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Federer fires out a warning

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Jonathan Overend | 06:39 UK time, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

After some first-week wonkiness, losing some sets he would not expect to, Roger Federer looked close to his best in his 6-1 6-3 6-3 win over fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The world number two's general command of the court stood out. He moved forwards at every opportunity, dominating his good friend from the word "play". Wawrinka won only two points in the first three games, setting the tone for the rest of the match.

As the contest went on, Federer turned on the style, bringing out the crowd-pleasing shots to demonstrate his confidence and on-court contentment.

fed335.jpg

An under-par or under-weather Federer rarely executes daring drop shots, drives round the net post or hits through the legs. There was an exhibition element to much of this performance, which, while not perfect, was clearly his best of the tournament.

I watched from courtside. "Swiss Power!" shouted a man to my right. A girl in the 10th row unfurled a banner that read: "Federer is Betterer". A bloke behind had a t-shirt bearing the slogan: "I'm Fed-Up". That earned him a big-screen close-up. Everyone else whooped and sighed in that Federer-watching way.

Wawrinka, after a faultless tournament, could only watch and admire his Olympic-winning doubles partner, although the spectacular wreckage of a racket, mangled after the second game of the third set, was Turner Prize-winning evidence of his frustration.

This is why it is impossible to judge Federer in the first week of majors. Somehow he just flicks a switch when the tests get tougher. Although the opposition is undeniably strong here in Melbourne, he will be hard to stop if he plays like this for the rest of the event.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Looks like the top players are just starting to up their game. Can't see past Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray semis.

  • Comment number 2.

    didn't see the match but seems like federer is finally getting into his elements.He's getting in form at the right time.

  • Comment number 3.

    Fed was sublime. But when he upped his game to be aggressive, like trying to see of the match early, he lost his way a bit. When trying to be overly aggressive, he over does the shots (never used to).

    He got to match point by playing amazing tennis, so why mess it up by trying to be overly aggressive to finish off the match. He does that a bit too much against Nadal and a few others too. Just keep doing what you did to get to match point..simple!

    Other than that, it was flawless....and agreed, parts were very "exhibition-y".

  • Comment number 4.

    I totally agree with you Bhoys909. A dominant display from the Swiss Legend. since winning his fisrt Hard Court Grand Slam in 2004 australian open, Federer has only lost to 4 men 5 times and most of the time in 5 sets excluding his Loss to Djokovic in the 2008 Australian open(Mono illness). What does this tell us? The guy has dominated his era and is still troubling the young generation of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. The guy has won 9 of the 14 major titles. gotten to at least the semifinal of the Australian open and Us Open since 2004. won 95 matches out of a possible 100. This is total dominance. Not forgetting his 5 WTF titles out of a possible 8, winning the 5th one in Nadal's dominant season.
    The Swiss Maestro is still a world apart from the field in terms of hard court slams consistency. The probability is 1 that Federer will always get to the semis of hard court slams. he has done it 15 times in a row. can he make it 10 out of 15 slams? sunday will tell. Cheers.

  • Comment number 5.

    Ho hum, looks like it's shaping up to be the same predictable old final. Federer v Nadal or Nadal v Federer.

  • Comment number 6.

    Very smooth, Federer looked easy and comfortable out there; the serve was settled, the backhand secure and varied, the volleys impressive.

    Wawrinkas groundstrokes frequently erred. Partly this was due to Federer giving him less time, but just as much was because Wawrinka realised that, unlike Monfils and Roddick, Federer was going to jump all over anything too safe.

    The key for Federer is the serve. If it stays like this he becomes very difficult to break, he stays relaxed and aggressive on the return game and generally his opponents gets a beating. If he loses his way on the serve then it's different and the match can go either way. He seems to be bringing his game to the right level at the right time.

  • Comment number 7.

    Will look forward to the highlights tonight. I thought Stan would give Fed a harder game though given their current progress so far, but when its Fed on the other side of the net, it alters the mindset of the opponent

  • Comment number 8.

    @5 HO HUM?? A Federer Nadal final is exactly what the majority of tennis fans hope for in every tournament!! Here's hoping for another classic!

  • Comment number 9.

    @ federerisbetterer - "A Federer Nadal final is exactly what the majority of tennis fans hope for in every tournament!!"

    If that were true, what a sad, boring bunch of people tennis fans would be.

    Speak for yourself not the majority of tennis fans.

    'Mon the Murray!!!



  • Comment number 10.

    @9 Well said. Here's hoping for a Djokovic/Murray final.

  • Comment number 11.

    Obviously in Britain,any final with Murray is bigger.
    But rest of the world, its always Fed Vs Nadal. and will be still these two keep playing this level.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thought Djoko looked good. I'd be happy with a Murray semi and delighted if he got to the final, but I dont expect it.

  • Comment number 13.

    Murray's biggest risk is lack of concentration in the quarter.

    If he wins that he will beat Nadal and then meet Djoko in the final.

  • Comment number 14.

    I hope it would be another Nadal vs Federer. Murray is a overrated player and Djoko is no match to Rafa.

  • Comment number 15.

    I never underestimate Djokovic but the Fed is something else in the GS tournaments. He may have lost some of his consistency but when he is on song he is a delight to watch - no surprise that his idol was Edberg, a fellow exponent of the beautiful game.

    Still crossing my fingers for the dream final.

  • Comment number 16.

    As the Fed progresses through tournaments I always hope for the players that can do him some damage to be knocked out early on, usually some of the lesser ranked players can have an inspired day and beat the big guns but that has not really happened this year.

    So we have Murray, Rafa and Djoko all players that can beat the Fed if he is less than 100% (and in the case of Rafa if he is at 75%) I think Roger needs to dictate points more he has shots that others do not and if he was more aggressive he could put some real pressure on Rafa.

    He needs to win this tournament - I think if he does not win 2 slams this year he will retire, and none of want to see that!

  • Comment number 17.

    I would still put my money on Nadal. I think as a competitor he is the one to beat.

  • Comment number 18.

    @14 ... overrated by who?

    No one (at least no one in their right minds) claims that he is one of the top two players in the world, and he has been ranked in the top 5 in the world for the last couple of years or so, based on his achievements on the court.

    Any of Murray, Soderling or Soderling could lay claim to being number 3. Djoko holds it now (rightly, as the only one of the three to win a Slam), Murray has reached two finals and several semis, while Soderling has never reached beyond the quarters of any slam not on clay but, like Murray, has reached two finals.

    Murray could win this tournament. He has proved in the past that he can beat Nadal on hard courts over five sets, his problem is his inability (so far) to beat Federer over five, in spite of his excellent head to head record against him.

    Yes, the British media can over-hype it at times, but there is little room to "overrate" someone who is already ranked 5 in the world based on actual performance. The reality is that they are just desperate for a British player to win a Slam ... in the same way that they are desperate for England to win the World Cup ... and report accordingly.

  • Comment number 19.

    5.

    Yes, predictable old final, Fed v Nadal. I mean it's not like we haven't had a Fed-Nadal GS Final for 2 years, is it? Oh wait, yes it is.

    I think that Nadal and Murray should get through tomorrow and beyond that, one of Murray & Djoko will get through and one of Fed-Nadal will get through. I'm not predicting which one, though!

  • Comment number 20.

    @18 Overrated is the wrong word - frustrating might be another, he has a tendency to play some amazing tennis and then suddenly go AWOL, lots of snarling and shouting and losing focus. I think Dolgopolov has a chance for that reason alone...anyway come on Roger!

  • Comment number 21.

    Well the dream final is off the cards now - interesting to see how the semis go. Depends which Roger Federer turns up against Djokovic but the match should be a real cracker.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think that Djoko's dismantling of Berdych with two breadstick was awesome. Fed beware!

 

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