As every year, I’m expecting to have many opportunities to watch Fed in action. And I expect also some big wins.
But I have the impression, maybe David Goffin started in London new era in tennis?
There are many unknows for 2018. The big hospital is awaited to be back on tour. Nobody knows, in which shape they will come. On the other side, some younger players started to come closer to the top and maybe we will see in 2018 a NEW BIG FOUR emerging? I would like to see there: Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin.
This is why I think, the first ever David’s win over Federer and this in the fight about big title, could be just a symbolic turning point.
FedFans will kill me, but never mind 🙂 I’m just opening
FEDERER’S NEW RECORD BOOK
Under this title I will report about FED’s LOSSES TO THIS NEW BIG4. And try to analyze, if this is FED fading or NB4 growing. I’m excited. And I hope this losses will happen in semifinals or finals. Not early exits in 1. or 2. rounds. This can always happen and would not be a sign of this new trend. FED HANDING BIG4 passes to those, who had him as idol since hitting the yellow ball for the first time, being 4 or 6 or 8 and who could learn from him how to be big in tennis and around tennis. Happy LOSSES, FED 🙂
Who comes first and when? Some ideas? Let us know in comments 🙂
The teaser needs some update.
After end phase of season 2017 and the start of 2018, I expect tough time for Zverev this year, so NEW BIG4 will probably need a replacement. Or remain BIG3+(still young)FED?
FED is not at his top this year, even after AO title. The title came on an easy path and had only emotional value. In Rotterdam Fed could show masterclass against Belgian playing Challenger level, but was close to be defeated by Kohlschreiber.
Next chance to start the NEW RECORD BOOK comes in Rotterdam’s FINAL, if Fed survives 2 old foxes: Haase and Seppi. In the other half one of these three will be waiting: Goffin, Dimitrov or Rublev. I expect Goffin to reach the final and be the one to have the most chances.
Updated 16.02.2018, 9:45
Well, Fed survived – the party was not spoiled by Haase. Now another familiar foe is waiting – LUCKY LOSER (mostly dangerous thing) Andreas Seppi (2015, Australian Open round 3).
The match was a bit ridiculous. Fed was showing all his RF magics, but somehow could not manage Haase in first set. The party was in danger. Then … somebody (or something) switched off Haase and RF magic was played against an empty court. Could have been a better show.
OLD RECORD BOOK – now a series starting with “oldest player in the open era to … but I’m still waiting for the NEW RECORD BOOK to start. At last I hope for an epic final in Rotterdam – against Goffin or Dimitrov. More chances “on paper” for David (1:6 so far, while Dimitrov has 0:6, which is worse than for Seppi, who has at least one win over Fed, but … he is not a candidate for our NEW BIGxxx).
We (Thiem fans) must drop today’s Fed’s match because Thiem plays at the same time, hopefully both Fed and Thiem are tomorrow in finals and don’t play the same time 🙂
Just an article on ATP website, telling much about what’s happening with Fed last time.
He is getting a kind of a victim of own success. And both the hype produced in abundance around him (tennis business, fans) and the hype produced by himself (loving interviews, red carpet events a.s.o.).
He says, he doesn’t want to be “bubble boy”. I believe him. But must now find the way to somehow escape. A kind of coming back to the roots, when only tennis was important and only winning was important. Letting the hype live it’s own live, not affecting him.
I know, the “whole world” would be happy with some magic technology, allowing to clone Fed into millions of micro-Feds, so everyone can have his “real” Fed home, arrange for him a micro-court in a golden cage and let him play and win everything and have millions of gadgets to “make him happy every day” – like kids do with their Barbies. New outfit. New haircut. New racket. New wife. New children. New everything.
Maybe just starting to lose something (not intentionally but simply because some other players are going to be able to beat him) would help him to escape the bubble? Or seeing some opponents to get bigger crowd’s support? Or seeing the stadium is not full, when he plays? Well, this does not depend from him. But some things do. Give less interviews. Don’t answer every kind of questions (including that about “what do you think, why so many love you?” – it’s not the real quote, because I could not find the right link) or answer with 2-3 phrases and go be happy elsewhere? To focus on his own life – tennis and family an whatever he needs, but no more so much public things?
I do imagine, these may be questions just running in his head. Good luck, Fed 🙂
Really don’t want to be a bubble boy? An image from the series Me and My Federer. Some time ago in the so called Soviet Block almost every city must have had a Lenin monument. And people were sarcastically shooting photos at the monument, calling it “Me and My Lenin“. What these two stories common? Just guesses – the cult. But Lenin could not shoot his selfie with his monuments. They came first after he was dead. Federer can.
Watching Federer’s 2-day-match against Delbonis I had the impression to see an old man again. No more so fresh, no more relaxed.
Too much pressure of any kind. Hype everywhere. No way to avoid. No more comfortable.
I think, Fed needs now some big holidays (for family or whatever) – no hype, no tennis.
The best for him would be to lose today. Krajinovic is a nice guy and more than solid player. Could not defeat Fed at his best. But Fed is not at his best.
If he loses today, will maybe feel like he felt after having lost to Seppi in AO. Kind of relief, just like he was maybe unconsciously wishing this to happen.
I would like to see Thiem playing Federer in Indian Wells. But first I’m not sure if they will reach it. Then – if Thiem reaches QF, will be fit and eager to win. Fed would be not fresh, not fit and tired. So maybe Thiem would win easier than one could think. But I would like to see both playing under best possible conditions, whoever would win.
Updated 12.03.2018, 14.00
Time goes by and we are just in another story 😉
Hard-die FedFan watching Isner beating Delpo in Miami. Does not look happy somehow …
Signs of major changes?
No any single record in the book?
Somehow Federer avoided until Rotterdam final all NEW BIG 4 and then Dimitrov was in the final there and this was not a bad day in the office, but start of a deeper crisis. For both. Federer continued winning but not playing well in Indian Wells – not only old BIG4 colleagues were out or in poor form, but also NEW BI4 candidates. Well, a match with Thiem was in the cards but did not happen because of Thiem’s injury.
The situation seems to change on both end and maybe this record will be closed without any single entry.
Whats going on?
- On Federer’s side
Last time Federer was playing well (for his standards) was Wimbledon 2017 and maybe Shanghai 2017.
Since ATP Finals and unexpected (really?) loss to Goffin it went “down under”. Federer won AO but somehow the oppositions was not present, neither from old nor from new TOP.
Goffin showed (I supposed this right after the match), how to beat Federer on his terrain with his own weapons. Rotterdam and IW was “Drôle de guerre”. Until Delpo came. Delpo showed another way to defeat Federer. Not on his terrain and not with his weapons. Just on own terrain and with own weapons. Meaning “big serve” and the game coming from the height plus hard hitting. That’s were Federer was always vulnerable (losing so much to Nadal).
Then come Kokkinakis (from the other end of tennis circus) and did the same as Delpo.
What can happen now? Federer will be no more confident, when playing guys like Goffin or guys like Delpo (I would add – also not against guys like Thiem, Khachanov, Rublev) or guys like … Kokkinakis (this could be almost anyone on tour). This makes him more and more vulnerable.
Well, some would say – not the first time, Federer is in such situation and he always finally found a way to continue his winning run. Can he do it for ever? Of course not. And what happens since Wimbledon 2017, ist just this. Federer is fit, fresh (playing only few tournaments and making long holidays), but the clock ticks, every week faster. Now it’s maybe 1 calendar day = 1 week (it’s only to help imagine, hot it goes, it has deep foundation in the biological clock of every human).
Just before Indian Wells Federer told about his “dream” to compete with Rafa in a 5-setter on clay – of course French Open final was meant. Well, very nice, but no more guarantee – both can go that deep. So after back-to-back losses in US Federer forgot his dream and decided to skip clay season. Now he will not compete (not the same as 2017, when he was after spectacular AO and Sunshine Double win) over 3 months. He comes fresh and fit on grass, but 2 years older (3 calendar months = 21 biological months) .
- On the side of other Big4 members
Well, 2 /3 of them – Djokovic and Murray (plus Wawrinka as a kind of replacement) show no signs of coming back. There is still Nadal, but nadal played 4 matches so far this season, completely misses match practice and his injuries, coming from 2017 successes, are still there. So probably Nadal will not do very well even on clay. In worst scenario he can exit early or withdraw because not fully recovered from injuries.
- Is this time for new Big4?
David Goffin is plagued with injuries and cannot find the form. Dimitrov is in a big hole and no signs for some breakthrough. Zverev has, as always, a bit of luck and with this luck he could almost win Miami, but his game shows no progress, his physicality is in a down phase (maybe because of disbalance between the level of the competition and the physical requirements – he gets tired quickly, can still hit hard (but only backhand) and play a mix of big serves with double faults. I don’t see him to be a force this season, for sure once more not in grand slams. Thiem looks to have the best prospects from this 4. Now injured, but given poor form of Nadal and Federer not playing, he has big chances for deep runs all over the clay season. But no chance here for the record book, because Federer will miss.
It’s hard to guess, what happens for Thiem after clay. If he is quite successful and confident until Paris, he can be also a force on grass (even if he says, he hates grass, I think, grass is his second surface, not hard). But if he does very well on clay and quite well on grass, he has almost nothing to defend until the end of the year. With some further progress on hard he can make some deep runs since Wimbledon till the end of the year and collect so much points (while Federer and Nadal will probably lose a bit or a lot), he can goo high in the ranking and depending on draws, has the chance to bring the first record in this book. This can be Goffin too, if he overcomes his injury-induced form low.
- New forces
Not that new, but quite new after his comeback from surgeries, it is Delpo. If in good form (and having his fanatics in the crowd, which will start as the American swing starts) he is dangerous for everyone.
What about NextGens? Well, they are slowly maturing but sill not mature in terms of physicality and experience in the game. But they are ready for some upsets.
Back to Federer
As of late Federer revealed his new career goals. These should be to play so long as possible. Not to defend anything. How to interpret this? He can play even 10 years, going slowly down to ATP 250 than to Challengers. But this is of course not what he meant. Only thing interesting for him are Masters and slams wins. But changes are still higher, he will exit early even on grass. What will he decide after eventual some new Kokkinakis-event? Let it be and prepare for Tokyo Olympia? When he will be really very very old and candidates to beat him will be not 2 or 3 but rather 20 or 30. Rather absurd. But this only shows his current mindset. Trying to compensate current and maybe upcoming losses with something which is far enough, he can not really plan this but “dream”. Well, let’s him dream.
Update 4.04.2018, 18:33
We needed to wait longer than expected. Goffin was not really the start. David is in decline since those big win in London. Dimitrov? Forget him. He is done, I think.
So who are the potential New Big4 now?
Thiem and Zverev stay there and Thiem has just won his first big title, just defeating FEDERER. New candidates – maybe Tsitsipas and one from some other upcomers – Khachanov, Medvedev, Coric? To early to say. So let it be so far New Big 2? Thiem and Zverev.
The Indian Wells final was symbolic in many aspects. Federer still being a force in big tournaments, but still ageing and with consequences. But ageing very well and chances are, he stays on tour for some other years 🙂
At the IW ceremony Federer looked like happy father of newborn big title apprentice. His feelings probably somewhere between disappointed because of own loss and happy with one of his apprentices making progress – both in the game and in winning.
That’s how I imagined and wanted to look like. The old MAESTRO still on the run. Losing rather to NEW than OLD rivals.
When it comes to Thiem, the match was emotionally similar to Thiem’s loss to Nadal at US Open 2018. But this time it was the win.
We wish New Big xxx more and more big wins and at the same time the AGEING GREATS – Federer, Nadal – still play great and still to teach the upcomers and of course to have fun playing them 🙂
Updated 21.03.2019, 14:24
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