French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Wawrinka Overpowers Federer to Make French Open Semi Finals

A hugely impress victory for the Stanimal here as he advanced to the French Open Semi Finals with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4) over Roger Federer in blustery conditions on Suzanne Lenglen.

It was Stan's first win over Fed in a Grand Slam and he executed the perfect gameplan of power hitting and control to come through comfortably in straight sets hitting 43 winners to just 28 unforced errors. Very impressive numbers in windy conditions and Roger was unable to break his opponents serve for the first time in a Grand Slam match since the US Open in 2002.

Quick Match Recap

Wawrinka Defeats Federer French Open

Roger won the toss and elected to serve facing an immediate break point as Stan hit huge from ball one. Although Roger held for 1-0 he dropped serve to love in game 3 and despite having 3 break point chances at 2-3 he couldn't find a way through Stan's relentless baseline hitting.

At 5-3 Stan created a break point of his own for a chance to take the set but Roger held with some solid serving. The Basel native then had his fourth break point of the set to prevent Stan serving it out but again couldn't convert and Stan held to take the set 6-4. Hugely impressive play from the 2014 Aussie Open champion who came up with big shots in all the important moments and was ripping groundstrokes from way behind the baseline; which according to hawkeye data 12mph on average quicker than Roger's.

Into set 2 and Stan again piled on the pressure with big hitting, holding 2 break points in game one but Roger found a way to hold for 1-0. Both players then traded holds until 3-3 where Stan found a key break of serve at just the right time, Roger slightly guilty with a poor volley miss. Stan then held and broke serve again to take a dominant 2 sets to love lead.

The third set was crunch time for Roger and he was able to make a good fist of things; holding serve more comfortably as Stan's power eased just a touch and allowed Fed to dictate play for the first time in the match. The problem for Roger however was the lack of rhythm on return and Stan was never under pressure on his own serve; a glimmer of hope presented itself at 5-5 when Roger had 0-15 but Stan held for 6-5. The set then went into a tense tie break with neither playing taking the initiative until Stan got the mini break at 3-3 after a contentious line call. That sparked the beginning of the end for Roger as Stan reeled off the next 2 points on serve to hold 3 match points; Roger saved the first with a clutch forehand but a deep return setup another big Stan groundstroke and he finished things off with a routine volley put away into the open court.

Match Stats

Stats Stan Wawrinka Roger Federer
Aces 4 7
1st serves in 50/92 (54 %) 71/112 (63 %)
1st serve points won 44/50 (88 %) 48/71 (68 %)
2nd serve points won 26/42 (62 %) 23/41 (56 %)
Net points won 13/19 (68 %) 13/23 (57 %)
Break points won 3/8 (38 %) 0/4 (0 %)
Receiving points won 41/112 (37 %) 22/92 (24 %)
Winners 43 28
Unforced errors 28 26
Total points won 111 93


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wawrinka French Open 2015

Tough defeat here for Roger who just had no answers to what Stan was doing to him on the court. As I've said many times before Stan is one of the few players on tour able to deliver consistent firepower from both wings in best of 5 set matches and that's exactly what he did here – booming winners from the get go and his overall quality of shot was just too much for Roger to handle. He was also clutch in big moments – that backhand at 2-2 in the breaker was pretty special and the 4 break points he saved were all done so with solid play.

Roger didn't play badly either I don't think, clearly he can play better but he tried different things out there and in the third set there were some signs he might extend it to a fourth (15-15 shank, and 30-30 miss at 5-5) but he just couldn't string enough points together at the key moments. Roger's two holds at 4-5 and 5-6 were ultra clutch to give him some momentum going into the breaker but after the late line call where Stan was awarded the point it got away from him very quickly. Having watched the replay I think the point should have been replayed especially after the Serena / Vika one with the same umpire got wrongly replayed. Inconsistent umpiring from Nouni which is a shame. Whether it changed the outcome of the match is impossible to say but it's never nice to get controversy in such a big moment.

As for where the match was won and lost I said in my prediction 2nd serve return points won was going to be a key stat in this match. Roger did a fantastic job of returning Stan's second serve in Rome by taking it way inside the baseline but in Paris it was a different story as Stan won 26/42 (62 %) behind his second serve. I'm not sure exactly why Roger wasn't able to return aggressively but I think it was probably a combination of the windy conditions making it difficult and Stan preventing Roger getting any rhythm on the whole. Not being able to break his opponents serve meant Fed couldn't get comfortable or create that bit of momentum. It was a similar story on Chatrier where the wind effected Nishikori's game and the brute force of Tsonga got the job done; a day for the big hitters you could say.

As for Stan he's now beaten the Djokovic, Nadal, Murray and Federer at Grand Slam level which is impressive and I hope he can progress to the final when he takes on Tsonga on Friday.


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. There is absolutely no disgrace to Fed in losing to Stan playing at that high a level for nearly the entire match.

    Had it been Rafa against Stan he’d have probably been Soderlinged.

    Stan was pretty much unplayable the entire match. To have such a positive winners to unforced errors ratio in those conditions is ridiculously good and he raised his game when he had to.

    You won’t see a better performance on a tennis court than that one. Awesome.

  2. Agree re 2nd serve Stats! Key ! But credit to Stan who was relentless. Rog certainly tried but nothing broke for him!
    Hope Stan wins it all, wld be furious if he played crap next round! Kei shld hv beaten Jo, will the Lost Boys ever break thru??
    Not a bad clay season really for Fed. Can’t be too unhappy altho will be frustrated to hv run into Stan on a big day! Had a big chance to make the final otherwise!!

    Onwards to the green stuff…..

    1. Yeah Fed had a successful tournament really, looked comfortable for 4 rounds but then ran into Stan who played very well. Would have been interesting to see them play today in warmer conditions, whether it would make any difference.

  3. Sad day at the office – BUT we were happy yesterday…another happy day will come for sure – hopefully prolonging Rogers tennis-time and encouraging this. Now time to grass and play with kids and have funfamilytime!

  4. Yep, the power hitters won the day this time, no question. A bit sad for Feds, but Stan was just too powerful/too good. I hope Stan’s able to get thru to final because IF it’s Djokovic, he stands a very good chance of taking the title. I’d be very happy if that were to happen, and it’s perfectly possible IF Stanimal can keep this up.

    As for our boy, well one more than last year – 44 quarter finals – it’s absolutely stupendous. Now a good rest, and good practice ready for the cool, green grass. Can’t wait. πŸ™‚

  5. A disappointing end to what I feel has been a pretty good tournament for Roger, but maybe not a big surprise either. Based on his history here in the past few years I didn’t feel he was a serious contender at RG to begin with, and reaching the quarters is pretty much a result I felt was realistic. Still can’t help but feel a little disappointed though, seemed like he played better than last year. Well, at least now he will have a little more time to recuperate and prepare for the grass season.

    Hat’s off to Stan though, he deserved this win and I hope he can carry this momentum all the way through the tournament. I would much rather like to see him lift the trophy than Novak or Rafa.

    1. Stan or Jo even winning RG in the shadows of Djokodal would be quite possibly the biggest troll and amazing story that tennis has seen in a while.

  6. Hi Jonathan

    Not the result we were hoping for but you have to say the better man won on the day. All credit to Fed for doing the best he could, one round better than last year. If Stanimal keeps playing like this I think he has a real shot at the title and lets face it there is still a Swiss man fighting for the honours so not all bad (make that Swiss lady as well).

    The beautiful grass court season is just around the corner so hopefully Fed will do well at Halle

    1. Halle gonna be important to get in the bag to suffice a run at Wimbledon. Hearing reports that Djoker wants a WC- could be dependent on what happens in today’s match and beyond. If Djoker/Nadal are mentally exhausted after his slam, even more in favour of Fed taking advantage. Not sure when the next time will be when Roger can get a draw where he doesn’t have to beat one of the big 4 to get to the final but as we saw in 2012, doing so actually helps more than not. Hoping for a good summer run!

      1. The “big four” might not be the only challenge any more…Even if Roger has improved, so have some others outside those four!
        I’m not Swiss, so I don’t have to support Stanimal, and since the London powermatch, and even this disputable point in the latest tie-break, I’m not doing it. (The windy conditions favored Stanimal’s power-play, so the odds was for him anyway). Well I cannot cheer on anybody left in RG – in secret I small-hope Tsonga to get it…

      2. I’m not Swiss either- I don’t support Roger or Stan because of their nationality, I support them because they are both individuals I like watching play the game and win. As for your other point about the big four not being the only challenge anymore, that is entirely true. However, Roger is very focused to do well at Wimbledon this year and he got to the final last year without having to face one of the big 4 which worked in his favour- but it meant he wasn’t challenged for Novak.

        Also the point you talk about in the tiebreak wasn’t Stan’s fault- it was Nouni’s. And even if he had replayed the point, there’s no guarantee Fed would’ve won the point let alone the set and the match. Stan is the favourite for the final now but there is a little well known Federer curse in slams that tends to linger- and who knows, you can never under-estimate Tsonga in front of a French crowd.

  7. Sigh. Stan came on court with a purpose and he was so focused nothing was deterring him. From the start of the match he was hitting lights out.

    Sad it ended like this for Fed. Johnathan these pictures tell the story. Sigh.

  8. Not a single break point converted in a GS match since 2002? So even in that brutal thrashing 6-1 6-3 6-0 defeat to Nadal in the 08 French final, he managed to break serve! :O

  9. Oooooooooh grasssss, where are you ???? We need some redeeming grace over here !!! Get ur butt down here quick!!!
    Jeez Fed at least make Stefan Edberg proud by winning at least one slam. You are making him look real stupid πŸ™‚
    Ischh, well try again Roger …keep pushing. Your fans can’t wait for your bucket of grand slam tears reserved for victory πŸ˜‰

  10. – Congrats Stanimal! It’s quite frustrating see Fedfans pretend they care about Stan but turn on him automatically when he’s playing Fed. Just epic shotmaking and clutch play from him in all aspects of this match and showed once again that he is a contender at Grand Slams and when he’s playing at that level, he has a definite shot at this title which would be pretty epic considering the drama of the other half of the draw! Also on that note, where the hell did Tsonga come out from? No idea but disappointing from Kei he couldn’t complete the comeback, once again Roland Garros falling apart quite literally- this tournament is a mess at times and needs to regroup itself and lift its standards to match the other slams.

    – Can definitely see a lot of fans upset once again because of the draw Roger had. If the US Open last year didn’t make it loud and clear to you- it never will. Draws don’t matter in the scheme of things anymore. Roger is going out of slams these days because he can’t summon his A game to beat an opponent who is outplaying him. It’s just as simple as that. Could Fed have done things better today? Probably. If Nouni had replayed the point could Fed have won that set and turned the match around? Maybe. But these are all just questions we will never get answers to. Fed been saying since he completed 30 that Slams were his priorities but that just hasn’t been translated into this results. I don’t believe age is stopping Fed to play his best tennis. I think that in a best of 5 set format, not every match is on his racquet anymore and that’s ok. Roland Garros has been for a while now a sailed ship and I don’t think anyone who follows tennis closesly really believed Roger would come out of his half. Wimbledon is soon upon us once again and THAT is where the money is. This is really the only slam Roger has a chance left at and I do believe Edberg and him have what it takes to seal the deal despite what happened here. With every slam passing, it is getting harder and harder to maintain hope but nonetheless it’s important to do so because why the hell are even watching then?

    Once again, congratulations Stan, rooting for you or Tsonga even to stop the Djokodal party (J your prediction at the beginning of the tourney aint so far fetched now). Also thanks once again for all the reports and commitment- can’t wait to do it all again very soon. Allez Stan!

    1. ‘ I don’t believe age is stopping Fed to play his best tennis. ‘ On any given day, we can see the Feds of old; OTOH, the next day we see a Feds who cannot bring his best, and that is most definitely due to age Alysha. For all tennis players, their ability to bounce back from match to match – particularly in 5-set format – gets more difficult once they clock 29 and beyond – just look at any past great and see how many slams they achieved after their prime years. Only Agassi achieved 2 and that’s because he had a break. Remember, Federer bas 1253 matches in those legs – average 77 matches/year over the 17 years he has played. He has *consecutively* played in 62 slams: that is a stupendous record. Compare that to Stan at around 44 matches per year over 13 years. The way Federer has defied time is nothing short of magnificent. Nadal too, with his playing style and many many matches on *his* legs is also declining. This is inevitable. The clay grind is no longer for Federer. Simple as that, and although we all hope, we know he’s done on clay.

      Stan literally hit Feds off the court and Feds had no answers. Who here has had a dig at Stan? No one. Of course we would have liked to see Feds get the win, but we have all acknowledged that Stan was just too good on the day, and wish him well for his next match.

      I still believe, with a little bit of luck (and all players need that) Feds could still get that elusive 18th, and Wimbledon remains his best bet. If he doesn’t get it, well there’s no other tennis player who has given me the sort of exhilaration that Federer has, and that will never change.

      1. Beg pardon Alysha – I hadn’t read all the way down – there are a few who hate Stan for beating Feds, but most do not I think you’ll agree!

      2. Unfortunately I’m with Alysha here. A lot of people on this site have a tendency to bash Stan, especially when he loses to the good guys (Djoker at the O2 etc…).
        It’s a shame, cause when Stan’s game is on, he’s a joy to watch

      3. Slamdunk- I of course uphold the view that Roger’s age has had an influence on his results in the past few years. No doubt about it. But to me personally when I look back at recent losses like in Melbourne or last year in Wimbledon, I wouldn’t put age down to those things. Roger at world no.2 still has the ability to play first strike tennis- it’s just that he can’t play it when it matters where it counts anymore.

        Yes age has worn Roger’s game down. In his mind. Not his legs.

      4. Fair point I guess. But if you lose a little speed in the legs + a tiny percentage of reflex, you start to mishit/shank – all that is down to age – then confidence can evaporate. Obviously it doesn’t happen always, and Federer’s focus and desire seem undiminished. His is a gradual decline. With Rafa it’s different – a meteoric rise to the top at a young age, and (it seems) a correspondingly faster descent.

  11. The above photos say it all. Fed said his body would tell him when to pack it in. Today, he was outpowered and a sign of age creeping up on him. Like you said Jonathan, he had no answers to what Stan was doing to him on the court. Feels a little depressing to me.
    Thank God, the clay is almost over. I don’t know who I want to win the French. I’m still not feeling the love for Stan since he left his little girl.

    1. I wouldn’t judge Stan based on his private life which we know nothing about. The only info out there is speculation, what leaked in the press and a couple of statements from both parties – all three are unlikely to paint an accurate picture.

  12. When I watched Federer lose the Rome final, I saw something. I felt like the end is near. His peers have not just caught up with him, but have overtaken him. I just don’t know what else he can do to gain the upper hand again.

    We can attribute this loss, and the one in Rome, to clay. I am convinced though, that Wimbledon this year is Roger’s absolute last opportunity to win a slam.

    If Nadal wins tomorrow, and goes on to win the French Open, he will in all likelihood finish level with Roger’s slam count. If he fails, there is no way he makes it to 17.

    1. Wow Sid. Never heard you talk like that before – so definitive about Roger being near the very end of the road. But I think you – and the results – make an arguable case. Hoping for one more last hurrah at SW 19.

      And this week I for one am rooting for anyone but Nadal.

      1. ‘Anyone but Nadal’ – Let it be Stan – then he can shut up all those naysayers who said the AO title was a fluke!

    2. Could not agree more with you Sid, its getting tougher for him to secure a win against top guys.You have hopes this wimbledon,i doubt if he would get to second week with courts nearly resembling that of RG.

    3. Yeah I agree with Wimbledon been his last realistic shot. There’s glimmers at the USO depending on how it plays but winning slams in 2016 seems unrealistic.

      But gotta really judge closer to the end of the year, clay was never going to yield stunning results for Fed.

      1. Before this Stanimal-match he did so well. And all of a sudden you predict his retirement. You wouldn’t have done so before yesterday, would you? Oh, yes, you did it in 2013…

  13. Thought this was a pretty interesting and even hopeful interpretation of today from Bodo, (not always a fan of his writing but this was a good read).

      1. Thanks for that Alb – short, but interesting. Especially telling I thought was Stan’s reasoning: Wawrinka advanced to the semifinals on a day less fit for tennis than for a tractor pull in the mud. He said of the wind and challenge posed by the heavy, damp balls: “It’s better for my game. I can be 25 meters behind [the baseline] and still put so much power that he [Roger] really can’t control what he wants to do.”

  14. Okay so here’s my (more than) 2 cents-
    -That was strike number 3 for Stan. Now I hate him. And yes I am one of those irrational fans who hates on everyone who defeats Roger, especially in a slam. It’s just not acceptable to me. That doesn’t mean I won’t let out a loooooooud cheer if he manages to somehow get the Swiss anthem playing at PC come Sunday. I’ll cheer for him if he plays ND or RN in the final, probably even if he plays AM since Murray is getting too close to Roger in the rankings. But I do hate him.
    -Ideal scenario for me is a Ferrer win. *YES UNICORNS EXIST ASK ANDY SCOTTISH MURRAY*
    -I don’t care about Stan “deserving” to win this match or Djoker deserving to win RG. I remember writing a loooooooong post after Wimbledon last year about the concept of “deserve” not working in sports. Roger “deserves” 2-3 Calendar GS (If not for an early peaking certain someone). He “deserved” those semis in USO ’10 and ’11. He “deserved” that Wimbly trophy last year. So to hell with “deserves”.
    -I am a lot less confident about No.18 now than I was last year after Wimbledon. But hope springs eternal. There’s no one more likely to defy the odds than the genius of Roger Federer.
    -The Dimitrov-Nishikori-Raonic generation is a fu**ing disgrace. Kyrigos, Kokkinakis seem to be way better. Hope they breakthrough soon.
    -This FO loss *might* be a blessing in disguise. Honestly it was not like Roger was going to win the whole damn thing unless a lot of other factors (RN, ND BOTH going out, conditions favourable, RF’s FH deciding to pay a visit, QF and SF not being long drawn out matches etc.) worked out. He may as well spend time resting and prepping for grass. Does look like he needs more recovery time now (obviously!). And also his peak-trough has to be in place for grass season. If he peaked too soon (at RG) he may still be empty handed but at Wimbledon there’s a good chance he’ll get some silverware if he peaks at the right time.
    -I am scared of grass season. Everyone is pinning hopes on it (until yesterday, I was too). But if it doesn’t work out, damn it will hurt. And then the R-word would start to feel like it’s right around the corner *shudders, cries, contemplates life and its worth after Fed, finds it too scary, goes back to UNICORNS*.
    -Even if this is indeed the beginning of the end for RF (meaning very few titles from now on and no GS), I am so effing proud of him. He isn’t going down without a fight and is still the only one to have constantly challenged the No.1 player (over the past year or so) who is in his absolute prime. Do not go gentle into that good night. GOAT.
    -Did I mention I hate Stan? Well I do and I also hate Tsonga and Del Potro and Stakhovosky and Robredo and Cilic and Seppi and Berdick (that spelling goes with his personality). Loathe RN and ND. Soderling was good once so he is pardoned. I also like Ferrer and Youzhny and the likes because they haven’t beaten Federer. This has nothing to do with their playing styles. Heaven knows Stan on fire is a great sight and Ferrer’s game is boring as hell. But I am an irrational Federer fan.

    1. Probs isn’t too many players you like seeing around then…
      I wouldn’t say the Dimitrov-Nishikori-Raonic generation is a disgrace, Dimitrov is until he can start playing tennis instead of trying to be a looker. Nishikori is rooted up in the top and very close to the top 5, raonic is pretty decent and hanging around there as well. I may remind that 2 monsters (RF and ND), a pretty dang decent player (AM), mr Consistent 2015 are all up there at the moment, give them a little more time.
      Though I do agree the aussies are looking good, let’s see them on grass and the rest of the season, looking forward to it πŸ™‚

      1. It’s selective hatred ;). I like them when they are playing great (not against Roger). I even love them when they beat ND/RN. I was genuinely happy for Stan when he won AO. That he denied RN #14 helped though πŸ˜€
        But generally hold a grudge. πŸ˜›
        Regarding the R-N-D generation, only Nishikori seems like he can be big, but he just doesn’t look fit enough. His height is not a great advantage either! Raonic is super solid, but can he be a threat regularly at slams?
        And the point is exactly that. ND, RF, AM are all >28. The next gen should all already be competing, threatening and starting to win. Does any of them even have an MS 1000? Djoker, Murray started to be big at slams around 2008.
        I don’t want Kyrigos anywhere near Fed in Wimbly draw!

      2. I think Raonic can be a big threat on fast surfaces (wimby/ USO), and Nishi is just missing that little thing imo.
        You also forget were talking about the golden era in tennis, and all those guys at the top are monsters… I honestly believe Berdych would have a couple slams, Tsonga might have had some, Delpo would have had more, and the list goes on ^^
        And with the slowing of the surfaces, the “old” guys are doing better, there are a lot more upsets on grass then any other surface ^^

        and I agree with you, get Kyrgios out of Fed’s half xD

    2. So you really do live up to your name and are a Fed fan and not a tennis fan πŸ˜› Hating a player because he beat your favourite is a poor way of looking at things and won’t make accepting losses any easier.

    3. Very long comment FedFan. I tried to read it all but no line spacing has killed me off πŸ˜†

      My main takeaway is though you hate everyone that has beaten Fed and are worried about the grass season. Grass can breed upsets so you might be adding to your list if things don’t go to plan πŸ˜‰

      I wouldn’t worry about Fed’s performance, he lost to Gublis last year after all at the French. These things happen, no shame in losing to Stan on his best surface.

    4. @Jonathan that’s probably it in a nutshell, except that I explained my hate a bit in reply to Simon. πŸ™‚
      @Alysha I never claimed to be a tennis fan first :). I am a Federer fan first. He got me interested in the sport around ’05. It’s his career that I’ve been following, and at times a few players’ here and there that seem to play non moon-balling style of tennis. And I accept losses alright. Already over the QF loss. And if my post still didn’t make it clear, it’s selective hatred. I don’t actually literally hate these people. Don’t know them personally!:D

  15. as much as I am happy for Stan, I am extremely disappointed for poor Roger. I don’t know what future hold for Federer but hope it will end well and memorable. Like Rod laver said that at this age Federer will have one great day in the office and the next match will be bad as hell. I personally don’t care who will win the French but want to see Federer holding Wimbledon one last time.

  16. Thanks for your contributions this whole tournament, Jonathan!
    Like everyone else said: this was a very well deserved win by Wawrinka. Let’s go for Wimbledon now. And Halle of course. If he wins there he’s just one victory away off leveling Thomas Muster in most wins in a 250 tournament.
    Talking about stats… In order to pass Jimmy Connors in most weeks in the top 3, he needs to be there another 31 weeks. It will be very difficult for him to achieve that, because he has a lot of points to defend, starting Wimbledon.
    As for Wimbledon: let’s pray for a similar draw as Roland Harris, especially when it comes to avoiding Djokovic, Nadal and Murray… πŸ™‚

    1. Hi there Mark… he will still need 2 more 250 titles to draw level with T Muster astthis year Halle has been promoted to a 500 series. Therefore if he wins in Halle he will be 2 titles clear of Nadal in the 500 series. But I do want him to get both the record for the 250 and 500 series. As the masters 1000 record is now probably out of reach. Especially now that the Djoker has surpassed him on that front and is trying to overtake Nadals haul. Which looking at it is ridiculous as majority of them 1000 are on clay. Where as Federers titles are more spread out with some clay titles along with hard court titles. And I think now Djokovic has more than17 hard court 1000 titles going past Federer on the record of open era . Which to me a player like Djokovic is still not in the league or calibre of the great Federer or to that matter Nadal. Even though I don’t like Nadal you have give him credit for his achievements and records.
      Lol I was wondering why couldn’t Federer play today on this sunny Parisian day. No it had to be a windy crappy day and Stan playing lights out . Lol if he doesn’t go to the final now I will be pissed off.

      1. In the context of masters 1000 alone, I’d say Djokovic IS up there with fed. His consistency is incredible, and I don’t think his level has been far off fed at his peak either.

    2. Cheers Mark.

      And good point about Halle being a 500 Serjaul. Wonder if Fed will play any 250’s next year? They don’t fit into the calendar all that easily.

      1. Mmmm…. Don’t you think the thousand match wins coinciding with the title may have had something to do with that? In the sense of putting him on a bigger high than it might have been normally. More adrenaline. More “peak”?

        Of course he lost immediately after Istanbul too – though we attributed that to the insane turnaround.

        I guess I think there mightn’t be as much as much of a let-down even if he were to win Brisbane again, because it wouldn’t be the first time, & it wouldn’t be coinciding with 1000 match wins.

        Also I like Brisbane for the adjusting to Australian time factor.

        I would vote against another quick echo in between, though, if I had a vote!

  17. Gutted for Roger and kudos to Stan. No shame in losing to better player who was in the zone. At his age, Qtrs is good result considering clay is one of his worse surface. I was really hoping he can turn it around but Stan was very consistent throughout. Just wondering playing continuously for 3 days might have impacted Roger in any way. Maybe yes maybe not, have seen it worked against Stan in SW19 last year. At this juncture, anyone but Nadal or Djoker to win ha ha ha would like a dark horse to win FO this year – Stan or Murray.

    1. He was only on court for 1 hour on Monday though so only like a practice. I guess it was slightly more difficult mentally to get fired up 3 days on the bounce but Fed has played a lot of slams so I doubt it factored.

  18. Hah! Looks like Mourrier will not be umpiring Nadal any more xD
    And Timea’s in the semi, too cool πŸ™‚


      But in all seriousness, if any one is watching the match on Eurosport (with Idiot McEnroe commentating), would anyone like to tell him that to say stuff like “calling a time violation is just dumb and I hate it when they do that” is being an Nadalturd of the highest order. It’s like saying, “Oh a double fault on an important point?? Never mind, take a third serve.”

      Moron. A rule’s a rule. Get the point. Nadal isn’t above it. Or anyother player for that matter. Either get rid of the rule or see that it’s adhered to fairly. It’s because of twats like him and Nadal trying to gain the sympathy of the crowd at the expense of an umpire (who’s doing his job correctly) that the rule isn’t enforced. Revolting.

      1. The problem is Mourrier is not going to give him the second warning… Especially since in GS format they are allowed 20 seconds between points, Dull is like going 20 seconds over that….

        Jmac and Willander and a couple of those seem like they know nothing about tennis. It’s crazy the amount of bullshit they spew…

        First set for Djoker! Sweet πŸ˜€

      2. As much as McEnroe talks garbage whilst commentating, I agreed with him this time. Mourier had a multitude of opportunities to tell Nadal about the time and give him the warning and yet chose a crucial point in the match. It was just a stupid thing to do, especially and correct me if I’m wrong- that game was very long and had a tonne of long rallies so the umpire needs to use discretion there, considering slams have less time in between points.

      3. I’m with Alisha on this one. The nadal fans I’ve spoken to about the matter all say it’s nothing to do with whether he deserves a violation, which he does. It’s that umpires give them to him at crucial points and choose to not give them to him the other times, when he deserves them.

        What I don’t like was McEnroe saying let them be because the quality of tennis was so good. But then this guy wants to do away with line judges and let players call themselves. So as pricks go, he is a fucking cactus.

      4. All they need to do is change it to 25 seconds in Slams and ATP events, and enforce the rules from the very first point.

      5. At this rate, Nadal will have to umpire his own matches. Think about it…

        He can take as much time as he wants between serves. No limit to the number of MTO’s and their duration. Getting coached by his Uncle. Challenging a call, losing it, then asking to replay the point. I don’t know, all those things and a lot more.

      6. Jonathan, come on, 25 seconds is a lot of time. That’s like, nearly half a minute. That’s more than the amount of time a professional basketball team (NBA) gets to make a play. Think about it.

      7. You all probably know this, but I can tell you that some 90 per cent of Nadal his first services are 30 seconds or longer after the last ball was hit.
        I can tell you that this is very convenient for me, as my PVR remote control has a so called 30 second jump button. So when I look at a match I recorded, scrolling through it goes very easy. ☺
        On a serious note: a rule is a rule, so any umpire should warn in one of the first games after a couple of violations. And not just stick to one warning, like all referees do with Nadal…

      8. Mark, humble Rafa will get them fired if they continue after the first warning. No way that’s going to happen. Not after what happened to poor Bernardes.

      9. I forgot to comment on this the other day. I have *no* objection at all to Nadal being given time warnings, and even being docked a point if necessary. However, where I *do* have a problem is a) when the umpire waits until a fairly pivotal point in the set to give the first warning and b) when he does it while the player is still within his allotted 20 seconds. That warning was given some 16 or 17 seconds after the score was announced. It needs to be given *when* the player has committed an infraction, not on an occasion when he hasn’t. Otherwise, it just looks as though it’s umpires’ “open season on Nadal” time, which to my mind is unprofessional.

      10. [However, where I *do* have a problem is a) when the umpire waits until a fairly pivotal point in the set to give the first warning]

        Because it’s a critical point, and the extra time is more useful to you, and detrimental to your opponent, than when you’re serving at say 40-0?

        Because you can’t complain to a cop, “You didn’t give me a speeding ticket the last few times I sped, why are you doing it now when I’m in a rush for a date?”.

      11. That didn’t even make sense, Alison. Maybe it made sense to you, so good for you.

        [It needs to be given *when* the player has committed an infraction, not on an occasion when he hasn’t.]

        If Nadal say reaches the baseline at 17 seconds, and we all know that his rituals take about 6 to 8 seconds, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be given a violation.

      12. Yes, but you wait until he’s done it. You don’t give a ticket for jaywalking before the person has stepped onto the road, do you?

    2. So, Alison, if you are in your 18th second, and you will likely be in your tossing motion by the time you hit say 21, would you call time? That wouldn’t be fair, right? It would look horrible.

      The umpire has to redline it at some point. They are not going to give you a violation unless they have seen you do it a few times.

      Jaywalking can’t be compared to the situation I’ve just described.

      1. i think the rule says that time is counted until the service motion begins. So if at 21 seconds you’ve already got the ball in the air, it’s fine.

        I think what Alison is saying is that you can’t be punished for an offence because it looks like you might commit it. If at 18 seconds nadal begins embarking on his long routine, then you still have to wait a couple of seconds before you can punish him for time violation, because there IS no violation until the 20th second has passed. Now, umpires use discretion. So if after 21 seconds, nadal has just bounced the ball for the last time, then you let him play on. The rule is there really to make sure the time isn’t abused by a reasonably large margin.

  19. I usually don’t like getting ahead of myself, but looks like the Grand Vermin (hope that wasn’t under copyright Sid) is on it’s way out πŸ˜€

  20. And that’s that!! The crowd never even got into it. The only thing that can assuage a Federer loss.

    Now it’s go STAN!! And then go Andy… and then kindagotsonga.

    1. Nope, go Stan and that’s all! πŸ˜› If Tsonga wins we’re never gonna stop hearing it from from the French, and living next to them I don’t want to be reminded of Tsonga’s “genius” every 5 mins πŸ˜›

      And honestly, Muzza winning would be an absolute joke… πŸ˜›

    2. Crowd too stunned to see a guy who has won 9 times become the underdog- can’t blame them. It says a lot that a French crowd didn’t even feel like they had the ability to rile Nadal up- more like they were respectful that this is how he is going out. Once again Djoker left in the cold with the crowd, what does he need to do to be a fan favourite?

    3. Can’t believe I’m saying this already, but to hell with it. GO STAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Djokovic on his way to calendar GS? Nightmare. So go anybody who can stop him. Most likely Stan the Man. So you go bamboozle him on Sunday Stanislas!

      1. You are a very confusing fan if I might say. You keep on changing allegiances because you now want Stan to stop Djoker from potentially winning the grand slam? Silly.

      2. I said so in my earlier post too. If he is to face ND in the final, I am all for Stan. Guess you missed that. And I do keep changing allegiances largely because of my dislike for RN and ND. It might be silly to you but I don’t want ND to win the CGS.

  21. La Decimated. Ruthlessly! Buh-bye, Grand Vermin, Greatest Clay Court player of all time!


  22. I guess this makes me an obnnoxious Fed fanboy, but seeing Nadal exit makes Fed’s loss a little easier to digest.

      1. It does feel a bit like the official end of the Fed / Nadal era of dominance, but that’s kind of been on the cards since 2011. To me this helps protect Fed’s record of 17 slams. At most I see Fed winning one more maybe (or none).

      2. Agree Alision, feels like the end of an era. The weird thing is I didn’t feel this way at Wimbledon 2013 when they both exited early. But this time it feels different because Roland Garros was always a guarantee for Rafa. They both went out in straights and really didn’t put up a fight except for glimpses here and there.

        Sridhar- I don’t know if you will agree with me here but I think if you are a true fan of Roger’s or of tennis (remember that there is no player bigger than the game), we need to stop using Fed’s slam record as a yard stick to measure everything. If Nadal surpasses the record then so be it- it’s not on Djoker to protect it, it’s on Fed. Not to mention, Djoker beating Nadal at the French has added so much more weight-age to his own legacy now.

      3. Not weird at all Alison. I felt the sadness too. How many times has he pissed me off as I watched Feds take another loss in RG final at his hands? But this loss pulled the heartstrings somehow. Gawd…I’m getting maudlin now. How sad is that? πŸ˜‰

  23. How ironic would it be if Djoker having finally tamed Rafa at RG loses to Murray / Tsonga / Wawrinka in the SF / F?

    1. As Jonathan said at the beginning of the tournament, Soderling beat Nadal but didn’t win the trophy. I think if Stan keeps his head together and keeps playing lights out, Djoker got bigger problems than Nadal.

    2. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he does, to be honest – I think he wants it too much. And I don’t really want to see him getting a calendar-year Grand Slam just because all his opposition has declined. I’m really hoping Stan keeps it together because I don’t see Tsonga coping with the pressure.

      TBH, I did see a scenario where Novak and Rafa beat each other to a pulp in 5 sets and perhaps Andy sneaked in and beat the winner in the semis, but obviously I now need to revise my opinion. So I guess it’s Go Andy! for the semi, at least – it doesn’t look as though dropping one set will have done him much damage.

    3. Stan has to make the final first. That’s the final I’d like to see – Stan vs. the Djoker but we’ll see.

      The weather is set to get pretty warm though, that removes some of Stan’s assets that came to the fore in overcast, dampish and windy conditions against Fed.

  24. The most insane fact is Nadal only hit 3 forehand winners … That’s just fucked up from nadal

    1. Surprising stat. Djokovic just controlled play and defended when he had to. Plus the Nadal forehand goes straight into what is probably the best shot on tour right now so you can kinda see why.

  25. I want Djokovic to win the French Open. He deserves it. Six losses to the Grand Vermin, and he finally does what Federer hasn’t been able to do, beat Nadal at the French Open. And he didn’t just beat Nadal, he schooled him like there’s no tomorrow.

    For that, I want him to complete the career slam.

    1. This Nadal is not the same as the Nadal Roger faced all those years. He had the worst record, lowest ranking coming in this time. Not taking anything away from Djokovic but come on. Don’t go with the “He did what Roger couldn’t do” thing. Djokovic in likelihood will complete the career GS anyway.

    2. I disagree with the Djokovic deserving the French Open sentiment. Beating Nadal at the French is probably the hardest thing you could accomplish in this sport but it wasn’t the final. Novak still has two more matches to get through and if so happens that his opponent plays better than him to get to the trophy then so be it.

      1. Seriously? I think you’ve forgotten the pain we endured as Federer fans, losing to the Grand Vermin what, like 5 times? I’m rooting for the DJoker. Go Nole! Just this one time because you beat Nadal at the French Open, and are not facing Federer.

        Stan may threaten Novak in the final, but it’s going to be the Serb winning it all in the end.

      2. Sid, today made me look at this as a tennis fan, not a Fed fan. In the end, you have to win 7 matches and Novak is still on 5. For the first time in a while, we have a new champion and nothing is guaranteed- that’s why we watch sports.

      3. I’m not a tennis fan. I’m a Federer fan, and because of that, I am a tennis fan.

      4. Wrong mentality that. No player bigger than the game. I agree that Fed makes the game infinitely more interesting, but hey, there are other guys out there who can play (Stan, Djoker, etc )

      5. I have to g it’s Sid on this one. I agree that you have to win 7 matches, that there are no ifs in sport etc. but at the end of the day, Djokovic has been by far the best player this season and this tournament. What he has done is unique, and while if Stan takes him out that will be great, in the same way as people detract from fed because he beat soderling, Djokovic winning it old just feel like his years of incredible work has come to validation.

      6. John, spoken like someone who has played competitive tennis of some form, and knows how badly losses can hurt. πŸ™‚

        Novak has been consistent, was heart broken in 2012 (bad light), and 2013 (running on the net), not to mention being taken out in his best year (2011) by Roger. He deserves this one more than anyone on this planet.

      7. Simon, a player who makes a game more beautiful than what it already is, is bigger than the game. That, my friend, is Roger Federer. No player ever has, and no player ever will play tennis as beautiful as Roger Federer.

      8. I am with Sid as well on this one. “I’m not a tennis fan. I’m a Federer fan, and because of that, I am a tennis fan”. I think that pretty much defines me as well πŸ™‚

      9. I will never believe the sentiment that any player is bigger than the game- and although Roger is the only person who could challenge that notion, it doesn’t hold up.

      10. It’s more like you will never understand it. You see, to me tennis was a bullshit sport. I hated it. Then I watched Federer beat Roddick I think at the US Open in 2006. I watched the last few matches accidentally as some friends were watching it at the same time. Not to mention in the semi-final, Roddick said, “Too big?” to Hewitt after a winning serve, and I wanted him to be taught a lesson by Federer. Which he did.

        I loved how he played!

        For some reason, I didn’t watch him again until I read a new article on how he was trashed by Nadal at Paris 2008. Even though I didn’t watch that drubbing, I felt sick. Very sick. But the worst was yet to come. I watched the 2008 Wimbledon final. I felt bereaved. It felt like it Federer was finished. That’s when I picked up a tennis racquet.

        It still fucking hurts when Roger loses at a slam, even if it is to Stan Wawrinka.

        My fear is, when Federer retires, I might give up playing tennis. What will I do then? Put my racquets and unused polos on ebay?

        So yeah, for some, their favorite player is bigger than the sport.

      11. That’s a pretty terrible mindset imo… that’s called being a Fed Fanatic, and actually stopping tennis when Roger retires shows how much you’re into the sport really…

        It was Roger that made me pick up the racket, but now I’m in love with the sport more than in him; sure he’s one of the only guys the makes it interesting (key words: One of), but when he hangs up his racket I sure as hell aren’t.

        how about sending some of those polos my way, can’t find the 2011 FO one πŸ˜›

        Guess I’ll never agree with your opinions though ^^

      12. The first match I ever watched was fed nadal Wimbledon 2007. In a way I didn’t even really know what tennis was like until then. Of course, growing up in Taiwan and being one hell of a nerdy guy, I’d seen prince of tennis the anime πŸ˜› but until that match, that was all I’d seen. After watching federer, everything changed. I suddenly hated prince of tennis, because it disrespected the pros with its stupid ideas. And from that point on, I followed tennis. Never watched, until Wimbledon 2008. At which point the first sentient thought I had about it was that nadal sure looked like a tramp at the award ceremony. I felt for Roger because he looked so elegant. It just seemed right that he should be the king, looking at his play and the way he held himself on court. And from then, tennis because important to me.

        Simon, I don’t know what the right attitude to have is. Certainly, no one is bigger than the sport, and I understand that, but the day federer retires, I’ll find a new favourite. And I’ll follow him. But I won’t ever do it with fervour. I won’t be desperate to plan my days around being free to watch his games. I certainly will not give up on tennis, but from the viewing side of things, it may well end up being “just another sport I follow”. Right now, I’m into two sports like crazy. I suspect it may well become one.

      13. But you’ll still watch tennis. That’s exactly what I’m saying, many people here will completely stop watching and some will stop playing the game, because Roger retires.

        That’s the kind of attitude I can’t understand and find pitiable. Not that they might watch less, I’m also going to have a hard time finding someone I like as much as Roger, although Stan is pretty close when his game is on.

      14. Sid- I really hope you don’t stop playing tennis when Roger stops- that would be a pity. You said it yourself that he made you fall in love with the sport, as he did with me and many other people. The fact that we are witnessing an individual do something so encompassed within their DNA, someone that achieved what they were born to do is without a doubt a feeling I know I won’t feel ever again- not in this lifetime.

        Yes, tennis is in Roger and Roger is tennis. A big part of his legacy will be that he is responsible for bringing so many people to be part of the game all over the world, that it would be a shame that he takes them away just as easily.

    3. Hi.
      I’ve gone through the FB comments about the Novak/Rafael match on the ATP website. I’ve found a lot of repetitions of the argument “this was not Rafa”, “if he was at his peak”, “if this, if that”, and so on. If (no pun intended!) you start an argument with an “if”, you can complete with any number of hypothesis to demonstrate or to deny any given proposition. Guess what? It does not work like that! A player (or any other professional for that matter) is not defined by what he does when he is at his peak(s): the bad points, the bad sets, the bad days, the bad seasons must be considered too. Rafael on a bad day IS Rafael. Roger on a bad day IS Roger. Damn, I’m not defined at my job only by my good deeds. My mistakes are also me. One cannot discard what is not convenient. It is not honest. So, Rafael lost because he did not play like he used to. So what? Who told that our performance is supposed to be a flat line?… Are we robots?

      1. I get bored after reading 1 or 2 of them πŸ˜†

        I would agree with the sentiment that Nadal isn’t quite the player he was though, it’s not an excuse, just a fact. Doesn’t defend as well or have that explosiveness, although he’s still incredibly good at it he’s faded somewhat. Just sweats like crazy and looks scary.

  26. So I’m sure the multitude of people on this blog and Fedfans in general are overjoyed by Nadal’s eventual loss at the hands of Djoker. Whether it is because they want Novak to keep protecting Roger’s slam record or because they just despise Nadal in general, that will probably be the main consensus.

    Watching this match though, I felt myself almost rooting for Nadal. I’ll never be a fan of his style of tennis or the person he is but his circumstances right now are very similar to Roger’s and it made me feel a nostalgia that I’ve not felt in a while. Watching both these guys go out kinda signals like something is ending. And not to say it is- I believe that Nadal with time should be able to make a full comeback and even Roger, with whatever time is remaining, always has a chance at anything. It was more about seeing their auras slowly wear off as they are outplayed by their colleagues and their dominance in the sport decreasing. The silence of the French crowd echoed this- I mean when was the last time the French ever cheered for Rafa? Instead of “celebrating” Nadal’s second loss at the French, I will choose to rather reflect on how unbelievable his record has been at this slam and how no one else will probably ever come near to achieving such a thing. Sometimes you need to step back away from your subjective lens and give credit where credit is due.

    This matchup was severely hyped up yet again- Djoker way too confident and learned from past mistakes and Nadal could not get any depth on his shots whatsoever. Nadal has zero confidence right now, that was very evident in this match. Losing that first set was too much of a blow for him and it would seem the foundations in the mental wall he is so well known for is starting to crack. Going down to world #10 or #11 now is gonna place him in the R16 i assume for one of the big 3 in SW19 so even more draw drama to come. This is another huge crossroads for Nadal’s career. Can he come back like he did after 2009 or will he find himself struggling as he now also turns another year older (worst birthday ever?!) to find his A game when it matters most.

    Congrats to Novak, losing that match would have been devastating and something I’m not even sure he could’ve recovered from. Getting Nadal in the QF worked out well for him but unfortunately it means he’s just collected tonnes of expectations to win the title. So, we’ll finally be seeing a new FO champion for just the 2nd time in 10 years, just the question of who now…

    1. It wasn’t a sentimental or nostalgic match for me in the slightest, it was Djokovic playing to the form book and taking care of business.

      I don’t see Nadal threatening on grass tbh, too many shotmakers will fancy taking him out, he needs second week Wimbledon dirt on the baseline to really stand a chance and even then it’s unlikely.

      1. Agree- I’d be surprised if Nadal makes it to the second week this year but he has more time to prepare for the grass season for what seems like the first time in forever so who knows. Losing at the hands of Djoker probably makes him and Toni more motivated than ever before.

    2. I predicted Djokovic in 4. Didn’t think that nadal would crumble the way he did. I felt sorry for him in the sense that a great champion got dethroned. The same as how neutrals would have said about fed when he lost wimby 08. But fed made that one look like the champion losing. Honestly, nadal lost the will to fight in the third set. That is rare. Djokovic didn’t beat him. Djokovic dismissed him. So nada, went out with a whimper really. I don’t think he justified the fall of a champion.

      1. I see it more as Nadal/Fed fighting themselves more out on the court rather than the opponents and that is a very surreal thing to see. Had this match been a lot more competitive my feelings would’ve been different but seeing Nadal go down in a very un-Nadal way was something else.

    3. Alysha, come on, please. A vast majority of us here dislike Nadal, especially because of his on-court, and off-court behavior, the unsporting comments from him and his uncle (some gems, it’s ATP’s fault that illegal coaching is not allowed. It’s ATP’s fault that the WTF isn’t a clay court event.), and most of all, doping, that I’m convinced he is guilty of. How can you feel sorry for a player who bumps another player? One who gets umpired removed from his matches? Threatening to boycott a tournament if the clay isn’t switched back from blue to red? It’s an endless list.

      So, yes, I hate Nadal, and I don’t want such a being overtake Roger’s slam record, which was achieved with utter sportsmanship.

      But something tells me this asshole will recover. He will find better dope, and return. I hope not.

      1. I’m sure one day I’ll look back on my comment and ask myself what the hell was I thinking! But in all seriousness, you are right- I don’t blame anyone for disliking Nadal but I can stand back and respect his achievements nonetheless. My sentiments are moreso directed at how yet another grand slam is in a SF withouut both Roger and he and it just makes me feel like time is running out- not for Roger to win a slam- but for Roger in the game in general and that made me feel a lot of emotions.

        Believe me, I definitely don’t want Nadal to overtake Roger’s slam count either- he’d automatically get dubbed by those who never watched the best tennis player ever which just isn’t true but I have accepted it if it does indeed happen. It’s upto Roger now to potentially further the gap between the two. Long gone are the days I root for Novak to get the job done. Who might I add is building his case for GOAT. If he beats Murray today- he will have beat all of the big 3 at all the slams and that’s incredible.

        I apologise Sid if it seems like I’ve jumped the shark and switched my allegiances- Roger made me fall in love with this sport so much that I fear what it will become without him- and as much as Nadal was a thorne to all our sides he is apart of that too.

  27. I have to agree Sridhar that today, for the first time, I felt like we’re approaching the end of an era. Feels horrible. Enjoy what we can of Fed.

    (I should stop being so hard on him…oh wait, there’s another return error!) :p

    1. Fed hasn’t won a slam since 2012 and Nadal hasn’t been a factor for the last 12 months on all surfaces and the last 24 months off clay so I don’t really think the results at Roland Garros are a huge surprise or signify anything bigger than Djoker just delivering the level of tennis he’s played all year which is way higher than anyone else.

      1. Agreed. But the way it’s happened the past two days, at the same stage, in the same(ish) way (at elast Fed put up more of a fight), it just alerted some of us to the reality.

      2. Frankly I am tired of Fed fans who keep saying this after every defeat. To me its just funny. Nobody expected Federer to win the French Open and Nadal was in pathetic form. If this kind of results continues in Wimbledon and the US Open then maybe we can think about that.

      3. Fair point Ajay- I get what you’re saying, and I hate it when fans do that as well, but I have to say, that you’ve read it in the wrong context. I was just talking about feeling a little down about being alerted to the reality that there isn’t much time left for us Fed fans. A year or two at most. Tennis after that is going to be a whole lot less fun (not to mention, a good deal less watched for a while)

      4. I agree Ajay – who are we to judge any “reality”? Roger is very fit. We don’t know what he can or cannot accomplish in future. He may have only one or 2 years more, it may be more than that. But for sure, all discouragements will shorten the delighted time with him on court.

  28. Yeah – strangely sad that 3rd set. I don’t want Nadal getting any close to Fed’s 17, but seeing that champ humbled so sadly can be as compelling a story as the old champion coming back for one more (like ’12 Fed in SW 19 or last year when he almost took Nole down).

    Having said that – I’m wayyyyy tired of the big 4 except for Fed. We see too many of the same guys to often at the tail end. Rooting for Stan. But even Murray would be slightly more compelling than Nole.

  29. Anyone else annoyed Fed said that Wimbledon is next and the goal is to win it? Could be wrong but usually when he makes claims about wanting to win stuff, he never comes close πŸ˜†

    1. Yep! I totally agree! Let’s pray it’s not a first round exit this time :-\
      He should talk less and give us some real big results to talk about!!

    2. Haha, no Jonathan! I’d be far more annoyed if he’d said that Wimbledon is next and he’d just like to compete, maybe just make the second week!

      Come on ffs, a return to grass, Fed has got to come out fighting! Let’s see how he does in Halle but I really think that SW19 this year is his last realistic chance at a Slam. And I believe he’ll do it. The form has been good over the last year and he is the only one to show that he can beat Nole when conditions suit (Shanghai, Dubai and they always do at Wimbly).

      As for the French, let’s be honest he was never going to win it but I was pleased that he schooled Monfils. On another, luckier day he could have passed Stan too. Stan was in the zone, unfortunately, the gales favoured him also. And there was a very bad call during the 3rd set breaker. If Fed had won the 3rd, I could definitely have seen Stan crumble! Overall, not a bad clay season for Fed, which for me bodes well for Wimbledon!

    3. I know what you mean Jonathan, but doesn’t he always say that for every slam? His goal has been/is always to win – surely that’s the goal of anyone who feels they have a decent chance. He’s often said he likes to set himself goals at the beginning of the year: I would imagine that is why he stays hungry and motivated?

      1. He didn’t say it for RG. And then doing so well until a strong headwind blew against. Actual I’m glad he has got courage back for Wimby.

    4. true, but hey that’s Roger..and he says that kind of thing most of times…For us it would be wonderful when he walks the talk..

    5. A little, but otoh maybe he just said, forget this, of course I want to win it, I’m tired of saying “I hope I go deep”, let’s just see what happens if I say up front what everybody says I mean anyway if I say something else.

    6. Not saying anything that isn’t a fact. Guess we’ll see what else he has to say to media once he gets to SW19 and draw comes out.

      1. He’ll say what he usually says: “you guys talk about the draws, I play them” πŸ˜‰

  30. The king is gone but he is not forgotten
    This is the story of Rafa Rotten

    Actually the Neil young song goes as Johnny Rotten and thus Rafa Rotten refers more to his game than his persona.

    Having said that a headline read that Djokovic dethrones Nadal. It was an easy dethroning. All this talk about Rafa being a great fighter is exaggeration. Rafa needed 5 sets and bad light to dethrone Fed at Wimbledon. Delpo required 5 sets to dethrone Fed at US. Again it took Safin 5 sets at the Aus open ( though not exactly a dethroning ) as Fed went on to win it in 2006 & 2007 till Novak beat him in straights in 2008 ( owing to mono ). And if you take the much-not-discussed ATP Tour finals it took Nalbandian ( well you guessed it ) 5 sets in 2005 after Fed had won in 2003 & 2004.

    The dethroners are all gone ( barring Novak and am quite sure that Rafa is done and dusted, his last bastion overthrown ) but the real King is not gone.

    In the fire, the King will come
    Thunder rolls, piper and drum

    Song by Wishbone Ash, coming true, come Wimbledon

    1. HeHe, good reference to Neil Young!

      Now, the following can sound absolutely ridiculous, but bear with me for one paragraph:
      By definition, the “king” status is inherited by parenthood, not acquired through any personal competence (I know, this might fire up some political argueing, but facts are facts…). Therefore, Rafal is not the king of anything, he was (is still?) the clay “boss” for as many years as he raised above his peers by direct confrontation, not because some spell was cast over him by some blonde fairy. Or change that to “president of clay”… sounds cleaner.

      More seriously: I watched carefully the match replay on TV evening. There were some closeups of Rafael’s face after botching a few of his once-so-deadly hits. You could *actually* read his disappointment and inner pain. He was feeling and suffering every failure. You*actually* imagine yourself as him at that spot. It is a lonely place on court. No team mates to dilute the flop, no one to tap your back, nothing to use as an excuse, it’s fight back, or at the very least, fight to leave the court dignified, even if defeated. The players know this and that’s why they very rarely exchange sour words. They know how it’s like. Most fanboys don’t, still they rant and rant and rant… They’d better enjoy the privilege of having those artists to watch. And, for heaven’s sake, take your kids out, go hit some balls, have fun (I do it every weekend!)

  31. I feel many of you are preparing for some funeral, and that’s not making any good. – Fore sure it would have been the more encouraging, the deeper Roger went in RG.
    Roger looked maybe flat after the match with Wavrinka, but despite the defeat there – heavy wind favoring the power player – he IS very fit at the moment, and – there was before that a relieving pause in the ever nauseating speech about retirement, how, when and so on. Hey mates, it’s very discouraging and not fair. – Of course there is the power-playing getting us nervous – a strong and sad and primitive weapon to Roger’s beautiful elegance and precision – and then the age – perhaps making him a tiny bit less consistent. But hell with that – HE IS STILL THERE, AND LET US CELEBRATE OUR GRATITUDE!

  32. Did any one else notice how Djokovic never let Nadal hit his inside out forehand, by allowing him to run around the court?

    1. You didn’t actually mean never, did you? I thought he hit quite a few of those, and I watched just the first set. But yes, the depth was too much for Nadal to create any kind of offense.

    2. Yeah he hit a fair few inside out FH in the match. Like Sid said Djoker just hitting too much depth too consistently for Nadal to really do any damage. Never got any confidence in his shots to go for lines.

  33. Guys!!? Why does Federer’s site show his schedule to read: Halle, Wimbledon and Basel? That can’t be right. It’s always updated early in the year, at least up to the Slam and 1000 level.

    1. Because he hasn’t confirmed anything else beyond that point yet. He’s been releasing his schedule in chunks all year. My guess is he’s mulling over whether to play Montreal or not, which is a big decision: he has a lot of points to defend there (and is going to need them, I expect), but look what happened last year when he got to the finals both in Canada and Cincy. OTOH, if he dumps Canada and then goes out early in Cincy that could really hurt him as well …

    2. He is retiring after Basel. There will be ceremony, with a standing ovation that will last 20 minutes. πŸ™‚

  34. Jon, I hope you managed to catch the SF just now, even if it wasn’t the result you wanted. From the radio commentary, it sounded like a great match.

  35. I’m not looking for retirement, but I get what Sid is saying about the reality of things.
    I want Fed to win everything – and He has a real shot at SW19 and many min clay 1000s and an outside shot everywhere else.

    But regardless – he is such an amazing and joyful athlete and such an aesthetically pleasing champion – its just nice and a gift to be able to still see him compete.

    And he is a solid #2 IN THE WORLD STILL.

  36. Leaving aside the general mood of negativity and depression on here at the moment (did we *really* think Fed stood a chance of winning this tournament?), there are 3 things which bug me about this match, and for which I don’t think there’s been any explanation:

    1. The whatever it is on his 3rd finger which Roger I think has had taped for weeks now, and which I gather he had to get the trainer to re-tape mid-match.

    2. The odd fact that at one of the 0-1 changeovers, I can’t remember which one, Roger actually went and sat down for a second when he shouldn’t have done. Distracted? Not there mentally? Rather odd from someone of his experience.

    3. The ITV commentators reported that Roger had turned up about 20 minutes late for his scheduled practice and, I think, not actually hit that much. They seemed to think that was a bit odd, but someone may know differently?
    (Incidentally, Stan was reportedly hitting virtually only groundies in practice – getting his groove in, I should imagine)

    I don’t know whether this means anything or not, but it sounds a little unusual, at least.

    1. I think I did, actually. Maybe not a huge chance, but a chance. He’s #2 in the world. He made the final in Rome, so he can still play on clay.

      Interesting points you raise. It does make it sound like his mind was somewhere else. On the other hand he got rather more specific in press than he usually does about some of the different tactics he tried, none of which seemed to work. Maybe the “somewhere else” was, “c’mon Roger, you know this guy inside out, how would you attack his game here?”

    2. Not really- but considering how well he’s been playing the past year and a half now, you can’t blame people for having the belief that he could make it to the final at least. None of that matters though if Roger himself doesn’t believe it. And alas, here we are hoping he gets whatever he did out of the clay season and becomes the foundation for sweet glory on the grass.

      Also regarding Roger’s practice session- I assume Fed kept it light because he did play a match the day before and didn’t feel it was necessary to have a session like Stan. Then again who really knows. In Australia, he said something didn’t feel right in his practice session before the Seppi match and we all know how that turned out. Can’t find transcript of the interview but from what little I saw, Fed won’t ever reveal too much post-Stan matches. So best just to leave it and move on.

      1. I think Roger has reason to be optimistic. The result was not ideal, the loss was not ideal, but those days happen. I’d say his clay court form has been reasonably good this year, and I feel he played well at Roland Garros, and it was conditions combined with a drop off that let Stan through, as well as a bomb of a performance from Stan. So it’s hard to assess fed, but this tournament, draw included, I don’t think has been a failure.

  37. My God, I thought Nadal was shit, till I saw the disgrace that Serena Williams is. Thank god I don’t watch WTA very often.

    1. Never mind. Just read about it. What a bitch! Wow! Totally trolled Timea out of the match. Fuck!

      Biggest drama queen in the history of the sport. Ran away into her panic room a few years go, when a doping inspector showed up at her door. They don’t just show up, they get a fucking appointment. She didn’t get tested subsequently citing stress from the incident.

      Safarova is toast. Poor, sweet girl. Even if she does good, this thug will continue playing her illness card, and completely mess her up.

      I’ve said this several times on this blog. Serena Williams, and Rafael Nadal, are evil. No wonder the bitch calls him her “booty brother”.

      1. Yeah, was really dissapointed for Timea, she seems like a great girl, always smiling and having fun… I just can’t stand Serena, to me she’s worse than Dull…

        The fun thing is, when she’s on court she’s so unellegant, it seems like she can’t even play tennis! Looks like she’s like a chicken with it’s head cut off running all over the place like a retard…
        And those yells… does she have to do that?…

      2. Yeah, I force myself a lot when trying not be too harsh with wording when it comes to talk about players I hate seeing. It so happens that SW is one of those. I have no idea, and honestly I don’t care, if she is a charming person or not. I can even assume that yes, she is. But I really hate the way she “plays”. She is stiff all the time. She releases the racquet like someone operating a torpedo launch bay. Too much grunt, too much fight, too much brute force, too little tactics, zero elegance, zero grace. Did you see her jumping up & down on court after winning last AO on that ice-cream outfit? Ridiculous and scary at the same time…
        I’m all for Safarova, but I fear I’m in for a (another) disappointment.

      3. How popular is Serena? I only watched her (slow power play) a little, but from that she seems to have a somewhat unsympathetic radiance…?

      4. I think that the popularity she has is the kind that is solely driven by victories. Honestly, I cannot glimpse any other quality to make her someone worth cheering for.
        Had she not won any slam, I guess we could count her fans by one hand’s fingers.
        Don’t know, just a sarcastic guess…

      5. [ It so happens that SW is one of those]

        Why Rui? Because Serena Williams is Black? See, that’s what the problem is. She plays her minority card to perfection, and is able to get away with practically anything she wants to do. When people criticized her for her behavior at US 2009 (that shoving the ball incident), they were branded as racists.

        She is entitled to do whatever she wants, because she is Black. Because she is Serena Williams.

      6. What? No, not because of that, not even close. (Btw, you don’t even know my skin colour…)
        (I just read my previous post and I noticed I did not end the sentence properly: it should be “I hate to see playing” or “I hate watching”; English is not my native language).
        I don’t put that in the equation and I really don’t think that positive discrimination issues are at play here and I am certainly not in the position to make assumptions about what motivates her behaviour, even if I had a complete record of all the things she did. Of course, speculation is free, as are opinions.
        It has all to to with play style, nothing else; I thought I was clear on that. Sorry if I wasn’t.

      7. No, Rui, that’s not what I implied. What I meant was, are you scared to say bad things about her, or her play, just because of her color? If yes, then that shouldn’t be the case. The problem is, if you say anything even remotely bad about her, and everyone starts yelling, “Racist!”, right away. And she plays her role as a victim to perfection.

        It shouldn’t be that way.

      8. I’m sorta getting Sid here (I know, rare, right? πŸ˜‰ )
        I will never defend racism for a second, but it does feel like she has a certain protection from criticism because of her race. That should not be the case, only if her race is the reason for criticism, which it never is, but she makes it so with her aura.

      9. Not sure of that, but Super Bitch was at it again. Sister Bitch was cheering her from the side. Timea got trolled.

        Man, I so wish I could get her, and all her fans together somewhere, and devise a final solution. Wish I had the power.

      10. Sid, just invent an impeccable method of checking dope, apply it to every player on unforeseen times, and tennis would be a lot better/some “power” eliminated

      11. Yeah shocking final again, I find it hard to comprehend how Silliams has any fans at all. I know there are a lot of stupid people around but appreciating Serena’s tennis or her antics is strange to say the least πŸ˜†

        That panic room story is clearly a doping incident. She thought it was a home invasion? But did she ring the police?

    1. Stan’s good karma coming in bucket loads this tournament- but I assume it’s earned since he was given the same misfortune at Wimbledon yesterday. Although, when it comes to Djoker I doubt it makes a difference, the guy is such a phenomenal athlete and wants this slam so bad that I fear nothing can stand in his way come the final.

      Also, are there any plans for RG to upgrade and get a roof and some lights for night matches? I mean c’mon, its 2015, and each year that passes it falls behind the rest of the slams in terms of organisation and fan experience- poor go that people who had tickets to the semi final match yday won’t get to see Djoko/Murray finish.

      1. They can’t get lights apparently due to planning laws and local residents not allowing it. You know what it’s like in France – if they passed a decision to put lights up they’d be out on the streets and tearing Chatrier down brick by brick.

  38. Not sure if it was just me but that Djoko/Muzz semi final was reminiscent of the Fed/Delpo semi-final scare. Novak looking a tad vulnerable, slayed the dragon but he, himself remains to be the biggest obstacle at this slam. I think Stan has a really huge opportunity here and Novak doubts himself yet again. These two been playing 5 setters in slams on the past few occasions, hope it can be another epic like AO 2013, may the best man win.

    Also re Murray, very good clay court season, nice to see him finally turn up to the surface after all these years. Consistency on all surfaces is key to potentially reaching #1 and I assume with this run and and the amount of points Fed has to defend from here on out, it’s only a matter of time before he overtakes him.

    1. ‘ I assume with this run and and the amount of points Fed has to defend from here on out, it’s only a matter of time before he overtakes him.’ Yep, Murray is No2 Race to London, and I would imagine by the end of the year, he will in fact be No2. Feds will have to go some to repeat the US season feats. All I’m hoping for is the W at Wimbledon. πŸ™‚

    2. I’ve just watched the AO 2013 highlights, Stan was up a break in 2nd set and at the start of the fifth, also had some BP chances, Djokovic very clutch but had Stan found the right shots on those big big points he’d have won that 2013 one. Could be similar today if its close and Stan’s game is clicking.

  39. If Novak wins the title…. it was the orange outfit people…. I tell you… it was the orange outfit πŸ™‚

    If Stan the Man wins the title… his jammies will be a collectors item !!! Next year you will see everyone in that table cloth !!! I tell you…. If Stan wins, he will never take that short off πŸ™‚

    I know who I will be rooting for. Go make those shorts famous dude πŸ™‚ Although I was sad that Roger lost to Stan, Stan deservedly won. He played a great match and was unbeatable (take a bow Stanimal). If he plays like that against Novak, then even Novak cannot stop him. GO STAN πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah I’m hoping Stan can produce the level required. I just watched their AO 2013 match, a few key moments where if Stan had won those points he would have won the match, could be similar today.

    1. Hey sweet Sue, I have been LMAO (Learning aka studying My Ass Off) πŸ™‚ Also since last weekend my internet connection is getting crappier and crappier, so….

      BUT NOW…. I don’t want Novak to win, would have been better if Roger was in the final, but Stan the Man has a very good chance. Go Stan, do the impossible, go win πŸ™‚ Will be rooting for you. But in truth…. Stan really is a beautiful player to watch, when he is on…. wow…. go win it Stan.
      You take RG…. we will take Wimby πŸ™‚

  40. Depressing times. People are rooting for a powerplayer. Even his drawers will stay if goes through. Even I have a small hope for him. And people HERE thinks Murray will soon overtake Roger. Serena won. How bad can it all be??? ROGER, COME ON! Save our summer!

    1. Murray has a tonne of points to gain so it’s quite logical to assume he will overtake Roger sooner or later.

    2. Stan is a bit more than just a powerplayer. His shotmaking is incredible off that backhand win. I just watched AO 2013 4th Round highlights and some of the shots he produced were off the hook.

      1. If you forget for a second that Stan beat Roger… man…. Stan is one hell of a player. Cannot believe why he hasn’t won more. The shots against Roger…. gold, just gold. But…. we will take our revenge on him the next time πŸ™‚
        #neverforgetandforgivealoss πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      2. That 2013 AO 4th round is one of my favourite 5 setters of all time. The quality of tennis match was better than the Wimbledon 2014 final in my opinion. I just can’t stop watching that backhand down-the-line winner he hit at 0-1 in the 4th set tiebreaker. One of the greatest backhands you’ll ever see.

    1. Hey thanks Wanda – hilarious – even though No25 didn’t happen then and is unlikely to happen now! I hadn’t seen it, being late joiner to PeRFect Tennis.

    2. 2012, how time flies.

      One of my best posts I think, I was the .GIF pioneer, now they’ve gone tennis mainstream. πŸ˜†

      As for an update – I will think about what could be different or a new angle. Most of the emotions are all still the exact same in 2015 as they were when I wrote it…

      1. Oh yea Jonathan – most of! As for those few needing a small adjustment – I look so much forward – come along, dear blog-boss!

  41. Wanda: Oh, is it…? Well just to get over with.
    Anyway thanks for the πŸ˜€ classic. Watched it a year ago, and missed it ever since.

  42. Well Wawrinka was robbed of a chance to break back in the first set thanks to the umpire’s failure to pick the correct ball mark!

    1. Didn’t think this would go five. It may not after all. The question is, how much fuel Stan wants to burn in Set 4, before making a final push?

      1. Not sure if I should feel bad for Djokovic, or happy for Stan. The heartbreak continues. Looks like RG isn’t meant to be for Novak.

      2. My thoughts exactly! Mixed emotions for me. But Stan totally deserved the title, the tennis he displayed was mesmerising!

      3. It’s a bit of a shame. I hope he wins it one day. I think his performance today would have been enough to beat almost anyone else.

    1. Ok, calm down man, the 2009 French final wasn’t even a good match. Federer’s 2011 loss was a better match. Don’t forget Roger’s polo. πŸ™‚

      1. I agree. It’s difficult for a match that was so one sided and which didn’t do momentum shifts to be of that high a quality. Roger turned up and tactically dismantled Soderling.

        2011 was certainly better, because you could make cases for the first three sets going either way, and the tennis was of great quality.

  43. Predictions:
    Djokovic to not win the French Open
    Nadal to not win the French Open
    Federer to not win the French Open
    Sock to defeat Dimitrov

    Well done Jonathan.

    1. 100% record πŸ˜† Greg Rusedksi is worried he won’t get a new Sky deal.

      All that was missing was a prediction for Stan to win. I had him or Nishikori as my 2 picks pre tournament.

      1. I went for nishikori. My predictions were for the winner to come from Fed’s half, but I went the wrong way! πŸ˜‰

    2. That didn’t seem like an over the top prediction. Maybe it was over the top which ended up being lucky? πŸ˜‰

      I don’t think Jonathan has ever predicted that Roger would win a slam. There have always been ifs and buts in his write up. Let’s keep it that way.

      1. Yes Sid, he never predicts Fed to win and how many has he since the blog was created? Time for a change πŸ™‚

  44. Take a bow Novak. Take a well deserved bow. You played great and fair. But just like the match with Roger…. Stan was in the zone, unplayable and hitting the most beautiful winners from every corner. Every shot turned into gold. Like Roger he just hit you off the court. No shame in losing to THIS Stan…..

    Jeez Stan. Man, you are good. TAKE A BOW DUDE. Congrats. Well earned and well deserved.

    Ps: Guys… do we have to worry now about Stan too?? πŸ™‚

  45. Soooooo happy with the result!! Great match, though I thought Novak was too passive. Stan is great to watch when on song.

    Though the result could have been very different had Stan not saved those three straight BPs in a great fashion.
    Hope Stan can have a good season from here on!

    Hopp suisse!!

  46. Beautiful match by Stan. Some really crisp hitting, unreal power. Gonna make one hell of a highlight real. So happy for Stan. But still I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Novak. I’m tired of his dominance in the sport, but I think he deserves to win here given his history here. Did all the hard work by Nadal and Murray. I actually hope he gets it next year, but it looks like he is cursed here.

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