• Federer takes title in Rotterdam

    2/19/12 7:09 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Federer takes title in Rotterdam Top seed Roger Federer lifted his 71st ATP World Tour championship trophy following his straight-sets victory over third seed Juan Martin Del Potro. The veteran came through Sunday’s match, 6-1, 6-4.

    World No. 3 Roger Federer is a title winner once again, having downed world No. 10 Juan Martin Del Potro for the ABN AMRO World Tenns Tournament crown. The Swiss saved seven of seven break points through to a 6-1, 6-4 success in 86 minutes.

    Federer blazed to a 5-0 advantage in the opening set. After missing his first set point at 5-1, the 30-year-old closed with a cross-court backhand winner. Federer broke to 3-2 in the second after striking a well-timed forehand pass.

    The former world No. 1 held two championship points in the ninth game but was unable to convert. A fourth championship points came at 5-4 for Federer, who completed the run with a volley winner.

    "In the first set, I was rock solid. I played great from start to finish," said Federer. "In the second set, it got tighter. I'm happy I was able to sneak it out. It's nice to pick up the momentum after the indoor season I had last year.

    "And then coming back here after seven years and going through this whole buzz in Rotterdam has been amazing, having a standing ovation every time I walked on and off the court. I think it was a great tournament all-around. I really enjoyed myself here and saved my best for last."

    "He played much better than me today," Del Potro assessed. "I didn't take the break points when I had them. It's really difficult to beat Federer if you have the chances and don't take them. He was more confident and concentrated than me in the important moments and I think that was the key."

    Federer ended the final with three service breaks and 27 of 34 first-service points captured.

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Super, Roger!

Topspin , 2/19/12 7:56 PM

the FED moves forward/on to other adventures... Go FED go! :) He is COOL!

sky , 2/20/12 3:11 AM

Congrats Roger.

Great match. The variety displayed yesterday was awesome, slices, dropshots, coming to the net, great baseline shots...
Only Roger can do. (And murray lol)

HOPP Roger. Dubai next in line.

bleck , 2/20/12 10:01 AM

Great match. The variety displayed yesterday was awesome, slices, dropshots, coming to the net, great baseline shots...
Only Roger can do.
bleck , 2/20/12 10:01 AM

Except from when he is playing Rafa.

nadline , 2/20/12 12:55 PM

Except when Rafa is playing Djokovic

nirv02 , 2/20/12 1:19 PM

Except when Rafa is playing Djokovic
nirv02, 2/20/12 1:19 PM

This makes no sense in the context of this conversation.

What does djokovic have to do with Nadal stopping federer play with variation??

djokovic retard

willmw101 , 2/20/12 1:30 PM

And for the record I don't think that Federer's lack of variation against nadal is really due to Nadal's level of play, and instead is more down to the mental edge Nadal has. Federer can play with greater variation than anyone in the game at the moment but he may not believe (rightly or wrongly) that this is the key to beat nadal.

willmw101 , 2/20/12 1:38 PM

especially considering nadals strength on attacking slices.

willmw101 , 2/20/12 1:42 PM

"especially considering nadals strength on attacking slices."

Just what I was about to mention. Nadal plays lefthanded and as such Roger's sliced backhand cross court, a shot that works against the likes of Djokovic, del potro, soderling, doesn't work against nadal.
Nadal's forehand easily deals with the slice. Matchup...

As for coming to the net Roger doesn't do that as much against nadal because nadal plays great passing shots.

bleck , 2/20/12 1:50 PM

Except when Rafa is playing Djokovic
nirv02 , 2/20/12 1:19 PM

Sorry, I've no idea what you are 'excepting' when Rafa is playing Djokovic. Try following the conversation so that you don't make a fool of yourself. Djokovic was not part of this conversation.

nadline , 2/20/12 2:09 PM

To be fair nadline, nadal wasn't part of the conversation either until you brought him up!! ;-)

willmw101 , 2/20/12 2:12 PM

@bleck , 2/20/12 1:50 PM

Ah, but Federer's slices work perfectly against Nando and Feli, which means there is more to Federer's game that doesn't match Rafa's level.

nadline , 2/20/12 2:13 PM

They don't work perfectly on those players. Lefthanders deal with the slice much more easily than righthanders.

Of course nadal's extreme topspin helps him further.

bleck , 2/20/12 2:17 PM

Including Nadal was perfectly logical, because I was responding to bleck who said Roger is awesome because only he can do his variety of shots and I said except when he is playing Rafa. For nirv02 to then quote me and say except when Rafa is playing Djokovic, doesn;'t make any sense, because I wasn't talking about Rafa's attributes being awesome.

nadline , 2/20/12 2:18 PM

Not sure that it's to do with the lefty factor. Probably more to do with Nadal's willingness to really go after opponents slices and power them cross court. And we all know why nadals cross court forehand works well against roger.

willmw101 , 2/20/12 2:19 PM

When was the last time federer lost to a lefty not named rafael nadal? I know hardly any fed fan here would know this fact ..huh an they talk about the lefty factor !

Ans : squiallri beat him on a hard court in 2003 and if you talk about clay, it was again squillari who beat him in 2001 at hamburg !

the 2 most well known spanish lefties out there, nando and feli..federer owns felli 7-0 (has lost only 3 sets against him) , he owns nando 4-0 (losing only one set against him) AND PEOPLE SAY ITS THE 'LEFTY FACTOR' , nopes, its the combination of rafael's superb play ,tactics and strong belief !

p.s federer also leads 2-0 against goran ivanisevic and 2-0 against rusedski !!

vamosrafa , 2/20/12 2:55 PM

Some updating is needed which requires time but i would like to quote a few numbers I saved in my laptop some time back from somewhere and they are valid till june 2011, will try updating them till the present day

Federer against all righthanded players: 687-154 or 81.7% wins.
Federer against all lefthanded players: 77-25 or 75.5% wins
Federer against lefthanded players, excluding Nadal: 69-10 or 87.3%

so taking rafa out of the equation means federer has an even better record againt lefties than against righties

vamosrafa , 2/20/12 3:01 PM

Roger doesn't relly solely on his backhand slice to win matches... lol

The fact is his backhand slice helps him to chnage pace and stop players from attacking especially righthanders with two handed backhands.

Also eing lefthanded alone doesn't make for a tough match for Roger.

This is similar to the fact that lefthanders have a small advantage since they play the majority of their matches against righthanders while righthanders play very few matches againts lefthanders.
But that doesn't mean there are more lefhanded winners in these kind of matches now does it.

bleck , 2/20/12 3:06 PM

yes the only adv lefties have is the one spotted by lefties but that's hardly an adv ...righties have advs too, look how fed uses that slide out-wide on the duence court to exploit rafa's backhand return ! and federer's use of the inside-out forehand against rafa has been a blessing for him , even for nole because if you have an excellent off forehand you can attack rafa's forehand and draw short balls ! and i think both roger and nole have one of the best off forehands, esp roger

vamosrafa , 2/20/12 3:11 PM

LOL...i meant 'the one spotted by BLECK'

vamosrafa , 2/20/12 3:13 PM

It's definitely not due to Rafa's leftiness, it's because Rafa can simply handle Fed's CC backhand slices, where others like Delpo and Nole can't handle. Note that Rafa is one truly special player, he can manage to scoop up the ball and hit it over the net no matter how low the ball dips and that's why he can handle Fed's low slices. He doesn't return the ball cross court where most players usually do, instead he would hit a forehand DTL, something Fed couldn't handle. Time and again, commentators marvelled at how Rafa managed to return the ball when it dips so low that it's seemingly impossible scoop it up. Other players would have failed to do so but not Rafa.

Rafa also has his passing shots to neutralize those net approaches by his opponents, he also has his incredible running forehand and backhand passing shots. Rafa in peak form is simply awesome, in terms of speed and power. It's because he has good anticipatory skills, has a good understanding of the game that he can fully anticipate Fed's moves and uses his own speed to get to Fed's shots and returns with interest, something most of Fed's peers aren't able to do even during their prime. Rafa is the only young guy who was able to beat Fed consistently on clay and hard courts during Fed's prime, something both Nole and Murray couldn't do, and he's the first person to beat Fed on grass at Wimbledon, after Fed had become TMF.

I've just watched Rafa's 2009 AO matches and Rotterdsm match against Tsonga. I just marvel at how good Rafa was when he's in top form. He was serving so well against Tsonga at Rotterdam, no wonder he beat Tsonga even when Tsonga was serving big bombs to get himself out of troubles during the match. I noticed Rafa's reflexes were so good during the AO 2009, changing direction so quickly around the court!

luckystar , 2/20/12 4:04 PM

I totally agree, luckystar, when Rafa's game is truly clicking he is awesome. His style is so risque that when he pulls it off you just want to keep rewinding to watch the shots over and over again because you wouldn't believe anyone could make them unless you saw them.

Evidence of this was the AO SF against Verdasco, that was some match; credit to Verdasco for playing his part because there was very little between them on that day. What a shame it was just a flash in the pan for Nando.

nadline , 2/20/12 5:20 PM

During the Rafa/Feli match at the USO in 2010, one of the commentators said that Rafa does so many great things during a match that you almost get blaze about it.

nadline , 2/20/12 5:53 PM

...except when Roger plays outdoors. Rotterdam win has little to do with set up for Dubai.

Since 2010, Roger has not lost an indoor hard court match. Since 2010, Roger has not won an outdoor tournament.

Conspirator , 2/20/12 6:05 PM

Are you sure Conspirator?Nadal fans on this site worry about Federer a great deal,Lol.I'd be worried about Djokovic.

stratocast51 , 2/20/12 7:56 PM

I like Djokovic and I'm a Rafa fan. No worried here dude. And, yeah, I'm sure about Fed facts, why, you know any different??

Conspirator , 2/20/12 8:01 PM

Nadline if bringing rafa into this conversation makes perfect sense to you then bringing djokovic makes perfect sense to me.Sorry that you brain has shrunk

nirv02 , 2/20/12 8:43 PM

^^^^Yes but you are not making sense. Just bringing someone into a conversation for the sake of it it pointless.

nadline , 2/20/12 8:56 PM

I was at the match and his slice is just unreal when you watch it live, the way he plays this shot is unbelievable. Aso when you compare the shots Federer and De Potro hits, he makes it look ten times easier then delpotro. I had good seats close to the court. It's just unbelievable they way these guys play. Del potro his forehand when he hit's it hard is just outreagious. Would love to see the way Nadal and Djokovic play, if it also looks so effortless als Federer.

taxon , 2/21/12 12:32 PM

taxon, I've watched live matches of Fed, Rafa, Almagro, Ferrer, Murray, Monfils, Gulbis at Madrid in 2010. I can tell you that both Fed and Rafa are simply so quick around the court, its unbelievable just how quick is their transition to the net, both of them. I can tell you how scarily hard Almagro hits his forehand and backhand . His semifinal match against Rafa there was a scary experience for Rafa fans present at the match. My goodness he almost blown Rafa off the court in the first set, we just saw the ball flown past Rafa so quickly from both his forehand and backhand wings, all we could do was watched in awe and let out a 'ooh' or 'whoa'. Still Rafa was good enough to approach the net and finally won the match in three sets.

I must say watching live matches was something very different from watching matches on tv, as there's no commentators and you really can feel the atmosphere inside the arena, and can feel which player the spectators are supporting. For example, Fed's SF match against Ferrer, the spectators were definitely supporting Ferrer since it's in Madrid, but we still clapped when Fed made a good shot. They still shown Fed lots of respect there, in Spain.

luckystar , 2/21/12 1:38 PM

Luckystar, i have bought tickets for the semifinal of roland garros, so if everything goes well i hope to see a federer nadal semifinal ( as a Federer fan i know he is not gonna win hahah ) and a djokovic murray semifinal. I have seen fed in 2009 ( final ) but i love to see Nadal on clay!!

taxon , 2/21/12 7:58 PM

Federer will be in Djokovic's half. Isner and Delpo in Rafa's half. Conspirator predicts...

Conspirator , 2/21/12 9:43 PM

I think Djokovic is due Isner or Karlovic. He's managed to avoid both of them in the last 12 months. Nole is 1-1 with Karlovic and they haven't played each other since 2008.

As for Delpo being in Rafa's half, suits me.

nadline , 2/21/12 10:43 PM

taxon, wow, good for you, enjoy your RG semifinals! Fedal on clay, I've watched both, they're simply a class above the rest. I'm yet to see Nole on clay, though I've watched him at TMC Shanghai in 2008 when he won there.

I do feel that Fedal will be in different halves this FO, and Delpo maybe the spoiler in the semis. A Delpo vs Fed or Nole on clay will be interesting. Fed had to take it to five to beat Delpo in 2009 FO, and the Delpo now is a better player on clay, judging by how well he played at the DC final last year. Delpo also pushed Nole hard on clay last year at RG, a rematch will be interesting.

luckystar , 2/22/12 3:31 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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