View Full Version : *Spoiler* Federer - Ljubicic
02-20-2005, 06:59 AM
Roger Federer 5 - 7 - 7
Ivan Ljubicic 7 - 5 - 6(5)
Can anybody give some insight on the match I only saw the last set, which federer could have taken much sooner if he had just played a little bit better.
02-20-2005, 04:34 PM
I only saw the last two sets, but the commentators mentioned that Ljubicic broke Federer's serve in the first set at the very last moment because Federer made an unforced error.
There were actually a lot of errors from Federer (at least, a lot more than I'm used to seeing from him). Both players seemed evenly matched at times with an all-court game plan, but every time Roger tried to hit a big forehand groundstroke, he mishit it. At the same time, Ljubicic seemed to pull out an ace or an unreturnable serve when he needed it.
In the second set Federer started to serve and volley a little bit more and hit some beautiful backhand passing shots. He broke Ljubicic to claim the second set.
By the beginning of the third set, Federer began to get a better read on the Ljubicic serve and got the ball into play. He was in every one of Ljubicic's service games and had a few breakpoints but couldn't convert them.
It seemed to me that Federer was a little bit under the weather; I saw him coughing and sniffling after one point. He also wasn't as quick on his feet as he usually is. Good for him that he was able to tough it out.
02-21-2005, 12:36 AM
Ljubicic is wonderful. I wish he was a U.S. citizen.
02-21-2005, 05:15 PM
I don't care much if Llubicic is a US citizen or not, but dude has got some serious game. His serve is a cannon, plus he can place it anywhere he wants. He doesnt seem to be fazed by Fed's aura anymore, and at times Fed looked vulnerable, especially ( oh my god I cant believe I am saying this!!!) during baseline rallies. In other words, Fed is beatable and guys like Llubicic are considering it to be a fact.
Well, I was there and watched the whole thing from a nice, side court seat :).......later I watched it on TV as well.
Anyways, Fed. was not playing his best tennis. He wasn't hitting those "magical" balls we are used to seeing from him. He wasn't playing bad though, just not his best tennis. Ljubicic was very, very stable. The man served very good and cranked aces/winners whenever he needed them. He was rock solid from the baseline, making little unforced errors. Both served very well.
In the first set, Fed was playing more of a baseline game like Ljubicic and they were close, with Ljubicic being a bit more solid and serving slightly better. Fed specifically tended to mess up when he went for the higher paced winner on the forehand side.
In the second set, Roger seemed to try and play a bit more of an all court game as well as upping his pace and placement a bit. Ljubicic didn't really change his game plan and just went on, stoically serving bombs and being a baseline wall. When Roger forced him to come to the net, he wasn't doing bad either, he hit some nice reflex volleys.
The same pattern more or less lasted throughout the third set with Roger sticking to his allcourt game instead of staying on the baseline like in the first set. It was very, very close with Ljubicic also hitting some beautiful passing shots. As Noelle said, Roger seemed to be able to get more first serves of Ivan back into play, but that's as far as his returns would go: he got em back into play.....never could he attack on Ivan's first serve and he could not break him, even though he had plenty of breakpoints.
In all, it was a very close match where Ljubicic simply played a rock solid serve/baseline play. He never really lost his temper with linesmen etc (as he did earlier in the tournament) and he seemed extremely focussed, nearly stoically even. He didn't seem the least bit impresed by facing Federer and probably gave Roger a better match than he (Roger that is) expected. I was impressed by Ljubicic and his consistency. Federer played well, but he was not at his famous "magical" level and the match could have gone any way.
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