Shanghai 2017 Fedal Preview


From my “draw analysis“:

Man, the rich get richer, no? Even the name of this week’s Masters event, the title of this post, makes me a little queasy. So, what are Fedal up to this week?

Who has the bumpier route to that tight hug at the net with his BFF in the proposed final followed likely by a hug on his wrist of another Rolex watch?

Del Potro got Federer in NYC but that was a bad backerer. Things looked tight early in this one in SF Shanghai, with the Argentinian moving well, BH getting stronger and the Fear Hand simply one of the best shots in the sport, ever. But Federer looked good too early. That was some dynamic HC tennis there, folks. DPo’s serve proved again to give the giant a massively formidable style of tennis.

But Federer kept coming. Finally getting his break in the second. The break happened in the third even earlier, in the third game. Federer seized control, really in the second set, but he seemed in the clear in the third. Del Po is about the only other guy on tour at this point with the balls to threaten Fedal. He certainly did in this one, in the first set.

Nadal simply out-managed Cilic, but Nadal’s angles with this FH still seem almost unplayable.

Where I give the edge to Federer in this final tomorrow is his footwork, variety and serve. Watch the Cilic Nadal SF. Very tight match. Cilic moving really well actually. But Federer moves better, hits the ball deeper and lower and his serve will/should give him even more free points.

We predicted the Fedal final. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Now we say Federer is just too much for even a rampant Nadal.

Kinda feel vulnerable taking a 36 year-old over this peaking Nadal.

If Nadal breadsticks the old man, I got Jon Hamm on retainer.

Enjoy Fedal’s 4th meeting of 2017.

Long live 2017 Fedal.

6 thoughts on “Shanghai 2017 Fedal Preview

  1. Caligula

    This was classic 2017 FEDAL!

    The GrandMaster felt comfortable abusing Nadal’s lack of confidence on these faster terrains, and what did Nadal do to rectify the situation? Absolutely nothing! Granted the Spaniard was hitting unforced errors left and right, but Federer was simply on point when it mattered, no backhand exchange deficiencies, and it is a done deal.

    Nadal can no longer hang with Federer, true the Swiss Monster has declined in form as well, but he is still faster on his feet than Nadal who was supposed to be the ultimate physical player of all time? Well time has caught up with him, alright! Fairly short groundstrokes/returns, coupled with an overall lack of tactics is what ultimately Sealed Nadal’s fate. Federer has figured him out, and Nadal can’t compensate anymore with his insane ball retrieval, and out of this world inside out forehand shots which were something to behold back in the day.

    I still applaud these two old timers for providing us with some entertainment in a relatively bleak time in men’s tennis, but Federer will be the one laughing in the end when this rivalry is over. Nadal would need to completely wipe the slate clean and start a new approach against Federer, who is too smart to fall for Nadal’s relatively simple game.


    1. Matt

      I think I put that H2H in perspective BEFORE this 5-0 run by Federer. Either way, they’re both monsters; actually, one is the Ruin King, the other a monster of the Ruin King’s creation (HRFRT).

      I need to apply for a grant to develop all of these “books” I’ve started on this here blog. The court narratives are playing-out, according to plan.

      Remember, Caligula, on the third Wednesday of the new year, look to the east for Djokovic descending with his Serbian black wings. 2018 is going to be a tennis holy war, or a circus. Ha.


  2. clint grike

    Good call Matt. FInally some meaningful tennis and a significant result. Every time 2017 roger beats rafa it hammers home the point that rafa’s h2h advantage owes everything to an idiosyncrasy of the matchup, exacerbated by an imbalance in technology. With his new racquet and new aggression on the BH a healthy federer can’t be hurt by nadal on faster courts. I expect more of the same if they meet again before the end of the year.


    1. Matt

      Did you read that series of posts about the H2H? That was back in 2015. I believe I put that into some perspective, but that I will address again. This 5-0 run does NOTHING to change my view. As you say, it has always been flawed.

      I heard that “esteemed” writer Wertheim say that Federer is making his case for POY by beating Rafa like this in 2017, which he says trumps their rankings. In other words, Wertheim is using the same dumb logic of the H2H significance. If Nadal finishes #1, meaning he is able to stave off the surging Federer, Nadal should probably get POY. Three major finals, 2 majors, etc.

      The H2H is like a little topping for your pudding. It’s much more of a sub-plot than it is some kind of grand thesis or definition.


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