Category: RF

💙

💙

Beautiful. 😍✨

Beautiful. 😍✨

👑❤

👑❤

Roger Federer during an interview in Dubai, 20…

Roger Federer during an interview in Dubai, 2018.

Hope to see this again next year. 🙏

Hope to see this again next year. 🙏

🏆😘💖

🏆😘💖

Roger Federer’s 2018 season in review

rffanaticism:

It may have only been a few days since the dust settled on the 2018 season for Roger, but now feels like a good time to put his 2018 season under the microscope while it’s still relatively fresh in the mind. So without further ado, here’s my tournament by tournament run down on how the last eleven months panned out for the greatest of all time…

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

As Roger himself put it in his winner’s speech, the fairytale continued from 2017 as he made more history by winning a 20th grand slam title by defending the Australian Open. I’ve got to say, as fantastic as it was that he won another major at the time me and plenty of others didn’t actually think his level had been that good. But in the last couple of days I’ve been watching highlights of all his matches from the fortnight, and no one gave him anywhere near enough credit for how well he’d played in reality especially when you look at his level in the second half of the year. He was absolutely awesome in Melbourne, and for my money no one in the world would have beaten him no matter how well they were playing – including Djokovic and Nadal. More wonderful memories to look back on, and to win a grand slam at 36 years old was an incredible achievement.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 10/10

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ATP ROTTERDAM 500

The culmination of Roger’s amazing run since his comeback, as a quarter final victory confirmed a return to world number one for the first time since late 2012 to become the oldest man ever to top the rankings. That Roger went on to win the title was the icing on the cake, and as always when he’s at his free flowing best his tennis was a joy to watch indoors. Inevitably the haters started with their ludicrous ‘vulturing’ comments, which were hugely disrespectful of a guy who who’d won three of the last four grand slams he’d played, but that took nothing away from another remarkable landmark that was arguably one of the greatest of Roger’s career.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 10/10

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ATP INDIAN WELLS MASTERS 1000

The one that got away. I’m not entirely sure how Roger didn’t lose in straight sets in the final to Juan Martin Del Potro, but having somehow levelled at a set apiece I still don’t know how he didn’t go on to win in three and extend his perfect start to 2018. Going into the final I thought Fed’s performances had been a little underrated, not his scintillating best but for my money he was still playing very well for the most part. A gruelling semi final against Borna Coric which was something of a snatch and grab was a tough watch, but having got through that and then into a position to beat Del Potro it was an absolute gut wrencher to see Roger miss out on a sixth Indian Wells title by the narrowest of margins.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 7/10

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ATP MIAMI MASTERS 1000

An opening round loss to a bang average player who won three main draw tour level matches all year. Absolute stinker, not much else to say other than it seeming like an Indian Wells hangover.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 2/10

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ATP STUTTGART 250

A few alarm bells were ringing after a dreadful start to his first match in over two months, but once the cobwebs were dusted off Roger played really well and got great back to back victories over Nick Kyrgios and Milos Raonic to win his third title of the season. The win over Kyrgios was particularly good as it was a rare occasion where Roger came through a deciding set tiebreak, and the imperious performance over Raonic in the final suggested the king of grass would have a real chance of completing a grass court hat-trick in Halle and Wimbledon. 

TOURNAMENT RATING: 8/10

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ATP HALLE 500

A lot of people point to the Indian Wells final as the point where things started ti go downhill for Roger this year, but for me the whole week in Halle was the turning point despite him reaching the final. Tiredness from his title winning run in Stuttgart can’t have helped, but Roger’s game was a bit of a mess here and he spent the week looking grumpy and fed up as he struggled to find his range against a load of players he’d have beaten with ease a few months before. It was the first time in a long time where there was a sustained spell of matches where I genuinely didn’t enjoy watching Roger play as everything just looked like such a grind. Ironically the first couple of sets of the final were arguably the best sets he played all tournament, but he eventually went down tamely in the third to Coric who’d barely won a match on grass before to finish on a whimper.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 4/10

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WIMBLEDON

After a very impressive first week, we ended up with a photo finish with the Del Potro match in Indian Wells as the biggest heartbreaker of the year as a two set lead and match point went begging in a desperately disappointing quarter final exit to Kevin Anderson. The hand/wrist injury Roger’s alluded to more recently explains a lot as to why his forehand in particular broke down completely on the day, but the bottom line is that it was still a massive choke especially as he would have been the favourite for a semi final against John Isner. On a slightly different note, the tournament was a landmark for Roger as it was the first time in his career he ditched Nike attire and signed for Uniqlo, which I have to admit I’ve really come to like. A bit of a shocker all in all, but at least it went better than his last Wimbledon title defence!

TOURNAMENT RATING: 4/10

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ATP CINCINNATI MASTERS 1000

One of the stranger tournaments of the year for Roger, as his serve was arguably the best it was all year but his return arguably at its worst. That made for a couple of poor spectacles, and culminated in one of the worst Federer-Djokovic matches in recent times in the final with the Serb cruising through to complete his full set of Masters titles. Overall it wasn’t a bad week though, as he got some decent wins and the day he had to play two matches in one day due to the weather is one that I look back on with great fondness; he played five sets across the day, yet didn’t face a single break point. Not bad for an old man.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 7/10

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US OPEN

After being given what looked like the draw from hell pre-tournament, not a lot of people had earmarked unseeded Aussie grinder John Millman as the man to bring Roger down in the last sixteen but that’s exactly what happened in what was his earliest exit from a grand slam since the Australian Open in 2015. It came a couple of days after a brilliant win over Nick Kyrgios featuring the ridiculous round the net post shot, one of the clearest examples of going from one end of the scale to the other in the blink of an eye that plagued the second half of 2018 for Roger. The disgusting humidity on Arthur Ashe Stadium that night clearly didn’t help, but too often Roger got into a good position and blew it meaning he only had himself to blame.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 3/10

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LAVER CUP

While technically an exhibition, the players clearly take it seriously and so I’ll do the same by including it in this review. It was two wins in singles and two defeats in doubles for Roger in Chicago, but all his matches were great fun to watch and the thrilling victory over John Isner on the final day was crucial for Team Europe as they went on to defend the trophy in style. I’d rather Fed had played the way he did here at the US Open, but it was have this to fall back on after the major disappointment in New York. I wasn’t sure about this event at first, but it’s won me over big time and I can’t wait for next year’s edition in Geneva already.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 9/10

ATP SHANGHAI MASTERS 1000

While clearly nowhere near his best, it was great to see Roger dig deep and find a way to win a couple matches that looked like they were getting away from him in the early rounds. It was different to what you might call the norm, but it was fascinating to watch and actually quite inspiring given he could easily have accepted it wasn’t his day on both occasions. A super high quality quarter final win over Kei Nishikori was one of the best matches the Maestro played all year, but the tank was virtually empty by the time he played his last four match against Coric and a depressing match against a depressing opponent had a depressing outcome that was never really in doubt. It didn’t undo all Roger’s good work earlier in the week as such, but it was a shame a decent tournament for him ended with a bit of a whimper.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 7/10

ATP BASEL 500

I’m still not quite sure how Roger won in Basel this year, but not unlike Shanghai it was amazing to see him go to the trenches to come through some of his matches and lift his hometown title for a ninth time. The way he seemingly dropped serve for fun was alarming to say the least, but every time his back was against the wall he managed to find an answer to come back with and that he probably played his best match of the week in the final against Marius Copil showed that all the grinding had been worth it. He obviously wasn’t happy with how he was playing, but finding ways to win matches when you’re out of form and up against it is just as impressive as breezing through the draw at a canter. Never an easy watch, but any story with a happy ending is one to enjoy and this one was no different. 

TOURNAMENT RATING: 8/10

ATP PARIS MASTERS 1000

For me this tournament was probably the best Roger had played since Stuttgart, and it so nearly brought what would surely have been his best win of 2018 in a three hour epic against Djokovic in the semi finals. Sadly it was another match that ended up on the list of near misses for Fed, but it was just nice to see him competing with the currently undisputed best player in the world and he was ultimately one good tiebreak away from a famous win. That he collapsed in the deciding set breaker was a shame, but it had still been a productive week with a pair of strong showings in wins over Fognini and Nishikori, and his form was definitely heading in the right direction.  

TOURNAMENT RATING: 8/10

NITTO ATP FINALS

The disastrous showing in his opening match that saw him lose in straight sets to a below par Nishikori had me genuinely fearing a humiliating wooden spoon, so it was to Roger’s immense credit that he recovered to top his group and then only narrowly lose out to Alexander Zverev in the semi finals (Zverev’s dominant win over Djokovic in the final put into perspective the task Fed was up against). Revenge over Anderson in the last round robin match was the highlight of the week, especially as it was a vintage Federer masterclass of completely taming a guy with a huge serve. His level wasn’t quite there against Zverev for my money, particularly from an offensive point of view, and there were still a few too many cheap errors off the forehand wing that when you look back was devastating early in the season. Overall, a decent enough finish to 2018 and something to build on going into the new year.

TOURNAMENT RATING: 7/10

FINAL OVERALL THOUGHTS

I appreciate that when I write posts in the immediate aftermath of some of these defeats I can be a little harsh, but when you look back now you appreciate that given he’s 37 years old it’s really been another incredible season for Roger. Any season with a grand slam title involved is a good one no matter how old you are, but any season you win a grand slam when you’re Fed’s age is a great one. I think the fact that his major and return to world number one both came so early in the season means recency bias comes into the equation when you see people writing him off, but when all is said and done he won the same number of grand slams as Rafael Nadal and more than Del Potro, Zverev, Anderson and Nishikori combined among others, all of whom people have raved about at various stages of the year. His level may fluctuate far more than it used to which inevitably will lead to more disappointment losses, but it’s amazing that Roger still wants it so badly that he’ll pretty much go to war to win matches that look like they’re slipping away whether they’re in grand slams or lower key ATP events. It may not have been the never ending dream that was 2017, but I’m still ending the year incredibly proud to be a Fed fan and take away plenty of unforgettable memories.

That’s all for now, I’ve still got a couple of other end of year bits and pieces in the pipeline with a top ten matches and kit rankings on the to do list, so look out for those soon!

This is a good review!

😍☑

😍☑

The best moment of the year. 🏆❤❤

The best moment of the year. 🏆❤❤

RF 😍.

RF 😍.