Roland Garros Semi: Transit of Genius


Up a break in the first set, goes on to lose the first set.

Up a double break in the second set, loses both, gains another break advantage, loses the next 4 games to concede the set.

Some things have to be written down to be believed.

In many ways, all of us expected this. There has been something just slightly off with Federer’s game ever since the start of the tournament. It’s hard to put a finger on it, especially as Federer continues to insist that he is physically well again after some minor niggles post-Madrid.

But even McFudd has to concede that he has been struggling inexplicably all tournament to find “riddum”.

In the French part of his press conference after the semis, Federer speculated that his hip issue in Madrid and Rome might have left him mentally a little unsure about his own body during Roland Garros.

Q.  You said that your season on clay had its ups and downs due to physical injuries.  Would you say that this is what you paid here at Roland Garros, all these physical difficulties?

ROGER FEDERER:  No, physically I feel good.  What I said before is that today was my best day physically speaking if I look at the past months.

When I practiced the week after Madrid I was okay, then I hurt myself a little, and then for three or four weeks I knew I’d feel this physically.  But then the pain vanished after Rome.  I was happy on this side.

I played this side as well, so mentally afterwards you don’t want to hit too strongly.  Who knows?  You know, I tried to find other solutions in my game, but it was a good season on clay.

I would have liked to do better here at Roland Garros.  I’m supported so much, and I won in 2009, also.  So I wanted to reexperience this.  Unfortunately, it was not possible at all during these two weeks.

For my part, I think the biggest different between Federer at Roland Garros and at tournaments earlier in the season has been his questionable decision-making on court. Throughout Roland Garros, Federer has looked at times panicked and in two minds about what he wants to do in the middle of a point, resulting in alternating spurts of genius and WTFuckery.

Compared to my normal hysteria over Roger’s slam losses, Roland Garros 2012 has left me relatively muted and unfazed. Federer has had a strong year, and one bad tournament (in which he still made the semis and gave himself plenty of chances to pull ahead) does not annul any of the good tennis he has played in 2012. Nor does it really affect his upcoming chances on grass.

So to all those vultures eager to bring back talks of retirement after just one less than optimal result, I have 2 words for you:

There is no question that Federer has been transiting to the latter stages of his career, no one is delusional enough to deny the cold hard figures of age. But let’s look at the bigger 2012 picture here: Federer has -

1) repeatedly declared his love for tennis and his intention to keep torturing me playing,

2) played tremendously so far, winning 4 titles (2 of which are Masters), and reaching No 2 again, and

3) put himself in a good position for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere summer to  move up in the rankings.

Not too shabby for a old gramps with a bad hip, eh?

xx doots

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13 responses to “Roland Garros Semi: Transit of Genius”

  1. Carol says :

    It would be nice if Fed won everything (which he has in the past!!) But this year I really hope for him that he wins the Olympics…and Wimbledon…and the Rogers Cup – because I will be there! But mostly I’m just glad he’s still playing!

  2. mattzemek says :

    Health, rest, better (Wimbledon/not-so-heavy) balls, the right draw, and a big, consistent serve come the second week at SW19.

    What I want for Christmas (as long as it leads to at least a final on July 8).

    • pban says :

      have to agree with Matt….Fed has one great slam run left in him I would rather it came at a place where he has a realistic chance of winning. On the other hand another QF loss at Wimby and I will certainly spoke him in the eye ;).

  3. jfk10s says :

    The losses in the grand slams have been pure torture haven’t they?
    Hope he can find his game and confidence ASAP. I would seriously kill to see him get #17. Come on Rog and fans, don’t lose hope!

  4. Alex (@FedFanForever) says :

    Oh god, this makes #17 all the sweeter when it happens. Roger will fall to his knees like Borg when it happens.

  5. marcoiac says :

    you made me laugh a few times with this post, doots! excellent! i wasn’t able to watch the whole match for a number of reasons (family, people that keep reminding me that i do have a job, like my grad students) (don’t they know it’s roland garros time?) but the key thing for fed to beat nole and rafa best of five is to keep a very high level of tennis for at least three full sets. not exaclty a simple thing to do. anyway, i think tomorrow rafa will win easily. he’s playing some incredible tennis

  6. LJ says :

    I’m just glad this tournament gave us the shut up gif…seriously…I’m just happy with that..

    #easilypleased

  7. jandemom says :

    We Fed fans are so lucky that he loves tennis and plans to continue torturing us, I mean playing, for years to come!

  8. naughtyT says :

    You raise an interesting point about his decision making. At times I felt myself looking at things and seeing the very young Fudd that had so much at his disposal that he was unable to decide what/or how to play. He matured into someone certain about how to play but now seems to have regressed to this confused state of play. Weird.
    Perhaps it is a sign of just how young he feels?(glass half full)

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