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

One more time…


Roger+Federer+BNP+Paribas+Open+Day+13+aUqTDtmnckglThe day was windy. Roger Federer came out onto court with his most serious expression yet in the whole tournament. He looked all business and meant it. Only when he wrapped up the straight sets win, 6-3, 6-1, did he allow himself a big smile followed by a warm hug at the net. I thought he was quick in the last match, wrapping it up in 69 minutes. Last night he was even quicker, taking only 61 minutes to storm into his 5th final at Indian Wells.

Set 1 started with both players holding serve quickly to get on the board at 1 all. But Roger started putting the pressure on Alexandr right away from the Ukrainian’s second service game. Roger pushed him to deuce but Dolgopolov held and it was 2 all. A quick hold by the Maestro again before another tricky service game for Alexandr but two aces helped him hold, the score was 3 all. Roger’s next service game was the only one in the match when the Swiss struggled a bit. He was 15-30 down and then committed a double fault for deuce. Two spectacular serves, an ace and a high kick serve, got him out of trouble. The score was 4-3* with Dolgopolov to serve and seemed to be the perfect time for a break. The Swiss stepped on the pedal and pushed the game to deuce. An error from the Ukrainian gave Roger his first break point and another error sealed it. It was up to Roger to serve for the set. He committed one error but took the next 4 points with fine serving that included 2 aces and the set was wrapped up; 6-3 in 30 minutes. Here are the stats.Biyuhx1CUAAyjz_Clearly Roger was dealing with the windy conditions much better than Alexandr. The Ukrainian looked frustrated and lost and I got the feeling Roger might be able to get an early break before Dolgopolov regrouped and refocused after losing the first set. That’s exactly what happened. Alexandr was still ruing his first set loss while the Maestro lunged for the kill. The Swiss got 3 break points. Alexandr saved the first with a good serve but a scintillating forehand winner from Roger got the break we were all hoping for. Just to add further salt to the wound, Roger consolidated the break with a love hold culminating with yet another ace. By then Dolgopolov had woken up to what was happening and held his next service game ensuring that he was only 1 break down. Little did he know then, that was to be his last hold.

Another hold to 15 by Roger which included an ace, took the score to 3-1*. Then came the Ukrainian’s marathon service game that had 6 deuces and took around 10 minutes. This game also gave us the shot of the day with the most ridiculous cross-court forehand return by Federer. Just watch! Roger had 4 break point opportunities and finally took the 4th for a double break. Roger next held to 30 and soon it was time for Dolgopolov to serve to stay in the match at 1*-5. By then Alexandr was resigned to his fate and didn’t put up a fight. He provided the Swiss 3 match points at 0-40 and got broken right away. Game, set match Federer, 6-3, 6-1. Here are the match stats.Biy2JqSCEAA1CEtFedExpress was ruthless and never let up from the get go. Despite the wind he served beautifully, both first and second serves. Each shot was hit with conviction. He remained steely-faced and his body language was pumped up and aggressive, punctuated with roars of “Come On!” when necessary 🙂 He broke Dolgopolov’s will and mettle and then eventually his game. After match point the he greeted Dolgopolov with big smiles at the net and said “that was fun!”  Unlike most players on tour, Alexandr is not a grinder, he is an aggressive shot-maker as well and the two seemed to enjoy playing each other. They had gotten to know each other in Dubai where they had practiced together only months before so there was an air of camaraderie with the net hug. The Ukrainian can be proud of himself for a great tournament that will see his rankings deservedly shoot up.

Roger+Federer+BNP+Paribas+Open+Day+13+1KGgy6766TAlMeanwhile, our champ is now in his 116th career final! He has been getting better and better with each match and has yet to drop a set. I expect the final to possibly change that. On Sunday he will face an old foe, one more time. This will be their 33rd match and their second in just 2 weeks. Roger defeated Novak Djokovic in a highly entertaining SF match in Dubai and their H2H is very close indeed with a 17-15 in slight favor of the Swiss.

Novak has not had the easiest tournament but he benefited from a lighter half of the draw which allowed him time to find his groove. However, while his play was uneven I am absolutely positive his motivation is 100%. He must be sick and tired of answering questions about his form and why he still doesn’t have a title this year. I find that a bit strange to be honest, he’s only played the Australian Open and Dubai before this. Nonetheless, he has been hounded on it constantly so he will come out with guns blazing. A win here would stop those journalists from poking him, he would get his confidence back and revenge on Roger for Dubai would be the icing on the cake. Hard courts are where Novak thrives and I am expecting this to be a fierce battle and I have no clue who will win.

But whether he wins or not, I am already proud of our champ. Out of 4 tournaments this year he has reached the final in 3 of them. Best of all he will be back in the top 5 rankings regardless; he will trail Ferrer very closely for the #4 spot. And remember, Ferrer is defending finalist points in Miami while Roger can only gain if he plays there. Now if Roger wins at Indian Wells that’s a whole other story but I won’t jinx anything by mentioning it 😉
Novak needs this win much more than Roger and I hope that allows Roger to play freely and unleash his entire arsenal. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain Roger, so go for it!

Biy28-HCEAAQgCeOne more time, make him fight for every point.
One more time, get him frustrated with your aces.
One more time, let him groan with dismay at your drop shots.
One more time, leave him open-mouthed at your precision forehands.
One more time, get him angry at your down the line backhands.
One more time, make him watch in awe at the art you create on the court.
One more time Maestro! One more time!

***Photos from and stats and screencap from @TennisTV ***

6 thoughts on “One more time…

  1. A championship for all of us! One more time! Allez, Maestro!


  2. Great write-up as usual. I couldn’t agree more with your take on it! How wonderful it is to see him play with all this joy and love just all around him like an aura. There is no commentator I admire more than Cahill but his comment following the Djokovic/Isner match was puzzling: that Nole will be playing with no pressure so he is the favorite. I think he’ll be playing with a lot of pressure but I agree he will be very motivated to get this win. He does tend to play better when his back is up against a wall. It’s so funny that Roger is still considered to be the one who has to prove himself. Well, I think he has proven beyond a shadow that he can play at the top when others falter. Of course we want it all but, like you, I’m am so very proud of him!


    • Thanks for commenting Deborah! And I had no idea Cahill thought that Nole had no pressure! I could not disagree more. Roger is already wayyyy ahead of Novak at the moment in terms of points and a better season start, he can “afford” to lose today more than Novak who needs this much more I feel. But like you said, Novak is at his best when he’s cornered and I predict a vicious battle. But if Roger’s serves click the way they did yesterday then who knows! I am absolutely with you that he’s proven himself even in the past 3 months. In my book he’s already done more than enough to make me proud. Now would I love it more if he got that jagged large crystal trophy? Sure. But to me I feel as long as he stays healthy this year, we are in for a great ride no matter what happens today. So proud of our champ!


  3. Very sensational write up! I loved the end, one more time! I didn’t know you had poetic juices in you as well. Any way I was expecting a tough match but Roger neutralized Dolgo in the most beautiful way I truly enjoyed. Even Roger enjoyed it too you can tell. Am so so happy he his playing well and into yet another final. I really hope he would win, Novak is going to come at him but in any case I hope for the best. Thanks Ishti for bringing us this every time. Allezz to our champ too. ❤


    • Hi Glory! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! that last bit came to me at the very end. As I was writing I was also watching clips and interviews and I watched Novak’s on-court post-match interview and suddenly I got a rush of emotion that made me yearn for one more win. It wasn’t even anything Novak said, strange. But seeing him got me pumped-up and I wanted our man to hoist the trophy! So that last bit just came out in a rush of emotions 🙂 I’m usually not THIS dramatic ;). But like I said earlier in the post, I am already so very proud of him! He’s had a great start to the year and I am happy he is playing with confidence and looks like he is enjoying himself. I hope he lets loose and let’s Novak have it! 😀


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