ATP 250HalleRoger Federer

Tough Draw in Halle for Federer

Hey guys, clay isn't finished just yet but the good news is the grass court season is imminent and the draw for Halle was released today. After getting an easy one at the French this one looks pretty tough for Roger and he will have to face some serious contenders if he is to make the final or win the title.

I think after the disappointment of the loss to Tsonga most fans have taken a hit to their confidence so the draw was always going to look tough no matter what who landed in his quarter but there's certainly no gimme's here and best of 3 sets on a surface like grass gives just about anyone a punchers chance.

They do say you're only as good as your last match so it's not easy to have belief Roger can coast to the final here but I'm just going in with an open mind. Maybe the loss to Tsonga wasn't indicative of his form at all, or maybe it was. Maybe he comes out and plays sublime tennis and makes the final, maybe he doesn't but whatever happens I'm looking forward to seeing some grass court tennis where skills, anticipation and ability to make quick decisions come to the fore.

Roger's Potential Opponents

Federer Halle Practice

  • Secound Round: Stebe / Qualifier
  • Quarter Final: Petzschner / Goffin / Janowicz
  • Semi Final: Haas / Raonic / Gulbis
  • Final: Gasquet

It looks like it starts fairly easy for Roger as he faces Cedric-Marcel Stebe or a qualifier in the first round. I've not a seen a lot of Stebe but he's a young left hander playing in front of his home crowd so could be motivated but at 161 in the world I can't see him posing too many problems.

It's in the Quarter Finals where it get's interesting and it really is wide open here and all the guys in this part of the draw are dangerous.

I think Roger will probably face Phillip Petzschner in the Quarters who is a competent grass court player with a big serve. The German first has to get past Jerzy Janowicz who could be tricky but I have no idea of how he will handle grass.

Janowicz is quite good indoors so maybe it suits him so it will be interesting. There's also Goffin who performed quite well at Wimbledon last year and he is a very clean ball striker that takes the ball early so his style could lend itself well to grass.

The semi's is where it gets even trickier and it looks like he will either have to face the guy who beat him in last years final, Tommy Haas or the big serving Raonic. Both those guys are not to be underestimated, Raonic took Roger close in Halle last year and Haas is arguably in better form now than he was last year when he won the title.

Out of those two I'd probably prefer him to meet Haas because Raonic could potentially serve his way through on grass. Haas has obviously beaten Roger before here but I'd fancy Roger's chances of beating him this time around.

I also haven't even mentioned both Gulbis and Monfils who are both lurking in this section of the draw too who could easily play themselves into contention. There's a big queue of players who are capable of causing upsets and winning titles so really anything could happen in this part of the draw, I fully expect some interesting matches that go to the wire.

The final is seeded to be against Gasquet whom Roger beat in Halle back in 2006 in a very exciting match (see highlights below). Much depends on how Gasquet is holding up after his crushing defeat to Wawrinka at the French last week but he's probably the best grass courter in that section of the draw although both Youzhny and Kohlschreiber can't be counted out.

Anyway as always it's the cliche of taking it round by round, the draw is mere paper right now and nothing is certain as to who Roger will face. I don't have too many expectations from him but I'd certainly like him to win it, even more so because I'm there for finals weekend.

I think if he can get get through the tough matches early then he has a very good shot at winning the final. He should have a lot of confidence if he is able to win his Quarter and Semi Final which I think makes him a favourite for the title should he be involved in the match.

Roger Already Practicing on the Grass

Federer Using Instagram

Roger obviously didn't stick around in Paris for very long after his loss and has already got a couple of practice sessions under his belt on the grass which he tweeted about yesterday. It's good to see he didn't stick around for long and he also timed his practise session for when Djokovic was squaring off against Nadal, just another sign the French Open is dead to him.

He's not the sort of guy that takes long to adapt to different surface (they're all so similar anyway :P) but it won't hurt him getting a feel for the ball and how it's playing.

I think his first match will most likely be on Tuesday or Wednesday and I'll be back blogging about it with a match report. Allez les suisse!

P.S. Roger is also teaming up with Haas in the doubles at Halle! Should be good.


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. Now, on to the main topic. The draw looks tough, but now i don’t even care anymore. Whoever the opponent is it doesn’t matter. If Roger plays well, he WILL win. If he plays bad, he WILL lose (unless Roger 3.0 shows up), period.

      Is Nadal still playing at Halle or will he opt out? If he does play, and faces Federer, get ready for some more clown statistics for the H2H (i know it’s harsh but i have good reasons for it, and it’s not like Fed has given us any other option so far).

      I think playing doubles is a very good idea. Will have more time on court then (it’s not like his schedule have been packed till now) which should give him some REAL practice. And always good to brush up those volley and net games. What better way to do that than play doubles…on grass! Enjoy your time there Jonathan. Allez!

    2. Dull has withdrawn so good news on that front. He has no said he’s not favourite for the French lol.

      Yeah doubles is a smart move, clearly he knows he needs matches. Although first round is against Melzer & Petzschner, not easy!

      1. Doubles on grass court? This should be good. Last time I saw him in doubles is with stan in the Olympics. Teaming up with another 30 year old huh.. not bad!

      2. Jonathan, Of course it was with Stan. I was referring to Ferdie who watched them play at the Olympics. And as good as Fed is on grass, it did nothing to his doubles result at the Olympics. Should be fun to see him try doubles again though is all I meant.

  1. So long my friend. I think like Roger’s game, his fans are getting matured too.! I think I can say we are not expecting him to play every game he enters. We are just there watching the Tennis god himself gliding around the court. Of course winning isn’t everything. I just enjoy the sliced backhands, quick dropshot, aggressive net points not to forget the unbelievable passing shots. Thank you Roger πŸ™‚ I am blessed to be born in your era.!

    p.s : Thanks Jonathan for a wonderful blog page. Keep em coming mate. Hope to see you in Halle. (Yes,I am going there to see him play.!!!!!)

    1. Hey Ramesh,

      Well I still want him to win, no way I wanna see him go through the motions. He won’t anyway but there are no indicators to his form so I don’t have any expectations. He is playing doubles now so clearly wants matches under his belt. Dull withdrawing helps too.

      What days are you going? I’m there for finals weekend. Drop me a message via the contact page if you want.

    2. Ramesh, like you I too count myself as blessed to have been born in his era, to have seen him play, to have experienced and been awed and delighted by the grace and elegance of his game. But it is not enough if he continues to lose – and lose without fighting back. (The Djoker lost at the French, but boy, how he fought!) I will go on watching Federer’s every match as long as he plays, I will always want him to win, but I don’t expect him to win anymore when he comes up against #’s 1 through 7 (the Djoker to Del Potro – except Ferrer who has no weapons to hurt any of them).

      Jonathan, one match, one loss is not indicative of anything – but a series of losses to Berdych at the US Open (which, with hindsight, was a devastating and confidence-destroying loss), and the loss to Benneteau in Rotterdam, and the loss to Berdych again in Dubai, and the loss to Nishikori (Nishikori!!!), and the losses to Nadal (and tame manner of those losses), and then getting blown out by Tsonga – these are all indicative of SOMETHING.

      1. I will judge Roger’s season at the end of the year. Not before. I always said it’s too early to start judge too heavily.

      2. It is not just this season. There were signs of his uneven and erratic play even in 2012 – at the French Open where he kept breaking the Djoker’s serve but then couldn’t hold his own, the loss to Hass at Halle, going 2 sets down to Benneteau – on grass!!! And then finally the loss to Berdych at the US Open. (Note: I am not counting the loss to Murray at the Olympics which came the day after his gruelling win over Del Potro, going 19-17 in the 3rd set, serving second and always behind. That was a masterful effort, physical as well as mental, but he didn’t have enough left in the tank for the final.). He has already gone nearly 10 months without a single victory. When in his career since 2003 has he ever done that?

        By the way, there’s not a single top 10 player at Halle other than the Fed – Gasquet is seeded #2 (Gasquet of all people!). The fact that you can write about it being a tough draw – and I think you are absolutely correct – that alone should tell you something!

      3. Arif you have a very negative outlook and read too much into trivial losses. I am one of Roger’s biggest critics but even I know not to overly read into losses.

        The FO 2012 Semi is a meaningless loss, as was Haas at Halle. Roger had many losses like this throughout his career, even his prime he lost the odd match, it is part and parcel of the sport. I am not blind to see that he is declining, it is inevitable, he is obviously not going to win all the time or beat the top guys every single time but the big point is, he is still capable of winning tournaments and beating the top guys.

        As for Halle, the draw was tough because they are all competent guys with big games. It’s nothing to do with whether you are in the top 10 or not. It’s about matchups and game styles that lend themselves to certain courts.

        It’s like when you get Karlovic at Wimbledon, people know that he is a tough opponent yet he’s nowhere near the top 10.

      4. [The fact that you can write about it being a tough draw – and I think you are absolutely correct – that alone should tell you something!]

        I’m sorry to say but that’s a really dumb comment, Arif. It’s a horses for courses thing. Think Rosol, a nobody, versus Nadal at Wimbledon. As Jonathan pointed out to, it’s about bad match ups on super fast grass.

        As for your assessment of 2012? Djoker is the best returner so no wonder he kept breaking back. Benneteau is tough on faster surfaces (I think he beat Roger at Dubai or Rotterdam too). Then comes Berdych, who has always been a headache. Side arm serve with a pile driver forehand. It’s ok to criticize a player but you are plain cherry picking man πŸ™‚

        You know what a tough draw really is? A Nadal playing on clay versus the other 127 players πŸ™‚

      5. You can make all the excuses you like – Karlovic (who never beat Federer), fast surfaces, the losses speak for themselves. A meaningless loss at a Grand Slam – you have got to be kidding! Rosol and Nadal – who after that match went off for nine months with a knee injury – now that’s a really dumb comparison!

      6. So, Nadal’s loss vs. Rosol was meaningless? I think I understand your thinking πŸ™‚ Nadal had no injury. You are naive to think if he had. He took time off just to get his game back and focus on the clay season. He had too much at stake. An 8th slam at RG, number of wins at RG, getting closer to the clay titles record held by some other stupid Spaniard, Vilas or something I can’t remember his name. Nobody stopped Nadal from playing Halle by the way.

        Then again, we are talking about a nearly 32 year old guy who still remains in the top 4 at a time when power and endurance dominate over everything else, with a powerless 90 sq. in. racquet which would be considered the modern equivalent of a wood racquet.

        You know what, there’s no point arguing with you. Eveyone, just ignore this troll.


      7. Nadal had no injury? He gave up on the Olympics, the US Open, the Australian Open just to get his game back? Are you delusional? Ignore me all you like. Be an ostrich and bury your head in the ground. Sooner or later (probably sooner) the reality of what is happening (and it is the inevitable march of time) will stare you in the face – if you can bear to look!

      8. So Arif, what are you? Your comments are very misleading. Sometimes you say that you would love to watch Federer all the time. Then you attack Federer in some of your other comments. Then you defend Nadal when some good reading would tell you that he is unlikable. So who are you? Are you a Nadal troll just trying to instigate people here?

        Help us understand so we can tone our comments appropriately πŸ™‚

  2. It sure is becoming harder to label a draw easy or tough for Fed as he keeps losing to a new guy every tournament this year. I am still hopeful though in the belief that he is saving his best for this part of the season. But I definitely wouldn’t mind a loss to Haas at Halle if it means a repeat of the results at Wimbledon.

      1. Man, I tried the Yonex Tour 97, just couldn’t handle it. Feels out of control. Cannot maneuver it at all. I guess I’ll stick with the 90 or maybe settle for the Blade 93. Who cares if keep losing in the short term so long as I enjoy the racquet.

        The Blade 93 gave me my first set win vs a really big serving big hitting guy but only barely. And with a Blade 98, I cannot lose to him πŸ™‚

  3. I was already getting excited for Halle and now I’m really excited to see Rog and Tommy play some dubs! πŸ™‚

    1. Two 30 year old tennis players having the time of their lives. πŸ˜€ not so much for Fed, he’s not playing well as of the moment but last year was great. And then Haas from world no. 112 to no. 12 (i’m not sure with his latest ranking, haven’t dropped by the atp website)

  4. Yes, I’ve also lowered my expectations. Truth be told, he is not getting younger and we’d have to bid him goodbye one day.

    Jonathan, do you think the decision to play doubles is also a strategy to improve on an aspect of his game, besides getting more matches under his belt. He must feel challenged/inspired by SW who is his age and still dominant in the women’s game. Although he’s covered more mileage.

    Well, love the sheer idea of him playing doubles – and with Tommy

    1. Hey Abi,

      I think the decision to play doubles is just acknowledgement of the fact he needs more matches really, not sure what he can improve on, sure he can hit some more volleys but to translate that into singles matches he has to actually come to the net frequently so the practise actually pays off.


  5. Has anyone of you played on grass? I mean, tennis on grass, not soccer. I’ve never, but I just love it πŸ™‚

    I’m happy that the poop colored clay season is finally over. Go on Roger, give us some tennis joy! I hope those Spanish Dopers don’t spoil the party at Wimbledon. You never know!

    That Raonic match should be nerve wracking.

    1. Yes, play a lot on grass when in. It’s just wonderful! Feels so right, easier on the body, looks and sounds right as tennis should and takes slice just beautifully! You are in Federer heaven on grass!!

    2. Yeah I have, best surface by a mile to play on. Hard courts are a close second. Never played on clay so can’t judge that but don’t think I’d like it.

    3. Never played on grass, but clay is disgusting to play on: slipping and sliding all over the place, slow as hell, no good πŸ˜›

      1. I played on Har-tru, just once, a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t feel much different than hard courts at first BUT, the guy I was hitting with told me it’s because of the heavy rain earlier in the day that made it feel like a hard court. Makes sense! The bounce felt like a hard court but the speed, man I was hitting some good shots and the other guys seemed to have all the time in the world πŸ™‚

      2. Hv played on clay in Spain! V hard to adapt to out if all the surfaces unless you know how to slide which is not an instinctive movement for most if us! Consequently you feel as though you are off balance most of the time as you struggle to push off or move up and then back easily! Also, until you play clay you hv no idea just how high the ball can bounce! VV different to all other surfaces! And so hard to put away!!!!!

      3. True, Susie. I did slide but not efficiently. However, I didn’t feel off balance but again that could be because it rained heavily that morning. Will try it again on a sun baked surface. The fun part was when my hitting partner told me to brush off my shoes and dip the soles in water. Fun!

        So you play on grass too? All surface player, huh? πŸ™‚ You must be good.

  6. Slightly unrelated, but Williams suddenly starts playing in God-mode on her worst surface, at that age. And I’m expected to believe there isn’t more to it than meets the eye? πŸ˜‰

      1. Hi Susie, if by some miracle Ferrer defeats Rafa, he can count me in as his life long fan !!!

    1. He Sid, yep, Serena won and I am glad that she did. But to be honest, I was actually rooting for Maria.
      It is not healthy or fun anymore when you are so good and beating everyone left and right, but not to be able to beat someone in 9 years…… That is not right (except when it is Roger, then I don’t mind it !!!). Maria is always so focused and hard working, she would have deserved to win. But she did make is Serena difficult. It was not an easy victory. By the way, I don’t know how to say this, but I am getting use to Maria and Vika grunting. It does not even bother me. What the hell !!!

      1. You like Shriekapova only because of Dimitrov. She is, without a doubt, the snobbiest b**** in women’s tennis. How could she tell the French crowd, “Up your ******* ***”? If I wanted Williams to beat her, that goes to say something.

        Sometimes, I get very very surprised that how could someone who is a fan of Williams, and Shriekapova, and also likes the grunting, also be a fan of Roger Federer? It’s sort of a, paradox, you know!

    2. Joke that these girls can’t beat Serena on clay, she’s slow around the court and moving forwards, gotta mix it up. Sharapova is too one dimensional though.

  7. Federer is playing on Wednesday or Thursday his first singles match as he has a bye in the first round. I hope he makes it to the final.

  8. For Roger to play both singles and doubles, i think its a good idea as he can brush up on all his repotoire. Gain confidence and forget the horrid performance against Tsonga on clay.
    As long as Roger performs to his ability and makes simple rally shots without shanking them, then even if he loses trying i will be satified. Hopefully now Roger is going to be back on his favorite surface, and ready to kick butt !!! πŸ™‚

  9. He won the title and just waved his hands and clapped with his racket! I know a certain somebody who goes to his box and falls on the clay (Is it so obvious now?) when he wins a tournament πŸ˜€

  10. “they’re all so similar anyway :P” You know, it seems that it’s only RF fans that notice/acknowledge this…
    Buuttt, looking forward to Halle!

      1. And Murray said something on similar lines too, that courts need to be made a bit faster. I think he asked for more variety. If Scooter likes two guys grunting on the court and going at each other for hours in gay abandon, more power to him! πŸ™‚

      2. You both misunderstand. I mean that we Federer fans can at least acknowledge how surface homogenization is killing the sport. I’m all for speeding up that courts. It would make things more interesting anyways. Like Jonathan said in one post “Tsonga blew Nadal off the court the last time Rebound Ace was in use” I want to see more of that.

        “If Scooter likes two guys grunting on the court and going at each other for hours in gay abandon, more power to him!”

        AO 2012 finals was more than enough thanks πŸ™‚

      3. Ah, Scooter! You got me there. I misunderstood what you said πŸ™‚

        I watched only the last set of AO2012 after the match was over, and I endured it only because Djokovic won.

    1. So Scooter, in short, you do believe that there’s a lot of variety in court surfaces on the tour, correct? πŸ™‚

      1. I think pace of the courts have to be made faster..I really feel all these slow hard courts are just destroying tennis..So many of my friends find tennis boring just due to this..

  11. Tricky draw for Roger but he puts his mind to it, I think he can do it. Heck he is even playing doubles with Haas. A win will do a lot of confidence but at this stage one match a time. Nothing I love more if Roger can get his groove back.

  12. Drinks up for grass season everybody!

    Good to see Roger not moping around in Paris after a missed opportunity (must be feeling better since Dramadal is in the final) and is already onto the grass.

    This draw is a bit tricky but is doable for Roger. I think he is very motivated to perform for this second half of the year- I at least consider it to be the reason as to why he took 7 weeks off after Indian Wells. So this is where it all counts! A first title is desperately needed for Federer, especially if he is to have any chance to defend Wimbledon. Roger I think might have put his loss down to Tsonga with match practice and confidence. Tsonga at the AO has to date been his only top 10 win this season so a win over Gasquet I guess ought to give him something of a boost.

    Can’t wait to see Roger play doubles with Haas, that will be fun for everyone especially if their on-court exchanges are in German! πŸ™‚

    Rafa pulling out of Halle is an indication that he knows he is winning the title tonight and Uncle Toni wants to keep the warrior/invincible image alive for Wimbledon in making 9 for 9 finals this year. Anyway, hope this is the last title I have to see Rafa raise this year and that his knees will go walkabout soon.

    Good luck Roger, it’s time to shine!

      1. I’m pretty sure they will communicate in German. I’d like to pick up on some of the things they say πŸ™‚

      2. Nadal- Same old crap, different day. Then he’ll lose to some unknown player in wimbledon, pull out from the US Open and then be back only on clay court season the following year. πŸ˜€

  13. Hey guys, I know the RG post is over and it is time for a new chapter, but I did want to finish what I promised that I said I would do, so I want to say one more thing about Roger and RG and then it is for me also time to move on. Please, for everyone, read through it all, even though it is long, since I cannot do short comments.

    And Sid…… you also read it, not just the end !!!

    When Roger lost I said that I blamed Roger and “Destiny”. I told why I blamed Roger (beeing uninterested, not fighting, etc.). But luckily some other commentator explained that to me and I realised I was too hard on Roger and too wrong. I sometimes get a little angry at him when I should not.

    But I also said I blamed it on “Destiny” and that I would explain it later. Well, here it goes.

    In my opinion there are three reasons that “Destiny” made sure that Roger lost to Tsonga:
    1) To avoid him losing to Rafa again.
    2) To make Rafa answerable.
    3) To lift Roger higher.

    1) To avoid Roger from losing to Rafa again needs no explanation. Maybe “Destiny” had something like, you will not lose to him in a clay final again and mess up the H2H, whereas you will not have the opportunity to beat Rafa on your turf, because he does not get there, he loses first, or he just withdraws. And that is what happened. I read just now that Rafa is withdrawing from Halle. I know that if they would have been on opposite sides Roger and Rafa would have met in the final and Roger would have won. But like the sneaky and smart person he is, he knows he will be beaten so he does not want to meet Roger there to give him a honest chance to improve the H2H.

    One comment I would like to make is that I was glad “afterwards” that Roger lost to Tsonga. In the SF he would have beaten Ferrer and in the final he would have been destroyed by Rafa.
    But now I am thinking, maybe he should have gone to the final. He would have lost, no doubt about that. But he would have made two finals in a row. Two clay finals. He would have been number two in the world. He would have been second seed at Wimby. He would have a H2H of 21-10 and he would have been destroyed for that H2H………but no one could have argued the fact that he WAS AGAIN in a final on clay against Rafa !!! He would have lost and he would have had to read bad things about that, but nobody could deny the fact that he held his part of the rivalry by making it to a clay final against Rafa whereas Rafa is a no show in a final against Roger that is not clay.
    So now I am thinking he should have won the Tsonga match. And that was a possibility. Tsonga played great, but we all know Roger would have eventually found a way to beat him.

    2) To make Rafa answerable. Maybe “Destiny” wants Rafa to win and get his 8th RG and his 12th GS. So that now the tennisworld would wake up and say, wait a minute, what is going on? The world number one, the best player in the world since 2,5 years is struggling. The second best player in the world is skipping RG because of back injury. The third best player in the world has had an amazing last half of 2011 and whole 2012 but is now so worn out that he is losing right and left and after a break of two months he is still losing a lot and it is harder for him to come back to his old form. When you have the current three best players in the entire world who are struggling, how is it possible that one player, after an injury break of no less than 8 months, makes in a period of just unbelievable 4 months, 9 finals and winning 7 of them???
    I really believe that “Destiny” is giving the tennisworld an opportunity to call out on Rafa and to hold him accountable. Even if the ATP and ITF want to hush about it. “Destiny” is making the tennisworld understand that now it is up to them. Question him if you want. The 3 best players are struggling, how come you make the final of every tournament you enter? Rafa has dug his own grave. If he would have made a comeback and won 3 out of 9 finals then no one would say anything. But making such a comeback (when no one in the history of tennis has made such a comeback after an injury). That is suspiscous.
    I think the tennisworld will see that, no, now it is literally unbelievable and not credible and that it cannot be kept quite anymore.
    I really believe “Destiny” is giving us the chance to put Rafa on stand and ask him, are you doping or not and give us prove that you are NOT doping.

    3) To lift Roger higher. This one is easy. As much as it hurts that Roger lost to Tsonga, “Destiny” is interveaning by saying, he was not meant to win RG, because he is meant to win other more important things. Last year he lost RG, won Wimby, made almost all the finals after that and made it to world number one. That would maybe not have happen if he had gone through to the RG final last year.
    No matter how much you want it, no matter how hard you worked for it and practised for it, if it is not written in your stars or destiny, it will not happen. You cannot fight your destiny. Some things happen for a reason. Roger was not happening in the Tsonga match at all. Whatever he tried, nothing, absolutely nothing worked. Him missing smashes he ALWAYS gets. Him playing for points that don’t get beyond the net, him missing netpoints, Tsonga making a lob over him that just gets in the lines, that never happens. Roger grunting at every point, that never happens. Roger (what is according to me the FIRST time ever) looking at his box for help. No, “Destiny” did not want Roger to win the Tsonga match. That day was just not his day and there is a reason for that. “Destiny” has other greater plans for Roger.

    That is all I wanted to say about the RG match. I said I would explain the “blaming on Destiny” later, so I did.

    By the way, did that last part remind you of another match? First of all, kudos to Novak and Rafa for playing an incredible match. I watched from the fourth set 3-3. It was so exciting. The fifth set was too good from both of them. I was really rooting for Novak. Not just because or Roger, but for him. Too bad Rafa won. I know he will win his 8th RG, but I never realised this also means he will win his 12th GS.
    Novak was what Roger was in the Tsonga match only Novak was playing far and far better. For him the same, “Destiny” did not want him to win the match. Same for him: Whatever he tried, nothing worked. Him missing smashes he also ALWAYS gets. Him playing for points that don’t get beyond the net, him also missing netpoints, Rafa (so sickening) making a lob over him that (unbelievable) just gets in the lines. Him getting time violations so much that it does not bother him at all, but in that match it did. He slides so much that even if it looks like he is slipping away, he just changes his shoes and its over and that day he asked for spraying the courts? I honestly believe Novak since the day he so much as touched a racket, never ever stumbles on the net and that day of all the days he does? No, “Destiny” did not want Novak to win the Rafa match. That day was just not his day and maybe “Destiny” also has other plans for Novak (like I wrote earlier, I am not Novak’s fan, but I am warming up to the guy).

    Novak argueing to Pascal made me think about Roger argueing at the USO 2009 !!! Maybe people will now lay off Roger now that Novak has gone through it too. Roger got a 6-1 set in Rome, courtesy of Rafa and now Novak got a 6-1 set at RG. Roger lost four times to Rafa in a RG final, but he was there. Novak lost two times to Rafa in a RG final, but he was also there.
    And why is everybody (yes, including me) so judgemental about Roger’s ue’s?
    Roger made like 50 in the Tsonga match, Novak made like 75 in the Rafa match. It happens, even to the world number one.
    By the way, I really felt bad for Novak when he stumbled at the net and I REALLY felt bad for him when he lost. Did you see Rafa pointing like a tell-tail, like going to the teacher when you see another kid doing something wrong.
    Novak will get his careerslam next year, he deserves it. By the way, although Roger is treating RG as a “warm-up event” I cannot help get the feeling that he might win it once more, even with Rafa present. I honestly believe that if Roger defeats Rafa three or four times in a row on hardcourts/grass, then he will defeat him on clay, I honestly with my whole heart believe that.

    I also honestly believe that Rafa winning his 8th RG and his 12th GS will be his downfall and “Destiny” is clearing his path by removing Roger and Novak.

    Too bad for Novak though, I would have like to see him get his career slam. He deserves it.

    Rafa/Ferrer will be two boys running from right to left after every ball. Ferrer has played six hours less, as if that will make a difference.
    This is Rafaland and Rafa we are talking about. The same Rafa who returned EVERY impossible ball that Novak played in the last few games whereas even Novak had to laugh because he just did not believe it and where Novak was on camera breathless after that rally and Rafa just stood in 20 seconds back in position without even exhaling to catch his breath.

    I say Rafa in 6-3 6-2 6-1 or Rafa in 6-2 6-1 6-0.

    My actual last comment on RG is a positive one. Just like Roger, Novak’s strenght lies with his other half. What Mirka is to Roger, Jelena is to Novak. Novak pulled through because of Jelena. She encouraged him when he almost gave up. She told him to go for it. Behind every succesfull man……….

    A very long comment, but hope you get my point, “Destiny” has other greater plans for Roger than winning RG in Rafaland.
    By the way, Rafa may have won RG 7 times, he is not as popular or well liked if you would think.
    Roger and Novak get far and far more crowd support.
    Nice to see Roger playing doubles with his mate Haasi. And good that he has a difficult draw. He does not do too easy draws that well. He needs a fight in his draw.
    Ferrer is according to me, the second honest and nicest guy on tour. What you see is what you get. He does not act, does not put up a show, all he does is lay low, don’t get in controversies, work hard and fight for every point. I respect him and wish that he wins a GS, but when I think he is from Spain (and doctor Fuentes) and that he is also 31 but has the stamina of a 20 year old one, I cannot help myself think about is he doping too?
    I really like him. So…… if by some miracle or (because it is written in HIS stars or destiny) he does pull off a win over Rafa, I will be his fan for life, doping or no doping. Can you imagine what Rafa is going through? I think he told Friday to the Great Uncle Toni, lets skip practising, I am playing against Ferrer. I can beat him with my hands tide on my back and blindfolded. Do you think Rafa would get over such a loss? That at RG the world number one cannot beat him, the greatest of all time cannot beat him, but his little (as you guys call it whippingboy) can?
    That would be even harder than Rosol. Rafa would not get over that. He would get an injurybreak of atleast a year. The guy losing one match in 9 years at RG, losing to Ferrer???

    Katyani over and out.

    Ps: Sid, did you read everything? This takes a lot of time to come up with and type. It is 10 o’ Γ§lock in the morning. The match starts in 5 hours. I haven’t slept all night, so do me a favour and read all of it !!!
    Afterall Sid, you were the one who did not read my last long comment all the way !!!
    That is what my kind of people are: We believe a lot in “Destiny” (everything happens for a reason) and we never forget things !!!

    1. Boy was that long! Took me a while to get through the whole thing. In general, I’m not sure whether people will question Rafa about doping after this. The only reason we do it is because we have a ready made reason to dislike Rafa in the first place, namely his threat to Roger’s record.

      Great semi-final (and it WAS a semi, Katyani, so Novak has in fact only made one final), and going into the match, I honestly thought that if destiny had a part to play, it would be in Novak’s favour.

      6-4 6-2 6-4 to Rafa today; it’s a real shame he gets a whipping boy in the final, I simply can’t fathom how Nadal does it, hence the doping accusations. But I don’t think he will be as affected as you think if he loses to Ferrer. I think for everything we dislike about Rafa, even if his humility is mostly false, I do believe he respects Ferrer enough not to see this as a foregone conclusion.

      And just as an aside, I understand what you mean by us jumping on Roger’s back over his UE count, but you have to realise 50 UEs against Tsonga in 3 sets is definitely significantly worse statistically than 75 against the King of Clay over 5 sets. It’s not just the numbers, it’s the context they’re in, and having actually heard those numbers for the first time, it made me worry more, not less, about how flat Roger was when he lost.

      1. Hey John, I loved that match so much I forgot it was just a semi. You are right.
        You are also right about the ue’s. I just think he is not the only one who makes them that much, but it is way too much. He needs to make them less. Easier said than done. I am not the one playing !!! Are you watching the final? Already feel sorry for Ferrer.

    2. 2,280 words Katyani. If you ever bring out a book will there be enough paper in the world to print it? πŸ˜›

      Nadal is very lucky, clearly somebody is on his side somewhere. Djoker was definitely effected by the time violation. I like Maria as an umpire but I thought it was the wrong time to do it there, you gotta use discretion, it was a big point. He gave Dull warnings at like 40-0 etc which was perfectly acceptable.

      Anyway, the French is done. Moving over to grass, new chapter.

      1. Hey Jonathan. When I write such a long comment (mostly at night) I don’t think ahead.
        When I wake up and see it, then I kind of regret that it is that long and I see that I repeat myself a lot and then I get angry with myself, why can’t I make short and to the point comments or stories? Same problem at work, but working on it.
        A book by me? No, not enough paper in the world !!!

        One comment, it just was not Novak’s day and match. Rafa also got a time violation, he did not let it bother him. Unfortunately Novak could not do the same. Destiny??

        RG is already over, next is grass, nice that Roger is playing doubles. Hope he won’t get too tired. But at this stage, one match at the time, even one point at the time.

        Are you watching the final? I feel for Ferrer, but what can he do? Rafa knows now he will win. Don’t mind him the 8th RG, but do mind that it will be his 12th GS.

      2. Yeah, real shame Ferrer couldn’t get anything out of it… he didn’t play badly, Nadal was just better. But fear not, I’m not worried about Nadal. He’s bound to overdose at some point in the near future :p

      3. John, were you being sarcastic? πŸ™‚ He won’t overdose. He will simply take time off, re-juice, then return again in February 2014 for the clay swing.

      4. Yes, I was being sarcastic, Sid πŸ™‚ That said, I’m not sure who will win Wimbledon… I originally thought Murray would do it if he didn’t have to deal with Rafa until the final… but maybe Djokovic has a point to prove here. One thing, though, is that we don’t have to worry about Nadal later on in the season. Either he takes time off, or he plays, in which case, his eminent inferiority on fast surfaces will tell at some point.

    3. Katyani Congrats !! for the coment, however I hve to disgree with you, destiny had nothing to do with the way Roger failed on winning Tsonga, he played crappy tenis so he lost in a poorly manner. The fact is that he cant beat Nadul and that he looks not interested any more, grass us welcome but I dont have to high spectations for Roger because of the lack of attitude he is sowhing.
      I dont think is fair also to state that Nadul is dopping gim self, even that I really but really dislike the guy, Saying he is doping is something that Roger will not like us as his fans to do, Nadul is playing great and period, and I am very sad by the way GS record of Roger is in danger, Roger is 31 and Nadul just got into 27 so there is a clear chance that Rogers record will be pass.

      Roger needs to have the will to win and not playing cpoorly as he has done lately. Sorry but that is my feeling, I hate Nadul and everything he represents, but I am very concerned about how Roger is playing. The fact that Nadul can break Rogers record is just something that will pull me away from Tennis.

      1. He Mike, congrats for what? For Rafa winning, because that is not something I or a lot of us wanted.
        Mike I just gave my opinion. I don’t want to make it out that destiny made Roger lose. he also had a big hand in it, he was not playing good. But you have to admit, nothing he wanted or tried worked. Just like for Novak, only Novak played way and way better. It is not only destiny that made Roger lose, but I believe it has a part in it.
        For me it was like Novak/Rafa-final at USO 2011. Almost nothing Rafa tried worked. Novak played amazing, but Rafa had so much bad luck, to be honest I felt sorry for him at that moment.

        I am glad that Roger is playing doubles at Halle. He wants to improve some aspects and have more matches, so we will see. But I am not setting myself up with goals. One match at the time, one point at the time. We wil see how far we get than. Hopefully the final, but lets see. No pressure on Roger, no expectations.
        I have actually for Roger just one wish (winning WTF). The rest is a bonus. He deserves atleast that.

        About Rafa, well lets see. What goes up… has to come down too, so lets wait.
        And like I said on Friday, if Novak had won, he would have deserved a careerslam. But I also said that if Rafa would win the final he would deserve it too (for the way he fought in the first week).

        Only disadvantage that Rafa won is the Great Uncle Toni. After this he will have more things to say.

      2. Katyani, I’ll read your post last but let me respond to Mike.

        [Destiny had nothing to do with the way Roger failed on winning Tsonga]
        Mike, agreed it wasn’t destiny. Roger was not invested. He probably didn’t want to. All part of the plan.

        [Saying he is doping is something that Roger will not like us as his fans to do]
        Roger knows Nadal is doping. Most of the field knows that. But proving it would kill tennis. It will also destroys Roger’s legacy: I mean, imagine being the GOAT of a sport rampant with doping? Too much at stake for the tennis industry.

        [The fact that Nadul can break Rogers record is just something that will pull me away from Tennis]
        I’m sick of these Spanish dopers too and it will only get worse. This nation of cheaters has destroyed the sport. But I’m going to continue watching Federer even if he keeps losing. Once he retires, I will only play tennis.

      3. And Mike, just one last thing about doping. My religion and upbringing says that you should respect everybody, that everything happens for a reason, that the truth will come out someday somehow, that you cannot outrun or outdo your destiny and karma and that you should be happy and respectful of other ones accomplishments. So it is not good for my karma that I am questioning Rafa’s accomplishments. But I cannot help it. I don’t trust him and really believe he is doing something wrong. That is why I just can’t be happy and respectful of everything he has accomplished. I am sorry, but that is how I am. If you deserve it, I would be happy, otherwise I keep thinking why is no one figuring it out.
        But I also said that if it turns out that Rafa is not doping or doing something wrong, than I would be the first one on the web everywhere to apologise to him.
        And I have also said that as much as I love Roger, if he is doping, he should be punished too.

      4. [Sid]
        “It will also destroys Roger’s legacy: I mean, imagine being the GOAT of a sport rampant with doping? Too much at stake for the tennis industry”
        I duuno, I don’t think it will destroy Roger’s legacy at all :/

        Feel the same way. Let him pass 17 slams, if he is truly doping I believe the truth will come out eventually.
        Really though the world of Tennis needs a figure like Travis Tygart or David Walsh. Just saying πŸ˜€

      5. Scooter, no matter how you look at it, if it’s ever proven that Nadal dopes, it would diminish Roger’s legacy too. I know you can’t compute what I’m trying to say but if you think hard, you wil ll know what I mean. The sport itself will be tarnished. Roger will become the GOAT of a tarnished sport.

        I don’t think the truth will ever be out. The Spanish government has the information but are refusing to release it. Even if they do, don’t you think it will be manipulated? It’s not going to happen unless the ITF comes up with a very strict testing regimen. That many not be enough either because these doping doctors are smart enough to conceal any traces of banned substances.

        I had no idea who those two gentlemen were, had to look them up.

      6. Sorry, my last post about this.

        [I don’t think the truth will ever be out. ]
        A really depressing thought.

        I think if Armstrong can be exposed so can anyone else. Despite the “protection” he seems to have. Call it fate, karma or whatever it is. In the realms of sports do you think someone has ever gotten away with it? I don’t know.

        Even if it never comes out, I think there will always be doubts in the minds of fans and sports commentators.

    4. [he knows he will be beaten so he does not want to meet Roger there to give him a honest chance to improve the H2H
      Totally agree! After AO2011, Nadal smartly planned his schedule and in the next 18 months, met Djokovic just five time, all on clay, for a 4-1 record.

      [But now I am thinking, maybe he should have gone to the final]
      And no, I’d rather Roger not make the final. Nobody is going to care how many clay finals Roger made it to. They will only see the H2H as a number. The problem is, player like Roger and Djokovic take the bait and keep playing Nadal on clay.

      I completely disagree with the “destiny” agreement. You make your own destiny. If Djokovic did not win, he wasn’t good enough, or as I would say, not doped enough. You can’t compete with someone who has an unfair advantage over you.

      1. I agree with everything Sid says..But just one thing bothers me..If Roger did make the final he would have been sure to be seeded second for Wimby..

      2. And that could well turn out to be important now that Ferrer is sure to be seeded fourth..

      3. Folks, all this talk about seeding: Did you know that regardless of how the seedings are determined by using a special points systems, the Wimbledon committee has complete control on changing the seed order if they wish to. So, even if they determine Roger is third or fourth, per the rules, they will be well within their rights to seed him second. That just might happen.

      4. Yeah and I think it is true for all grand slams..So I dont see that happening dont you think ? They didnt bump Nadal’s seeding at the French..

      5. Ajay, no, not true for all slams. Other slams go by the ATP ranking points. Wimbledon is an exception as it gives additional credit for grass court tournaments won over the last two year and also allows for changing the seed order regardless of the re-calculated points. So, I think Roger may end up being the No.2 seed.

      6. Yes Sid I know about their special points calculation..But even at the French the officials came out and said they wont change Dull’s seed..So that might happen at Wimbledon as well..

      7. Precisely my point, Ajay! The French Open doesn’t allow for randomly changing seed order. But Wimbledon has a rule that gives them the liberty to do so. They may move Nadal into fourth, who knows. So, my predicted order would be,

        1 – Djokovic
        2 – Roger
        3 – Murray
        4 – Nadal

    5. @Katyani, Sid, and all the rest who think Nadal is doping:

      Honestly, why do you think Nadal is doping? What I see so often are opinions along the lines of “geez, no one can [insert an incredible physical feat by Rafa], it’s not humanly possible. He must be doping.” But such arguments, they just reveal a very limited imagination and narrow understanding of humans’ physical limits. Just because you have a gut feeling that something is physically impossible without doping, doesn’t mean it is. Maybe the guy just has better genes than most people, maybe he trains super hard, maybe his mental toughness is just out of this world. Can’t you accept that some super athletes’ physique are beyond your (a layman) imagination?

      So you guys, why do you think Nadal’s doping? I hope it’s not just because of your gut feeling…

      I don’t know if he’s doping or not. Tennis players dont get checked often and even if they do, some of the newer dopes are almost impossible to detect. For all I know Rafa could be doping (Djokovic and Federer too). There’s no way to know for sure, so until conclusive truth comes out (which won’t ever happen), don’t let ideas of doping mar your enjoyment of the game!

      1. Johan, not sure if you read that article (Google: The curious case of Rafael Nadal) but he exactly fits the profile of an athlete who dopes. Not sure if you’ve been reading my other posts but there’s more to it. The Fuentes case for example. The Spanish government not releasing the names of doped athletes.

        Federer poops the moment a match gets physical. Maybe his dope isn’t as good as Nadal’s πŸ˜‰ Besides, his games isn’t based on physique, but seeing and playing the ball very early. Dope doesn’t help you there, sorry. That’s just genius!

      2. [don’t let ideas of doping mar your enjoyment of the game!]

        Really, Johan? Enjoying two guys grunting with each other in perfect harmony for hours? That sweet music to your ears, huh?!?

      3. Why do we think he is doping ?What you said is not the only reason..Lets analyse Rafa..He always does well at the French..Then he never does well at Wimbledon warm up..Always does well at Wimbledon..Never does well at either Montreal/Toronto or Cincinnati ..Always does well at the US.And the his season is pretty much done after that since he just seems to show up for the indoor tournies for money..At the beginning of the year he does decently well up until Miami ,not winning much but going deep every time..however he always keeps complaining about his knee..Just look at last year if you want..Aussie open ,he kept saying his knee was bad but almost won it..Miami he actually withdrew from the Semis..And then what happens..He goes on a complete tear..Wimby 2011..Same thing..He seems like he is going to retire against Del Potro ,then comes back and wins the tiebreaker and takes the match in fous sets and reaches the final..US open 2011 he faints in a press conference and then again almost wins it..But the one I feel is humanly impossible is Aus 2009..He was fitter than Federer at the end of the final..Which is just not possible..Federer was 27 at that time ,almost at his physical peak..And remember this is Fed we are talking about..This guy played 97 matches in a year..That too in a year when Masters had a five set final..And that is even higher than Rafa has ever played..I could go on..

      4. And yeah Sid..Totally agree with you..Tennis is going nowhere..I just saw that recently since Wrestling has changed many of their rules in order to make it more interesting so that they can get their Olympics berth back..I think tennis also needs a kick in the backside like that for the guys at the top to get proactive..

      5. I am just going to say some things that I truly believe will help tennis become much more popular..And look this is not based on the fact that I love Roger and hate Nadal..

        1.Increase the length of the grass court season..Make sure there is a month between the French and Wimbledon..Have a 500,a masters and two weeks for 250s..
        2.Shorten the hard court swing..I for one understand how much wear and tear that playing professional sports in this age of extreme physicality ,can bring..So we got to get the right balance..One of the things I really agree with Rafa is that Grass and Clay are two surfaces that don’t take so much out of your body..But we have a disproportionately long clay court season..So we can take a week out of the clay and one or two weeks out of the hard court season and we can have a longer Grass court season..So now this brings us to where we take them from..I think all of us agree that Miami is way too slow to be even called hard..And then there is Montecarlo which clearly ,observing its popularity,does not deserve to be a Masters..
        3.Next thing we need to do is get the speed of the surfaces varied again..Look I can agree with the speed of both the Aussie open and the French..But slowing down Wimbledon and the US is shit..What we need is some sort of middle path..For that I propose two things..Firstly from the Aussie open till Indian Wells we need to make sure the speeds remain as it is..Meaning I know the courts are slow ,but as a compromise we can have decently slow hard courts..While ensuring that they don’t get any slower year after year..But starting from Halle up till WTF we really need to fasten up all the tournies..Especially the indoor ones like the WTF ,which are so painfully slow that it seems a disgrace that indoor tournaments are usually thought to be the fastest..Again a compromise would be that there can be one or two somewhat slow indoor events but the majority should be fast..And at present it is the reverse..
        3.Change the time limit for serving from 20 to 25 at the grand slams as well..Then have a uniform policy of giving warnings very strictly at all tournies so that F****** B******* like Nadal don’t take all eternity to serve..I mean his matches are just not watchable for this one reason alone.. And I will tell you guys one more thing.At the semis vs Djoker,Nadal had an average time of 31 seconds between serves..While Novak only had 24 !! And that dumb referee just bowed down to Nadal by giving Novak the time warning at such an inopportune time for him..I mean this is no more just sports..Almost seems like dirty Indian politics..
        4.Stop players grunting by having some sort of machine measure the decibels and handing out code violations if they go above a certain limit..This I propose be started at the Juniors first ..Because it would be unfair to guys like Nadal or Sharapove who have been doing this their entire careers..And in another six seven years introduce it into the pros as well..
        5.And I guess this is the most important one..Have very stringent drug testing measures..I mean the current one is not only inadequate but it almost seems like the ATP is asking its players to dope..Such a lackadaisical organisation ,the ATP seem to be..Look the physicality of the game has reached such heights that it would drive most guys out there to seek new avenues..And sometimes it gets illegal..I cannot say with certainty that Nadal is a doper..But everything seems to point towards that..

        This is my 5 point agenda for clearing up this huge mess tennis seems to be in..

      6. Hey Sid,

        I’d really have to disagree with you on that one. I’ve never felt that Federer poops when a match gets physical. He’s just as physically and mentally strong as Nadal and Djokovic. It’s just the way he plays, and the immense scrutiny that we, as fans put him through, that might make it appear otherwise.

      7. Gaurav, ok, I concede. But the point I was trying to make: It certainly doesn’t help in a long physical match if your opponents resort to PED’s or CVAC pods. If they don’t get tired, they will outlast you. Humans get tired man. No matter what sport it is, you get tired and at some point it shows. But tennis players? You can’t just attribute it to genetics. Tennis players aren’t any more special than athletes in other sports. There’s a lot more to it and we all know what it is.

        Jonathan is going to get really mad now as we continue to persist with this doping discussion. I hope I haven’t seriously impaired my chances of winning that RF cap. What if he simply doesn’t put my name in that drawing hat, hmmm? πŸ™‚

      8. Nadal taking an average of 6 more seconds than Djokovic between service points translates to roughly 16 minutes of extra rest on serve in total. That may not seem a lot…but is a lot.

        [Look the physicality of the game has reached such heights that it would drive most guys out there to seek new avenues]
        You perfectly put the situation into words.

      9. @Sid: Thanks for pointing out that article. It really does sound suspicious when you look at Nadal like that… But still, we can never know for sure, huh?

      10. Johan, there’s a post that Jonathan made sometime back on the same topic which had that link. The good thing about that article: the discussion is pretty cordial. No crazy Nadal fans. I guess they really can’t refute much πŸ™‚

        How in the world can someone be on an injury break for 8 months then win 7 out of 9 tournaments on comeback? It.simply.cannot.happen!

        I particularly like the part where someone pointed out the surprise drug tests during the 2009 French Open that completely threw Spanish players off balance. Roger was lucky that happened. It paved his way for winning his first French open πŸ™‚

      11. Sid, if what we believe is true, would you like the truth to come out regardless of the perceived consequences it might have on the sport and also to Roger’s legacy?

  14. Jonathan do you know if in the calculation of points for seeding at wimbledon ,whether the points of Olympics last year are calculated as a grass tournie and added ? Because that could really determine whether Roger or Andy is seeded second..Especially since Dull is now sure to be seeded fifth since he withdrew from Halle..

    1. Sorry, Jonathan. Cause and effect. Someone brought up the dope argument in their comments, to which I replied and it all spiraled out of control.

      The Halle tournament is staring soon? Na Wunderbar! To grass I say, Prost!


    2. Jonathan ,I am sorry about my long comment here some few minutes ago ..But I really wanted to get that one out of me since I have been thinking about it so much lately..But I will make sure I post only relevant comments hereafter..So can you please tell when the seedings for Wimbledoin are coming out ?

      1. The seedings have already been released and they are exactly like the rankings:
        1. Djokovic
        2. Murray
        3. Federer
        4. Ferrer
        5. Nadal

        Fed got lucky at FO not to draw Nadal but I don’t think he escapes it here where it counts. But Fed beating Nadal at Wimbledon again after all these years could spur him on for great things.

      2. I don’t think they announce seedings so early..I just saw that last year they announced it on the 20th..So why so early this time ?

      3. Sorry my bad, they haven’t been released but a lot of people ave calculated them after Nadal won RG. Nadal would’ve had to won Halle as well to be seeded 4 and the rest are like the rankings so don’t hold your breadth for Fed to get #2, it’s not going to happen unfortunately.

      4. The seedings are fairly easy to calculate. Let’s look at Roger: he won Wimbledon, and silvered the olympics. Halle is a tournament that comes before the seedings are determined, so Roger will carry whatever points he gets from here into the tournament. :et’s say he wins Halle, as best case.

        2000+300+250=2550. He currently has 7490 (excluding the Halle points from the year before).
        Also, he gains 75% of his BEST tournament on grass in the 12 months before last year. This will be Wimbledon, a QF exit to Tsonga, which adds 360*0.75=270 points. Hence, Roger totals:

        2550+7490+270= 10310 going into Wimbledon 2013.

        If we make similar comparisons for Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Ferrer, we find:

        Nadal: (6895-45)+45+1200*0.75=7795
        Djokovic: 11830+720+180+1500=14230
        Murray: 8310-20+250+1700+540=10780
        Ferrer: 7220-250+250+360+135=7715

        This is in the assumed event that Ferrer, Murray and Federer all win their warm up events this year.

        Hence this gives us

        1)Djokovic, 2) Murray, 3) Federer, 4) Nadal, 5) Ferrer

        I’m not entirely certain why Nadal finishes ahead of Ferrer in the calculation (obviously 2011 plays a big part), so if anyone can see where I’ve messed up mathematically, do please tell me.

      5. Johan, you made a small mistake in the points of Ferrer..Seedings would be made before the points from warm tournament he played last year are reduced..So his points can already be told for sure:7220+250+360+135=7965

      6. Hey Ajay, in that case, we can safely knock a few points off Murray too, namely 250… and Roger would lose 100 from his current total. And it’s John, not Johan :p Thanks for the spot anyway.

      7. John, wow! That’s some incredible work you did there. You know in a few years from now, Roger Federer will retire. And so will I, as Director of Rankings Permutations at PeRFect tennis. I’ll talk to Jonathan and put in a good word about you as a worthy replacement πŸ™‚

      8. Haha thanks Sid. Although I should point out I didn’t consider any permutations at all in my work, just assumptions. And as a maths student, I’d expect this sort of thing to work out :p

  15. Hey Jonathan,
    I was the one starting the doping debate in my comment, but I had to tell my opinion about it.

    Hey Sid,
    I disagree with you on one thing. Now that I look back, Roger should have gone to the RG final.
    Actually, besides Rome, he could have made atleast two clay finals (certainly by defeating Kei). And I think he should have played all those four clay finals against Rafa. Would he have won? No, not even one. The H2H would be unbearable and ridiculous, but…………….. when haters and critics would destroy Roger about the lopsided H2H with Rafa, they would also HAVE to say, that yes, Roger lost again four clay finals to Rafa, but he WAS THERE. And we all know that if Roger does well from now on, Rafa will not be in the final against him.
    Even his haters would have to agree that almost 75 % of the H2H is on clay where Roger has kept HIS part of the rivalry by beeing present at a clay final and Rafa was a no show when it was Roger’s time to do something about the H2H.

    So yes, as bad as it would be for us Roger fans to see Roger be defeated again by Rafa for four times, we would also be proud that he showed up in the final and that he was not trying to tank matches.
    I even think it would be good for his mental block, not Rafa defeating him over and over, but that he is not giving Rafa the satisfaction of thinking that Roger tanks matches to avoid him.

    Hey Jonan,
    I don’t think that anyone who beats Roger is doping. I know Tsonga, Novak, Berdych, Delpo, Andy and the rest are not doping. I know that. I know Roger is also not doping, because he is losing a lot, he looks tired and is a little bit slow. In the Tsonga match, I saw (according to me) the first time that Roger took more time between points. And by more time I mean two or three seconds, but for his doing more time. He was obvious tired, trying to catch his breath and grunting after every point (which he never does).
    But I do know for sure about Rafa. Did you see the final? Ferrer played six hours less, was running around, was tired, was breathing hard, was coughing and Rafa not even looked tired or not even looked like he was trying to catch a breath.

    As I wrote before, I am not proud of thinking like that about a player, but be honest, he does give us reasons to think like that, right? In case you missed it, in less than four months, 9 finals, big tours, winning 7 of them.

    1. Oh, and you guys are right about one thing, lets leave this doping story behind. We all had our say in it.
      We all wrote how we see things and feel about them.

      Lets look forward to Halle. I look more forward to Roger and Haasi playing doubles !!!
      Two German oldies goldies from a so called weak era showing the young kids how to do it !!!

      Go Roger Go.

    2. Yes Katyani, you make some valid points. The AO final against Federer in 2009 was unbelievable too. He didnt even look like he was tired when playing Roger, after that brutal semifinal against Verdasco. But if you read his book, he was actually feeling very tired indeed. We may never know, he might be one big liar for all we know. So I cannot know for sure, but I choose to believe that Nadal doesn’t dope. Why? Well, because it allows me to enjoy his heroics and admire his strength; i.e. for my personal enjoyment πŸ˜›

  16. Folks, I must apologize to everyone for persisting with the doping discussion. But please understand, while I’m not upset that someday, someone may overhaul Roger’s slam record, I’m devastated that it could be someone I believe uses unfair means. It’s like stealing trophies from others, stealing their legacy. I wish I could say that I respect Nadal for his achievements, believe me, I really wish I could do that. But I can’t. There’s too much I’ve seen and read. And hence, the passionate comments.

    But, let’s talk about Halle. I have never really followed it but I guess now I will. I don’t think Roger is really concerned about winning it. He is just looking forward, as someone pointed out, to getting some feel on the grass. And this is where his 90 sq. in racquet would be his best friend πŸ™‚ A Wimbledon win by Roger would be another early birthday present for me like last year.

    Roger should beat Janowicz. After that, anything is possible.

    1. I don’t know Sid. I think this title is critical for Federer to get and he should get it. He needs a title ASAP. When was the last time he went title-less into Wimbledon? He needs to get confidence back if he is to be a threat at Wimbledon especially with a resurgent Dramadal waiting- I believe the title is the only way he is gonna get it.

    2. Halle is worth watching Sid, good stadium and plays faster than Wimbledon.

      I don’t think he’s a lock for Halle but he has a chance. Not sure on Janowicz but he could be very dangerous. Would be bad if he lost to him though.

      1. Yeah Halle is really nice to watch..But not when you see Roger lose..Even though it is just doubles..

      1. I’ll let you know only if Roger wins Wimbledon. If not, I’ll be too sad to even think about it πŸ™‚

      2. Realise this isn’t aimed at me, but fun fact:

        My dad’s birthday is on 8th August, the same as Roger’s
        My birthday is on the 23rd of July, the same as the twins’.

      3. You were destined to be a Roger fan, John, the day you were born!


      4. But Sid, do let me know, I think both our birthdays are soon after one and another…

    3. Halle is the best tournament in Germany we have here in terms of players. That is why i am a regular attendent. You should come here. The venue is amazing.

    4. Roger hasn’t played well in Halle in recent years, so I haven’t been watching it. Maybe I will. Cheers to Roger winning Halle this year!

  17. Nadal and S Williams, you couldn’t ask for two nicer, most wonderfully sporting human beings, who you never hear complain about anything, to win @RG (can you tell I’m being sarcastic?).

    1. Ok, I had a 500 word reply mentally prepared but then I reached the end of your comment…..Oops! πŸ™‚

      1. I was about to hammer you on Serena never complaining πŸ˜€ good thing I read to the end πŸ˜‰

      2. You could have died, Dave, you could’ve died had both Simon and I jumped the gun πŸ™‚

    2. Roland Garros was a garbage tournament, well a garbage final, some of the matches were good, Gascoke vs Stanchoke was fun, and even the Dull Djoker semi had its moments.

      1. As a whole Roland Garros is equivalent to Rome and Monte Carlo now… maybe next year is better.
        But yes some good matches, I’ll say.

  18. Too bad Roger and Haasi’s doubles journey has ended so soon. But Roger did play well.
    Hopefully they will do it more, but to be honest, I don’t know if they were taking it seriously, looked more like to German friends having fun on the court and more on their chairs !!!

    Ps: Roger was not the weakest link !!!

      1. Sad they lost though, would have liked to have seen more of team “Haaserer”

      2. What was nice to see was that there was a lot of crowd and of course Roger got a great reception as usual, but I really don’t think Haasi and he took it seriously.

        Also nice to see one of the twins sitting on Mirka’s lap and the other one reading a book on the nanny’s lap.

      3. Haaserer or Fedaasi? Haaserer is better, but would be nice to have Roger’s name first.

      1. That would spell trouble if they go into a deep run in the doubles at Halle. They could be gassed out early on. Better than ‘withdrawing” from the actual tour πŸ˜€

      2. Gassed out early on? In doubles? On grass? πŸ™‚ It would actually help with serve, returning, and of course, volley.

  19. Hi guys, I don’t know if anyone saw the doubles match, but Roger was actually very good. Haasi not that good, that is why the other team kept playing the ball his side more. He was actually the weakest link.
    Not to say that they lost only because of him, no, Roger also did not give it his “usual”.
    But some of his shots were Roger shots. Also nice was that when he had to serve, he won that game in about a minute every time.
    They were not taking it seriously at all, maybe they had to get use to the idea of them playing doubles.
    The point they lost because they both were trying to hit the ball was hilarious !!!

    What do you guys think, will Roger take Halle seriously? I don’t know.

    1. Roger will be taking Halle very serious, he knows he is need of a title and he needs momentum for Wimbledon. Roger has been missing confidence that you can only get from winning matches and tournaments in particular, other than Rome in the last few months, he hasn’t made it deep into the tournament to find such rhythm and put himself in a good position to win the title. Gotta take advantage here, especially since Nadal withdrew.

    2. Course he will take it seriously. He doesn’t ever not take a tournament seriously.

      He has subconsciously written tournaments off in his head before, but he still at least tries to produce something.

  20. Looking at the photos of the double match yesterday I noticed Federer playing without a headband. Almost threw me off a bit because I’ve come to expect him to look a certain way with the headband.

  21. Raonic down, Petzschner has withdrawn, so Roger will most likely play Janowicz in the QF and Haas/Monfils in the SF, if he gets through these 2 I say he has a decent chance of winning the title. Not hoping too much and just want Roger to get grass matches under his belt.

  22. Anyone see the Dimitrov-Sela match yesterday? Did you Jonathan? British teenage girls are so funny !!!
    Dimi’s match was the last one yesterday. Maria was also there to watch.
    (Someone needs to tell her that she is gorgeous and looks like a stunning model, but that even she needs to comb her hair !!!).
    Anyway, the British ballgirls were sitting in three rows druling over Dimi, so funny.
    One girl in particular was so nervous when he was behind or when he was losing, she kept praying, thanking God and was so into the moment. They showed her so many times and then they showed Maria who just did not care THAT much. So funny, Tennis has got a new heartthrob !!!

    Ps: Maria needs to sleep with one eye open, who knows when a ballgirl in blue will try to do something !!!

  23. Hi guys, what do you think about this:

    In the beginning of this year I said that this would be Roger’s year (has not been so far), but that he is aiming for ending world number 1, so he can get the last record he does not have of Pete, the ending at the year for the 6th time as world number one.
    You know Roger, he wants all the records that his hero Pete has and this is one record he doesn’t have.
    Do you guys think that he is playing not so good up to now (oke backpain did happen) because he wants to save energy or he wants to burst out for the part from now on?
    Afterall, except for AO and IW, he SHOULD have made all the finals this year.

    I have said this before and I am saying it again, Roger is up to something !!!

    1. Hi Katyani,

      I can understand conserving energy for some sort of push, but the way things are now, Fed simply isn’t going to get year end no.1. If he theoretically wins all tournaments from now on, then yes, but even in his prime years that didn’t happen, so I don’t think it’s likely. I’m sure he’d love the record, but I don’t see it as his primary aim.

      Out of the matches he’s played this year, he’s been disappointing in results and performance to some extent. But if we look at energy spent, Tsonga at the AO took it out of him, and I have nothing but pride for the way he stood up to Murray in the semis; at least that match, more than others this year, showed how much fight he had in him.

      In dubai, he should have beaten Berdych, but I’d argue he wasted more energy fighting him and ultimately losing than any loss to Novak, especially as he’d have wanted revenge for the US Open.

      Indian Wells, I think we can attribute to the back, and Miami he withdrew.

      You could make a case to say he tanked in Madrid, but why choose to go for it in Rome, when he has vastly superior chances in Madrid, and a better record? And as for the French, that, I think, is the only time this year where Fed has lost because he didn’t care enough. Most of the time, you can say he tried but didn’t come up with the goods. Not this time.

      Anyway, the bottom line is, I don’t think any player could throw away so much for the second half of the season (yes, I know Nadal did something similar). I don’t think there IS a plan, Roger will simply click at some point. Or not. We’ll see, but any success he has from now, I wouldn’t view as a “grand scheme” more as a “patience” thing; by this I mean that if he wins, for instance, the Us Open, it won’t be because he lost earlier this year, it will be because he happens to peak then.

      Ultimately, Katyani, I think he’s not playing well now because he can no longer be as consistent as he was, not because he simply didn’t want to waste time fighting. The simplest illustration of this is just how much he cared in the AO semi. I consider the Aussie campaign one of his fine ones, possibly his best out of the years he didn’t win, with the possible exception of 2009 or 2005, so I’m sure it wasn’t an issue with planning that came up; Murray was simply too good for a tired Fed.


      1. Perfect answer John! Katyani, Roger messed up too much this year to have a chance in world end #1. not even sure if he won everything he’d be first (nadal has NOTHING to defend). I’m going for Dramadal for year end #1, as much as I hate it, but he has 45 points to defend until the tour finals. so I believe Dull is getting the year end trophy πŸ™ couldn’t be more pleased if I’m proved wrong though!

      2. Thanks, Simon. I more or less agree with you about the whole Rafa thing, but if Djokovic repeats what he managed last year (and it isn’t by any means far fetched to see that) then he’s finishing on something like 12000 points. And I’m not sure Nadal has ever had a good enough last half of year to total that count. If we look at 2010, by far his best ever year in terms of performance and results, he ended on 12450. I honestly don’t see him winning both of the remaining slams, and I doubt he’ll reach the final of the US, or in fact Montreal/Cincinnati for that matter. That leaves the indoor swing to try and get around 2500 points, say. Not unachievable, but unlike 2010, Nadal will have to deal with Roger, Novak and Andy, so I don’t think he’ll manage it.

      3. He John, Simon and Jonathan, you know I am not a complete fool (or as some would say a “blind worshipper”) who thinks Roger will win everything from now on. For me, lets aim at QF and SF, the rest is a bonus. Would love if he could win WTF (and Wimby, but that will be Andy’s this year).
        The most proud I am of Roger since he won Cincy is:
        The SF against Andy at WTF
        The Final against Novak at WTF
        And all the matches he played at AO this year.
        ESPECIALLY AO this year. He was fighting with tooth and nail (is that correct?).
        AO has been the hightlight for me this year, because of his fight and never willing to give up or quit.

        But………. you have to think about this too. He lost Halle last year (which he could have won, no offence to Haas) and the next thing you know…. if he wins Wimby, he will have enough points to get back to world number one.
        Not if he would win Wimby QF, or SF, but the Final !!!
        That is why I think he went for it. They were planning with points, so that if he wanted it, it would be in the final and not sooner, so he needed to fight harder.
        That is what I mean. I know he is older, slower, has more backpain, but maybe they were planning with the points so that he could be world number one at the end of the year, maybe just a week or so, but still.

        Am I explaining this the right way? Do you guys know what I mean?
        The guy has backproblems his whole career. Has more competition since 2010.
        Is becoming slower for a while now, but just by winning Wimby last year, he becomes word number one.

        I can’t help the feeling that, although they did not anticipated this much backproblems, that Roger and his team are up to something.

      4. Sorry Katyani, I see where you’re coming from, I really do, and as much as you, I want something like that to happen. But we have to consider a few points:

        1) I do not believe Roger lost to Haas in Halle last year as a plan for gaining points this year: no one plans that far ahead, and honestly, I think he just went soft on a great friend at his home tournament.

        2) Let’s say he wins Wimbledon and Halle. He’ll be on 7740 points. Now, supposing he also wins the Us Open and the WTF undefeated. Then he’ll be on 10080 points, which is some 1000 less than Novak currently has. Let’s also say he wins Cincy again. 10080, no change. Suppose he wins Basel, 10380. Even if I were so inclined to think Roger can do this (and I’m afraid to say I don’t), he’d be maxing out at 12600 ish points, assuming he wins Montreal, Paris, and Shanghai into the bargain. That’s significantly higher than he managed in any of his years in terms of 2nd half of season, even in his prime. And with all that, if Novak just reaches a few finals more, and defends his fairly smooth set from last year (easily imaginable), then Novak still pips him to no.1.

        The overriding point is, best case scenario, Fed plays better than in his prime for a whole half year, beating players like Andy, Novak and Rafa regularly. And yet Djokovic just has to turn up and beat the rest, and the YE1 ranking goes to him. I’m not going so far as to say it’s mathematically impossible, and as a student studying mathematics, I couldn’t without compromising my chances in finals :p, but it is, to all intents and purposes, practically impossible, especially as Fed also drops 300 from the Olympics which just occured to me.

        3) Conversely, bottom line, say Roger reaches regular semis and wins a few events, including a major and the WTF, which is the more likely and yet still impressive scenario. He ends on probably 10000 points, which would require Novak to do a fair bit worse than last year to get down to. And even supposing he does, Nadal is there to win things. In addition to all that, Fed will probably have to deal with 2 of the top 4 in almost every one of these big tournaments he wins. Unlikely no.1.

        4) Worst case scenario to Wimbledon, Roger drops to no.5. And no player, ever since rankings were established as a rolling points system, has ever managed to finish world no.1 from no.5 post wimbledon. Impossible.

        Ultimately, as much as I admire your positive spirit, I believe you may be seeing what isn’t there to see. No player, in my opinion, would start to plan things so early in advance in terms of ranking permutations, especially as they can’t predict what other players will do.

        To end on a positive note, if scenario 3 happens, I won’t care about the YEn1 record. It will simply be peRFection for all us fans.

      5. Folks, you’re getting too carried away. Roger has the slightest of chances to reach the No.1 but he will practically have to win everything starting Wimbledon or win two of the big three with decent performances in the Masters and hope for a major Novak slip.

        Nadal has a better chance than Roger that is if he has enough left. Wait…Nadal has enough left? Of course! He lives in Mallorca! So, Nadal cannot rely on winning the riff raff tournaments. He must go for the kill, win two of the big three, add some points in the Masters and pip Novak by a few hundred. Impossible, but there’s not a whole lot Dopal cannot do. Even that may not be enough if Novak keeps making a lot of finals.

        Bottom line is, both Roger and Nadal have a chance. Nadal has a better chance because he hardly defends anything. In either case, Novak must slip.

        Don’t forget Murray. He could win Wimbledon, defend the US Open and win the WTF.

        Again, Novak is in a great position to just play good defense and still get there. He can improve at Wimbledon too to counter for any slip at the WTF. If he wins either of the next two slams, he is a lock.

        But, all I want this year is for Roger to win Wimbledon. I don’t give a d*** if he finishes 5th in the rankings πŸ™‚

      6. He John, thank you for explaining it to me so good and with numbers.
        I just have this feeling but I do not have the knowlegde to explain it with numbers.
        You did that very good and clear. Ah, maybe I am just a positive dreamer. He will not have a chance to be number one this year, but maybe, just maybe next year? He does not have to defend much next year, right?

        You know, even with backpain, he is not playing bad at all. I do think this year his confidence was a little shaken, but I also believe him when he says that from now on his season will start and he will do fine and oke.

        For me, if he wins only one title, please let it be the WTF.

        And somehow, I think he will do anything (legal, no Rafa measurements) to get 8th Wimby. It must bother him that Rafa got a 8th title before him.

        And speaking about Rafa….. I know he has nothing to defend, all to gain, but will he last till the end of the year?? With his “knees” and all the matches he has already played??

        Again, John, thank you for explaining it to me, and don’t mind me, I am not a fool or a blind worshipper or someone who sees everything sunny, I just want it all for Roger, because he deserves it the most.

      7. Yeah we can understand that you want everything for Roger, but he’s done so much already πŸ™‚ Don’t know about Rog gunning for 8th wimby, i’ll tell you that when we see how he plays in Halle and the first matches at the AELTC.

        And for Rafa, you still believe he has a knee problem?! I think he’s playing all year, until he gets a hard loss and blames it on his knees… Kind of what happenned at halle, given he got thumped there erverytime he went… (never got to semis if i’m not mistaken?)

      8. He Simon, you are right. On one hand I think Rafa will play all and everything till the end of this year, but on the other hand all it takes is one good loss against someone to shake him up.
        Preferebly Rosol?? That is what bothered him the most last year at Wimby, not only the fact that Rosol won, but also the fact that the crowd was all for Rosol (including me).
        I don’t think he anticipated so much crowd support for the opponent.

        You know what will be discusting, Rafa will go down history as the guy who made 9 or more straight finals in a year. Little does ‘history’ know that he had 8 months to practise and up his game while all the others kept playing and tiring their bodies !!!

        And Simon as far as Roger is concerned, this year it is one match at the time, one point at the time and hopefully we will be in the final and winning it also !!!

        And you are right about another thing, Roger gave us already so much….. but I want him to win more for himself and his legacy.

        Ah, Roger fans…. they are never happy with what they got and always want more……

    2. Fed has plenty to prove from now until the end of the season but no way he’s ending at year end #1. Djoker will end up year end #1 I think.

      1. I hate to say it but I think Djokovic is going to have to win everything from here on in if he wants to be number 1, he also loses Olympic points.

        Nadal is ending the year as number 1 with a mere 45 points to defend.

      2. Isn’t it unjustice, doesn’t it bother you guys?

        ALL AND EVERYONE of the players have played and slaughted themselves since last year July, Rafa has not, and HE is the one who has the most chance to be number one???

        How is that fair?? Where is the justice in that??

      3. Alysha, Djoker will be fine unless he starts playing really bad.

        Katyani, what injustice? Nadal rested for 8 months and didn’t get any points. Then he invested all that energy into the clay season.

      4. Oh Sid, it is injustice instead of unjustice… My bad.
        But still, if he wins from now on, even a couple of titles, he has the chance to catch up with Novak right??

      1. Haha! Jerzy lacks basic skills and must get back to the basics now. Basically, he pooped πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah, draw’s opened up somehow hasn’t it! :)janovicz are raonic were the two that scared me (on a fast grass + two sets).

      1. yeah, Roger’s draw just opened up incredibly. Basically he dosnt have a ranked player in his half anymore.

  24. This is first time that I’ve ever posted here, but I do enjoy the posts and the fact that most people are die-hard RF fans. I am usually on the ATP site, educating Knee-Dull, aka Drama-Dal, Dop-al fans.
    I hate Knee-dull because I strongly believe that he is cheating, from PEDs to medical time-outs, to slowing down the game, getting coached by Uncle Toni during matches, and of course his coward way of avoiding losses by withdrawing from anything but CLAY!
    Has anyone ever seen Knee-dull get injured on court? Have you ever seen him compromised on the court? NO, NO, and NO. However, Roger tweaked his back while crushing Dodig at IW, Haas slipped over a tennis ball years ago, Sabine Lisicki visibly broke her ankle on TV at match point, these are real injuries.
    Knee-dull takes time off after each unexpected loss (Major Upsets) to avoid more losses, he knows when his confidence is at its lowest point, and he doesn’t have the courage to fight it off on the court, rather he goes on hideous, juices up, and comes back as strong as a horse.
    Examples: 2009 loss to Soderling, 2010 Loss to Del Po in AO, and most recently 2012 Loss to ROSOL!
    And of course in 2013, he pulled out of Miami and now Halle on Grass to avoid early round losses, what a coward!
    This shows no respect for the fans, as ATP was advertising from months ago that Knee-dull would play in Halle, many people arranged vacations around this to see a potential Fed-al final, and now they hopefully will get a Fed-Gasquet or Fed-Youz final.
    That is why I have no respect for the man, & I doubt it that Knee-dull would win more than 17 slams, he has won 4 non-clay slams from 19 to 27 years old, doubt it that he can win 3 more non-clay slams by 32 years old, but 15 is likely, assuming he wins 2 more RG & one more AO, hopefully not.
    Long Live the Maestro !

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