Roger Federer

What to Expect for Roger Federer in 2013

I thought rather than doing a post about the predictable Australian Open final tomorrow I'd take a look at what we can expect for Roger for 2013 and what he is likely to achieve.

Heading into Australia we had no real idea of what to expect, he hadn't played any lead up tournaments so it was entering the unknown really. Some fans were confident Slam 18 was a formality, others were worried he might slip up and end his Quarter Final streak; as it turned out, neither of those things happened.

Now the dust has settled on his 5 set loss to Andy Murray in the semi final and we saw Roger find his way through a tough draw I think we're all in a much better place to have some expectations for 2013 as a whole so let's take a look…

Why I'm feeling confident for Roger's 2013 season

Pre Australian Open I was pretty confident that Roger would have a good season, I thought winning a slam would be tricky, but not impossible and I figured he'd definitely still be adding some more titles to his already jam packed trophy cabinet. First off post Australian Open, none of that has changed.

And secondly, now Australia is finished and we've seen how he handled playing the top juniors, an inspired Tsonga and a prime Murray I'm even more excited about the rest of the season and I think you guys should be too.

Whether Roger wins a slam or not I still think he's going to factor quite significantly in all the big tournaments right through to the World Tour Finals. I also think we will see quite a few epic matches where he comes out on top and once again thrills live crowds and TV watchers across the globe. Here's why:

1. He knows where his game is at

Federer Knows His Own Game

If you think about, ahead of his first round match against Benoite Paire, Roger was in exactly the same position as his fans. He didn't know what to expect of himself either having not played for weeks. Obviously he had an idea but nothing was concrete. Was he in form? Had Djokovic and Murray moved to a completely new level? Those were all questions he needed answering.

But now, after playing 6 matches, he knows exactly where his game is at and perhaps even more importantly he knows that he is still right up there with guys like Djokovic and Murray who are 6 years his junior. Sure, he won't beat them everytime they play but he will beat them at least some of the time. And at 31 years of age I find that pretty incredible.

Roger went into the tournament obviously wanting to win, no doubt about it and even though he didn't achieve that I guarantee after the tournament is over he will have learned plenty.

He will know what he needs to work on, how he has to manage his body over future slams and the tactics/patterns of play that will be key to future matches against the likes of Tsonga, Murray and the young guns who are rising through the ranks.

It was also Annacones first time out court side since the World Tour Finals, the first time he's seen Murray post US Open form so his eyes also help things.

All this adds up for an interesting few months where I think we can expect Roger to put in some pretty sweet performances.

As a fan you have to remember he's always going to lose some tight matches especially on slower courts but I don't think we have to get down about those, they make the big wins all the more sweeter.

2. He's scheduled smart

Federer Smart 2013 Scheduling

The unique thing about Roger is that he has massive talent, but he also has a lot of intelligence. It's a rare combination as most talented sports people tend to be completely brain dead, which often means they never reach their true potential.

Because of his ability to think he's planned out a great schedule for 2013 that allows him to ensure he's in great condition both mentally and physically to compete at the top level for an entire season.

I know some fans moaned, oh he's skipping Miami, why is he not playing Monte Carlo but playing every tournament going was never going to be wise. It was Roger's only option to stay healthy and make sure he scheduled recovery periods in between big tournaments.

If he were to play all those tournaments and Davis Cup he'd be basically ruining his chances of performing in the Slams. Nobody wants to see that.

His GOAT scheduling yet again makes me think he will be in good shape when it really matters, and his rest periods allow time to both get rid of niggles and also to practise on the areas that he and his team have earmarked as areas for improvement.

3. He's skipping Davis Cup

Federer Skips Davis Cup

Another wise choice from Roger as he announced he wouldn't be available for Switzerland's opening Davis Cup tie against defending champions the Czech Republic.

The tennis tour is crazy enough at is in terms of travel without having to fly around the globe playing pointless matches in the Davis Cup.

As a player you have to make sacrifices, you either win Slams, or you play in Davis Cup. Simple fact really. By skipping it Roger has made his intentions clear, he wants to be in peak condition for the big tournaments against his fellow rivals.

If he was content just to make the second round of slams and just turn up for Masters 1000 he would have played the Davis Cup for sure, but no, he wants to keep competing at the top level and manage his body and schedule accordingly.

He's played over 600 matches on tour now, so I think he understands what needs to be done to challenge for a slam title, and if he didn't feel like it was possible then he wouldn't do it. All bodes well as far as I'm concerned.

What can we expect from Federer in 2013?

As far as I'm concerned we can only expect good thing to happen. The match against Murray showed he's still right up there competing with those guys. Yes he lost, it's never fun, but in the grand scheme of things it's not really too big of a deal.

Look back at the match, things weren't in his favour, Murray is a force these days and the courts are slow. What more could he have done? Forget tactics, 2nd serve returning and break point conversion for a minute, those things could have been better for sure but realistically he played as well as he could have played on that given day.

Look at is this way, the next time Fed and Murray meet it might be the same outcome, but based on how he competed over 5 sets yesterday we gotta remember it could also be a completely different result. Over his 6 matches in Australia we saw that Roger is capable of doing everything right for the duration of the match and winning in style. That for me makes 2013 sound pretty interesting.

So I go from here with a good feeling for the year. I didn’t play a tournament leading in, so now obviously I know where my level is at. Also knowing I have even more time to work on my game, work on my fitness this year. It’s something I’m excited about.

In terms of wins and losses, I don't have any expectations or predictions along the lines of “he will win 2 Masters 1000's, 1 slam and the World Tour Finals”, my expectations are simply that he'll continue to compete at the top level, carry on surprising a few people and no doubt suffer some tough losses too. At 31 that sounds like the peRFect season to me.

As I said in a previous blog post that the US Open is where I think there could be fireworks, it's a long way off but I get the feeling Federer has one eye on performing well in New York this year, maybe even more so than his beloved Wimbledon. One thing is for certain, barring any injuries, we'll find out!

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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84 Comments

  1. Some of those inside out backhands in the QF and SF were just a dream to behold. If he carries on hitting through it like that for the rest of the season, we’re in for a treat!

  2. Totally agree Johnatan I think it will be a very positive season and we for sure will see Roger lifting some thropies.

    The result at the AO against Murray coild been different, I am pretty sure he will win against him next time they face.

    Go Roger !!!!!!!

    1. Hey Mike,

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Yeah I think it will be a good year, at 31 years of age and still competing at the top level it’s kinda impossible for it to be a bad year anyway. Blessed to be still watching him.

      Jonathan

  3. Great post Jonathan !
    I’m really looking forward to This season, hope it’ll be a great one!
    It’s bad for me cuz I’m Going to Miami This year and I wanted to see Roger , but skipping the Sony Open is for the best, the same for Monte Carlo, CanadΓ‘ and Paris-Bercy

    1. Hey Carlos,

      Ah it will still be good man, Miami looks a cool city. Courts are slow though which is a bit annoying!

      He’s playing Canada and Bercy though man. Just skipping Miami, MC and Basel.

      Jonathan

      1. Yes hehe I’m guessing it’ll be great … I know I meant that he has skipped those M1000 before and at the end of that year it wasn’t a big deal …

  4. Wow i wasnt expecting another post so soon, but i am glad u choose a post oz open of what to expect than the predictable tennis style of play in the oz open final with Djoko/Murray.
    Its interesting to see what fed will pull off, i too believe its a long season and fed has done the right thing regarding scheduling. U may be right Wimbledon and US open is Feds best chance off winning. Although at the French anything is possible. With Nadal coming back in feb. This will be really tasty to see what he does.Nadal may not be the fav for once but saying that injured or not Nadal is so difficult to beat on clay. I believe in this season the Djokor wont be able to maintain his high level of play cos somewher along the line he will lose to opponents in early rounds. He has been soo lucky to go through this will level out in losses for him.
    For Fed what he has accomplished bodes well for the future with defo more records to broken!
    I feel optamistic that Fed will still win aleast one or two slams to add to his collection b4 he retires!!

    1. Hey man,

      French Open out of the question for me. He didn’t win on that surface in his prime so to do it now would need something stupidly special.

      Not sure I see Djoker losing in the early rounds either, he’s gonna factor in all 4 I think. And I’d imagine if Fed is to win a slam, he will have to beat Djoker.

      I don’t mind if it’s zero slams just as long as he plays well and gives 100%. Like I say though, US Open is the one I think could happen, it’d be about time πŸ™‚

      Jonathan

      1. Totally agree about the zero slams! I definitely prefer 2011 compared to 2010 for Roger… He did the best he could against a pretty damn good Djoker and the tennis I found was pretty amazing (even though some tough losses)

      2. Hi… About the French ur right. It just me being over giddy and hyping feds chances. I know it his worst surface,but would like him to win Rome 1000 masters. He might hav a better chance depending on the draw.
        I am watcging highlights of. Oz final. The only thing i like is Djokers retro silver adidas trainers. The score was expected as u said the Djoker winnin. I would of loved fed given him his run for money in the final but i think fed will defo get a chance and crack at a major against one of the big 4 in a major final!
        Again keep the good work up mate. It will be a really interesting season to come. Something tells me that federer will still surprise a few people.:). πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Jonathan,
    your post is a useful corrective to James Lawtons Independent take down yesterday.
    I still think there are reasons to be optimistic.
    The choice/question for Fed is whether he wants to keep up with Djokovic/Murray aka the ‘running men.’
    And at least its a choice for Fed – for most its not.
    He was still a bit loose at the semi-final and his forehand was frayed at times. As you say, Fed is far too smart an operator not to know where he can improve.
    I think he will do something in 2013 – he has immense reserves, psychological and physical.

    Jay.

    1. Hey Jay,

      Ah I haven’t read it. It will just annoy me. Purely written to cause a stir and get more website visitors for their advertising revenues. Which is fair enough but I imagine nothing new was covered just how he was slow and Murray is now a much better player bla bla.

      peRFect Tennis remains an advert free experience haha πŸ˜›

      I think he’s still motivated to do well, and he knows where is game is at. Plenty of time off this year to work on his game too with smart scheduling.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Hi Jonathan , i would first like to congratulate you for the wonderful blog, in-dept analyses and quick write ups of your articles.
    Now straight to business…it`s been some time since a blog called “Tennis has a steroid” problem is uncovering how easy to pass doping control has become nowadays not only in cycling with the Armstrong case but for tennis andsports in general. The site provides excellened info like doping test statistics, cases of suspicious tennis players, interviews with players etc. Of special interest for you should be the trial vs. Dr. Moral De Garcia who halped Armstrong passing drug tests and enhanced his performance. This doctor who is nowadays banned was working for a tennis academy Val in Valencia, Spain where other players enjoyed his services …like Nadal, Ferrer etc.If its not the local governement that covers the other elite sportists involved from football teams like Barcelona etc, everyone would now which players doped besides Nadal and Ferrer. Recently Djokovic with his space egg is also gaining illeagal advantage since if you read all matherials about the egg online he claimed to have used it 2-3 times only in 2011 after his fenomenal prformance and no blood tests out of competition.
    Now i am writing all this to ask you if you are willing to follow this topic on your blog at least whenever federer played with the most pointed as dopers these days Djokovic and Murray.
    Their quick recoveries and suspicious power (did you notice how strong Murray`s lower body became out of nowhere) will give no chance for Federer to have an equal chance to win even on best of 3 format matches from now on if he doesn`t get doped too or they don`t improve doping control in this sport. It`s true Roger is aging but no one can overcome the power of steroids, EPOs and other stimulants which can turn even an average player into a winning machine.
    You have many followers so you can join the battle for clean sport that the site above started !!!!

    1. Hey,

      Thanks for the kind words πŸ™‚

      I have never heard of that blog, just checked it out now, very interesting, a lot of information to absorb on there so I’m going to read it in full tomorrow when I have time. Do you write posts there?

      Will also look at that trial with the Doctor. Sounds interesting.

      I have had a lot of discussions about doping in tennis, I have my suspicions but nothing concrete has ever really emerged. I’d like to find out for certain though. Maybe the shit will hit the fan one day and we’ll find out more than we ever imagined.

      It seems like it’s easy to get away with it though wit the current testing that’s for sure.

      I will have a think about doing a post.

      Jonathan

      1. Hi Jonathan, nice to hear that i managed to catch your interest with this blog.I am still shocked that many still doesn`t know it exists.If one only googled for while the word doping and tennis or nadal and doping its easy to spot it:)
        I am not writing articles there but follow it almsot since it started. I would advice you to read all articles about the spanish doctor and the case for nadal. Its verry important to read trough all those comments since readers post interviews or stats or other interesting stuff. The guy who is writing the blog is trying somehow to lower its writing recently which is weird since the web site is the reson Jokovich got a whole interview about his recovery regimes and if he`s doing things legally. I envy you a little that you will discover so much about what is hidden from us the fans backed up with data from WADA and interviews with the president of those testing agencies etc.. The links below are the ones to start with -dr . De MOral, followed by how tests are performed and how results are treated. Also search in the web site for an interview with Nadal in Mallorca media about being tested 2 times in a row :
        “”Q:Have you been subjected to antidoping test these last months?
        Nadal:
        Yes, but I don’t complain about the test themselves, but about the way in wich they are held. It’s easy to let it be and not comment about it, but I’m not like this. I state this clearly, I want antidoping testing, but they make us go through very unpleasant situations which i cannot agree to and support. A 6.30 am this morning they made me a blood and urine control. Yesterday, at 6:20 am the same. Two day in a row. This is not what a sportsman life is about. When they knock at your door that early you get a death scare because you think something terrible as happened. Besides I live with my parents.

        Interviewer: Why at 6 a.m two day in a row?
        Nadal : You have to be vailable 365 day a year, 1 hour a day, the one I provide is 7 a.m. I don’t think it is legal, because it goes against your privacy and security. It feels incoherent and unnecessary. At the 3rd time they don’t find you, they suspend you during 1 year, minimum. When they enter my house I offer them coffee. They are workers and I don’t blame them personnaly. I want to be tested. I know I’m clean, never in my life would I take something. I see the sport as a philosophy and I would rather retire than do shit (something stupid).”

        and here is what the boss of WADA has to say:

        “Surprise tests have been done for years, but the new world anti-doping code – which cami into force on January 1 – contemplates one change in the rules: athletes have to say where they are going to be for one hour each day, 365 days a year and be available for testing at the designated time and place.

        That can be any time between 6 am and 11 pm, so Fahey thinks ‘the revised code is less difficult for any athlete than the previous one,’ in which sportsmen could be subjected to testing ’24 hours a day, seven days a week.’

        Should a sportsman be unavailable three times, without prior notice, with respect to the information he had given sports authorities, he is liable to sanctions for breaking anti-doping rules.

        World number one tennis player Nadal has said that the rule makes him ‘feel like a criminal’, while world number four Murray described it as ‘draconian.’ Women’s number one Serena Williams agreed with her male colleagues and said it was ‘too much.’

        Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral and Tennis: Timeline (Update #1):

        http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.nl/2012/10/dr-luis-garcia-del-moral-and-tennis.html

        http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/World_Anti-Doping_Program/WADP-The-Code/WADA_Anti-Doping_CODE_2009_EN.pdf

    2. I, for one, would love to see more posts on the topic of doping. I’m a firm believer that quite a bit of doping is going on, especially with the others in the big four. I’ve also sensed that Murray has gained sudden strength.

      Despite all that, Roger nearly beat Murray. At 31, we saw the fire and the hunger of a brash 20 something. In a good way, I actually liked Roger mouthing off at Murray. But hopefully that won’t become a habit. More than losing to Murray, he seemed upset about not being able to get a shot at Djokovic.

      He is going nowhere. I’m predicting at least one Slam (Wimbledon or USO) and two Masters 1000’s in 2013.

      1. Excellent post Goran and intriguing articles. As a former serious distance runner, I am very familiar with WADA and anti-doping but suspect a lot of tennis fans may be less so. I would advise people to familarise themselves with the main aspects as it can put a lot of things into perspective. One major point though for all to consider: just as there are highly intelligent teams of anti-doping experts and doctors doing all they can to minimize cheating there are also teams of similarly or more intelligent ( certainly more evil and devious ) doctors and scientists who as we speak in some sports somewhere in the world are involved in the most sophisticated drug and doping regimens than we can imagine. Lance Armstrong might perhaps be the highest profile sportsperson to be caught but believe me there have been many before and there will be many again. Why should tennis be immune from this evil?

  7. Yup, totally agree! We’re in for a great season, and any new achievements/ records he gets is just a bonus for us fans. I mean, he’s got 99,99% of the records out there, still going toe to toe against the best who are 6 years younger… At some point we should just stop asking and just take what he gives us πŸ˜‰

    Just disagree with one thing, he’s not doing anything for his home fans (including me), since he is skipping basel… I agree with davis cup, but still think he should play at least 1 tournament on home soil…

    Anyway, another peRFect year in perspective!!

    1. Hey,

      Exactly, I like that statement. He has given the fans so much over the years.

      He might still play Basel man, if they come to an agreement… I heard it’s likely.

      Davis Cup for me just isn’t a big thing, it’s not really something that’s really important to a player so I can’t blame him for skipping it and concentrating on the slams. But I guess it is nice for the fans to watch him in their own country.

      Jonathan

      1. Yeah, got the tickets for this upcoming week end, but I prefer that roger doesn’t play even if that means I can’t see him. You should see the press here they’re ll over him cause he’s not playing… about Basel though, I think it’s plain greediness from him to even have to come to an agreement: he’s doesn’t really need money, and it is his native tournament after all, he was a ball boy there… On top of it being the only potential Swiss tournament he plays since he quit Gstaad. I totally respect Roger, I’m a f**king huge fan, but he lost a couple of points with me after pulling that one…

      2. Yes I agree, would be very very surprised if he does not compete at Basel. After all a record-equaling 10th final appearance is up for grabs which would tie the Open Era record of Guillermo Vilas for most finals competed in at a single tournament. Doubt if he would pass this up and at his home tournament too! No, Roger is probably playing hardball with the organisers following last year’s spat. No doubt Roger will come out on top here too!

      3. Depends how stubborn Brennwald is, according to the German and Swiss press he is quite a single minded person so he could just be awkward. Who knows what the fall out is even over.

  8. Jonathan, excellent post. I think like you it’s not right to make predictions on what tournaments he will win but just to expect a good season from the GOAT.

    Skipping Davis Cup is wise, he needs to put his fitness/longevity as priority and he wants to defend his three upcoming titles to fend off Murray from his ranking I guess. Not sure if Fed cares about rankings anymore that much though, as long as he stays in top five he knows his level is up there.

    After his loss to Murray I realised something, alot of the time I get down when he loses against the other big three. But this time I realised just how amazing he is and how is shot making is still good as ever at the age of 31 against players in their prime, I don’t think people give him enough credit. Right now I’m just going to enjoy watching him play and still competing because like you I think this and next year is probably going to be his last two years to get another slam, Wimbledon or US Open, I’ll be happy regardless. As a Federer fan I’m going to accept he is not going to win everything but rather just enjoy watching him while he is here, because the sport is not going to be the same when he leaves.

    As for Roger’s long time goals including longevity, something tells me he wants to make it to 20 slams. I think if he works hard this season and gets a favourable draw in Wimbledon/US Open these next two years (He is not winning AO or RG again) it is achievable, I have faith in Roger’s own judgement and his scheduling is accredited to that. Looks to be a fab 2013, always behind you Roger. Looking forward to your posts this year.

    Allez!
    Alysha

    1. Cheers Alysha πŸ™‚

      Yeah fans gotta realise that he still right up there at age 31.

      Such a boring final today between Mugray and Djoker. Fed would have made it much more interesting. Shame really.

      Jonathan

      1. Final last night was pretty boring with average quality tennis. But I think people had their expectations because of last year’s final (which wasn’t even that amazing but anyway).

        The only good thing that happened was the crowd heckling Murray. Federer’s fingerprints were all over the match, pretty obvious Murray hadn’t recovered enough to go 4/5 sets.

        If this is the rivalry that most tennis commentators/experts are picking to dominate I really hope not. Murray and Novak are not a great match up, basically because when they play each other, it is like playing a mirror and a wall. No variety whatsoever, no intensity or drama. Federer just makes it more interesting like you said, his finesse and shotmaking is a given in every match he plays, win or lose. And well everyone just likes to see him play.

        Wawrinka/Djokovic or Tsonga/Fed were suited to be finals matches the way they were played out. Can’t believe I’m, saying this, but Nadal needs to get back asap. Jonathan would love to get your thoughts on whether you think Murray will be able to beat Nadal now in the slams with his new confidence, aggression etc etc? Will be interesting to see how the draws play out in the next three slams.

      2. Hey Alysha,

        Yeah crappy final. Ended as soon as that white feather came onto the court, if ever there was a sign for surrender. Murray was no longer prepared to go to war after that. Practically pinned it to his shirt as a conscientious objector.

        It’s a crap rivalry, like watching a game of Pong. Tennis without Federer would be dull. It needs someone exciting to come on the scene. Maybe Tomic can offer something a bit different, he’s a character but can he push the big guys in the game. It’s possible.

        As for Nadal. I have no idea what to expect, he is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. He could come back and sweep the clay season or he might be completely in bits. So hard to weigh up. If he comes back somewhere near his best I think he will edge Murray. Murray is better these days but I still think Nadal just has the edge in all areas and will grind him down. Just depends if he can run.

        Jonathan

  9. I hate to beat a dead horse but what if roger worked hard on his serve, and was able to consistently get his 1st serve in at around 70% or better ? Who is going to beat him if he is able to swing with out pressure on his returns and from the baseline? I don’t care how good Murray or joker is, if roger holds serve who can beat him? That’s one thing we saw in this last match. When roger went for his returns it put a hell of a lot more pressure on Murray. The chip slice has to be put away and only used sparingly. We saw how much more aggressive he could be with his backhand. It was awesome A new improved serve will be his “fountain” of youth, and give him breathing space to continue being the one and only maestro of tennis.

    1. Roger has a really good serve as we saw in those first four rounds of the AO. However, he is coming up against amazing returners like Novak and Murray and that puts alot of pressure on him.

      Sometimes you cannot choose when you have great serving days, it just happens. Sometimes, it’s on and sometimes it’s on. If Roger had a serving day like he did against Raonic, he would’ve beaten Murray no doubt. It’s his return game that he needs to be more cautious of. He needs to be more aggressive and put pressure on his opponent’s second serve. Fed is a pretty consistent server, as he gets older it is only expected that some aspects of his game are going to be a little off here and there.

    2. Yeah I think you’re right Alysha. He served at 61% against Murray, I think that’s still pretty high. It is bound to fluctuate. You gotta remember Murray is one of the greatest returners out there, that puts pressure on the serve. And sometimes you can only serve as well as your opponent allows you to.

      We are nit picking on Fed I think. Only the first tournament of the year.

      Jonathan

  10. Fed had the fewest aces over a 5 set match against Tsonga and Murray. It is not just that they are good returners but that the draw was unusually difficult and wore him down. Looking forward to the French where his chances are higher.

    1. Hey JG,

      Yeah it dropped off in those 2 matches, but Tsonga and Murray did get there rackets on a lot of balls. Maybe his back wasn’t 100% either, apparently had a lot of treatment on it after Tsonga match.

      Jonathan

      1. He did actually. He said so himself. In his usual ‘casual there is really not much going on Roger kind of way’, but I noticed it and thought about it again when he played Murray and I read the article on the AO website… It would explain a few things…

  11. Hi Jonathan,

    Good post. Unfortunately I’m away travelling so I wasn’t able to watch many of Feds matches. I did manage to watch the tsonga one though which was probably the most important for Feds. I think by beating tsonga in 5 despite not playing his best all the time he showed that fed 3.0 is picking up where he left off last season and as fans I think that’s awesome news. Also the way he fought against muz despite again being slightly off song was something else! I think it’s gonna be a great season and obviously so does he which is the main thing. Of course Murray and djokovic will be at the top of the game as they should be at this stage but we all know that Jesus Fed can blow either of them out of the water. If he turns up in the semis/final of a slam he can win any of them. The Australian open showed how important the draw is as well. Without nadal one of the big three literally walks to the final which is a huge advantage. Ferrer is a great player but a joke against federer Murray djokovic. I’d prefer to see federer in djokovics side of the draw, I’ve always thought federers game matches up better against him than Murray.
    Also if nadal doesn’t make it back for the French or is not in good form I think roger should really give it a shot. I know it’s the slowest surface but people forget that federer is like the second best clay court player ever and I think he could take djokovic (a la 2011) and Murray is dubious on clay. What do u think?

    Thanks for the posts, as always

    1. Federer is not gonna win AO or RG again, it is just too slow a surface for him. Rafa only pulled out of AO because he wants to win clay court tournaments with his ultimate goal being the French Open. I honestly don’t see anyone except Rafa winning there this year. Maybe Novak can give him a run but they don’t call Nadal king of clay for no reason. Fed would have to be playing JesusFed for 7 matches in a row while avoiding Nadal or Novak who must be in terrible form to get a win there lol. Gotta factor players like Delpo and Tsonga as well now who could push Fed on the red dirt too. Yeah agree though that Murray hasn’t figured out his game on clay, but his new aggressive style of play might change that.

      Fed has a 5% chance at winning at French Open this year but I hope he could pull a win in rome, would be great to see him get that one after so many chances.

      1. Hey Alysha, you could well be right but never say never! I know this is probably fantasy but what if the French Open Draw was the anthitesis of the Aussie Open and the seedings remain as they are ( including Nadal at number 5 – unlikely but possible ! ) and Djokovic was drawn against Murray in his semi, Roger gets Ferrer in his semi and Nadal as number 5 seed gets either Murray or Djokovic in the QUARTER FINAL! Federer would want to be stark raving bonkers not to give the French an almighty go! Let’s live in hope!

    2. Hey Tommaso,

      Hmm I think the French Open is a long shot for Roger. Not impossible but he’d have to seriously come up with the goods to win there. Djoker will have his eyes on it this year, and he’s a great clay courter.

      I wanna see him win the USO, so I’d rather he aim for that. There is some bad memories from that tournament that need erasing.

      Jonathan

  12. Going into the AO, we knew it would be a hard task to win the title, even if all things did go according to plan. Factor in the tough Tsonga match and the bad serving, and it just wasn’t meant to be. I think Roger’s schedule this year is very wise. Taking off Miami will allow for more training time, and skipping Davis Cup is good, as I think that hurt his end of year by traveling to the Netherlands. Obviously Wimbledon and the US Open are his best chances at Slams and he will have a great chance to win both. He really has gotten unlucky at the USO the last few years since he was 2 points away from winning his 6th title against Delpo. Whether or not he puts a lot of effort into the French Open depends on Rafa’s situation, I think. If the draw doesn’t provide him a good path to the final, he won’t be disappointed with a loss, like last year to Nole. Because in the end, he knows Wimbledon is his best chance to win, and he’ll want to win his record-breaking 8th title there.

  13. Not too worried about Roger. He, by FAR, had the toughest draw of anyone. You just know they are fixed and I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger gets Rafa in his Quarter for both the French and Wimbledon. I believe Roger will win a major this year at Wimbledon and still believe he has at least one more Wimbledon left in him. Like you said, I don’t expect any majors and don’t even take the littlest title for granted. It is extraordinary that at age 31, Roger can still compete with those 6 years younger than him and in their primes. This alone proves he is truly the GOAT. It amazes me that even playing his worse he looses in style (ex: Murray loss, Berdych 12) and pushes his opponents where he should of lost in straights. As for Majors, Wimbledon is one where he’ll always, no matter age, be a factor. I believe this year could be his last reasonable run at US and I think he’ll make one more final and hopefully win it there. AO and FO are done and Roger knows that too…. I like his schedule and it should allow him to play at his best. Just blessed by God to even be able to see Roger, for he’s truly an amazing athlete, father, role model, and person in general! Not most would of saw Fed have the year he had in 2012 for most wrote him off after USO 2011. I have a feeling 2013 will be a peRFect year! Rivalries continue and Roger continues his legendary career and attack on the record books. Every tournament now sees Roger make/break some new record! I will expect nothing but SF in every tourney for an overall view to judge his season (not that I should nor have the right to do so) …

    QF or before = Disappointment
    SF= Consistent and Content
    F= Still one of the best
    W= GOAT!!!!!! πŸ˜›

    PS: How do you get an image next to your name? I need one!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah I don’t have expectations on rounds/trophies etc, just that he plays well. Losses are just part and parcel of the game. Guys are getting better too yet he’s still keeping them at bay with his game that fuses all the modern requirements but hasn’t lost any of the genius and finesse of yesteryear.

      For a picture, sign up here: https://en.gravatar.com/ and use the same email address that you put in the comment field.

      Jonathan

  14. Great post! His scheduling for this year is just right though I would prefer if he skips Bercy since its quite a redundant Masters event and its right before WTF. I think he needs to play Basel as its his hometown event. Though he doesn’t owe them anything but its good to give back to community there regardless of the appearance fee. I mean he has enough dough in his bank for his family post retirement. Again this is my opinion as an external observer, I do not have much in-depth background info on ‘dispute’ between Basel organizer.

    I believed Roger will do well in the coming months and hopefully he will be able retain most of the titles he won. Go Roger!!!

    1. Hey Dippy,

      Yeah not a bad idea, I’m not a huge fan of Bercy as a tournament either.

      Basel is one of my favourites but if they Brennwald is being awkward and they can’t agree I guess he has to miss it. I think the argument isn’t really about money though, probably something else. Brennwald used that to get the press on his back.

      Jonathan

    2. If I was a betting man Dippy I would say he will play Basel and skip Bercy, especially as the latter is before the Year-End Finals. We will just have to wait and see…

  15. is it wrong that we Roger fans are so greedy. i still want slams and records on the bag for The Emperor (and i’m pretty sure he does as well). Does that make me a bad person and a bad fan for the sport? You know what doesn’t matter, as long as Roger plays, i’m pretty sure i can’t help but be greedy! Alllez Roger!

    1. Haha, I guess it’s just natural when he has delivered so much over the years.

      I’m too fussed what happens from here on, I would like a USO though. It’d be amazing really.

  16. Hey Jonathan,

    Excellent post, keeping us Fedfan always positive and look forward, thanks! Hope replying to each one of our comments is not too tiresome for you…because that’s one of your blog’s USP. Love it.

    Roger is excited about 2013, so I am!

    1. Hey!

      Thanks πŸ™‚

      As for replying to comments, it’s time consuming but I enjoy it so I’ll keep it up. It’s a pledge and I think anyone who went to the trouble of commenting deserves a reply.

      Jonathan

  17. Hey, I have been a little sad about the loss so I didn’t want to read any articles about the match, but now when I am, I can say, OK πŸ™‚ , I can say that I totally agree with you Jonathan. I just want to say that I have good feelings about 2013 too, but you says that the most important is Roger to play on a top level, and winning titles should be in his second plan. I just can say that titles become with top level game! We can’t expect for him to win every single tournament where he plays for sure, but if he plays the way he knows how to play the best, titles will be in our hands. I am tipping on Indian Wells, Madrid (don’t know the blue clay will be still there?), Halle (finally after two lost finals) and US Open!! πŸ˜€ Cheers! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey man,

      Cool, yeah don’t get down about losses. This wasn’t a bad one by any stretch of the imagination. The thing that annoyed me most was Murray put up no fight in the final really. That hurt more.

      Blue clay scrapped at Madrid, back to the usual red stuff. But it’s the altitude that makes it play quick.

      Halle is a good pick, I think he will do better indoors this year because there’s no Olympics. Should have plenty left in the tank. Allez!

      Jonathan

      1. Too bad about the blue clay! I think that we, Fed fans, were the only ones that have liked it! I am gonna miss all that complaining from other players, couches and commentators! πŸ˜€

  18. Hey Jonathan,
    This is almost entirely dependant on how Nadal is when he comes back, but IF he isn’t the same guy AND Djokovic can take him out in the quarter or semi finals, then I can possibly see a Djokovic versus Federer final at the French Open provided Fed has a nice draw. I still don’t rate Djokovic that highly on clay, and although I know Roger played a complete stinker against him at Roland Garros last year, it’s not as if Djokovic himself played very well either. Surely you would think Fed would actually take more care with his shots in a French Open final that isn’t against Nadal, and if he were to do that I think he can take Djokovic out on clay like he did in 2011.
    But that is almost certainly not going to happen, so I’ll call it my wildcard theory of the year!
    Realistically I agree entirely that Roger will want to make some serious noise in NYC after last year’s horror show, and that he has scheduled extremely smartly.
    As always, a great article!

    1. Hey Oscar,

      Yeah could happen I guess. Who knows what to expect from Nadal. I think Del Potro will do well this years FO, a tad too early to say but he might have worked on his game come May.

      Hope you’re right about Flushing Meadows too, I have a good feeling about it but time will tell.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  19. Did you guys see what Miles Maclagan said when he was interviewed after the Australian Open final today? He said something along the lines of ‘That was a match between the two best players in the world right now. Murray beat Federer in the semi-finals and, in my opinion, is now better than him at every aspect of the game.’

    Is he for real? I know he used to coach Murray but when pundits the world over still say that Federer’s best is good enough to beat anybody (throw in the Nadal on clay caveat), it blows my mind that he has the gall to say something like that.

    Sorry I just needed to vent.

    1. It’s the Brits man. I’ve been ranting all weekend about Andrew Castle and his ridiculous assertions about Murray being “better than Federer now.” Today I counted at least four occasions in which he indirectly dismissed Federer as a current top player/competitor/contender. Things like “Nobody can compete with these two [Murray and Djoko], except maybe Nadal.” I sincerely hope that by the time Wimbledon rolls around, there are live streams with a ‘no commentary’ option because these twats are ruining matches for me (I cannot mute as I absolutely have to hear the ball when I’m watching tennis). The dreadful, dreadful hyperbole and off-putting jingoism is getting a little much, and is the main reason I’ve never wanted Murray to win anything.

      1. Hey,

        Yeah I think they get the messages passed to them to read out, all too predictable. It’s annoying as. They provide no other insight. Castle has a good commentary voice and style but he offers nothing in the way of analysis. They can’t tell you anything that you can’t see with your own two eyes.

        “Absorbing rally, he’s playing a tad too defensive” WOW.

        Jonathan

      2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, why isn’t that smug idiot replaced immediately by Jonathan? If the BBC had any sense they would realize the ratings could then hit the roof! After all, die-hard Murray fans must be sick and tired of Castle too…

    2. What a load of crap.

      Aspects Murray is better than Federer: defense, return, counter-punching, faking injuries, having a monotone voice and a boring personality, being 1-5 in major finals.

    3. I missed that. Clown comment and disrespectful to be honest. Fair enough he has his views but his coaching record is hardly glittered with success.

      He coached Murray to zero slams. He worked with Kohlschrieber for a year and I think his ranking dropped. And then he was hired by Bahgdatis for a year until last year. Can’t stay in a job for longer than 12 months, pretty much a sure sign he isn’t bringing anything to the party.

  20. Manu thats really funny what u hav said i am laughing at murrays mum part. Its a little harsh but in terms of comedy its true!
    I also watched on bbc and hav mentioned about this in a earlier post. Harold Lloyd and Andrew(toffee-nose) Castle should stop bum lickin Murray/Djokovic era. And also stop putting down Federer. They both have bile and chicken poo as a commentary style.Unbelievable unprofessional!!! Why cant they give a balanced commentary !!!!

  21. Hi Manu… I also forgot to add about Murray. If u look at one his legs he has a huge birthmark. In certain cultures around the world they say that a huge black birthmark is the result of being kissed by the DEVIL. I think we need to get Maulder and Scully to investigate??!!!

  22. Folks, I’ve read most of the comments on this post and here’s my conclusion: –

    1 – Everyone is getting too worked up. The scribes and commentators are supposed to say those things. They are panderers. They need to establish a symbiotic relationship with the best player at any time. It’s in their best interest to do so. Truth is, these scribes are the ones who know the least about the sport.

    2 – Similarly, the tournament organizers must alight with the current champion. If you think the AO draw favored Djokovic this year, wait till you see what happens next year. The AO organizers will do anything to ensure Djokovic wins a fourth and fifth title. Why? Because it’s important for them to conjure an icon. A mascot if you will. The more he wins from here on out, the bigger it gives a name to the AO tournament. The more they can promote it. The more they will make money.

    3 – The tennis industry knows that the Federer fan base is well established. It’s not going any where. They need to tap into new fans. The Djokovic and Murray fans. Think of it this way. British tennis has been starving for a champion. This is the right time to exploit that fan base so that the industry can make money out of it. Even if it has to come at the expense of denigrating someone like Federer.

    It’s the way sports works. It’s a business. Fans like you and I get worked up with what the commentators and writers have to say. They want you to feel that way. Not too long ago, they were going crazy about the Spaniard. Now, they have found a new player. In a few years, it will be somebody else.

    Every sport is an business that wants to make money. Players move on. We as fans should also, however hard it may be, learn to move on.

    1. Good knowledgeable comments. That is the reality of pro sport these days. Bums on seats is the absolute must, and seeing the poor viewing figures for the women’s games, you know for sure that the men’s game is carrying the women’s game, so they hv to protect the no 1 player all the more. Otherwise, financial ruin. The money men running these tourneys see Fed as marketing and spectator money maker in every round he plays, hence his persistent tough scheduling, ( long into his twilight yrs as well) but no longer a banker for the final or the trophy, so they push the Djokers/Murrays more, with a view to the next 2/3 yrs. Ruthless ? Yes. Reality? Yes.
      Like all Fed fans, if he makes QF,SF, and scrambles 3/4 titles this yr and a slam, I will be over the moon! But with the “Running men” ( good description, J) on slow courts, I hv to be realistic! Quite honestly, just seeing him play, making those shots as often as poss , is enough for me!
      View on final. Good first two sets, but despite his superior fitness, even Murray was tired after the tension filled semi. The papers played up Feds tiredness in the 5th set, but Murray struggled from the 3rd!!!
      Final quick word. Actually think his BH was his best shot this AO, got him out of trouble on a few occasions, and played some incredible fearless winners off it!

      1. Hi Susie regarding feds BH u may b right but i cant remember the stats. Feds FH did make alot of UF errors as his BH normally sometimes weaker of the 2 shots,was a role reversal.

      2. I agree. They want to extract the maximum money out of Roger Federer. But to Roger’s credit, he has maintained himself, both physically, and mentally. For his efforts, they will give him a couple of slam in the next two to three years πŸ™‚

        His backhand is way better than years past. The only problem: his adversaries have improved their backhands too and are able to fetch them from anywhere.

    2. Hi Sid and Susie… Well said the both of u. I couldnt agree with u more. Ur points r a harsh reminder of the truth. As a serious Fed fan its not i really dispise the top players its the constant same old story that they say and marketing that gets on my nerve. If they were fair then this issue would b non existence. But i know this is part of the parcel. I suppose next years AO will also favour certain players aswell as the next 3 GS left this season.

  23. Good points, Jonathan! Looking even more forward to the upcoming tournaments now, especially Wimbledon and the US Open. I can’t wait to see how Nadal’s return to tennis will be; I’m not holding my breath for Roger to win the French Open (precisely because of Nadal’s return, but wonder if Djokovic can win it this year) but I’m expecting loads from Roger this year (– Wimbledon/US Open). …No pressure, Rog!

    Would also like to comment on the blog’s layout; dunno if I’ve done so before, but I remember how it was like before, and I must say that the white looks very neat, clean, and it’s very easy to navigate with a lot of links/info without looking cluttered! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hey Christine,

      Yeah Nadal is an unknown, he’s look dead and buried before though and then come back and played the best season of his life.

      And thanks, glad you like the blog layout too, tried to keep it fairly clean and easy to read πŸ™‚

      Jonathan

  24. Hey, Long time no Rafa… I confess I missed his cosntant whining about the knees…

    He gave a an interview to a Spanish network saying he still has pain in the knees (http://www.marca.com/2013/01/29/tenis/1359471106.html)… however he is eager to play in Chile where he’ll also be playing doubles with Juan Monaco… go figure… Pain in the knees, out of competition for 7 months and he starts off by palying both the singles and doubles competition… gotta love his coherency

    Best,
    Vasco

    1. The more I hear about these things, the more I’m convinced he is facing some sort of ban. I just don’t see any other reason except he is resting to make a huge slam push.

      1. Hi Sid.. I was also thinking the same. There must b some truth. Wether Nadal has had taken illegal banned stuff or not the long absent doesnt help. But u mentioned a very valid and important statement that should Tennis b immune from evil. Every Sport no matter how hard they try to keep things clean there always an element of 1) Corruption at high and low levels. 2) Illegal fixing and irregular bettings. 3) Misuse of illegal and legal Substances ie Steroids/Performance enchancing drugs and also recreational drugs. 4) Players who knowingly participate in deliberate schemes to fix scores,results etc. 5) Bribes/deals. 6) A deliberate System in place wether manual or computerised to enable certain outcomes. 7) Inside information.
        I have probably forgot other things but u the readers who r knowledgable will let me know. The game of Tennis
        is not exceptional that it is untouchable. There will always b cheaters and liers on al levels. Sometimes if its someone from the top theres always cover ups,but one dat it will come out. There coukd be players way lower diwn the rankings could feel the only way to get an edge might b to take enhancers or rig matches to survive in a very difficult sport.
        I truly believe not enough is being done. But certain people dont like bad publicity so it will b brushed under the carpet and hope no talks about it. Which is a real shame cos this sgould b tackle head onwith transparacy then things will open,clean and great for the sport as innovater in dealing with delicate issues. It only takes one person to get the ball rolling in the right direction!!!!

      2. Jonathan, I haven’t read your “doping” post yet but maybe it’s a good idea that I abstain from commenting on it? πŸ˜‰ Otherwise, all hell is going to break loose (just kidding!)

  25. Sorry Sid and Jonathan i have made alot of written and grammer mistakes. Please forgive as i was rushing alot to write my last post. Cheers and Thanks. πŸ™‚

  26. Hi Jonathan

    Sad that he lost to Murray – but he played a good tournament and had a lot tougher draw than Murray. I don’t mind when he losses as long as he gives 100 per cent and he did – you just knew it was not going to be his day. -But at 31 and still ranked 2 in the world he has nothing left to prove and it is just a joy to watch him and long may it continue – tennis will not be the same without him – and just to add a note Stan the Man played a wonderful match against djoker

  27. Jonathan did have a chance to follow the blog about doping ? There are 2 big news this week – one from Spain where dr. Fuentes wanted to reveal the list of tennis, football and other Spanish sport players but the judge claimed its not necessary:)!!!!

    The 2nd news is from Miami – where another clinic offering blood transfusion has been caught by the police . Sisters Williams and A. Murray train in Miami in off season… here are the links…..

    A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports’ Biggest Names – http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/full/

    Doping Fuentes parlerΓ  settimana prossima: Nadal e Mondiale a rischio? – http://teladoiolamerica.net/2013/01/24/doping-fuentes-parlera-settimana-prossima-nadal-e-mondiale-a-rischio/

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