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  • Federer takes on Simon in Australian Open second round

    1/18/11 4:02 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer takes on Simon in Australian Open second round Roger Federer's bid for a second straight Australian Open title will resume against Gilles Simon on Wednesday. Federer has never defeated Simon in two career attempts.


    Roger Federer and Gilles Simon will be squaring off for the third time in their careers when they do battle in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

    Surprisingly, Simon has won both of their previous encounters. The Frenchman prevailed 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at the 2008 Canada Masters and he stunned Federer just a few months later with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the year-end Masters Cup.

    Simon has dealt with significant injury problems since his breakout campaign in 2008, but he is finally back in fine form. The world No. 34 lost his first match of the season to Santiago Giraldo in Brisbane, but he is coming off a Sydney title on Sunday. Simon knocked out Ernests Gulbis in the semifinals before triumphing over Davis Cup hero Viktor Troicki.

    Just barely missing out on a seed, Simon kicked off his Australian Open with a four-set win over Yen-Hsun Lu. Interestingly, Simon and Lu also faced each other in the Sydney opening round.

    Federer cruised through his opener on Monday, destroying Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Like Simon, the second-ranked Swiss also has a title to his credit this season. Federer rolled to the Doha trophy two weeks ago, refusing to drop even a single set in the process.

    "I will look just a bit more into what has worked and what has not worked against him in the past," Federer said of the matchup with Simon. It's up to me to mentally try to forget those matches or remember the good things I did, because both matches we did play against each other were close.

    "He's beaten the best in the world, really. If he can do it once, he always feels he can do it again, which he did against me. It's a tricky second round."

    Quality-wise this could be one of the best matches of the tournament. After all, Federer and Simon have combined to win the title at five of their last six tournaments. Simon will make this one worth watching, but Federer in three entertaining sets is the pick.

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Comments

These two wins for Simon are both from 2008 when Roger had quite some health problems but those things are never mentioned in the match analysis. Many players have the right to be injured but not Federer. Hmmm. So, I think it is quite a different situation right now.

ystd , 1/18/11 9:54 AM


No doubt Fed had his back problem back in 2008 TMC, still he was able to compete for three sets before losing. He also lost to Murray in three sets there. We can't say for sure that fully fit Simon can't beat a fully fit Fed, as other players have also beaten Fed when Fed is fit, eg Monfils at Paris Masters last year. While we can't jump into conclusion that Simon will sure beat Fed, neither can we say for sure that he can't beat a fully fit Fed. Simon is exactly that type of players, like Murray, who can give Fed a hard time. Still, this is slam that we are talking about, and Fed is in top form right now and Simon is still not back to his 2008 form yet, so I think Fed will beat Simon, either in four sets or in three tight sets.

luckystar , 1/18/11 11:18 AM


i think a fully fit simon can possibly beat a fully fit fed, but thats neither here nor there, because in this case, simon is just not back to his best. i hope simon will be able to take a set off fed at least, but i think fed is safely through to the next round.

mriiidula , 1/18/11 12:06 PM


I dont think simon will win even a set let alone the match.... !!

Fed in straight sets without having a TB.

mani4Tennis , 1/18/11 2:30 PM


I don't think this will be an easy match for Federer... Simon's game doesn't fit Roger's.... at all.
Don't be surprised if he goes to a 4th or, maybe, a 5th set....

Emiliano55 , 1/18/11 4:10 PM


What are you talking about Emiliano55? Fed is in Tennis God Gear!!!!!! Simon, may play max one competitive set, but it will be all Fed.........

arailic , 1/18/11 4:16 PM


Simon will get a tennis lesson from Fed. Fed in 3 with none of the sets being competitive. 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.

Simon's win over Fed are being greatly emphasized. Its useless to highlight those wins. Slams are a different ball game all together.

Fed will not trust anyone else to deny Rafa his 4th straight major:-)
Nobody will beat fed before the finals for sure. Novak will make it competitive and take it to 4 sets. The rest all the opponents will get beatdowns.

atul1985 , 1/18/11 5:08 PM


These two wins for Simon are both from 2008 when Roger had quite some health problems but those things are never mentioned in the match analysis. Many players have the right to be injured but not Federer. Hmmm. So, I think it is quite a different situation right now.

ystd , 1/18/11 9:54 AM


It's not only Fed's astericks that are missed out of these results, the world and his wife knew that Rafa was recovering from injury in the 2nd half of 1009, plus sustaining a stomach tear, during the h/c season including the USO, but they still go on about who he lost to in that period, with never any mention of the circumstances.

I know Simon has a 2.0 h2h with Fed, and he can be tricky, because he is quick and accurate with his shots, and not a bad server, but I expect now that Federer knows what to expect, he'll be ready for him. I feel that part of the reason Fed lost to him twice was because he did not see him as a threat and was taken unawares.

Federer in 4.

nadline , 1/18/11 5:46 PM


ystd, dont go there! Fed fans never hesitate to mention ALL of Fed's injuries when it does or does not suit them..........not so much an issue for me. Its just when we blame the moon, the stars, the wind, the dark........................thats where I draw the line!!!

Monalysa , 1/18/11 6:52 PM


I don't think there will be a beatdown. Simon is very quick around the court and he has a good tennis brain and good anticipatory skills. He is a poorer version of Murray because he doesn't has those shots that Murray has. However, Simon is one guy who can change the pace of his shots suddenly and catch his opponents off guard. He is definitely not an easy opponent to deal with, I'm sure both Fed and Nole would agree with me here. Nole had to go the distance to beat Simon almost every time they met. I believe there's a reason why Fed lost to Simon, illness notwithstanding. Fed did beat other guys even when he was ill or injured, but he lost twice to Simon the only two times they met. Having said all these, I think Fed will beat Simon this time, as we are not seeing the Simon of 2008 here.

luckystar , 1/18/11 7:23 PM


Dear Monalysa, you obviously do not belong to this century, as your nickname states clearly. Fed did not have too many injuries and all the injuries we are talking for years now are knees, knees, knees. And I am not so sure where I should not go actually, come to earth!

ystd , 1/18/11 8:52 PM


luckystar - just a little notice - we are seeing different Simon but we are also seeing different Fed. Not only his fans are seeing that...

ystd , 1/18/11 8:55 PM


So ystd, you're expecting a beatdown?

Fed may be different now but do know that in 2008 Fed won the USO, in 2009 he at least reached the USO final, but in 2010, he only managed to reach the semifinal. How is Fed any better now than his 2008/2009? We saw him winning the best of three sets tournaments in the past few months but had he won the best of five sets tournament, ie the slams, of late?

We are not even talking about Simon beating Fed here, but just that Simon will not get a beat down from Fed, I think that is not something unreasonable to expect from Simon, who is one player having a good tennis brain, and can run and run the whole day retrieving shots from all over the place.

luckystar , 1/18/11 9:40 PM


Simon has the capacity to take one set, he just won't go away. Hope he can challenge his opponent today.

rfzr , 1/18/11 10:12 PM


fed in 3 ! only rafael nadal can derail the fed Express, the fed express might prove to be too powerful for the spaniard even ! he is playing supremely well right now.

vamosrafa , 1/19/11 1:49 AM


Problem is, Simon seems to be starting really slowly these days and, as Andy M says, you've got to make sure that Fed doesn't jump on you from the very start, because then it's very hard to get back into the match. You can't let him get away from you. When Andy's beaten him, he's come out like a steam roller.
Not sure about Simon's either, I think he's nursing an injury which will stop him moving so fast. Fed in 3?

deuce , 1/19/11 8:07 AM


What is this new Federer backhand drop shop that loops at least 3-4 feet above the net and then drops dead half a metre or so just after the net. Saw this against Lacko . Was it something he always had?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0clQ-ejZmw

nirv02 , 1/19/11 9:32 AM


nirv02 , 1/19/11 9:32 AM

It was a mishit 'nirv02' you can see he apologises for it.
But I guess Fed's mishits are also classy :)

Shireling , 1/19/11 9:52 AM


sigh. its just too easy for fed.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 11:28 AM


Fed takes the first set 6-2.

RMadhu , 1/19/11 11:35 AM


And the second with 6-3, again a double-break :-) This is not a very competitive match so far...

Bonker , 1/19/11 12:10 PM


Simon has a double break in the 3rd set.

nadline , 1/19/11 12:20 PM


fed really has started missing balls after set 1 and gilles is doing really well to make him pay for that in set 3. fed recovers one break but obviously advantage simon in this set

vamosrafa , 1/19/11 12:26 PM


Ahaha, they're playing like the women now; five breaks in six service games.

yudude , 1/19/11 12:34 PM


thats the way simon! im thrilled.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 12:47 PM


Simon takes the 3rd set, but Fed will take the 4th to win the match, can't see this going to a fifth set.

nadline , 1/19/11 12:47 PM


Yes that's my guy Simon. Don't let others look down on you!

Simon is one guy who really knows how to take advantage of his opponents' lapses. Well done so far.

luckystar , 1/19/11 12:49 PM


Atta boy, Simon!!!!!! I am so proud of you...

martine75 , 1/19/11 12:51 PM


To all those who said Fed the 3 sets..................see this?!!! Fed will suffer in GSlams now bcos he more often than not goes walkabouts in his matches! Do you think he can afford this against Djoko...........lets not even bother mention Rafa?!!!

If he doesnt wrap this up in four..........he may well lose!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 12:54 PM


federer is all over the place isnt he. lets hope simon can take full advantage of that!

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:04 PM


Federer clearly dont want to play anymore

anatolijs , 1/19/11 1:07 PM


monalysa: nole had his own walkabout moments today so maybe you shouldnt mention him in that regard just yet! :P

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:11 PM


You guys must be joking.................is it THAT bad?!

@ mriiidula.....you may be right......but dont forget Djoko just beat Fed at the US Open a few months ago, and at that time Djoko was not even at his best.......Djoko also had his walkabouts moments, famously in the first round........remember?!!!!!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 1:17 PM


No seriously, is fed sick?He barely moves, slicing 70% of backhand

anatolijs , 1/19/11 1:18 PM


Let's hope Fed to change his mode at right time and take out the 4th Set.

champ00289 , 1/19/11 1:20 PM


lets go simon!! impressive..finish off the set now...

fed's he's not sick, he just underestimated simon i guess. the guy really comes at you when youre down.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:21 PM


@ champ00289..........yeah, I like that attitude!!!!

But why is Fed keeping Simon hanging around? I hope Fed is not letting his -ve H2H against Simon get to HIS head!!!!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 1:23 PM


Simon just knows how to get in Fed's head, and Fed is rushing it because he is thinking of their h2h............2.0 to Simon.

nadline , 1/19/11 1:23 PM


I think Fed's service is broken.

champ00289 , 1/19/11 1:27 PM


Off to a fifth set!!!!!

This is not good...........Simon is a mutant, he can win this.............REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 1:28 PM


i feel bad now for underestimating simon...here i thought he would only take one set and he now has 2! if he wins the fifth i swear i'm going to dance around my room..

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:29 PM


Simon, you are so brave. So good. I your game and love you.... so so proud. Take it, Simon..take it!!!! Take the 5th set..

martine75 , 1/19/11 1:31 PM


ALLEZ SIMON!!!!
THAT'S A GAME...
Fed looks shocked... not sick... don't start yet with excuses... it's not over...

zare , 1/19/11 1:32 PM


Yeah never underestimate Simon. Remember he did beat Rafa at Madrid 2008 too! Off to the fifth set now. Hope it is competitive.

luckystar , 1/19/11 1:33 PM


Comon guys Dont start enjoying fifth set is still on.
Its really poor play from fed but still he will get it like nalby did yesterday.

Go Roger Go.

champ00289 , 1/19/11 1:35 PM


even if simon doesnt win this, i'm so thrilled. he's shown he's back, he can hang in with the very best again, and its gonna do wonders for his confidence. i'm so happy he's overcome his knee problems, and hope he can reach the rankings he once had, 6th i think it was.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:36 PM


I don't think this will be an easy match for Federer... Simon's game doesn't fit Roger's.... at all.
Don't be surprised if he goes to a 4th or, maybe, a 5th set....

Emiliano55 , 1/18/11 4:10 PM



Told you so :)

Emiliano55 , 1/19/11 1:37 PM


Simon has now got the bit between his teeth and he will not let go.

nadline , 1/19/11 1:40 PM


nadline,

we will see.

champ00289 , 1/19/11 1:43 PM


C'mon Fed fans.....................you need to come out and show support for your man!!!! This is the time when he REALLY needs you!!!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 1:46 PM


I dont think Fed is logged on Tennistalk at this moment to read our support..

bjawad , 1/19/11 1:48 PM


If Federer drops his serve, he'll go to pieces.

nadline , 1/19/11 1:50 PM


ALLEZ SIMOOOOOON!

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:50 PM


How come Fed suddenly got sick?

venkianz , 1/19/11 1:51 PM


unlucky for simon that fed's serving first in the decider.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:54 PM


its SIMO's match unless he choked

venkianz , 1/19/11 1:55 PM


@ bjawad, I believe in telepathy.......sorry!

Fed needs to hold onto his serve, i think he will get through...............Simon might just choke in closing it out. Fed has been in this position many times before, remember HAAS?

Monalysa , 1/19/11 1:55 PM


noooo, simon dont choke now!

mriiidula , 1/19/11 1:57 PM


yeeeeeaahhhh C'MOOOON

Finally!

bjawad , 1/19/11 1:58 PM


Fed breaks! Finally!

yudude , 1/19/11 1:58 PM


DAMN!!!! C'mon Simon!!!!!

martine75 , 1/19/11 1:58 PM


Lucky man

anatolijs , 1/19/11 1:59 PM


Bye Bye Simon.

nadline , 1/19/11 2:02 PM


guess its over. sigh. great that fed managed to take control at just the right time.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 2:02 PM


Simon just gave that game... shame, two net errors and one double were needed for Fed to break...
Nvm, Simon is Back...!

zare , 1/19/11 2:03 PM


Good workout before big matches

sabs , 1/19/11 2:05 PM


damn..after such a high.. Its like crashing! Thanks for the thrill, Simon! You are amazing and looking forward to another amazing match from you... love you always!

martine75 , 1/19/11 2:05 PM


And Federer consolidates the break... just one more game to go, but what a match this turned out to be. First I thought that Fed was cruising and then all of a sudden Simon graps the momentum from the beginning of the third set and it takes him to a fifth set. The AO is unpredictable and the night matches on Rod Laver are thrillers :-)

Bonker , 1/19/11 2:05 PM


2 horrific games by simon. shame.

congrats to fed fans!

mriiidula , 1/19/11 2:05 PM


he's not giving up without a fight. 3 match points saved.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 2:08 PM


Simon has given a good account of himself. Do remember he is not back to his best yet. I thought he may take a set but he really surprises me when he takes two sets now from Fed and the match is still on now.

luckystar , 1/19/11 2:10 PM


Can he come back once again from the brink of defeat, with Federer now serving for the match? I hope not... but he's giving Federer a run for his money

Bonker , 1/19/11 2:10 PM


not over yet

Emiliano55 , 1/19/11 2:11 PM


I love how Simon's supporters are chanting his name and how Simon is playing his heart now..

martine75 , 1/19/11 2:12 PM


4 MPs and counting.... this can be a heartbreaking match for federer

Emiliano55 , 1/19/11 2:13 PM


Set 3 and 4 wont take Fedboy much far ..

nirv02 , 1/19/11 2:15 PM


Simon, you are the man and I look forward for more of your matches... love you and your heart!

martine75 , 1/19/11 2:15 PM


heartbreaking. but simon gave it his all, im so impressed.

mriiidula , 1/19/11 2:15 PM


Done!

sabs , 1/19/11 2:16 PM


Its all over for Simon and those who were chearing for him , but outcome was pretty much on cards..

Go Roger.

champ00289 , 1/19/11 2:16 PM


Great match... good test for Federer and if Simon keeps playing like this, he'll be back in the Top 20 very soon.

Bonker , 1/19/11 2:18 PM


What a match. What. A. Match! Loved every heartstopping second of it.

yudude , 1/19/11 2:23 PM


AWSOME MATCH who said fed was gonna cruise through -.-

tennisFansz , 1/19/11 2:24 PM


I'm so proud of Simon, he really take it to Fed. When Simon plays, there is no lacking in effort. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season( sounded like Rafa right?).

If he get back to his best form, he should be a top fifteen player. Well done Simon, for putting up a good show and for making Fed works hard to earn his victory. Like I said before, Simon has the game to trouble Fed, and Fed said he won't want to play Simon again!(of course he is joking).

luckystar , 1/19/11 2:26 PM


That was great tennis from Simon there in the third and fourth. But what clutch serving from Federer! Oh how I love the Australian Open.

cherylmurray , 1/19/11 2:27 PM


Does anyone know what happened on 3rd and 4th set ? Was Federer sick of something ? Or just Simon raised his level ?

Emiliano55 , 1/19/11 2:37 PM


Why is it that something must always be wrong with Fed for his matches to seem competitive?!!!

Absolutely NOTHING was wrong with Fed...............at least not physically!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 2:46 PM


Federer was definitely not sick...Simon just got to him like he always does. Fed started making THOSE kinds of errors and Simon was good enough to take advantage.

cherylmurray , 1/19/11 2:47 PM


Simon raised his level, as he usually starts slow. He is used to lose the first set and then gives chase. I think Fed's level did drop a bit in the third and fourth sets, not surprising as nowadays he has his consistency problems over four or five sets matches. Fed did raise he level in the fifth set when he sensed that Simon might have a let down after winning the fourth set.

luckystar , 1/19/11 2:53 PM


Fed himself admitted that Simon raised his level considerably in 3rd & 4th even though he was playing good.. Not sure which site had this info... But good to see Fed win the match in the end...

RMadhu , 1/19/11 3:48 PM


Yesterday, my brother asked me why I am worried about this match. I told him that simon's game is a bad matchup for Fed. Then he checked on the atp site and found that simon has a 2-0 advantage over Fed, and he got worried lol.
Awesome match from both players, great play by simon in the last 3 sets, and the good thing for Federer is that he ended the match on a high level of play which is better than finishing in 3 and playing bad at the end of the match.
Hope this is the only hiccup before he faces the big guys.

bolbol , 1/19/11 4:00 PM


Fed is also fortunate that Simon is not at his best level yet. As I've mentioned before, Fed can be awesome in best of three sets matches, as he gives his opponents not much time to think and react. However in a best of five sets match, those top players will have more time to think of a counter game plan to Fed's play. As long as they can drag the match for a bit longer, they will have the chance to capitalize on Fed's lapses in concentration. Fed seems to go walkabout more frequently nowadays and can't sustain his high level of play over five sets. He is no longer TMF but is still awesome enough to beat most players in the tour. I feel Simon missed his chances today, mainly because his serve level dropped esp in the fifth set and he can't hold his own serve. Fed is quick to capitalize on that as Fed is one experienced slam player(only Rafa is able to match Fed in this respect).

luckystar , 1/19/11 4:13 PM


What a match! I must admit I did not see this coming...after Simon played 4 sets with Lu and experienced some type of injury, I simply envisaged he would be easier to beat...and although I expected one competitive set from him I thought Fed would get him on his knees easily...but, man, how was I wrong to assume this...however, I was always convinced even when Fed faced break points that he would get through...well, it may as well be THE match that Fed will record as the most difficult one at this AO the same as the one he had w/Andreev last year...better for him though to overcome these lapses in the earlier rounds...

natashao , 1/19/11 4:28 PM


There may be more of such matches coming Fed's way. If Monfils can overcome all his opponents, probably including Stan and Roddick, he may be the next opponent giving Fed all sorts of problems again. Monfils is another counter puncher type of player who can run and run and is quick around the court. He also can hit an awesome forehand and varied the pace. As their Paris Masters semifinal has shown, if Monfils is serious about his match, he'll play his best and hangs in tough to give his opponents all sorts of problems. He had beaten Verdasco, Murray and Fed at the Paris Masters, really awesome.

luckystar , 1/19/11 5:06 PM


Steve Tignor may not often get his predictions right (who does?) but his analyses are always insghtful and worth your time.

Check out his write-up of this match (search for 'tennis elbow'): very perceptive on what worked for Simon and on the changes in Fed's game by way of Annacone.

chlorostoma , 1/19/11 6:48 PM


Thanks for the tip Chlorostoma, I went on his blog and his analyses are very good. I also like his style of writing, very interesting stuff!

rbennett , 1/19/11 7:16 PM


Gilles, so glad I seriously underestimated you! Hope u have a gr8 season- with NO injuries :) Hope everyone in Fed's half was watching!

deuce , 1/19/11 8:18 PM


Simon mentioned that the first two sets went by very quickly as Fed was so quick around the court. He didn't have time to think and lost the first two sets easily. As it was a best of five sets match, Simon was given more time to think of a counter attack. Had it being a best of three sets match, Simon would have lost in straight sets. What he said sort of confirm what I always believe, that top players when given more time during the match, would be able to figure out how to play against Fed and they thus stand a better chance of beating Fed in a best of five sets match than a best of three sets match.

luckystar , 1/19/11 8:50 PM


Come on luckystar it was not as if Simon found a great strategy in 3 and 4, just go look at the error count of fed in 3 and 4 , fed handed it to him and in set 4 simon just hung on to his service games. In 5 set matches federer is just prone to drop in form not that his opponent figures some brilliant plan.

nirv02 , 1/19/11 9:02 PM


nirv2,
in some of fed's out of 5 matches what you say may be true, but in yesterday's match it was also Simon's doing.

above when I mentioned to search for 'tennis elbow' I meant to write 'concrete elbow' for the name of Steve Tignor's blog. Slip of the elbow...

chlorostoma , 1/19/11 9:08 PM


yes i read through it , and also saw the match , it talks about simons service games.
Also there are many grand slam where Fed should have lost if it were 3 setters, in these cases the five setters favoured him.

nirv02 , 1/19/11 9:17 PM


nirv2...c'mon,

Why would all of a sudden FEd would lose two straight sets after winning the first two!! It had to be bcos his oppenent figured out how to counteract Fed's game, and so kudos to the opponent!! And if your logic applies, why is it that Fed could not find a way to win, if not in three, but in 4?!!! Should he really have had to win this in 5 sets?!!!!....................Fed was extremely lucky that it was not Rafa on the other side of the net bcos surely, he would be crying AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

Monalysa , 1/19/11 9:21 PM


If you have watched the match, you would realize that in sets 3&4, Fed was rushed into the errors because Simon simply ran down every ball and returned them with interest. Fed won't make all those errors out of the blue. It's a pity that Simon's serve percentage dropped in the fifth set and allowed Fed to take advantage of that. In crucial moments Fed did take his chances so he bearly survived the match.

I agree with Tignor, that Simon in this match was more aggressive and offensive than Murray was against Fed. I like Simon's game very much. Though it seems that he has to do lots of running, the guy simply has a good tennis brain and knows how to use it. His game is not based on his power but he feeds on his opponent's power and when the opportunity presents itself, he would not hestitate to go for the kill. He hits some good passing shots, some good lobs and I'm particularly impressed by his ROS. He seems able to read Fed's serves and returns them well, even the serve out wide at the deuce court. Maybe that's why Simon, despite his frail looking figure, can survive in the tour and can be as high as no.6 in the rankings.

luckystar , 1/20/11 1:20 AM


It was truly wonderful to see Gilles Simon step up and take it to Fed. I think that people forget he was in the top ten a few years ago. It's great to see him fit and healthy and moving so well.

This is the kind of tennis that I love to see. Simon stayed calm, composed even after going down two sets. You can see that he is really quite the thinker on court. He managed to get the measure of Fed and started outplaying him in the third and fourth sets. I was so impressed with his movement, like a panther with so much speed and grace. He seemed to be able to get to every ball.

I love that he is not a pure power player. His shots look deceptive, because he doesn't hit with tremendous speed and bludgeon the ball. He uses precision, accuracy and placement. It's a beautiful thing to see. We need guys like this in the game. I fear that someone like Simon may become extinct like the dinosaur.

Simon showed how you go after an aggressive game that relies on going to net to attack and chip and charge. He hit some tremendous passing shots and great lobs. For those who think that Fed is somehow unbeatable now, this illustrates how he can be beaten.

I fear that the brainless ball bashers may come to dominate the sport of tennis. That is not the kind of tennis I want to see. A big guy smashing a huge serve and then following up with a huge forehand and that's it, point over. I prefer to see a well-constructed point, good strategy, a thought process on court.

Congratulations to Simon for not giving up, not losing his cool and showing everyone what kind of tennis he is capable of playing.

Nativenewyorker , 1/20/11 4:46 AM


NNY, so agree with your penultimate paragraph, love giant killers/troublers. One of my favourite tennis moments is Davydenko beating Delboy at WTF!
I think it's so called "counter punchers" that trouble Fed, Rafa, Andy, Simon etc. They all love pace. I didn't see the match but read that Fed started to beat Simon when he slowed the pace down, Simon didn't like that and I seem to remember Fed beating Andy using the same tactic. Of course next time they play I hope Gilles and Andy would be ready for it!
Will stand by my earlier statement though, if Fed dominates at the start of a match he is very hard to beat. Perhaps this applies more to 3 setters now, perhaps in 5 age really is creeping up on him. Watch this space!

deuce , 1/20/11 5:55 AM


deuce,

It's not often that you see Fed go up two sets and then lose the next two. I happened to go online and found out the score before I actually saw the repeat on espn2. I wish that I had just turned on the tv and watched it without knowing the score.

I have to say that watching those first two sets, it was hard to believe that Simon actually made such a great comeback. Fed looked like he was in cruise control. I will say that Fed's level dropped considerably in the third set. He started spraying shots and missing badly. Simon also managed to raise his level of play and take advantage of his opportunities. I really love how he stayed calm and just kept on going after his shots.

I haven't see Fed look as nervous as he did in the latter stages of this match. Simon just seemed to have his number. Counterpuncher is a wonderful description of his style. He just took what Fed was giving him and gave it back one better!

I will say that this does show that Fed may not necessarily be able to keep up his attacking game for five sets. However, in the fifth set of slam match, I think Fed is as good as it gets. That experience, that champion's mindset, stands him in good stead. Simon played one bad game and Fed jumped on it and got that break he needed to get the win. I think Fed did change it up in that fifth set. It looked like he was giving Simon some different shots to change it up and get him off balance.

I think Simon should be very proud of his effort today. I hope this means that we will see more great tennis from him this year. I forgot how much I love his style of tennis.

Nativenewyorker , 1/20/11 6:28 AM


NNY: thanx so much. I now have a really good feel for the match. Ah, one slip at a very crucial and Fed pounces! How often have I seen Rafa do that too. It's why they are so hard to beat in the slams!
Very early morning here. Guess it is night with you? If so, sweet dreams! I'm fairly relaxed about Andy...of course saying that the match hasn't actually started yet ;)

deuce , 1/20/11 6:49 AM


deuce,

Now as I write this, it's 10:00 pm. I will be watching the tennis until I get too tired. I wanted to see Delpo and Baggy, but I think it will be on here in the early hours of the morning. The good thing is that espn2 has been replaying the matches during the day.

I am sure that Andy will be fine, however, I understand that it's hard to relax completely with all of the crazy matches we have seen!

I have never seen this kid Tomic, so I tried to catch a bit of his match with Lopez. Tomic won in straight sets, but Lopez didn't play well. I really couldn't get a feel for Tomic's game, so I will have to trust that Rafa will do what is necessary. I am trying not to look ahead, but can't help seeing the likes of Isner or Cilic looming in the fourth round! Yikes! Oh well, one match at a time!

Take care! :)

Nativenewyorker , 1/20/11 7:04 AM


Tomic plays like Murray, and he likes to slice the ball most of the time. He is not those attacking player kind of guy, preferring Ro work his way to win points, something like Murray. It can be frustrating to play against. He took Cilic to five sets at last year's AO. This year he improves by going one round further, hopefully he'll stop there. Rafa should be able to handle him. Lopez played poorly the whole match, broke Tomic's serve in the sec set to lead 4-2 and end up losing his own serve and lost the tie break. I hope Rafa does a good job and doesn't allow Tomic to hang around for long.

luckystar , 1/20/11 8:23 AM



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