There was a certain child-like glow in his eyes, an immature but infinitely satisfying “FUCK YEAH” as he sent a ball into the roaring crowd.

Soderling’s handshake was brief, too brief with the umpire(clickey), but in a way, that’s what I’ve always liked about him. The guy’s blunt. You know when he’s annoyed, when he’s disappointed. You know when he’s satisfied. He doesn’t play minion. Nor does he play fanboy to Federer or Nadal. Being a lone wolf marks him as a menace to the tennis world order, but it also hides a more tender, yoking side of him.

Alas – enough about Soderling, there’ll be occasions when I fangirl over him a little, but not in this post, for he wasn’t the standout of the night.


There were theories before the match began about the effects of the wind on either player’s game. Some said it might annoy Federer, throw him off a little. More tended to believe that the wind was going to render Soderling impotent, and thus subject to a thrashing. Neither came true.

I don’t think I’m understating it when I say that Soderling played his best tennis of the tournament. In truth, his tennis hasn’t been all that spectacular. But as I expected, Zod raised his level for Federer. There was some gusty and gusty hitting from both sides. Both players defended well, which – given Soderling’s reputation and Federer’s recent “struggles” – came as a pleasant surprise.

Soderling had his chances: he could’ve broken early in the first set, but a challenge rescued Wogie McFed. He broke back after getting down a break in the second, but could do no more. He attempted to serve out the set at 5-3 in the third, but found himself broken like a baguette before conceding the next 3 games. The reason for all this was remarkably simple:

When Roger Federer’s going around converting 5/6 break points, winning 86% of his first serves, getting his racket on almost every single one of your serves, and half-volleying off the baseline like he has an assistant named “Slim”, YOU’RE FUCKING SCREWED.

Soderling did exceptionally well in each set, but at the end of the day, he couldn’t hit through Fed, he couldn’t ace him (only 2 aces came in the third set, too little, too late), he couldn’t out-gun him and certainly couldn’t outrun him.

Like I said, it was all so remarkably simple, yet utterly thrilling to watch. If Federer wanted to make a statement before coming into the match, he’s made it. And he made it without losing a single moment of concentration. Equally remarkable given his recent tendency to take second set mental funkytimez.

So there’s that.

Now comes the dampener: Novak Djokovic.

You thought he was harmless. You thought he’s just about the most underwhelming player in the top 10 (well, I do). You thought he’s turned into a bit of a bunny when it comes to Fedal. Yet, the guy played Federer close – knife edge close – in Toronto and hasn’t lost a set since his first round scare against Victor-Rhymes-with-Onion.

The tougher part of “making a statement” to the field is that you then have to back up the statement. Over and over again until it is truly over. Otherwise, a statement in the quarterfinals means jack shit.

I just wonder if Federer’s been forced to make his statement too early this tournament.

xx doots

PS. Reports of Federbear rights violations and/or acts of torture are completely false and without merit. The darling boy is eating cookies (well … I am) as I write this. HOW COULD YOU EVEN ACCUSE ME OF SUCH A THING?



PPS. OH-EM-GEE-dey-gimme-kisses-NAOOO-itz-lyke-shooooo-kyute.


xx doots


Tags: ,

30 responses to “Statement.”

  1. TennisAce says :

    Oh Doots, you never fail to make me laugh. LOL

    I loved the match last night. It was good to see him holding serve with ease. Nice also to see him not only create opportunities but even better taking those opportunities once created. Nice.

    Of course on some blogs this morning is the fact that Federer is a bad sportsman because he failed to award a point to his opponent and took a point that was not his. I say phooey to you on that haters. Soderling had his chances and could not capitalise on them. There is a reason why Federer keeps winning the sportsmanship award and Soderling has never even been nominated.

    • PJ says :

      I gotta say though, TennisAce. It’s not really Fed’s part to award the point to Soderling, right? I mean, the umpire made the decision, it’s not like Federer can go up to him and say “Nah, I don’t want that point, give it to Soddy” and expect the umpire to comply?

      It’s kinda ridiculous to berate Fed for bad sportsmanship on that argument, I feel. He doesn’t make the decisions. The umpire does.

      • TGIF says :

        Beyond absurd. It was the umpires call based on what he thought happened on Soderling’s side of the court. It’s not like the issue was something that happened with Roger (and even then he has no obligation to overrule the ump). Why should Roger be sure exactly when Sod missed his shot, and it’s not like he had the video replay there??

        The only bad sportsman was Sod, it was unprofessional to confront Fed personally like that, and could have upset Fed / hurt his concentration. Luckily it all worked out. I was furious w/ Sod; he should direct his gripes at he ump, not his opponant.

        • marcoiac says :

          i also think it was a GOOD call, in spite of what johnny mac said on air. the replay shows sod hitting the ball and after the hit you hear the call. how can the call affect your shot after you hit it? it’s beyond me. and even if it was a very bad call (and it wasn’t), it’s ridiculous to raise the issue anyway. it’s so early in the match. it’s a best of five match. sod even had the opportunity to serve out the third set. and failed. was it also due to the call early in the first set? he’s just a whiner. and fed haters just show how much they hate him when they bring this ridiculous issue up.

  2. PJ says :

    Oh, such satisfying reading as I nibble on my own cookies (Farmhouse chocolate chip with a bit of milk). As you know I didn’t get to see the match, but it sounds like there’s pretty amazing tennis going around that ended prettily in three tidy sets.

    Feel for le Sod but hey, Feddy’s always gonna be my teddy. And one more match, one step at a time…and yeah.
    I get what you mean about Djoker. As with all those streaks Fed’s got going around…you think that something’s gotta give and snap at some time. Ugh.

    Frazzly times on Saturday. It’ll be good. I’ll be ditching friends for lunch in favour of my blanket and bitten nails.

  3. pban says :

    Good Lord that ball landed in why should Soderling get that point, Fedhaters are really losing it. Am really worried about Djokovic he has been rock solid after Troicki.

  4. A_Gallivant says :

    I too fear Djoko because he has been focused and playing steady tennis. But I am gonna enjoy this win by Fed and frazzle closer to the day. Rewatched the match on tivo and it’s amazing how much the commentators really wanted to see a vulnerable Fed; they seemed undone by his performance as well. Lol

  5. Matt Zemek says :


    Please – pelt me with all the rotten tomatoes, spoiled eggs, stale pies, moldy bread, and all other matter of compost material you have.

    WRONG I was! LOUD WRONG! EMPHATICALLY WRONG! Swing-and-a-miss-strike-one-two-three WRONG!

    Good morning, good afternoon, good night WRONG!

    AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The grapes are laid out on the platter. The fan is being waved. Reverence is being duly paid to Doots.

    Fed, keep serving like a maniac. Enjoy the heck out of today but practice hitting balls in half-shadows, ’cause that’s what Ashe Stadium will involve in the latter sets of Saturday’s second semifinal at (no earlier than) 3pm New York time.

  6. Tashi says :


    The return was EPIC last night. How many backhand returns did he slice feebly into the net or into a position where there was nothing that could be done on the next shot?! I counted two. TWO! Praise the FEDERCONE for those aggressive returns. Especially on breakpoints. PRAISE!!!

    • marcoiac says :

      i agree. lots of comments focus on serve, which was great, but you don’t break the other guy with your serve. the aggressive (and successful) return is the most visible fruit of the federcone collaboration

    • dootsiez says :

      I dunno if it’s the Cone – Fed was retuning backhands aggressively at the AO.

      (Still don’t understand how he completely blanked out after the AO. Will never understand.)

      Credit to the Cone though. Fed seems determined to take the initiative away from his opponents this summer. Incredible.

  7. dari says :

    How could I forget the RETURN! Rog always got it back, and often with such a quick reflex that sod couldn’t do anything. Great performance, keep it up, roger!

  8. pban says :

    Did I mention I love Pascal Maria umpiring in Feddy’s matches against leSod …so many happy memories.Carlos Ramos for the next please,and why does Fed always play the 2nd SF?

    • dootsiez says :

      LOL he doesn’t. He played the first one in 08.

      • pban says :

        The only time Fed technically played the 1st SF was in 2006 against Koyla, in 2008 Rafa and MAndy started their SF in Louis Armstrong while the 1st was going on in Arthur Ashe as there was a hurricane alert.

  9. Sasha says :

    Does anyone know what on earth Roger said at the end of that part about his daughters to make the networks block the sound? Was this just a glitch, or did they actually censor something he said? (Same on the US feed.) Was anyone there? Anybody read lips well enough to know???

    • Grüezi Mitenand says :

      I second this question.
      Inquiring minds (whose darn TV network interrupted the live streaming right after the end of the match) want to know what he said – apparently so funny that he had everybody laughing at it.
      Was it a naughty joke or just something about changing nappies? (the “shitty” nature of the subject would at least explain the censorship – 🙂

    • marcoiac says :

      it seemed like a glitch, they had to read his mind to block the sound before he said something unacceptable. before the sound was blocked he didn’t say anything out of the ordinary. and frankly, what’s the likelihood that fed says something questionable when interviewed on court and talking about his daughters?

  10. Jack says :

    I was really nervous about this match but glad Roger got through it. I thought he was serving great for the majority of the match…..only towards the end of the third, did his serve go off a bit.

    Not really sure what to make of Djokovic. I’m not sure how he’s been playing so far in the tournament. Obviously he had that 5 setter in the first round but apart from that, he’s not really had much trouble.

    So I’m a bit wary of the semifinal…….and like you said, he pushed Roger close in Toronto.

  11. jfK says :

    I can finally end my ban on Ikea 😛 yay!
    Just awesome match. I loved it. No complaints. Don’t stop Roger until you touch the trophy!

  12. Grüezi Mitenand says :

    Just like everybody here I’m pretty nervous too about Saturday’s semifinal. The Djoker totally blew out Monfils and he then went on to say that he will “look for revenge” on Saturday… I sure hope that our Batman (looks great in navy blue) will hold still and defeat the menace!

    As for the final, apologies to all the Fedal supporters, but i’m dreaming of an all Swiss match… sweet!
    Now off to watch Wawrinka (hopefully) defeating Youzhny

  13. Alexandra says :

    I want an all swiss final too!!!

  14. BS says :

    I felt so nervous about this match, was convinced he was going to lose but to see that he played so well was so encouraging. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, if he’s to win this title he has two incredibly tough matches to get through. Djokovic won’t be easy so I’m not even looking past this match. BUT if he were to win this title, I feel it would be the ultimate redemption for him and all of us fans after what has happened since Australia. Go and get it Roger!

  15. Katarina_YYZ says :

    Victor Rhymes-with-Onion???? The only thing that rhymes with “onion” is “bunion” … Troicki doesn’t rhyme with “onion” … it doesn’t rhyme with the Serbian word for “onion” either…. I’m so not in on this joke 😦

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