• Federer confidence increases as grass season begins

    6/12/13 4:19 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Federer confidence increases as grass season begins Roger Federer is optimistic that his best tennis is ariving as the ATP moves onto grass for the month. The 17-time grand slam winner is starting his campaign on the lawns as he chases a sixth title in Germany at the Halle event.

    The 31-year-old believes that the "best stage this year is yet to come" for his tennis as the defence of his Wimbledon title approaches from June 24. Despite not winning a trophy since last August on the ATP, the world number three remains confident in his game.

    The Swiss is looking - as uaual - at the big picture and will not judge his season at the halfway mark. "I always balance after the US Open," said the Halle top seed. "I'm convinced that the second half of
    the season will be better than the first."

    If he does confess to a regret, Federer believes it would be his quarter-final loss at the French Open to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was crushed a round later but eventual Paris finalist David Ferrer. "I just didn't have a good day against Tonga. Fortunately, such days are rare in my career."

    Federer is not retaining any bad memories from the clay ass he starts afresh on grass. "Paris has little to do with what happens here or what will happen next in Wimbledon. "I'm always very motivated there. But a couple of wins in Hale, will definitely give me additional confidence."

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Common Roger!
Go for the #18 and show us the god mode again.

sabs , 6/12/13 10:39 AM

If he draws Rafa in his Qtr., it will wipe the smile off his face.

nadline , 6/12/13 11:54 AM

That bad back of his is his achilles heel, he won't get free points off his serve because of it. Fed'll flame out at the quarters................

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 12:29 PM

will see

sabs , 6/12/13 12:34 PM

i will be confident too if i am up against the #173 ranking player...

phoenix , 6/12/13 12:54 PM

Many of you had to eat your comments when Roger won Wimby 2012.
Records are still available in TT.

sabs , 6/12/13 1:04 PM

@sabs, if Fed wins Wimby 2013 I will not just eat my words, I will eat my hat.....

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 1:11 PM

"Random" Draw + "Indoor" Wimbly = The Great Equalizer

We will see, no?


Conspirator , 6/12/13 2:18 PM

Besides Roger saying "I'm convinced that the second half of
the season will be better than the first." is just another way of saying that given how bad the first half was, it can only get better, no?


Conspirator , 6/12/13 2:23 PM

Those of us who have been around long enough know that Roger likes to put things behind him and look ahead. If he doesn't do well on h/c at the beginning of the year he'll say he is looking forward to the clay season, if he doesn't do well in the clay season, he'll say he's looking forward to the grass courts, if the doesn't do well there, he'll say he's looking forward to the fall. He is always hoping for jam tomorrow.

When he came back from his 7 weeks rest he announced that he would be hard to beat.....

nadline , 6/12/13 2:59 PM

Ol' Rog will say anything to stay relevant these days. Unfortunately, there are suckers out there who are happy to ride the Delusion Train with him.........

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 3:13 PM

and yet... are you ready to completely count him out of the fight for Wimby? :)
.. I won't

Shireling , 6/12/13 3:32 PM

More heavily rigged draws to look forward to. Pathetic! Roger won Wimbly 2012 on the back of a rigged draw. Had the draw been random, Andy might have held up his first slam trophy at Wimbly.
Expect big hitters in Rafa's draw. Draw is very crucial on grass as top players are vulnerable in the early rounds.
But Roger of course can be confident that there will be no threats in the early rounds.
The first problem would be his QF opponent who could probably be one of Delpo, Tsonga, Nadal or Berdych. I think he will select Delpo.

holdserve , 6/12/13 3:38 PM

Hey you two, I think you're being a bit unkind about poor old Rogie. It cant be easy after being the centre of attention all these years to find you've become largely irrelevant. Particularly as there are more and more rumblings about the validity of the spurious claims he be crowned the GOAT.

Still I reckon it is a tad too early to dismiss his chances of culling another GS out of hand: it is not out of the question - should the celestial stars be in alignment and misfortune strike his main rivals - he could survive the rest of the field to lift another Major trophy.


ed251137 , 6/12/13 3:45 PM

nadline, no that's not what he said.


Conspirator , 6/12/13 3:49 PM

@Shireling, I am ready to completely count him out, seriously. Tennis matches are won on court, not in history books. I have not seen a single compelling reason to convince me Fed will win Wimby 2013. Not one. They can stack his quarter with qualifiers, injured players and geriatrics but they cannot do anything about opponents from the quarters onwards, he has to play and that's when the myth will come down to earth with a thud. We have seen this movie before......

He will waltz his way out of the first week and the pundits will ooh and aah and tell us he is the favorite without a doubt. Some will be convinced........

Ho hum.......

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 3:49 PM

To be fair, with the help of a weak draw and a roof, Fed did beat Nole and Muzz b2b just 11 months ago (not quite so long ago).

Conspirator , 6/12/13 4:05 PM

A lot has happened since last year, @Conspirator. Last year Fed went into Wimby "hot". Can you confidently say would beat Novak and Andy b2b this year? If you can you are seeing something in Fed I don't, seriously.

Let me ask you this: when was the last time Fed went through a Slam match without serving a single ace? He did that in his loss against Tsonga. That match told us a lot about Fed's Wimby prospects I tell you.......

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 4:13 PM

.......and when did Tsonga become a monster returner?

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 4:14 PM

nadline, no that's not what he said.
Conspirator, 6/12/13 3:49 PM

Yes, that's what he said. Check the link. -Federer-Preview.aspx

nadline , 6/12/13 4:29 PM

Federer pre-tournament presser in Madrid

?For me, it was important to take a bit of a rest - not too [long] - just enough so I'm really sort of tough to beat in the next few months,?

nadline , 6/12/13 4:32 PM

I may have come across as dismissing Fed's chances but no. The reason I am pessimistic about Fed's chances is Novak! I just do not see Fed besting Novak should they meet..............
rafaisthebest, 6/24/12 9:35 PM

No, I can't confidently say that Fed would do that. He is definitely the underdog. That said, I wouldn't be shocked if he won again either. I'm no where near ready to count him out completely.

If Rafa is healthy and gets a fair draw, I pick Rafa. Roger is favoured 4th by oddsmakers same as last year (which is where he should be IMO).

I don't think he was all that hot prior to Wimby '12 either. Lost to Rafa AO SF, won a few select indoor/fast 500s (Dubai, Rotterdam), won IW (caught Rafa off guard on a cool damp evening at IW) and won on fast, slippery Tiriac-custom-made-for-Fed blue Madrid h/c. Good planning and a bit of luck along with some very fast conditions along with waning but still effective legendary skills.


Conspirator , 6/12/13 4:37 PM

"sort of tough to beat"

Everybody practises with the hopes of sort of making them tough to beat. If not, why practise?


Conspirator , 6/12/13 4:42 PM

Nole was mentally frail in his loss to Fed probably due to his failure vs Rafa at the FO (deja vu again anyone). Muzz also mentally checked out after the first set with the roof closed in the final.

FWIW, a healthy Rafa would not have lost to Fed at Wimbly in 2012 IMO.

So, a choice draw, an early exit from Rafa and some mental frailties along the way paved the path for Fed and he pounced. I don't count him out this year either but he was far from the favourite nor is he this year.


Conspirator , 6/12/13 4:49 PM

There you go! Fed had won a lot of tournaments last year and he had an over-arching ambition: to return to #1 and surpass Sampras's record. The wins gave him confidence, no. Even the manner of his losses last year were not like this year.

Personally, I am not going to argue with the bookies's fav list and the order, until I see how Rafa transitions onto grass. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until the tournament starts to see that. If Rafa gets out of the 1st week unscathed, I will have him as fav for the trophy.

In my view, the reason Fed played so poorly against Tsonga was that the Simon match took a lot out of his tender back. This is why his serving stats were so poor. Tsonga, Delpo, Berdy, Rafa can stretch that back in the quarters the same way Simon did, leaving easy pickings for Ferru or Muzza in the semi.......

Am not convinced that back is back to normal..........

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 4:56 PM

Nor am I but I don't count him out either.


Conspirator , 6/12/13 5:01 PM

Interesting that you say Nole was still smarting from losing to Rafa at RG last year. Well, if that was the case then he will be even more vulnerable this year, imho, because I think thisyear's loss would have been harder to take than last year's. Like everyone else, he thought Rafa would be more vulnerable this year for obvious reasons, and losing in a close 5 setter will make him think he came very close and still lost, so expect that defeat to linger longer.

Anyway, it's only speculation, but this will be a special Wimby I feel.

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 5:05 PM


Yes, agreed, that's why I said deja vu again anyone. I think this year's loss to Rafa might weigh on Nole more this year than lasy year with all the self-imposed expectations and resultant pressure he put on himself.

All players, including Rafa, have some mental frailties and doubts. However, Rafa sees it as a challenge and part of his suffering (as he likes to say) and is just something he sees as a challenge for which he likes to find solutions


Conspirator , 6/12/13 5:18 PM

What would affect Nole more is not merely losing a close match to Rafa but Rafa recovering from being a break down from the beginning of the 5th set to claw his way back. He now knows that Rafa is not mentally fragile against him anymore.

The collision with the net is just a red herring. Without going at break neck speed ending in the net collision, Nole would not have made that shot. I remember Rafa falling over at Queens going under the net against Stepanek after hitting the winner and there was no argument that he's lost the point. That's the rule of the game, just like off-side in football.

nadline , 6/12/13 5:53 PM

so this is where the grannies are having their therapy sessions.

"Nole was mentally frail in his loss to Fed probably due to his failure vs Rafa at the FO (deja vu again anyone). Muzz also mentally checked out after the first set with the roof closed in the final."

LOL! Nole and murray are mental midgets but that behemoth of mental strength Lukas Rosol kept it all together even when rafa tries his puny tricks of bumping into the guy during a changeover.

Sourgrapes for uncle's pet kneedal fans. KTSP - always running away when fast court season begins.

Fedkovic23 , 6/12/13 6:14 PM

FEDERER won wimbledon 2012 on pure class his draw proved more difficult than Murray after Nadal exit and he beat djokovic fair and square and when murray had lost the second set the writting was on the wall well before court became indoor and indoor court is part of wimbledon now if we have all slams as outdoors it is not a big thing if one and a half set of a final were played indoors but federer is yet to show signs of form this year - this match against stebe is another proof
federer is nowhere near as good to win the Championships but its too early to say anything

isfand , 6/12/13 6:52 PM

@ 4:32 PM
Again? Really?
He wasn't stating that he is tough to beat. He said he took the break hoping to be tough to beat after.
BTW, Rog didn't play too well against Stebe. Movement was off, I felt.

xrf , 6/12/13 7:11 PM

@isfand, this is Fed's first competitive match on grass, no? A better barometer of his form will be the next 2 matches to see whether there is improvement or not. He needs to win Halle convincingly, partly to allay concerns about his back, and also to be considered a serious contender at Wmby.

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 7:13 PM

yeah u are right but that is what i also said or tried to :)

isfand , 6/12/13 7:30 PM

Class had nothing to do with Roger's win. It was opportunity and a stronger mental game.

Also, just because Roger turned the tide prior to the roof closing, doesn't mean Muzz wouldn't have turned it back had the roof stayed open. Even though Roger had the momentum, they were on serve in the third prior to closing the roof. There can be many turning points in best-of-five matches. Just look at the RG final.

BTW, they should have waited before closing the roof. There was no rain for most of the time they played with the roof closed and all they had to do was wait. Any look at a weatehr radar would have told them that. But if they did that, there probably wouldn't be rigged draws either (couldn't resist sorry).


Conspirator , 6/12/13 7:33 PM

now that federer is not so young anymore your movement starts getting slower (the difference is very little but at this level it sometimes prove to be everything thats why after 28 years people win slams very less thats why the only players (male only as women tennis is a total different game) to have won more than one slam after their 28th birthday in last 30 years are agassi (5) sampras (2) federer (2)
he needs his serve badly which thus far in the season is not quite what it used to be because without he wont be a match for the rest three

isfand , 6/12/13 7:34 PM

may be u are right but i feel roof had nothing to do with Murray's eventual loss and i donot call it opportunity when you beat djokovic and murrray on your way to a GS victory (sorry but i still dont buy rigged draw or on purpose roof closure theory)

isfand , 6/12/13 7:40 PM

Well this is the point I have been saying again and again, it's his back! His serve problems are directly related to his lower back problems. And if his movement is also suspect, as some of you are implying is the case in his first match in Halle, again it could be related to the back. In IW it was Wawa who strained it before Rafa picked him off. At RG it was Simon for Tsonga. There definitely are worrying patterns there........

rafaisthebest , 6/12/13 7:47 PM

I think it's all of the above. It's Fed's back and also his movement and even mental strength that are starting to deteriorate. It's just the way it is. Every great champion has to get old. Everything starts to go little by little.

The back might well bother Fed more now at his age. Maybe in the past it was just here and there, but now it could become chronic or more problematic. Fed's serve has been going downhill for a while now. When you see him in his prime, for example at the 2008 Wimbledon then you can see that his serve was quite a weapon.

I don't know that I will write Fed out of the discussion completely for Wimbledon. He's won it seven times, so he should be in the conversation. I just think that it is becoming much more difficult for him to get through the latter stages of slams. He can glide through the early rounds pretty easily, but once he bumps up against a decent player then it all changes.

I think the bookies have it right. I want to see how Rafa looks in the first week and also the draw. Then I can decide about his chances. However, Uncle Toni is right about Rafa being in the race for #1 now.

Nativenewyorker , 6/12/13 8:23 PM

Great post Conspirator @ 7.33PM
Agree with every word.
Also it wasn't just against Novak and Andy that the weather and solution to it proved to be fortuitous.
Roger was 2 sets down on benneteau in the same tournament when the roof came on...and you know the rest.
He just isn't playing very well at the moment either.
No momentum.
Should he have taken such a long pause after IW , probably due to his back but he has not regained enough form to be anyone's (reasonable) favourite.
I don't think a roof can even help against Novak this time.
Last years WTF was to me when we witnessed the completion of Novak's mental game beating Roger in straight sets under his beloved roof that he had called home.
If only Andy was at this level, still he has other ways and he is not too far off at this stage.
A Wimbledon crown would probably seal the deal

Twinge , 6/12/13 8:58 PM

^^The entire Benneteau-Fed match was played with the roof closed if I remember correctly.

xrf , 6/12/13 9:18 PM

Yeah sorry you're correct,
It was very much touch and go for Roger there and Benneteau cramped out in the fifth to boot.
Very lucky all in all but he did play some great tennis too.

Twinge , 6/12/13 9:24 PM

isfand, 6/12/13 7:40 PM

Spoken like a true fedfan. I wouldn't want or expect anything less. Wish we had more sane Fedfans like you on TT. Hope Roger's back doesn't affect his Wimby.


Conspirator , 6/12/13 10:30 PM

well if you put it like that i am a federer fan but not exclusively i am also a Nadal Djokovic and Murray fan because i like good tennis but usually on this site federer gets attacked the most , Nadal also gets attacked but there are people to defend him and it also makes me a little sad that federer is now out of the league partially if not completely but that is a natural process
still i feel myself compelled to defend him and Nadal because these two guys are responsible for taking tennis to heights which it had previously not known
(sorry for djokovic and murray fans but they still have a lot to do before they can come in the same league) but i generally try to be impartial like djokovic is better than Nadal on HCs these days argument and also that murray deserves better for all the efforts he puts in
May the deserving player win wimbledon this year i will be happy for whosoever makes it but murray deserves a wimbledon doesnot he ?

isfand , 6/13/13 1:46 AM

and i do refer Federer as Greatest of All Times FOR NOW because i agree with Nadal's statement but who knows 5 slams are not much by Nadal's standards and with no new player coming on scene it is achievable provided Nadal stays healthy which he should because he has already bereaved us of his tennis on numerous occasions (May that not happen again)

isfand , 6/13/13 2:00 AM

and the two arguments often baffle me
1. Clay is boring thats NOT real tennis
2. Draws are rigged

isfand , 6/13/13 2:13 AM

1. Agreed
2. How's your math?



Conspirator , 6/13/13 2:32 AM

If Federer's back is indeed hurting, then the grass season probably won't go well. This is due to all the low and bad bounces which make you bend down a lot on the surface. Plus the serve is very important on grass as well.

tj600 , 6/13/13 3:12 AM

Very lucky all in all but he did play some great tennis too.
Twinge, 6/12/13 9:24 PM

Agree with that assessment.

sabs , 6/13/13 9:57 AM

the one that was lucky to get through was Delpo !

Shireling , 6/13/13 11:57 AM

`but murray deserves a wimbledon doesn't he ?

He'll deserve it if he wins it dear isfand,
But no one can ever say he hadn't earned it, if and when he does, that's for sure.

Twinge , 6/13/13 12:48 PM

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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