The Final

Keeping this short and to the point.  You should know what happened yesterday and what’s at stake tomorrow.  The heavy weights have advanced and are ready to square-off in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship. Roger has five USO titles, winning five in a row from ’04 to ’08.  Novak, six years younger than Federer, won his only USO in 2011, but has been to the finals on four other occasions.  Novak could win his 10th major with a win tomorrow, his third of 2015.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the Serb will have played in all four 2015 major finals.  His is a dominant game.  The beating he gave Cilic in yesterday’s first SF was tremendous consolidation of his place at the top (not to mention what it says about the Croat’s game/last year’s diabolic curse on the game that I have said way too much about already).  Nole should be in spectacular form tomorrow to meet his primary nemesis.


Roger is attempting to win his 18th major.  His legacy is ballooning as we speak.  I have written at length about this; he’s on a long farewell tour, so to speak.  But he keeps surviving these draws, even at 34.  If you watch him play, you know why.

I have been pretty solid on my picks, but this one leaves me only wanting to watch the match and enjoy what will probably be a war.  This has a very different feel for me than the Wimbledon final did.  I had Djokovic all day in that match even though Federer slapped that Brit around in the SF, which many thought meant he was in tip top form.  The Brit is a cow.  And Djokovic owns Wimbledon at this point.  The only pause I had was a colleague of mine at the Ultimate Tennis Blog declared Roger would win his eighth Wimby with incredible confidence, but even that wasn’t enough to move me off of Djokovic.

I have a different feeling about this final.

Roger took some time off after his All England Club beatdown.

He rejoined the tour in Cincinnati.  We have been following along on this North American hard court run of his since that dominant tournament win, his seventh Cincy title, where he out classed you know who.


A lot of talk about his current tennis form.  The hard courts purify the game, make it difficult for players to hide deficiencies.  Not a coincidence that Roger has five of these and so does Pete Sampras. This is big boy tennis.  Physical play, highlighting athleticism and all around game.

Roger’s game right now is of such a sincere attacking style.  I wanted the Wawrinka match to be more competitive in order to watch more of said attacking tennis.  Stan brought a very good form to that SF.  He was fighting for his life by the beginning of the second set.  Down 0-40 in three straight service games, the numbers became unbearable. Roger’s return game was ruthless.  His serve was also incredibly on point.  If he can play that kind of return (with or without SABR) and serve well tomorrow, he should really benefit.

Djokovic barely broke a sweat in his SF.  But it was enough to see he is in great form.  He looks as good as he needs to be to win his second USO.  Both are fresh.  Let the games begin.

I think Roger has enough to win this, but I have difficulty imagining Novak going away unless Roger is simply superb.  A lot of us feel Roger needs the first set.  This seems pretty logical.  Others have said he could go five with the Serb and I suppose anything could happen then.

Novak’s defensive game will keep him in just about any match and his offense is top of the sport too.  He’s #1, so not too many deficiencies in his game.  Roger has his work cut-out.  So does Novak.

Here’s to a brilliant match tomorrow between two great champions.  Cheers, folks.

Enjoy the match!

19 thoughts on “The Final

  1. Ed Witt

    Hey Matt,

    Let us all hope that it is a great final!

    (You don’t have to publish this, just read it.)
    BTW, do you now believe how inconsistent, rude and condescending our dear old Ruan can be? How my ‘trolling’ (which was edited heavily by Ruan of course) was just saying the truth? Objectivity all over the place, e.g. deliberately saying Roger was a lock to win wimbledon then later confessing he only said that cause he wanted Djoker to win, saying he is a fan of sabr and only roger can pull it off before turning volte-face and saying he is not a fan and it is not ‘classy’ and on and on and on….
    I simply hope that more people can see through his charade.


    1. Jerry

      +1. Ru-an is one of the biggest fools on the internet. Anybody who takes him seriously should be ashamed of himself. Ru-an contradicts himself from post to post and often does it in the same paragraph of one post. This guy has serious mental and insecurity problems imo and seems like a frustrated failed tennis pro more than anything else. This guy was the BIGGEST Federer fan on planet Earth for years. He would criticize any poster on any tennis forum who said one negative peep about Federer and has been banned from every tennis forum due to his bad behavior. He was one of the most obnoxious Federer fanatics out there. Now he has switched loyalties which is entirely within his right but he doesn’t stop there. He has to insult the Federer fan base and call them fanatics when he was one of those very same Federer fanatics for years. He also has to try and artificially prop Djokovic up when HE was the one criticizing Djokovic’s every move a year ago calling him out for his possum antics, etc. Any sane person should stay away from Ru-an’s blog because you can’t win with a mental case like him.

      The best is he talks about Nadal owning Federer in slams which he does by the way but refuses to see that Nadal has also owned Djokovic in the slam h2h. As soon as Djokovic starts losing (and he will eventually), Ru-an will jump ship yet again.


      1. Utsav

        I agree with you about the standoffish tone, etc. but Ruan has performed a service for the Federer fandom over the years in his own way. There are many of us who are truly what you could call fanatics, but that could be true for any other player’s fandom. Nadal has those fans definitely, and so does Djokovic. A disproportionate number of the latter are Serbian by nationality or ethnicity, who believe that Nole is God’s greatest gift to mankind. I get it, he’s a national hero, but is it too much to ask to expect a teensy bit of respect for other players? With Ruan, what I find particularly off-putting now is that he refuses to acknowledge his bias when it so clearly exists. Case in point: Djokovic pulverises a hobbling Cilic and Roger beats an admittedly below-par Stan. His conclusion: Djokovic is on top form but Federer hasn’t been tested yet. And if you point it out, he’ll pontificate about enlightenment and how he’s a nanometre from it.

        But that’s enough talk of Ruan. I appreciate what he has done over the years with his blog. Let us enjoy the match. Allez Roger!


  2. Ed Witt

    Hey Matt,

    Of course, I was, and multiple times, I was having fun at the end, and he was editing my comments and replacing them with classy words such as low-life, nutjob, shit etc., while I had not used a single cuss word in any of my posts. I had no intention of spamming him, but I was rather bemused by his lack of basic decency and elementary logic.

    On several occasions in his blog, he has name called people (moron, idiot etc.) without no provocation or justification. I remember someone called Wilfried (or something similar). Then there was a lady called Katyani (don’t know if she was name-called but Ruan was really rude with her on more than one occasion). Of course, a very enthusiastic Fed supporter called Vily was banned. Then, a guy named Ajay was called a moron for saying he found the older Djokovic more attacking. There are many many more examples like this.

    The point is when the blog writer is himself flip-flopping so consistently (even though I admit that calling you a fanatic in one line and denying that in the next is a new low), he probably shouldn’t be that rude and judgmental about others who are expressing their opinions in decent language. I just hope more of his readers (most of whom are really nice people) realize this at some point. A little knowledge about tennis (and tremendous confusion about quantum entanglement and ‘unified field’, and an ability to misspell Sanskrit words without knowing what they mean) is simply not enough.


    1. Ed and Jerry,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I hear you on the Ru-an controversy. I like his passion. It’s his blog, so you know how that whole discussion goes: “If you don’t like it, leave. . .” I agree the big change in bias is awkward.

      I’m not a psychologist (but I can play one on my blog) :). . .People who were die-hard Fedfans have reacted in different ways to the rise of Nadal, et al. Some have turned against, perhaps. Believe me, I did everything I could to be in front of the telly for those big finals back in the day and was grandly disappointed when Nadal would triumph over a Federer who just didn’t seem to do the things he needed to do to win some of those matches. That was the worst part. It’s a head scratcher. Some fans have revolted.

      I think Ru-an’s passion and love for the game supersedes his incivility. I’ve enjoyed our discourse for the most part.

      Thanks again, gents.


    2. wilfried

      I was not exactly banned, Ed, as I decided to leave the blog myself voluntarily.
      I already didn’t feel very comfortable with Ruan’s constant changing and twisting his opinions from one post to another, but never dared to call him out for it.
      At the start of the 2014 season however, he wrote a very speculative but nicely written blog article about Nadal’s psychological nature, which he entirely based on his own subjective experience as a tennis pro and as a victim of severe anxieties during his adolescence, with the collateral experiences it brought with for him.
      Having some experience of my own with some members of my family, I gave him my view and challenged his “authority argument”, the fact that he didn’t feel the need to back his opinions up with more than his only subjective personal experience, which made him apparently very angry and delete my comments (never happened before to me, and never after either).
      When I noticed the deletes, I commented that he had the right to delete my comments as the owner of the blog, but in hindsight it was clear to me that I didn’t like it at all, and that I never could or would accept anyone to censure or delete my comments. Whoever does this to me, would lose me as a reader and commentator.
      He also wanted me to apologize as a condition to stay and comment on his blog.
      I didn’t reply anymore. Why should I apologize when in fact I felt like he was the one to apologize. That’s the world upside down (le monde renversé) isn’t it ? So I decided to stay away from his blog.


      1. Jerry

        A guy like Ru-an is clearly mentally ill and on top of that is a frustrated person because he failed in his career in life. Does the guy even have a job? There is no other way to explain his behavior. He lies and contradicts himself constantly. The most recent example is his latest blog post where he is saying people are crazy for thinking Federer would beat Djokovic in the USO final when Ru-an himself actually claimed the same thing but he’s acting now like he predicted a clear Djokovic win all along.

        How he has any serious followers of his blog is beyond me. They must not be very intelligent. I just read his blog to be entertained by his hostility and contradictions.


  3. blackspy

    After the Cilic (practical) walkover, Djokovic strolled to the final showing some top form. Strangely, I think this benefited Federer a bit as he played earlier than expected (he doesn’t like finishing his matches late I heard=sleeping a normal hour is good for the body). The surface and his errors condemned Wawrinka, as I have foreseen (to a different opponent than I initially thought). Federer must have some stars aligned because the final scheduled time -unless it rains- also may help him as the balls will fly quicker without being too hot out there.

    Your thoughts on the SABR are on the spot, I believe. And the tactic is not that unusual: many players move forward during the opponent’s second toss, just not that much. Does anyone count the success rate of this cheeky tactic? It’s less effective to the ends of winning a point against a second serve (mental warfare aside). Federer is smart enough to let the media pay attention to this as they misguide and rattle his opponents for him. The laughable criticism for ” indecent/disrespectful” tactic by some only validates my point – Federer has them all fooled with his “parlor trick”, which will probably catch on by other (one-handed) players if he captures this one. The comment of Wawrinka about Federer’s fitness/movement and attack is much more telling.

    That being said, if your predictions continue to be that solid, you could consider betting.

    Let the final begin!

    PS: Vinci’s net play, volleys, half-volleys (and honest personality) are refreshing and showed how to topple a baseliner in WTA with some consistent play. Since “the monster” (as you named her) can’t play at the net or move a lot, how come nobody thought of doing so? Her game is almost crippled after long rallies.


    1. Good stuff, blackspy. Yeah the SABR hysteria is laughable. Disrespectful, big tactical, blah blah blah. If he uses it and it rattles Djoker, that’s even more laughable. But that won’t happen. Roger’s baseline BH and S&V better be top top today, or else; that’s where you’ll find meaningful tennis strategy. Hell, his entire game must shine. Would be a delight to see. People overlook that he’s six years Novak’s senior.

      How about that trophy ceremony where the two Italians are such good friends, Pennetta planning retirement, etc.. . . good vibrations at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

      Enjoy the match!


  4. Utsav

    Dude, I’m sorry that you had to be at the receiving end of nonsense from Ruan. The guy is just incapable of having a civilized discussion these days. I have followed his blog since the beginning, and while he always struck me as slightly arrogant and biased, his analysis was pretty good. It remains pretty good, but of late, he has become exceedingly intolerant of contrary opinions and packs gallons of anti-Federer vitriol in just about every post. He repeatedly makes grand pronouncements, and then retracts. For me, he has lost an awful lot of credibility. As if all this weren’t enough, he seems to believe that he’s completely unbiased, but it’s pretty clear that he’s just delusional.

    Keep up the great work!


    1. Utsav, thanks for stopping by. I have appreciated my brief relationship with Ru-an. His is an acerbic tone and he can get quite in-your-face, I agree. But it’s his blog and he does provide quite a service to readers. I don’t mind the very “real” and tough tone of debate. People are passionate.

      I have gathered he was once a big Fedfan, so that’s where the current bias is pretty odd. I think a lot of Fedfans are bitter about that stretch of tennis where Roger was kinda stuck; Ru-an still respects Fed, but he’s maybe moved-on since that ship seemed to be sinking. But the numbers aren’t as bad as they seem. I will make an effort to explain in the coming days. That discussion of the big three is pretty interesting. It’s been a great era of tennis.

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.


      1. Utsav

        I think you may be right about that. His is one of the better tennis blogs out there, with many knowledgeable, eloquent people engaging in passionate debate, as you put it. However, if the blog owner’s argument is often, “I’m right because you’re an idiot..” or something of that order, then I just don’t see the point. I can’t deny that I have enjoyed reading his blog in the past, but it may be time to move on.

        Regardless, I do look forward to your post. I’m sure it will be engaging and insightful.



      2. Utsav

        It appears that Ruan has a spammer proble. Oh well…it is still an irrational response to let that irritation morph into a dislike of Federer himself.

        Enjoy the match! Allez Roger!


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