Friday, May 09, 2008

Federer Falls



This has just not been a good year for Roger Federer. Listless, sluggish, ornery. Reminds me of his demeanor in last year's Monte-Carlo final.

Radek Stepanek upset the Swiss 7-6(4), 7-6(7) with great serving and excellent net play. He was virtually unpassable. Even after he choked serving for the match, he recovered, even after falling behind in the second tiebreak, and notched his second victory over Raja in six tries.

This is the silly season of tennis.

20 comments:

Cate said...

It's the Olympics.

Aaaah, screw it! It's a weird year.

at least he earned points.

Helen W said...

I hope hope hope that this is not an opening for Djokovic to take it :)

Karen said...

Craig, I dont know what the hail is going on but I think what is happening is that other players are getting sick and tired of the top players winning all the time so they are now finally realising their potential and not fading. It happened with Justine, Serena, Roger, James Blake (yes I put him up there to me Stan's win today is an upset whatever the surface), Nadal, Ferrer, it is enough to make you think everyone now has cojones.
EvenJJ got beat by Dementieva which is also an upset - what next I ask you what next

Cate said...

The top players are tired. They're always there in EVERY major tournament. It doesn't seem fair but that's the game. Some are just better than others. But good things must end (or PAUSE) some times.

Just think, other players just have 1, 2, 3, or 4 career titles (none of those are from Masters Series) because of Roger and Rafa. Now that they're getting pretty tired, it's an opportunity for other players to show that they're good, too. But that doesn't mean the top players are fading. For all we know, their (esp Roger's and Rafa's) stars will forever be there.

oddman said...

Hee hee! What a shock to come home and see that on my screen.
Maybe Rogelio is feeling some sympathy for Rafa, no?
Next seed out, Djokovic? A girl can hope.

tangerine said...

Roger was heartbroken when Rafa lost and so he lost his heart to win. That's one popular excuse I've heard.

John McEnroe says Roger finally got bored and is having a hard time getting excited about anything anymore.

We could find lots of reasons but nobody can use the mono excuse anymore especially now that Roger's pronounced himself 100% fit and ready.

I think his confidence has been shaken, similar to what's happened to JHH. He'll figure it out soon enough. Once he gets on the Wimbledon grass he'll be at home again.

Helen W said...

cate I agree, they are all tired. I hope the situation inspires the top players to give more than lukewarm support for Rafa's stand re the schedule.

Craig Hickman said...

I find it interesting that some of us can admit that the top players are tired and others can lamblast Roddick and Blake for skipping Monte-Carlo because they choose to take a break.

Both made the final 8 and Rome and one has made the final 4 while the "tired" top players are falling like dominoes and getting lucky with opponent retirements.

rabbit said...

Craig, I agree with you that Federer wasn't tired. I don't think it was anything physical. It's that this weird start of the year has thrown his confidence level seriously askew.

oddman said...

Fed's confidence level seriously askew? I like the sound of that too.
I'll be pissed if Djoker wins this tourney. Really pissed. Hope the antibiotics gave him diarhhea. Hah!

Cate said...

I really do feel that the top players are getting tired. And I agree with McEnroe that somehow, the novelty of winning has run out. Come on... 54 career titles? Some players who turned pro before him don't even have 10.

But at least, Roger isn't making excuses as to why he lost... not the mono, no sore throat, no wind, w/e.

What he said re: Rafa:

"It's tough for Rafa. I feel for him. He was on such a great streak for the last three years, but I'm sure he'll bounce back either at Hamburg or Paris anyway."

Karen said...

You know what I hate - I hate when so-called journalists decide to denigrate people who have accomplished so much in their lives. That is why I love when AndyR gives some of these so-called journalists a what for answer. What have you done lately? What have you accomplished in your so-called career? What gives you the right to talk about my career? All that and much much more. I loved the answer that Fed gave to the so-called reporter asking the question about the end of his career - he just said "Next question please"

Craig Hickman said...

karen, I'm with you on that one all the way.

rabbit said...

That question was kicking the man when he is down.

Helen W said...

And Roger's response was perfect.

Some of these guys are just unbelievable.

Dan Scarlett said...

Hi Craig....it's kind of you to come to Roger's defense:
...."at least he didn't make excuses....no mono, no sore throat, no wind.".....
But ahem......buried in the middle of his tell-it-like-it his, humble Roger spiel, was this little gem:

"But this wasn't really a clay court match, you know. I think I would be a bit more worried if I were to lose against a guy, you know, who would just be playing real clay court tennis. This was a different match. "

oddman said...

Typical Roger.
Can't let an opp for a bit of a dig go by. I don't mind this, btw.

I laffed about his response to questions about Rafa's complaints - 'What? Rafa's complaining? Huh?' - playing dumb much?

Helen W said...

oddman your English is turning into Rafenglish a little more each day, no?

oddman said...

Awww, thanks for the compliment, helen. Is my fangirlishness showing? Tee hee.
I love the way he speaks English, so damn cute - 'the true is...', 'is no comparation...' , 'I have illusion to win...'
M'kay, I'll stop now.

Helen W said...

What did others think of Rafa's play in his match vs Starace? I felt that he was not nearly back to 100% -- especially in the first set he dropped a lot of balls short, and his movement was not as good as usual either.

Starace has one mean dropper! Wow.