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AO 2015 - Day 9

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Post by laverfan Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

Order of Play - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule14.html

Live Scores - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/index.html

Day 9 Preview - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2016-01-25/day_9_preview_federers_long_memory.html

My predictions...

Djokovic in 4.

Federer in 4.

Williams in 2.

Radwanska in 3.

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Post by LuvSports! Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:45 am

Matchpoint wrote:
banbrotam wrote:

we rarely see him playing the latter stages in hot conditions. RG/Wimb/US all have variable weather, i.e. no guarantee - but the one slam that could be give us the heat, plays it's latter stages in the evening etc


Given his sun-adverse prior history, this is a good point. So that's how he became king of AO, he hasn't had to break his back in the scorching sun to win 5-hr+ finals? Hahaha......

True. Those marathons were all at night Smile

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:46 am

sirfredperry wrote:Thought Berdych might trouble Fed but it seems the old man was just too good. Strange that Berd bt Rog in those GS matches a few years back but has not worried the Swiss recently. Hope Nishi at least gives Djoko a good game. He can´t expect 100 UEs from Djoko this time, though.
Those defeats a few years ago were down to Fed not taking any initiative and putting any pressure on. This older Fed is more wily and playing with the shackles off. What Nish needed was the earlier match start mad
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:50 am

Typical Kei taking the medicaltime out when he's getting put to the sword. Needs to get a grip with himself!
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Post by dummy_half Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:06 am

Well, for a moment looked like Kei was going to make a match of it, but handed the early break back without Djokovic having to do much other than keep the ball in play.


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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:06 am

I'm only looking at the match stats but this looks like a match that Novak is winning simply by being not as bad as Kei.

There's nothing in Novak's numbers that suggest he's playing at a high level.

Is this about right?

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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:09 am

Novak broken to love.

Dare to dream, Fed fans, dare to dream.

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Post by Matchpoint Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:14 am

If only the semi is played 2pm, involving these 2...


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Post by dummy_half Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:15 am

HMM

Pretty much true - I'd reckon Djokovic is playing at about 6/10 at best. Nishi can barely find a forehand, and is only really getting any joy when he gets up to the net.

Odd last few games - four breaks in a row, with the last 2 being to love.

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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:19 am

Weirdness in this match it seems......

I remain pessimistic simply because Novak will always have the banker tactic of going long. That's not to say he's not capable of winning it in a more flamboyant way, but the back-up plan is there. Once again we'll be saying "Federer will have to serve great and be very attacking", but on a cool night here it's even harder than doing so later in the year.

You never know though, hope springs eternal!
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Post by Jahu Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:20 am

Come on Ninja, you can do it, take it to 5.
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Post by Josiah Maiestas Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:24 am

You need a massive backhand to scare Novak it seems and only Stan has got one these days. Andy doesn't have enough of a punch on his bh.
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Post by dummy_half Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:28 am

bogbrush

I'd say that Federer's form over the last two matches would be more than enough to deal with the Djokovic we've seen in his last two performances. OK, this isn't anywhere near as woeful as against Simon, but looks good on the scoreboard because his opponent is playing really poorly. Slight improvement in Novak's quality in the last couple of games, but quite patchy.

Of course, the cooler and slower evening conditions take some of the assets away from Federer's game, and it is bordering on wishful thinking to expect Novak to play below average for 3 matches in a row, but I honestly think Djokovic is there for the taking this tournament.

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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:39 am

Well, a win is a win and getting off court in not much over two hours is good news.

Nevertheless, 57% first serve and a W/UE count of 22/27 is probably not causing consternation in the Federer camp.

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Post by dummy_half Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:41 am

And that ends things

No changing of the guard in the top half of the men's draw, with Djokovic joining Federer in the semi-final.

Novak ended the match playing decent tennis for the last half a set, but still looks well below his best form - could be in part because Nishi played pretty poorly and dragged Novak's level down rather.

As I put above, if we were purely looking at form over the last couple of matches, Federer would be the favourite, but we all know both that Fed is prone to throw in a bad match more often than he used to and that come the big match on the big stage, Djokovic is likely to play markedly better.

Hopefully tomorrow will produce more interesting and competitive matches...

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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:48 am

It'll be fascinating to see if Raonic maintains his 4th round display, if indeed Djokovic doesn't hit his heights.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:50 am

Two straight forward QF wins for Federer and Djokovic as I thought it would be.

Happy to see Murray playing Ferrer in the afternoon rather than the evening and I think Monfils would be happy facing Raonic in the slower court conditions of the evening.
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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:02 am

For those that are interested in such things, Djokovic levelled the h2h with Federer in their last match.

On the previous two occasions that he levelled the h2h, Federer won the next match.

Djokovic has still never led the h2h.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:16 am

HM Murdock wrote:For those that are interested in such things, Djokovic levelled the h2h with Federer in their last match.

On the previous two occasions that he levelled the h2h, Federer won the next match.

Djokovic has still never led the h2h.

However, their recent slam encounters have been dominated by Djokovic as he has won their last three meetings at slams winning each of those encounters by three sets to one. If Federer were to win the semi it would be significant.

Federer cannot be fresher (in his current state) going into the semi and if he catches Novak on a day when he is less than 100% then Roger certainly has a chance. However, I see Novak keeping the recent trend going by winning in four sets.
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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:23 am

HM Murdock wrote:For those that are interested in such things, Djokovic levelled the h2h with Federer in their last match.

On the previous two occasions that he levelled the h2h, Federer won the next match.

Djokovic has still never led the h2h.
Yeah, I know you've kept a keen and fascinated eye on this one for ages wondering when it's finally going to happen (when it looked like happening about 4 years ago it seems). Probably on Thursday, but who knows?
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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:30 am

bogbrush wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:For those that are interested in such things, Djokovic levelled the h2h with Federer in their last match.

On the previous two occasions that he levelled the h2h, Federer won the next match.

Djokovic has still never led the h2h.
Yeah, I know you've kept a keen and fascinated eye on this one for ages wondering when it's finally going to happen (when it looked like happening about 4 years ago it seems). Probably on Thursday, but who knows?
At RG 2012, when Novak moved within two on the h2h, I would have been amazed to learn that he hadn't moved ahead by January 2016!

It's been a very stubborn statistic.

I don't know what to think about Thursday. I'd have put Novak as a strong favourite before the tournament but their respective levels have made me much more doubtful.

I still think Fed probably has to win the first set but it's very much a 'live' match. The result is far from a foregone conclusion.

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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:46 am

That's the other thing we always say - he has to win the first set. Probably true.

He just needs to play at his best and see if it's enough. Any let-down and he's toast.
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Post by Guest Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:49 am

Went to a meeting and come back and Novak is through.

Is there a turd emoticon?? So I can place it by Kei!

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Post by lags72 Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:52 am

So often we say that the scoreline of a completed match doesn't wholly reflect the pattern of play. I believe the USO Final is as good an example as any.

In that Final last September, Federer earned a quite remarkable 23 BP's. But with a miserable conversion rate of 17%, he ended up making just four of them. How much of that was down to Fed's wastefulness, and how much to Novak's fantastic fighting spirit ..... well, therein lies the issue.

Despite Novak's recent performance dips here in Melbourne (in contrast to Federer's somewhat 'cleaner' wins) I am convinced he will raise his game again when it matters most ; and a SF against Fed is just about all the motivation he needs.

Djokovic in four once again methinks.

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:20 pm

This one is firmly on Djoko's racquet.  However scrappy he has been in the tournament so far, he knows what he needs to bring vs. Federer, and whilst their H2H has remained stubbornly even in terms of numbers, it has not been even in terms of the relative importance of their matches - even more so in bo5 slam matches.

As if that were not enough, and as others have said, it's not going to be a day match so Djoko will benefit from the cooler slower conditions in the evening.
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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:20 pm

Honestly. I think fed should win. It really is up to him though to play at the level he's shown up till now, he has a habit of not being able to bring it when it counts with novak

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:29 pm

temporary21 wrote:Honestly. I think fed should win. It really is up to him though to play at the level he's shown up till now, he has a habit of not being able to bring it when it counts with novak

Quite, and I think that Djoko has a lot to do with that.  I remember in particular the 2012 WTF final when Federer was brilliant, he had won the Wimbledon SF vs. Djoko and the Cincinnati final, and in the O2 he came out of the traps serving wonderfully, unleashing fantastic shots all over the place, but Djoko matched him and won a hard-fought match in straight sets.  

Since that match Fed's wins v. Djoko have by and large been in less important matches at less pivotal times of the season.  I suspect that in the back of Fed's mind he has a nagging doubt that when Djoko is up for it and healthy he's the winner.  Such a feeling would be a drag on almost every aspect of his game - seemed to tighten up against Nadal to, although I'd say that he's closer to Djoko.
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Post by laverfan Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:05 pm

The BH display against Berdych does not provide any further confidence in Federer's ability to beat Djokovic. It is also a night match, as Courier pointed out.

If Federer v Djokovic ends up being a 5-setter, it may benefit whoever comes out of the other half to the finals.

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Post by dummy_half Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:24 pm

LF

I'd say only if Federer wins. We know Djokovic has outstanding powers of recovery, and a 5 setter against Fed isn't going to be the most physically demanding match he's ever played (certainly by comparison with a battle against Murray or Nadal).

Also of course the first semi-final has an extra day's rest afterwards, so a long match there is probably less of an issue than a long semi final in the bottom half of the draw.

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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:50 pm

temporary21 wrote:Honestly. I think fed should win. It really is up to him though to play at the level he's shown up till now, he has a habit of not being able to bring it when it counts with Novak
You can get to that place looking at the headlines but go closer and the subject becomes more nuanced.

- His level against Murray at the last Wimbledon was on a nice bright day where the balls flew; the final was in less friendly conditions
- He is the only man to beat Novak more than once last year
- his defeats in the USO and W were in 4 sets; hardly beat downs

Given the limitations that close in at 34 he's hardly made a mess of these (probably could / should have done better with his break points at the US, but this just underlines how close the match was between the two).

The big, big problem he has on Thursday is that it's being played in fundamentalling less helpful conditions. Federer said it himself to Courier; the racquets get strung looser, there's more margin for error, the ball travels slower, the rallies get longer. Now which guy will opt for that? chin He has a chance, but it's a narrower window that it would otherwise be if they were playing at 3pm in the heat.
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Post by HM Murdock Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:07 pm

^Yes, I think Federer gets a bit unfairly knocked for those slam final defeats.

The 4th set recovery at W14, that 2nd set tie break at W15, nearly preventing Novak from serving out the 4th set twice at USO... he put Novak under all sorts of pressure in those matches.

The only thing I think he can justifiably be criticised for is the BP conversion in the USO final. He should have done better there.

But at some point, you have to recognise he is playing a much younger man who is no slouch on the tennis court himself. Failure to win is not an aberration, it's what one would normally expect.

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Post by Jahu Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:09 pm

I'm not worried of a 5 setter for Fed, with Djoko those dont go more then 3 hours, and Djoko does play faster rythm with Fed.

Just hope Fed will be on serve, should be good.
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Post by TRuffin Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:18 pm

bogbrush wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Honestly. I think fed should win. It really is up to him though to play at the level he's shown up till now, he has a habit of not being able to bring it when it counts with Novak
You can get to that place looking at the headlines but go closer and the subject becomes more nuanced.

- His level against Murray at the last Wimbledon was on a nice bright day where the balls flew; the final was in less friendly conditions
- He is the only man to beat Novak more than once last year
- his defeats in the USO and W were in 4 sets; hardly beat downs

Given the limitations that close in at 34 he's hardly made a mess of these (probably could / should have done better with his break points at the US, but this just underlines how close the match was between the two).

The big, big problem he has on Thursday is that it's being played in fundamentalling less helpful conditions. Federer said it himself to Courier; the racquets get strung looser, there's more margin for error, the ball travels slower, the rallies get longer. Now which guy will opt for that? chin  He has a chance, but it's a narrower window that it would otherwise be if they were playing at 3pm in the heat.

above is correct. Wimbledon 2014- Djokovic said that was the highest level match he had ever played and that's what it took for him to beat Federer that day, Wimby 2015- conditions slowed things down and it was still a high quality match but djoko was def the better player, US Open was the one where fed had his chances and didn't live up to it- esp early starting the match.

Cahill, Gilbert, Pat McEnroe all said last night that day to night at the AO was like playing a "completely different tournament" Courier and Federer echoed that. Can't complain because Fed has usually played night matches at AO so had the advantage of being used to the conditions while his opponents came in from the day, but this time around, Fed is going to have to adjust big time to the transition while Djoko is used to it... given the other hurdles, it will be a factor. Especially early which is exactly when Federer needs to be in control.

The last 3 Majors between these two- I believe Federer came in playing the better tennis. certainly the commentators made it seem so. Talks of Federer as good as ever,etc. A massive throwback to his prime days performance against Murray in the semis etc and all three were on more favorable conditions than the AO- yet Fed lost every time. So no matter how well Fed is playing now and how avg Djoko looks- I think Fed is still big underdog.

Again can't complain because Fed blocked so many from titles for years and still does, but it must be so aggravating to him to be playing at as high a level (esp on a consistent basis) as we've ever seen a 34 year old play in the modern times, and have a Top 3 all time player playing at his absolute highest level blocking his path each time. Fed really should be a 20 Major winner given his level still.

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:24 pm

Fed really should be a 20 Major winner given his level still.

Playing devil's advocate, you could say that he was lucky that the two top 3 all time players whose careers coincided with his started playing at their highest only after he'd picked up 10+ slams.
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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:41 pm

That's a fair assessment too barrystar, it must have helped that he began with Mark Phillipousis , and had the easy measure of Hewitt and Roddick, but then he worked for the latter advantage.

Thing is, its his fault hes got such stiff competition now hes older, his level pushed those guys up, so I cant say its bad luck on that front.

Yeah with regards to the match, I think we all agree that for Fed to win, especially at night, he needs to be in "exhibition mode" as we call it. Its fair enough to turn on the style against bottle Berdy, but Novak is the King of making Fed play badly, which is a real skill to have, which is definitely the issue.

I still think hell do it, its a case of numbers, he has to eventually get lucky and get hot surely? I mean this is his 6th last chance now? Though ive lose £30 in bets on him the last 6 months...

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Post by Henman Bill Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:43 pm

I think we are being slightly kind to Federer. Recent form is not that critical. Federer fan hopes that Djokovic will play the same level as the early rounds will turn to dust as Djokovic brings his best for the big occasion. He's still the same guy that's been dominating the tour and this isn't about to change just because of a couple of indifferent performances.

In the last few years a clear pattern has been established that Federer wins the minor matches but loses the big ones. Some of you may remember me predicting that Federer would win the group stage match at the WTF (which had little riding on it) but lose the final, which was exactly what happened.

If he can't do it at Wimbledon or the US Open, no reason why he can do it here.

I think Djokovic is strong favourite and possibly in straight sets.

I haven't been watching much of this tournament so far to be honest but I don't think it matters much.

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Post by Henman Bill Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:55 pm

By the way, you may all remember Federer setting a record of 23 slam semis in a row. People on the forums said that record would stand for 50 years, or forever.

And yet Djokovic has just now achieved 22 semi finals out of the last 23.

He lost 9-7 in the 5th to Stan (eventual tournament winner) in the QF of the 2014 AO. If he could somehow have just snatched that win, he would have just equaled the Federer record.

A really tremendous achievement of slam consistency by Novak in recent years.

Also, for QF or better he is now on an active streak of 26 since losing to Kohli at FO 2009. Fed managed 36 however - between his Kuerten and Stakhovsky losses.

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Post by TRuffin Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:16 pm

barrystar wrote:
Fed really should be a 20 Major winner given his level still.

Playing devil's advocate, you could say that he was lucky that the two top 3 all time players whose careers coincided with his started playing at their highest only after he'd picked up 10+ slams.

10 Slams?!    Nadal was a Major winner after Federer had won 4.   He was quite capable while Fed was getting to 10.  If we want to play that game, lets not count Rafa greatness during those years on clay and elsewhere and Fed wins 4 or 5 French Opens on top of what he did win. Then lets discount Rafas early French titles because he faced the same competition Fed did during those lucky years. Then lets talk about Djoko being lucky he's getting his recent totals against an all time great who is nowhere to been seen at the end of Majors now, and an all time great playing well beyond most greats retirement age. They all have won what they won and deserve the respect.    That's a slippery slope you are starting, but one people like you and temp love to go down without applying it to everyone.


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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:21 pm

Ok...

I just watched bits of Djokovic Nishi, I hadn't seen Novak play much, but hes WAY better than I thought he was playing. That might be pretty hard to beat...

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:22 pm

@HB - the symmetry in some of those records is interesting.

Djoko was the man who broke Federer's run of 10 finals in a row when he won the SF on the way to his first slam at Aus 2008. If Fed had won that one he would have had a scarcely credible 19 finals in a row, as it was he had 10 then 8.

Similarly, Nadal broke Federer's record run of wins on grass at Wimbledon 08 and Federer broke Nadal's record run of wins on clay at Hamburg 07.

When the last of Federer/Nadal/Djoko have finished plying their trade it will be funny not watching a clutch of players with legitimate claims to be amongst the best 5 or so ever to play the game - or will we be?
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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:26 pm

TRuffin wrote:
barrystar wrote:
Fed really should be a 20 Major winner given his level still.

Playing devil's advocate, you could say that he was lucky that the two top 3 all time players whose careers coincided with his started playing at their highest only after he'd picked up 10+ slams.

10 Slams?!    Nadal was a Major winner after Federer had won 4.   He was quite capable while Fed was getting to 10.  If we want to play that game, lets not count Rafa greatness during those years on clay and elsewhere and Fed wins 4 or 5 French Opens on top of what he did win--      That's a slippery slope you are starting.

I said, "Devil's advocate" - and I am not a wee keira man at all. Nadal's most dominant era on clay was when he was pretty young, I'd agree with that, and he made the Wimbledon final in 2006 and 2007, but I think it's fair to say that he played his best tennis on all surfaces between 2008-2013, which did not coincide with Federer's most dominant period.
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Post by Johnyjeep Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:17 pm

I'm going to go one step further than the generally accepted acknowledgment that RF needs to win the first set to stand a chance...I think he needs to win the first 3 sets!!

I just can't remember when the last time he won a tight match of this significance against one of his main rivals if I'm honest? (could check but I can't be arsed). French Open SF vs ND? That was in 4 I think? When he beat AM in Wimbo 2012 final I think that was in 4 too. Might be wrong.

Anyway the point being, unless he is clearly streets ahead on the day (for whatever reason) and is able to win in straight sets - I have no confidence anymore in RF ability to win tight matches of this significance.

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Post by Guest Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:45 pm

The key is the serve. He needs a high percentage of first serves and must hope that Novak has an off day in the return department.

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Post by lags72 Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:42 pm

Not sure if already mentioned on the thread somewhere (apologies if so) : Federer apparently the oldest player to make the AO semis for 36 years.

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Post by summerblues Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:51 am

I expect a fairly easy win for Novak - would not be surprised by straight sets either.  My thoughts:

1.  Fed made it to the finals of Wimbledon and USO perhaps even more easily than here, yet - in conditions more suitable for him - he was unable to even get very close to Novak there.  No reason to expect he can do better here.

2.  As well as Fed has ben looking at times, I am not at all convinced about his baseline game.  The number of netted backhands I am seeing every round is worrisome.  He has been able to make up for it by playing very good attacking tennis, but against Nole he will be forced into many more baseline exchanges.  As he gets more tired, and more frustrated, the errors will mount.

Even though I expect Nole will win fairly easily, there are a couple of words of caution that could perhaps give Fed a glimmer of hope:

1.  Novak has not looked very good the last couple of rounds (I saw only Simon match, but I am hearing he did not look too convincing against Nishi either).  If his poor form carries through the next match, obviously Fed would have a better chance.  Having seen Novak step up when he needs to in the past, I do not have much hope for this.  But then again, maybe somewhere deep down Novak is not a robot after all, and will have a bad tournament.

2.  Even though I said Fed did not get very close to Novak at Wimbledon and the USO, it is perhaps a bit too harsh.  At the USO, he was arguably Novak's equal, or maybe even better than that, outside of the BPs.  Sure, Novak's play had something to do with the bad BP conversion, but it is not all explained by that.  If Fed can somehow create similar number of chances, and keep the cool head when he has them, he just might make it.  But again, I do not expect this will happen - I do not expect he will reproduce the number of BPs, nor do I expect he will be able to keep his cool if he does get them.

So, overall, Novak in four, or maybe even straight, sets.

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