WIMBLEDON: Roger Federer’s No-Mas Moment. Tsonga Played Great, but Federer Folded on Centre Court

Roger Federer loses to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

From my column in Sporting News:

He just stood there and let it happen to him. That’s what was so disturbing. He let himself be pushed around. He dumped shots into the bottom of the net. Did Roger Federer just give up?

Yes, he did. He was beaten into it, but this was his “No Mas” moment.

He blew a two-sets-to-love lead, losing 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Wednesday in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Then Federer sounded calm, accepting. He said that Tsonga was making shots he normally wouldn’t. So Federer said he could stomach this loss, that the opponent was just too good, that it was just one of those days, that he was “not discouraged in any way.”

Not discouraged? Keep telling yourself that, Roger. You were so discouraged that you stopped fighting. “I thought I played well,” he said. “At least it took a special performance to beat me.”

This is not going to be easy to come back from. A great tennis player relies on his endless fight, his self-motivation. A champion thinks he’s going to win even if his opponent is playing out of his mind.

Please read the rest of the column here


About gregcouch

I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else. Or with someone else. That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high. I am a national columnist at FoxSports.com and a FoxSports1 TV insider, and have been a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players, coaches, agents. I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled her foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach. I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’ And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now. Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest. I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. Personal info: One-handed backhand, serve-and-volleyer. View all posts by gregcouch

4 responses to “WIMBLEDON: Roger Federer’s No-Mas Moment. Tsonga Played Great, but Federer Folded on Centre Court

  • Maxshade7

    I saw the match from start to finish. I disagree. Fed didnt play a bad match at all. He hit 60 something winners to only 11 unforced errors in 5 sets. Any other day thats a win. Fed didnt fold. He held comfortably after each time he was broken. Folding would look like 6-1 or 6-2. Tsonga also served 70% in the last 3 sets. Fed didnt even see a break point after the first set. Especially in the 4th set when Tsonga was down 0-30 on his serve twice. He hit clutch serves and clutch running forehands. Credit Tsonga. He played the match of his life. Like when Del Po crushed Nadal at the US open a couple of years ago. No one said Nadal didnt have fire or folded or whatever…Sometimes a guy just has a great day which is the case with Tsonga. Tsonga said it best.. Everything went in. What the more pressing argument is…Is grass really Rogers best surface now? I dont think so. Im gonna go with the fast hard courts of the US open. In the past 2 years his worst results have been at Wimbledon. I wonder if by the end of his career if Rog will have more US Opens or Wimbledons?

    • may

      When Del Potro beat Nadal at the 2009 US open Nadal had an abdominal tear/strain but no one seems to know or remember that. There was a time whenever Federed lost you would hear about his mononucleosis and you hear a lot about Sharapova’s shoulder surgery but no one ever mentioned the abdominal problem then and they still never do and in the quarters that year he was hit right in the abdomen with a ball from Fernando Gonzales so when you are talking about bad days and you want to mention that one remember the abdominal problem that Rafa had. But I really wouldn’t take anything away for Tsonga’s play, he did an excellent job and I loved every minute of it.

  • John JM

    Fed definitely folded. You could see it all over him. He got overpowered, just like in last year’s Wimby quarters. He can forget about the Olypmics next year on grass unless he does (or hits with) something different. I think he can do it, but it’s all mental. WILL he is more the question. I think that had a lot to do with his French loss to Nadal this year, because to me, that match was his to win. Hell, that FIRST SET was his to win. (ARRRG!)

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