Mats Wilander: ‘Federer did not want a resounding loss to Djokovic before Wimbledon’

pj80

Hall of Fame
Mats Wilander has suggested that the possibility of a heavy defeat to Novak Djokovic was a factor in Roger Federer withdrawing from Roland Garros.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion also backed the Swiss’ decision to pull out, and said he saw that the 39-year-old “still has that fire inside of him”.
Federer defeated Dominik Koepfer in a gruelling third round Roland Garros match – before controversially withdrawing before facing Matteo Berrettini.

The world No. 8 would have faced Djokovic in the quarter-finals had he played and beaten the Italian.

“Yes, I think [he] made a good decision. I think he would have had options [to win] against Berrettini,” Wilander said in an interview with Punto de Break.

“But of course, then he could have met Djokovic and it could have been that the Serb had defeated him in a resounding way and, before Wimbledon – he did not want that.

“He came to Roland Garros, not with the idea of winning, but with the idea of playing several games. He must have earned more than he expected.

“But of course, what should he have done? Retiring when he had a match point? He has not played Rome, he has not played Madrid. He needed a victory! What he did is fine with me.

“He knew that, playing that long game [against Koepfer], there were options that he could not recover the next day, but he needed to win that game for his confidence.

“To be there, at midnight, on a cold night, with a heavy track, to do that. People have always seen Federer, but not everyone has realised what Federer has inside. He still has that fire inside of him.”
 

GhostOfNKDM

Hall of Fame
If Roger is afraid of losing to Novak, wouldn’t explain their AO 2020 meeting. Similar circumstances then as well.

Simple answer is that RG moved back a week and Roger didn’t want to risk his knees too much after two consecutive 4 setters on clay before going to Halle.
 
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Mats Wilanders Eurosport schedule
Monday - Today I’ll trash Federer, Novak Is the GOAT
Tuesday- Today I’ll trash Federer again, Nadal is the GOAT
Wednesday - Djokovic doesn’t have the weapons to hurt Rafa
Thursday- Djokovic has too many weapons for Rafa to handle
Friday - Today I’ll trash Federer again because it’s grass season soon
Saturday- Novak lost last nights SF because he didn’t have the weapons to hurt Rafa
Sunday - Nadal is GOAT , Djokovic will win Wimbledon because he has too many weapons
 

Martin J

Professional
If Federer thinks this way, he would've lost to Wawrinka in 2019 QF RG in order to avoid Nadal. Several weeks later, he beat the same Nadal at Wimbledon and the RG loss didn't affect his performance (as the matter of fact, he was very clutch).
Don't know what Mats is trying to achieve, but he really leaves an impression of a buffoon at times.
 

pj80

Hall of Fame
If Federer thinks this way, he would've lost to Wawrinka in 2019 QF RG in order to avoid Nadal. Several weeks later, he beat the same Nadal at Wimbledon and the RG loss didn't affect his performance (as the matter of fact, he was very clutch).
Don't know what Mats is trying to achieve, but he really leaves an impression of a buffoon at times.
I actually think Fed believed he could beat Rafa this time at RG because he had a winning streak vs him and wanted to test it at RG, thats why he showed up
 
I actually think Fed believed he could beat Rafa this time at RG because he had a winning streak vs him and wanted to test it at RG, thats why he showed up
He said before the tournament he realistically had no chance, when he got in rd2 and saw the guys playing he confirmed he had no chance and would love to be in Novaks/Rafas position.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Now I understand why so many think Wilander's mind is even weaker than his serve. I give him a counter-example:

'19 RG: Nadal beat Federer 63 64 62
'19 W: Federer beat Nadal 76 16 63 64
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
Lol, he just had a grueling third round match against Koepfer, and considering that Berrettini is no slouch, that also could’ve been really difficult for him.

Hmmm, should I play Berrettini and maybe hope I can get to the QF’s, in a tournament I can’t win, or should I default, take some time to recover and get ready for the one tournament of the year I still have a chance to win? It’s logic at this point.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Mats being naughty yet again! He is very entertaining, no doubt about it.

Outside of his broadcast duties he seems like an amazingly relaxed, nice guy. The TV is a chance for him to be a bit spicy and I think he relishes it and plays the role well knowing its all a bit of fun.
 
Federer is one guy who usually drags himself to get the well deserved beatdowns. From Miami 2011 to IW 2013 to RG 2019 and AO 2020 SF.


He likes his Beatdowns.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
commentators have to fill 6-8 hours of air time..
if they only told the truth they'd have nothing to say after 30min lol..
thats why borg was a bad commentator lol..
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
Wilander may have a valid point. Federer knew he was probably going to be well beaten (perhaps humiliated) if he made it through to Djokovic.

His withdrawal may well be among the most disappointing (cowardly?) actions by an ATG in the history of the slams.
 
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jga111

Hall of Fame
Federer already knew - and said - he was never going to win the tournament.

His objective was obvious - win some games. Get confidence.

Job done.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Spot on, as always.

Wilander: "He (Djokovic) could potentially be the best clay player of all time"
McEnroe: "WAIT A MINUTE!?"
Wilander: "In terms of level of tennis".

You couldn't make it up!

:love::love::love:
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Spot on, as always.

Wilander: "He (Djokovic) could potentially be the best clay player of all time"
McEnroe: "WAIT A MINUTE!?"
Wilander: "In terms of level of tennis".

You couldn't make it up!

:love::love::love:
In that case has to be Mesuti - his two sets over Djokovic made him go psycho a match later.
 

Forehanderer

Professional
Wilander gonna Wilander. See the eyes of the defending champion when he loses at the second round


His last slam win came at the age of 24 when Novak started his reign

Here's from Mats' wikipedia article. Don't miss the drug test part :-D. This is some guy to get expert analysis from lol

1989–1996
Wilander's motivation, results, and ranking suffered in 1989. He lost in the second round of the Australian Open to Ramesh Krishnan, the quarterfinals of the French Open to Andrei Chesnokov, the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to John McEnroe (7–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4), and the second round of the US Open to Pete Sampras (5–7, 6–3, 1–6, 6–1, 6–4). He did not win a tournament during 1989 and he finished the year ranked World No. 12.

Wilander briefly moved back into the top 10 rankings on 12 February 1990, but by the end of the year, his ranking had slumped to World No. 41. He defeated Boris Becker in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, only to lose to Stefan Edberg in straight sets in the semifinals. He skipped the French Open and Wimbledon and lost in the first round of the US Open to Brad Gilbert.

Wilander played only the first half of 1991. He lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open and the second round of the French Open. He finished the year ranked World No. 159.

Wilander was absent from the tour in 1992. He played seven tournaments in 1993, losing in the first round of five of them. At the US Open, he lost in the third round to Cédric Pioline. He finished the year ranked World No. 330.

Except for Wimbledon, Wilander played a full schedule in 1994. He lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open to MaliVai Washington, the first round of the French Open to Andre Agassi (6–2, 7–5, 6–1), and the first round of the US Open to Guy Forget. His only victory over a top ten player was in the second round of the tournament in Indianapolis against Todd Martin. He finished the year ranked World No. 129.

Wilander's results improved slightly in 1995 as he finished the year ranked World No. 46. After losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Jacco Eltingh, he lost in the second round of the French Open to eighth ranked Wayne Ferreira 6–7, 7–6, 6–3, 6–7, 8–6. He then lost in the third round of Wimbledon to Eltingh and the second round of the US Open to Martin. In other tournaments, he had wins against tenth ranked Marc Rosset, eighth ranked Ferreira, and sixth ranked Yevgeny Kafelnikov. He also won his final tour match against Edberg, in the second round of the Canadian Open in Montreal.

In 1996, Wilander played only one Grand Slam tournament, losing in the second round of the French Open to Martin. He retired from the tour after losing his final match to Martin Damm in Beijing in October.

During most of his career, Wilander used the Rossignol F-200 Carbon tennis racquet, an early fiberglass model.

Failed drug test and suspension
During the 1995 French Open he and Karel Nováček tested positive for cocaine. They appealed the initial three-month suspension by the International Tennis Federation, claiming flawed test procedures but withdrew their appeals in May 1997 and on 15 May 1997 received a three-month suspension from the ATP Tour for failing a drugs test. Additionally Wilander had to return his prize money since May 1995, amounting to $289,005, and forfeit ranking points.[6][7]
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Mats Wilander has suggested that the possibility of a heavy defeat to Novak Djokovic was a factor in Roger Federer withdrawing from Roland Garros.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion also backed the Swiss’ decision to pull out, and said he saw that the 39-year-old “still has that fire inside of him”.
Federer defeated Dominik Koepfer in a gruelling third round Roland Garros match – before controversially withdrawing before facing Matteo Berrettini.

The world No. 8 would have faced Djokovic in the quarter-finals had he played and beaten the Italian.

“Yes, I think [he] made a good decision. I think he would have had options [to win] against Berrettini,” Wilander said in an interview with Punto de Break.

“But of course, then he could have met Djokovic and it could have been that the Serb had defeated him in a resounding way and, before Wimbledon – he did not want that.

“He came to Roland Garros, not with the idea of winning, but with the idea of playing several games. He must have earned more than he expected.

“But of course, what should he have done? Retiring when he had a match point? He has not played Rome, he has not played Madrid. He needed a victory! What he did is fine with me.

“He knew that, playing that long game [against Koepfer], there were options that he could not recover the next day, but he needed to win that game for his confidence.

“To be there, at midnight, on a cold night, with a heavy track, to do that. People have always seen Federer, but not everyone has realised what Federer has inside. He still has that fire inside of him.”
Was Federer allowed to withdraw without penalty and Osaka may potentially be banned?
 
The way Berretini played in last two sets against Novak, he would have straight setted Federer


Berretini is becoming so hilariously underrated here that I might just end up supporting him
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
His withdrawal may well be the single most cowardly action by an ATG in the history of the slams.
Many on TTW were claiming that it would be to Fed's advantage to get a preview look at Djoker in prep for Wimbledon. That would make sense. But Fed's big fat ego just could not bear the the thought of losing to Djoker. So much for the "preparing for Wimbledon" excuse.
 
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