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Federer scrapes by Andreev in an embarrassing five-setter. Did the misery just get extended?

Posted by tennisplanet on September 2, 2008

Roger Federer of Switzerland rreacts after winning the second set during his fourth round US Open tennis match against Igor Andreev of Russia September 2, 2008 at the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City.     AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) 

Is the limelight reserved for Muller (next opponent) – in straight sets? Federer would have liked it to have ended here, considering a defeat to a qualifier would be worse than to a 23rd ranked player.

What a freaking pathetic display of freaking humiliating tennis. Anytime you reach almost three times as many unforced errors than your opponent, at any point in the match, you should be disqualified to play instantly.

This was more a case of Andreev turning into another Djokovic and floundering break points as if the next one was due next minute. Federer must be seriously shaken up with the result, if not devastated, despite the win. It could have gone either way considering how close the second tie-break was.

Are we just seeing the natural progression of the nose dive here or what? So a straight set win by a qualifier shouldn’t be a shocker? Nadal must be jumping off the trampoline with his uncle right about now.

Djokovic’s five setter few hours ago suddenly becomes a consolation match with a strong dose of ‘misery loves company’. Granted Andreev is not a complete tomato can, but you are gunning for your 13th Grand Slam for crying out loud. It’s not that Andreev was on this ‘Tsonga’ hot run to justify this spectacular performance.

With Djokovic and Nadal looming large, there has to be a quantum jump with where Federer is now, to just avoid losing in straight sets. Djokovic would love to dish out a bagel to feed his many frustrations from the US Open final loss to remarks directed at his parents.

My biggest barometer of what went on in the match is the number of break point opportunities offered. Federer offered more than twice he received – 15 to 7. This three hour 31 minute match will hurt Federer more than it will benefit him, unlike Djokovic.

My only fear is that the losses will get uglier – straight sets with bagels to tomato cans – to force Federer to hang up and quit. There is nothing on the board to not think otherwise.

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30 Responses to “Federer scrapes by Andreev in an embarrassing five-setter. Did the misery just get extended?”

  1. bento said

    Easy, TP. It is a pathetic effort coming from Federer, yes, but, you know, he’s back to earth. There’s no good reason to say he won’t beat Djokovic, and even Nadal can’t afford to play lousy tennis and get away with it. Let alone saying he’s about to hang up and quit.

    Hang in there, Roger. You are the best by far!

  2. Deep South Girl said

    Roger: Just remember who you are.

  3. Rick said

    Aw, come on, it wasn’t that bad, in the end it was even fewer than 50% more unforced errors than Andreev, only 60 to 42. :-( I agree, this could be the Tipsarevic match of the USO.

  4. leo said

    TP, I am afraid you love Federer beyond reasonable limits. Hence such cruelty. By the way, the number of UE’s of Djokovic is practically the same – 58 vs 60 of Federer. And the term UE is loose, is not it?
    For sure, Federer will make his 18th GS semifinal. Even that will be good for him in this freaking year. Take it easy.

  5. Bjornino said

    “Nadal must be jumping off the trampoline with his uncle right about now.”

    LOL you crack me up, TP! :-)

  6. Lolita said

    TP, you are so quick to write about Roger’s match after he’s played crap. You didn’t write anything about his good performance against Stepanek the other day. Was it because of the missing match stats or you’re just incapable of writing anything nice about Roger? LOL.

  7. pommesdesuisse said

    i completely disagree, TP! after good, or even brilliant performances, fed used to lose it completely all of a sudden in the next match (see olympic games: berdych – brilliant, blake – terrible) or even the next set (simon in toronto).
    so…the hardcourt season was an up and down.
    the same happened today: after a brilliant performance against stepanek (not an easy customer) fed started miserable against andreev and i had a very bad feeling in the second set for a while…
    but first of all andreev is not a tomato can at all, and this match was exactly what it was going to be these days: a fight, a battle. and after all he played a quite good match if you consider that he lost the last few matches that were going that way…!
    i think fed played well and he can keep it now…
    let’s hope it…
    go on rog!
    you can still make it, i know!

  8. banti said

    “TP, I am afraid you love Federer beyond reasonable limits. Hence such cruelty.”

    Completely agree. Relax man. Fed pulls it up a level in the big matches usually. Lets hope. I still think he is doing well so far. Had a little slip up here. I think he’s going to fight his heart out to win these next few matches.

  9. Missy said

    “Nadal must be jumping off the trampoline with his uncle right about now.”

    lol ooook

  10. boxingary said

    Muhammad Ali “carried” opponents…..why can’t Federer?

    You can’t possibly play that many brilliant points and that many horrible points in the same match unless it’s by DESIGN, right?

  11. TheHumbleOne said

    Agree with Leo on that one… well said.

  12. jewessnewton said

    Andreev was the only player other than Federer to enter round four without dropping a set. He was serving well and CRUSHING the ball today, and he was able to sustain it for the better part of five sets. Federer still won. Absolutely AWESOME in my humble opinion.

  13. Len said

    Yeah, let’s then disqualify Rafa for his pathetic Rnd 4 display in the UE department agaist Querrey. The myopia on the RF bashing is good and acceptable to a point (even though I am a big RF fan, I love this blog), however horses for courses and apples for apples…where is your scathing attack on Rafa? Oh yeah, I forget – you actually seem to like that dude.

  14. banti said

    Prediction: Fed will somehow win this and surprise everyone. TP will than write what will be one of his best articles on Fed’s legacy. Lets hope Roger pulls it off, even if its just to hear what TP has to say after:)

  15. Sudhir said

    These are quarter-finals or pre-quarter finals of a biggest GS on earth. Don’t expect walk-in-the-park for Top guns. It happens. Bottomline, he won, and was very confident and happy after that, going by his expressions.

  16. chieko said

    I am so proud of him winning. The opponent played very much so there is no shame attached.

  17. Anonymous said

    I love The PIC , So LIONlike

  18. jennifur said

    Just too many errors from Fed: bottom line.

  19. jennifur said

    Gotta agree with Bjornino – the trampoline comment is one for the ages. Rafa and Toni bouncing away. Whata image!

  20. Dee said

    I am so relieved that he won.Andreev served really well. It was hard for Federer to break him. Federer has this one shot he could do without IMO. ‘The lazy shot’. He was right there to win a point and he just played a casual flick and it hit the net. I was thinking ‘What are you doing’. Every shot that Nadal plays has a purpose. For him every point is an important point even he has 5games and 40 points. That’s where Fed has to improve I think.

  21. bunnee said

    roger won by the skin of his teeth. he is so mentally resigned right now. he’s trying to convince himself to have fun but it can’t be very fun to go win on a hair’s breadth. i think he long ago wrote off the big tourney. i love federer but… let’s face the music. at least for the remainder of the season.

  22. Rick said

    I was dumbfounded to see this unwitting confirmation by the man himself of my most deep seated fear, expressed above in post #3. I think it reveals where his mind is at these days. I know he needs to save face and keep up the bravado when facing the onslaught of the press corps and its unhelpful, constant digging at him (no worse than the likes of us, it goes without saying), but now I’m worried that pride cometh before a fall in this case.

    God help us all….

    *************************************************************************************************************
    ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I think it was ‑‑ it was really entertaining, not only for the fans, but for both of us. I don’t remember if I ever played an entire five‑set match on center court. I remember playing Andre in five sets, but that was over two days. Other than that, I don’t quite remember that many, you know. I don’t give myself the opportunity that much, you know, because I always win easily, and then five‑setters don’t happen, you know. (laughter.)

    Like this, it’s different. It’s fun for a change. Same as the Australian Open when I beat Tipseravic 9‑7 in the fifth. Being part of some dogfights, it’s fun for me.
    *************************************************************************************************************

    Yeah, just a veritable barrel full of monkeys, it was…I think the descriptor Jenny and I both used earlier today while it was going on was something more along the lines of “agonizing”….

  23. Rick said

    AND…the word is out. Even the commentators were saying the same thing during the match today.

    From Andreev’s presser:

    Q. Could you say, how did you approach the match tactically? What was the plan for this?

    IGOR ANDREEV: Plan? Well, first plan is try to use my weapons, what I can do the best, serve well, hit the forehand, and then just maybe play him a bit more for like the forehand side, because he can, like, play well two, three, four shots, but sometimes he just miss some balls with the forehand.

  24. Tony said

    TP!! When Roger went down at the Wimby final,there was this very interesting article about the “wounded lion” effect. If you look at his performances throughout 2008, he has been playing at the same level( high no. of UEs), except during the grass court season at Halle & Wimby when he seemed to be back to his usual self( UEs dropped phenomenally). He knows and we know that Roger hasnt recovered 100% from his mono, irrespective of what he says in the pressers.Hard court is not doing any good to his body either. Despite all these odds he seems to be hanging in by sheer grit & experience.In the last few matches you could see the way he savours the moment after winning. Roger was surely “wounded” at Wimby, but the tranformation to “Wounded Lion” seems to be just about complete ! He is sure to bounce back in 2009, regardless of the outcome at this GS.

  25. Sol said

    Well it’s a little contradictory, don’t you think? You’re writing about how Roger’s only weapon nowadays is his serve and ace counts and how they’ve been saving him lately. Although I don’t see that as a problem cause you need to be feeling pretty confident to produce such serves in dangerous situations, this time, he manages “only” 11 aces in five sets and still wins the match. So something else must’ve been working for him other than the serve. How about the volleys?? TP, did you even bother to check Roger’s stats at the net?? They’re amazing.

    You say the match could’ve gone either way cause of the second tie-break. But it also could’ve gone the other way in the first one. Could’ve-would’ve-should’ve means s***. He won it, not a brilliant performance, but even when facing such a powerful player, Roger still wins with his B-game. So, well done Roger.

    I saw Andreev in Gstaad and trust me, the guy gets in a zone and plays great tennis. He has a very powerful forehand and runs like a rabbit after every ball. And is a baseline player who somehow always gets the lines. He’s good.

  26. Erwin said

    Sampras won multiple slams after 1 or 2 embarassing 5-setters, so no problem for Federer. He’s still in the tournament.

  27. saras said

    TP…
    This was more to show that Federer can hang in there & what he is made of.
    On the contrary,both nadal & Djoko.have to be on thier toes…
    In spite of Federer missing his !st serve & UE,still he came out strong.Which other player can do that.
    What Roger went thru’ this year, to play a long match…shows that he has something in him…that will make him go all the way.
    Go Roger..
    P.S. Unlike Djoko,Nadal…Roger never took a medical break in his matches inspite of his MONO…That says a world about Roger.

  28. C said

    Much as I am big fan of Fed and would love to see him win but its Aust Open deja vu all again…
    3rd Rd 5 setter with Tipseravic (nerve wrecking match with 9-7 on the fifth)
    Qtrs practically blew Blake out of orbit with great performance
    Semi got himself blown off court by Djoker

    Assuming Fed’s current yo-yo performance, he will be expected to blew Muller out in straight sets before getting his behind whopped by either Roddick/Djoker

    Naturally, I pray this will NOT happen AGAIN. I am still reeling from AO and Wimbledon loss.

  29. Andy said

    This was both a good match and a bad match for Roger (by the way, over 75% of the answer to everything in life is in the middle in my humble opinion, but I digress).

    It was good for the reason Chieko-san mentioned. Roger ultimately found a way to beat a guy who was playing some pretty good tennis. I must admit that Andreev is much better than I thought by the way.

    It was a bad match in the sense that Roger right from the start was not anywhere near as sharp as he was against Stepanek, and more importantly, not near as sharp as he’ll need to be to beat Nadal, the Djoker and probably two or three others too. In particular the forehand errors were bothersome. I just found myself saying a number of times “you didn’t need to go for THAT much”. Also, although he eventually went to the weaker Andreev backhand more and more, and it paid huge dividends with some easy errors by Igor, Roger didn’t seem as focused on this plan as he probably should have been.

    I came out of the match happy that Roger was able to find a way to pull it out. He WAS clutch at a number of times and without noting that TP simply is giving an insufficient report of the match. BUT, where TP does have a point is this. This match was VERY close to being a loss for Federer. That should concern Roger. But having a concern is not necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully he’ll channel his energy towards that concern positively and we’ll see better displayS in the next few days.

    Last point – it just ain’t like that TP. There is no trampoline jumping. Rafa and Uncle Toni understand very well that these things happen and that you can’t read even 1/5th into yesterday’s match that you are reading into it (and I’ll stand by that comment even if Roger pulls a stinker in the days to come and bows out before the final). If anything, Rafa and Uncle Toni’s emotions are probably, “ohhhh wellll, too bad – maybe the path would have been a little clearer for us if Igor would have been able to pull off the upset”.

  30. SaRaH said

    TP, please leave Roger alone.

    Roger, congrats on your win. Good luck in the next round.

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