Djokovic takes Federer out of misery in five sets @ US Open.
Posted by tennisplanet on September 12, 2010
Federer got EXACTLY what he wanted:
-A respectable five-set defeat in the semis of a Slam vis-a-vis a very real possibility of certain humiliation and ‘tarnishment’ of his legacy at the hands of his nemesis in the finals – on his favorite surface.
There’s no other explanation for Federer (for the first time in his freaking career) to not capitalize on two match points AND one break of serve offered on the platter. And then to produce an unforced error on match point to cap it all.
If you have ever been in a situation like this before (where your next step pits you against an opponent who has your number) you will know that the pride and manhood will do whatever it takes to bring you to the threshold of that win but when you are at that point of entry to the next dimension your mind begins to falter and you are in two minds as to whether you should take the next step.
It’s called playing ‘just enough’ to lose – by the slimmest of margins.
Now he has to be hoping – despite what he has said to the microphone – for Djokovic to win and halt Nadal’s march on his records – just as he hoped for Berdych at Wimbledon. If not, Nadal will earn a career Slam and No. 9. That’s mighty close for comfort for two reasons: Nadal is only 24 and Federer’s window of winning Slams may have closed – forever.
All this has left Federer fans to choose for the lesser evil called Djokovic for obvious reasons even though Nadal has been on record to be liked by a massive margin compared to Djokovic. For Djokovic that’s a God-send and will certainly add to his motivation in bringing down the giant. His popularity has already almost overnight reached new high ironically right after beating Federer. But it can reach astronomical proportions if he can defeat Nadal – a by-product Djokovic may cherish even more than the actual trophy in his grand scheme of things to capture.
For Federer, this was his 12th loss of the season with just five more events to come on his schedule. But more importantly he has now won just two titles his last 19 tournaments. If not for Davydenko fading @ quarters of this year’s AO and Fish’s deciding set shenanigans at Cincy, Federer could have been completely shut out for the season. With dropping of points here vis-a-vis Nadal gaining, the likelihood of reclaiming the No. 1 spot appears gone for good.
This may be the first time in the history of the sport that ONE player has had so much influence on another player not just at matches they actually face off at but even matches that do not include the two of them. It reflects poorly on the already battered to death, mentally weak theme running through Federer’s entire career by now. Even though Federer halted the H2H against Nadal to get any worse, this loss to Djokovic will somehow find a place every time their record is mentioned – anywhere.
Looking forward, I don’t think, Federer will even reach a final of ANY event, including Basel. Why? Because the inconsistency headed by a stat called unforced error has now reached a point that it has become independent of the opponent, the surface, the whatever. Time for Anaconda to elope with Mirka and complete his mission. Or at least demand she sit next to her – with flip-flops.