Coupe Rogers Semi-final Saturday

What’s the more interesting storyline here?

2017 Federer ?
ATP Youth On the Rise?


The second SF is rich, very rich. Sure, the first entails Federer’s continued 2017 epilogue, which is nothing short of spectacular, but that’s a known quantity, a known quality, if you will. We don’t want to discourage any hype surrounding the Federer v Robin Haase SF.

But, folks: you know where we come-out on this. Before any of this Montreal business-end genius even hatched, behold our nod to the tour’s youth in pre-Montreal fashion which has given-way to fucking big bird!

Two big birds.

Zverev v Shapovalov

I’m so geeked for this match. To be clear, I missed the Shapovalov v Mannarino QF, but will catch it later tonight. I know one thing having not even watched a second of the match. It’s brilliant. We needed this. Badly. He’s the youngest Masters semi-finalist ever, I’m willing to bet. 😉

Either way, the youth has risen. Let this truly be the harbinger of a new era. New characters, new legacies.

You know what this really boils down to, right?

The one-hander vs the two-hander. And you know who I like in this match, right?

A primary point of Federer’s dominance is his style, which we’ll define as that which encompasses all of his skill, talent, etc. He is a handful for most if not all of his opponents, which seems a fairly obvious observation. Are you with me? But the point here about his style concerns his sustainability, his longevity, his relevance.

He isn’t playing very well this week, though he is starting to find some rhythm, consistency, and urgency (the business-end necessity). But he can still win despite this kind of drop in form. Nadal, on the other hand, though he had a tougher draw perhaps, has to play at absolute peak to win (on non-clay). His “vamos” style is based-on a massive sense of momentum, which he masterfully finds and manipulates. I might say that Djokovic is similar in this regard. He has to be teeing-off on his opponent, rampant to a certain extent.

Federer has been able to reach SFs and Fs throughout his career, in winning form or perhaps not so much. He has so much game, so many weapons, such a fluency of the language – that’s his genius.

Part of this is his OHBH.


I am partial to the one-hander and even tend to think many of these players who use it have a bit of an advantage (bias perpetuates deception 😉 ). Sure there are many other factors in players’ success, but the one-hander is such a marvelous element of style.

Let us observe this great debate in tomorrow’s second SF. Among other things.

Here’s to two brilliant matches to set-up a North American hard court Masters final.


3 thoughts on “Coupe Rogers Semi-final Saturday

  1. clint grike

    The one hander really complements an attacking game. Shapovalov gets in close to the baseline and looks to dictate. Like a certain 36 year old. ‘Panache’ is the word yeah. I’d also say ‘swashbuckling’. He plays a high risk game. Caligula commented on the last post that he has been lucky. Caligula is never wrong so I’ll agree that when you go for the lines like the kid does you need your share of luck. He needs to keep working on his defensive game. If you look at the young federer he got everything back – he was never out of the point. Another thing the youngster needs to work on is his net play. He likes to pounce on the short ball so he has to be clinical in his execution at the net. At times he looks like he doesn’t really know what he’s doing there. Good coaching and hard work (so important) and he has a shot. I expect zverev to stop his run tonight but just so good to finally see some young players with verve and guts.


    1. Matt

      The attacking game is so much more interesting; it’s not an argument (it’s more difficult, higher risk, easily the more aesthetic of the stroke and it harkens to a more classical game). Imagine if the equipment hadn’t evolved like it did. I remember noticing the THBH growing-up and thinking how odd and inferior it looked, as in why are you using two hands there? Are you cheating? What’s wrong? Ha ha.

      That Thiem and Shapolavov among others are using it is good for the game, period.

      Your reverence for Caligula is misguided. He’s just upset that Nadal lost.

      But true to both of you on the tennis of Denis: it’s a volatile game. He’s brilliant and inordinately errant. And you’re right about his net game. He has, really, none. But at least his instincts are right to come to net. Watching Thiem among others stay back and hit all day is not ideal nor strategic, unless you have some real firepower.

      Shapovalov’s FH can be a thing of beauty. He’s hitting an inside-out FH that’s flat and unplayable along the lines of the Delpo FH.

      Federer Haase kick off in two hours and then the marquee later. I think the crowd will be a factor in the second SF. Zverev continues to show tremendous maturity in getting the job done, here back-to-back weeks.

      I suspect Ferrero and dad will develop a game plan aiming to expose the errant Canadian’s way. Bring him to net? Attack the BH? Zverev has state-of-the-art coaching, so will see how that plays-out.


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