ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Timeless Federer Defeats Djokovic to Win 7th Dubai Title

Seventh heaven for the GOAT as he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 to successfully defend his title and win a seventh Dubai crown in a high quality final at the Aviation Club.

The win also saw him break the 9000 aces barrier when he fired down his 5th of the night in the sixth game of the second set. Quite fitting he reached the milestone in what was one of his best clutch serving displays ever, saving all 7 break points he faced and holding serve from 15-40 three times in total. Just another top quality performance from Fed 4.0 who seems to defy all logic and is still capable of producing unrivalled tennis at the latter stage of his career.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Djokovic Dubai Final 2015

Roger won the toss and elected to serve holding to 30 to take a 1-0 lead. The Swiss then made immediate inroads into the Djokovic serve taking it to deuce before Novak levelled at 1 apiece.

In game 3 Djokovic had his first 2 break points at 15-40 but Roger held firm, making deuce before taking a 2-1 lead. Both players then exchanged back to back service holds but it was Roger creating more opportunities, pouncing on anything short and constantly pressuring Djokovic with some crisp ball striking. At 4-3 he got his just rewards converting his first break point when Novak went long with a backhand. He then served out the set to take it 6-3.

Into the second and it was inevitable that Djokovic would knuckle down and begin to zone in on the return. However the Federer serve was firing on all cylinders, hitting all 4 corners of the box giving him plenty of service holds to 15 and in game six Roger recorded his 9,000 career ace.

At 3 games all Roger then created love 30 on the Djokovic serve with 2 absolutely insane down the line backhand winners. They went like bullets and it looked like he was just about to raise his level up a notch but unfortunately, be it adrenaline or a slight switch off he allowed Djokovic to win 4 points in a row to hold for 4-3.

The wasted half opportunity looked like it could cost him as he slipped to 15-40 in his next service game, only to save the first break point with an ace and the second with another huge serve. 4-4. Clutch.

A comfortable Djokovic hold followed and the Serb again had 2 break points at 5-4, which were again saved in sublime style by Fed as he held to make it 5-5. Djokovic had been the more solid player in set 2 and when he moved up 40-0 it looked like he'd be getting a tie break at the bare minimum. However he lost 3 points in a row and then challenged a first serve at deuce which was out. The pause between play broke his rhythm and he double faulted to give Roger his first break point of the set, which he converted with a sweetly timed inside out forehand after a great return of serve.

Serving out matches is the toughest proposition on tour, especially in a final and Fed didn't make it easy for himself, opting to play a ridiculous drop shot which landed wide to slip to 0-15. That was soon 0-30 but he reeled off 3 points in a row with more clutch serving to hold championship point. Djokovic saved it when Fed netted a forehand and then had another chance to break back when Roger double faulted. Yet again he saved it, coming up with a fantastic overhead to put the score back at deuce. Next came an ace out wide which brought up the 2nd championship point and he sealed it, firing down a big serve and cleaning up the short ball with a thumping forehand winner into the open court. Allez!

Match Stats

  N. Djokovic R. Federer
Aces 1 12
Double Faults 2 1
1st Serve % 63% 65%
1st Serve Points Won 27/39 (69%) 41/51 (80%)
2nd Serve Points Won 12/23 (52%) 11/28 (39%)
Break Points Saved 0/2 (0%) 7/7 (100%)
Service Games Played 10 11
1st Return Points Won 10/51 (20%) 12/39 (31%)
2nd Return Points Won 17/28 (61%) 11/23 (48%)
Break Points Won 0/7 (0%) 2/2 (100%)
Return Games Played 11 10
Winners 19 37
Unforced Errors 22 35
Net Points Won 3/6 9/21
Total Service Points Won 39/62 (63%) 52/79 (66%)
Total Return Points Won 27/79 (34%) 23/62 (37%)
Total Points Won 66/141 (47%) 75/141 (53%)



Ridiculous Backhands


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wins Dubai 2015

I think the first set belonged to me; whereas the second set belonged to him more. He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn't serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me. It was a huge game clearly at 5-5, 40/0 for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight.

I think it's really become a very nice rivalry. I think we play very nicely against each other, and it seems people like the way we play against each other, as well. I don't think we have to adjust our games very much against each other, which I think is nice, as well. We can just play our game, and then the better man wins.

It's been nice seeing Novak's improvements over all these years. He's become such an unbelievable player, especially the past five, six years, and cleaned up his game so nicely and became the best mover in the game. It's really a pleasure playing against him every single time again.

Another fantastic win in the UAE for the GOAT and this surely has to go down as one of his best ever wins in Dubai as he beat Djokvic in a final for the first time since Cincinnati in 2012 and was 100% on break points converted and saved for the first time ever in 126 finals.

Matches like this one just show if you put Fed on a fast outdoor hard court then he's incredibly tough to play against. It's just first strike tennis at it's finest and with Edberg pushing for him to use his volleys all the more regularly he's playing the right type of tennis he needs to get the results that matter.

Not only that but he's taking on the best player in the world and the best mover on his own preferred surface and coming out as the winner. No building positive Head to Head records by only playing on surfaces where things are hugely in his favour; hard court is the most neutral surface out there and Fed is going toe to toe with a guy who's hard court win % is right up there.

In terms of where the match was won and lost I think Fed played with a real high level of intensity from start to finish and that's what got him over the line. He took it upon himself to rip all his shots and keep moving forward at any given opportunity. His serve was also key in the big moments to save the break points and he was very dialled in whenever the pressure was on. In fact he won 9 out of 9 pressure points which made the difference.

As for Djokovic it's hard to really say what he could have done differently. The margins are stupidly small at this level and a few points here and there could quite easily shifted the match to a different outcome. Very similar to the Wimbledon final in that sense as it was decided by just a handful of key points; Djoker won more of them at SW19, Fed won more in Dubai and the results reflect that. The only real complaint of his can be getting broken from 40-0 up at 5-5 in the second set. That ultimately cost him the chance of at least taking it into a decider, not the failure to break serve.

84 titles, 9000 aces, 7 Dubai titles, 47-5 tournament record and a 20-17 H2H record. Long live the GOAT!


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. 143rd comment, just 207 before we hit 350 !

        Come on ppl show Jonathan who is the BOSS !

  1. Perfect match from Roger! Someone mentioned this somewhere, can’t remember where, but 2 + 0 + 1 + 5 = 8…. Roger to win Wimby?

    1. Probably means Halle 🙂

      Remember how much significance people were attaching to the number 80 last summer?

    1. There wasn’t even time for the possibility of been a 1 Slam Wonder to materialise. Slamdunk could be the first person to record back to back victories with the first victory also been a maiden title.

  2. I can’t believe he saved 7 BPs – and against (arguably) the best returner on the tour! Those BHDTLs were sublime. The Michelangelo of the tennis world, as one commentator put it – and who could argue with that. If he can take this form forward to Indian Wells! Wouldn’t that be fantastic. 🙂

    1. Djoker is definitely the best returner on tour, you only have to see some of his return games against Nadal at the French. Scary good. Fed just came up with the goods. Serve botting 😆

  3. Unbelievable result! I woke this morning anticipating the worst, it was so nerve wracking to open the ATP website and then BOOM! The GOAT flashes up with the trophy! Straight sets and 7/7 BP saved against the best returner ever – absolutely astounding!

      1. I wish I could have seen it live, but waking up at 3am really isn’t ideal for my lifestyle!

  4. ”Timeless”, you know that’s an excellent word to describe Roger Federer as he really was unbelievable today, yet again!

    1. And another great analysis by Craig’s Brain Game:

      All the sweeter to me, really, because I just went over to the Daily Telegraph website to try and post something, using a different browser from normal, and what page should it come up with but its 2013 report just after Fed had lost in Hamburg and a big sub-headline along the lines of “his decline continues”. How wrong you were, Simon Briggs! So good to hear of Roger playing like this again!

      1. This Craig, I’m sorry to say, is plain stupid. Anybody can gather statistics after the fact, and write up something like that. Jesus! We’re surrounded!

      2. I like it, dunno what you are suggesting Sid, how could he produce that before they played?

        Fair enough, maybe most people with access to those stats could produce something similar, but he’s sat there, watched it, crunched the numbers and come up with some data to back up what we saw.

        I know the slider on the deuce court worked well, but didn’t know the exact numbers or win %. Or exactly how many times he had to hit a backhand when landing a first serve. There’s some interesting numbers in there…

      3. Read the other comment I posted a few minutes ago. If Djokovic had turned around 3 points, he was winning in straights. Does that mean he used his brain, and Federer didn’t.

        Anybody who has some understanding of tennis, even casual tennis players like you and me would figure out that the slider worked well for him. So?

        [ but he’s sat there, watched it, crunched the numbers and come up with some data to back up what we saw.]

        Exactly my point. He takes plays that gave Roger the better percentages, wrapped them all up in a “Brain Game” post. If Novak, as I suggested, had taken those crunch points, he woud’ve taken his best numbers, and done the same. What’s so great about it then?

        Are you even getting what I’m trying to say? 🙂

      4. Fair enough, but some of the plays that won him critical points, were also used in earlier stages of the match to win less critical ones and they likely had an impact on the outcome of the ones that did matter… planting seed of doubt, adding an element of surprise.

        I don’t think stats etc. tell the full story at all. But they are useful – “When he did not serve & volley, he hit a forehand as his first shot after the serve 72% of the time.” I don’t think that’s taking plays which gave Fed better stats, it was clearly a strategy.

      5. Seriously Jonathan, you’re telling me that when not doing S&V, Federer hit a forehand as the first shot 72% of the time as a strategy? I cannot believe it! Because from what I’ve seen, he goes for the backhand as the first shot after a first serve, more than half the time. 🙂

        He had a tremendous serving day, that prevented Djokovic from targeting his backhand. The forehands were the effect. The serving was the cause. Federer will hit a forehand as the first shot a million out of million times if he could. Ever since he started winning anything of significance, billions of words have been written about how he does everything to play from the Ad side. That’s what has made him what he is.

        Thanks, Craig, for pointing out such an important stat. 🙂

        I’ll tell you what really happened Jonathan. It was a day when Federer found location on his serve, exactly when he needed them.

      6. Yeah gotta agree with Sid on this one. His serve produces all the consequences of his second shot position. If it is a strategy from fed, it is one he has used against everyone except on those days when the backhand is so good and the opponent is so inferior he has no reason to.

      7. @John I don’t recall saying that Fed’s first serve doesn’t help dictate what his follow up shot will be.

        @Sid “When he did not serve & volley, he hit a forehand as his first shot after the serve 72% of the time”

        So you’re saying its an obvious / useless stat, but it’s not is it. Because it leads onto more useful info – Which serving patterns did he use to prevent Djokovic returning well enough to stop him hitting forehands?

        Did he serve into the Djokovic backhand on the ad court or the forehand? Where did he go on the break points? How many times did Djokovic hit a backhand return on break point?

        Without looking at Craig’s stats or watching the match again and counting yourself then you don’t have a clue on that one. Is he the only person in the world capable of producing articles like this? Nope. Is he the only one doing the work to make it into an article for everyone else to read? Yes.

      8. Fair point, Jon. Particularly agree with the last paragraph. I’m not gonna discredit Craig. There are thousands of jobs that people CAN do, but don’t. Even if they’re useful or even necessary. Craig certainly serves a good purpose (geddit? That was terrible, I’m sorry)

      9. 37 matches into their rivalry, and he is still figuring out serving patterns? He knows the patterns already. They both know it. There is no secret. Federer just had a tremendous serving day.

        I’m not discrediting that Craig guy. All I’m saying that it’s a stupid article, reverse engineered from stats by someone who has access to a ton of information. There was no brain game. I can actually made the case that Djokovic may have played better, in terms of break chances. Just two bad serves, and Federer could’ve lost in straights, and your favorite statistician would’ve written an article on how Djokovic used his brain.

        I was planning on a scathing rebuttal, but seeing that you’re the blog owner and all, I’m going to let this one go. Enjoy that Craig brand basmati rice! 😉

      10. “This Craig, I’m sorry to say, is plain stupid. Anybody can gather statistics after the fact, and write up something like that. Jesus!”

        “I’m not discrediting that Craig guy.”

        Ok mate 🙂

        “I can actually made the case that Djokovic may have played better, in terms of break chances. Just two bad serves, and Federer could’ve lost in straights, and your favorite statistician would’ve written an article on how Djokovic used his brain.”

        Of course, it was a very close match, I never said it wasn’t. The focus naturally goes onto the winner and no doubt the remit of those articles is to look more at the game / stats of who won. It’s still interesting to the see numbers. The main reason Djokovic lost was because he got broken from 40-0 up, not because he failed to break serve himself. And I think Fed made 2 or 3 aggressive slices returns to win a couple of the points from 40-0 down. Something again numbers can help with as they drew Djokovic into errors on the BH wing.

        If it actually looked equally into Djokovic’s numbers e.g. how many backhand returns Djokovic won when receving a 2nd serve? etc would you be happy? Or still write it off as useless?

      11. Credit for writing the article. Somebody has to do it, as John pointed out. It was written by, “Craig”, and nobody can change that. Doesn’t make that article any less stupid though. No credit for stealing stats. It would be borderline plagiarism. Oh well, let’s see who won, get the stats that mattered, turn that into an article called, “Brain game”, and get likes, and great reviews from people on what a great article I wrote.

        Also, looks like we were watching different games. From 40-0 up in that fateful game you are talking about, Djokovic made three consecutive UFE’s off routine shots, followed by a double fault, and then a forehand winner from Federer. There were zero aggressive slices from Federer. Djokovic blew up, inexplicably, I mean, I’m happy he did.

        That must be it. I must’ve watched a different game. Apologies, mate! 🙂

  5. Fed was just terrific! With 2 titles already this season, he has a great chance to add a few more to the 84 total.
    It’s hard to believe he’s 33. Now, if he can just win another Slam, it WOULD be perfect. 🙂

    1. Count me in Charlie

      Amazing Win. Against the world #1 (currently), one of the best returner, having 2/2 BP and 7/7 saved
      Now he has 3 tournaments that he won 7times (Dubai, Halle, Wimbledon)

      I am soo happyyyy!!

      And great job for Jonathan to cover this week + the live chat was a lot of fun (thank you for updating the score since the streaming is laggy in my place)

      2nd title this year (and wish for a lot more) woohoo!

    2. The loss posts always get the most comments 😆

      And no worries Amar, I’ve been on the blogging tour 4 years now, you guys help keep me motivated 😉

      1. I suppose that’s partly because he’s then out of the tournament, sometimes earlier than expected, and we have nothing else (and nowhere else) to discuss until the next match.

        80 entries yesterday! Everyone seems to be trying their best 🙂

      2. Jonathan,

        How come Seppi’s loss did not make it as most popular, I tell you why?

        Because you posted one fan story after another and the thread was alive only a day or so.

        The tab for most popular isn’t needed. Do you think that your blog would be what it is without Katyani, Richard, Gaurav, all the fans who contribute.

        Appreciate your customers, any good product or service is dead without clients.

        People stand up for your right? Is this blog for Pablo or Fed fans? The most popular tab which is NOT isn’t necessary, unless it is generating a ton of hits and advertising dollars for Jonathan.

        Jonathan maybe you should post as Pablo again, then Sid would write 100 comments to get you (Pablo)banned again.

        You are not showing your appreciation for your customers. Do you like to pay $150K for a GT3 and then as soon as you start the engine, it drives like a VW.

        We pay for this blog with our time and some who help you with the fan stories, put in a lot of time.

        We don’t need to be reminded of Roger’s most painful losses from 2012, and 2013 for goodness sake.

        Boycott the blog ppl until the Tab goes away just like Pablo finally did.

      3. Not sure I can be bothered coming up with a rebuttal as I think it’s fairly obvious to most people you are talking nonsense 😆

      4. Jonathan, Looks like you are talking non-sense, not me.

        This article (post) has been open now since Feb. 28th, Sat., so that is about 10 days and is averaging about 26 comments per day.

        It does not matter if it is a loss or win, neither fact shows popularity, number one factor is how long a post stays current before a new article is posted.

        Look at the topics discussed in here: Fed’s win at Dubai, then a bunch of non-related topics like Nadal’s doping, then your frozen rice, Davis Cup, Ferrer’s smoking, Becker’s coaching, etc.

        You remind me of how ISIS operates, your popular tab is nonsense not my logical arguments.

        Long live the GOAT !

      5. Keep the ‘nonsense’ coming Mac, then we’ll reach 314 comments before Jonathan writes the Indian Wells draw post!

    3. Yes Charlie,

      Myself and a couple of other people brought this up. Who wants to come to a Federer peRFect blog and be reminded of 3 of his most heart-breaking losses.

      Since Federer and Nadal represent Kind Vs. Evil, 90% of us here dislike Nadal and what he stands for, so why on earth his article is most popular, because after a loss, Jonathan rarely used to come up with a new post, those losses are from years ago.

      So, ppl kept the thread alive as it was the only one and talked about hundreds of things, non-related to that match. The title as we suggested should be Most Commented and even then why keep track of pain.

      1. Conal, it does not matter if the article hits 314.

        It’s shameful that the most so called popular articles on a Fed Blog are 3 of his loses.

        & I hope you are enjoying your British Lollipop 🙂

        You keep sucking up to Jonathan, maybe he lets you write another crappy non-sense Fan Experience.

      2. Mac, you do realise that by default the ‘Recent’ tab is visible right? Not the ‘Popular’ tab. You keep bitching about being tormented upon viewing the blog posts names, all you need to do is simply stop clicking the article category tabs widget. No biggie 😀

        I think I’ve found the right section of the site for you – just browse among the links on the very top tab above the blog logo and you’ll find another ‘Popular Posts’ page. Click it and you’ll be redirected to a polar opposite dimension of the blog. I guarantee you’ll be absolutely chuffed to bits with the 5 featured posts, no need to thank me later 😉 😀

    4. 314 comments minimum is needed, and mine was 136, so 178 more to go !

      I have no time, nor interest to go look at historical data for other posts but Stakhovsky was alive from June 25th to July 2nd. That is 8 days and Katyani was on vacation, she posted 100 comments, haha

      For this article, Assuming 70 comments were made in the first 24 hours, when we were all excited, then 40 in the next 24 hours, it’s safe to assume that this post will get 20 more comments per day. So that’s 9 more days before we get to 314 and 11 more days to get to 350 to beat No. 1, GOAT of most popular posts.

      The Indian Wells draw will come out on the 10th or 11th, so not enough time, unless everybody comes here and does this, see my next post.

      & It would take at least a week

      1. Comment 138, only 212 to go to 350, do it, I can post 10 of these in 5 minutes, but last time Jonathan deleted them.

      2. Hey hey hey Mac… don’t drag me into this all 🙂 If you are looking at me to help you get to 300 or 350 comments… then sorry dude…. no can do.
        On Monday I will start one of my 4 courses for this year and in the last week of April I have my exam. So… I will be commenting less. First prio is my course and second prio is finding a way to watch Roger’s matches (timediff is also a killer) 🙂 So if you are counting on me… sorry dude 🙂 Hope you make it though 🙂

      3. Hey thanks Jon. You know from livechat that I work at an insurance company. But I am also a licensed insurer (looked it up in the dictionary 🙂 ). I have to do these courses, otherwise I will lose my license. And you know what I always say… Roger is a millionaire, I am not 🙂 I love and need my job. But… I will try to watch as many of Roger’s matches as I can……

        Bring on IW 🙂 Ofcourse first we have to show Dimi his place 🙂

    5. 139, voice your opinion, 100s of voices is louder than one.

      If Steven Jobs was fired as CEO of Apple, we can fire Jonathan, unless he starts to listen.

      Jonathan, if this is making money like in 6 figures, let me know, I’ll replace you from US with 10 outsourced developers from overseas.

      Cheers !

      No. 18 is coming !

      1. “we can fire Jonathan, unless he starts to listen”

        Sweet Mac… are you talking about mutiny against Jonathan?? 🙂

        Ps: hope I helped with my 3 comments 🙂

      2. Hey Katyani,

        Good luck on your tests !

        Excuse my French, but I say F#@K this blog and how many hits this article gets, I have a busy life, not worth my time or energy.

        The blog reminds me of Nadal so often that I hardly visit anymore, though still folks include link for European articles that I would never see in the US Media.

        If Roger wins French or Wimbledon, I’ll be sure to leave a comment, Yay, Go Roger !

      3. Thanks Mac 🙂

        But to be honest… I think we all should get passed these “number of comments”-thing. Maybe if you come to this blog you will see the 3 most popular posts are of Roger’s losses. But does that really matter?? We all know how great Roger is, how much he wins and yes… losses are also a part of that.

        Most important thing is that Roger is talked about 🙂

      4. Quite right, Katyani. After all, it’s not as if it’s showing any more unless you go to look for it, anyway – you have to click on the tab for them to show.

        Anyway, there’ll be a nice long break after Indian Wells, so we’ll see what we can manage then.

      1. Hi Susie,

        I wouldn’t bother, Jonathan ignored my comments, unless he has not yet seen my comments which is very doubtful.

        And no one else supported it either, except you, thanks.

      2. The point is that we need 4 articles that hit over 340 comments before Nadal’s ugly article is finally surpassed.

        Even if this one got 350 votes or 314, it would only replace the last article, Roger withdraws from WTF.

        And we would be left with 3 losses, Madrid post, and this article.

        I gave up then, was it a year ago when this subject came up? And giving up now.

        Outta Here, to the 18 slam, that is the only title Roger needs this year, another 10 won’t make up for one slam to shut up the critics like that jealous idiot McEnroe or the meth head Agassi !

  6. unbelievable ruthless in your face tennis from Roger. felt like Novak was a bit intimidated all night with Roger’s ultra aggressive game and the crowd going maniac on every point. A fine victory to savour.

    1. Indeed, first set was definitely all about Fed. Djoker should have at least taken the 2nd to a tie break but he let it slip and Fed took advantage.

  7. Over the moon with this win. Don’t know how he pulled it off. Esp the 2nd set…amazing how he saved all those break points. His focus is unreal lately.

    Great write-up Jonathan! Very detailed, explaining the match very well.

    Can`t wait for IW!

    1. A little of luck doesn’t hurt, better be lucky than good, like the 5 match points he saved against Mayer in Shanghai in the first round, that net cord, only Tennis Gods can do that.

      Had he lost there, he would have never had that trashing of Djoker in the SFs and no title, go home after 1st round.

      He was lucky with Stan and his brain farts, serve and volley on match points.

      1. But not so lucky against Seppi, should have been 6-6 in tie break, Seppi won’t make that shot in another 100 tries.

        He served well but one forehand on set point did land on the baseline, just an inch away from 1 set all. And I think if it went to 3rd set, Djoker would run away with it 6-2 as he has so often.

        Keep it short, Katyani, break up one of your long comments into 20 lines, each one a comment, haha, add to the tally.

  8. Hi Jonanthan

    Watched the match this evening and my god what a joy it was – Federer was sublime, to come back from 15-40 down 3 times and save all 7 break points – you cannot ask for more, he certainly kenw how to ‘right the ship’ when he needed to, he has turned back the clock to when he was in his prime – long may it continue. Whilst Rafa looks like he does not even enjoy walking on a court and Djokovic at times looked bemused – there is the GOAT who looks to be having the time of his life with not a care in the world – Allez Roger Indian Wells next – could we dream that he will make it 3 from 3 in tournament wins!!!

      1. Hi Jonanthan

        Had no idea what the result was sat in an auction in Stoke on Trent all day, came in switched on my planner and just watched and cheered him on as though it was live

  9. Great post, great comments on a huge victory! We said he cld do it if mentally fresh and he was so full of bounce and energy you cld feel it thru the screen! 100% on BP’s and on BP’s saved! First time ever! I am so happy with this win, his level of clutchness was ridiculous, insane stop volley, even insaner BHDTL x2!! Ruthless pressure and such depth! Serve was awesome, so proud to be his fan and share thoughts with you guys! Indian Wells, Bring it on!!! And in the meantime, keep floating my boat Rog!! ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️!!!

    1. I guess you only can only see the ships in Safari or on iOS? Won’t work in Chrome on Desktop.

      Those 2 backhand down the lines were insane, it showed the speed on one of them and it was crazy.

    2. Interesting – ships don’t show up at home (XP, cough cough, & Firefox), but do at work (Win7 & Firefox). It’s possible work has a more recent version of Firefox than home, will check that.

      Brilliant emoticon though Susie!

      1. I had to look at it on Chrome to see them – I had no idea what they were until then!

  10. What a play from the Maestro! saving 7 BPs facing the world No1, an unblievable clutchy play.
    Jonathan, your write-up is just fitting – beautifully done, thank you.
    Roger’s tactic oozes confidence and indeed Novack was a little bemused. Roger certainly made Novack to think where he could put the ball, as Roger ran around as if he were 24 🙂 .
    It was a hugely tense and nerving-wracking match for me with such a sweet ending. My heart nearly pumped out at those three 15-40s 🙂 .
    Allez! Bring on IW!

  11. Federer was AWESOME – cannot believe how well he served! The man was under pressure so many times, it seemed inevitable Novak would find a breakthrough, given the quality of his returning game, but Fed held firm. Hard to recall a finer serving performance – I suppose Wimby 2009 comes to mind.

    Great match, even greater result. Let’s hope Fed can keep up this form for IW and beyond!

    1. Yeah I can’t think of many serving performances that match his Dubai one. Wimby 2009 was definitely one especially in the fifth but this could even be better, serving from behind in the score too.

  12. Fabulous match! I watched it live on TV and the replay on the Tennis Channel again. Federer is playing with the intensity he did not need, and did not show during 2004- 8, when he was the undisputed No.1. Novak did nothing wrong and should feel that he was robbed, 7 break points not converted to two lost! But Federer was simply awesome and thoroughly deserved the GOAT title!

  13. Wowee Roger, what a show you put on! Comprehensive win to take care of the world no.1 and reigning AO champ, not much more he could’ve done. Watching Roger reach this level again after everything compares to nothing. This aggressive play from him was what we all predicted was needed to be exhibited in order to get the win but that wasn’t even the most impressive part. Fed being 100% on BP and saving them against one of the, if not the best returner maybe ever is an amazing stat and it just proves how much he’s cleaned his game up in the last year. The mental fortitude he displayed in that second set, down 15-40 multiple times and then gaining up the resilience to break Novak from love-40 down is a testament of his will that blows me away each time. A shot I think was key for Fed was the slice BH, it put the point back into his control and Djoker couldn’t read it for majority of the match.

    Speaking of Novak, was obvious he is uncomfortable playing Roger, had no rhythm and it was a mirror image to Shanghai last year. This is becoming a tastier rivalry than ever imagined, Fed still holding the power as he gets older, long may it continue!

    I do believe Fed was mentally exhausted coming into Australia so Dubai was imperative to re-energise and regain confidence heading into Indian Wells and what a way to do it. Congrats maestro, Dubai always brings good things at Wimbledon, let’s’ hope this year is no different 😀 (p.s. does Fed have enough sailboats for a fleet?)

    1. Totally agree! I said he wld win on 2 cos so mentally fresh! He was wiped out in Oz and it showed on court! Here? Gym bunny! Boiing boiing boiing!! Very sure of himself in every dept! So exciting for us, so satisfying for him!

    2. He’ll have enough for an Armada soon Alysha! And I agree, I believe he was mentally (+ physically) exhausted going into AO – (DC+IPTL+exho with Stan, and another with Hewitt) too much. But there it is. Like Susie said, he looks completely reinvigorated now. Good thing is, he has been so blissfully efficient in this tournament, he’ll have plenty of energy for IW. 🙂

      1. Hope so altho doing the exho stop off in NY on 10/3 with Grigor… He is already in the US so clearly taking prep very seriously!

    3. Fed Djoker is easily the best rivalry in terms of quality of tennis. Always fun to watch and they can just play their games and may the best man win. Allez!

      1. “There’s no way that can be right!”


      2. Ah Dragon Ball Z, yeah never seen it but remember it coming along after Pokemon and been quite popular with people few years younger than me. I preferred pogs myself.

  14. Long live the GOAT, indeed! Excellent writing, a masterpiece, Jonathan.
    9 out of 9 pressure points won, yes what a superb performance from him. Those back to back BFDLs…just wow.
    Fast pace, all court attacking game, loved it. It was the tennis I like to see and our guy won, I couldn’t be happier.

    Have a nice mini break Jonathan and look forward to seeing you guys around for IW. Allez.

  15. What a match, very high quality play by both players. Its amazing how well he served and played big points well. Roger seldom gets credit for his clutch, he really showed even at age 33 he can keep up with younger players. Before the match begin, I felt that Djoker has slight edge to win considering how well he has been playing. Roger has a point to prove and he was almost GOAT-Fed mode yesterday, hope he will be able to go deep at IW too.

      1. Its about time ATP makes the court faster, tennis is more exciting with mix of baseline rallies and decent amount of net approaches. I hope IW courts will be faster this year.

      2. I read it somewhere that ATP did it (slowing down the court) to avoid Roger winning everything. From Wimbledon 2003 to Australian Open 2010 (27 Slams), only 5 times that he wasn’t in the Final (and 3 out of those 5 he was in SF). Then after 2010 they start to slowing down the court, noticing that RG (slow) is the slam which Roger won the least (even that he won 1 time, finalist 3 times by 2010)

        They compare it to what they did change something during Pete Sampras era that didn’t favor in his style of playing (I don’t remember what is it, anyone?).

      3. Amar, I remember some talk about slowing down the courts to counter PETE’S Ace, Ace, Ace, Game routine. I think maybe they’ve just gone too far. Perhaps we’re seeing the pendulum start to swing back a bit, which might be nice. No evidence of that at IW though.


  17. While I think Roger was insanely clutch, I think he played a better match in Shanghai last year. Second serve was more effective, his volleys were more effective and he made fewer errors. Roger was lucky to get away with the big serves yesterday.

    1. Tbh Novak came back in the 2nd set whereas he continued to leak FH errors in Shanghai. He very nearly got the 2nd set and the outcome cld hv been different. Credit to Fed for keeping pressure on.

      1. Definitely, Federer kept the pressure on Djokovic with those monsters out wide to his forehand. I mean, there is absolutely nothing in winning matches behind your serve. Sampras did it his entire career. Its ridiculous how he can unrelentingly take the ball early and attack Djokovic.

        One more thing, not sure if everyone has noticed this but Roger significantly raises his game and red-lines against Novak because he HAS to. I wonder how his matches against lesser players will turn out if he did that ! Like Borna Coric for example !

      2. Daya, that’s not very nice. Lesser players like Coric? Show some respect. Born-a loser is in his own words, the best of his generation.

      3. Well, no disrespect to Coric, but it will take him another 2 years at the least to become anything other than a “lesser player” by today’s ATP standards. He does not have the booming serve/forehand of a Kyrgios to blow away his opponent on a bad day.

      4. Coric will probably be pretty good but players aren’t priming until mid twenties now, Djoker was 23/24 when he hit that purple patch in 2011.

    2. I don’t think you can compare the matches really or say one was better. You’re rearranging deckchairs on the Titantic Daya.

      Shanghai – fast and low bouncing. Dubai – fast and high bouncing. Very different surfaces.

      1. I think the fact the Djokovic played worse at Shanghai made Federer (and his stats) look “relatively better. Having said that, I think that 9/21 net points won is not a pretty stat by any standards. Roger himself said he was fairly lucky to get out of that second set alive. Some of his approach shots were rushed. Most of us are still in a post-euphoric hangover to analyze the match objectively. Undeniably however, he deserves all the fortune he gets. The Wimby and US Open heartbreaks are surely fresh in everybody’s memories.

        P.S. One of my favorite Federer-Novak matches was the WTF final in 2012. Although Fed lost in straights 7-6 7-5, the match was 2 hours 10 minutes and both of them were playing some supreme tennis.

      2. Did Djokovic play worse in Shanghai? I don’t really know about that… it’s is very hard to to compare matches like this. Did Djokovic play better in the Wimbledon final than he did in Dubai, or worse?

        9/21 isn’t bad by any stretch. Shanghai was low bouncing – that makes a pass harder to hit as you’re having to come up on the ball to get it over the net but down again quickly. Dubai bounces quite high so the shot is easier to execute.

  18. Federer is defending about 3000 points till Wimbledon while Novak is defending around 6400 points so if Federer can go toe to toe with Novak from now untill Wimbledon he actually has a real shot at number 1 again. Basically it looks like if he wins Wimbledon he will surely become number 1 again !!

  19. The song I feel fine by the Beatles sums up my feelings pretty much with Roger’s victory

    i’m so glad that Roger Federer won,
    I’m so glad I’m telling the whole world
    that my hero’s still the man to beat,
    he’s shown the world again, you know
    i said so
    love him even more and I feel fine………………

  20. Federer was espectacular, you just don’t beat Djokovic the way he’s playing now, in straights and in a hard court unless you play like Federer did: Timeless. As always, who loves tennis, witnessed an arsenal that we rarely have in a single match at the circuit today (much because of Roger of course).

  21. congratulation to Federer and his fans :). I haven’t seen the match but through the highlights, it seems Roger found another gear when he needs it. The question is, can he do the same when it comes to Grand Slam event! this remain to be seen
    I still believe he has one more Major left in his tank, but when? Maybe this Wimbledon we will witness it

    1. The question isn’t if Roger can do the same at a Grand Slam. The question, Shamtool Al Nadal is, whether the Grand Slams can provide a competitive surface, that is fair to all styles of play, and not just the likes of Djokovic, and your favorite, Nadal. 🙂

      Dubai proves that a straight sets result on a fast surface can provide as much, maybe even more high octane entertainment than a three or five hour grind fest. It had everything, aces, unreturned serves, two shot winners, baseline play, front court play, great passing shots, and in the right balance. Every service game had something entertaining, including a riveting rally. Part of has also got to do with the rivalry, which is the greatest of this generation.

      That’s not tennis? What’s tennis then? A nearly six hour grind fest like AO2012? To put things in contex, AO 2012 lasted 5 hours 53 minutes, with 101 winners, and 140 unforced errors. Dubai 2015 lasted 1 hour 24 minutes (nearly a fourth of AO 2012), had 56 winners, and 57 unforced errors. Perfectly balanced! In Dubai, just 20% points were decided played at the net, dispelling the theory that points only end at the end. Compare that to 14% during AO 2012. You see, faster courts doesn’t necessarily mean everything happens in the front court. It means that you have to be creative to win points.

      While his opponents try to play a dour baseline game, Roger Federer shakes things up, takes the initiative, to bring the point to an entertaining conclusion. We must, all of us, thank Roger Federer for bringing creativity and beauty to the game of tennis.

      The Greatest of All Time tries to win a point at all times, as opposed to playing like a coward, and trying not to lose a point at all times. And that’s why, my friend, he is the GOAT!

    2. I agree with sentiment of Sid’s comment but we all know slam surfaces aren’t changing any time soon so the question definitely is can Fed replicate this level at a slam when he needs it most. Should be an interesting season based on results so far.

      PS Sid I looked at the ingredients list on my rice, no preservatives or additives 😉 we have much stricter rules over here than USA in terms of ingredients etc, it’s why you don’t see Lucky Charms or all those other crazy Yank cereals on the shelves over here, the crap they put into them to produce the colours is against EU regulations.

      1. That’s what I’m saying, Jon, that the Roger needs some help from the slam. IF the tournaments have decided that they want spectators in the stadium for a very long time, there’s not much anyone can do about it. Why can’t they, for example, lay out the US Open surface much earlier, and have it played on, just like they used to in the past? Why did they even need to move from Rebound Ace to Plexicushion at AO 2008? Why destroy the characteristics of Wimbledon by making the soil harder?

        Moving to your frozen food episode, how does that thing last in the packet for extended periods of time then? I mean, it should become unpalatable, in about the same time it takes for a Djokovic-Nadal rally to end. 🙂 I still don’t know why you would buy something that’s not even frozen, and stays on a shelf for weeks, who knows, maybe months.

      2. It’s rice that is vacuum packed, the shelf of that is pretty good. No different to you cooking it and storing in a sealed container…

      3. Do agree. Last year showed Roger has the level needed to compete against the best but hasn’t peaked at the right time for seven consecutive best of 5 matches regardless of surface. Winning Dubai, Masters 1000s etc is incredibly impressive but it will be disappointing if he can’t replicate this form at where it matters most I guess. I’ll be content if it doesn’t happen again though.

    3. Sid,
      Champions find away to WIN, that’s my response to you Sid. And yes, today’s surface of most major events favours the likes of Djoko and Nadal, but that what’s the so claimed GOAT have to do right? WIN IT
      There is no doubt that Roger excels when the court is fast and quick, and its difficult to match him, however, some people did matched him in the past and showed what they are capable of with those kind of faster courts as well, so I am expecting something like that from him when it comes to slow courts, he need to find away to WIN, that’s what champions do.
      My question was about can he maintain the same level and win another major, and you went over the places and talked about the AO 2012 match!! Talking about type of style and what’s not, Sid, its appetite (well, am stopping eating rice at the moment though ), different people likes Roger’s style others don’t, simple equation. I do understand your intention, but chill out man, I was congratulating your champ 😉

      “but we all know slam surfaces aren’t changing any time soon so the question definitely is can Fed replicate this level at a slam when he needs it most. Should be an interesting season based on results so far.” That’s what I was talking about, I don’t know what upset Sid? 😉 was it the rice part 

      Thanks you very much 😉 your are truly Roger Fan, look at the posstive side not like others 🙂

      1. Shamtoot – I don’t know why Sid treats you like Pablo.

        I find you a very respectful person, it’s your choice to like Nadal but you have a lot of respect for Roger and obviously appreciate him, otherwise coming to this blog would be last thing that you would do.

        You are not trolling like Pablo.

        Sid, give it a break, save it for the Trolls.

        Shamtoot isn’t responsible for the evil in Nadal. He just likes the man, his choice though not ours.

      2. Mac, appreciate it MAN 😉
        and you are absolutely right, I have so much respect for Roger and that’s why I visit this blog and other like Ruan’s, for me he is the best in his era.
        I do understand the reasons of Sid’s responses, its OK no worries 😉

      3. Alright, alright, Mac, I see how it is. Nadal has his doctors, and Shamtoot has his attorneys lined up against me. I’d like to dismiss all charges against Shamtoot………………..for now. 🙂

      4. I agree with you on this one, Shamtoot. For the record, I find you polite and well reasoned in your arguments. This is remarkably rare for nadal fans on a federer blog, who mostly just troll. Please do continue to comment, as you provide a fresh perspective not overly influenced by bias.

        Sid, for what it’s worth I get your point, but he’s not a moron for supporting someone else. Maybe the gladiatorial style is attractive to some. Maybe (assuming you don’t think nadal dopes in a theoretical world) the endurance is considered manly. Either way, it’s true that we should all focus more on what federer does well than what nadal does badly. It’s probably feeding the trolls to sink to their level and spend all our time discrediting someone rather than crediting our own man,

    4. You’re right Shamtoot, champions find a way to win. And there’s no better example than your favorite, Rafael Nadal. Here’s a list to refresh your memory: –

      1 – He couldn’t win Wimbledon vs Roger for two years, so, he resorted to time wasting, and illegal coaching tactics, both admitted by his Uncle, and found a way to beat Roger.

      2 – He couldn’t win Madrid on blue clay, and so, he complained about the surface to get it changed. Then, he threatened to boycott it. They changed it back from blue, and he won it in 2013. He found a way.

      3 – In 2014, vs Rosol at Wimbledon, he blatantly went over serve time limit, it was a joke. At one point even adjusting his racquet grip for 10 seconds. He won the crucial breaker, and won the match. He found a way.

      4 – In the 2011 final vs Roger at Paris, he made Roger, serving for the first set, wait, so that he could remove tape from him feet. Roger was broken, lost the set, and the match. Nadal yet again found a way.

      5 – After a grueling semi vs Verdasco at AO2009, he played like a man possessed against Roger. I’m sure he met his doctors and found a way. He pulled the same tactic at AO2014, when his doctors visited him right before the semi to “fix” his blister. He found a way to beat Roger, again.

      6 – That’s not all, when he cannot find a way to win, he finds a way to not lose, by staying away from competition for extended lengths of time, and keep building his H2H.

      7 – Why is it that whenever he starts doing bad in a slam match, especially when he loses the first set, he ends up, he needs an MTO? Perhaps, just finding a way to win?

      8 – He can’t win the WTF, so his Uncle is blaming the ATP, and trying to find a way for his nephew to win by changing that surface to clay.

      9 – And now, he threatens and umpire by saying that he doesn’t want him to officiate his matches, just because he was handed a time violation? Now they will pander to him and give him umpires he likes so he can take his own sweet time between serves?

      To answer your question, why is it that he can’t find a way to win on slow courts? I’ve explained that a thousand times but it doesn’t register in your brain. Faster courts allow a variety of styles, and skills to win. A great serve, great front court game, great volleying, hitting through the court, nothing works on slower courts. Slower courts allow just endurance to win. What skill does Nadal have other than punishing baseline rallies, powered by steroids from his doctors in Mallorca? The ATP is rewarding a classless, talent-less doper to win titles, tons of them, on slow surfaces.

      Don’t act like an idiot, because you’re not! Having said that, I’m happy you are a Nadal fan. Birds of a feather, flock together, so do pigs and swines.

      1. Sid,
        this is what I don’t like about you! you mix things and try to attack by showing the flaws of others. like those vendors who comes to me and say, yeah we have better product than X company, those X company are so and so and so, they try to sell by showing the deficiencies of other products. This is wrong approach if you allow me to say! show what you are capable of, in this case your champ!
        I am talking about Roger and how he can prove he can still win it with all these circumstances (slow courts) and you gave me a lesson of how Nadal won!!. I might agree and disagree with you Sid about those, but those are not what I am talking about. So am not acting as an idiot, am talking common sense 😉

      2. I don’t have to be like that vendor. Roger has won a vast majority of his titles on neutral surfaces. Nadal on the other hand has won 70% of his titles on clay, a surface where he has a 92% win rate, by using his no-talent, one dimensional style of play.

        Roger has already found a way. He is 33 for crying out loud. Nadal hasn’t found a way.

        I don’t want to sell Roger to you. I don’t. In fact, given what you stand for, I’d be extremely sad if you were a Roger fan. So, don’t give me that bull on how I want to change your mind. Stay with your “champ”. Like I said, birds of a feather………you get it, don’t ya?

      3. “Birds of a feather, flock together”
        Yeah I got it Sid, don’t worry. Actually I got it from the first time, but intentionally I didn’t want to response to it, and I feel bad that you think am that kind of person!! Anyhow, you have all the rights to believe what you want, and I will not try to change your mind or defend myself. ITS NOT ME, and its not my usual deeds.
        Anyhow, going back to the subject. Sid, you and Jonathan kind of answered the question partially, and I didn’t have the time to response to it. The speed of court won’t be changed at least for the coming 3 to 5 years, so how can Roger win a grand SLAM again, is speeding up the court is the only way? Can he find another away? And please, don’t take it negatively, am not here to defend Nadal or any other person, am in Roger FAN blog, so whatever I put in here, should be related to Roger.
        PS: if I count the words DULL, NADAL, Doper or any other word reflects your beloved 😉 I will lose count 🙂

        What have you done with your blog?!! Its kind of slow now 😉
        It takes time to scroll down and to refresh the responses!

      4. Hey Sid,

        No need to be so hawkish. Shamtoot is not a troll!
        I prefer funny witty side of you 🙂

      5. [What have you done with your blog?!! Its kind of slow now]

        Shamtoot, if the ATP can slow down the courts, why can’t Jonathan slow down his blog? You got a problem with that? 😉

      6. Not at all Sid and actually to the contrast 😉

        Wanda, I liked that side too, its one of the reasons I keep visiting this blog 🙂
        keep it going Sid 😉

      7. The Sid and Shamtoot Show is going into production mid 2015. Live TV debates on all the critical issues surrounding the world right now. Does the EU have blood on their hands over the Ukraine situation? Has America’s involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya made things worse not better? Is fracking a viable source of energy? Is Nadal doping? 😆

      8. Jonathan,
        I have very tied schedule, if you can make it mid September it will be fine with me (well, assuming Sid’s schedule is fine though 🙂 , and hoping those critical issues have been resolved by then 😉 except for the last one 🙂

  22. Great write-up, Jonathan!
    As for Roger, such service, much clutch! Backhand was on fire. The whole match was crazy aggressive from Roger. And the net approaches, though did not make pretty numbers, were vital in confusing ND about what was gonna happen next. FH is getting better and better, CC FH actually looked rather impressive. I don’t care about the UEs because the sheer aggression with which Roger was playing normally comes with its fair share of UEs.
    Roger said he got slightly lucky in winning all the big points, but if that was the case then fortune DOES favor the brave. ND actually played a very good match I think. Even in the 11th game in second set where he got broken from 40-0 he didn’t serve poorly at all.
    All in all, a dream performance with amazing BP stats and 9000 milestone. This rivalry is definitely the best on tour and I hope and pray that all the GS heartbreaks that it has inflicted will be avenged, and then some!
    Excited about IW, but this one match at a time approach works so good that I’ll try to keep it up even though it is far easier to adopt after a disappointing loss than a masterful win!
    Allez maestro! 😀

    1. Yeah Indian Wells different country, different surface, different tournament. One night of celebration for the fans then back to one match at a time 😀

  23. I noticed Djokovic only had 1 ace himself, which seemed low to me, & wondered if the more experienced tennis players here felt that was down to Djokovic not serving quite as well as usual, or to Roger returning unbelievably well. Possibly a bit of both.

    I’m actually reminded by all the comments about the fightback in set 4 of Wimbledon last year, when we were all, what am I SEEING?! In particular saving those 15-40 situations – not easy, even if you’re Roger Federer.

    Loved Roger saying, after comms had just spoken to Nestor, that’s what I’m thinking! I’m still really young & everybody is talking about how old I am!

    After having decisively demonstrated same with his play. Long may he prosper.

    Just really glad to see him so…well balanced, I guess, all the parts coming together so well right now. I want him to win as much as possible, of course, but – even if he doesn’t, it’s just a joy to see. Well done Rog.

    Was Mirka there?

    1. Djoker definitely didn’t serve as well, they showed a comparison of serve placement and he wasn’t as close to the lines as Fed.

      Don’t think Mirka was there.

      1. Do the girls start school this year? Will be interesting to see how Fed’s team/schedule might change in the second half of the year if Mirka and him decide they should stay in Switzerland.

      2. I think I heard him say they were doing home schooling for now? Wouldn’t surprise me. They’ll turn 6 in July.

      3. The family has a teacher travelling with them. She is teaching the girls at the kindergarten level but has primary school credentials so they can continue with that arrangement if they want to.

    2. Novak did not serve well. Big difference when u think back to Wimby final when even Fed said he was having difficulty returning it.

  24. Great writing Jonathan. It feels good to read of this great performance over and over again. Fed was awesome, awesome, awesome. The look in his eye, he moved like a gazelle, he pounced like a lion, he exuded such confidence. it was so good to see. The haughty one I am sure will be having nightmares after this loss. Looking forward to Indian Wells.

    Good comment Sid. Roger Federer Forever.

  25. I didn’t see any of Roger’s family there throughout the week. Surprised not to see Mirka.

    If anyone cares, those 2 bhdtl were 90 and 86 mph. Hotshots of the tournament.

    Roger’s 1st match at IW will be Sat Mar 14 or Sun 15th.

      1. They usually put him on late afternoon or early evening. Daylight savings starts next weekend….spring ahead.

        Ran into Gavin Rosedale at the grocery store in IW last time. Didn’t want to bother him though.

        I don’t know what food you’re talking about but I do know EU is much stricter on food additives etc than the US. Potatoes are loaded with pesticides.

      2. Any information on when the draw is out? Almost sure they will put Federer and Nadal in the same half, I mean Larry Ellison always do.

      3. Oh Sue, that is so sad, but true. Reminds of this song by counting crows…

        “Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
        I don’t care about spots on my apples,
        Leave me the birds and the bees
        Don’t it always seem to go
        That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone
        They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
        Hey now, they paved paradise to put up a parking lot
        Why not?”

    1. If he beats Monaco, which I’m sure he will, I think he will stay at 4.

      By the way who are these people; Arguello, Bagnis, Rola, Cuevas, Andreozzi, Olivo, Maximo. Sheesh! Is that like some South American drug cartel coming out of the woodwork? And these are the guys the great Nadal is beating up? While Federer has to beat the World No.1?

      1. Semi final match was Berlocq, and if he hadn’t choked he would have had first set! I think we can assume that Nadal is a long way from winning a decent tournament. And the final with Monaco? He could not have failed.

      2. One look at Berlocq, and you can tell that the guy is a fucking doper.

  26. Sid, that song was written by Joanie Mitchell in the 70’s. Off topic but the bees are dying….thank you Monsanto.

  27. Karma! It is justice that Fed defended Dubai without dropping a set because when the draw was unbalanced. Djokovic didn’t play anybody of note until Berdych and he made a mess of that by going three sets after winning the first set 6-0. Djokovic would have won the title against a lesser player. Why you think Djoke fans wanted Fed to lose? Djoke has a good match up with Murray, so he is not threatened by him despite losing to him in 2012. A special shout out to Murray fans for looking ahead to potential match with Fed and forgot about Coric. Karma again.

  28. I watched the highlights again last night and have to say, his insane volley on break point (5-4 15/40) is one of the clutch…I am personally impressed more those those bullet Two BH winners….Novak’s expression says all….. Volley was pin point on line…insane…

  29. Came home just in time for the match. Switched on Star Sports 4, only to find that they had decided to air the usual Barclays Premiere League on the weekend.

    Checked Star Sports 3- Replay of a cricket match.
    Checked Star Sports 2- Another Barclays Premiere League match
    Checked Star Sports 1- The SAME replay of the SAME cricket MATCH!!!!! (#@[email protected][email protected])

    Ok, there’s always Ten Sports.
    Checked Ten Sports- Sounds like some tennis. Looks like Dubai. WTA. Safarova vs. Azarenka. FML.

    No worries. There’s always the internet.

    Checked the internet- Internet. Is. Down. (For the next 3 F**ing days!!)

    Can’t believe my luck. Had to keep calling up people to message me the score. Managed to see the highlights only a few hours back. FML.

    1. Yeah! Same story for me also. Starsports showed all the matches of the tournament except the final! Unbelievably ridiculous!

  30. LOL! Becker was like “damn” every time Novak had a miss opportunity to break. That volley that was on the line was sweet b/c Novak had no play. That was a nice little final. Also is that the first time Federer has been Novak with his 2nd service percentage under 50? Last year’s semi was the first time Federer has beaten him after losing the first set. Federer is a lock for the Indian Wells title and Wimbledon. Karma Seppi lost in Dubai. Fed will be looking for his 7th titles in Cincinnati and Basel.

    1. Brave words, Karen 🙂 Watch out for a Federer-Dopal SF at IW. No way Larry is putting them in different halves.

      I do agree that he has a great chance again at Wimbledon. Depending on how things go in the next few months, probably as much as last year.

      1. I was being sarcastic b/c Jonathan said is karma when Fed fans say he is lock to win going into a tournament. This was in response to Fed winning Dubai because everybody was trying to hand the trophy to Djoke. Anybody see the part of the trophy ceremony where I think he is the head of the Arab tennis federation presented Federer as the #1 ranked player. I think it was an honest mistake because in his mind he still thinks Fed is still #1 and it came out verbally. Djoke was so bitter even though he tried to laugh it off . I will continue to keep my eye on this rivalry.

      2. Yup, that was hilarious. Poor Roger was pointing his finger towards Novak in embarrassment, “Not me, it’s him!”. 🙂

        This is, by far, the greatest rivalry of the current generation, maybe even all time. They are tied on clay I think, tied on grass, and Roger leads by 3 on hard courts. No building up H2H on favorite surfaces. No staying away from competition to build up H2H. Tennis at its best!

      3. I misspoke it was the tournament director who presented Fed as world #1. It was funny because some people in the crowd whistling at his error.

  31. Good write-up, weird highlights – very Djoko-centered and many errors instead of the plenty of winners that were hit. None of the two BH bullets were in it for example.

  32. Great post Jonathan.
    It was an amazing final and GOAT did it once again. Very very happy.

    If Federer can win this year’s Cinci and WTF then he will be the only one I guess who will achieve 7 titles in one particular tournament – GS, WTF, ATP 1000, 500 and 250. Cool. : )

      1. Of course Jonathan, Slam is by default. But my point is besides the slam this year if Fed can manage to win ATP1000 @ cinci and WTF, that would be great. he is the most successful in those tournaments over the years.

  33. There were so many of Fed’s shots that were so close to being out. Tennis gods on his side for sure.

    1. Yup. That brings me to that analysis called, “Brain game” that someone posts on Imagine, if Djokovic had taken that one break point in the first set, saved the one that Roger won, and finally taken one of the handful in the second, he could have done it in straights. We are talking just three points the other way.

      If that had happened, that Craig guy would’ve been ranting about how Djokovic used his brain to win it. Jesus! Craig, they both used their brains, you idiot. One just happened win those crunch points.

      What morons we are surrounded with!

      1. Yeah, I’ve always felt like that. People tend to over emphasise aspects based on who the winner was.

        Similar to the Wimbledon final. The fact that Federer lost the last few points doesn’t change what happened in the 5 sets leading up to that. It’s almost as though- make an over head and you’re back, a timeless genius, miss that one over head, lose the final, and you’re in a decline with no chance of ever winning again.

      2. In many cases how previous points played out can effect how future ones play out too though… so the breakdown of strategy used or “brain game” isn’t redundant is it? It’s interesting to see serve placement, how many backhands got upgraded to forehands in the ad court etc.

    2. Sue, many of Fed’s shots were out, too. And I think Djoko had some luck in some of his shots too. Maybe none of them were totally (un)lucky…
      Would like the link to full match too, for reviewing, please?

  34. It is a terrific feat for Roger at 33 to beat an in-form world no 1 Djokovic on their best surface of hard-court, and in straight sets and playing as well as they both did. Sometimes there isn’t much to say with a victory such as this. When Roger clicks his best game is still the best of anyone. Period. Description of the sublime becomes superfluous.

    Unfortunately, his losses – such as to Seppi at the AO – are also part of his game. We can’t overlook them and they draw comment in the effort to understand how they might occur when they often seem inexplicable.

    Because I love the game of tennis and am not a cheerleader for any player I have to respect ability and accomplishment wherever it occurs. As we used to say in our club matches – “there are no points for style”. If I thought Nadal was a ‘clean’ player I would simply have to say – “too good” – even though there is much I dislike much about his game (like Hewitt before him). But after a lot of research on the topic of doping and following in detail the strange vicissitudes of his career I don’t think he is clean. I will be very dismayed if a paltry victory against one of his stooges in South America will pave the way for him to taking an unbelievable 10th FO title in June.

    1. Dunno if you read my blog a couple of years ago but I did actually post on doping –

      It’s interesting, but it’s also a boring topic as nothing changes and it just goes round in circles. Nothing changed since I made that post, if anything the testing will be even more lax now the spotlight has shifted elsewhere.

      No real ideas how it can change either – nobody cares enough to see it change as who would want to upset the apple cart? ITF don’t care as they are under a conflict of interest. Players can’t really do much either.

      Fans aren’t willing to stop watching tennis over it either as it doesn’t really effect them directly or their quality of life etc. Hard enough to get people to revolt when their wages are at all time lows and NIRP and ZIRP are messing their lives up so they sure aren’t going to vote with their feet due to doping in tennis.

      Even if they think doping happens, like I do, the entertainment value seems to negate it. The ITF know that too. I’m still watching it so just as guilty as anyone else 😆

      Maybe the only way would be for players to breakaway from the sport and start up a new tour with a rigorous testing regime? Bit like PDC and BDO at darts…

  35. Hi all, how are you coping with these Fedless days?

    Not about Roger, but I’ve read that Andy Murray said he didn’t see Becker-effect for Djokovic. Come to think of it, I haven’t really heard much about the relationship compared to Fedberg. What do you guys think? What kind of player was Boris? Personally, I think Novak probably would have won both Wimby and AO without Boris anyway.

    Since Mac is single-handedly keeping the thread going, I might as well ask for your thoughts, hoping to add a few more comments 😉

    1. This is really interesting question…I always wondered what Boris did to Novak’s game considering his level on 2011…..May be some one with better tennis insights could explain here…

      1. At first glance, it is dfficult to see how Boris has influenced Novak’s game. They are a very different style of player. Novak is the epitome of relentless counterpunching and patient baseline defense, while Boris was an explosive serve and volley/all-court player, whose best surface was Wimbledon’s grass.

        With Roger you can see the Edberg influence in the improvement of the volley, the adoption of serve and volley tactics, and the chip-and-charge – all classic Edberg tactics. Stefan has added to Roger’s naturally attacking game. But with Boris you don’t see Novak taking on his style of game.

        It may be that the influence of someone like Boris in his team is largely psychological, in having a former grand slam champion in his corner, as well as benefitting from some of Boris’s enormous competitive instinct. Boris will understand the pressures Novak faces out there as well as anyone would, he would probably understand what works for Novak’s game – wthout wishing to change it, and they may simply ‘get on’ from a perspective of temperament – as we can see with Roger and Stefan. Mutual respect would be key. Finally, at the top level in sport, the difference between winning and losing is psychological – it isn’t really about technique. Perhaps that’s what a former champion can help with best.

      2. [It may be that the influence of someone like Boris in his team is largely psychological]

        Correct. And to elaborate, Boris made a living, like his peers, thwarting the threat of the aggressive serve and volley, and front court game. In that respect, he has helped Novak build the “mental” game, like you said, to face it, though his protege is still not very comfortable in the front court…yet. I did see that he has been making some confident overheads and volley recently. His footwork appears a lot more sure than in the past. Given his huge baseline and return game, if he can show decent improvement up front, he will have another way to win points, and it will make all the difference between ending up at 10-12 slams, and 12 to 14, maybe even more.

        I still believe that Boris was a huge, perhaps even the biggest reason Novak won Wimbledon 2014 (outside of the ill timed MTO in the last set).

        At the same time, Edberg is turning Roger into a front court beast (remember Shanghai?), despite the fact that court conditions at slams are working against him.

      3. Great insights, thanks both Richard and Sid.

        Psychological influence, that’s the key, I see. At the time Novak took Boris as his coach, I thought he was challenging Roger with a sort of mind game because Boris was one of Roger’s idles and he is, I believe, a fan of Roger, too. I wonder what if Boris was Roger’s coach and Stefan was Novak’s? I know Stefan took the job only because of Roger and glad the decision, though.

      4. All about the mental side but Novak in a small way does want to add some attack to his game as he ages but his forecourt technique is poor. Will improve a little under BB but he is instinctively baseline!!

    2. I agree with Richard and Sid. Not much more to add but they did miss one very key point – Boris took the job as he knew having a go on Jelena was a distinct possibility 😆

      1. Hahaha…He never learned to keep it in his trousers! But look at him now – he always looks to me like he’s just downed a bottle of whisky – not an attractive proposition. 🙂

      2. Jelena and baby Stefan seem to be sequestered safely in Monte Carlo wonder when they will hit the circuit trailing Novak, maybe the tournies when Vayda is back in the coach box.
        On another note what is the view here on the upcoming match between Grigor and Fed ? Is it the Fast 4 format? Will it be televised anywhere?

      3. Haha! Novak has pinned Boris deep behind the baseline, and is not giving him even a whiff to make a move to the front court. No surprise then we’re seeing Boris muttering, “Damn it!” a lot under his breath these days in the player box. 🙂

      4. It’s just a best of three sets exho, if you can recall Federer played in 2012 against Roddock at MSG.

    3. Thanks Wanda, sweet of you, but it is not going to happen, a new article will show up any day.

      With all the spam and junk advertising, this blog is turning into any other blog, posts are revenue driven, more clicks, more money, simple math.

      Take care !

      P.S. I hate Becker and he is too mellow and too nervous to be effective as a good coach.

      1. Agree with this. I’m a huge fan of the Fivethirtyeight blog. That ace record really is meaningless, but good to have, nevertheless. 🙂

    1. those numbers are insane
      Roger can play till 2018 but he need to manage his schedule and play the important tournaments

    1. Thanks Jonathan and everyone for all the comments and insights the mood on here is quite buoyant just like RF saying he too is so excited for his next match . Seeing the clutch play and intent he looks to be capable of anything one starts to dream of getting the missing clay titles in Europe and a repeat in RG would be good for the legacy. Anyway it’s lovely to be able to dream again and see the Goat goating and outplaying Djok. In Finals even better. Gotta hand it to Fed he always gives of himself – DC was a chance to enjoy something different on clay despite crippling back issues and after the disappointment of WTF, then a win in Brisbane and the 1000 barrier broken, then 9000 aces and another positive with Dubai number 7!

      Hope fed and the family can all keep healthy and enjoying the travel, homeschooling and life they are leading it’s just incredible what is being achieved in such an outwardly straightforward and unaffected fashion.

      The talk seems to be shifting to the numbers and Fed having a chance at number 1 again, so of course one starts to dream of slam wins after the closeness of last year. Whilst a lucky 8 at SW19 would be phenomenal, I would actually like to see RF win RG again, stops Nadal and Novak in a more psychologically damaging way and of course, his grace on clay is balletic. Two minimum of each slam would make 18 even more GOAT like. Also the clay season is a bit of a grind Fest with all the dominance of the usual suspects, and this would add some interest as it did to the DC event , which hopefully reignited his clay court lust and belief.

      Probably getting way ahead of myself so roll on Indian Wells where hopefully we’ll be enjoying more timeless performances from RF. Just seeing him play as he has been, #betterer and #clutcherer , is a joy.

      1. Hey Katie, a lovely comment.

        Naturally as a Fedfan but I feel the entire tennis world is happier when Roger is heathy and winning.

        I know everyone including me would love Roger to win Wimby as No18, but agree it would be super cool if he could get an another RG, even my head says unlikely. Yes, DC final match vs Gasquet was one of his bests on clay. Who knows if he plays like that…?

      2. Thanks for the comment Katie.

        Any slam would be a dream. RG the unlikeliest for sure but guess you never know. Henman came close by playing Edberg style tennis and he is nowhere near Fed level. The game has changed a bit since then though so whether it would be as effective now remains to be seen… short slice, draw players into the forecourt and bam. Mix it up with the chip charge yourself. Still can’t believe he lost to Coria ffs.

      3. Love your use of the word “buoyant” to describe the mood, & keep thinking it every time I see your comment, so thought I ought to say so! 🙂

    2. Hey I’m wondering about her, too. Hello, Rita, what’s up?

      Good luck your course and coming exam, Katyani.
      But remember, Roger and we need you 🙂

      1. Haha Wanda, you are so funny 🙂 I will try my best 🙂

        Hey Rita, we really hope you are oke. Last time you posted you mentioned that your health wasn’t oke…. hope you are better now.

  36. A propos of nothing in particular, I’m really getting to like the “weather” feature currently to my right. But I can’t *believe* how cold it is in Indian Wells at the moment. Hoping the temperatures pick up before Roger has to play. I mean, overnight lows of -10?!

    1. Actually 25C during the day, night time temperature +10 not – 10, should be around 12C on average. Although USA in general has had the worst weather ever recorded over last 2 months, so it might have been possible!

    2. Apparently they did have a brief dusting of snow on some California beaches with the last big southern states storm that just went through, so I suppose it’s possible it was a real temp for a very brief time… definitely way out of the ordinary for the location though.

  37. I don’t know where those numbers are from but they are not correct. Must be the wrong Indian Wells you picked, Jonathan. By next weekend, it will be in the 30’s.

    1. What I can’t believe is her bf is the club tennis pro there & they didn’t even have tix till she entered the contest!!

  38. anybody can share the link for the trophy presentation?
    I really want to see Nole’s face when they mentioned Federer as world #1 🙂

  39. I just received a notification email for wimbledon and french open ballots. Checking my work schedule and apparently I can’t go there (clash with my work hitch 🙁 )

    Anybody will go there this year?

  40. Hi all… speaking of doping, former world number 1 Marcelos Rios is taking action against Petr Korda who beat him at the Oz openffor his Grand slam . But at the time he was takibg steroids and only got banned a year later when P Korda retired. M Rios has said he should be fiven the grand slam title if found petr korda wasstill on steroids during the final.

    In other news Nadal thought he had the joint record of clay courts titles with g vilas. But it turns out that another 3 titles has been added to vilas total of 49. Nadal was really pissed off. Ha ha ha he has to win another 3 and wait a little longer for that record. Lol serves him right!!!

    1. There is still some good news for Nadal. His clay court titles count was increased by one, to take his tally to 47 this morning when the ATP decided that the Plexicushion at the Australian Open will officially be considered as clay! Vamos!

    2. If only it were that easy! (the Rios bit, I mean). But the argument is always that in a straight elimination format a doper could have prevented anyone he played from winning, not only the person he faced in the final. I mean, what if the player he’d beaten in perhaps the 1st round had gone on to face Rios … and won?

    1. Hi Sue…We’ve only got the GB/USA matches. Incredible that Ward – wearing a shirt that must have come from a Berdych jumble basket – took out Isner in 5! And the doubles team of Jamie Murray and Inglot gave the Bryan brothers a run – they needed 5 sets to get the win! Andy M had already beaten Young, so you’ve got to think that Isner – who looked shattered when he was watching the doubles match – hasn’t got much left in the tank, plus Murray is a far better returner than Ward.

    2. Young Henri Laaksonen has been a revelation this week, hasn’t he? The thing is, people are saying this is proof Stan &/or Roger should have been here; but if they HAD been, chances are Henri would never have played, and we’d never have known Henri had it in him.

      Interesting history – father is apparently from Finland, & he has played for Finland, but mother is Swiss & he spent several years at the Swiss tennis academy. There was, it seems, some poor attitude & bad behaviour in a previous DC tie some years ago (just going by his Wiki article, haven’t looked into it in depth); I’m glad to see he seems to have moved beyond that.

      1. Hey Thinker, are you kidding me?? Henri Laaksonen was amazing. Winning both his matches in 5. Still believing, never gave up. Where has he been all this time?? I was watching a bit of his matches.

        Honestly, I wanted Suisse to win the tie. For Seve and also to show them all that they CAN do without Roger and Stan. Almost did it too.
        Micha Lammer was kind of the weakest link. Too bad that Belgium had to bring David Goffin in for the last match… Bossel really tried… but was unfortunately outplayed…

        Too bad, Suisse really deserved to win….

      2. Laaksonen is only 22 apparently, so lots of upside for him.

        Wonder if Yann Marti (age 26) is considering that walking out in a huff was a bad move… he was apparently playing well in practice, & Seve might have called on him in place of Bossel if he’d been there. Still, can’t change that now (& it would still have been a tall order). I too was impressed that Bossel (age 28) didn’t go down with a much worse scoreline against Goffin.

      3. It would still have been a tall order, but Laaksonen did really well – playing like a member of the GB Cup squad, I reckon 🙂 Would have loved Suisse to win in a way, but then I got to thinking, at the beginning of the doubles match “Well, if we could win this one we might stand a chance …”, and then I started thinking “Not sure Fed and Stan would be too pleased – they’d have to play the rest of the ties then!”

      4. Apparently Seve had ALREADY told Marti that he would be playing if they got to 2-2. I actually think Seve might have thought they had a real shot, especially with Goffin not at his best. I feel like he’s devastated, though that could be me projecting after seeing Roger’s comment in AskRF that Seve’s not with him this week but will “come back stronger”.

        Luthi actually goes so far as to say Marti “weakened the team” – harsh words for the normally mild-mannered captain:

    3. Raonic vs Nishikori, as always, was a close, compelling match. Was sorry that Milos lost, but it was one of those matches that hinged on a couple points. But Canada won in the end, so super exciting for us Canadian fans.
      I loved the match between Ward and Isner. What a comeback! Good on Ward to stay steady throughout. Hope he’s not too jet lagged for the Indian Wells qualies.

  41. I always love watching Fed-Djoker matches. Unlike the Nadal rivalry, both players have strategies and playing patterns that work well against one another when one has a good day. I already talk about Djokovic’s tactics to Federer on MTF but I’ll just illiterate again here:

    In the past, djokovic would pressure his backhand and force him to camp on the AD court until he gets an easy short ball. Federer only had the option of going for a risky BH DTL but djokovic would anticipate that by going FH cross court on deuce side. This pattern would then repeat. Now federers topspin rally BH has enough depth to go toe to toe cross court.

    It’s similar to what Murray used to do back in 2008/9.

    The reason it’s 50-50 matchup usually is that although DJoker’s BH is world class (best in the world), his BH technique does not handle slice as well (compared to the likes of Murray) and its hard to generate consistent depth of it. You can see that at one particular point at 3-4 30-30* on his serve. Federer of course likes to employ this tactic during cross-court exchanges to great effect (mixing it up with TS BH) but he cannot over-do it or else Djokovic can read its predictability and run around to the FH.

    1. “I’ll just illiterate again here” – I’m honestly not making fun, I just think if there was an autocorrect that was timed perfectly that was it.

    2. Just in case English is a 2nd language for you – or for anybody reading – , I think what John’s referring to is that it looks like you wanted the word “reiterate” in place of “illiterate” (the latter, in any case, is an adjective, never a verb).

  42. I see many of you respecting David Ferrer for no reason and lets see how many of you continue to after reading this article.

    By the way this is not breaking news. The following articles have already dealt with this long back.

    And I also believe Ferrer is on drugs. Come on the guy can’t outlast so many guys younger than him. Even Nadal looks to be slowing down while Ferrer who is almost 33 is getting faster !!

    1. Have to say I’m amazed if this is true. I don’t honestly know how he could play the sort of tennis he plays, where he generally runs further than any other player, + his exercise regime, and smoke. And when does he find the time to smoke 15-20 cigarettes a day?

    2. I don’t see why that article should change anyone’s view of Ferrer. I knew he smoked already, I think. While it always bemuses me that anyone in such a physically demanding profession would smoke, I’m used enough to seeing it in dancers to know that it’s not uncommon.

      1. All I am saying Ferrer is not a role model people. Don’t try to justify smoking saying that footballers do it.

      2. Wasn’t someone saying on MTF that Ferrer gave up smoking some years ago? Don’t know whether it’s true.

  43. Can you please delete my duplicate comment Jon? Don’t know why that happen, but it was funny re-reading it since I made yet another language error in a context of a linguistic-type conversation. LOL

      1. Conal, I see that your non-sense article got 52 comments, way to go !

        So keep on sucking another 298 British lollipops and your post will be the most popular, even more popular than Nadal’s article !

        This is just a blog and there are hundreds like it out there, suck up at work, you might get a raise. Or are you still in high school, your picture looks like you are still a kid and your comments proved it.

      2. Mac, I honestly don’t care at all how many comments are on my articles. At least I have nice reviews from all the other blog readers.

        A blogs’ comment section offers freedom of speech, but there’s a fine line between subjective expression and blatant disrespect. There’s always been a relatively pleasant community of global readers in this awesome blog until you decided to reveal your delightful feedback!

        In many ways more than one, you are more provoking than Pablo. Go take a hike!

      3. Go Conal! Who is this irritating guy? Not funny, just tedious. I second your last sentence.

  44. Looks like Fed is partying in LA. Jetting back to NYC for the exo and back again to IW. Must be tough.

    Belgium had to bring in Goffen to win the tie. Otherwise Switzerland would have faced Canada in the quarters. Damn.

  45. Also when will be the draw of IW2015 come out? Eagerly waiting for that. The Tiger will also wake up…

      1. Wow. Just realized – even with these withdrawals, ALL of the mens’ top 10 are still in the draw. This includes Cilic.

        In the next 10 (according to seeds), only Tsonga & now Monfils are out.

        Hm. Looks like the seeds were set per the rankings way back sometime in January, which seems a bit early. But almost the entire top 84 from back then are in the field. Tommy Haas is back; Mardy Fish (!) is back with a protected ranking.

        In any case – what a strong field.

      2. He’s ranked 4th THIS WEEK due to Davis Cup, but I thought the seeds were based on rankings as of some other, earlier week? Maybe I’m just confused by the entry list at the Indian Wells site. Guess we’ll find out pretty soon now!

      3. Or am I thinking of the cutoff ranking date for whether a player gets into the main draw vs. has to go through qualifying?

        As of yesterday’s ranking (9 March 2015), Coric is #60; Ito is #87; and Brown is #102. Yet Ito & Brown are into the main draw with the withdrawals of Haas & Berlocq, while Coric is the top seed in qualifying.

        As of 19 Jan, those three were ranked Ito #89, Brown #90, Coric #91.

        Do they use one ranking date to determine the seedings in the main draw, and a different ranking date to decide who’s in the main draw and who has to come through qualifying?

      4. The seeds are done on the latest ATP rankings, so Murray is the 4th seed for Indian Wells. The points have already been added.

        You are looking at the direct acceptance list which was decided in late January, can’t remember exact cut off date but that determines which 79 players make it in (32 seeds) directly, along with 12 qualifiers and the 5 wildcards to make the full 96 player draw in 128 grid.

      5. OK, thank you Jonathan – looks like I was confusing the two things. Perhaps not surprisingly. I may do it again. Will try to remember this for a while though!

    1. Delpo is back OUT of Indian Wells, so Kokkinakis is in as a wild card.

      Also Monfils and Goffin are both out with injuries as well. Hope Goffin didn’t come back too soon for Davis Cup…

      1. Shame about Delpo – but I thought it was a bit premature; it’s not that long since his wrist surgery.

  46. Well, Indian Wells coming up, and I think I can’t predict anyone else other than Roger to be the winner in Tigermobiles prediction. I think it may be impossible for many of us to listen to our heads when it comes to guessing the winner in any tournament. Interesting to know how many of us do that, and how many predict any other player as winner.Is there any way to know that from our league-data? If not who, at least how many?

    1. I think there were a couple who said they predicted somebody else for the Australian Open – I wasn’t one of them though, lol!

      1. I noticed that too Alison, and actually thought he was saying he hadn’t had an injection at WTF either – somewhat to my surprise.

      2. Yeah, good to know but the same time I was serprised too. That makes me more impressed how well he played vs Richard in the DC final.

      3. Thinker, I never thought he *had* had an injection for the WTF. I thought from what he said at the time that it was just high-strength painkillers.

      4. There was an interview at the time, I think, in which someone asked him point-blank if he had had a cortisone shot, & he said something like, if I HAD, I would never tell you, but thanks for asking – which I thought at the time kind of left it open. That’s all I meant.

  47. I think Roger does it this time at Wimbledon. A lot more comfortable with the racquet compared to last year. Wanted to be cautiously optimistic.

    “I’d love to get back to World No. 1,” declared the Basel native. “But Novak is making it very difficult. My whole season is geared towards peaking at Wimbledon. I’d love to win there one more time.”


  48. I’ve been hoping to hear you say something about his increased facility with the new racquet, Sid!

    Not sure I like hearing “one more time”, though – think it’s the first time we’ve heard it from him.

    1. His racquet-wielding is way, way better than last year, at least from what I’ve seen. Gives me really high hopes for Wimbledon. I think winning a slam in 2016 is a bridge too far. I’m not pronouncing him done with tennis, but I feel this could be the last year he will be a slam threat.

      Watch out for that backhand. We might see him go for that down the line frequently, especially when there is a low percentage of getting ascendancy in a point.

      1. Well Sid, can this new racquet help his chances of winning against Rafa? I am not at all in any position to make a technical comment, but I can easily see his backhand has improved a lot and forehand just going down a little bit. Isn’t it? Serves are also more consistent. Rafa always banks on Fed’s SHBH, so improvement in that area may be a good sign. What do you think?

    2. I think the forehand is pretty tuned up now. Last year the FH didn’t look as good at Wimbledon but itbeen bang on last few tournaments… crunched it in Brisbane.

      I think how well he hits the FH is more about how confident he’s feeling in his shots, not the racquet causing it to be underpowered or badly timed.

      1. Okay… but chances against rafa? According to matchup…apart from tiredness etc.. of course..

  49. Watched some of DUBAI final again. Fed was SO aggressive. Hungry lion out there. Even in the 2nd set Fed’s overall tone was just like he was red lining the games all the way through. Of course he was pulling off everything.

    I honestly couldn’t tell if this was Fed just red line risking all to beat Nole or if this was just Fed at his controlled excellence best. Whatver it was it was compelling stuff.

    Would be so pumped if there is more BHDL in his shot selection going forward. Just left Nole looking so OWNED.

    Of course all of this playing approach is happening and chosen by Fed on one of the fastest courts of the year, but it will be interesting to see how he approaches his game at IW

    33 27 20 17

    1. hell yeah it is.
      We did it (not that it is important though) 🙂

      now can we have the draw? 🙂
      Federer for IW!!

  50. Yeah Amar! We have done it! Mac shouted a lot, but there are other ways to do it. I don’t think I have made so many comments in any other post. But Hey Mac! Thank you for keeping it up. I think u will now be a happy guy….

    1. Ankur, Thank The Webmaster, he did NOT post a new article for 11 days and counting, hence 300+ comments. And that’s the Only Way, stretch the time! Other articles from Dubai got 50 comments that includes the first 10 comments, the silly ones, am I first, & all that crap.

      Every time a new visitor comes to this blog, they check the most popular tab and they see that readers of this blog love Roger’s losses, unless the Tab goes away or 4 more articles hit 350+ comments, it will stay that way.

      And I should not care, because Roger-bashing is alive and well 100s of other places on the web, so make it 101 places.

      1. “Every time a new visitor comes to this blog, they check the most popular tab and they see that readers of this blog love Roger’s losses”…

        …. Well…. possibly. Or possibly they realize quite quickly that “popularity” is based on number of comments, and almost just as quickly that there will be more time after a loss than after a win for more comments. As you yourself have said, among others. Maybe they conclude Fed fans just like to talk about Fed, even when he’s not playing. 🙂 – particularly since most of the comments are actually supportive, even on a loss thread (not really surprising on a Fed fan site, either).

        I personally think most people don’t immediately gravitate towards the “Popular” tab when they arrive here; I think they’re more interested in the “Recent” tab, which is where it defaults in any case.

        We’ve had this discussion before, & if I remember right it’s just a feature that comes with the WordPress platform. It’s not something Jonathan is pushing down anybody’s throat. Maybe someday WordPress will be able to show most popular by views, not just by comments, which might be interesting; though I always think we get some interesting comments here too, worth reading.

        And c’mon – isn’t it cool that we got this thread among the most commented-upon? Just as you requested? 🙂

      2. Excellent point Thinker. The post category widget is pre-installed in this WordPress theme platform. I do not see why Mac has been tirelessly expressing his strong disapproval of this blog.

      3. Hey Mac, obviously you do care about Fed and this blog. There’s not many sites on the web Fedfans to come and discuss how awesome he played and how awful his BP conversion rate was, too after his matches freely without being bullied by haters. The blog never be a Roger-bashing place 🙂

        And Thinker, thumb up for your comment!

    2. Thinker & Wanda, Thank you for your comments!

      Thinker, it isn’t so, word-press gives you many options to the webmasters to customize their sites.

      Check this one out and there are hundreds more:

      indifoodindian.wordpress dot com

      Anyways, the article made it while proving my point, it needed 11 days to get there.

      I am in NY and about to see Roger play live at MSG, Seles is on court, she’s amazingly fit at 40 plus !

      To the 18th, most important title of this year!

    1. In about another 4 hours Ajay – California time is 4 hours earlier than east coast US time.

      IW twitter acct reporting Tommy Haas and Carlos Berlocq OUT, which lets Dustin Brown & Tatsuma Ito into the main draw.

  51. Guess what?
    Roger’s got Rafa in his half in IW draw, surprise surprise!
    Stan for QF. Looking forward to read the draw post, Jonathan 🙂

  52. Not deliberately making mistakes for a few more comments… #excuse 😉

    By the way, Conal. Are you working on new video yet? Hope so!
    Look forward to it.

  53. Ok, just saw it. I “think” – if I’m reading correctly – Rafa, Stan, Dimitrov, Raonic are all in Federer’s draw.

    1. Nadal was always going to be in Roger’s half. Roger’s actual path would be Stan (QF), then Dopal/Dimitrov/Raonic. So it’s not like he has to play every one of them if that’s what you’re thinking.

      Seppi looms in Round 3. Roger has never won a tournament in which he has faced Seppi.

      Oh, come on everybody, what’s with those pouty faces? 🙂

  54. What an honour to write this record-breaking 350th comment! Potential rematch with Seppi in the 3rd round! Can’t wait to see Roger pulverise him in straights!

      1. For writing the record-breaking 350th comment on a peRFect tennis blog post, I think I deserve a prize Jonathan! How about a bonus 7 points on the leader board?? 😀

  55. So – who’s at Madison Square Garden?

    Wouldn’t a thoughtful, personal fan post be a great treat? Hint?

  56. Is that a real stat Sid?
    Anyhow, it’s gonna be an exciting masters. The Big 3 (+Murray) are the top 4 seeds, just like old times.
    Also, Mardy Fish and Tommy Haas are making loooooong overdue returns. Cant wait to see Fish again. Speaking of players on long layoffs, what’s happened to Tipseravic

    1. You mean the Seppi thing? Yup. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Hitting ball with Seppi is a bad omen for Roger.

  57. i have tickets for the 2nd and 3rd round. I guess I get to see Fed revenge his loss at AO against Seppi. Going to be fun!

  58. The draw is finally released and I wasn’t surprise at all 🙂
    Larry Ellison will always use his power and privilege to put Nadal and Federer in the same half, he always do 😉
    but again, this potential clash might not happen mainly because of Nadal’s recent performances. should that happen, I will be exited to see another Fedal match
    should be interesting encounter.
    Moreover, the Seppi Vs Fed would be an interesting match I would like to see

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