4 Responses

  1. Matt Zemek
    Matt Zemek January 19, 2013 at 8:03 am |

    This is such gloriously authoritative, piercing tennis analysis.

    I need to win 3 billion dollars so I can snap up TV rights for a major and put you and Andrew Burton on camera. It’s great to see The Changeover giving you this format/showcase/outlet.

  2. Jonathan @ peRFect Tennis
    Jonathan @ peRFect Tennis January 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |

    It’s not wise for a right hander like Tomic to hit BH to BH against a player like Roger. Be near suicide if anything.

    Fed will turn the vast majority of them into forehands and as a result he only has to play half the court whilst Tomic would have to cover all of it.

    Players always fall into this trap against him just because they’ve seen Nadal do it, but he’s a lefty, it makes a ton of difference.

    Tactically Tomic played smart, had to go aggressive. Just didn’t get the inroads on the Federer serve. Way he served under pressure was pretty good though. Bodes well if he can keep it up.

  3. Andrew Burton
    Andrew Burton January 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm |

    Oh, hai. *Waves to Matt Zemek*

    I thought this was a fun match to watch, but Bernard Tomic was playing the whole time from well behind his opponent. Federer didn’t face a BP until early in set 2 – which was the 4th BP he’s faced in 9 sets (none converted). By that time, Federer had created 10 break chances, converting one – unless you count either of the two MBs in the second set TB (you certainly could call them big points).

    So, although Tomic could have tied up the match at a set all, had he closed out the TB from 5-3 up, I think I’d still have had Federer at 80% to win. I thought Federer was playing well: so was Tomic, but matches where both these players are playing well are overwhelmingly going to break for the multiple times champion.

    Tomic was having to redline his game to stay in the match. Federer’s long history is full of players who can do that for a set or two – step forward, Feliciano Lopez, USO R16 2007 – then get gradually reeled in as the mental pressure tells.

    Late in the match, there was a telling rally. Juan José writes “Bernie botches a simple volley and goes down a BP.” That’s part of the story. Tomic hit a superb drop shot at deuce, 1-4, catching Federer well behind the baseline. Federer sprinted forward, and flicked a pickup BH over the net. Tomic had a look at a clean FH volley winner to the open deuce court, but didn’t move his feet and netted the shot. Darren Cahill, excellent as always, said “His [Tomic’s] legs have gone.” Three games earlier, Cahill had observed that “the intensity of which Federer plays at: two sets of Federer is like four sets of any normal player.”

    I didn’t see much to concern a Federer fan – even the T shirt put on for set 3 came across more as the careful precaution of a veteran rather than the first sign of Hampton territory. Federer defended superbly all match: if he’s lost a step, I couldn’t see it.

    Tomic did earn lots of respect for his play last night. He has deceptive power: I lost count of the number of balls Federer framed (not shanked) on the stretch, because even his top class anticipation couldn’t read how much pace Tomic was putting on his FHs. But Federer was like the house at the casino: in the long run, #BernieGOAT’s chances of breaking the bank were slim to none.

Comments are closed.