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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.

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43 Responses to “Djokovic takes Federer out of misery in five sets @ US Open.”

  1. claire said

    Here we go again TP!! Just the other day you were praising Federer regarding his stats at US Open! What about Federer’s win against Soderling – haven’t you said Nadal has faced less competition getting to final?? Same old, same old – Federer should have lost the 2 tournaments he won this season, etc.,etc.!

    • wuiches said

      It is exactly that Soderling match the cause that TP is saying what he’s saying now.

      If Fed had won that match playing very bad then this lost to joker won’t have the same meaning.

  2. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

    Time for Anaconda to elope with Mirka and complete his mission

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

  3. mircea said

    You might be right in that he would have been mauled by Nadal, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has done enough for tennis. It’s a fact that those two have lifted tennis out of the post Agassi-Sampras doldrums. (Besides, did anyone really care about their rivalry in which there was practically nothing at stake). Anyone remember Hewitt, Ferrero as former #1’s? Safin was talented and charming, but never got it together for whatever reason. Roddick never moved on from just out-serving his opponents. So, yeah Federer has recently lost at least 5 big matches he should have won, like the US Open final 2009. But he has still 16 big titles in the bank and has fascinated and dazzled fans throughout the world. That should count for something. The day he is gone, tennis will suffer a drop in popularity and so will your site. For the last 7 years he has been tennis and has carried it on his back. He was the one everyone was after. Everyone should be grateful for the ways in which he elevated tennis, especially Nadal. All the ATP players owe Federer big time if only for the way he has made the sport bigger than ever. Yes, he will fade into the sunset. But for the last 7 years, he has shone brilliantly. You, TP, of all people, owe him even more. He is a big reason people post on your site.

    • Jill said

      Agree and thank you Mircea for that.

    • Raj said

      My sentiments exactly. You said it beautifully. Many were drawn into watching tennis because of him and his style of play and I, for one, has lost interest in this final and care less who wins!

    • chipnputt said

      Very well said Mircea. Roger’s beautiful game has made (and retained) so many fans of tennis. It isn’t simply about what Roger has achieved — it’s how he has gone about it. We all owe him.

    • Haya said

      Well said Mircea 🙂

      I haven’t had watched tennis for a long time (particularly since Steffi Graf retired) until 2005 when I accidentally saw a tennis match on TV and felt like “ok it’s been a while lets sit and watch as long as I have nothing to do”.. lucky for me it was Federer.. it took me only a couple of minutes and I was hooked!! My eyes popped out and I was mesmerized..
      I couldn’t believe one can come up with such marvelous shots.. one after the other!

      I doubt it- no actually I’m pretty sure :)- no one else in the history of tennis could have that impact on me!

      What can we do, he spoiled us! I guess when you like the best, anything less will not do 😉

    • Bettyjane said

      a very moving post. Thanks.

    • Manon said

      Totally agree, and echo Raj’s sentiments as well. No one plays with the same grace and elegance. He’s not superhuman and can’t win them all. I was sad to see him beaten that way, and don’t really have any interest in watching the final now–which I think Nadal totally has in the bag. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t see him losing to Djokovic at this juncture.

    • Vr said

      I agree with everything except ‘…he would have been mauled by Nadal..’. Roger has been Tennis the last many years. He is not gone yet and I won’t say or listen to any eulogies. Hope to see him back healthy and give these guys a run for their money and a win a few more big ones.

      • BANTI said

        Roger will win another slam for sure. He was two match points away from the finals playing like garbage. If he plays well, still think he’s the man to beat on this surface. And no telling which Roger would have showed up, the 65 UE/50% first serve percentage Roger or the one that “mauled” Sod the match before.

        Pete Bodo after the Sod match:

        “I’ve got news for you; if Nadal makes it to the final, the conditions remain what they were today (which they won’t), and Federer plays like he did today, the only thing Nadal will be calibrating is the size of the runner-up’s check.”

        We’ll see how washed up the GOAT is when he plays Rafa several times this hard court season (i’m thinking atleast twice maybe three times) , being on the same side of the draw. Finally get some chances to work on that H2H! Or maybe not Davydenko may take out Nadal in the quarters! 🙂

    • Bonnie said

      I also agree Mircea, and with Raj, and all the comments from your post. Roger, even if he were to stop playing today, has done more than enough, and he should be proud of himself and his accomplishments. He will fade in time, they all do, he’s no exception. But he will always be loved, even as he’s fading. On the other hand, think of Jimmy Connors, who had a horrible slump, couldn’t win anything for years, dropped out of the top 100, came back strong in his 30’s, and won at least 2, maybe 3, more majors. Like Connors, Roger loves tennis and I don’t count him out for quite a while. He still has that genius in him and I, for one, am hoping Annacone will help bring it out of him.

      • Jenny said

        I totally agree with all that’s been said here too. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t appreciate Roger and for all he has given to the sport. Roger set the bar higher years ago and anyone who takes a serious interest and a love of the game surely cannot dispute this. I think that goes for his peers, all tennis fans and TP too 🙂

        I’m also sure there aren’t too many players who will relish meeting him. IMHO, Annacone can’t teach him anything tennis-wise, no coach in the world can do that, he has all the shots in the book, but Paul is a good tactician, wise calm counsel and motivator, it’s a good move by Roger. I may be wrong, but I’m sure Connors once said it was 90% in the head [he wasn’t referring to anyone in particular], according to our comms.

    • Leachim said

      Thank you, Mircea, for your wonderful, moving post!

  4. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

    Well, TP. I must agree with you on the headline and most of your observations. I watched 4 sets and the last two games of this match. That Jekyl of a genius who beat Soderling was now a hideously transformed Hyde who couldn’t serve his way out of a Lindt wrapper! Also on full display were the notorious shanks off either side and more ‘net’ backhands than holes in the net itself! In fact, I am amazed that the match went to 5 sets despite federer playing at shoddy C-D levels. While that is a back handed compliment to Federer’s genius, I can also appreciate how well and how consistent were the return games of Djokovic. I haven’t seen Novak play such an outstanding return of serve tennis, ever. For Federer fans, it was a miserable time. Picture several thousands of watchers across the world with hands holding their heads, eyes popping out and jaw hitting the floor. One of those was mine every time I watched with disbelief as Federer’s UE count rose higher than my BP. In the end, I breathed a sign of relief when it was all over. I’m happy for Djokovic who performed against expectations. I hope he will get the 2nd grand slam he deserves after this performance, but it will also be nice to see Nadal win.

  5. wuiches said

    I thought exactly the same at this year RG and Wimby!!!

    We must keep in mind that Rodge was playing very well before these last 3 slams, final in Madrid, Halle, Toronto and the title at Cincy gives us the proof of that. It’s ridiculous to say that he wasn’t at his best.

    The guy just didn’t want to turn that 14-7 into a 17-7, with 8-2 in GS finals and a defeat at every freakin’ major!!!

  6. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

    Let me also add that my respect for Novak’s parents has gone beyond the charts. What child will not rise to the occasion when his parents cheer him on, wearing his face on their T-Shirts with Eagle eyes; it completely socks the eyeballs from Robert Federer’s RF hat support, out of the frikkin galaxy!! Did you see how many times Djokovic looked at his two strongest supporters? It was like Harry Potter’s parents were aiding Harry in his fight with Lord Voldemort!! Outstanding! And how wonderful was the scene when Mrs Djokovic jumped up and kissed the husband after their ‘investment’ finally paid returns. This is stuff from hollywood!

  7. O said

    ELOPE with Mirka????? ah????? He didn’t come out spirited, and he lost the match and tourney, and that’s not enough punishment? There is really nothing to be alarmed of, Federer can still win slams and get to number one, without doubt, he just need to work on the game and peak for slams. For Federer, it’s just another defeat, I am sure he can have a lot more success.

    More than likely, Nadal will win it and come closer to Federer’s achievements in slams. Then Novak gets some credit, and some chance to move ahead.

    How about Murray, the guy always come in as the hottest, but exits prematurely? he needs a better way forward. Think about his body language at Cincy, he was totally negative.

    Federer is my fav, Murray follows, may be they need to be fitter or something.

  8. Ash said

    That Federer tanked it in order not to have to face Nadal in the final is an ‘interesting theory’. However, with the greatest respects to all opinions here and in my own most humble opinion this theory is borderline delusional ;-). No, methinks the Fed was thinking a bit too much about his place in the final and not focusing enough on putting Djokovic away. My own hypothesis is that the Fed was already conserving energy for the final by letting sets 2 and 4 slip after the early breaks against him. Fatal mistake as it kept Djokovic eager and mentally strong. Anyone who saw his presser afterwards would know he was bitterly disappointed to have lost. Time to fire the coach?

    • Haya said

      … and hire a psychiatric!

    • Somebody Else said

      Not the coach’s fault. Besides, coach just got onboard before the tournament. Fed needs time to work himself into form to compete with the younger guys. Nadal, Djokovic, Berdych, Soderling, and some others can still be dangerous for him with their power shots.

    • BANTI said

      “My own hypothesis is that the Fed was already conserving energy for the final by letting sets 2 and 4 slip after the early breaks against him. ” He was for sure worried about the energy for the match the day after. and didn’t fight when down in those sets bc of it. Nice observation! He also strategically lost the games so he could serve first I felt in the 5th:) Credit to Nole for dealing with the pressure to hold serve at 4-5 in the fifth. Nole played well in the 5th and deserved it.

    • Barbara said

      I agree with your hypothesis about Federer’s tactics, and actually it almost worked. If Djokovic had crumbled at match points in fifth set, as he did on set points in the first and second sets, Roger would have had the job done.

  9. jennifur said

    more important than popularity … nole gained/earned confidence in abilities … a win > rafa in final wud add to that … but he gains respect rightfully @ same time …

    important match 4 both rafa + nole ….

  10. Bento said

    We love you so much, Roger.

    • chieko said

      Me too Bento san. He is always my first love win or lose !! 😀

      That makes me remember a parable I learned when I was in primary school. It is about a clam fighting a bird with a long beak. They fought very hard and finally the clam shut its shell on the bird’s long beak. And there was a fisherman, watching and waiting, finally effortlessly, captured both the bird and the clam. Something like that.

      The clam fighting the bird benefits the fisherman.

  11. Haya said

    You know what.. it could be good if Nadal doesn’t play Federer for a long time.. maybe this is a blessing in desguise for Fed.. Nadal (I mean uncle Toni, duh!) already knows every single thing about Federer’s game and meeting him like every fortnight or whatever made it even worse.. he could win with his eyes closed! Maybe by now he forgot what it means to play against, and prevail over Fed 😛

    Yes I’m sleepy and dreaming already 😛

  12. chieko said

    Thank you everyone , I am not depressed anymore….. 😀

  13. Michael said

    We do not have to worry! Djoko semifinal win is jus is just temporary ramification of Federer existing “mono” syndrome.

  14. RafaFan said

    If Novac plays like in the SF Rafa will not win his career slam for sure. But even after an extra day of rest Mr. Djokovic will underperform and lose badly. Remember Soderling and Berdych!

    • Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

      Nole is a grandslam winner and tennis’ new Harry Potter. He vanquished Lord Roger Voldemort with the help of his parents. Now with this extra day’s rest, he will fire again with his magic wand. If he can return serve against Nadal as well as he did against Federer, the US open is his.

      • Jenny said

        I think Nole has a good chance here, he knows how to win a slam, albeit Tsonga is a great player, he is in a different class to Rafa. He must be well rested after the rain delay. Re: Soderling and Berdych, great challengers, but as far as Slam winners are concerned – still the bridesmaids with not too many titles between them.

      • RafaFan said

        “If he can return serve against Nadal as well as he did against Federer, the US open is his” My words Sir V! The only problem is the IF! I’m afraid of another low quality GS final. I doubt that Mr. Djokovic can do much better than Soderling and Berdych. I really miss Roger! sigh He is the only one who can trouble Rafa on a regular basis and vice versa.

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