Federer Confirms He Will Play Shanghai

Hey folks. First of all I apologize for my blog being offline earlier today. I got some emails from people who were concerned. If it ever happens again don’t panic. If I decide to quit blogging I’ll let you know beforehand. Now on to the latest Federer news:

Officially, I’ve decided that I will make the trip next week to Shanghai. I can’t wait to see all my fans and I hope I can win the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the first time!

https://www.facebook.com/Federer

OK so it’s confirmed. Roger will play Shanghai. Thoughts? As is the case with the India situation I’m not quite sure what Roger’s thinking process is going to Shanghai. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for the Chinese fans and tournament. Not having Roger there would have been a big loss. But Roger have played a lot of late for his age. It was already a bit of a surprise that he played in Toronto where he made the final. Then another final at Cincinnati, semis at the US Open, and Davis Cup after that. I would have thought a longer break would have been better and then playing Basel, Paris, the Masters Cup, and Davis Cup. But it looks like Roger will skip Paris now instead and make the long trip to China. Surely he won’t play Paris now as well. That would be begging for burn out. After Shanghai he will have a week before Basel begins. After Basel there is no break before Paris.

And then there is a week break again between Paris and London. And of course the weekend after London is the Davis Cup final. I don’t think Roger is gunning for year end #1. I think he is trying to become #2 so he can have a top 2 seeding in Melbourne. I think that should be the plan anyway. If he wants to try and end the year #1 then he will need to play Paris, and then he is seriously jeopardizing his chances in Melbourne. Winning a slam at this point should enjoy priority over ending the year ranked #1. Sure it would be nice to tie Sampras’ record of six year end number ones, but Roger is not threatened by Sampras. He is threatened by Nadal and therefor #18 is of primary importance right now. The fact that he added the IPTL to his schedule in December on top of the charity match with Stan means he definitely should not play Paris if he does not want to risk burn out.

Not to mention that he has already confirmed that he will be back in Brisbane next year. I just think Roger had a great comeback season after 2013 and I don’t want him to overplay now and suffer the consequences in 2015. I think Nadal will rise again in 2015 which means Roger will probably have a down season again, given how they keep alternating. But at least I want to see Roger get the #2 ranking and give himself the best possible chance to win the Australian Open where he has been very consistent over the years. Roger schedules well and he will know best what is best for him. I just hope he doesn’t overdo it like he did in 2007 and 2012. And just to make it clear, the fact that he lost third round in Shanghai last year doesn’t mean there are points up for grabs. If he plays Shanghai and skips Paris, like he should if he had any sense, then he will lose 360 points for the semi last year in Paris.

The ball is in your court.

Was playing in Shanghai the correct decision?

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Davis Cup Final to be Played on Indoor Clay and Federer to Play in the IPTL

Hey folks. I hope all is well. It’s been a bit quiet since the Swiss defeated Italy in the Davis Cup but recent news is that the French decided on indoor clay for the Davic Cup final which takes place on the weekend after the Masters Cup, and we have already been discussing it on my Facebook page. It was always gonna be indoors but it wasn’t known which surface the French would opt for. In the end indoor clay makes the most sense for them for the following reasons:

  1. The Masters Cup is played on indoor hard and of course Roger and Stan will be there while it’s unlikely that a French player will be there. This will give the French players plenty of time to prepare on the clay while Roger and Stan will have less time to prepare on a different surface from which they played on at the Masters Cup.
  2. The fact that Roger and Stan will play the Masters Cup means that they will be more tired than the rested French. They will have a few days to recover after London but they will be off to France to start preparing for the Davis Cup tie and deal with the media. And given that clay is the most physically demanding surface this makes sense for the French too. If Roger and Stan play doubles they will have to play three best of five set matches in three days. Now that is a lot of tennis and could take its toll. In this way the French can force Roger out of the doubles. We know the French have a lot of depth and many good doubles players, while the same can’t be said for the Swiss. If Roger does not play doubles, which is a good possibility, then the French will probably win the doubles. This is still OK if Roger wins both his singles matches. If he sits the doubles out he will be expected to do so, while Stan will probably play doubles and therefor has a bigger chance of being tired and losing a singles match.
  3. Then there is the question of clay being the Swiss number one’s least favorite surface. We all know Roger is a great clay court player but he is just better on hard court. So I think the French figured if they can force Roger out of the doubles then clay is the surface on which they have the best chance to steal a singles win over him. Tsonga did straight set Roger in that French Open semi last year and Roger only just scraped by him in Monte Carlo this year. So he could be a danger to Roger on clay. But then again he could be a danger to him on hard court too. And as far as Stan goes his favorite surface may be clay, so that could backfire for the French.

In the end I don’t think the surface is such a big deal but of course the French had the advantage of choosing the surface and they were gonna try to make the best of it. But we have seen how choosing clay backfired for the Swiss when they chose it at home against the USA in 2012 and they got whitewashed 5-0. So this is mostly speculation and like I said we know Fedrinka are very competent cay court players.

Will we see something like this again come November?

Now onto something different namely the fact that Roger will play in the International Premiere Tennis League on December the 7th and 8th in Delhi, India. This decision comes after the withdrawal of Nadal after his usual injury excuse, even though he has made it clear he will play a full indoor season. I guess he is not even trying to hide anymore. So the first thing that bothered me about this decision from Roger was that he is replacing Nadal. This means Nadal gets needed rest while Roger misses out on needed rest. The Australian Open next year will be very important for both players and now it seems like Nadal is doing the wise thing while Roger is not. I don’t know how long Roger will be in India. Someone on Twitter said two weeks. The matches are only a set long and it is only two matches, but it is the travelling and the dealing with media.

I am not saying it is the wrong decision, but I do have questions about it. Roger is usually very good with scheduling but in the past there has been a few questionable decisions regarding exhos he played. Most notably the one he played at the end of 2007 with Sampras in China and then falling ill with mono. Then there was the South-American tour at the end of 2012 where he developed the back problems afterwards. It just seems to me that after a busy season it is better to take a break than going on tours. He already has the exho with Stan as it is. That said, Roger is not the selfish type and it is also important that he thinks about the sport as a whole and to give back to the sport that gave him a great life. I am not second guessing him. I am just raising a few questions because 2014 has been such a great comeback season and I’d like him to keep the momentum going into 2015.

I am especially looking forward to the Australian Open because Roger may not have reached his best level yet after the long slump of 2013 and all the changes he made since. He may also be able to get the #2 ranking by the end of this season which could help his draw a lot at the Australian Open. So I don’t want to see him jeopardize any chance of winning #18 at a slam where he has been very consistent over the years. But I am in no position to question his decision anyway since he has a very good record with scheduling and I don’t know his thought process. I am just speculating some more for the fun of it and I was wondering what your thoughts are on these issues?

Switzerland into Davis Cup Final Thanks to Dependable Federer

Hey folks. I hope you are well. It’s been a while since Roger’s disappointing loss in the US Open semis to Cilic and I am overall very happy with Roger’s year so far. He was very solid in the slams and won three other important titles. Obviously all the fans were hoping for #18 but it wasn’t to be, and yet there is an awful lot to be grateful for as a Fedfan. I mean at age 33 Roger is having a terrific year and the best may be yet to come. Roger’s favorite indoor season is still ahead and then of course the Davis Cup final, which the Swiss qualified for for the first time in 22 years when they defeated Italy yesterday. I was making updates since Friday on Facebook when they began and I hope you all can join us there soon. I have neglected my Facebook page in the past but it is a very useful platform to use together with my blog for updates between posts, live chatting during matches, and much more.

I want to grow my Facebook page so please like, comment, and share. On Friday Roger was first up in the reverse singles against Bolleli as the Swiss number one(good to see!) and he won 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Stan then put the Swiss in the driver’s seat at 2-0 when he destroyed Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. In the doubles on Saturday I was able to watch just a little bit and there was no Roger as he apparently asked Luthi to sit out the doubles. At first it looked like Stan and Chiudinelli would get the job done and Chiudinelli played some good tennis, but in the end his lack of experience showed as he played a poor fifth set and the Italians pulled the tie back to 1-2. I’m sure the Swiss could have made it 3-0 if Roger played doubles, but I was kind of happy that the Swiss lost the doubles because it gave Roger the opportunity to be the hero again.

I say again because I’m sure you would remember how he saved the Swiss against Kazakhstan in April. On that occasion he had to win the deciding rubber against Golubev which he did in straight sets. This time it was not the deciding rubber but Roger was the one who clinched it for the Swiss and he was the only team member who did not lose a match. He deserved to be the hero after the way he saved the Swiss in April anyway. He defeated the Italian number one Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(4) in the fourth rubber to clinch the tie for the Swiss. My connection was too poor to watch again but I caught the highlights of course and it seems Fognini played better with every set, so it is a good thing Roger closed it out in the final set tie break. Something that really caught my eye in the highlights was Roger’s forehand.

Mr. Dependable 

Since I didn’t watch the match it is hard to say for sure but he sure seemed to strike his forehand really well. That is maybe the one shot that has not been at its best since Roger started playing with his new racquet so that was nice to see. Hopefully it is a sign of what is to come and that Roger found his forehand again. It is a key shot looking forward to the indoor season, Davis Cup Final, and Australian Open next year. We know Roger’s serve is his best shot, and when he has his best forehand to back it up he is very difficult to stop. I think there is a very exciting period ahead now. First the indoor season where Roger always does well. Even last year when he had that very challenging year he still did well in the indoor season, and used it to start momentum for a much more successful 2014.

He now has an opportunity to do the same going into the Davis Cup final and Australian Open next year. Remember my last post where Roger said he is very close to winning a slam(I still haven’t verified whether he really said that but I think there is a good chance)? I’m not trying to create expectations again. Seriously. But it does make you think about Australia and what a Davis Cup victory could do for his confidence. Maybe Roger needed more time to get back to his best after the big low that was 2013? And if that is the case then the indoor season and Davis Cup final could provide the ideal opportunity for him to do just that. No surface is as friendly to Roger’s game as indoors and Roger usually peaks at the end of the season.

Remember what happened in 2008 when Roger had that tough time due to mono and he then won the Olympic gold with Stan in doubles? That inspired and propelled him to winning a fifth US Open later that year. Imagine what a Davis Cup title could do for him. Now I realize I am looking way ahead again here and creating expectations among many a Fedfan with what I’m saying, but I plead not guilty. I have already said I don’t expect Roger to win another slam. Roger has a great record Down Under but the speed of the surface doesn’t really favor him and Djokovic and Nadal remain very difficult to beat there. I just think if the Swiss wins the Davis Cup it will inspire Roger a lot, and I never said Roger can not win another slam. I just said I don’t expect it.

:D

It is up to every Fedfan what kind of expectations they have because we all deal differently with Roger not meeting our expectations. And lets face it, the Swiss are still far from winning the Davis Cup. They will play the French in France in the week right after the Masters Cup. The French just made very short work of the Czechs and they have great depth. The tie will be played indoors but the surface still has to be decided upon by the French. They may choose clay seeing that Roger’s best surface may be indoor hard, but it’s not like Roger and Stan can’t play on clay. The likes of Tsonga and Monfils will be a handful that’s for sure, no matter what the surface. It is the #3 and #4 in the world up against the #11 and #18, so on paper the Swiss will be the favorites.

But this is Davis Cup and that pretty much goes out the window when you are playing away. The crowd will be crazy and Roger and Stan will have to have very cool heads. We know Roger is used to these situations but Stan can sometimes be a hot head. There Roger’s support on the side will also play a role to keep Stan calm. And I assume they will play Fedrinka in the doubles, but you can’t be sure until match day like we saw against Italy. It is all very exciting and it keeps the off season shorter too. How great is it to be a Fedfan?! I know I say that often but it can’t be helped. Let me just make it clear that I don’t rate the Davis Cup very highly as individual achievement goes because it is a team competition, but I do think it can possibly propel Roger to slam success again.

And with everything Roger has achieved in the sport it will indeed make his resume that much more complete!

 

Highlights:

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