Federer's worst chokes.

ForehandRF

Professional
Real baddest chokes:
Hamburg 08, AO 09, USO 09, USO 11, USO 15. An abject lack of mental fortitude, losing huge leads and/or wasting myriad BPs and/or choking breaks in pressure moments. 2011 USO had a clutch win on the cards but the way Federer totally flubbed it produced an unbearable choke.
Looking back at Hamburg 08 and comparing it to USO 2011, it's tough to choose which one was the worst choke by Fedr.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Looking back at Hamburg 08 and comparing it to USO 2011, it's tough to choose which one was the worst choke by Fedr.
Of these two it should be the US Open, because in Hamburg he choked away the first set. But winning it wouldn’t have meant he definitely wins the match. A choke always becomes bigger when someone is really near winning a match IMO.
 
Of these two it should be the US Open, because in Hamburg he choked away the first set. But winning it wouldn’t have meant he definitely wins the match. A choke always becomes bigger when someone is really near winning a match IMO.
Failing to win a BO3 match after 6-1 in the first would've been a terrible choke in itself. -_-
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
Every match Federer lost is a choke or Fed being injured, no? :cool:

GOAT can’t be outplayed by his opponent.
So which is it? I'm seeing Fed bashers say he's a perennial choke artist mug clown, implying that he doesn't have the mental strength of his contemporaries but also suggesting it's not about him choking but the fact that he is purely outplayed by his contemporaries. It almost feels like you guys need to agree in an angle of attack before setting sail.
 
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ForehandRF

Professional
Of these two it should be the US Open, because in Hamburg he choked away the first set. But winning it wouldn’t have meant he definitely wins the match. A choke always becomes bigger when someone is really near winning a match IMO.
Well there can be pertinent arguments for both cases.One thing is for sure is that USO 2011 choke was a tough one for Fedr fans, especially after the outcome of 2010 USO SF.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Btw OP, I was just kidding about the thread sucking. I hate Federer chokes with a passion and its a touchy subject for me.
Thread doesn't suck exactly, I've seen worse threads, and Fed's definitely lost from a lot of winning positions in big matches. That's just a fact, and objectively I have no problem admitting that. I'm honestly over every single one of Federer's greatest chokes, and to be clear I'm not saying nobody can criticize him.

That said, it's also not an original thread and won't tell us anything new. It never produces anything of substance and my problem with these types of threads is that there's never enough focus on Djokovic and Nadal doing the exact same thing basically the exact same percentage of the time within points of a percentage point. Supposedly because they're mental titans and Federer's "fragile" or whatever derogatory or negatively connotated term gets attached to him.

There's also never enough talk about the reverse for Federer. i.e the matches he won that he could've easily lost. Because for every AO 09 there's an AO 17. For every USO 09 there's a RG 09 (one of the greatest feats of mental strength I've ever seen). For every USO 2011 there's a Wimbledon 09 etc etc......

Because apparently it's all talent when Federer wins, but then when he loses, people don't understand why he lost because he's so talented. It's more about the narrative behind all the Big 3 than it is about what happens on court. Way too many people shape their overall opinions of the 3 on the media narrative behind mental strength (i.e 5th set record) rather than taking the time to examine what happened and whether it actually was a choke or not, because that's way too hard ;) But mental strength is way more complex than one stat.

Again, what are we talking about here? We're looking at a guy that has an 80+% career winning percentage over whatever crazy number of matches he's played by now, and we're focusing on a handful of big losses. Why? So a few people in this thread can feel better about themselves when they choke in rec tennis or freeze up during a job interview or a public speech? Give me a break.
 
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Pheasant

Hall of Fame
The 2011 USO semi is by far Fed’s biggest choke. When you have a guy that is in the top 10 in history for holding serve in history blow a 40-15 lead while serving for the match, you have an epic choke. Also, this was in a slam event. An entrance into the final pays more money than winning a masters. And it still gets you a trophy. Nadal in the 2011 USO was not in the same form as in 2010. His 135 mph bomb serves were already ancient history. Fed would have had a decent chance at a slam title in 2011; maybe 50/50, or even 60/40.

Fed had match points against Safin in the 4th of the 2005 AO. That one hurt too.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
The 2011 USO semi is by far Fed’s biggest choke. When you have a guy that is in the top 10 in history for holding serve in history blow a 40-15 lead while serving for the match, you have an epic choke. Also, this was in a slam event. An entrance into the final pays more money than winning a masters. And it still gets you a trophy. Nadal in the 2011 USO was not in the same form as in 2010. His 135 mph bomb serves were already ancient history. Fed would have had a decent chance at a slam title in 2011; maybe 50/50, or even 60/40.

Fed had match points against Safin in the 4th of the 2005 AO. That one hurt too.
It was pretty bad yeah, but it wasn't just the two MPs on serve. It was the overall meltdown that made it a bad choke. Going from 5-3 40-15 to a 5-7 loss is what makes it bad, and Djokovic did hit an amazing return on one of them. Some people still call it lucky, but only because Fed was salty AF in the press conference and looked like he was about to cry. In essence Federer saying it was lucky gives belief to the useless trolls that still call it lucky today, but in reality it was Federer at his worst, lashing out because he was angry that he lost.

Fed completely bottled his next service game at 5-5 IIRC, and if he held he was in a TB and who knows what happens then. It was also "only" a SF so I sort of disagree that it's his worst choke though it was bad. AO 09 and USO 09 were probably worse. I also don't believe (or maybe choose not to believe :)) that he would've beaten Nadal in 2011. A better chance than 2010 absolutely, but he still doesn't win IMO so that's the silver lining for me.

And about the Safin match, again I don't feel like it was really about the MPs. It was made worse by the fact that Federer had a double mini break lead in the 4th set TB at 5-2 with two serves to come and lost it. A fact that gets forgotten in view of Federer missing the tweener which was probably ill-advised anyway.
 
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Thread doesn't suck exactly, I've seen worse threads, and Fed's definitely lost from a lot of winning positions in big matches. That's just a fact, and objectively I have no problem admitting that. I'm honestly over every single one of Federer's greatest chokes, and to be clear I'm not saying nobody can criticize him.

That said, it's also not an original thread and won't tell us anything new. It never produces anything of substance and my problem with these types of threads is that there's never enough focus on Djokovic and Nadal doing the exact same thing basically the exact same percentage of the time within points of a percentage point. Supposedly because they're mental titans and Federer's "fragile" or whatever derogatory or negatively connotated term gets attached to him.

There's also never enough talk about the reverse for Federer. i.e the matches he won that he could've easily lost. Because for every AO 09 there's an AO 17. For every USO 09 there's a RG 09 (one of the greatest feats of mental strength I've ever seen). For every USO 2011 there's a Wimbledon 09 etc etc......

Because apparently it's all talent when Federer wins, but then when he loses, people don't understand why he lost because he's so talented. It's more about the narrative behind all the Big 3 than it is about what happens on court. Way too many people shape their overall opinions of the 3 on the media narrative behind mental strength (i.e 5th set record) rather than taking the time to examine what happened and whether it actually was a choke or not, because that's way too hard ;) But mental strength is way more complex than one stat.

Again, what are we talking about here? We're looking at a guy that has an 80+% career winning percentage over whatever crazy number of matches he's played by now, and we're focusing on a handful of big losses. Why? So a few people in this thread can feel better about themselves when they choke in rec tennis or freeze up during a job interview or a public speech? Give me a break.
It's because the losses were against his rival ATGs while wins were against mugs. :happydevil:
 

2011

New User
The 2011 USO semi is by far Fed’s biggest choke. When you have a guy that is in the top 10 in history for holding serve in history blow a 40-15 lead while serving for the match, you have an epic choke. Also, this was in a slam event. An entrance into the final pays more money than winning a masters. And it still gets you a trophy. Nadal in the 2011 USO was not in the same form as in 2010. His 135 mph bomb serves were already ancient history. Fed would have had a decent chance at a slam title in 2011; maybe 50/50, or even 60/40.

Fed had match points against Safin in the 4th of the 2005 AO. That one hurt too.
Hmm... Fed also on 24 match winning streak during Fedal 2012AO... that after Fed bageled dull in last outing... I am not convinced that Fed could beat Nadal in USO 11
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Thread doesn't suck exactly, I've seen worse threads, and Fed's definitely lost from a lot of winning positions in big matches. That's just a fact, and objectively I have no problem admitting that. I'm honestly over every single one of Federer's greatest chokes, and to be clear I'm not saying nobody can criticize him.

That said, it's also not an original thread and won't tell us anything new. It never produces anything of substance and my problem with these types of threads is that there's never enough focus on Djokovic and Nadal doing the exact same thing basically the exact same percentage of the time within points of a percentage point. Supposedly because they're mental titans and Federer's "fragile" or whatever derogatory or negatively connotated term gets attached to him.

There's also never enough talk about the reverse for Federer. i.e the matches he won that he could've easily lost. Because for every AO 09 there's an AO 17. For every USO 09 there's a RG 09 (one of the greatest feats of mental strength I've ever seen). For every USO 2011 there's a Wimbledon 09 etc etc......

Because apparently it's all talent when Federer wins, but then when he loses, people don't understand why he lost because he's so talented. It's more about the narrative behind all the Big 3 than it is about what happens on court. Way too many people shape their overall opinions of the 3 on the media narrative behind mental strength (i.e 5th set record) rather than taking the time to examine what happened and whether it actually was a choke or not, because that's way too hard ;) But mental strength is way more complex than one stat.

Again, what are we talking about here? We're looking at a guy that has an 80+% career winning percentage over whatever crazy number of matches he's played by now, and we're focusing on a handful of big losses. Why? So a few people in this thread can feel better about themselves when they choke in rec tennis or freeze up during a job interview or a public speech? Give me a break.
Well said and all based covered.
 
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Your Hero

Professional
So the final frontier is for Fed to blow MPs in an actual slam final, eh?
Time's running out, he better get on it.
 
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smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Nadal did choke 2017 AO, and I can point to the exact moment. *3-2, AD-40 he hit the net-cord on a forehand that would have closed out the game. Federer proceeded to break and the rest is history.
 

BGod

Legend
In terms of magnitude it really boils down to 3.

1. 2011 USO SF: Obviously this is a Slam match, he's up 2-0 in sets and then double match point on his serve. This might well be the greatest choke-job in the last 30 years. I really don't consider any above this personally but I could see arguments. Of course this boils down to how you view Roger's chances in the Final. I think given Roger beat up Nadal at the 2010 and 2011 WTFs and was in better form throughout 2011 I think he was 60-40. Also consider how easily Novak beat Nadal and Roger could have swept him out. The great mysteries but for my money I think Roger wins the title especially if he ends it in 3 sets.

2. 2018 IW Final: This is clearly the 5th biggest tournament of the year (don't get me started on WTF) and Roger is holding double championship points. I still can't value this above the USO loss because he was up 2-0 and of course in a Bo3 match 2 sets wins it. However he again held the points on his serve and blew it including a questionable slice. Then he gets a 3rd championship point and again chooses to slice. Terrible. Then he gets his butt handed to him in tiebreak.

3. 2011 WMB QF: People will say 2006 Rome was for the title but it was on clay and Nadal was serving so if we can learn anything it's that no BP is expected on a Nadal serve let alone on clay. Instead I'm looking at the 2011 Quarter on grass against Tsonga. Now keep in mind at the time Roger had never lost a match up 2-0 and was 4-1 against Tsonga on hard and one clay match. Tsonga would come back to win the 3rd, 4th and 5th set by a single break each time. They would never meet on grass again and Tsonga would only make one more Wimbledon SF on a chip draw beating Kohlschrieber in a QF. Not that Federer would have won the title against Djokovic or even Nadal but losing the way he did still baffles me to this day. Let's also not forget he would come back the following year to win.



Semifinals. Even if he wins that match, there is no way he beats Rafa in the final.
In 2010 he likely loses to Rafa. In 2011? Well Roger obliterated him 6-3, 6-0 a couple months later at the WTF. Not exactly the same surface to be sure but 2011 in general wasn't a very strong Nadal and Federer had re-emerged. If anything his 2011 French Final should be a good indicator of what he could have done on hard against Nadal at a Slam.
 

byealmeens

Semi-Pro
Sure, Fed got nervous on many occasions and lost some matches when he was in the winning positions and could have won.

So did other great players. Maybe they lost fewer close matches because they were not that often in those winning positions. When you look at the % finals converted for the best players they are extremely close.

The one thing that annoys me a lot is the overuse of the "choke" word. I think it's one of the most abused words on the forum.
Obviously, being ATGs, the BIG3 are known for NOT choking. They are mentally superior to the field and it plays a huge role in their success. That being said, they are also human, they do get nervous, frustrated, and even apathetic at times. But they are absolutely known for being able to excel in pressure moments. To me, “choking” refers to an inability to handle those moments well, which is why it rarely makes sense in reference to players of this caliber. So yes, the term “choking” is over-used, but often because the focus of those discussions is players that rarely choke. Also, I think little credit is given to the opponent in most of these situations. Sometimes the competition forces you into bad decisions and poor play that could in turn be interpreted as choking. In terms of Federer, I think players know he is in decline and more vulnerable (even in finals), so their confidence and level of play is generally higher which may “force” poor tennis from him in a sense. Being in form and dominant may also give a huge mental edge before the match even begins.
 
Federer's worst chokes
2006 Rome
2018 Indian Wells

I know he's lost matches where he held match points on 10+ occasions, but those are the worst because those were championship points.

2006 Rome is the more important one because that established Nadal's stranglehold over him mentally on clay forever. I keep watching those 2 points and all I can come up with is astonishment at how he gets to that situation but can't get it over the line
.
How's the job search coming along?
 

lud

Hall of Fame
2006 Rome - because he never defeat Nadal in BO5

2009 US Open - because he never won any GS 6 times in row, + not to mention he never won UsO AGAIN

2009 AO - because he would cancelled Rafa GS full complete

2014 MC - because he never won MC

2011 USO - because he lost match with almost same scenario year before

2018 IW - because it's only Delpo M1000

2005 AO - because he was pretty arrogant during this match

It's hard to pick one. In my opinion it's between Rome 2006 and UsO 2009. Slightly edge to Rome 2006.
 
not really a choke, but an epic comeback when Tsonga came back after FEd won the first 2 sets at Wimbledon years ago. I think that was the first time it happened after Fed won the first 2 sets in a grand slam.
 

Noletheking

Hall of Fame
Nadal did choke 2017 AO, and I can point to the exact moment. *3-2, AD-40 he hit the net-cord on a forehand that would have closed out the game. Federer proceeded to break and the rest is history.
I won't call it choke but he had chance to get 2 break up and many bps to equal fed in 5th
 

TearTheRoofOff

Hall of Fame
Thread doesn't suck exactly, I've seen worse threads, and Fed's definitely lost from a lot of winning positions in big matches. That's just a fact, and objectively I have no problem admitting that. I'm honestly over every single one of Federer's greatest chokes, and to be clear I'm not saying nobody can criticize him.

That said, it's also not an original thread and won't tell us anything new. It never produces anything of substance and my problem with these types of threads is that there's never enough focus on Djokovic and Nadal doing the exact same thing basically the exact same percentage of the time within points of a percentage point. Supposedly because they're mental titans and Federer's "fragile" or whatever derogatory or negatively connotated term gets attached to him.

There's also never enough talk about the reverse for Federer. i.e the matches he won that he could've easily lost. Because for every AO 09 there's an AO 17. For every USO 09 there's a RG 09 (one of the greatest feats of mental strength I've ever seen). For every USO 2011 there's a Wimbledon 09 etc etc......

Because apparently it's all talent when Federer wins, but then when he loses, people don't understand why he lost because he's so talented. It's more about the narrative behind all the Big 3 than it is about what happens on court. Way too many people shape their overall opinions of the 3 on the media narrative behind mental strength (i.e 5th set record) rather than taking the time to examine what happened and whether it actually was a choke or not, because that's way too hard ;) But mental strength is way more complex than one stat.

Again, what are we talking about here? We're looking at a guy that has an 80+% career winning percentage over whatever crazy number of matches he's played by now, and we're focusing on a handful of big losses. Why? So a few people in this thread can feel better about themselves when they choke in rec tennis or freeze up during a job interview or a public speech? Give me a break.
Consider this quote a second like.
 

smoledman

G.O.A.T.
Of course all these are 'relative'. None of them compare to Almagro's 2013 AO quarterfinal vs David Ferrer. Up 2 sets, serving for the match and commits self-immolation of a type I've never seen before or since.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
If I have to chose it's against Djokovic at the USO when Fed had 3 match points. I just couldn't believe what I was watching. Fed said 'Nole was lucky to return the ball' but that was the moment when he still had 2 match points. Roger could have aced Novak. He could have done anything.

He completely choked or he was pissed off. You name it. That was the worst one IMO.

Hamburg 08 was a disaster too. I watched the whole match. If I remember correctly, he was up 2 breaks and he managed to lose the first set and the match. Shoot, please feel free to correct me. It was a long time ago.
 
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The match point against Safin in 05 AO was probably the worst, considering he tried an unnecessary tweener when he had time to line up a Fed forehand pass, the most devastating shot in tennis at the time.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
In terms of magnitude it really boils down to 3.

1. 2011 USO SF: Obviously this is a Slam match, he's up 2-0 in sets and then double match point on his serve. This might well be the greatest choke-job in the last 30 years. I really don't consider any above this personally but I could see arguments. Of course this boils down to how you view Roger's chances in the Final. I think given Roger beat up Nadal at the 2010 and 2011 WTFs and was in better form throughout 2011 I think he was 60-40. Also consider how easily Novak beat Nadal and Roger could have swept him out. The great mysteries but for my money I think Roger wins the title especially if he ends it in 3 sets.

2. 2018 IW Final: This is clearly the 5th biggest tournament of the year (don't get me started on WTF) and Roger is holding double championship points. I still can't value this above the USO loss because he was up 2-0 and of course in a Bo3 match 2 sets wins it. However he again held the points on his serve and blew it including a questionable slice. Then he gets a 3rd championship point and again chooses to slice. Terrible. Then he gets his butt handed to him in tiebreak.

3. 2011 WMB QF: People will say 2006 Rome was for the title but it was on clay and Nadal was serving so if we can learn anything it's that no BP is expected on a Nadal serve let alone on clay. Instead I'm looking at the 2011 Quarter on grass against Tsonga. Now keep in mind at the time Roger had never lost a match up 2-0 and was 4-1 against Tsonga on hard and one clay match. Tsonga would come back to win the 3rd, 4th and 5th set by a single break each time. They would never meet on grass again and Tsonga would only make one more Wimbledon SF on a chip draw beating Kohlschrieber in a QF. Not that Federer would have won the title against Djokovic or even Nadal but losing the way he did still baffles me to this day. Let's also not forget he would come back the following year to win.





In 2010 he likely loses to Rafa. In 2011? Well Roger obliterated him 6-3, 6-0 a couple months later at the WTF. Not exactly the same surface to be sure but 2011 in general wasn't a very strong Nadal and Federer had re-emerged. If anything his 2011 French Final should be a good indicator of what he could have done on hard against Nadal at a Slam.
Agree with all except I think he can win Wimbledon 2011 if he ups his level for potential SF.
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
smoledman said:
"Nadal did choke 2017 AO, and I can point to the exact moment. *3-2, AD-40 he hit the net-cord on a forehand that would have closed out the game. Federer proceeded to break and the rest is history. "

A close miss is not a choke, m8.
Sure it can be a choke.

How many times have you seen a player choke by double-faulting?
With the second serve of the double-fault clipping the net and bouncing wide or long?
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
smoledman said:
"Nadal did choke 2017 AO, and I can point to the exact moment. *3-2, AD-40 he hit the net-cord on a forehand that would have closed out the game. Federer proceeded to break and the rest is history. "



Sure it can be a choke.

How many times have you seen a player choke by double-faulting?
With the second serve of the double-fault clipping the net and bouncing wide or long?
Let's clear this up once and for all because some of you don't ever bother watching matches or even highlights apparently. Either that or you don't know anything/just being an a** . Watch at 6:00 here. Clipping the tape and a ball sailing wide is NOT, I repeat NOT a choke. This goes for Smoledman and you. Jesus Christ people.


 

Mark-Touch

Professional
Let's clear this up once and for all because some of you don't ever bother watching matches or even highlights apparently. Either that or you don't know anything/just being an a** . Watch at 6:00 here. Clipping the tape and a ball sailing wide is NOT, I repeat NOT a choke. This goes for Smoledman and you. Jesus Christ people.


Relax TF...

I wasn't even thinking about this match.

I was back on the 2011 U.S. Open.

Let me outline some chokes that took place there.

5th set
Djoker serving 3-4 0-30, he double faults badly! Choke!
Now it's 0-40 and Djoker hits long, badly, Choke 2 to be broken !
Djoker chokes badly, handing the match to Fed to serve it out.

Fed serving 5-3 with two match points.
Can't fault him for the first match point where on his first serve, Djoker not only gets his racket to touch the ball, but hits a clean winner!
Second match point, first serve is a body serve serve that Djoker pops up. An easy sitter mid-court.

Federer could have done 100 things to win that point with his next shot.
Hit an outright winner, take something off the shot but put Djoker in an awkward position, scrambling for the ball, etc. etc., then the put away shot.
He opts for an outright winner, but clips the tape, ball bouncing out. To me that shot was a choke.
He hits that shot for a winner 95% of the time.
He was too pumped/hyped from Djoker's egging the crowd on the previous point.

That's just the way I saw it. I call that one an 'adrenaline choke'.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Relax TF...

I wasn't even thinking about this match.

I was back on the 2011 U.S. Open.

Let me outline some chokes that took place there.

5th set
Djoker serving 3-4 0-30, he double faults badly! Choke!
Now it's 0-40 and Djoker hits long, badly, Choke 2 to be broken !
Djoker chokes badly, handing the match to Fed to serve it out.

Fed serving 5-3 with two match points.
Can't fault him for the first match point where on his first serve, Djoker not only gets his racket to touch the ball, but hits a clean winner!
Second match point, first serve is a body serve serve that Djoker pops up. An easy sitter mid-court.

Federer could have done 100 things to win that point with his next shot.
Hit an outright winner, take something off the shot but put Djoker in an awkward position, scrambling for the ball, etc. etc., then the put away shot.
He opts for an outright winner, but clips the tape, ball bouncing out. To me that shot was a choke.
He hits that shot for a winner 95% of the time.
He was t Soo pumped/hyped from Djoker's egging the crowd on the previous point.

That's just the way I saw it. I call that one an 'adrenaline choke'.
That's all together different. Federer should've won the match. Australian Open wasn't a choke though. Glad you cleared that up. My apologies. I'll add that Djokovic was lucky too, but moving on.
 
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