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Archive for April 26th, 2008

What kind of numbers can we expect from the two clowns tomorrow?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

The first set of stats are averages for the six times Federer and Nadal have played each other on clay. The second set for the two times they have played at Monte Carlo.

 

Clown Aces Ist serve
pct.
B pt conv Time on court.      
Federer 6 60 24 3:14      
Nadal 76  41  3:14       
               
               
               
Monte Carlo              
Federer 3 57 11 2:42      
Nadal 1 73 37 2:42      
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
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Federer-Nadal rivalry comes back from the dead. What’s in store tomorrow?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia Saturday, April 26, 20078.  

For freaks just popping out of the hole, Nadal leads H2H 8-6, but Federer has defeated Nadal in two of the last three matches they have played. Although one was on hard (TMC) and the other on grass (Wimby), it certainly adds to the momentum Federer has been able to generate here. Last time and the only time Federer beat Nadal on clay, was at Hamburg last year – with a bagel. Of course, Nadal had this excuse of being completely exhausted from his 81-match winning streak on clay by then, nevertheless it was a huge break for Federer psychologically.

Federer has to be feeling like a million dollars right about now. Maybe he has been able to weather the storm and the clouds are thinning out, just in time for him to grab that illusive title from Nadal’s muscled arms at Roland Garros.

Is all this enough for Jose to get his probation period superseded with a permanent job? Jose may have earned huge points so far amongst people sitting on the fence to join his academy. And if Federer wins tomorrow, he is home free. First ‘no alibi’ win over Nadal, on clay, should get you there, don’t you think?

Jose, of course would have liked a complete full match against Djokovic to further cement the deal in Federer’s mind. But he will take this anyday.

But Federer is still without a winning streak that even remotely resembles the ones he is used to. The up and down ride he has had since March of last year, may be the only thing weighing on his mind, coupled with another meal that was not satisfying despite being filling.

Switzerland's  Roger Federer returns to Argentina's David Nalbandian, during their quarter finals match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,   in Monaco, Friday, April 25, 2008.  

But Federer couldn’t have asked for a better run, despite all the weird matches he has had since stepping on clay this season, specially considering where he was coming from. He was unable to reach a final, leave alone win a title on his favorite hard courts. Win tomorrow could prove to be the proverbial ‘ignition’ match for the second phase of Federer’s career. Defeating Nalbandian, Djokovic and Nadal, no matter what the circumstances were, at this moment in his career and on clay, WILL have far reaching consequences.

It may resurrect the monster again to the utter disappointment and dismay of the rest of the field already counting their eggs. While it’s still too early to predict if Federer has finally found his mojo yet, there’s room for a lot of optimism.

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during the singles semi final match against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia on day eight of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club April 26, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.   (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) 

Conversely, if Federer reverts to his poor form tomorrow and gets blown away in the finals, the impact may not be as damaging at this stage (with nine straight clay court wins), with the backdrop of what all has happened this season. Translation: There’s lot less pressure compared to previous years when he had to battle Nadal in the finals of a clay event. Maybe ‘everything happens for a reason’ cliche may be coming to fruition here.

If it does, all that’s happened so far this season may be labeled as a blessing in disguise. If Federer plays anywhere near the level he played in the first set today, tomorrow AND converts his break point chances, Nadal may have a real fight on his hands.

Of course, Nadal is going to resort to his ‘every freaking cucumber’ knows strategy of attacking Federer’s backhand to death. On previous occasions, Federer has returned the favor by sending the ball back to Nadal’s forehand further complicating the dilemma. Against Djokovic, Federer displayed better control of his backhand shot by directing it all over the court. Of course, there was no deadly spin and loopy flight that Nadal can generate, but that could prove decisive if Federer is able to pull it off tomorrow.

Nadal obviously is not only unable to generate his top spin from his backhand, he cannot place the shot as comfortably and sharply as he can with his forehand. He has to either settle for a slice or a low percentage cross court bullet. Will Jose’s presence result in that adjustment?

Despite this streak of nine wins on clay, Federer is far from being confident or comfortable right now. Nadal on the other hand is his usual self with an attitude. He is playing with even more conviction and belief this year. Factors that may be fueling his current rage? No. 1 ranking, No. 2 ranking, 2009 clay court schedule, heart breaking near misses so far this season, emergence and potential of Djokovic on clay, could be a few that may probably qualify.

On paper, Nadal is in his own league even at this point of the clay season, while Federer is still finding his way back as his caravan sputters along. If Federer fails to summon his form tomorrow, even for a few minutes, it could all be over in a hurry. Nadal is in no mood to play nice or gift anything, if he ever was, in light of what’s at stake for him. He wants to make a statement early to dispel any doubts as to who is the king of clay but to also launch his renewed attack on the top rank from his backyard.

For the first time in the times these two have met, there’s a very plausible likelihood of a complete blowout. However, if Federer wins, it will be one of his sweetest wins over Nadal and on clay. It will have the power to partially vindicate him from his woes of past four months.

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Federer’s presser. From cms. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

cms

Here’s Fed’s presser with lots of kind things to say about Rafa:

Q. You seem to have these guys in the top four falling in front of you, not finishing their matches.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know what to say, you know. It’s strange. This happens three times in four tournaments really that somebody pulled out. So it’s unusual.
You know, I mean, if you look back, I haven’t had that many walkovers throughout my career. But it’s obviously more strange against top players, like Nikolay and Novak.
There’s not much I can do about it. From my end, I played well today. It was a solid performance. I’m looking forward to the finals, obviously.

Q. Was it obvious to you he was ill?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I didn’t see anything anyway from my side till when he called the doctor. It made me remember that, you know, he really sort of had at 40 Love at 5 3, I think it was, he just let his head hang a little bit. I thought that was more in disappointment, you know. So maybe it was more also because of the sickness. I don’t know.
But I didn’t feel like he was playing, you know, too sick. Obviously after calling the doctor, you know, you have a tendency to have him under the microscope, you know, and then you might see some signs. But then, you know, I’m in a moment where I try to block that out and continue the way I did play.
I didn’t think it was that extreme. Same as Davydenko last week. I mean, I didn’t see any big signs till the moment they all of a sudden retired.

Q. You seemed to be very free with your forehand. You’re also starting to hit your backhand. You’re in the groove.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I served a little bit better today even though the serve percentage wasn’t, you know, that much better than yesterday. But I just thought, you know, I served well when I had to.
Yeah, I’m consistent from the baseline. You know, my backhand’s working well. My forehand, I’m using it the right way. You know, I think that was my best match maybe moving wise. So, uhm, yeah, I mean, it was a good performance today and I’m happy the way I’m playing.

Q. Comparing the other matches with Nadal, which one do you think you played the best, the one you won or even Rome where you didn’t win but you had match points?
ROGER FEDERER: Totally different matches, obviously. Hamburg was best of three. Rome was best of five. I think the level of play was very high in Rome throughout. You know, five sets, five hours, I thought was one of the greatest matches I ever was part of, you know. Same as like the Safin match in Australia where I lost 9 7 in the fifth. Stuff like this means a lot to me.
Hamburg I think I played in a good way, but I’m aware also he came into that match maybe a little bit tired. After all, you know, he was on an 81 match winning streak, so he didn’t come to the finals hoping to lose. I played excellent, especially first set and a half. So it’s hard for me to tell. But I’ve played well against him on clay, and also at the French Open when I won the first set at the French 6 1.
I guess for me it’s important to be able to tie it all together, you know, and do it over three or four or five sets.

Q. How do you think you match up with him tomorrow, given the way you’ve been playing?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he’s been impressive, no doubt. I think he’s been playing excellent. I think there’s only, if that, a handful of players who can really beat him on clay, you know. He’s that dominant. The way, you know, he moves around the ball especially, but also himself, it’s great to see. It would have been interesting to see a third set against Ferrer maybe, you know.
But the matches he wins, he grinds them out. Even if he wins today 2 3, it’s still a one and a half hour match, which is quite surprising. So it shows you you’ll always get your chance against him. I’d like to be able to push him tomorrow and see what he can come up with at the most important moments.
I think it’s going to be an interesting match because I’m playing well again. I’m definitely going to have to use a better and a good game plan tomorrow than compared to last year where I thought I played pretty disappointing.

Q. On clay, would you rather play in five sets or three sets?
ROGER FEDERER: Almost five sets, honestly. Best of three goes so quickly, you know. You’re down 6 4, 2 Love, whatever, it’s over in a heartbeat and you never really got into a match on clay. That is sometimes a little bit disappointing.
So, I mean, I like the five setters. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough of them any more on tour. It helps us to stay more injury free and go to more places than maybe, you know, beating each other up in one event. So it’s good to have byes and best of three set matches because of that.

http://www.blogquotidiani.net/tennis/?page_id=1939#fed26

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Why can’t these jokers at press conferences have the balls to ask straight questions?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

“With your track record of retiring, we feel this was a clear case of a cop out. You knew you were being spanked and nothing you tried was working, so you decided to quit, instead of finishing the match and giving the winner his due. Your response”.

“How come you were dishing out bagels to quality opponents left right and center, when you say you have been sick for three freaking days. Are you willing to take a lie detector test on your claim to have been sick for that long?”.

“Don’t you think you should fix yourself physically before coming back on the tour again to avoid the disappointment the fans feel over this, but more importantly so we can believe you next time you fall sick, for we really don’t believe all this baloney right now?”

“Why do you think you shouldn’t be fined by ATP for lack of effort?”

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Djokovic’s interview from today. From cms. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Serbia's Novak Djokovic keeps his eye on the ball as he returns to  Sam Querrey, 0f the US,  during their quarterfinals match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Friday, April 25, 2008. Djokovic won 6-4, 6-0.  

cms

Djoko’s interview from today. Very tough to give the guy the benefit of the doubt from reading this. He only had to stay out there 3 more games:

Q. What’s the problem, Novak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I didn’t feel good for last three days. I’ve been waking up with some sore throat. But I thought it’s not going to be nothing special.
But obviously when you’re playing against the No. 1 player of the world, you obviously get a lot of balls back and longer points, and I just couldn’t get enough energy back after each point. I needed a lot of time. And I just decided not to risk anything.

Q. Can you just talk about your symptoms. Do you feel sick? Is it just a sore throat?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s a sore throat. I feel dizziness a little bit in the last three days. I don’t know. Doctor in the tournament couldn’t give me the right diagnosis. I’ll check as soon as possible.

Q. Considering that, did you do well to actually get to the semifinal itself then? Did you do above what you could have possibly done to get to today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think I could go even more. But, unfortunately, physically today I wasn’t ready enough. I’m really disappointed that I had to finish this way. Feel sorry for the crowd and for everybody. In the first place, for me.
But, you know, I always put health in the first place. Semifinal is a great result. No doubt about that. I’m not extremely disappointed. You know, it’s a good result to come in the best four of a strong tournament.

Q. Any fever at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not for now, hopefully. I don’t know.

Q. You were already sick in the first set of the previous match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it’s always like this. Last three days, as I said. But the previous opponents were not, you know, not that tough and I didn’t have long rallies against the previous opponents like I had today.
Obviously I needed that step further and to do something more and special to win the points today. Of course, it’s normal, you’re playing against the best player in the world. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t do that.
But, you know, I have to look on the bright side.

Q. And you have to look at the season, as well, because the clay court season is a very tough season, very demanding. If you’re going to be in peak condition for Paris, you have to take care of yourself.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure, sure. That’s a task I need to think about very seriously in the future, especially in the next couple of days. I’m gonna have a week before Rome. So hopefully I can be ready.

Q. How did Roger look to you, facing him for the first time since Melbourne?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He looks good. He was more aggressive than in Melbourne. I think he stepped up more. He was more patient. And I think I made some crucial mistakes in that first set. I had some chances on 3 All I think or 2 All, some breakpoints. Unfortunately in the end, physically I didn’t hold on. You know, in them moments, when you just need to stay patient and just play another ball back, I wanted to finish up with the return. So resulted with a mistake.

Q. So when today did you start to feel it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, from the start I didn’t feel so great. But, obviously, on the start of the match you feel, you know, fresh still somehow. But then after a while, after five, six games, after long points, started to feel more and more worse. I was thinking about, you know, stopping even after the first set. But, you know, I just wanted to try and see how it goes.
But it’s not worth it, you know. I’m just 20 years old. Still a lot of time, a lot of tournaments to come.

Q. After three days, nobody knows what it is exactly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. Just I thought it’s nothing serious. You know, on the matches, I played well and I felt okay afterwards. I asked doctor yesterday. But he said I don’t have nothing, which I really don’t believe. I think he didn’t give me the right diagnosis, obviously. I’ll check as soon as possible.

http://www.blogquotidiani.net/tennis/?page_id=1939#djo25

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Federer-Djokovic in photos.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts just before he retired against Swiss player Roger Federer during their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired against Roger Federer with the score at 6-3, 3-2.  
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, right, shakes hand to Swiss player Roger Federer as Djokovic retires during their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired against Roger Federer with the score at 6-3, 3-2.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic waves the crowd after losing against Swizerland's Roger Federer, during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired.  
Swiss player Roger Federer returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008.  
Swiss player Roger Federer reacts after semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, as Novak Djokovic of Serbia retires, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired against Roger Federer in 6-3, 3-2.  

Swiss player Roger Federer returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired against Roger Federer with the score at 6-3, 3-2.  
Roger Federer of Switzerland  during the singles semi final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day eight of the Masters Series at the Monte Carlo Country Club, April 26, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) 

Swizerland's Roger Federer waves the crowd after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic , during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired.  

Switzerland's Roger Federer waves the crowd as he leaves the court after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic , during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won  6-3, 3-2 after Djokovic retired.  

Swizerland's Roger Federer returns to Serbia's Novak Djokovic , during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired injured.  

Novak Djokovic of Serbia leaves the court after he retired against Swiss player Roger Federer in their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired with the score at 6-3, 3-2.  

Swizerland's Roger Federer returns to Serbia's Novak Djokovic, during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament, in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired.  

Swizerland's Roger Federer returns to Serbia's Novak Djokovic , during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament,  in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired.  

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Did Federer play so good to take down a burning hot Djokovic or the sore throat/dizziness was really legitimate?

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts  during his semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament against  Swizerland's Roger Federer, in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Federer won 6-3, 3-2, after Djokovic retired.  

For Federer to thrash ‘on an incredible run’ hot Djokovic in this fashion, there can be no other explanation. Either Federer has really found the next gear, or the illness really did take away from Djokovic his usual explosive game.

If you watched the match, you can tell everything was not OK with Djokovic from the first game and beyond. It’s rather strange for the problems to surface so acutely against the world’s No. 1 player and not even make a murmur at the previous rounds. Who freaking knows the real story, but as a fan this is the last thing you want to see, specially when there’s so much at stake for both jokers. Further, It makes it even more difficult to get a authentic read on where each one is on the totem pole.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, right, shakes hand to Swiss player Roger Federer as he retires during their semi-final of the Monte Carlo Tennis Open tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 26, 2008. Novak Djokovic retired against Roger Federer in 6-3, 3-2.  

Nevertheless it’s a huge win for Federer, not as much that it was over Djokovic, but that he has reached the finals of two straight events now, and here against some real competition despite the opening round mess up.

But once again his rhythm may have felt the snap from another retirement, the fourth against him already this year, specially going up against a monster called Nadal in the finals. So far the build up was moving along as close to perfection as you can get, from Monfils, Nalbandian and Djokovic, but this sudden break right before the critical final has to bring back memories from the three previous retirements and their consequences.

Switzerland's Roger Federer hits a return to his Serbian opponent Novak Djokovic during their Monte Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament match in Monaco, southeastern France. Federer has set up a Monte Carlo Masters final clash with defending champion Rafael Nadal for the third successive year when Djokovic retired from their semi-final because of illness. 

The real measure of whether Federer is really back to his original form, will unquestionably come against none other than the best human on clay now and maybe forever. Unless Federer is completely destroyed by Nadal tomorrow, Federer and Jose may have already achieved their mission, by getting to the finals here, if for nothing, just for morale boosting purposes.

I mean if Federer is able to summon his A game on his least favorite surface consistently over the next three tournaments, it’s logical to assume and expect a much better performance from him on his favorite surfaces like grass and hard courts. Maybe the reduced pressure of winning everything in sight on clay is enabling him and Jose to inject new life into his game and psyche. Maybe it’s freeing him up to try new things from the drawing board with lowered expectations from everyone.

However, if this is just another flash of brilliance amongst constant dips in performance lately, be sure to savor the Federer-Nadal final tomorrow for it may not be coming as often as it has in the past or never. I feel Federer dispatching a 100% Djokovic would have got Nadal thinking and doubting more than he is right now.

The only hope is that both are in top form physically, for you would hate to see any drop in the quality of play and the eventual result to spoil the top notch tennis quality that’s expected.

All pressure is on Nadal, for Federer, under current conditions, has already achieved his goal by getting thus far. That equation can prove fatal to both players depending on how it’s swallowed.

You cannot ask for more if you are a true fan of tennis.

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Federer and Djokovic’s Interviews after Quarterfinal Wins. From Jennifer. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Jennifer

Federer and Djokovic’s Interviews after Quarterfinal Wins.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO

R. FEDERER/D. Nalbandian
5-7, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The best match of the year 2008 of Roger Federer or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I rather would have won in two sets, then maybe would have been the best match of the season.
So, no, it was a good match. I was happy with my performance.

Q. Did you expect you would play so well after the first two matches?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did – obviously.

Q. Is your game lifted with this match? Has it come up a bit since the past couple of matches?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the level of play was excellent today. We had some really tough, you know, games at the end of the first set. You know, it was warm out there. You know, it was tough rallies.
I think I definitely played my best match of this tournament. You know, no doubt the first one was a grind, you know, against Gaël. Everything was a bit more difficult after that first-round match.
But today I think it came together and I was just happy the way I moved – especially, you know, because on clay that is a big thing for me. Could have served maybe a little bit better here or there. But my statistics, I think, were very good.
So it’s always nice playing against David, but also beating him.

Q. Was it especially nice beating him after he’d beaten you the last two times?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, don’t care really, to be honest. No, no. Simple answer (laughter).

Q. Still he’s a player who has beaten you eight times. So should give you a little more satisfaction.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, because of the great player he is. He’s a wonderful ball-striker. Great movement, great anticipation. You know, we go way back to the Orange Bowl semifinals. That was for the No. 1 position in the world in juniors. Finals of the US Open juniors, as well.
I mean, like I said, it’s always nice playing against him. And when you beat him, you always know you’re playing well because he’s not just going to hand it over to you.
Actually, he beat me here years ago 6-1, 6-2. So it’s nice to get him back because of that, I guess, more that than because of Madrid, or whatever that was.

Q. How do you explain the difference between the way you played today and the way you played on Wednesday?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, getting used to conditions, you know, sort of having a few days here of practice, having a few matches under my belt here in Monaco.
Many times in my career have I, you know, maybe not played so well throughout the tournament, but then tied up some really good matches towards the end of the tournament. It’s a normal thing, you know. But being obviously so close from defeat, you know, is an unusual thing.
But, you know, remember I played well coming back against Hidalgo. So from them on, I’ve had some really good tennis, you know. Also against Gaël, I thought, yesterday.
Hope I can back it up again tomorrow.

Q. How long does it take you to get back into the full swing of it on clay?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I guess a couple of weeks I would think. You know, I mean, I really like this victory today, as well, because I think David’s already played in South America on clay, he played Davis Cup on clay. So, I mean, he’s used to this stuff. You know, he hasn’t, you know, not played on this surface for a long time.
So, I mean, he must be also playing well. So it gives me big satisfaction from that end, as well. And I think I, you know, have much more information after this tournament and then practice, you know, a few days, and hopefully everything’s hopefully going to come together in Rome, Hamburg and Paris.

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=49151

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Querrey
6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed like another very composed performance from you. Can you talk about how you played.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure. When I found out that I’m playing against Sam instead of playing against Gasquet, it was certainly a better draw for me considering the fact that Sam is not a clay court specialist.
And today I was in control of the match most of the time. I didn’t face any breakpoints and I was really comfortable on my serve. In the other hand, I had a lot of opportunities the first set I didn’t use. But in the end I managed to break him and then hold the serve. After that, it was more or less routine.

Q. Do you have to adjust when you’re playing someone who isn’t a clay court specialist? He must look very different to most people you play on clay.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, true, true. You always, of course, try to prepare the tactic according to the opponent you are having that match.
Today I knew that I’m gonna be facing a big server, so I needed to be really focused on my returns, just wait for my chances, try to open up him a little bit more, try to open the court and then have the opportunities to finish with the winner.

Q. It seemed quite easy. Are you ready for a big clash now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I’m ready. Physically I didn’t spend so much energy in these three matches. Mentally it was exhausting. But, anyhow, I cannot complain about long matches and long points because I didn’t have those. So I can say I’m ready, you know.
I just need to try to be myself tomorrow. Even though I’m playing the first player of the world, I played him many times. The only time we played against each other on clay was here two years ago, and it was three sets, tough match.
So I think I have a good chances. I showed enough quality throughout all the tournament this year. We’ll see what happen.

Q. Do you think the fact that it’s on clay makes the job slightly easier in any way?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it might be. But looking at his match today, you really don’t try to think in the way that you have advantage if you play him on clay ’cause he plays a great tennis on clay, as well. He grew up on clay basically.
He didn’t have as much success on clay, as much as he had on hard courts or grass. But, still, he is No. 1 player of the world. He played two finals of French Open. He won Hamburg. He was more or less everywhere in the final.
So for sure he’s No. 2 in the moment on this surface.

Q. Were you surprised by his reaction today? As you said, he played a big match against Nalbandian.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He played a fantastic match. It was really impressive. I watched a little bit. Even Nalbandian had a great performance. But, you know, when you have such a great performance and you lose 6-2, 6-2, second and third set, your opponent had to be really, really great.

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Finger pointing, unFederer like. From Rock. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

Rock 

Finger pointing, unFederer like.

Now what’s with this finger pointing with Roger? Alright he defeated Nalbandian in a Quarter final match, but folks tell me, when was the last time you’ve seen Roger doing this sort of gesture? This gesture would be appropriate if he could win the Roland Garros’08, preferably taking out Nadal.

This gesture conveys two things.
1) I am Roger Federer. I am here to stay.
2) Or was he pointing to his coach/supporters that I defeated this clay court specialist despite being one set down and proved my critics wrong. So hail my achievement?

The moment he thinks that he wants to prove his critics wrong, he is done with the dominant game, which he himself would know, and he should be accepting the fact that “I am going to face more defeats on a regular basis than I ever had in my career”. He never had to prove a point to anyone. He was almost untouched at the top for the past four and half years. It is only in his second phase he was rattled to the hilt like never before. He always had his emotions under check no matter what he felt inside, the maximum height of his emotional outburst being, falling on to the court in tears of joy/relief.

Stop that extra ordinary emotional outburst which would never suit your image. It will not bring that (fading) intimidation factor back into your opponents either. This is very much un-Federer like. Do not try to be a Marat Safin or some xyz while displaying emotions coz you can never be one.

 

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Federer vs. Djokovic. From arbit. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 26, 2008

arbit

fed vs. Djoko
===========
best pts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7udTCvAyaI

highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV2R8vtvLSg

Special Mention (Fed asking djoko’s camp to keep quiet):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua7_IbYn0-0

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