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Djokovic Downs Federer in Rome

Djokovic Downs Federer in Rome

Well this blockbuster of a match definitely failed to live up to the hype as Djokovic took out Federer in straight sets in 1 hour 40 minutes.

I had high hopes going into the match but after Roger dropped serve in the third game I just knew it was going to be one of those days. His timing wasn’t quite there and he just looked very nonchalant throughout.

After Djokovic broke to lead 2-1 Roger soon relinquished his serve again and consequently lost the set 6-2. The second started a little brighter for Roger and he had a small opportunity at 3-2 where he created 15-30 on the Djokovic serve but was unable to make anything out of it. At 4-4 Djokovic broke and it looked like him serving it out would be a formality.

What happened next was pleasing to see, Roger suddenly started hitting the ball much better and played his ground strokes with more conviction that we’d seen all night. He broke back and then held to love to lead 6-5. If you’d just tuned at that point you’d think he’d finally got a foothold in the match, but deep down I knew it would be short lived.

Ultimately the tie break that ensued was pretty one sided, Djokovic was moving well all night and he took it 7-4 to seal the match 6-2 7-6.

Looking back the match stats were very telling, Roger committed 42 unforced errors and only hit 22 winners, he only got 49% of first serves in and won a mere 48% of points behind his second serve. On the plus side he was 100% on Break Point conversions :D. Overall it just wasn’t the level of play we’ve become accustomed to over the last 7 or 8 months. I think fatique played a part as Roger has played a heavy schedule since Madrid and his desire to win wasn’t as prevalent as it has been since the US Open.

Overall, I wasn’t playing quite good enough,” Federer said. “I’ve played a lot of tennis in the last few weeks. Novak was looking fresh, he was better tonight. He really put pressure on me.

Conclusions to draw from the match

In the grand scheme of things I don’t think this result means much. Roger has been on a great run and he’s made a lot of hints that he has a few injury niggles. Playing Djokovic and Nadal back to back in a Masters 1000 tournament is a very tough ask and requires a lot of physical exertion which could only make any niggles worse. With the French and Wimbledon just round the corner losing last night may just have been a blessing in disguise. He can now recover physically and watch Nadal/Djoker battle it out in the Rome final, which could easily last 4 hours.

Like I said, there’s no real takeaways from this match other than a flat Federer isn’t good enough to beat a fired up Djokovic who’s hitting big. The fact is since the AO Roger has won 2 masters 1000 tournaments and regained the number 2 ranking in the world. If you’d asked me that after last years US Open then I’m not sure that would have been my prediction.

I’m almost happy that this tournament is over. I had a major physical problem here in Rome but is improving with each passing day and so I’m relieved. I currently have two other little physical discomfort but to a lesser extent, so I’m happy to take a little break.

Predictions for the Nadal/Djokovic Final

This will be another slug fest no doubt, a true war of attrition that won’t be pretty on the eye. As a Fed fan I wan’t Djoker to win as it means Roger keeps the number 2 ranking but my head also says Djokovic is primed to win.

Having watched the the Ferrer vs. Nadal match yesterday I wasn’t overly impressed with Nadal, he did fight well and retrieved great but that’s nothing new. Yet again Ferrer blew so many chances, he had 7 break point chances in Nadals opening service game! After losing the set on a tie break he mentally disappeared and got bagelled, that must really annoy Ferrer how he’s so wasteful, it was the exact same in Barcelona.

In last nights match I thought Djokovic was moving very well and dominating from the back of the court, he had Roger constantly on the defensive so I’m sure he will be able to do the same to Nadal. Whatever the outcome it will be close but I go for Nole in 3 sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and 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 Fed and tennis in general.

33 comments

  1. I agree that the desire just wasn’t there enough, and I’m totally fine with him not winning this one. I would much rather have him rested for RG than have him exhaust himself both in a 3rd set in the semi and then in the final – especially if he ended up losing. He won Madrid last week, which was sweet with all the whining from the other players. On to the FO!!

  2. Roger wil bounce bak at roland garros., glad tat the clay season is close to its end

  3. I can’t say this match wasn’t a little upsetting but I am glad it gives Roger a little bit more time to relax and regroup for the long stretch ahead of him. Hope Fed can work through his minor injuries and get back to full strength. Looking foward to the French and Wimbledon. Let me know how the grind fest transpires because I won’t be watching it.

    • Yeah man seeing Fed lose is never fun. But least this was kinda over from the start, not a silly one where he has match points!

      You seen the scenario in Rome? Both Djoker n Nadal refusing to play because of the conditions or something. Even though it was perfect to play. The crowd are meant to be really annoyed as the vast majority of them won’t be able to come back tomorrow. Will these guys ever stop moaning?

      Glad the fans showed their digust: http://t.co/ZoMgIfiT

  4. Yes! I am only a little bit disappointed by this loss. I am glad that he reached the semi-final, after winning Madrid. I hope he will be fit for Roland Garros!! It would be great if he would win in Paris, but as you said Wimbledon is the biggest fish! Already now, I am nervous! I can’t wait!!
    Just a question: If Nadal wins tomorrow, will he regain number 2? (Sorry but I really don’t understand the point distribution)
    Thank you for this high quality blog with these excellent analyses! Thank you!

    • Hi Corvair,

      Thanks for commenting and for the feedback on my blog, I’m glad people enjoy reading it.

      I think making the semis in Rome was a good tournament, people forget he lost to Gasquet in the third round last year. Losses are never good but least this gives Roger more time to get fit for Paris.

      If Nadal wins tomorrow the he regains the number 2 ranking. And if he loses then Fed stays at 2. Apparently more rain is forecast so I’m not sure what happens in the event it’s postponed, I read on twitter they are shared 50/50, not sure if that’s true but if it was I think it gives Nadal enough to get back the number 2.

  5. I am new to your site and am really enjoying the quality of writing, thank you. I’m not upset over this loss in fact i didn’t want Roger to play after hearing of hip and back pain in his interview after winning in Madrid. Rest Roger and onto RG and W.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your kind words and leaving a comment. Glad you enjoy the blog :D

      Yeah if you can ever call a loss good then this was definitely it. Even more so now the final has to be played on Monday meaning even less rest for the finalists.

      I wonder what Fed meant in his press conference when he said he had something major heading into Rome that has nearly gotten better? Doubt we will find out.

      Jonathan

  6. In my opinion I thought Roger played well here. He made it to the semis in the tournament where he crashed out in the 3rd round last year. Also, we can’t forget that this is the first taste of the real clay for him this season. The clay in Madrid is not authentic and we all know the European clay court season prior to Roland Garros are more or less tune-ups for Roland Garros itself so I’m satisfied with the results and his level. Save it up for THE REAL tournament!

    Anyways, so I’m actually looking forward to Roland Garros and with that said it brings me to the question about the rankings. I’m fully aware of the fact that if Rafa wins, he’s #2 and if he loses then Roger stays at 2. But in the event that the finals gets postponed past a certain day, would Roger be seeded #2 regardless of the results since the seedings go according to the rankings as of a certain day, no? For example after Roger won Madrid he rose to World #2 but was seeded 3rd in Rome regardless because his rise to World #2 was past the day in which they made the seedings… I hope you know what I mean.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for commenting man, I agree people over reacted here as though it was a huge loss. Making the semis was a solid effort.

      I’m not 100% sure, from what I’ve read if the event is cancelled then players share 600 points each, and the rankings are calculated Monday evening for the FO. I will try and find out for certain and leave a comment here when I do.

  7. Could you plz explain how Nadal will regain #2 spot if he wins rome? After madrid, Federer had 9430 pts & Nadal had 9105 pts. At rome, Federer had 90 pts to defend (he reached R16 last yr) where as Nadal had 600 pts (was a finalist last yr). So, when the tournament actually started, Federer had 9430-90=9340 pts & Nadal had 9105-600=8505 pts. Now, if Nadal wins rome, he would have 8505+1000=9505 pts to Federer’s 9340+360=9700 pts. Is this calculation right?

    • Hi Nikhil,

      Here’s both scenarios:

      Novak Wins Rome:
      1. Djokovic 12,200
      2. Federer 9790
      3. Nadal 9705

      Rafa Wins Rome:
      1. Djokovic 11,800
      2. Nadal 10,105
      3. Federer 9,790

      Rankings can be tough to work out but those are definitely right.

      • How did you calculate those pts? As per my knowledge, whenever a tournament is about to start, the pts are calculated as current pts (before the start of the tournament) – last yrs pts at the same tournament. Isn’t it?

      • Nikhil, I was all confused last week because the calculation didn’t seem to make sense to me then (even though I was happy to see Roger go up). The missing bit of info is that the calendar is a week off compared to last year – last year’s tournaments come off 52 weeks later – not when replayed – so last week Rome 2011 came off and Madrid 2012 went on – this week Rome already off so Rome 2012 just added —(since none of the three of them played the week before the French).

        hope this helps confusion

      • Thanks for clearing things up Ilene

        Rankings can be tricky if you don’t keep track of them!

        Anyway, as we now know Fed is back to 3. But no big deal.

  8. Rain delay for the final! Hope more comes and it delays till Tuesday or Wednesday. That would mean for jet lag and more fatigue coming into RG next Sunday.

  9. Someone said that this will be the first time in history that two players take 800 points and each take home the trophy? I bet Nadal would like that.

  10. Djokovic looked overwhelmed and never challenged.
    French Open looks like a good showdown

  11. I still don’t get this ranking system, its ridiculous! Roger was lest than 2000 points away from Djokovic before Rome, and in Rome Roger scored points cause he beat his 3rd Round loss to Gasquet last year, Djokovic won last year and lost this year, that should be 400 points lost. And now Djokovic is just over 2000 points ahead of Fed! Seriously?

  12. honestly I am happy for Roger. Just cuz he lost, he will have time to think about his game, probably talk to Paul and Severin about this and work it up. Most importantly he will get ample rest which he needs the most. I am sure this year is definitely the year of Roger. Sometimes people ask me why I still follow Roger when Nadal/Djoker is number 1. Thats the best thing about Roger. No matter where he is ranked or how he plays we will always love and support him. Go Roger, get all those slams left in this season !! Its all yours.. Alles Roger..

    • Same thing happens with me as well.. People asking me why I still support Roger when he’s on the losing side.. It’s just coz I don’t like any other player as much as I like Roger.. Those years (2003-2008) that he dominated just can not be forgotten.. I’m pretty much sure that he’ll make it to the finals & win this year’s Wimby.. He has a fair chance of winning FO unless he gets past Djokovic in the semis & Nadal is shocked before the finals.. Lets see.. Hope Roger adds 1 more FO title to his kitty.. Go Roger..

      • Allez Roger.

        Totally agree, nobody on the tour plays like Roger. He’s the most complete player ever.

        Hope you’re right on Wimbledon. I think Nadal is almost certain to win the French, then if he wins in Halle it could spell trouble. But let’s take it one tournament at a time!

    • Same here, I’ll always be a Federer fan no matter what, nobody plays the game like him and nobody else ever will.

      I saw your from Stuttgart, bit of a journey but will you be going to Halle this year?

      • Definitely mate, I am rooting to see Roger play for almost 2 years now. I am sure its a dream for all fans of Roger. To watch the magic, to witness his superiority in his own turf (Grass).. I am a student, so I can’t afford much. But if I get a ticket, I would certainly go.. Even if not, I will be supporting him from home watching him play.. Just privileged to be in Roger era and witness him play.. Allez Roger (The best man to grace the game of Tennis ever) ..

      • Indeed, even watching him on TV is an experience.

        Is Halle about a 5hr drive from Stuttgart? It’s only a Masters 250 so I don’t think tickets will be too expensive. Check the site, might be worth a look!

  13. Hi Jonathan,

    I am a huge fan of Roger myself and also been a secret, discreet admirer of your blog for a quite some time. I like your attitude, win or lose for Roger, it’s thoughtful, sympathetic and royal. Not just you but also the readers, too. No nasty haters here!

    I never officially follow anybody, any blogs but I thought the peRFect tennis deserves my subscription, so here I am.

    There’s the only ONE. Roger Federer, nobody plays the game like him and nobody else ever will. Yes, I totally agree with you.

    • Hi Wanda,

      Thanks for leaving such a great comment. I’m really glad that you enjoy reading my blog along with all the insightful comments left by other readers.

      Here’s hoping for a successful French Open!

      Jonathan

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