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Fish Withdraws; Federer Faces Berdych in Quarter Finals

Fish Withdraws; Federer Faces Berdych in Quarter Finals

Apologies I couldn’t make this post sooner but I have been busy with work and a few other bits and pieces. The big news from yesterday was Mardy Fish pulled out from his 4th round match against Roger citing “health reasons” as the issue behind his withdrawal.

I was very surprised at him pulling out to be honest, I went to play tennis myself before Feds match, looked at the US Open app about an hour before play was scheduled to start and Roger’s name had a big fat red tick next to it without a ball being hit. I suppose looking back you can say Fish looked massively fatigued after the Simon match and that probably played a part in his withdrawal.

I don’t think there’s been any specific details released but I’ve heard it maybe related to stress/anxiety caused by his accelerated heart beat in the year.

Is Fish’s Withdrawal a Good Thing?

I find it quite hard to weigh up withdrawals, on the one hand it means Roger spends less time on court against a potentially tough opponent but it also means he’s got a long time off court just as he was finding his game midway through the tournament.

The last withdrawal I remember was Fognini before he faced Djokovic in the Quarter Final at the 2011 French Open. At the time I said that was bad for Djokovic as it meant he had 4 days off and could lose focus on the job at hand. Is that still the case here for Federer?

Tough one really. There’s positives and negatives to it. Obviously it means Federer is well rested and comes into the match in great physical shape, but on the flip side he’s made the Quarters with zero testing matches. I think the walkover helps hugely but only if he beats Berdych comfortably. That way it means he’s into the semi final on Saturday feeling very fresh and with no tournament fatigue ready to play the final on Sunday should he make it. I suppose another positive is that Roger got a walkover at the Australian Open this year and he won his next match comfortably so losing focus likely won’t happen.

Federer vs. Berdych Predictions

Matches against Berdych are usually pretty tricky for Fed as for one reason or another the Czech always brings his A-game and plays in the zone.

The H2H stands at 11-4 in favour of Roger and he’s won the last two meetings in Bercy at the Paris Masters and on the blue clay of Madrid. But despite that Berdych has won 3 of the last 6 meetings, one of which was in Cincinnati which plays pretty similar to New York.

With this one I’m forgetting all about the stats as I think Roger 3.0 is getting the job done here, he’s wary of Berdych after he lost to him at Wimbledon so I think he knows what he has to do and how to play to make sure he’s the guy hitting balls into the stands after the match has finished.

Berdych is a power hitter off both wings and he’s capable of serving big so I think Roger has to use his variety, drag Berdych out wide on the backhand side so he’s hitting at stretch and then move in to punch volleys into the open court. Maybe the best way to describe it is controlled aggression and I think that will be rewarded on the hard courts.

Roger’s serve will also be key and he has to make a lot of first serves as Berdych can be pretty ruthless on the second serve return as he’s willing to take a step in and go for winners.

We all know Berdych’s nerve isn’t the best under pressure and I reckon that although the match might be quite close it’s Roger who will keep up the pressure and win through in 3 or 4 sets.

I’ve included a clip of the Madrid final highlights from earlier this year, as we now know Roger wasn’t 100% in that match suffering a hip injury yet he still won despite dropping the first set. I think the highlights show pretty well both what Berdych is capable of doing (serious damage when you drop short or are on the back foot) and also some of his weaknesses (pressure, defending). Obviously the Quarter Final isn’t clay but I think Fed can use some similar ploys to good effect on Ashe tomorrow.

Hopefully the rain doesn’t effect tomorrows schedule!

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.

38 comments

  1. And add to that the fact that matches will be crammed tomorrow. When will the USTA learn? Can’t they at least cover the grand stand or some of the outer courts? This happens every year. A country that put the first man on the moon cannot figure out a way to deal with rain.

  2. I think at most, Roger has a slow start and then finds his range a few games in. He’s healthy and rested so I expect a great performance – not saying he’ll win in 3, but I think he’ll come through in 4. Fed is too experienced to really let the extended break get to him.

  3. I think tournaments should have a policy that if a winner withdraws from their match, all losers from the prior round should get a lucky spot. In this case, one of the eight lucky losers from the Round of 16. That way, fans get to see a match, and the players get to be in rhythm. I knew this was going to f****** happen. It was a rhythm thing. That Fish shouldn’t even have played if he didn’t feel that good. Or at least should’ve come out and played a set or two. What he has done is, helped Berdych win. It was clear that Roger was way off rhythm and was missing absolutely routine forehands and backhands. Thoughts?

    • Hey Sid,

      I dunno man, hard to blame Fish too much, that’s all out of Roger’s hands. He had to do the business on court but he didn’t really play a great match. Was Fish withdrawing a factor? Yeah probably but Fed should never have lost the first set.

  4. Well I must take up for Fish. He really tried. He is a good person!!! He wants to be a winning tennis player. Knowing this Fed should have prepared better in practice. When I saw him come out of the tunnel I realized something was not right. He seemed so nervous. Then he starting playing with such a hyper game. He just was not calm. Berdych is a very arrogant person. Something was just not right with Fed tonight. He will win again. Berdych did not win. Fed was having a bad night.

    At this point I am pulling for Del Potro. Please no Murray, Djokovic or Berdych!

    • I have no respect for Fish after he backed out and I never will. I hope he retires too and plays tennis on Wii with Roddick. I have my reasons. No amount of preparation would’ve helped Roger. Remember what happened to Djokovic at the French Open 11? You don’t go from Phau to Berd without a decent match in between. I had a bad feeling and once Berdych broke back in the first set I texted a friend saying this is not Roger’s day.
      I’d like Delpo to win. Hopefully his wrist will hold up.

  5. Well, I’m gutted, I think it’s.because the match was.left too long. If it was just a day, or two days, it would have been a help for Federer to come out fresh. but before the match, the last tome.he played a proper match was SATURADY. I also think it’s.because.berdshit is a different class of player than verdasco and the like. I have school today and I’m sure this will be a talking point. Anyways, you win some, you lose some, Djokovic looks like he wants it and I have.no idea how Murray wasn’t knocked out? How did he win that second set?! It was 5-2 cilic and he was serving for the set. I really hope that delpo can pull of two wins, it would hurt.to see.Djokovic with the title, bit it would.hurt even.more to see Murray with it.

  6. Roger’s stats in everything were fine except his serve and UFs. It was a similar match to their meeting in Cincy last year, where Berdych was constantly hitting return winners or getting on the front foot in rallies. Roger said in the press conference that he was disappointed and I guess we all are. But I think we already got what we wanted from him, Wimbledon, No.1 again and a medal from the Olympics, so it isn’t too bad.

  7. I’m soo disappointed to say the least. When he lost the Olympics finals I’m just fine with it. I had the bad feeling when Fish withdrew and the long day off became an off day for RF! Sad sad sad… I have another bad feeling that the rest of the year will not be okay and he will lose the no. 1 ranking by year end :-( but whatever it is RF FOREVER!

  8. Sorry, Roger. I’m.sorry for saying this but I desperately want delpo tin the us open now you’re out. It’s between him, Berdshit, Mugray, and the joker. I’ll take the nice BFG over the three . Because, if berdshit wins, he would have.won it by beating you along the way. If Mugray wins, her in Britain they will LITERALLY knight him and I won’t hear thed of it for the rest of my life: “oh, Andy Murray did this, he WON a GRAND SAM, IN CASE.YPU DON’T KNOW,THEY’RE LIKE THE PREMIER LEAGUE OF TENNIS!”
    Well success-worshipping blind sheep, if and I mean IF Federer NEVER wins another slam, he’ll still have 16 more than Murray so ha! And the joker would have won 2 slams this year to your one.and we can’t have that can we? No, we can’t.
    Ps. Good luck inall your remaining tourneys and the Davis cup playoff!

  9. Well, my tennis season is over…I mean, watching that is. Or maybe I’ll watch the final if DelPo gets through. I still think Roger will have a great indoor season. He could afford a loss in Basel or Paris but a slip up at the Tour Final will definitely cost him the year end top rank.

    • Yeah I’m done with this years US Open, it’s going to be a boring finish to it. It’s been a boring tournament too, poor schedules, no real exciting matches and just generally not a lot happening.

  10. Don’t be so glum, it’s not all doom and gloom. Look at last year, devastating loss to djok, just comes back and goes on a 17 match winning streak in the.indoor season. Plus, there’s about a.month till shanghai and hopefully he can get some points there. Roger doesn’t ever fully disappear, and in the words of the late great Albus Dumbledore: ‘light can be found, even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers.to turn.on the light

    • I know, I am just saying. So here’s a true story. I bought a brand new replacement lamp for my projector. It arrived Wednesday. I installed it and the first thing I watched: Roger vs Berdych. And guess what happened? Roger made about 20 forehand errors. Which roughly equals the number of times I face palmed. I’m devastated LOL

  11. i’m wondering will he stay at no 1 after US Open?

    • Yes, he surely will but only about 800 odd points clear of the Djoker because Roger just threw away 360 points. Which means the Tour Final becomes a must win for Roger if he is to finish the year end No. 1. A good showing at Shanghai, which he did not play last season might add a few hundred bonus points. I think he will do Shanghai simply because he barely played at the USO (like 7 hours?). That’s the time Nadal spends tugging at his Armanis during an entire tournament.

  12. Glory hunters everywhere! Insulting players just because they were better on a given day. Where have the mature fans gone?

  13. It’s unfortunate that Federer lost against Berdych.

    I hope Berdych does his best and goes to the final.

  14. I do not like the Spaniard tennis players; however, I would prefer that Ferrer could win now that Del Potro is out. The other popponents are very jealous and greedy!!

  15. I think Djokovic has better chances to win USO now; even had RF been in the finals, I can’t deny his chances to some extent, but they are brighter now after seeing Andy’s quality of his game in this tournment, and Berdych’s inconsistency, and Ferrer’s only court coverage and nothing else. Huh..not an exacting finish to the last grand slam of the year. Not sure if we are witnessing the change of guard, if that is true I would wait for decades for another talented player like RF!! Is it possible!!?

    • Yeah I think Djoker is going to win it now.

      Perhaps not a changing of the guard but it’s in the balance if Roger can win another. Gets harder as each slam goes by. Nothing impossible though, just needs a little luck.

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