rogerfedererfan

This blog covers all things RF. It is dedicated to my dearest friend and avid FedFan @EfieZac. May she RIP 💙

Federer wins his 900th match!

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/french-open-crowd-renews-federers-vigour-against-simon/story-fnbe6xeb-1226655911868Roger Federer is through to the QF at Roland Garros after defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon. He got there amidst high intensity drama across 5 sets packed into a compact 2 hours and 59 minutes. Federer had a sublime start, racing away to a 5-1 lead in 22 minutes before Gilles was serving to stay in the set. This one game alone went on for an eternity with Roger finally taking the set on his 5th set point. The Maestro brought up his final set point with the shot of the tournament. He hit a forehand from beyond the doubles court to whip it in around the net post as the crowd, and probably Gilles as well, took a sharp intake of breath at the audacious beauty of that shot.

The second set was more or less on track with Gilles stepping up his game a bit more, as expected. Then suddenly at 30-all with Simon serving to go up to 3-all, Roger got his toe stuck in the clay and fell on his right knee. Though the Swiss got up and continued play he clearly looked a bit rattled – in stark contrast to his fans of course who were going insane with worry. My twitter TL burst into a string of “OMG!” and “Is he ok?” “Is it the ankle?” “Is it the wrist?” along with expletives better left on my TL. Roger lost his focus and, it seemed also his confidence, and got broken for the first time in the match. Gilles, sensing an opening, quickly pounced and consolidated the serve to go up 5-3. Despite holding serve, Roger couldn’t break Simon as the Frenchman served it out and took the second set.

The third set was difficult to watch as Roger went down very quickly with a ton of unforced errors with both first and second serves deserting him. Simon broke him twice and neatly wrapped up the set in only 28 minutes, the quickest set of the match. At the end of the third set, Roger took a bathroom break and I took a break myself to splash water on my face. I will tell you right now that my match summary in terms of the tennis played, might be patchy from here on. I didn’t watch the fourth and fifth sets, at least not properly. While Roger regrouped in his break, I too regrouped in my own fan way. I kept remembering what he said in his post match interview after the win over Benneteau at Wimbledon last year. I’m paraphrasing here but I believe he said something along the lines of this: two sets down, means you’ve got to win the rest, no other option. Take it point by point; as boring as that sounds, it’s the right thing to do. 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/othersport/view/318136/Roger-Federer-notches-up-900th-career-win-after-French-Open-epic/So as the fourth set kicked off, I actually repeated out loud ‘just one more point’ to my laptop screen with each shot played. I only watched the shots themselves and looked away in between to not distract myself. Oh and did I mention I muted my stream? I did. I had enough of the commentators and the crowd who were pro one player for barely a shot before screaming for the other. I know to most of you I sound like an insane person, but come on, I actually have a blog dedicated to this man; clearly I am not a very rational fan. Besides, I know that there is a group of you out there, however small, who can identify with me in some way, right?

Anyway, as great champions do, Roger turned it around. I later saw that the fourth set only took 30 minutes, even less time than the first – but to us and I’m sure to Roger as well, those 30 minutes seemed to last forever. The set started with both players holding serve till the 6th game when Simon offered 3 break points. He saved two but couldn’t save the third and Federer was up 4-2. Galvanized by his own resurgence complete with fist-pumps and ‘Come On!’ Federer played more and more aggressively. He held serve to go up 5-2 and forced Gilles to deuce as the Frenchman was serving to stay in the set. Two amazing Federer forehands led Simon to find the net both times and the task was complete. Federer took the set 6-2. Two sets all and we headed for a fifth set.

The Swiss Genius seemed to have saved the best for the last. He had the best serve statistics of the entire match with 2 aces, 77% first serves in and winning 83% of them. After holding to love, he broke Simon right away with his second break point to go up 2-0. He followed that up with another love hold (he had 3 love holds in this set) to consolidate the break at 3-0. The next game, Gilles was pushed to deuce 5 times with Roger getting one break point opportunity but he couldn’t convert it. Simon held and then both players continued to hold relatively comfortably till it was Federer’s chance to serve it out. Roger got a bit tight and offered two break points but saved both with spectacular serves and fantastic all-court play. Finally, Simon mishit a backhand and the set was done. Federer won the match 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Here are the stats.FedRG4When asked about the fall, Federer said,“I didn’t hurt myself or anything, but maybe I did lose that touch of confidence for a little bit, and then I was out of the match there for a bit.” In Gilles’ presser he said of the second and third set “I didn’t give him time,” …”I managed to start moving him around a bit.” But then concluded with: “When things turn nasty, he responds well.” Simon elaborated, “In the fifth, he tried to be very, very aggressive directly after his serve, to manage his serve game. He was much better with those. Then little by little, he managed to take over again.” 

This match win was extra special for it enabled Roger to reach several milestones such as reaching 900 match wins in his career. Federer said, “I knew 900 was on the line. I’m just happy I have been able to win a lot of matches throughout my career, [giving] myself an opportunity over and over again. I love this game.”

Here’s a summary of the records he achieved with this match win:

  • This was his career total 900th match win out of 1,104. Only 3 players have ever won more matches, Vilas (924), Lendl (1,071) and Connors (1,243).
  • It was his 256th Grand Slam match win. He broke the record a while ago which was 233 match wins held by Connors.
  • He has now reached 36 consecutive Grand Slam QFs. He had broken the previous record a long time ago as well, which was 27 by Connors. This means he has reached the QFs of every Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2004.
  • He has also reached a total of 40 Grand Slam QFs and is only 1 behind Connors with 41.
  • Roger has now equaled the total number of French Open match wins with Vilas and Pietrangeli at 58
  • Federer has now reached a record 9 consecutive QFs at Roland Garros, since 2005 onwards. He broke his own record of 8 consecutive French Open QFs set last year.
  • Federer has also set a new record of reaching 10 QFs at Roland Garros in total; surpassing Agassi and Vilas who reached this stage 9 times each (neither record was consecutive).

Up next is yet another Frenchman, Tsonga. Though their H2H is 9-3, Tsonga has been in devastating form so far and hasn’t dropped a single set. He seems to reserve his best performances for the Grand Slams and earlier in the year, he pushed Roger to 5 sets at the Australian Open. It will be a very tough match to say the least. In the meantime, while I remain quietly optimistic I do have to say I’m already very thrilled with our hero thus far. Before Roland Garros started, I knew all those records I listed above were looming in the horizon IF were he to reach this far. He has achieved them emphatically, with grace, elegance, hard work, grit, patience and that extra Federer flair. As a fan I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you Roger for creating magic on the tennis court 900 times! Hope there’s many more in the days to come!

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6 thoughts on “Federer wins his 900th match!

  1. What a great great review of this thrilling match… 😀 I agree with everything you said and recognize it all too! I think he really got affected by the fall mentally but as usual he does ‘downplay’ it a little bit in his pressers. But somewhere he did mention it affected his confidence, instead of it having a ‘little effect on his confidence’ which he said áfter that… Very good and signs of the true champion that he is, that he fought back and took over from Simon again… I was again, as always, massively impressed 🙂 And then saying ‘I thought it was an exciting and fun match’… 😉 Still shaking my head… He thrives on it I think. For him this is what it’s all about. Finding a way to get out of it and win in the end… I did think about the JC interview where he suggested that it would be fun to play 7 5-setters as an experiment maybe and quickly added that you shouldn’t really want that cause you’d feel it for maybe months to come… (Jim shaking his head while he said that was classic too ;)…)

    Anyway. It’s over and done with, this match. And I’m very grateful for that! Enough excitement and stress for a while… I forgot how exhausting 5 setters can be…!

    I’m not too worried about Jo yet I have to say. Not that I don’t see Jo’s great form and that he can make life really difficult for Rog on court, but I just don’t feel it yet. Hope it can stay that way 😉 I think Jo hasn’t been really tested yet and if it goes to 4 or 5, there is always the risk of Jo’s mental walkabouts and/or losing consistency as he often did… I feel very good about Rog’s mentality and he feels good physically he says, so those should all be good ingredients for a great match. The 5 setter against Simon was a very good test, esp mentally and physically I don’t think it cost him that much tbh… More positives 🙂 And even though nothing is certain in tennis, I’m quietly optimistic, just like you 🙂 Allez Roger!

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    • Hi Natasja! Thank you for your comment and I agree with everything I think. I DO think the fall affected him quite a bit. Thankfully it was mental and not physical, meaning he could turn it around. I was just thinking why he didn’t take that bathroom break after the 2nd set! I kept screaming for it but sometimes, he’s a bit stubborn I think, and it took him losing 2 sets to finally say ‘OK I need a break to sort this out’. As for liking 5 setters, I remember that JC interview, and I shook my head like JC did too! That smile we were talking about when he mishit and Simon won the point – that was when I realized how much of a competitor he is – he not only enjoys winning, he enjoys the road to victory too. He’s by far the most intelligent tennis player I’ve ever seen, he can read the game well and has excellent anticipation. So I can see him liking these situations as a mental puzzle to solve as much as a physical one.

      About Jo, I fully agree that he hasn’t been tested as much. Plus, it’s a different kind of pressure being a Frenchman at Chatrier, though he handles it far better than others (yes I’m thinking of Gasquet). I am a bit more confident about the match after the Simon one, because like you said, Roger has been tested. And considering his on court time was less than 3 hours, I’d say he hasn’t spent himself too much physically. From the very beginning I was the most worried about the R4 match to be honest. Because there were so many records riding on it. Even he was keenly aware that this was going to be his 900th win. Now that this match is done and his QF record is intact, I’m feeling a bit more relaxed. Quiet optimism has worked well for me so far! Glad to see his ankle is fine and he seems to be in good spirits. He looked fresh even in the presser! Compare his to Gilles and Simon looked really tired.

      Well here’s to another great match tomorrow, hopefully an easier win! In the meantime, thank you for your lovely comment and for reading it and encouraging me! Till next time, allez Roger!

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  2. Hi!!! Great analysis as usual. Was quite nervous during this match too and I didn’t watch the 3rd set but watched the last two 😉 I’m so proud of Roger and happy for him. So many records…every time he steps on court he makes a new one. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s match…it’s my birthday so hopefully, Roger gives me a present and wins his match!
    Allez Roger! 🙂

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    • First of all, early happy birthday! Hope Roger can make it an extra special day indeed! Thank you for reading the post – I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only insane fan out there freaking out! I am very very proud of him indeed. He just regrouped, refocused and went about his business 🙂 At one point at the end of a long rally when Simon won the point he was actually almost laughing, did you see that bit? I was shaking my head in disbelief and relief at the same time. I then realized that he actually enjoys these matches! If only he knew what he puts us through! Hope tomorrow won’t be too nerve-wracking though you never know which Jo will turn up, so we’ll see. Thanks for reading and commenting too 🙂 Visit again soon! Here’s to Roger breaking even more records tomorrow! Allez!

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  3. Thanks for the birthday wishes!!! Waiting for Roger now…
    Yes, I noticed the smile at the end of that rally…I was like “Roger, I’m having a heart attack over here!!” Even at the end of the match, he was talking about exciting and great it was to play such an intense match. I personally would like if he won each match 6-0 6-0 6-0…not possible sadly.
    Allez Roger! Hopefully, a great match today! 🙂

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    • Sorry for the late reply to your comments. After that loss it just took me a few days to process it all 😦 Unfortunate for this magnificent run to have ended the way it did. But hopefully you saw some pictures that came out today of him practicing at Halle already! He looked so happy and fresh in those pictures too! I will always bemoan how there is practically no grass season at all. Imagine how many more trophies our Maestro would have won otherwise! Anyway, thanks again for your comments and I hope you continue to visit the blog in the future. Allez Roger!

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