Did anyone else never really feel like Roger could win the match?

HunterST

Hall of Fame
First of all, I'm a die hard Federer fan, so this certainly isn't bashing him.

When I was watching the match, though, I just kept saying to myself "there's no way he can win." I had more hopeful moments like when he won the second and fourth, but even then it felt a little like delaying the inevitable. Obviously when he had two match points on his serve I felt like there was a chance, but I was not at all confident that he had it in the bag like I would be in another match.

It felt like Roger had to do spectacular things to win points, while Djokovic just had to be steady and rally cross court. I was amazed that Roger could keep pulling off these perfectly constructed points and shots, but it felt like he would eventually make a mistake and that would be all the wall of Djokovic would need.

In fact, throughout the match, I kept saying to myself "Djokovic just NEVER misses."

I wonder if other people got this feeling or if it was because I was rooting for Federer and was watching every rally with worry that Fed would miss.
 

aman92

Hall of Fame
First of all, I'm a die hard Federer fan, so this certainly isn't bashing him.

When I was watching the match, though, I just kept saying to myself "there's no way he can win." I had more hopeful moments like when he won the second and fourth, but even then it felt a little like delaying the inevitable. Obviously when he had two match points on his serve I felt like there was a chance, but I was not at all confident that he had it in the bag like I would be in another match.

It felt like Roger had to do spectacular things to win points, while Djokovic just had to be steady and rally cross court. I was amazed that Roger could keep pulling off these perfectly constructed points and shots, but it felt like he would eventually make a mistake and that would be all the wall of Djokovic would need.

In fact, throughout the match, I kept saying to myself "Djokovic just NEVER misses."

I wonder if other people got this feeling or if it was because I was rooting for Federer and was watching every rally with worry that Fed would miss.
That is pretty much how Federer has played through his entire career..if you expected him to win the match by ourgrinding Djokovic, I am afraid you haven't seen a single Roger Federer match in your life
 

Spencer Gore

Professional
I thought Djokovic always had an extra gear in waiting. Federer's serving was extraordinary and he won two sets very easily on the back of Novak being strangely off-colour but I always thought Djokovic was actually in control. It was only in the fifteenth game of the final set when Novak seemed to momentarily lose his head that I thought Federer was going to win. I clearly had too little faith in the GO21C.
 
Fed was the better player for most the match. Djokovic was the better and more clutch player when it mattered: on the tiebreaks and when Fed charged the net on champ point (most people would panic given how good he's been at net over the whole match).
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
That is pretty much how Federer has played through his entire career..if you expected him to win the match by ourgrinding Djokovic, I am afraid you haven't seen a single Roger Federer match in your life
My post does not criticize Federer's strategy or say anything like I expected/wanted him to grind it out.

I just said the impression I got while watching and asked if other people had the same impression.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
I'm a Djokovic fan and often felt like it was destiny Fed was gonna win. The truth is either player could've easily won this match because it was incredibly close.
Thanks! I was wondering if Djokovic fans would have the opposite experience and feel like Roger just kept pulling off amazing offensive shots.

I guess the ultimate question is if you kind of feel like whomever you're rooting for is the underdog in the match.
 

The Guru

Rookie
Thanks! I was wondering if Djokovic fans would have the opposite experience and feel like Roger just kept pulling off amazing offensive shots.

I guess the ultimate question is if you kind of feel like whomever you're rooting for is the underdog in the match.
I think part of it was me trying to cope with my stress of watching the match by convincing myself Fed was destined to win so that if he did I would be less crushed. I was absolutely gutted for Roger yesterday so much so that my primary emotion was empathy for Roger rather than excitement for Novak.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
I had hope when Fed broke back at 2-4 in final set. He seemed the better player from that point

Also no one talks about the 3rd set . It was ripe for Fed to go for the kill there . He missed a chance . I think he was passive the first few games of third set . It should have been over in 4
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
I also never had the feeling that he could win the match, because no matter how well he played, he was never leading. He destroyed Djokovic in the second and dominated in the forth set, but that was only to equalize. And then he was always trailing in the 5th and i just waited that he collapses.

But then he made that break in the 5th and was serving for the match. Then i believed it. I really thought he can pull it off.

And when he served two aces down the T to go up 40-15, i was 99% sure that he wins.

I really cant imagine a worse way to lose that final that he did.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
When Federer got to two match points, I was sure he was going to win. When he didn't convert, I didn't think he would get another opportunity.

Not to sound like a Fed Fanboy, but the match was about Federer losing than Djokovic winning it. I was heartbreaking seeing Federer not be clutch.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
When Federer got to two match points, I was sure he was going to win. When he didn't convert, I didn't think he would get another opportunity.

Not to sound like a Fed Fanboy, but the match was about Federer losing than Djokovic winning it. I was heartbreaking seeing Federer not be clutch.
Fed almost got the break back at 11-11. It seemed as though he was destined to win

However I lost hope when tiebreak started though Fed kept going well after going down 1-4
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Fed almost got the break back at 11-11. It seemed as though he was destined to win

However I lost hope when tiebreak started though Fed kept going well after going down 1-4
I thought Federer didn't exploit Novak relatively weak returns on the forehand side in the ad court late in the match. He gave Federer neutral reply in the middle of the court. I know this is Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but Federer got tight after not converting those match points.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, when he had 2 championship points that he squandered we all believed. Definitely hurt his legacy big time with this loss. Blah blah blah he fought valiantly and still has 20 GS but this match really turned the tide of history.
His legacy is just fine. He's 38 years old ffs and should've never been in this position to start with. Put a whooping on Nadal Friday too.
 

zvelf

Semi-Pro
I was rooting for Djokovic, but aside from championship points against, never felt like Federer had greater than a 10-20% chance of winning. Mostly it was because Djokovic was leading the vast majority of the time. Djokovic was having an off day. Federer was playing far better and able to continually even things up, but Djokovic was up in sets most of the time, which had to be damaging Fed's psyche like "What do I have to do to beat this guy?" Even on championship point, we had been here before and seen Djokovic gut them out.
 

dje31

Professional
Fed fan, was pulling hard for him...tough loss, but he was gracious in defeat, obviously disappointed, as were many of us.

Two things I think worked against him: 1. his serve let him down at a lot of critical moments, especially serving for the title in the 5th; 2. he stopped attacking like he did earlier in the match.
 
The only time I thought Fed was going to win was when he was serving for the match up 8-7 in the 5th. Especially when he went up 40-15 in that game. But after Djokovic broke him, I went right back to thinking Djokovic winning was inevitable.
 

urban

Legend
Tennis is a game of patterns, and often psychological factors and good or bad memories click in. Djoker has beaten Fed in close matches, the last at Paris Bercy last year, so Djoker had his number somehow, and a psychological advantage and, despite playing quite mediocre, he was, as written here, always somehow in the lead. He played a very bad service game with a break up at 3-2 in the fifth , otherwise it would be over much sooner. To his credit, Fed played tactically better than before, with mixing up his shots pretty well, giving Djoker no rhythm with changes of pace and also short balls, to draw Djoker into the forecourt and out of his comfort zone on the baseline. But the psychological burden was there to feel. Fed never exploded with screams or fist signs (Mirka did more), but looked very quiet the whole match. Its certainly overinterpreted, to say, that Djoker gave Fed his chances on purpose, to show him, that he could take it. One good serve, and it would be over at 8-7. But somehow, Djoker looked the looser, grinning for a moment, i think, before he played that forehand cross pass at 40-30, and later grinning again in the last tie breaker, after an over-rule. And he was devilishly grinning again, when going to shake hands at the net.
I remember a USO final 1981, when Mac had Borgs number. Somehow, Mac looked pretty secure, although it was a pretty bad match over 2 sets and a half, and both had split sets. Then Mac granted Borg a break at 2-3, but then exploded with a never seen again 4 shot combo of passing shot-lob-passing shot-lob. That was the end of the match and virtually the end of Borgs ATP career. I don't think, that Mac did this on purpose, but subsconciously he knew, that he had Borgs number, and even more, Borg knew it too. I think, similar things happened in the Fed-Djoker match.
 

Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
First of all, I'm a die hard Federer fan, so this certainly isn't bashing him.

When I was watching the match, though, I just kept saying to myself "there's no way he can win." I had more hopeful moments like when he won the second and fourth, but even then it felt a little like delaying the inevitable. Obviously when he had two match points on his serve I felt like there was a chance, but I was not at all confident that he had it in the bag like I would be in another match.

It felt like Roger had to do spectacular things to win points, while Djokovic just had to be steady and rally cross court. I was amazed that Roger could keep pulling off these perfectly constructed points and shots, but it felt like he would eventually make a mistake and that would be all the wall of Djokovic would need.

In fact, throughout the match, I kept saying to myself "Djokovic just NEVER misses."

I wonder if other people got this feeling or if it was because I was rooting for Federer and was watching every rally with worry that Fed would miss.
He was well in the match all the way through.
I have to say, when serving at 40-15 there is no way I was thinking “Fed just cannot win this”. Quite the opposite in fact, I honestly thought his name was on the trophy.
But I know what you mean, Fed plays a lower percentage game and, for once against Djokovic in a slam, things we’re going well. I doubted whether that could continue at several points. He pleasantly surprised me.
 

Darrell

New User
I knew it would take something special to beat Nole in that final, and I thought Roger had it in the bag, especially when it was 40-15, two championship points. The match has been over for nearly 24 hours, and I'm still in disbelief. That was the one match that will haunt Roger for the rest of his life, regardless if he goes on to win more majors or not.
 
I had all my eggs in that RF basket. However after watching him hit a streak of UFed errors in the first tie-break, I was anticipating an implosion. Glad he took the match to 5 sets, even though that meant that I didn't watch it at all because whenever I would tune in he would lose a few easy points.

Being a fan is tough and nerve wrecking. :)
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
I felt confident he could win during the 1st set and when he broke in the 5th.

At all other points I had a bit of hope but that was it.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I never expected him to win the match and thought Djoker would beat him in four sets. Had that scenario played out, it would have been one the easiest slam final losses to digest as a Roger fan because nobody reaches major finals at his age. The agony comes from playing 5 hours and wasting 2 Championship points. At 40-15, I was watching the match and also checking flashscore, because they're about 15 seconds ahead of the American TV feed. When I saw it get to deuce, I was almost sure Novak would break him. And of course, he did.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
I never expected him to win the match and thought Djoker would beat him in four sets. Had that scenario played out, it would have been one the easiest slam final losses to digest as a Roger fan because nobody reaches major finals at his age. The agony comes from playing 5 hours and wasting 2 Championship points. At 40-15, I was watching the match and also checking flashscore, because they're about 15 seconds ahead of the American TV feed. When I saw it get to deuce, I was almost sure Novak would break him. And of course, he did.
Rosewall reached consecutively finals in Wimbledon and the US Open 1974 with almost 40 years old.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
First of all, I'm a die hard Federer fan, so this certainly isn't bashing him.

When I was watching the match, though, I just kept saying to myself "there's no way he can win." I had more hopeful moments like when he won the second and fourth, but even then it felt a little like delaying the inevitable. Obviously when he had two match points on his serve I felt like there was a chance, but I was not at all confident that he had it in the bag like I would be in another match.

It felt like Roger had to do spectacular things to win points, while Djokovic just had to be steady and rally cross court. I was amazed that Roger could keep pulling off these perfectly constructed points and shots, but it felt like he would eventually make a mistake and that would be all the wall of Djokovic would need.

In fact, throughout the match, I kept saying to myself "Djokovic just NEVER misses."

I wonder if other people got this feeling or if it was because I was rooting for Federer and was watching every rally with worry that Fed would miss.
HunterST

Good post! I wondered if Federer could pulling a win out of the magician's hat. What I saw and winced every time it happened was too many shots into the net tape, too may slightly wide, too many long. Federer just seems to make more unforced errors with his groundstrokes in the last 2 years.

Aloha
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
I never expected him to win the match and thought Djoker would beat him in four sets. Had that scenario played out, it would have been one the easiest slam final losses to digest as a Roger fan because nobody reaches major finals at his age. The agony comes from playing 5 hours and wasting 2 Championship points. At 40-15, I was watching the match and also checking flashscore, because they're about 15 seconds ahead of the American TV feed. When I saw it get to deuce, I was almost sure Novak would break him. And of course, he did.
I'm still having trouble coping with how close he was in that game to getting the title!
 

scotus

G.O.A.T.
I wanted Novak to win, but I thought he deserved to lose because of the way he let up in the second and fourth sets. He was really lucky to win the title. Roger played great!!
 

undecided

Rookie
First of all, I'm a die hard Federer fan, so this certainly isn't bashing him.

When I was watching the match, though, I just kept saying to myself "there's no way he can win." I had more hopeful moments like when he won the second and fourth, but even then it felt a little like delaying the inevitable. Obviously when he had two match points on his serve I felt like there was a chance, but I was not at all confident that he had it in the bag like I would be in another match.

It felt like Roger had to do spectacular things to win points, while Djokovic just had to be steady and rally cross court. I was amazed that Roger could keep pulling off these perfectly constructed points and shots, but it felt like he would eventually make a mistake and that would be all the wall of Djokovic would need.

In fact, throughout the match, I kept saying to myself "Djokovic just NEVER misses."

I wonder if other people got this feeling or if it was because I was rooting for Federer and was watching every rally with worry that Fed would miss.
I was not a Fed Fan and expected Djoker to steam roll Fed but Fed was the better player through out, he dictated the match. While watching I thought 'wow, the old man is going to win this'
 
Thanks! I was wondering if Djokovic fans would have the opposite experience and feel like Roger just kept pulling off amazing offensive shots.

I guess the ultimate question is if you kind of feel like whomever you're rooting for is the underdog in the match.
I felt pretty confident Novak would win until Federer broke back at 2-4 in the 5th set. The 2nd set tank didn't worry me too much, as he had taken the 1st, and he immediately bounced back to play a good 3rd and edged that. Novak is 50-1 (now 51-1) when he goes up 2 sets to 1 since 2011, (only loss is the Istomin debacle at AO 17) so I wasn't worried in the 4th either, and then when he got the break in the 5th felt it would be a routine finish.

When Fed got that break back, I started to feel like it might be destiny for Federer to win this.

Fed has never:
1)Come back from down a set to beat Djokovic in a slam (1-19 overall, only win at Dubai 14)
2)Beat Djokovic in a 5th set
3)Beat Nadal/Djokovic in the same slam

In 1 shot he could accomplish all 3 and pay Novak back a bit for all of the comebacks he had gotten on him. I felt like it might be time. When Fed got the break at 7-7, I thought it was over. When Novak broke back though I started to feel like Novak was still going to edge this out again.
 

tudwell

Legend
Halfway through the third set I thought Fed could really pull it off. Djokovic was still playing very flat and each time he stepped up to serve I thought this would be the game Fed broke. But he never did. Once he lost the third, I assumed the match was over. Couldn’t believe when he eventually got to match point. I definitely thought he had it. Still can’t believe how quickly all that slipped away. Figured he was done after that and was truly surprised he held serve until the tiebreak (which went precisely as expected).
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
i legit thought he was going to pull an AO 2017 where he was down a break in the 5th broke back, broke again and was serving it out and unlike Ao 2017 it wasn't even 0-30, 15-40 where nadal had bps before fed had cps.
 

Fabresque

Professional
Fed was dominating the match but fell apart in every single tiebreak. His serve was strong but fell apart when it mattered. His groundstrokes were on fire and he was pulling Djokovic all over the court, but they fell apart when he needed them to work.

Playing this way works against really anybody else. It just doesn’t against Djokovic. No matter how good you think you’re playing it always seems like Novak is in control, and toying with you.

Fed just couldn’t do it. So many times in his career against Djokovic where he can’t do it when it matters. USO 2010, USO 2011, Wimbledon 2014, and now Wimbledon 2019. Every match you can make the argument Fed was the better player. Yet still lost. Fair enough, the 2015 slam finals and the 2016 AO Semi’s, Novak was clearly the better player and there’s nothing Fed could’ve done. But all those chokes, all those times where he was gonna win, or was dominating, he just loses it.

It has to hurt him.
 

Don Felder

Semi-Pro
Even when he broke to 8-7 I didn’t believe he was gonna serve it out. Once he got up 40-15 I figured he had somehow pulled off the unthinkable, beating Novak in five hours at basically 38, after facing nadal the round prior.

Once he blew that game, I knew there was no way he was winning the match, even if it got to the breaker. The end still hurt though.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Yes, never really felt confident because Djok's groundstrokes are just too damn steady. Practically never makes an error.
Fed must mostly rely on high first serve % and relatively short points.
Fed can certainly grind. It is just that Djok has taken grinding to the next ridiculous level.

Also extremely worrisome that Fed shanks a lot more. And it's not a movement issue; these are balls that come right to him. Look at the final point. :eek:
 
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Raul_SJ

Legend
Even when he broke to 8-7 I didn’t believe he was gonna serve it out. Once he got up 40-15 I figured he had somehow pulled off the unthinkable, beating Novak in five hours at basically 38, after facing nadal the round prior.
Don't think fatigue and Rafa match was really an issue here. It was the final and he is pumped up and has a high fitness level.
If there were no 12-12 rule, he could have easily gone 20-20. Plenty left in the tank.
That said, one has to presume that this was his last Wimbledon final. He may be back but it's certainly not something one can count on at that age.
 

Don Felder

Semi-Pro
Don't think fatigue and Rafa match was really an issue here. It was the final and he is pumped up and has a high fitness level.
If there were no 12-12 rule, he could have easily gone 20-20. Plenty left in the tank.
That said, one has to presume that this was his last Wimbledon final. He may be back but it's certainly not something one can count on at that age.
Fatigue didn’t appear to be an issue (though he HAD to be tired after all that tennis). But I always thought mentally, it would be a LOT for him to beat those two guys back to back. And maybe it was given how he played the biggest moments of the match...
 

Candide

Hall of Fame
I'm a bit puzzled that people are saying that this match has "damaged his legacy." In numerical terms only, if you strip out context and the nature of the performances achieved then sure 21>20. However, for a 38yo guy, with so much scar tissue accrued at the hands of this opponent, to be able to hang with the greatest grinding player ever to play the game at the peak of his powers in a 5 set epic marathon AND outplay him for long stretches of the match is stunning. He was literally a couple of centimeters from beating Djokovic in the most fantastic (in every sense of the word) manner. Even among tragics such as myself, who would have said that he could take it to five sets and be in a dominant position at such a late point in the match - that he could break Djokovic so late in the day and win so many long and grinding rallies.

It was a performance for the ages. The train spotters and bean counters will not recognise it but those of us who were there (at least live on TV) and witnessed it will always remember. This was a heroic. It was outlandish. It was out of this world. It hurt like hell but life is pain. I was uplifted by this performance more than nearly any other of his career. He was a warrior and a mentally indomitable in the face of his greatest antagonist when most other people have done 2 or 3 years on the champions' tour. The only man who really regrets his performance is the one who didn't throw every last ounce of himself into the battle and squeeze every last bit of effort out of his body. Federer knew this was perhaps his last chance and he made himself suffer in ways that were unexpected and glorious. Of course he's disappointed but he never need to be self-recriminating and bitter because he did everything to put himself in the position to win. He defied everyone's expectations and so he can be proud of what he did. I couldn't be more proud of what he did and how he performed.

 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Don't think fatigue and Rafa match was really an issue here. It was the final and he is pumped up and has a high fitness level.
Na, it absolutely was. You can always tell Federer is fatigued by the way he moves to his forehand side. And in this match he was clearly not as good as he had been all tournament long. Djokovic recogised it early on so played to take advantage of it which is why he hit so few bullet backhands down the line. He didn't need to risk it when he could just play cc backhand to backhand and wait for the one which popped up too much or wasn't wide enough and then get Federer on the run to his forehand.

Fed's fatigue was really obvious. His fitness was fine as you say - the lungs were working fine, as were the legs generally until he had to reach. It's been like this for years with Federer, sometimes quite subtly though as it was here.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
I'm a bit puzzled that people are saying that this match has "damaged his legacy."
No-one with a clue is saying this damaged his legacy. A guy his age who can push the clearly best player across the last 5 years to within championship point should feel confident he'd done what few others could do - and he should be confident that a similar situation on a different day or a slightly quicker court he would be the one with the trophy. And no amount of aging in the next year is really likely to prevent Federer playing this level again because he's doing such a good job of covering for any age-related decline so far.
 
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