Tag Archives: Roger Federer

FRENCH OPEN: Roger Federer Will Beat Novak Djokovic. Here are 4 Reasons why

Roger Federer is going to beat Novak Djokovic Friday in the French Open semifinals.

The washed-up old guy is going to end the never-ending streak, beat the unbeatable player. He is going to ruin the coronation that everyone thought this tournament was all about, and remind people that he’s still here, still on the mountaintop.

This is Fab Friday at Roland Garros, as the world’s top four men’s players are meeting up. First, it’s Rafael Nadal against Andy Murray. Murray has been playing on a sore ankle, and Nadal finally found his mojo in the quarterfinals. I’ll take Nadal. 

But why Federer, when Djokovic has surpassed him and keeps looking stronger and stronger while Federer is starting to show age? Well, to me, everything is lining up perfectly for Federer. Every Federer flaw is negated, every strength enhanced. The predicted heavy winds, the new Babolat ball, the buildup, the slow clay. It all adds up on Federer’s side. Plus, Djokovic has to lose sometime. Plus, Federer has won the French before. Plus. . .

There is still the chance that Djokovic will simply power Federer off the court, push him backward. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. Here are four reasons why: Continue reading

Time for Roger Federer to Make a Change Before He’s Past Tense

At some point, every great champion starts to get old, starts to lose it. He slows down a little, flinches some, loses belief. Rather than seeing that, you would almost rather he just left a little early.

I don’t want to feel sorry for Roger Federer. It makes me sick to my stomach. But Rafael Nadal crushed him Friday in Miami, 6-3, 6-2, and Federer’s game looked obsolete, his greatness past tense.

So that’s it? Federer, at 29, is old? Or maybe the gods just invented the perfect anti-Federer in Rafael Nadal. There also is my argument of choice:

Federer is never going to win another major championship with that antique racquet.

Friday’s match was the final convincing ground for holdouts in denial about Federer’s downward arrow. Nadal crushed him on a hard court. He is now better than Federer in every way, on every surface.

So which one is Federer’s problem? Age? Nadal? Equipment? Here is my answer:

Yes, yes, yes.

I’ve argued that Federer isn’t looking old yet. But on Friday, he was far slower than Nadal. That’s no crime. Almost everyone is. The gap, though, looked wider than ever. Continue reading

Novak Djokovic Wins, Says Rafael Nadal is Best Ever. Here are More Awards from Indian Wells


I’m not sure what on earth Novak Djokovic was thinking. He beat Roger Federer in the semifinals at Indian Wells, and then beat Rafael Nadal for the title. Afterward, Djokovic publicly proclaimed that Nadal was the greatest of all time, known in tennis as the GOAT debate.

But why?

“I think he’s the best ever because, even though he’s 24 years old, he has done so much already,’’ Djokovic said. “Many years in front of him to, I think even to overtake Roger in the Grand Slam trophies.’’

Why would Djokovic bother choosing sides between Federer and Nadal (I’m still not sure Pete Sampras should be eliminated from GOAT talk).

Apparently, Djokovic doesn’t mind ticking off Federer, who he thinks, I can only assume, is in the rear-view mirror for good. Maybe so, but Federer is just one small change away from being back in major contention.

Anyway, a lot happened during nearly two weeks at Indian Wells, and in the spirit of Djokovic giving Nadal the Goat award, here are a few more awards. (I reserve the right to write full columns about these things later).

MOUSE: (Most Outstanding U.S. Emergence): Donald Young beat No. 4 Andy Murray. At 21, Young is finally learning that hard work might equal better results. It was huge for Young, and the first time anyone had talked about him for actually winning a match. But the MOUSE in Indian Wells was Ryan Harrison, who beat Milos Raonic. No, Raonic is not at Murray’s level yet. But Murray tends to fade away, and Raonic is the future arriving. Maybe the U.S. can be part of that future, too? Harrison has a long way to go, but it seems possible now.

FIREMAN: This goes to the person whose fire has been put out in the most surprising way. I’ll go with Maria Sharapova, usually the tour’s best fighter, looking completely dejected while losing 6-1, 6-2 to Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals.

Sam Querrey

WTF? (Worst Tennis Focus): Sam Querrey. This is just how it’s going to be with him. Coming into the tournament, he seemed to be have completely lost interest. Then, he beat No. 9 Fernando Verdasco in straight sets. OK, he was back. Then, he dozed off against Tommy Robredo, getting crushed and saying he didn’t know why his head wasn’t in it. Let us know when you find out.

BS (BEST SERVE): Federer said he would like to have Continue reading

If this isn’t an End, Federer Must Start Believing in His Changes

From my column on AOL Fanhouse

MELBOURNE, Australia – This is not a defining moment for Roger Federer. It looks like one, but it isn’t. It is a failed moment.

The new Federer had been reconfigured for aggressiveness and attack. No more sitting back, floating backhands and getting pushed around by the big, modern players.

It had been working, too, in all the tournaments since the U.S. Open.

But the majors are the real test, of course. And Federer didn’t just lose to Novak DjokovicThursday in the Australian Open semifinals. He was steamrolled, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 6-4.

The problem was that after that first set, after 57 minutes of tennis as intense as you will see, something happened.

Federer flinched. His nerve cracked. That new aggressiveness flickered on and off for the rest of the match. “It’s not the end in any way,” he declared.

It doesn’t have to be. But if he doesn’t start to believe in the new Federer, then really, this is the beginning of the end. It’s just too soon to conclude anything. Continue reading

Roger Federer Faces Reality About His Perfection

from my column on AOL Fanhouse

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer was becoming obsolete. Not only that, but he was in denial about it. It was the worst of combinations.

The game was starting to blow right by him, and he was still insisting that his losses were from bad weather, tiny back pain, or whatever else he could think of to keep his greatness current.

“People make it sound like I was just pushing the ball into play,” Federer told me Tuesday after he crushed Stanislas Wawrinka6-1, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the semis of the Australian Open. “I don’t think that’s how anybody ever saw me play.”

Let’s be real honest: Pushing the ball is exactly what he was doing, in contrast to the new generation of players. But plenty of Federer fans were in denial, too, pretending they couldn’t see how much better Rafael Nadal had become than their hero.

Be honest.

But also be honest about this: what Federer has done now is truly remarkable. He has made the change this late in his career. The amazing thing isn’t that he was able to do it, but that he was willing to. Continue reading