. I don’t think he’s playing bad or anything. He can still just explode any week and win tournaments. He’s that good. He’s a legend of the game. Yeah, I’m not obviously concerned for him in my opinion.
      He always keeps working on his game, and I think that’s just the angle he’s got to take: just keep on working and things are going to change for the better usually.

  25. Screw Cincinnati, screw World No.2, screw the Career Golden Masters, why isn’t anyone here talking about Federer leading in the H2H once again ? I think that is my biggest takeaway from this final ! Sure, that lead isn’t going to last too much longer but still it is a matter of celebration I think !

    1. Nah, H2H is over rated πŸ™‚ nobody remembers those sorts things when you hang up the racquet. It’s the sort of stuff brought up when you won jack shit else in the game. E.g.

      “Tim never won a slam, but he did win his first 5 meetings against Federer”

      Unless you have a pigeon of course when it’s like 20-0 in H2H but 21-20 is neither here nor there.

    2. People forget there’s a substantial age difference between Fed and Djoker- I’d be very surprised if Fed ended his career with a positive h2H over him.

  26. Thanks Wanda, Fed was quite spot on re. Rafa. This time around it is taking a long time, but can’t be counted out either.

    Fully agree with you on the H2H aspect, Jonathan. Too many imponderables for it to be taken too seriously.

    1. Yeah I think you can look at H2H if both players started their career at virtually the same time and played an equal number of matches on all the surfaces.

      1. Either way, a quick look through history shows that when eras overlap, the younger guy tends to have the edge in H2H over the older ones. And that’s natural, because it’s how tennis works. Someone rises above the rest and stays there until a younger great works out how to dethrone him, and so the younger man almost always has his peak times when the older man has just relinquished the top. Pretty logical, actually, it’s why a H2H is a stupid measure.

        That said, we and all will remember fed vs nadal. That’s one of those lopsided rivalries that while unfair is too memorable.

  27. Federer won because Novak basically doubted himself.

    The doubt was fed (get it) by everything else everyone has mentioned here including conditions, surface, Feds aggressive play and I’m sure that Novak was thinking I’m tired/injured/hes not playing fair etc but the real issue was a mental one that he doubted he could beat Federer at Cinncinati because of his own poor record and Feds excellent one. And it was mental rather than physical exhaustion – you could see it in his face when he just looked like its not my night again. That is not the Djokovic we know and dont particularly like who will dig in and never give up no matter how tired or injured he is or how well his oppo is playing.

    Federer also brilliantly piled pressure on Novak pre match by saying the story wasnt about rankings but about him stopping Novak getting the golden 1000 slam, or whatever its called.

    It was the opposite in Rome – Novak won had before and was ultra confident Fed never having won doubting he could beat Novak on that surface.

    Whether Novak really has his number we probably wont see until there is neutral surface – maybe at USO. He probably has but maybe can get beaten by a combination of an oppo playing brilliantly as Federer did here and the occasion. Fingers crossed

    1. Djokovic beat Federer twice on his favorite surface, Wimbledon, and he still hasn’t figured Federer out? I guess grass wasn’t neutral. You’re a funny man. πŸ™‚

      1. Blah…Blah…Fed won Cincy fair and square. Nothing will bring back those Wimbledons he lost to Novak. But instead of dwelling on, he came up with a tactic to defeat Novak the next time they played. Is Cincy Wimbledon? No. Was it a title Novak wanted to win? Yes. I loved it in the second set when he was trying to pretend he was giving up. What does that remind you of? That’s right, U.S. Open 2011. I see the old classics never die with Novak. This time Fed held on and won the title. 7 Wimbledon titles, 7 Western & Southern Open titles. Good Luck to Roger in New York.

      2. No, he didn’t. Djokovic was nowhere near his best. Please…get yourself examined. πŸ™‚

      3. As Roger himself admitted Novak for sure adapted Roger’s style of play over the years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can beat Roger always…I am sure still Roger believes himself to win over Novak in GS again….We have to wait and see though..

  28. He is already in NYC–walked by his hotel earlier–packed w limos. Nike event tonight. Does this man get no rest?

  29. Fed beat Novak in Dubai & Cincy in straight sets. No coincidence that, as both are super-fast surfaces and obviously Novak hasn’t quite figured how to play Fed in fast conditions. Which goes to show that Wimbledon is not as fast as it used to be and thus Novak had the upper hand, apart from it being a best of five match. I doubt Novak will be able to handle Fed in Halle.

    All these guys, Novak, Murray & Nadal need not only time to set up their shots but also time to serve. No wonder they are such boring uni-dimensional players.

    Anyone watched Murray vs Novak at Rogers. Wouldn’t watch it even if i got paid for it.

    1. Ugh, can already see the longing eyes from Dimitrov pointed in Sharapova’s direction. Also finally a peak at Fed’s USO kit for night I assume? Not a fan.

      1. I like it. I bet it was supposed to be the Wimbledon kit & turned out to have too much color. Very clean lines.

      2. Alysha, I’m guessing it’s day session. All this pink and purple….his girls influence? Not a fan either.

    2. Hello Sue… yep I saw that. They sort of re created the 90s Nike ad with Agassi and Sampras. But this time they had a few more tennis players. I really liked Federers orange colour outfit including the orange sneakers. Not sur why they had the bad boy Nick krygios there and Eugenie Bouchard who doesn’t respect or want shake anyones hands doing there also. Anyway quite liked the promotional video. On a different note can’t wait for the US open to start . I really hope Federer can get a decent draw and go deep in the tournament.. But one match at a time. Allez Federer. Come on I still still still still still BEL18VE!!!!

  30. On a completely different note, just read that Nadal will be the new face ( ??? ) of the Tommy Hilfiger underwear brand.

    I am ass-uming that Rafa will get a bonus every time he tugs at his TH irrespective of whether he wins or loses. So long service games, multiple deuces are now in store for the Rafa fan

    From a marketing perspective, a master-stroke from Tommy Hilfiger

    1. then Tommy Hilfiger have the biggest challenge in underwear industry,
      make one that is fit for him so he doesn’t have to fix it before every single point




      1. If Hilfiger can train Rafa to touch their logo on the middle back of their underwear as regularly as the usual spot they have made a clever choice. Was it the Armanis causing all that discomfort for all those years?

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