Federer played well this year, but he choked a lot!

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
I have been very happy with Fed's form this year. I didn't believe a year ago that he can perform this well and give me so many great moments. At times, and that happened a lot this year, he was a joy to watch. Whether it being health, Edberg, the new equipment or all, he produced some great tennis.

But, I believe that Fed choked too much this year. Granted, he can still end the year as #1 and has a shot at the DC for the first time in his illustrious career, but so far he could have done more... maybe a lot more.

Let's look at the following list of matches (in chronological order):

Brisbane: lost to Hewitt. With all due respect to the Aussie, that shouldn't have happened, not even in Australia.

Indian Wells: Djokovic's confidence was low after all the loses before IW, including of course at the AO. Fed had the lead in the match, but ended up losing. In a year like this, that match should have been his (with all due respect to Nole). 400 points could have, and in my humble opinion should have, been his. Instead, they went to Nole.

Miami: well, not Fed's best surface. Still, had the lead against Nishikori and still lost. Here you go another match that should have been his.

Monte Carlo: he finally had a real chance to win this tournament. Met Wawarinka, who did virtually nothing since the AO, in the final. He won the first set, but ended up losing badly in the third. Another opportunity wasted to win this title for the first time.

Rome: well, lost to Chardy of all people after winning the first set 6-1. Nothing should be added.

Roland Garros: Well, he had probably no chance to win it. But, still. He had a set and two set points to take a 2-0 sets lead against Gulbis. Ended up losing and wasting few possible ranking points. He should have never lost that match. Gulbis did nothing since that day.

Wimbledon: the best chance to win another slam. Had an easy SF against Raonic and looked great coming to this match. Again, won the first set on his best surface, but found himself facing a MP in the 4th set. That should have never happened on grass against any player, including Novak. He then had the first BP in the 5th, but ended up losing on his own serve.

Toronto: well, JWT was hot that week, but to lose in straight sets? Too much. Another chance for a title is wasted and few 100s more points are gone.

USO: Oh, I know. Cilic was playing "out of his mind" and Fed came after a battle against Monfils. Still, there was no justification to be down 0-2 against the showman from France and certainly no justification for losing in straight sets to Cilic (whom Fed owned until that afternoon). Nadal is not playing, Nole is out, Murray is out, Wawa is out and the stage is set for his # 18. Well, not really. He choked again... he lost in straight sets!!!

Bercy: a real chance to end the year as #1 and actually get something big from 2014. He is facing Raonic who, a week before, looked done in Basel. The same Raonic that Fed schooled multiple times before. Is Fed going to take this opportunity? Of course not. Raonic beat Fed and the real chance is basically gone.

I know that some of you will say "he has 4 kids", "Djoker played well", "Raonic played well" and all of that stuff, but Fed missed too many good chances to win titles and add ranking points. At this stage, he should have been at least the world #1. All he needed for that was winning few of the matches above (say, MC, Toronto and maybe 2 more non-finals). He missed all of them.

So, here we are with 3 things remaining: YE #1 (very difficult), WTF (possible, but difficult) and DC (possible, but difficult). Will Fed get at least one of these or will he miss more opportunities in a year in which he looked mostly good? I know that the DC depends also on Stan, but I at least would to see him doing his job.
 

Chico

Banned
Disagree with you. Fed played very well the whole year.

The only one who choked in IW and W is Djokovic. Should have closed both matches earlier.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Disagree with you. Fed played very well the whole year.

The only one who choked in IW and W is Djokovic. Should have closed both matches earlier.
Fed should have won in IW, at least. He had the lead in that match, just like he had the lead at Wimbledon.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
When Fed leads in an important match and loses it, that's a choke. It happened a lot this year as the list above makes it clear.

Furthermore, what about the other loses? You only choose to talk about his matches with Nole? Why?
 
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mike danny

Bionic Poster
The only missed opportunities are IW, W and USO. All 3 tournaments were winnable and he ended up winning neither.

The thing is Federer did improve something this year: he took the matches to the wire. 3-4 years ago he would have lost the IW match with a 3rd set of 6-2. Or he would have lost the W match in 4 sets, with no 5th required.

He improved his mentality this year. Instead of going down easily at IW he fought back, took back the break in the 3rd and pushed it to a tiebreak. This wouldn't have happened 3 or 4 years ago. At W as well he took back 2 breaks and pushed the match to a deciding set. 3 or 4 years ago Federer would have wilted under the pressure and lost in 3-4 sets.

The problem is that his body can't no longer sustain a long and difficult match. So he has to finish points quicker and thus will have more errors, even in crucial moments.

Still it's admirable. Federer at 33 was Djokovic's main all surface rival this year. He gave Djokovic much tougher matches than anybody else Nole faced. This alone says something about his quality.

But overall I think Federer of 2012 could have grabbed a slam this year. Either W or USO. 2 years makes a lot of difference at this age of his career. And he probably would have won more of those big finals
 
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When Fed leads in an important match and loses it, that's a choke. It happened a lot this year as the list above makes it clear.

Furthermore, what about the other loses? You only choose to talk about his matches with Nole? Why?


I agree totally. He seemed to choke when he is in crucial moments to win big tournaments. Not the federer of old. I hope that is not a sign for the atp finals if he has an opportunity to reclaim number uno.
 

Noelan

Legend
Always crying over something:shock:poor choker this Rogie.

And yeah, before AO QF Novak lost USO F- september 2013.Won 28 match in a row, but hey after all his 9 losses in 2013.
 

Vrad

Professional
Federer choked in IW, but not many others. Possibly Wimbledon because he had the first chance to strike in the 5th set, yet, Djokovic had an MP in the 4th, so if anything Novak choked to reach the 5th. In reality no one choked and Novak just played slightly better to earn a deserved win.

I'm not sure how you are considering straight set losses as chokes.
 

Vrad

Professional
The only missed opportunities are IW, W and USO. All 3 tournaments were winnable and he ended up winning neither.

And of those only IW was a choke. W was a close fought match between 2 even competitors, while USO, Cilic was just white hot on his serve and there was little Fed could do.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
The only missed opportunities are IW, W and USO. All 3 tournaments were winnable and he ended up winning neither.

But overall I think Federer of 2012 could have grabbed a slam this year. Either W or USO. 2 years makes a lot of difference at this age of his career. And he probably would have won more of those big finals
I would also add MC. He had a good chance there after winning the first vs Wawrinka.

I also think the second paragraph here explains some of what I have in mind: too good chances to win a slam, and non was converted. 2-3 good chances to win ATP 1000 (IW, MC & Toronto), and none was converted.

How can straight set be a choke? well, if you had the chance to win a match against an inferior player whom you owned (e.g. Cilic and Raonic) with a lot is at stake (USO title or #1 in Bercy), then it's choke. A choke is not necessarily losing a match after having 5 MPs on your own serve, but could also be under-performing in crucial moments when you have been the favorite to win.

And of those only IW was a choke. W was a close fought match between 2 even competitors, while USO, Cilic was just white hot on his serve and there was little Fed could do.
Fed had the break lead in the 3rd set, but ended up losing his serve twice. Not saying he would have won the match, but he should have taken that set at least. Bottom line: it wasn't just Cilic's serve.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Federer did not choke IW - he got the break back when Novak was serving for the match.

Federer looked like winning wimb only in the 5th set for 20 minutes.

Stan was the better player in MC final starting the second set tie break, much like Delpo in the USO 2009 4th set tie break and 5th.


He was outplayed by Cilic at USO. No regrets there.

Raonic served unbelievable in Paris. Happens.

FO and Miami was choke, but nothing significant in the scheme of things. Brisbane, who cares.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
And of those only IW was a choke. W was a close fought match between 2 even competitors, while USO, Cilic was just white hot on his serve and there was little Fed could do.

I agree. IW was the only one because he missed a lot in the final set TB. The others he was either outplayed completely (Cilic) or did well to even get it to a 5th set (Djokovic). Those are just losses, not chokes, A loss and a choke are rarely ever the exact same thing as Bartelby said, in prettier words than I.

I think it's because Federer is still so good that we expect him to win every match where he has chances, but some have to ask themselves "When have we ever expected so much out of a guy that's 33 and well past his prime. The answer is never, obviously.

As for the others in the OP, first you don't "choke" at 250 events when you're a player like Federer. Miami, I agree he let get away, but these things happen. Nadal lost in MC this year making a bunch of UE's after all. Djokovic lost at the USO when the tournament was his for the taking even with Federer still in it at the time of Djokovic's loss as Federer was nowhere near in form enough to beat Novak in a best of 5 final.

MC, Stan played well. I don't know where the assumption came from that Federer would take the title in the second set and he was never winning the 3rd anyway. Rome is a wash. He was never winning that, and his mind was clearly on other things regardless whether Mirka told him to go and play or not. This just sounds like an OP that's lamenting any points that Federer lost because we realized about 3/4 of the way through the year that Federer had a shot at #1. I mean really, Rome? Come on.

RG, again really??

Toronto, not surprising at all. Tsonga played well, and Federer was flat after paying the price for too many 3 set matches. That is the point of these things. It's not about just saying "So and so played well or whatever else." We say that because those things happened.

Bercy, again Raonic played well, much better than he did just a couple days ago.

None of those are chokes, they are only losses.
 
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Soul_Evisceration

Hall of Fame
I agree. IW was the only one because he missed a lot in the final set TB. The others he was either outplayed completely (Cilic) or did well to even get it to a 5th set (Djokovic). Those are just losses, not chokes, A loss and a choke are rarely ever the exact same thing as Bartelby said, in prettier words than I.

I think it's because Federer is still so good that we expect him to win every match where he has chances, but some have to ask themselves "When have we ever expected so much out of a guy that's 33 and well past his prime. The answer is never, obviously.

As for the others in the OP, first you don't "choke" at 250 events when you're a player like Federer. Miami, I agree he let get away, but these things happen. Nadal lost in MC this year making a bunch of UE's after all. Djokovic lost at the USO when the tournament was his for the taking even with Federer still in it at the time of Djokovic's loss as Federer was nowhere near in form enough to beat Novak in a best of 5 final.

MC, Stan played well. I don't know where the assumption came from that Federer would take the title in the second set and he was never winning the 3rd anyway. Rome is a wash. He was never winning that, and his mind was clearly on other things regardless whether Mirka told him to go and play or not. This just sounds like an OP that's lamenting any points that Federer lost because we realized about 3/4 of the way through the year that Federer had a shot at #1. I mean really, Rome? Come on.

RG, again really??

Toronto, not surprising at all. Tsonga played well, and Federer was flat after paying the price for too many 3 set matches. That is the point of these things. It's not about just saying "So and so played well or whatever else." We say that because those things happened.

Bercy, again Raonic played well, much better than he did just a couple days ago.

None of those are chokes, they are only losses.

Very good points Steve.

I personnally thought he also choked vs Hewitt in Brisbane but I agree with the rest of your points.

I also want to add that his new racquet was also a huge factor. The way he plays now with his racquet with the right setup vs when he first started using it in Brisbane, his performance is like night and day.

Now he serves well, his forehand is almost clicking and powerful like back in 2012, his backhand is more consistent than before, his serve is now just as good if not better than 2013 and volleys fantastically.

Had Federer the right specs with the right setup from the get go, some of those losses could of turned into wins.

Only speculation at this time but I have a feeling that if Federer is healthy, he will have another stellar year in 2015.
 

TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
^^ Fully agree with posters above me.
Barely ANY of these losses was a Fed 'choke'. There happens to be that other guy on the opposite side of the net as well you know, and at times, said guy is able to play pretty well, too.

In stead of whining over 'chokes' it may be a better idea to give some deserved credits to these opponents.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Instead of calling a choke we can say Fed did not close the matches well enough in important matches.

He would fade away taking the match to a final set in 2013.

In 2014, he took them to deciding and won a few and lost a few at the *** end.
 

xanctus

Semi-Pro
I kind of agree with the OP! Fed was playing amazing and somehow lost on certain things that should not have happened.
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
You can easily spin some of Federer wins to other players choking.

Choking did not happen in any of the matches bar the 4th set of Wimbledon final. Novak was spraying errors......I wish he did not take a break going into the 5th.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Fed didn't play that well last year. He's playing much better this year.
I said this in the beginning of my post, and not sure how does that answer what I raised in the first post.
_________________________

Some may not like the word "choke", but that's not the point. The point is: Federer either lost matches in which he had the lead or missed important chances to achieve something big, even though he played well overall this year. In other ways, he played well until the money time. Fed should have never lost all of the following: IW AND MC AND WIMBLEDON AND TORONTO AND USO... notice the capitalized AND. 2-3 of these should have been his, because ultimately they were all winnable (whether because of the opponent or because of the way he started some of these matches).

To put things in perspective: Fed lost 11 matches in 2014, 6 (yes, 6!) of them after winning the first set. And, that didn't happen against Nole or Nadal, but mostly against other players. The full list: Djoker, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Chardy, Gulbis and Djokovic again at Wimbledon. This is terrible no matter how do you try to spin it. As I said above, you can say "x had a great day". Oh yeah, sure he did, but if he can beat Nole 3 times in 5 meetings, he can beat Chardy and Nishi, for example, after having the lead.

Fed had great chances this year, and I don't know whether he will have such good chances next year if Nole continues the current form, Nadal comes back strong and Murray gets his fitness and confidence back. He had a shot at Wimbledon and lost, had a shot at USO and lost, had a shot at Monte Carlo (not as important, but still) and lost, and mostly recently- had a shot at ending the year as #1 and lost to a player who looked like a kid against him up to 2 weeks ago. Call it "choking", call it "not closing matches" or call it anything else. The bottom line: he lost so many important matches that he could have, and maybe should have, won.
 
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D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
I can't really agree with this. This is like saying all these matches were determined only by Federer. That is simply not the case. 2014 has been a wonderful year for him.
 

SLD76

G.O.A.T.
The only missed opportunities are IW, W and USO. All 3 tournaments were winnable and he ended up winning neither.

The thing is Federer did improve something this year: he took the matches to the wire. 3-4 years ago he would have lost the IW match with a 3rd set of 6-2. Or he would have lost the W match in 4 sets, with no 5th required.

He improved his mentality this year. Instead of going down easily at IW he fought back, took back the break in the 3rd and pushed it to a tiebreak. This wouldn't have happened 3 or 4 years ago. At W as well he took back 2 breaks and pushed the match to a deciding set. 3 or 4 years ago Federer would have wilted under the pressure and lost in 3-4 sets.

The problem is that his body can't no longer sustain a long and difficult match. So he has to finish points quicker and thus will have more errors, even in crucial moments.

Still it's admirable. Federer at 33 was Djokovic's main all surface rival this year. He gave Djokovic much tougher matches than anybody else Nole faced. This alone says something about his quality.

But overall I think Federer of 2012 could have grabbed a slam this year. Either W or USO. 2 years makes a lot of difference at this age of his career. And he probably would have won more of those big finals

/ thread

10 /threads
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
I believe that Fed choked too much this year. Granted, he can still end the year as #1 and has a shot at the DC for the first time in his illustrious career, but so far he could have done more... maybe a lot more.

Wait until you turn 33 (in about 20 years +/-?)...it's not exactly choking, but it's often harder to put things away when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Doubts creep in. Golfers call it the "yips", and it begins with their putting.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Wait until you turn 33 (in about 20 years +/-?)...it's not exactly choking, but it's often harder to put things away when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Doubts creep in. Golfers call it the "yips", and it begins with their putting.
Well, I passed 33 already...

Any way, how would you call "harder to put things away when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel"?
 

Omega_7000

Legend
Fed did not choke against Cilic...Cilic really was playing out of his mind...Serving bombs, painting the lines, retrieving everything...He was in the zone...Probably would've taken out anyone in straight sets on that day.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Like I said, the only chokes were FO (had 2 set points to go 2-0 up) and Miami - out of the blue, collapsed and lost to Nishikori.

But both were insignificant.

The bad part is he lost more close matches than he won. But that is what age does.
 

underground

G.O.A.T.
Fed barely choked this year. The only ones were Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome (rust plus lucky MP save by Chardy), worse one was definitely RG against Gulbis.

But most matches he was outplayed, Nadal at AO, Djokovic at IW, Tsonga at Montreal, Cilic at USO, Raonic at Paris.

But think about how mentally strong he has been this year, when his opponents were serving for sets/matches and he broke back. The numerous amount of BPs, SPs, and MPs saved then proceeding to win the set.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed barely choked this year. The only ones were Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome (rust plus lucky MP save by Chardy), worse one was definitely RG against Gulbis.

But most matches he was outplayed, Nadal at AO, Djokovic at IW, Tsonga at Montreal, Cilic at USO, Raonic at Paris.

But think about how mentally strong he has been this year, when his opponents were serving for sets/matches and he broke back. The numerous amount of BPs, SPs, and MPs saved then proceeding to win the set.

Yes. In some ways he's been really clutch this year, in the year where he has a fair few losses in finals he's done really well.
 

BHud

Hall of Fame
Well, I passed 33 already...

Any way, how would you call "harder to put things away when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel"?

It appears your definition includes anyone who has ever lost a match they were expected to or could have won...making the phenomena nothing more than an expected occurance...and therefore no big deal.
 
J

John6239

Guest
At Indians Wells he let Novak into the match by getting broken in the second early. That was his choke. He fought back from a break in the third to a 3rd set tie break and lost.

Monte Carlo was a choke in only that he lost to wawrinka despite winning the first set and getting to the tiebreak in the second. H2H is the only reason this would be considered a choke because of a very prestigious title he never won was on the line. But it was clay where stan is at his best. Still I think this was his most unfortunate loss this year.

Miami wasn't a choke because it wasn't an important match and it is a Tournament that fed hasn't won in many years and the conditions are terrible.

Getting beaten easily in 3 sets at the USO isn't a choke. It actually is much easier to accept than losing in five. Cilic was great and maybe fed was mentally drained from saving those match points against Monfils. Just like after the Olympics delpo match, fed was mentally drained after that.

Paris wasn't a choke just an unfortunate loss to a big serving player who did much better than he did at wimbledon and Cincy. Fed only won Bercy once in 2011 and nadal has never won it. It is not a court suited to fed. It is terrible fed didn't win the match because if he had reached the final then he would have had a much better chance at ending No. 1
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Someone (tennisaddict perhaps ? not sure) said a few weeks ago that s/he feels that Fed will just miss the YE #1 in a fashion similar to how he lost Monte Carlo, then Wimbledon and USO because it has been a year of near misses/'so near yet so far' for Fed. I think he will also lose the WTF and SUI will lose the DC final (not entirely because of Fed, though)
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Someone (tennisaddict perhaps ? not sure) said a few weeks ago that s/he feels that Fed will just miss the YE #1 in a fashion similar to how he lost Monte Carlo, then Wimbledon and USO because it has been a year of near misses/'so near yet so far' for Fed. I think he will also lose the WTF and SUI will lose the DC final (not entirely because of Fed, though)

I hope I am wrong and Fed gets at least one between WTF and DC.

Fed's year has been like that and you feel awfully bad for him. Instead of having so many moderate success , sometimes you think he is better off with just the one occasional big win. It pains to see him give the effort every match and lose a close one.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
I hope I am wrong and Fed gets at least one between WTF and DC.

Fed's year has been like that and you feel awfully bad for him. Instead of having so many moderate success , sometimes you think he is better off with just the one occasional big win. It pains to see him give the effort every match and lose a close one.

So it was indeed you who said it, right ? It didn't make sense to me then, because it seemed like everything was going his way, but I see it now.
 
I agree with this for Wimbledon and IW. Given the form Federer was in and he had beaten Djokovic recently, he should have pulled those off.
Fed has had some rough losses to Djokovic over the years, and it has eroded his belief. When the match gets tight against Djok, Fed gets tight as well, and that just degrades his game. For Fed's game to work, he has to be free flowing, attacking and dominant, the way he did against Andy Murray (although not expecting the same level of domination).
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Someone (tennisaddict perhaps ? not sure) said a few weeks ago that s/he feels that Fed will just miss the YE #1 in a fashion similar to how he lost Monte Carlo, then Wimbledon and USO because it has been a year of near misses/'so near yet so far' for Fed. I think he will also lose the WTF and SUI will lose the DC final (not entirely because of Fed, though)
OP here: that's basically what I was talking about in my original post here. Getting closer to achieve something big, but somehow missing it. He had multiple chances, but couldn't capitalize on most of them. I'm really worried that he won't win any of the remaining two titles, and then we will say "he has been close, but...". He had too many of these "buts" this year, certainly given his high level of play.

I hope he will end this year on a high note. Winning both the WTF and DC will be a great achievement, with full recognition that the DC does not only depend on him.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
OP here: that's basically what I was talking about in my original post here. Getting closer to achieve something big, but somehow missing it. He had multiple chances, but couldn't capitalize on most of them. I'm really worried that he won't win any of the remaining two titles, and then we will say "he has been close, but...". He had too many of these "buts" this year, certainly given his high level of play.

I hope he will end this year on a high note. Winning both the WTF and DC will be a great achievement, with full recognition that the DC does not only depend on him.

Yes, I saw your OP. But I was referring to someone's post from weeks ago, before Paris Bercy where the poster sounded pessimistic of Fed's chances given all the near misses he has had so far this year.

Compared to where he was last year, this time after his injury woes and the slide to #8, I doubt too many people even expected that he would have the kind of year he just did (and it is not over yet), and finish a very close second to Djoko. Maybe he will have some big win or two next year and this year was sort of a buildup towards that from the injury marred 2013 (like how 2011 was a buildup towards 2012)
 
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