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Stan The Man Wins French Open with Blistering Performance

Hey guys, I wasn't planning on blogging until the Halle draw but I thought I'd do a quick post on today's French Open final where Wawrinka took down his second Grand Slam title in sublime fashion. This post can also as a place to discuss the final so the previous post on Federer's loss to the eventual champion doesn't get too cluttered.

Going into this match Djokovic was the big favourite but Stan clearly had other ideas; producing shotmaking of the highest order to defeat the World Number 1 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Stan Roland Garros 2015

Unfortunately I couldn't watch live but I've just caught the highlights and all I can say is WOW. I said many times on the blog Stan is one of the few guys on tour capable of producing sustained firepower off both wings and he produced it in bucket loads today. Hitting through the Djokovic defence which is virtually impregnable and maintaining it over 4 sets. He also kept it together mentally, never losing belief when behind or when Djokovic came up with the goods to save break points with his excellent movement and retrieval skills. Just a tip of the hat really and I think it's great that attacking tennis prevailed on the biggest stage.

Finally I think you have to hand it to Djokovic too, nobody handles a defeat as well as he seems to and he was again very classy after one of the toughest losses of his career. Hard not to feel a little disappointed for him especially after he took out Nadal in the Quarters in such routine fashion but as he admitted in press – he ran into a player who simply played better tennis than him on the day.

Allez Stan! Hopp Suisse! Onto the grass.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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265 thoughts on “Stan The Man Wins French Open with Blistering Performance”

    1. It’s strange just a few weeks ago Wawrinka looked all mentally bruised and battered. He seemed destined for a period of long decline. What an amazing turn around. Such a joy to watch him. He has brought out ruthless tennis in both finals. A big credit to Magnus Norman too what he did with Soderling and now Stan just tremendous stuff.

      funny Roger was watching the final on his cellphone while at F.C Basel stadium. GOAT at Multitasking.

      1. Stan was, I think, one of the potential half-dozen winners I had marked out well before the QFs (Roger being in bottom place), so I wasn’t totally surprised once the tournament had started, although based on his form earlier in the year I certainly wouldn’t have expected it. I’d said that I wanted someone in the final who could give Novak/Rafa/Andy a run for his money, and boy did he oblige! I did also comment to someone a few days ago that I wouldn’t be surprised if Novak didn’t win it – perhaps because he’s put so much pressure on himself to do precisely that. Also, of course, it’s far better to be able to say that Roger was straight-setted by the eventual winner πŸ™‚

        Was amused to see the photo of Roger, too! I suppose that’s one happy result at least for him today – assuming that he’s not getting worried about the challenge which Stan now poses.

      2. I think we can all conclude, performances in Masters don’t mean s*** now. Fed beat both Cilic and Stan at those events and it counted for nothing.

    1. Good one Jonathan. Maybe if He get married again he will win a calendar Slam.
      It was a great performance by Stan. He was really the man of match. πŸ˜€

    2. Didn’t Stan win AO 2014 after going through a break up/divorce too? Clearly, the, “behind every successful man there is a woman” cliche doesn’t work for him.

  1. Your prediction for the French Open turns out to be spot on, Jonathan! Well done!
    Stan was absolutely superb, today. Refreshing news for Tennis!

  2. I saw a photo of Roger at the Basel football match. It was a shot from behind his head. He was watching the match and also had his phone propped up in front of him watching the FO final. Great support for Stan.

    I watched most of the match. Stan played an awesome match. The important thing for Roger here is for everyone to see the level Stan was at in the final and in the match with Fed.
    People will see Stan didn’t win the AO just on a whim.

    Possibly the shot of the year. Stan threading the ball around the post. Unreal.

  3. Your Wow is in good company. Andy Roddick said the same. Thanks for the write up I think Djoko won quite a few hearts in his defeat he behaved genuinely and the crowd responded so enthusiastically as they certainly supported Stan mostly during the match. I think the semi v Andy and the split cannot have been a great forerunner just as RF had to suffer Monfools over two days in the freezing wind but that’s all excuses and past history. Stan deserved the trophy, it was a reAlly good Final. Was also pleasing Lucie Safarova won her doubles, she played a good tournament.

    As Robbie Koenig said “would you rather be consistent Berdych or Stan with 2 GS”!! Anyway there are going to be some hungry contenders at Wimbledon and some others in the Loxker Room with new belief. Grass is calling our Goat Cmon!!

    1. I think every sane person would take Stan’s career over Berd. Also yeah, Wimbledon a bit wide open this year seeing what went down at the French, let’s hope Fed has a say in that.

  4. Djokovic could not win the french open.
    Nadal could not win the french open.
    Federer could not win the french open.
    Sock took out Dimitrov.

    I’ll wait for Jonathan’s draw post before making predictions for wimbledon.

    1. Speaking of Dimitrov wasn’t he at Good to Great Academy before he moved to US to be with Maria? Think he better get back there with Magnus as he has been in limbo and the clay has revealed this. did see he got a big article re upcoming grass season think he better beware the press too and let the racquet start speaking for him. Then again Stan was up and down and look how he rose to glory on the clay at a major. Exciting times ahead

      1. I have it in front of me at the moment. Written by someone I don’t recognise as having any pedigree in tennis terms, and completely omitting to mention anything about his relatively poor performances recently.

      2. I couldn’t be bothered reading all of it, I saw some picture with a stupid quote on it which was cringe and stopped. Pure fluff though, just makes him look like a clown.

    2. I started the blog in 2011, not sure Federer has been a favourite heading into a slam since I started it. Think I posted about good vibes on Wimbledon 2012 though πŸ™‚

      As for Wimbledon 2015, I’m not sure really. It’s an uphill task I think, things would need to click into place peRFectly.

    1. Can’t really compare them, one was a semi final, the other a final. Federer’s performance in 2011 was pretty insane but Stan produced something when the trophy was at stake.

      1. This match was oddly reminiscent of the Fed/Djoker semi 2011. Novak on a streak, picked by everyone to go on to win the title and set up the calendar slam only to be outplayed by his opponent (a Swiss one too)

        I’d echo Jonathan and agree Stan’s victory is way more impressive though seeing as the title was at stake and not to mention Djoker beat Nadal on his path.

    2. Very different matches, fed gave the impression of simply not allowing a loss that day. Big point after big point he’d come up with magic, and it was one of those tight games where he could have lost or won (Djokovic served for the fourth after all).

      Today….well, was it more impressive? I don’t know. But you got the impression that Stan outclassed Djokovic, outhit him. He didn’t edge the big points (even though he played them incredibly), it was more a case of he suppressed Djokovic with constant power and pressure.

  5. Two slams in two years for Stan. He does something that only Federer has done in the last decade or so. Beating both Djokovic, and Nadal in a Slam final. Anyone else comes to mind?

    As for Novak, he can still be in the GOAT mix without a win at Roland Garros. For me, he is already a better player than Nadal. The handshake and hug at the net this time was real. He really did mean it. Remember his shirt ripping celebration against the same guy at AO 2014? Novak now truly understands the anguish of being on the side of a slam final, more importantly, the one he desires so much. He has finally matured. Meanwhile…too bad his fans are devolving into twelve year old kids.

    Novak, in my opinion, deserved this title more than Stan. It seems as if he is destined not to win at Roland Garros. Had it not been for playing over two days to see off Murray, he may very well have overcome Stan.

    As for the match itself, as Jonathan pointed out earlier, this surface has given Stan the extra time he needs to set up for his forehand, and especially the backhand. At some point during the rally, he is bound to gain ascendancy. Even more so during the heavy conditions in which the Federer match was played.

    On a side note, has anyone noticed that Switzerland now has 19 slams, and has won every slam at least twice! GOAT stuff, right?

    *wink wink nod nod*

    1. I see what you mean in that Djokovic has a career that WARRANTS a French open title. But in terms of the context of this tournament alone, Stan probably did end up playing simply the better tennis. He was peerless. Made a guy we all agree was by far world no 1 this year look merely nonplus on court.

      I feel so sorry for him. And the crowd I think felt it too. Turns out what it took for Djokovic to win many over was heart break. He had to become human, and fall as humans do. But I think he will win one someday. He is simply too good not to.

    2. Agree: I was very impressed with Djokovic’s grace in defeat today – in the past, I’ve wondered if it was faked, but this felt genuine. Stan was just too strong for him. But I agree the surface must have played in his favour: he seemed to have all the time in the world to stand there and wait for the ball to arrive in his ideal strike zone.

    3. Djoker may be more a complete player than Nadal, but is he better than Nadal yet? I’m not sure about that. Not winning Roland Garros will be huge dent in what is already a great career- Novak bounces back from slam defeats like no one else here, he’s not done yet.

      1. I will quote Wilander: he said (one of the past days) that Novak is better than Nadal on clay. How about that? Well, he should know… The argument was that on his peak form Novak has a more varied and effective play. More varied than Nadal, yes, but that is also true for most top 100 players. But – and I’ll second that – Novak is not able to keep his level at 90-100% on clay all the match time, whilst Nadal is perfectly able to spend 5 hours in a row shooting moonballs one after another after another, behind the baseline, until the opponent gives up by boredom…

  6. H Jonathan

    You missed an absolutely blinding match – and the best man won I was so hoping Stan would come and play the way he did against Roger and not be overawed by the occasion and sure enough that’s exactly what he did
    ALLEZ TO STAN THE MAN Hopefully it will be Roger’s turn at Wimbledon – anyone for an all Swiss Final!!!!!

  7. Yup, I’m starting to feel for Djoker, he’s growing on me πŸ™‚ He seems like a fine loser, wasy better then Fed at least hahaha

    Super happy for Stan, played a great tournament and beat the one and two seeds pretty comprehensively.

    Was I the only one though that found Novak way to passive? He was taking zero initiative, forehand was so-so, a lot landing short?

    1. When Stan is hitting with such power and depth – how do you take the initiative?

      Always too much focus on what the losing player should have done. Stan was making him scramble constantly, Djoker tried plenty – serving and volleying a few times.

      Looks like Djoker’s return isn’t as good when he has to create his own pace off second serves though?

      1. I’m not so sure, in the first set, Djoker didn’t much of anything, but Stan still made errors. When Stan stopped making them, well he won three straight sets πŸ˜›
        I’m not belittling Stan’s performance, to the contrary, but I really though that Djoker was too tame, especially on his forehand side. He seemed very nervous and tense throughout

        I’m not taking anything away from Stan though, it was a great match πŸ˜€

      2. Novak was too passive at times and it cost him- why wasn’t he pulling the trigger on his BH DTL? He had multiply opportunities to do so and yet just made the ball only to get punished by Stan’s firepower. Novak has improved at the net a lot I feel this tournament but still has a tendency to not end points quicker.

  8. Well, Djokovic had to lose the title he most wanted to get the love from the crowd he’s always desired. Ironic or what? He’s never been a particular favourite, but you had to feel sorry for him, and I did. To try this often, and get to the final having beaten Nadal, and then to lose. That’s heartbreaking.

    No one would have beaten Stan today. Brutal, blistering shots – I could hardly believe that Djokovic was getting them back at all. Got to give it to Stan, he kept his nerve, and just got better and better. A truly amazing win for Stan. So pleased for him that he can shut up those naysayers who suggested the first was a fluke, and then that he would be a one-slam wonder.

    Some interesting stats from this twitter feed – spooky coincidence:

    https://twitter.com/fedele_giulio/status

  9. Only Jonathan, myself and one other person on this blog predicted that neither Nadal or Djokovic would win. Jonathan also said that Roger would not win but did not say who would actually win. I honestly thought it would be Murray or Roger, and maybe at a push, Nishikori. But Stan? What a lovely surprise! Then again, the way he blew Roger off the court, maybe not. Is men’s tennis starting a period of exciting uncertainty with more guys than ever having chances of a Grand Slam win? I certainly hope so, but not until after Roger gets his potentially last slam at Wimbledon, yes?
    And as for Novak, congratulations to him on the manner in which he took this defeat; it is ironically in sorrow that he is now finding the love he so desperately craves.
    And let none of us forget our tennis history which tells us that no matter how great a player one is, to win all four slams is an achievement still preserved for only seven men in history. History dictates that Novak must wait a little longer to join that group of legends…

  10. Good words from Djokovic too:

    “I don’t want to come up with excuses, saying these two matches took a lot out of me,” insisted Djokovic.

    “I don’t think that’s fair to Stan. I don’t think that’s fair to sit here and whine. Certainly those two matches were very big in terms of physical demand and mental, emotional, as well. But I was today feeling pretty fresh as much as I could. I mean, I was ready to go out and fight, and I have done so.”

    “Maybe in some important moments I didn’t feel I had that explosivity in the legs, but, look, in the end he was just a better player.”

    1. Nah I don’t think he is making excuses at all. Fed said the same thing when he lost Olympic final in London. Not explosive moving out the corners. Seems fair to me, Djoker was slugging it out with Murray the day before, not as physical as it could have been in the fifth but still took extra effort.

      1. Noles probably right. He was probably affected but he is not maximizing it. Juts because he could have realistically been affected it doesn’t mean Stan didn’t win fair. It doesn’t mean Nole is blaming it all on Murray. He’s could be saying – in effect everything is a part of why you won or lose- but at the end of the day I was ready and he was better.

        I think you guys are asking too much of him – just by logic standards.

      2. I didn’t see them as excuses either. Alb has it as far as I’m concerned. I think this was fairly said. And frankly far better than saying someone ‘deserves’ the title. Yes, Djokovic had faced Nadal a number of times and lost, but you have to beat those players you face to win the title. He wasn’t able to do that and quite rightly said he lost to the better player. You win the final match, you deserve the title. That’s it.

        Wawrinka beat the player who beat Nadal, same as Feds in 2009, except that Soderling beat a prime Nadal, as opposed to a pale shadow of that man.

    2. This could all be avoided if the French invested in a roof and got lights for night matches. And if they aren’t willing to do that, it might be time that the clay slam moves elsewhere.

      Also don’t agree Novak was making excuses- he’s just stating the facts, he had to play 3 days in a row and of course that will have an impact on your game but the way Stan was playing, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Stan’s first slam win was already tainted by Nadal’s injury, let us not repeat that.

      1. I thought RG announced a year or two ago that they’d be getting a roof? Maybe it’s part of the “new RG” plans?

  11. Agree. Sad for Novak. Very very gracious in defeat. Bravo maturity.

    Feel like Stan won two slams today. Today retro vindicated AO 14 and cast aside naysayers. God for Stan. #legit

    1. Yeah who would have thought Stan would have won 2 slams if that question had been asked 3/4 years ago? For many he wouldn’t have even come into the convo.

  12. Paul, I didn’t predict Nadal or Djoker for the win. I had my money on Roger. No phone for me.

    Winning the career slam is like the Triple Crown in horse racing. Ironically a horse just did that yesterday. American Pharoah just won the Belmont. This gives him the 1st triple crown since 1978.
    Horses are amazing athletes too.

    1. Thanks Sue. However, I will be making no predictions for Wimbledon! If Roger should go deep, I will be probably propping myself up on Valium!!

    2. Never been a fan of American Horse Racing, too much fanfare and stupid stuff going on around the course

      Although some of Zenyatta’s races were awesome, owned by my Uncle Jerry other there. Out the back then just flies home.

      Do you bet on them Sue?

      1. I used to ride when I was younger. I love horses. I did go to the track now and again for fun. I tend to break even, free meal and parking. Fun day.
        Yes, horses are tested a lot for doping.

    3. You spelled it wrong too, Sue. But I don’t blame you. πŸ˜‰

      So, do these horses have to take doping tests?

      1. She didn’t spell it wrong at all Sid. Did you check?

        I looked at some images of the horse Sue – he’s beautiful. πŸ™‚

      2. Slamdunk, you’re missing the humor in what I said. You didn’t get the reference. Never mind!

      3. It was a spelling error when they officially registered the horse. So the wrong spelling is actually right.

        Can’t decide if that adds to the story of the horse or is just a daft mistake πŸ˜†

        Crap name for a horse though regardless.

      4. Oh right, I didn’t know about that. I looked at some images and there was the name…sorry Sid! πŸ˜‰

    4. Yeah they do, quite a few scandals in UK racing last couple of years, one of the big yards; Godolphin owned by Sheikh Mohammed got caught doing it. Top trainer Al Zarooni injected them with anabolic steroids. I didn’t follow it that closely tbh so not sure what the outcome was in terms of a ban. He was claiming it was a mistake though.

    1. I can’t get the transcripts at the minute, I had access but they changed it again after some tit put a full transcript on Twitter after they had password protected it already. Knew it would happen, you’d have to be an idiot to post a full presser when they already passworded the site. Just publish quotes ffs and then it wouldn’t have changed.

  13. ***Jonathan Wins Blog Open with Blistering Performance*** πŸ˜€

    60 winners. SIXTY!!!

    In this context, Roger’s loss to this player doesn’t look so bad. You were telling us, Jonathan, Stan just played unbelievably well.

    Brilliant touch from Stan to bring the shorts to press.

    And yes, very gracious of Djokovic in defeat, & gracious of the French crowd too – not a usual attribute of theirs – with the extended ovation.

    1. Roger’s loss didn’t look bad anyway regardless of how Stan played post Quarter Finals. He lost to the better player on the day, thats all there is to it.

      Stan now a 2 x slam champion, pretty big achievment. Could overtake Murray πŸ˜†

  14. I for one now find it much easier to digest Federer’s loss to Stan in the QFs and I am sure Federer feels better about it too ! Losing to the eventual champion, that too one who took out Novak Djokovic ? No shame in that !

    1. There was no shame in losing to Stan anyway regardless of how the rest of the tournament went for him. He played the better tennis on the day.

      I doubt Fed takes solace in it either, the tournament is long over for him.

    2. Only Fed fanatics would be bitter about Stan who played an extremely high level of tennis on the day to beat Roger.

  15. So upset for Djokovic! To beat Nadal and still not lift the title… and so magnanimous in defeat as usual. And as others have commented the irony of him finally gaining the crowd’s support in such sad circumstances didn’t go unnoticed. Hopefully he will complete his Career Grand Slam, he deserves it so much! Of course, all credit belongs to Stan, he played fantastically. Controlled aggression at its finest, gunning for him to maintain his form all throughout this season.

    And on a sidenote, hopefully all this talk of a ‘Big Four’ can die down, now that Wawrinka has won just as many Majors as a certain member of that illustrious group.

    1. Yeah Stan’s slams are perhaps more impressive than Murray’s too, beating Djokovic and Nadal to win AO is pretty huge. And now taking out Fed and Djoker to win the French.

      What slam is the hardest to win? You got the extreme heat of Melbourne, grinding it out on the clay of Paris, the grass of SW19 and the windy hard courts of New York.

      I would probably go French Open as of right now with the defensive baseline era. Before Wimbledon slowed I’d have probably said that as it took masses of skill.

      1. I would actually say US Open seeing as it’s the end of the season and players are mentally and physically low in the tank. But the dominance of the Big 4 this era in the sport/slams make it too hard to evaluate.

      2. My vote sticks to Wimbledon. I think it’s too broad an issue to answer though. The Australian open provides heat, as you say. The French is no doubt the one that taxes physically most. Wimbledon remains the likeliest place for the big upset, because you get the aggressive guys having one immaculate match, and you’re out. For that reason, I guess “toughest to win” is technically the French, in that it drains you most, but at wimby there’s every chance you’ll play great and it won’t be good enough.

    2. “Controlled aggression at its finest, gunning for him to maintain his form all throughout this season. ”

      True. I’m not sure *how* often I want to watch it, though – it could get rather dull after a while, seeing people being bludgeoned like that πŸ™‚

  16. I don’t know how to say this, but I’m convinced after this match that Wawrinka dopes. Try convincing me that he doesn’t.

    1. “These two guys look like they’re playing video games. Unreal tennis.” -Roddick tweets.

      Come on, I just can’t believe what I saw. Are you fucking kidding me? It’s just too good to be true. They were playing the last set as it it was the first set of the match. No way I’m sold that this is a clean match. Boxers collapse after 36 minutes, and cannot play for weeks. Who are these guys?

      Weren’t those blood passport things supposed to be in effect by now? Anyone knows what happened to that?

      Sorry guys, I don’t want to tarnish Stan’s win, but it is what it is. This is very simply, a joke.

    2. I don’t like talking about those things but this came to my mind at some point today too, I mean, this guy hits the ball incredibly hard all the time, how does he do that? And he was also reaching every dropshot Djoker did.

      1. Untrue. Djokovic had large success with the drop shot play earlier on in the match. But he made the mistake of overusing it. That made it predictable, and Stan was able to react quickly because he knew what was coming. And most of Djokovic drop shots later on in the match were in truth poor. The act of a desperate man, not a tactical ploy.

    3. Nah, I’ve seen matches way more phyiscal than this one. Djoker looked pretty weary too at certain points.

      Boxers collapse after 36 minutes. Yeah but boxing hasn’t always been 12 rounds, Did the guys that fought for belts over 15 rounds dope? Either that or they must have been significantly fitter than these modern guys who can only last 12 rounds.

      1. Djokovic looked like his legs were made of lead at some points but I think it was more to do with the occasion and the promise of greatness than being tired or having played the previous day. I’m sure Stan just generates his enormous power from his barrel chest. He looks like he prepares for matches with a pie and a pint and nips off court for a cigarette in between sets – I should think that is the extent of his doping

      2. ‘…prepares for matches with a pie and a pint…’ LOL He does. Indeed one of the commentators said he was built like a rugby player; Djokovic looks like a twig beside him. I confess I wonder at the incredible power both were able to generate over and over again, but then I’m a mere mortal and not an elite tennis player. πŸ™‚

      3. Djokovic a twig? LOL Make no mistake, the guys a specimen. He is, inarguably, the gold standard of what a tennis players physique should be.

      4. Jonathan, no, in fact boxing has extremely strict doping controls. That’s what the point is. They look and feel human after a bout, then cannot fight for weeks. There must be doping in tennis. There is doping in tennis.

      5. Of course you were joking. I’m just elaborating what a specimen he really is. He does look like a twig though.

    4. Are you going to say that about every player except Roger?… Stan is a beast (physically speaking) and well, Novak is Novak. Ask Stan to run around the court and start defending and suddenly he doesn’t do so well…

      1. Why not? I’ve never seen Roger win a match with a physical exhibition beyond belief. If anything, he abjectly surrenders, or meekly rolls over and dies in the fifth set. Except for Wimbledon.

        Stan running around defending? Have you watched AO 2013 vs Djokovic? Agreed his game is based on taking control of the point, which unlike Federer, he can do off both wings. Still, fact remains, it’s all extremely suspicious.

      2. Roger’s had his share of 5 setters that he’s ended up winning. Tipsarevic, 10-8 in the fifth, comes to mind. Now that wasn’t a hugely physical contest, but was this? Wawrinka certainly will not have run distances out of the ordinary by much today. Which means if there was a physical aspect to it, it was his ability to inject pace so consistently for so long. Well, timing explains his ball striking, and he’s got such a powerful build and fluid swing that the pace comes almost naturally to him.

        Great feat of concentration, yes. Physical phenomenon? I don’t see it that way.

      3. I have no idea how Djoker won the AO 2012 playing back to back Murray and Nadal which were both 5+ hours.

      4. Yeah that one remains the most notable case, followed I’d say by nadal taking out verdasco and fed at the AO

    5. Sid, I understand your suspicion. I pray for a better check method. Unfortunately I cannot do better than that.

  17. What a final, very few saw this coming. I am gutted when Roger was beaten and cursed that this Stan guy must go all the way to prove that having beaten Roger was not a fluke. Well, Stan the Man has done just that, bravo. Somewhat, I felt that this final result seems to have sofened the Roger’s loss, as many of you felt here. Beating No 1 and 2 to win a slam can never be easy. Stan has done twice, so he earned it.
    As for Novack, indeed, he also deserved to win. The way he conducted himself after the defeat stirred some warm feeling inside of me. I am sure that he has got a few more slams in him.
    As for Roger, Stan demonstrated today that after the 39 stroke rally, Stan dented Novack’s confidence substantially. The most fans would think that Stan could come out the worse in trading rallies with Novack but Stan took up the challenge and passed it in flying colours. When things get tough, one just has to put off fire with fire!
    Hope that Roger will go all the way at Wimbledon this year!

    1. Good point about Novak’s confidence being dented with the level of shotmaking. I mean Novak was so rattled, he restrained from hitting his trusty BH DTL whilst all the while hitting to Stan’s BH and leaving the line wide open.

    2. If Djoker goes DTL it has to be an outright or close to being a winner otherwise he gets burned cross court. So he can’t play that shot from a defensive position. Stan was just bossing the rallies that he couldn’t really go down the line with any conviction.

  18. Congrats to Stan, he played a great match and exciting tennis – better than defend/retreive any day.
    He’s done Fed a massive favour, not only stopping Nadal from 15 at the AO but now stopping Djokovic in his tracks. Djok suddenly looks beatable (if you are playing brilliantly) whereas if he had won this match he could well have steamrollered his way through the rest of the year and ended up with the calendar slam and more.
    Some posters have said elsewhere that Fed shouldn’t have to rely on others stopping Nadal and Dkokovic but I completely disagree. The 3 of them should be being beaten by other players by now or soon in the case of Djokovic and would be if it wasnt for the next generation not showing up.
    Thank god Stan has stepped up to the plate.
    As to Djokovic deserving the French and the career slam again I don’t agree. He has had huge success at non slam level and will probably end up with most 1000’s but he’s often failed at slams when it matters most – didn’t he lose 6 out of 7 slam finals at one point? He’s got a lot of admirable qualities – mostly mental strength, consistency and bravery – but there are a lot of other similarly great players on the 5-10 slam level who didn’t achieve it.
    Yes he’s been denied by Nadal many times at the French (as Fed has been) but until he wins it, which he probably still will at some point, then he wont deserve it.
    I agree that he was gracious in defeat and his tears at the ovation were touching – great PR but costly.
    I hope Fed wins 18 at Wimbledon but if not I hope someone other than Nadal (unlikely), Djokovic or Murray wins it.

    1. Do we really have to make Stan winning about Roger? We’re past this. I agree with you about Djoker in slam finals though, it will be what separates him from Fedal when all is said and done. Watching Novak up there so emotional reminded me of Roger once upon a time and I do hope that one day he does complete the career slam to settle whatever demons lie there.

      Stan winning at the French could spark some belief in the rest of the field at Wimbledon.

  19. Thank you Jonathon. I opened the PerFect Tennis app, hoping some of the fans would have made a comment about the FO final, only to find that you had given us a dedicated stream. I don’t have much to add. I am thrilled that Stan won. It is great to see a beautiful single handed backhand standing up against the two fisted variety. Maybe the single hander will not be lost forever.

    1. [Dancing in the street for this win over the haughty one ]

      Jesus! Get a grip, Maxi. Djokovic was anything but haughty leading up to the final. And I’ve never seen him as sincerely humbled as he was after the defeat.

  20. Hurrah for Stan on his win. Dancing in the street for this win over the haughty one and his wunder team. He had to be gracious today in defeat. Too gracious but he had no other choice. His elasticity did not work, his aura of invincibility was smashed and his misplaced cockiness was made flaccid. Yeah for Stan. Very happy for the Swiss. He played like a champion.

    1. [Dancing in the street for this win over the haughty one ]

      Jesus! Get a grip, Maxi. Djokovic was anything but haughty leading up to the final. And I’ve never seen him as sincerely humbled as he was after the defeat.

      1. Good to see all the kind sentiments for Novak. He may have appeared (sincerely humbled) on Sunday, welllllll. Bravo for him he was able to muster the courage to be gracious in defeat. Congratulations Stan.

  21. Was unsure you were gonna make a post J- but you had to seeing as your pre-tournament prediction was fulfilled- awesome!

    STANd and deliver! What a match by Stan, I mean he’s once again beaten the top 2 players in the world to win a slam and that’s just incredible. The power that was coming from both FH and BH today was like a gun going off and honestly, there was very little Novak could do. Majority of Fedfans happy for Stan because he stopped Djoker but I think this is really a win for tennis- everyone expected Djoker to pull it off after his amazing season and after he beat Nadal, the stars were aligned perfectly but we all said, beating Nadal didn’t guarantee the trophy.

    Re Djoker. Very tough loss to digest as he is denied yet again. He wins the first set yet again but got too tight when he realised the dream was one step closer. He was merely waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen just like Stan- after being up in the third set, he had chances but Stan was on a mission. I will say this. Novak showed immense sportsmanship out there and I don’t know anyone else who would react the way he did under those circumstances. And finally the French crowd did something right in their life- well deserved and it sucks that it took such a loss to finally show respect to Novak. I may not like Djoker’s antics with the crowd but he is by far the most under-appreciated tennis player ever. That applause was entirely chilling, just like at Wimbledon 2015 with Roger. What a beautiful and cruel sport, these are the moments that make this sport what it is.

    This final just proves yet again the fine margins involved and now nothing is guaranteed and for Stan to win the way he did with the quality of shots is just even more ravishing. Stan at this level is simply unplayable. The question is if he is able to maintain it and be more consistent outside the slams now.

    – How do we see Wimbledon playing out now? I think it would be the biggest win of Novak’s life if he were to win SW19, it would take immense resilience to come back so quickly. We saw it in 2011 and last year so will be interesting to see if this one loss dictates Novak’s career who is now 8-8 in slam finals.
    – Who ends up with more slams at the end of their career? Murray or Wawrinka?

    Congratulations my Lil Swiss Croissant, you’re the real MVP! Bring on Wimbledon!

    1. All good points. I think Wimbledon is looking more and more intriguing. If I had to say right now, I’d put money on Murray doing it. Stan I reckon might get an early exit.

      1. Don’t see Stan winning Wimbledon but I’d be surprised if he didn’t make it to the quarters at least.

      2. No way Stan wins Wimbledon. Not in a thousand years. He is not nimble enough for grass, and quite clumsy in the front court, unless he establishes himself there in a good position. Dope won’ help with all those things.

      3. Grass will take Stan’s time away so as you said game will not be as favorable on grass but his confidence must be extremely high right now, and that’s just a winning formula in this sport.

      4. Yeah Sid is right, Stan not agile enough and doesn’t have enough time to wind up his shots on grass. But he did make the Quarters last year so not difficult to see him making the second week.

      5. Stan has the game to win on any surface, but I agree with Sid, he needs to be able to set up on his shots. Clearly a top player, but having to stand further forward on grass probably will end up being his downfall.

        My original point was more that I see him having a mini slump similar to post AO times. Fed, Murray, Djokovic are the obvious favourites, I should say. But you get the feeling it’s more open now than ever.

    2. Nice post as usual Alysha! And to answer your question – I can definitely see Murray winning more slams, but not Stan, which might seem surprising to some. Because tennis history shows how incredibly tough it is to win any slams in your 30’s, let alone one. Unless you are Serena Williams – and I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her!!

      1. Murray is more consistent outside slams so I can see why you would trust him. I might agree with that sentiment. Also about age, Murray is turning 29 next year and with his pusher game, so not that much of a gap. Stan is peaking at this age and that’s pretty scary.

    3. Nice post Alysha! I reckon Roger and Murray will fight for Wimbledon. I have Nole winning US open, it’s time he did.

  22. With a performance like that from Stan in the final, no wonder Federer lost in straight sets to him in the QF!

  23. Take a bow Stan the Man. Take a well earned bow. I wanted to be mad at him when he beat Roger, but Stan played one of the best matches to beat him. Every strike of his, every shot of his was pure gold. Even when he defeated the Goat, I couldn’t be mad at him. But the way he played today?? Wow, just wow. It took THAT level to beat Novak.

    Good to see that Stan was not byest towards Novak. He got the same treatment Roger got from Stan. The winners were flying of his racquet left and right, up and down, in the middle and the sky πŸ™‚ Sooooo many winners. Really makes you wonder why Stan hasn’t won more slams.

    By the way…. nice to see all throughout the slam that Novak, Rafa, Stan and Muzza also shank balls. I thought only Roger has a patent for that πŸ™‚

    Ps: I am not a fan of Novak, I do not feel sorry for him that he lost, but… take a bow Novak. You played great and a fair match. It took Stan to play the best match of his life to defeat you.

    Also at times his being gracious in defeat was overrated…. but not today. He was genuine gracious. The standing ovation he got was well earned. Take a bow Novak.

    When THIS Stan plays like THIS…. he truely outplayed Roger and Novak….

    1. Take a bow, Novak! Take a bow, Magnus! Take a bow, Pierre! Take a bow, Messi!

      Take a bow, Jonathan!

      Did I miss anyone Katyani? πŸ™‚

      1. πŸ™‚ So how else should I say in English that I was impressed with both of them??

  24. Toughest losses to date for the Big 4:
    Fed- Aus open 2009
    Nadal- Aus open 2012
    Murray- Wimby 2012
    Djoker- Roland Garros 2015

    1. Interesting! I would say AO 2014 for Nadal since he had never lost to Stan before and he was about to complete 2nd career slam.

      1. I picked Aus open 2012 because with that loss Nadal became the only player to lose 3 straight slam finals and was up a break in the 5th set of a 6hr match.

    2. Would definitely agree with this being Djokovic’s toughest day.
      Nadal agree too, it’s the closeness of the match and the fact he actually overachieved to get that far on Djokovic that makes it the worst one for him. While it’s not an excuse, he did get injured vs Stan, so I think he’d personally view that one less painfully.
      Murray there’s no doubt. And as is the case with these tough tough losses sometimes, that match because the making of him as a proper contender
      Fed has had a few really tough ones. AO05, Wimby08, AO09, US09, US10, FO11, US11, AO13, Wimby14. I don’t suggest they are all contenders, but circumstance and luck played parts in those matches where the prize was big. Whether it be having match points, deserving to win and losing, not quite getting it done, or missing a glorious chance (Wimby14). I would narrow that down to Wimby08, AO09, US11, Wimby14. Among those, not sure. I agree with you, I think. πŸ˜‰ just a roundabout way of putting it.

      1. AO 2009 solidified the Fedal rivalry to be forever in Nadal’s favour- no coming back from that. But the interesting thing is, with all the losses I chose, each went on to win the next slam:

        Fed won RG 2009
        Nadal won RG 2012
        Murray won USO 2012

        Djoker for Wimby 2015…?

  25. As a Federer fan, I hope Roger gets stimulated by Stan’s performance. Stan has proved that the player with single-handed backhand can defeat Djokovic on clay. Recenlty, Roger has been relying on net play. It is OK. However, I think Roger should (and can) polish his strokes more.

    1. And I’d disagree with that. The reason Stan can do that is pure physicality. Fed is nowhere near as strong as Stan, so he simply can’t hit that hard of both wings. Fed is all in touch and finesse, Stan blows everyone away with pure power (not saying he’s just a power hitter of course).

      1. Yeah I agree with Simon, look at where Stan stands in the court, he’s 6 feet back but still ripping winners. Federer can’t do that.

        Question for the blog – if Federer had put on a few KG’s in muscle mass over the last 5 years – would he have won more slams? I think yes.

      2. I think no ^^

        Roger’s game is tailored around being all in finesse and touch, explosive on the court. Had a couple of pounds, he gets a little slower, and loses all the grace and nimbleness around the court. I think he’s just good like he is now ^^

      3. What about no? Everyone else is based on power and physicality, if Roger followed this trend too it would be bad… I think he’s just good like he is now Β² PS: Say no to the “ballbashers” haha

      1. Hard to say if Fed would have won more slams with more muscle mass. He has a very different physique than Stan.

    2. You guys are unbelievable. Stan has been bageled by Djo on multiple occasions. Roger has never been bageled by Djo. Stan is an inconsistent ballbasher. Roger is been at the top of the game consistently unlike Stan.

      1. Ballbasher? Stan has unbelievable shotmaking of both wings, he’s not just a power hitter.

        Also, Roger is more consistent, but Stan is peaking where it’s needed, GS and tour finals. The last two years, Stan has two slams, Rog zero. This year, Fed has a 3rd round and a QF exit, Stan has a semi (lost to the eventual champ in 5 sets) and a trophy.

        Stan is clearly more than just a ballbasher, so please give him some credit?…

      2. Actually, Simon, Stan could be considered a borderline ball basher. Last two years, Stan was 28-30, and Roger was 32-34.

      3. Stan is a ballbasher in the sense he hits the ball huge but he has way more to offer than that.

        I wouldn’t use being bagelled as a line of argument though. Stan has beaten Djokovic on plexicushion and now on clay in best of 5 format. That is impressive.

        It’s obvious Fed is the better player but why they need to compare or even bring Fed into it? Stan walloped him in the Quarters and then beat the number 1 in the final.

      4. Roger was brought into this because every time Stan does something, Fed fans treat Roger like a loser and want him to become a ballbasher out of desperation to win another GS like 17 GS is not enough.

      5. How about we stop using age as an excuse?.. Roger is #2 in the world, so let’s leave it at that shall we?

        There’s no doubt in my mind Fed is the better player, in the long term and all of that, but in terms of grand slam appearances and silverware, these last two years, Stan is up there with him, and maybe better, since he’s holding the trophy on two occasions.

      6. Every time Stan does “something” it’s a win for tennis. I don’t know about any one else but the guy is the most exciting to watch since Fed and Del Potro. People need to stop bringing Fed into the equation- Stan has finally stepped out of his shadow and is his own man.

      7. Agree with the guys here. No one questions that fed is a better tennis player, but majors, as fed himself has said, are where it’s at right now. And no doubt Stan has been the better contender for majors in the last couple of years.

        I don’t think we are seriously (the majority of us, that is) asking for a big change from Roger. To do what Stan does requires a build that fed does not have.

      8. Karen, you are hurt, me too, when Roger was beaten (by Stan) via ‘force’. However, the most of us here just wish Roger to win more slams. For guys like Stan, Cilic and even Del Potro to go pass Roger, they need more things to align up in their favour. IMO, the force is only part of them. This is why they don’t win slams often. For Cilic and Del Potro, it may never happen again (sorry Juan M). You know what, I wish Roger to smash a few rackets on court and use F words a few times on court, just to fire himself up in key matches. We just want our hero to win in whatever way it takes. Stan might be FO champion 15 alright but he has not even earned the right to be compared with Roger. I will not be surprised that Stan will be bundled out before Round 4 (mark this down my prediction).

    3. I have to agree with Kiyoshi here. In fact, Federer should learn how to hit a two handed backhand from Djokovic, who has now beaten Nadal at every slam.

      1. But yet lost the title. Beating Nadal does not get you the title by default. Djotards lost sight of that.

      2. If we just assume you mean exactly the opposite of what you say from now on…you’d be one hell of a nadal fan

  26. Unexpectedly, I came first in our league for the Tiger Mobile predictions! πŸ™‚ Lets see if I can repeat my form in Wimbledon, might have a chance to catch up the two tournaments I’ve missed!

  27. A great final, its been a trend no? Whoever beats Nadal and meet a Swiss in final will not win RG. Stan was in the zone. Stan had all the answers whatever Djoker threw at him, he was better player and clutch when he needed it. Glad Stan is no longer a one slam wonder.

    1. Actually, there’s an even scarier trend. Whoever beats Nadal at a slam before the final, never wins the title. The ultimate curse?

      1. Was someone suggesting a while back that whoever knocks Fed out of a slam never wins it, either?

      2. That can’t be true. Cilic (USO14), and Stan (FO15) immediately come to mind. Then we have Djokovic (USO11, AO11), Nadal (FO05).

        Whereas, beating Nadal before the title really means nothing as only Del Po has gone on to win after that. What could that mean? Beating Federer a round or two before the final is a fair indicator of how well you’re playing?

      1. I can only think of Del Po as the only person ever, to beat Nadal before the title match, then going on to win it all. Honestly, that bastard Juan Martin had no business winning that match. If it weren’t for that stupid, casual game by Roger…

  28. Here is my 2 cents bitching about how to behave when Winning/Losing. I totally agree Novak is gracious in loss but I think Stan should get much credit how he celebrated as Winner… When you lose you have no other choice other than accept it but when you win it, you can celebrate whichever way you wanted….That’s what kept me away accepting Novak as better tennis player…

    Even before he turned better player (from late 2010) I tried to like him as second favorite to follow but some of his antics pulling me away and later years it got worse when he started to do Shirt ripping and primal roar when its not really needed…He seems doing bit better when losing but that’s not the case when he wins… Its not too long ago how he poor he looked in AO final body language wise before he comfortably winning it….

    In short, I think its how you keep yourself at winning shows more than how you keep yourself in lose…Many of my friends not happy even with Roger when he roared after 2009 Wimbledon against Roddick..(though i felt he was reasonable)…

    What do you guys think?

    1. Agree with you there, Novak is very gracious in defeat (though that is no small feat, Roger is one of the most terrible losers ever hahaha πŸ˜› ) but he is very demonstrative when he wins.

      Stan on the other hand seems to leave all his emotion on court, yelling to himself, concentrating etc, but once the match is actually finished, he’s back to his down to earth shy self πŸ™‚

      And the wimby 2009 celebration had nothing wrong in it… Winning 16-14 in the 5th, doing the French-Wimby double for the first time, surpassing Sampras’ GS count, and I’m sure I’m forgetting something warrants that kind of celebration ^^

      1. What do you mean by Roger is most terrible loser? As far as I remember he conducted himself very good (other than 09 AO) in all GS finals where he lost….

        Its different story when he lose in earlier rounds..

      2. Fed’s a very composed loser. But he doesn’t go out of his way, like Novak (no comparison, admittedly). As far as attitude on court, Fed has no comparison in mind. There’s no negative drama, no shouting, no gamesmanship. If he loses, he loses. There are no games or false pretenses. He keeps everything within himself and for that quality alone I respect him immensely. But yeah, no way he’s as gracious (?) in defeat as Novak. But in his defense, I don’t think anyone really comes close. If anything, Federer is an honest loser.

      3. Agree with Gaurav here about Fed and his behaviour when he loses. Fed loves winning. But the thing that separates Roger from the rest is that he loves tennis more than he loves winning and that’s all I have to say about that.

      4. Seems I was misunderstood here πŸ™‚
        Fed’s attitude is okay when he loses, but you can clearly see that he’s pissed off about it. Novak seems much more humble in his defeat than Fed does ^^

      5. Simon, Djoko humble? Maybe leant somewhat on an actor’s school. Tries so very hard to be liked. Latest endeavor. Seems to succeed among you guys.

      6. Sid, Thanks for that Link…I totally get that. isn’t that we are all like him (just as his peers).

        I just said that to show how high standard Roger set for him when he wins…in that Context I just feel as Stan should have get more respect/accolade than Novak’s humbleness shown (only here)…

        For Me, I still wait on him to see how he grows from here or going back to his antics soon… Only thing I liked from him was how he schooled Dull in QF…

        Cheers…

      7. @Muser- I don’t think any athlete including Roger is as humble as he makes it seem but Djoker goes out of his way to give a tonne of appreciation and respect to his opponent that others don’t. Always claps winners/amazing shots that come from the other side of the net and in his pressers, deflects the attention from what he did wrong and more to what his opponent did right. Say what you will, but he is all class in defeats and is a great ambassador for the game.

        As you said, he does try very hard to be liked. But I empathise with him- he has been so dominant and consistent in this sport for so long now and still he doesn’t get the same fanbase as Fedal do. It took a heartwrenching lost for the crowd to show him some love finally. I’m with Nambi here. Will that be what it finally takes to make Djoker turn away from his show-man personality on the court?

    2. [Many of my friends not happy even with Roger when he roared after 2009 Wimbledon against Roddick]

      Let me put this issue to rest. Skip to 1:13 in this Federer interview by Roddick.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBZ47tnCDk

      This will tell you regardless of that roar you are talking about, how his peers feel about Roger Federer, and why he has been winning the Stefan Edberg sportsmanship aware for the last 2 billions years (and counting).

      1. I’ve seen that one Sid. Roddick was very appreciative of Feds’ sensitivity when he came into the locker room. And remember him saying, ‘I ought to hate him, but he’s too nice.’ How many times did Rog win that Stefan Edberg Award – 10 was it? Says it all.

        I liked Roddick too, especially his acerbic comments (utterly warranted) to the press questions. He and Rog both know he meaning of bad match-up.

      2. Sid – THANK YOU for this interview link – shows Roger, and the natural charisma of his – and Roddick’s too!

      3. Slamdunk, Roddick’s witty replies in interviews is the only reason I like him. He just knows how to put those journalist whores in their place.

    3. I definitely do agree very much on Djoker’s stupid shirt pulling ritual, hope that he never does that again. Based on this match alone, both Stan and Djoker were very classy- do believe they should be up for the Sportsmanship award at ATP awards.

      On Wimbledon 09- Actually was expecting a bigger celebration from Roger there- how would you react with so much on the line and for such drama to culminate. If it makes you feel at ease, Roddick has said many times how much he appreciated how Fed reacted in the locker room with his team after that match because he knew he was there. That speaks a lot of his character.

      And correct me if I’m wrong- but Roger has never gone into the stands after a slam win to meet his team? I can’t stand when players do that. Think it’s totally unnecessary and rubs salt in the wound for your opponent.

      1. Last sentence. Can’t really see anything wrong with that Alysha – they want to share their joy and (in Stan’s case particularly I felt), their thanks and appreciation to the team for their help and support. Djokovic could not have felt any worse could he? I always think it looks the loneliest spot in the world, having to sit there and wait for the ceremony. Of course it sucks to lose any time, but at least in earlier matches you can scuttle of the court in double quick time!

      2. Agree with Slamdunk here; after one of the biggest wins of your career I find it normal to want to celebrate the win with your friends and family. And at least took the right way instead of climbing the stadium like other guys do ^^

      3. Yes – “rubs salt in the wound for your opponent” – that’s what winners should think more about before doing. – Of course Roger is annoyed when losing, isn’t everybody? Or should you always SHOW – oh, so happy about your opponents victory? – Look, how humble I am!
        Roger is mostly respectful. But he has also mostly a rather honest aura being it. The empathy comes natural to him. I should think this plays a great part in his popularity, among fans and peers.

      4. @Muser- I think a balance is required there. And the FO final, the AO 2009 final, the Wimby 2012 final all showed the runners up trying to be respectful and accepting in defeat but sometimes you cannot hold back how much it crushes you.

        And that is what sports is. It is meant to break your heart. But there comes a fine line there- all those finals I mentioned displayed immense sportsmanship from both sides and no climbing into the stands- why? because the winner knew that as happy they are for the win, their opponent was feeling the loss even moreso.

        I did not enjoy Djoker’s shirt ripping in the AO 2012 final at all because the camera panned to Nadal’s face and it said it all.

      5. I don’t remember quite what this refers to, but I remember reading that Roy Emerson a few years ago congratulated Roger on his classy behaviour after winning one of his slams. Roger was a bit bemused, and Emerson explained that it was *because* he was respectful of his opponent and his opponent’s feelings, and *didn’t* go clambering up to his box to meet his family and team, leaving his opponent sitting there on court. I think Emerson described people who did this as “idiots”. I know I read it sometime after the Wimby 2013 final πŸ™‚

  29. Awesome match. Some headlines you may never see

    If Djoker had won

    Stan is lost Wawrinka

    Now that Stan won

    Stanislast man standing

    Wowrinka

  30. For all the nice comments on here about Djokovic, its pretty grubby that Becker has now rubbished their relationship in the press and basically said they dont get on but pretend to because Roger has to keep up a fake image of niceness and respectability for sponsorship reasons. If its not Djokovic playing mind games at the very least Becker must have run by Djok what he was going to say. I think Djok will fire Becker after Wimbledon anyway – 6 from 9 slam finals is not good enough.

    1. Everyone on the planet already knows that Djoker and Roger aren’t the best of friends but they’ve come to a stage where they respect each other’s career- especially after that Wimby final. So I’m not sure what Becker is trying to say in that Roger isn’t as nice as he seems? And very confusing seeing as he sings quite the opposite tune when he’s in the commentary box.

      Also on Djoker firing Becker? I doubt it. Djoker may have slipped to 8-8 in slam finals but he is still the best player in the world. When it comes to mental fragility in slam finals, Novak only has himself to blame.

      1. I think Becker has a book to sell and probably wanted to generate some headlines which he has achieved.
        So far as success under Becker – he was brought in to help win the slams and Djokovic will keep him as long as he is winning them. After the FO failure we will see what happens if he doesn’t win Wimbledon which I think is now hopefully less nailed on

    2. He needs to keep his big mouth shut does Boris. Ian’s got it. There’s a book to sell and it’s good to generate a bit of gossip. And how does he know how Roger feels about Djokovic? Utter rubbish.

    3. I just read the quote- The guy’s been misquoted pretty badly, let’s be honest. Some idiot in the media twisted his words, and 5 others copied him. Absolutely nothing to it.

      Plus, I think Jonathan’s right- he realised that it gave his book a little publicity and tweeted (after mentioning that he had been completely misquoted)- “If you wanna know what I wrote about him and other guys, read my book…”

  31. I like Stan. I also like Djokovic. Both players have made dramatic career spikes later in their careers. Chiefly by getting dramatically stronger and fitter. It’s the modern trend in the game. Remember how Stan used to lose again and again to Roger? His backhand though good was not the surreal weapon it has become in his tennis old age of 30. In Fed’s prime years his was better – as powerful but way more versatile. No way now. Does Stan dope? Of course. But by the same token so does Djoko. The modern game requires it. In fact modern pro sport requires it. I would venture that you can’t make it into the second week of a slam if you don’t have a little “help”. Acknowledging that as a reality makes it easier to understand how pros can play the way they do, week in and week out. Nadal hasn’t so much faded as drawn everyone else into the same game. Or they would have no chance. If you doubt this have a look at footage of matches played before 2005. Kinda quaint by comparison with today ‘s feats.

      1. Jonathan, at his peak Roger’s backhand was easily the equal of Stan’s. It is one of several reasons that Stan was continually bested by Roger in those years. If you want to be reminded how good Roger’s backhand could be I suggest you review his matches against Nadal in the 2006/7 World Tour Finals. Incredible. Or his 2010 AO final against Murray, when his backhand was more than a measure for the Scot’s. You don’t beat those guys without power as well as guile on the backhand side. The only vulnerability he had was to the high ball on clay from Nadal (which, curiously, Stan also had until relatively recently.)

      2. Agree- I mean who else can pull out those half BH/volleys out the bag? Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

        Fed’s BH always has been overshadowed by the fact that his FH is the most important shot in the game and that his BH was weak because of how Nadal broke it down. But, after the racquet change, both those shots become equal to be honest. Fed become a much better defender on that wing. For Fed to be successful at SW19 really gotta get that FH to be the star for the two weeks.

      3. Almost agree completely. Stan picks balls early on his BH and hits flatter to generate pace and thus power. This is almost a habit, which is very difficult to change. As Jonathan echoed, Roger’s BH is so much more versatile. He can defend and attack from that side. This is why Stan goes out of tournaments in the first rounds often, as it is extremely difficult to do that all the time, if someone manages to send all the balls back. All in all, Roger’s is better. However, one could have the opposite view, if he must win a single point to come out of a ‘do-or-die’ situation, Stan’s BH generates the greater impact. But Rome is not in one tournament? πŸ™‚ .

      4. @Richard – you are kidding yourself if you think Roger’s backhand has ever been more powerful than Stan’s. Shame there’s no hawkeye data to back this up but I would guess Stan’s backhand on average over the last 10 years has been around 10mph faster than Roger’s. Also consider than Roger hits his backhand with more top spin so he can run around and hit forehands – Stan doesn’t have the speed of foot to do that consistently so he’s hitting a flatter faster shot to stay in control of points.

        “It is one of several reasons that Stan was continually bested by Roger in those years” Nah, Stan was bested by Roger primarily because his forehand was unreliable and sprayed errors galore. His forehand and mental improvements have won him 2 slams and also brought the matchup much closer in recent times, Fed still has the edge because he more often than not plays within inside the baseline and dictates play and because he’s simply a better player than Stan.

        @Alysha – I wouldn’t say Federer has got better at defending off that wing, he’s just got more consistent with the drive backhand.

        @Gang – I think Stan’s backhand is the best one hander in the game right now. Federer is somewhere around the top 5 along with Gasquet, Almagro, Kohli etc.

    1. Not sure what to think of it. He didn’t say anything bad about Federer, just that he believes Federer unnaturally controls himself. Don’t you Becker influenced Djokovic into conducting himself much better on court recently?

      Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Are you a good driver for obeying speed limits? Or are you a good driver because there’s a fine for speeding, and an increase in insurance? Doesn’t matter. You’re a good driver either ways.

      As to what would prompt Becker into such a revelation? Search me! He speaks the truth though. All this fake friendliness you see between these players in nothing but hogwash.

      Let’s just cut Boris some slack.

      1. i disagree, Sid. There is nothing “fake’ about being polite to your opponent.
        It’s a gentleman’s game, is it not?

        It doesn’t matter who likes who.

      2. And why should we ‘cut Boris some slack? The fat bastard should quit stirring up shit that isn’t there just to sell his book. πŸ™

      3. Nine slams, with three Wimbledon titles, including one at 17 years of age. And might I remind you, being hugely influential in helping Djokovic beat Federer at Wimbledon’12.

        Not bad for a fat bastard. πŸ˜‰

    2. Agree with you, Sue. However, I feel that Boris is doing this for a different reason. I believe that Boris is worried that his man Nole could start a down-ride spiral with this loss πŸ™‚ . This is Boris’s way to get his man fired up for Wimbledon. Boris knows that if top two seeds end up in final again in four weeks the opposite result will emerge this time around πŸ™‚ .
      Boris clearly checked out why Nadull has been bloody hell-bent every time when he played Roger after 2005 when Roger said that Nadull’s game is one-dimensional πŸ™‚ .
      Not a long time ago, so many guys were talking about calendar slam. Well, now it looks that AO win could be the only slam will get this year – if you could not defend the Wimbledon, then he will win US either. Boris, tough times ahead πŸ™‚ .

      1. ” I believe that Boris is worried that his man Nole could start a down-ride spiral with this loss πŸ™‚ . This is Boris’s way to get his man fired up for Wimbledon.”

        I don’t think so. These interviews would have been done before Novak lost the FO final. Certainly the Radio Times one was, and I would have thought the others: I think the RT article refers to Boris giving a number of interviews at more or less the same time.

    3. I agree with an earlier comment by Ian. Probably got a book release coming very soon.

      I dunno why people get offended by this stuff, it’s just Tabloid fodder type stuff with some select quotes- just avoid reading it.

      And I agree with Sid. I’m not sure if people think the game of tennis is played in a bubble somewhere, but in life there are people you get on with, and people you don’t – it’s going to be the exact same in the locker room. Will Fed and Djoker respect each other? Of course. Are they texting each other when they win tournament? No.

    4. Never got the impression that Federer and Djokovic were particularly friendly, but to say they dislike each each other is probably an exaggeration. Just comes down to two very different personalites and a lack of chemistry. I can’t imagine Djokovic being happy about his coach running his mouth to the media. Sounds more like there’s a problem between Becker and Djokovic, if you ask me. Wouldn’t be surprised if they part ways soon.

      The friendliness between Federer and Nadal has always seemed very genuine to me, though. Maybe that has been part of the problem. At times it seemed like he Roger has lacked the will to fight tooth and nail in matches against him.

    5. Let’s put that “article” into some sort of context, shall we? As I see it, it’s a rehash of various bits of information from all over. Not that different from today’s front-page news item on Downton Abbey which, if you read it properly, turns out merely to be a rehash of an article which has appeared in some magazine somewhere, only the DT is trying to make it sound bigger than it is. There’s a reference to a Radio Times interview with Becker: I’ve had a pretty good look at that interview in the supermarkets over the last 24 hours, and I haven’t spotted any reference to Fed, certainly not in relation to him not being pally with Novak, so I don’t think the information came from there. My guess is that Boris hasn’t actually been blabbing to the press, but maybe mentioned it in his book somewhere (it really is hardly a secret!), and the Telegraph person has just spotted it and decided it would make a good addition to the story. Clickbait is what you’d call it if it were online.

    1. I got emailed this a while ago asking if I would publish it. I watched about 30 seconds and thought it was terrible πŸ˜† not sure I can find the willpower to find out if it got any better the longer it went on.

  32. Great article. Stan really played with confidence and aggression, and took his chances when they presented themselves. That was the biggest difference between Novak and Stan: Stan went for it when he had the chance, whereas Novak waited and hoped that Stan would miss and hand him the match. Interesting article here (http://www.rightracquet.com/#!Grading-the-Dirt-French-Open/c8ps/557682410cf293eac805cc45) where they grade the men’s players performance. They mention many of the same things as this article, and I agree 100% that Novak is one of the most graceful losers we have had in recent years (behind RF of course!!)

  33. Jonathan, 5-10 years ago there wasn’t a lot of difference in terms of power between Roger’s and Stan’s backhand. What has happened is that the power in all of Stan’s strokes has gone up by a very big margin in the last couple of years. You’ve gotta ask how can he make such a quantum leap so late in his career, at 28-30, when he was nothing like such a threat to the top players before then. Correspondingly, I think Roger has lost some of his power on the groundstrokes and most particularly on the forehand. The last time I saw him consistently deal hammer blows on both wings was when he took out Djokovic at the 2011 FO. Phenomenal performance from Roger. I don’t think I have seen anything like it since.

    1. 10 years ago Stan was ranked outside the top 50, he only turned pro in 2002. So Roger’s backhand was probably better then yes, more powerful? No.

      Watch his US Open victory over Murray 2010 – creaming the ball. Or his match against Murray at Wimbledon 2009 five setter. He has always had a brutal game and over the last 2 years he’s pieced things together to become a more complete player. This isn’t a quantum leap at all, it is small improvements in every area which have moved him up the rankings and into a slam winner.

      I would agree on Fed losing some power – see my comment above about him putting on muscle mass – maybe he would be on 20 slams if he’d bulked up just a tad. All hypothetical of course.

      1. We might have to just disagree about Stan’s improvements. I don’t see them as incremental, like you say, but dramatic. He has latterly added a lot of power, along with increased consistency in his game. Previous generations of players weren’t able to do that late in their careers. Now it is a commonplace.

        Roger, on the other hand has lost speed and power since his late twenties. More muscle might have made a difference but it’s doubtful he would have got that at the gym. He would have needed to go “gluten-free”, or require PRP treatments, with an appropriate TUE, for bad “knees”. That might have done trick.

      2. funny – I really think Fed tried to bulk up clearly in 13 and hurt his back in the flow of the …and since then has been trying to keep all the excess weight off as much as possible. I bet he has an even sensitive back than we knew and physios told him bulking was dangerous for him.

      3. Don’t know about bulking up, but he was certainly trying too hard with the 90 square inch racquet of his. That must’ve done the damage.

      4. Rcihard, if Stan has gained power it’s only incremental. I’ve watched him play since I watch tennis, and he was always ripping the cover off the ball. The big difference now? His hots actually go in. There’s two things which he has changed, and that’s consistency and mental strength (which I believe go somewhat hand in hand). So no, I have to agree with Jonathan here, it’s small changes.

      5. Magnus Norman is a huge huge reason as to why Stan is on 2 slams right now. Hearing reports Soderling plans to make a comeback next year- what are the chances Magnus and he are reunited?

    2. I agree with Jon there. Wawrinka has always been a strong powerful player. Becoming more accurate isn’t a quantum leap, it’s a natural development with experience and small tweaks on technique. Where Wawrinka has really leapt is in the mind. He was always an excellent player; he merely Gasqueted whenever he’d come up against top opposition. You say it’s late in his career as well, which is….well, reasonable. In recent years the tour has become more leaned towards experience. 28 appears now to be where a lot of the top tier players find themselves performing better than ever.

      Re Fed, I think he has lost a fair bit of muscle in recent years, a deceleration that started with mono in 08. I’d hoped the new racquet would do wonders for his backhand power, but it appears to add to consistency, and while fed has often mentioned it gives more “effortless power”, he has been referring to the serve. I think part of it though, is that fed simply doesn’t attempt to hit as hard as he used to either. He seems a lot more of a stroke player rather than with the “whip” he used to focus on off both wings.

      1. What Wawrinka achieved was definitely the result of a painful process (and one that I’m convinced involved doping). Anyone remember his gut wrenching five set losses to Djokovic at USO’13, and AO’13?

      2. Yes I do, but from a physical stand point, they were not much more draining than Wimbledon 09 or either Australian matches since. And it isn’t as though the level did not drop on the fifth set. AO13, the highlights will tell you it didn’t, but that’s because was rinks found a second wind (common trait in sport) when he realised he had to cling for dear life.

        His mind I think has determined the way he’s hung around in these epic matches. If you took an average groundstroke speed from 09 and 13 you probably wouldn’t get a difference, where you would find a change is the number of winners to unforced errors. Wawrinka has learned how to play a more contained style of aggression.

    1. Define well πŸ˜› second week or holding the trophy? πŸ˜› I agree that if he has good serving day he’s gonna be tough to take down, but Stan’s volleys aren’t that fantastic, and he doesn’t have time to prepare his shots well enough…

      Then again, last year he was playing on God mode for 1.5 sets, but wasn’t able to keep it up since he had played 3 consecutive days beforehand…

      1. Last year I think he showed that even on grass he could post a level that was close to unbeatable. It’s true, however, that if he comes up against someone who plays first strike and doesn’t let him have free swings, he probably couldn’t post such a level. As opposed to clay, of course, where he gets time on his shots no matter how accurate or aggressive.

  34. So the storied career of “contender” Fed, greatest of all-time, comes down to one more grass season?

    17 GS
    7 SW19s
    300+ weeks #1

    After a decade and a half plus of a GOAT pro career, does it all come to a close in the next 4 weeks? – In terms of contending for the greatest of all titles.

    Is this his last chance then?

    Sad and excited.

    Here we go!

    1. Absolute, total fucking acting by the bitch. If you can fucking walk straight, you can bounce a ball and serve. I mean, these people have been doing it for decades. No matter how bad you are feeling, the bounce, the toss, just happens naturally.

      What a bitch! And what about those who are fans of these bitches? Who are these people?

    2. Yeah that was a joke. Complete acting / playing up to the crowd cameras. It worked though unfortunately.

      Sid most people are idiots so no surprise she has fans πŸ™‚

  35. What have they done to the ATP site? I loved the previous look, was relatively simple and not too over sized. Now its expanded, but with less headlines and a single ranking box (not a top 10 list). Not a fan of it at all. Plus they’ve simplified the H2H section, now we can’t see the match stats for any matches on the H2H section.

    1. I think it’s going to take some getting used to. For top ten, choose the menu stack at top left & choose Rankings (which is probably what you did) – this defaults to the single ranking box, for some reason. But ABOVE the single ranking box, where Rankings Home is underlined, if you click on Singles, then Singles will be underlined & you’ll get your top 10 list. Like you, I wish it would default to the list view & let you look at individuals separately if you want.

    2. They seem to have adhered to the Microsoft “Metro” (or “Modern UI”) design paradigm. Not that it is a bad thing in itself (I use that a lot in my programming), but the content and functionality were sacrificed in favour of the form, without necessity.
      This is what happens when people follow trends blindly…
      Rui

  36. Grrr. Why change a good thing? The WTA site is a mess. Always was thankful the ATP one was easy to navigate. What were they thinking?

    1. The ATP site was out of date. Probably 50% of their traffic is mobile and they were serving a stripped back mobile site prior, they had to change really.

      I think it’s good.

  37. Not sure why everyone is complaining about the new atpworldtour.com layout. I think it’s really good. πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t mind it, least the experience is consistent between mobile and desktop. Looks like there are a few bugs but decent effort.

      The big miss though is no 301’s implemented when they migrated. So all the old URL’s indexed by Google and linked from various other sites across the web now all 404. Really bad oversight tbh – will cost them traffic. I was looking for halle page earlier – top result in google 404’s. πŸ™

      1. You mean it’s just as bad on mobile? πŸ™ I can’t even get *on* the ATP website at the moment.

        The thing I miss most right at the moment is being able to keep an eye on 3 matches at once at the top of the page. Haven’t bothered going much further than that yet owing to problems with new site.

        Has someone designated this weekend International Upgrade Your Website Weekend, or something? I can’t believe how many websites I’ve been on today which have suddenly completely changed their look!

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