rogerfedererfan

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

Will the Real Roger Federer please stand up?

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http://www.siol.net/sportal/tenis/2013/08/teniski_globus_16_avgust.aspxI’m not quite sure how to begin as I’m still breathless from that roller-coaster of a match. I’ll mention the result right now so you aren’t kept waiting. Roger Federer defeated Tommy Haas in 3 sets, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. He will face Rafa Nadal in the QF. Yes another Fedal QF, the second one this year, with the first being at Indian Wells in March.

But back to the match we just witnessed, yes you read the scores correctly, Haas breadsticked Federer in the 1st set. Both men held their first games but then Roger completely unraveled. Almost every shot seemed to go wide or long or found the net. He served poorly and won only 48% of the points on his first serves and returned even worse. The Maestro had 10 winners to 14 unforced errors, converted none of his 3 break points and won only 4 out of 11 net points. I actually didn’t see any issues with his movement or any signs that he had back problems. It was a case of Roger playing bad tennis and we were left scratching our heads wondering where’s the Fed we know and love. A part of me was thinking maybe he needed time to get reacquainted with his old racquet because some of those misses were awful. What was worse was Tommy wasn’t all that brilliant himself and yet there he was, sitting pretty at 6-1. I am attaching the first set stats here so you can compare it to the match stats later on because the change was remarkable.Set1Onto set 2 and the misery seemed to continue for Roger (and us). Roger got broken in his second service game. A set and a break down, plus given his recent history, I think most of us thought the writing was on the wall especially since Tommy picked up his level too. But then out of nowhere, Roger held to love with a wonderful rally on game point to get the score to 3*-2. He was down a break still but I think that love hold game was the turning point of the match. He seemed more focused and confident and though Tommy held his next game to go up 4-2*, I’m sure even he knew that he was now facing a different Fed, one who has defeated him 11 times in his career already. And wouldn’t you know it, after holding to get the score to 3-4* he broke Tommy to level the scores. He then consolidated to go up 5-4* saving a break point in the process. Tommy was feeling the pressure, screaming in frustration and gave Roger 2 set points but then saved them both and it was 5 all. After another good service hold from Roger I mentally prepared myself to get ready for a hellish tie-break. Yet within a few minutes Roger had 2 set points again. He missed the first but took it on the second 7-5 with a fantastic rally and boom! We were 1 set all!

Here are the stats. His first serve points picked up nicely in this set and he had 6 aces. His net play worked much better too, he won 11 of 17 of them. He also had 19 winners and 12 unforced errors. As the set ended, the crowd erupted in euphoria. Tommy smacked a ball in the stands and threw his racquet in frustration. He received a code violation and yelled some more at the umpire and we saw Roger quietly smile at all the drama as he sauntered back to his chair looking like he was heading off to a tea party rather than a deciding set.Set2Roger opened the 3rd set with a beautiful love hold. Tommy kept up the pace to with a love hold as well. In Tommy’s second service game he offered 2 break points but saved them both to stay on serve at 2 all. As if to follow suit, Roger’s next service game got sticky as well and he too offered 2 break points, the second one with a double fault but steadied the ship and won the game with an ace. The set continued on serve till Tommy’s 4th service game. Tommy only got one point before the Maestro had 2 break points. He needed only one and broke Haas to go up 5*-3. Serving for the match, Roger tightened up a bit and I got a bit worried because he hasn’t been great at closing matches out in these situations this year. He committed another double fault to level the scores at 30 all but then avoided further hiccups and won the game and the set 6-3.

The match took 1 hour and 52 minutes. Roger won 21 of a staggering 35 times at the net which is unheard of these days. He had 39 unforced errors but had 43 winners. Actually Tommy had 32 winners and 32 unforced errors and in the end Roger won 97 points to Tommy’s 96. Those stats show how aggressive this match was. None of this passive defensive baseline play we see everywhere else. While watching the match I was so tense I didn’t fully appreciate the beautiful shots hit by both until I watched the match again while writing this post. I also have a weakness for single handed backhands and these two are some of the best in the business when it comes to that shot so I might be biased ;). Here are the match stats.MatchThe win sets up the 31st meeting for Roger vs. Rafa. Nothing much to say here, they have no secrets from each other. Rafa is in ridiculously fine form and Roger has had a miserable season so far. But my takeaways from this Tommy match were positive not just because of the win but how Roger won it. He dug himself out of a deep hole, took control of the rallies, the games and then the match itself. He kept cool, calm and yet focused and aggressive. Tommy didn’t just implode on his own, Roger pushed him to it. This win says a lot about Roger’s mentality and he will have good confidence going into the QF. You can see his interview here.

Almost everybody has written Roger off for this upcoming match and personally for me, after I saw the draw, I thought Roger reaching the QFs would make me happy because I knew both his R2 and R3 matches would be tough. But Roger makes me greedy and when he says “I’m not here to find rhythm, I’m here to win matches” you can’t help but get excited. So despite all evidence to the contrary I will sign off with a fist pump and say Allez Maestro! You can do this! 😀

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6 thoughts on “Will the Real Roger Federer please stand up?

  1. Bravo girl!
    I think I’m addicted to your Roger after match reports! No Roger match feels complete without a post from you, it’s like a camera signing but it also comes after a defeat and then it makes everything better!
    I loved the set by set description and the “tea party” comment, by the way, that was exactly how he looked like (hahaha) and it meant decompression time for us.
    I admire your faith, which means you are a true fan! Getting scared or worried doesn’t mean we lose faith, it means we care more than we can handle sometimes :-)) (imagine what Mirka, Lynette and the rest of the family and team go through…)
    I believe Roger can win the match against Rafa but it will depend on his level of confidence (and health issues of course but this goes both ways and for every player actually). If he stays confident he can deliver a high level of tennis as he is the master of it and this cannot change because he has already proven that!
    I want him to win, HE CAN WIN, just like before.
    I need him to win, to get a nice confidence boost and enter USO in a good optimistic mood!
    Let’s hope for the best tonight (another sleepless night, thank God it’s weekend) and remember Roger fans wait for your post afterwards no matter what happens. (it sounds demanding but your posts create monsters…hahahaha)

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    • Such wonderful words from you Efie! :’) So happy you liked my write-up! Even though it was late I’m glad I wrote it today because I was also able to see the match again with fresh eyes on YT to help me while writing and I enjoyed it much more today. Obviously because I knew the result but also, because I knew it, I could appreciate the shot making (from both players actually), his body language and that magic moment when the match turned :).
      You are so right when you say getting scared or worried doesn’t mean we lose faith, that’s how I am with him. I worry incessantly while firmly having faith! I too believe he can win, partly because a secret tiny part of my heart always thinks that and partly because if there is anyone who can produce miracles on a tennis court it’s our champ. Who knows. Obviously everyone is betting on Rafa and I know I will have to mute my comm for sure but I feel like, since we are clearly the underdog here we might as well go out guns blazing 😉 More than anything I hope for a good fight from Roger. If he loses fighting I think he will still be able to leave Cincy with confidence. And Rafa is untouchable right now for everyone, not just him. The #1 player in the world can’t seem to put him away so it’s not just on Roger.
      I’m just going to hope for the best and no matter what I already feel he’s in a better place now, mentally and physically for the USO than he was at the end of Gstaad and that’s something we can all be thankful for. I’m so touched when you said you look forward to my posts no matter what the result. The losses are hard to write about and sometimes I just skip them, like I skipped the Madrid one. But I’m happy to know that I can share my posts with fellow fans and they in turn actually read it! Thanks for your encouraging words and I’ll try and get the match report out as soon as I can 🙂

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  2. Appreciate this write up! I was supposed to leave Cincy early Thursday morning but when I saw Roger’s match time, I delayed my 8-9 hour drive to get just one more glimpse of Roger at practice! When I stopped for dinner and checked the scores, my jaw dropped. Watched the match replay when I got home. Once again, I admire Roger for his ability to fight his battles with form so publicly. I’ll watch tonight but with the sound off. The orgasmic coverage by ESPN over Rafa combined with their delight when Fed struggles makes this a perfect storm to elevate my blood pressure.

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    • Thanks for your lovely comment! And I can imagine your jaw dropping :/. When the first set was done I hid under my covers and didn’t crawl out till that love hold in the second set that turned everything around. I’m so with you on how admirable he is to have to fight his fight against the whole world with the media writing him off at every turn. And I’ve figured out a solution for the comm. I actually try to find streams in languages I don’t understand. That way I don’t have to mute it. It’s worked pretty nicely for me so far. I gave up on all comm as far as Roger is concerned after their ridiculousness while commentating on the Rome final. And that’s what I will look for today, a foreign comm :D. I’m going to support Roger with every fibre of my being rather than being negative despite all indications pointing to a loss. We have nothing to lose by supporting him here. if it’s a loss my wish is that he goes down fighting. Allez Maestro!

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  3. What a match, righ!?! Well, we watched it together, more or less, so you know exactly what I went through in that match. I was ready to accept a loss after that first set and part of the 2nd… But then that magical love game came and things changed dramatically!! I can still feel how I felt at that particular moment… And looking back I am so so impressed with the way he turned it around.
    There he is, Roger Federer, the man that can’t do ANYTHING without it being put under a magnifying glass. Fighting his battles this year mostly in front of the whole tennis world watching (speaking about pressure btw) and he turns it around. In a very impressive way that gives you a lot of hope for the future. And now one can argue that that’s what tennis players do. Turns things around in a match. And that is true. But for me, and probably for him as well, this was a different turn around. He needed this really badly. And he got it. And it made me ‘bubble happy’ really 🙂

    And now Fedal is going to happen. Not my fav match up at all simply because I like a different kind of tennis/play, nothing more. You know it. But it is what it is. Given how Rafa is playing, it is most likely he’ll win the match. But I always hope for miracles. I gathered from the post match interview Roger did, that he was going to watch the match between Grigor and Rafa. And I think there was a lot to take out of that, even though Rafa has no secrets for him anyway re his way of playing. I hope it all helps him to put up a really good fight. I’d say nothing is impossible but I’m not expecting a win. He said something like ‘being able to play another match’ and how matches ‘give him information’. And I hope it’ll do just that. And I’m looking at it like this, not because I don’t have faith in him. I really do, you know that. But I think he’s not there just yet plus Rafa is too good at the moment (for anyone actually). Of course I do hope I’m wrong. It’d be awesome if he’d pull it off and shut everyone up for once and for all (or at least for a while).

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    • Thanks for your comments Natasja! We both know what we were going through in the match and I remember our messages when he got that love game, they were identical I think 🙂 #InSync. The turn around was truly remarkable. I remember you saying it would be a miracle and then poof! He gave us one! 😀 Contrary to what some people are saying I don’t think Tommy played badly. Roger raised his game a lot after that love hold. I know we agree on that. As for the bubble, I am still happily in it! Fedal will happen in 6 hours and all I want is a good fight from Roger to try his best. Hoping for positive body language and making it tough for Rafa out there. And Rafa is too good for everybody right now, like you said. I actually think it’s quite amazing that somehow Andy has avoided Rafa all year. This is Roger’s 3rd match with him, and Nole played him 3 times already and Ferru played him twice too I think. So Should Rafa and Andy reach the SFs I wonder how Andy will be, because right now, Rafa is beating everybody left and right. Just like Novak did in 2011 and like Roger did in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and even parts of 2008, 2009, 2012 😉 But back to Roger, it would be truly amazing if he gave us another miracle, I think I would actually break down and cry. Not much longer to wait. Hope I can wake up and get a good stream! Thanks again for your awesome lovely comments :). See you on twitter!

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