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If ‘serve is the last one to go’ is true, what do 11 aces from Federer against Andreev mean?

Posted by tennisplanet on September 2, 2008

Isn’t that the famous saying around tennis centers: Your serve is the last shot to falter?

Well, the strong consistent pattern of unforced errors from Federer can only mean one thing: Rest of Federer’s game has shifted more than couple of notches in that last two months. First serve percentage and the ace count are the two shining stars that is still holding the shell of Federer’s usual self on the tour.

With just 11 aces in a five set match and 65% first serves in, this is getting close to a sudden shut down. With no aces to come to his rescue, Federer was left hanging dangerously. This is exactly what would have happened with any of the other three opponents he has faced here, if not for the high ace count.

Federer has now been reduced to a one shot guy. The moment you get him in the rally the percentage has now shifted from 50/50 to 60/40 in your favor. That’s when you are not ranked amongst the top ten. Can you imagine Federer facing Nadal with these numbers. It will be downright embarrassing.

You think Federer knows that? You bet!!! Considering the bloated ego Federer has, he will prefer to lose to a qualifier than eat a bagel from Djokovic or Nadal. This is clearly a bagel eating performance with Nadal or Djokovic across the net.

Looks like the light is flickering on the ace and the first serve percentage too, and if that’s the last line of defense or offense, the slide has sculpted itself to a 90 degree angle.


13 Responses to “If ‘serve is the last one to go’ is true, what do 11 aces from Federer against Andreev mean?”

  1. Bettyjane said

    Roger said that he felt he served well, but he certainly wasn’t getting those easy points he usually does, even in these dark times. Having said that, he did mention the issue of serving from daylight into evening and I think that can’t be made too little of so lets cut him some slack on this particular point. It’s really about the only area of his game I currently have confidence in.

  2. TheHumbleOne said

    So, TP, I suppose this is one of those “provocative” postings from you to spur on the Federer supporters to rally in his defence, right? I know you don’t honestly believe all that stuff you just wrote…

  3. m said

    11 aces, in conjunction with “serve is the last one to go”?

    They mean … that Rogi will be serving for the gold medal vs. Rafa (as Rafa generally prefers to return) in the mens’ singles final at the Olympics at Wimbledon in 2012.

    Right on schedule. 😀

  4. saras said

    Well Federer won thwe match against Andreev more on his ground strokes than on aces.
    That should give him confidence, when playing against nadal & Djokovic..
    Also, he could hang’n there for 3:30 hrs.That tells something,in spite of his not being 100 %.
    Federer was very expressive of his emotions, which is a good thing….
    This will send message to opponents in the front .He has still that mettle to fight it out.
    Go Roger…

  5. Bento said

    He just had an off day. He’ll get through to the semis, breadstick Djokovic, and beat Nadal in five sets.

  6. Mike C said

    Andreev played a good match. Doesn’t he deserve some credit?

  7. SaRaH said

    Roger will be fine. I fully expect him to be playing on Saturday.

  8. boxingary said


    In 1995, in the ABSOLUTE PRIME of his career, Pete Sampras made NINETY-NINE unforced errors in losing to Gilbert Schaller at the French.

    This was a FIRST-ROUND match, so he wasn’t tired going in.

    This match was STRETCHED OVER TWO DAYS, with Pete leading when play was suspended on account of darkness, so he didn’t get off to a bad start that he couldn’t recover from.

    Sampras had played well on clay 3 weeks earlier at Hamburg.

    Opponent Schaller, in his ENTIRE CAREER,
    only played in 21 Slam matches [ MATCHES, not tournaments ].
    He won 5 and lost 16.



    Schaller was in the middle of a career that would see him

  9. NK said

    Am I the only one who sees two Federer’s out on the court these days. One plays truly sublime tennis one day, then the other Federer takes over the very next day and plays listless error-prone tennis.

    You guys whine as if Federer decides which of the two personas he wants to bring on court any given day.
    Jim Courier is the one reporter who had the guts to say out loud that the mono is not out of Federer’s system yet.

    That’s the only reason I can think of for Federer’s inconsistency throughout this year. When he’s on, he’s truly on. But when he’s off, he just doesn’t have the movement to play sublime tennis.

    Yet, unlike the Djoker, Federer offers no excuses and would rather have the world believe everything is fine and dandy.

    What a guy!! Hope he recovers completely soon.

  10. Rick said

    THO (post #2), if TP doesn’t honestly believe it, Andreev seems to.

    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.

  11. m said

    Brooke, I am waiting with bated breath for the rest of that story.

    TP, I am likewise waiting to get out of moderation you-know-where. (I can’t be on punishment – I’ve been keeping the seed casualty count up to date! Delpo and Murray are at 4 sets; that’s enough slow torture for a good girl for one day.)

  12. Sol said

    Boxingary, thank you for that! You just made my day.
    Some people, especially die-hard Fed fans, seem to believe that Roger use to win his matches all in straight-sets and with one eye shut. He always had some difficult matches and sometimes had to struggle to win them, even in his “prime” years. Sometimes you play sublime tennis and sometimes you don’t. What matters is if you’re strong enough not to panick and lose your game. He didn’t, he played mediocre tennis but won anyway. That’s Federer.

  13. C said


    Agreed with you, one day Jekyll one day Hyde. Not to take credit away from Andreev but he played hell of a match. Fed’s determination to win this match was more evident, its almost like he put his heart and soul into it. Its nice to see him so animated and excited after crucial points. 5 setters can do wonders to certain players but to Fed I think is shaking his confidence a little when he knows he could easily ended the match in 3. We are talking about a guy who have lower rank player as quick workout before reaching finals a year ago. I think its in his head but he is trying to keep himself positive as much as he can. I badly want to see him win 5th USO but looking how Nadal is doing currently, Fed’s chances looks pretty slim right now.

    I still admire him for not using Mono as excuse. I believe he will ride through this storm

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