Shock and Awe in Shanghai. Semi-Finals: Say-it-ain’t So! Seriously: Scintillating Stuff!


Federer v Coric

Djokovic v Zverev

Federer, at 37, taking-on the THBH society: Medvedev (win), Bautista Agut (win), Nishikori (win), Coric (Djoker Jr.), Djoker (Guówáng).

These last one or two will be tough on the old man. Coric is a good test for a Novak match.

Novak looks bored. Zverev looks enchanting in Bo3.

All we know is this: right now Federer’s BH is better than his FH.

2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters - Day 5

11 thoughts on “Shock and Awe in Shanghai. Semi-Finals: Say-it-ain’t So! Seriously: Scintillating Stuff!

  1. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    RBA did realize this after first lost set and started to attack Fed’s forehand, producing lots of winners and forced errors (winners too). Nishikori did not use this so good. Forehand is somehow MUST BE – everyone plays OHFH.
    OHBH has the advantage of flexibility. Forehand is the same for everyone. Forehand needs more running and Fed is too old to run fast and much. Maybe he should start to overrun forehand to hit backhand on the forehand side? Only possible with one-hander.
    If you make an additional step with left leg, the shoulder of your hitting arm (if your are righty) is positioned back behind your body. No additional stretch can help. So you must be elastic like Djoker, to make double-length step with right leg and keep the balance. If you are not (being 37 years old and not a Djoker). On the backhand, with one-hander, you can make this additional step with right leg and your hitting shoulder is close to the baseline and the shot is still natural, even if you are positioned with the back to the baseline.
    Is this very complicated, Matt?
    I expect, Fed’s next invention will be to hit OHBH from both wings 😉 Something for oldies. BTW – OHBH is the most natural shot in tennis, isn’t it?


    1. I followed every move there, Wlady. Keep it coming!

      If it’s not the most natural shot, it’s the most beautiful.

      Not sure he gets by Coric. If he does, hope he’s ready for some bagels.


  2. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Well, Matt, I know and I’m sure, OHBH is the most natural shot. But it takes longer and more drills to be able to do with OHBH the same a “normal” player does with OHFH. With OHBH you have in fact forehands on both wings or backhands on both wings if you like.
    Coric will let Fed run and this is not a very good news for him. And I guess he will prefer to lose to Coric 4:6, 4:6 than get double bagel from Novak 😉
    But I’m also not sure, if Novak overcomes Zverev. Well, Anderson was technically a bigger challenge but Zverev seems to be on the run and going for the title there.


  3. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    BTW – what’s this on your Fed pic? Not a backhand on forehand side? But hat I meant, was backhand hit on forehand side with the back of the body to the baseline. Not in a frontal position. Fed thinks well but needs some drills to play, what I’m suggesting, hahaha …


  4. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Just watched Djoker vs. Zverev. And a small enlightening came on me. Maybe I knew this before but not so clear as today. They all: Fed, Rafa and Djoker have a genius, no other current player has. But they are different. Maybe it is harder to catch a glimpse of what is it for Novak. I believe just to have understood this. Novak is Master of Forced Errors. This class of points is underrated in stats and many points are falsely qualified. Novak is neither waiting for UE’s or going badly for winners. He is all the time moving the opponent to uncomfortable positions. In most cases this ends with opponent making a FORCED ERROR, but the rally can continue and finish with a kind of winner from Novak, but almost never spectacular, simply staying there, where the ball will come and holding the racket so the ball lands on court in the unplayable place. The deciding moment was just the first FORCED ERROR of the opponent but the rally continues and observers forgotten long ago the most important moment of the rally.
    Another aspect – this effect accumulates on the psyche of the opponent, which is additional error forcing factor.
    As to Zverev, he should follow the same way, if he wants to be really great player. So far he is trying to go for winners and if this does not work, he goes completely out of balance. Well, when he plays another class of opponents, he can overpower them. But this is not a high class tennis.
    What do you think?
    PS: Fed better loses today, like you told yesterday – The heavy loss to Novak in the final can hurt more.


    1. Novak has done that for years.

      His opponent is almost unknowingly put into a corner where he suffocates in a sea of error.

      Novak is the master defense-to-offense but it really starts defensively. This ties to my manifesto in which I clearly argue that Federer created two monsters. They were raised to beat Federer, games fashioned for that purpose — to try and tame the Maestro’s offensive genius.

      Which is also why the Novak v Rafa matches are so intense. Federer created that. It’s Mcshow logic.


      1. PRF - Władysław Janowski

        I know, it’s not new for Novak. It’s only because I didn’t follow him so much in early years but I never thought Djoker’s game to be boring (like Fed’s fanpeople was screaming since 15 or 20 years ;)).
        Yes, I agree with your logic. At that time the task was to beat Federer. I only don’t know, if Rafa’s and Djoker’s game was consciously designed this way. In early years Nadal was going to the net maybe more often than Fed. Not Djoker.
        Yes, he was defending like a hell until the opponent was helpless and ready for Djoker to attack him.
        With Federer obviously close to the finish line, what do you think, will happen? An intense Rafa-Djoker rivalry with likes of Thiem or Zverev trying to win something and wait until these two retire?


      2. I think Federer matches-up better against Novak than Rafa (though Fed’s age will more and more undermine any and all of his tennis).

        Maybe Rafa tries to defend his crown in RG next year against Novak, but Novak will, I think, just be too much for anyone, especially in the bigger matches. 2020 perhaps sees some significant change.


  5. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    There is one reason, I want Federer to disappear soon from tennis. I cannot watch his matches (still worth watching, whatever the outcome), because the opponent has 10000+1 opponent. Today it was beyond all standards for civilized people and fair sport fans. Zero applause for Coric. During the match and total silence after the matchball. Federer can play crap now at this age, but the crap coming from FedFans (I call them HATEFANS and they have a special corner on my blog) is not acceptable. The day Fed hangs up the racket and RF-caps disappear for ever from stadiums, maybe we will be able to watch every match we want. Hahaha (or you will tell me, I need it for my comment once more ;))


    1. Fed will not go away anytime soon because the garbage of ATP draws tastes too good to his esteemed palette; he loves the taste of fledgling tennis soul, the tenderness of their naive flesh and underdeveloped games.

      This is the farewell tour about which I wrote in 2015-16. He adds class to the Djoker podium since the rest of the field just stumbles around trying (I guess) to get their shit together.

      With out Fed, your ATP would be dead.

      That post I’ve warned you about goes into this. We are returning to the 2015-16 Djokovictory Bash. There is really no competition for Nole. And when he took a rest, Fedal feasted.

      This is why Thiem’s loss to Nadal was such a disaster (there are other reasons, sure). But the clinch-hold the Big 3 have on this tour is ruinous.


  6. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    If only Thiem could have more edge … he would challenge Big 3 on every surface. But he fails to demolish guys being a class lower in skills and then come into major finals with growing confidence and not to not loose too badly.
    The worst (in terms of global tennis today) is, he is happy with such epic losses like to Nadal at USO. With fighting but not on the level he has, in Paris final, at least the way he did fight in NYC. And his dreams – to win one slam and one Masters and maybe be no. 1 for a while. Given he has no aggression/killer instinct in his gens and cannot find a replacement-way (playing out his skills is not enough – if it would be, he would never fail before SF at any tournament.
    Disaster in Paris 2018 was not that Thiem lost, but that he was so passive.


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