Saturday, September 06, 2008

Roger Slams Djoke

Defending champion Roger Federer advanced to his fifth consecutive US Open final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 drubbing of Novak Djokovic in today's only completed semifinal.

May as well give him the trophy, his 13th Slam title, now. He gets a day of rest while Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have to come back tomorrow to finish their match, weather permitting. (Andy is up two sets, but down a break in the third.)

I've seen this movie before (Wimbledon 2005) and I know how it ends.

Of course, if Andy comes out and wins 4 games in a row...


rabbit said...

Hope you are right, Craig, but 2008 is not quite 2005 for Federer.

I remember a post from a (long) while ago where you said that you'd respect Roger a lot more if he could fight his way back from injuries or personal trouble and reclaim his status as a champion (like for example Serena and Venus have done time and time again). Just wondering in case Roger won on Monday after the mono and everything, if your respect for his mental strength and game would rise.

calle said...

Awful match. Djoko looked like he just wanted to leave New York as soon as possible. Roger played a good first set but the second and third where horrible.

Why didnt't they start the semifinals at the same time to give them equal chances to finish before the rain?

Craig Hickman said...

rabbit, I don't believe Raja ever had mono. I believe he had food poisoning as was originally reported and that was that. I will always maintain that the mono reporting struck me as false from the get go.

Raja hasn't been out of the sport with any injuries for any considerable length of time. Raja only lost the No. 1 ranking a few weeks ago. He fell to No. 2.

Raja has faced a crisis of confidence in the face of the rise of Rafael Nadal on the tour.

That's all.

No surgeries, no tragedies, no extended slump, no fall from grace. He hasn't been vilified by the press for having interests outside of tennis.

There have been allusion to personal problems, but I haven't a clue what they might be.

Raja is in his 5th consecutive US Open final and third Slam final of the year.

He recently lost by a smidgen the best Wimbledon final in the Open Era.

His troubles have been overstated.

He's still at the top of the sport and hasn't fallen out of the spotlight.

He hasn't gone anywhere.

Raja is gifted. And very, very lucky. The weather always seems to work to his advantage in the late stages of Slams. And the scheduling.

His semifinal had no business being scheduled first. Period.

I'm not feeling a comeback from anything deep when he capitalizes on his luck and displays his gifts and wins tomorrow.

So the short answer is no.

Tennisfan said...

I don't know the whole history of scheduling but in both 2006 and 2007, Thursday quarterfinal winners played the first semifinal on Saturday. Nadal is No.1 player now and he plays Roger's previous schedule; Quarter on Wed and second semi on Sat. I don't think US Open scheduling is catered for Roger.

Weather, scheduling, cakewalk draws, difficult draws, netcord points, sleeping linemen, umpire bias, broken racquet strings, hawkeye or no hawkeye, seed casualties, etc.. All of the above could bring luck or un-luck for players at some point or the other, especially for ones who have been on tour for years.

Muller played 2 five setters before he met Davy, but Davy lost. Why fresher and experienced top player did not beat a supposedly tired qualifier? Why Davy's advantage didn’t work for him? And Rafa did win Wimbledon after last rain delay. If Rafa won today semi, then rain had worked out in favor of Rafa because he was trailing 2 sets to none. Or if Murray won, it worked in Murray’s advantage because he was losing in the third set and he seemed to be out of sorts in the third set. It depends how we look at it and what we want to rememeber, honestly.

rabbit said...

You believe Federer lied about the entire mono episode? Don't you think it's a little too much to explain two losses (one to Djokovic and one to Murray)? He has never used injury as an excuse to get out of a tennis match in his pro career; so doesn't it seem a bit implausible he'd go through such an elaborate ruse? Unless you have some source to back up your hunch, such an allegation seems just brutally disrespectful to Roger...

Craig Hickman said...

I express what I believe. There is nothing disrespectful about that from where I sit. Did Federer even have to pull out of any events because of his mono? Maybe he had a really mild version (though I've never heard of one), but if he indeed had mono, it certainly didn't cause him a lot of time off the tennis court as it has for, say, Mario Ancic. So even if Roger had it, he didn't have much to fight back from.

Raja isn't the only tennis player who's illness or injury I've questioned. I've also questioned some from my favorites.

It's not that deep from where I sit.

And Raja has certainly, after the fact, after first claiming no excuse for an injury of some kind in a loss, reminded folks what his woes were when he has lost matches he believes he should have won, serving to only offer up these woes as an excuse for losing the match.

That's one of my biggest problems with Raja. He's says what's convenient and he's not always consistent.

But I'm not attacking him. Nor am I attacking you, rabbit. That's how he gets down and I get to observe it without calling him a bad person.

I answered your question, which is simple:

Him winning tomorrow doesn't meet the standard for what I consider a comeback. I'm sorry you took issue with only one part of my argument to the exclusion of everything else I wrote.

Raja is the defending champion of the US Open, which means he currently holds a Slam title and he hasn't missed a single Slam this season, a single masters series event, or the Olympics.

He hasn't gone anywhere, so there's nothing to comeback from.

But if you think his winning tomorrow would put him on par with the kinds of comebacks Serena and Venus have shown the world, or Andre Agassi or Mary Pierce, even, then that's perfectly fine.

I just won't see it that way.

Your guy is about to give you a great joy by winning his 13th Slam. Celebrate it. My opinion means nothing to your celebration.

rabbit said...

Thanks for answering the question, Craig. No, I didn't ignore your other points. They are true. But comebacks are relative. For example, if Roddick were to win a Slam, I'd call it a tremendously big comeback, though some might not call it so since he's always been at or near the top 5, has not had a really serious injury or surgery and never been called out by the press for not being committed to the sport. In the same sense, to me, IF Roger were to win, it would be a comeback after the mono (which I believe), his losses to players who he'd not lose to couple of years ago, and the press for constantly harping on his losses and insisting that he is past his prime.

And no, your acknowledgment will not affect potential celebration, but it's kinda disconcerting that we watch the same sport and have such differing view. But that's ok ;)

oddman said...

You've been reading too much 'Fed is declining' press, Rabbit.

cfdman said...

so losing to Roddick, Blake, Fish, etc. for the first time is due to the rise of Nadal even before it happened??? he lost to Fish and Roddick before Nadal even started his magnificent run. i know you will always try to find some negative thing to find in Fed because of your dislike of his earlier absolute dominance. hopefully, he will be that dominant again. btw, i am picking Murray to win this one; i still don't think Fed is completely back.