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01/28/2016

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O

Federer is better and better with this racket, his body looks more stable. He looks very good even in such a lopsided defeat. Joko will probably win this, FO and W unless maybe Milosevic or Murray intervenes? maybe? The good thing for Federer is that he can now start working on many things. Just look at Simon, isn't he great? Why can't Federer strike the ball a little like Stan or Simon sometimes? perhaps the grip is different. Joko will be so big this year, and I really want to make sure that no one gets a virus ever. They need to take Joko out from time to time.

Bettyjane Surabian

O, I've often wondered what "O" stands for and now I know. "Optimist"

O

He really is in astonishing shape. If not, he had no business winning a point against Joko after a perfect lob had roared past him. If you watch the highlights, you may think Federer had won. From the tennis I can't tell he is 34, he might as well be 24. The problem is that his backhand makes the mistakes. That side was always weak, but was good enough when he dominated and he used the slice. The slice is now rarely used, and he is not up to speed with an offensive backhand. It is always a little unnatural although it might be good enough for players other than Joko. He has to make that shot better. The backhand when it works may be even more destructive than the forehand, like in Stan's case. He is once again the 2nd best and good things are coming as long as he works on it.

Bento

This match was a disgrace. There's nothing positive about it. Yes, apparently he can beat everyone except Djokovic, but there's no point in reaching the semis and finals of every slam and winning none. He could beat everyone except Djokovic last year too, and the year before that, while, against Djokovic, no progress is being made, as it's actually getting worse. At least you could say at the last US Open that Federer had his chances, with a bunch of break points. This time he was utterly destroyed.

Gary Moser

In my book, losing 12 of 15 games would fit the definition "utterly destroyed".

Unless one rebounds well enough from those 15 games to be on-serve 7 games into the 4th set.

Of course, everybody is entitled to their own book.

O

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer AMAZING POINT 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnbMFBCkG9o

nick

Well said Bettyjane. Fed may give up but O would not. Bento, please enjoy the game while Fed is in business. Remember how boring it was in Pete's and Agassi era. Personally I stopped watching tennis for a decade.

There may still be hope but I have seen gradual degradation in the power of Fed's game against Novak. Fed struggled all night against controlled power of Novak. On to Wimby for Fed.

Bento

I will try to enjoy it while it lasts. I wish Fed would be able to use more "controlled power". I don't know why he has to always dominate and hit killer winners quickly. We've seen how Simon managed to take it to five sets with his "mediocre" strokes (compared to Fed's). Djokovic makes errors too, but you have to endure longer rallies. Fed simply can't handle those rallies.

Bettyjane

Djoker gets focused more quickly against Fed. I don't think, no matter WHAT these guys say, that they respect everyone equally. Djoker isn't going into that Simon match with the same mindset he has vs. Fed. Nole gets off to slow starts alot, and may have a match in an early round that's problematic (not on the same level as Borg at Wimby---those matches were heartstoppers), but still he always plays his best against Fed.

Gary Moser

If Novak beats Murray --- and I'll yell "FIX" like it's bloody murder if he doesn't, seeing as how he has the extra day off
and Andy was pushed to 5 by Raonic --- Roger will have been beaten by the tournament-winner in 6 of the last 7 Slams.

Im-m-m pressive.

Bettyjane

Gary I find your insights a soothing balm to my raw psyche right now! Thanks

sperry

Gary: I assume you are joking about the fix? I'm guessing there isn't enough money in Australia to buy a final in a slam. If Novak shows up 100%, I think we all know the outcome. But, even considering their last ten meetings, I don't think Novak would have to dip much below his best for Andy to win.

Gary Moser

"there isn't enough money in Australia" --- I've heard about something called a GLOBAL ECONOMY. You?

"their last ten meetings" --- in this context, I'm more moved by their last NINE meetings:
Novak's 5 in AO Finals...and Andy's 4 in AO Finals.

[ But, OTOH, I am quite the jokester, so who the hell knows? ]

Veglia

Here's the deal, ahm, fix: Novak loses to Andy as an early gift to a new father and Andy changes his last name to Murrayevic.

Did you see Simon's perfect reply to fixing question: Yes, Novak is not for real, we're all just fixing!

Gary Moser

I see that as a "perfect reply" in its disingenuousness, as well as being decidedly non-original:
"The Best is not losing at all, therefore nobody is dumping to The Best, therefore nobody is dumping to nobody."

Really? :->

O

Pat Cash:::

“I think he (Federer) is a better player now than he was before."

“He’s got more experience, he’s got the drop shot, he’s reinvented his volley, he’s serving better.”

“The thing was he didn’t have the competition when he racked up 15 Grand Slam finals in a row or something like that.”

“These players have just improved — they’ve leapfrogged Roger,”

“I think Roger is overall a better player but on this surface it’s very hard to get past guys who are playing ground strokes."

According to him: Federer's game has never been in decline, and I think it's maybe a reasonable assessment.

O

If Federer has been getting better all this time, then perhaps within the next 3 years, 2016-2018, he has a chance to win the remaining 8 slams FO excluded, when Djokovic might drop his level.

Bento

There's the 2013 season and he's certainly improved from that, but compared to the golden years, oh yes, it has been in decline, believe me. Just watch the videos, intensity has dropped dramatically.

Gary Moser

IMO, the points that Cash makes here largely smack of someone saying that George Foreman
was better in his 2nd career --- past age 40 --- than he was in his first career.

He was a better TECHNICAL BOXER, yes. He had to be, because his speed and reflexes were long gone.

But, all in all, he was a clearly diminished FIGHTER. Struggling to beat Michael Freakin' Moorer
for a share of the heavyweight title versus obliterating prime Joe Frazier and Ken Norton?
Night and day.

Veglia

Agree with O, Pat Cash and a number of people on the tour who actually play him. Roger Federer has never played better. Remember last year semis at Wimbledon? Watch that video and tell me he's in decline. Or simply watch any video from this year's AO but the finals. I understand it's difficult to admit if you are a worshipper, but if Roddick and Blake did it so should we :)

Gary Moser

How about a hybrid?

When he's playing his best these days, he's playing better than he did in his prime.

When he's not, he's clearly playing worse.

Then we can start the sub-debate of which is happening more often.

O

I always marvelled the smoothness of Djoko's body, but this year he seems muscled up significantly. Federer seemed to never miss a shot during his most dominating days when he extensively used his slice backhands. He seemed 100% comfortable and can hit backhands all day long. Now the backhand is different but may be 95% smooth and comfortable. Against Djokovic, it's often pushed into errors by powerful and deep shots. Just this one weakness may negate any strength he still have in his game. He needs to continue getting better at backhand, otherwise he may still be rock solid and beating everyone other than Djokovic. Federer needs to continue improving and Djokovic needs to drop his form, there will be something interesting. Right now, Djokovic will probably gobble up all the slams at FO.

O

Nadal and now Djokovic are all powerful. Federer needs to be technically perfect to find a chance, he still can do it, but patience is clearly needed. In nowadays power era, it may tend to be more and more winner takes all. If the ATP wants to have competitive and a little more unpredictability, they need to speed up the courts. Perhaps slower courts make the show longer and make more money, and they don't care about the game becomes more predictable, boring, uncompetitive and lopsided.

Gary Moser

"last year semis at Wimbledon" is ONE MATCH. Moreover, it was against MURRAY, who Roger has always owned in Slams.
Not allowing Andy a break-point opportunity is wonderful...but 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 isn't exactly an annihilation.

If Roddick, Blake, et. al. would say that Roger was better when they played him,
it would be a de facto assertion that Djokovic isn't really that great --- which would be bad for current business.
No way they're going to go that route.

sperry

Marry me, Angelique.

nick

Good points. If Fed had time on his side, he could have waited for Novak's dip which has to come. It is this year or never for Fed. Novak ends up at 14 or 11 ( I am jinxing by saying he has already won Aus '16) . You can wish for Cincy everywhere but speed up court will never happen at slams as they are designed to get more rallies.

Veglia

Agreed, we need quicker courts to make things interesting again. Although, I haven't seen any particular issue with that for Djokovic. If anything the only slam he hasn't won yet is obviously the slowest of them all. My support for quicker courts is not based on support, or not, of any particular player. Even though these slow courts have produces some epics, like Djokovic-Nadal 6hr battle of Melbourne, in general the game has become less exciting to watch of TV.

O

It's the WTA's turn to have a little bit of competition. This final looked very close. Kerber's great court coverage and Serena's inability to get to shots may have proved to be the key. We can only hope that we get such a competitive match between Murray and Djokovic. Hopefully Murray has figured something out after 3 straight defeats here at AO.

O

There is rumour circulating around that I don't know could be true or not. It says that Murray wants to withdraw from the final due to a big risk of missing his baby's birth. He says the final match is not worth attending unless he is paid 5 million dollars. ATP is negotiating a deal to have Federer replace Murray, but Federer also declined because the Fed doesn't want to rerun a night match. He would have been available if he can take on Djokovic during the daytime.

O

Nadal just called the ATP saying he would gladly replace Murray to take on Djokovic, he still thinks he can do what Djokovic did to him. The ATP is weighing his offer.

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