Monday, September 10, 2007

Darth Federer? [J. Mark English]

Just how good is Roger Federer, whom won his 12th grand slam yesterday? Sean Randall of the Tennis X Blog breaks down just what a phenomenal athlete this man has become:

Roger Federer has never lost a match in his career in the all black Darth Vader look. After the US Open final today that will still be fact.

Novak Djokovic has enjoyed a great US Open, with great wins over Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer, he’s also shown us his personal side with a pair of memorable impersonations Thursday evening. But today’s going to be too much for the 20-year-old Serb.

While Federer will be comfortable in playing in front of 23,000 plus and in his 10th straight Slam final, this will be Novak’s first go round in a major title bout.

The lack of a day off also hurts Novak. Fed’s used to it, not Novak. The heat could also play a role. Djokovic has had problems with conditions and injuries in the past, and even yesterday he looked somewhat sluggish at times in the heat and had to summon the trainer.

By wearing the black outfit Fed will send a message to Novak that he’s just fine playing tennis in warm, humid conditions.

Federer and Djokovic match-up pretty well. But I think Federer right now is better than Novak in just about every department, even backhand. I think Novak is a more consistent ball striker, but in the pressure of a final he’s likely to make a few more errors than normal.

Fed will also have revenge on his mind after losing to Djokovic in the Canadian final.

I also don’t think Novak will be completely overwhelmed by the occasion. That win over Federer last month showed the kid’s poise, which is quite remarkable for a 20-year-old. And Novak looked a lot better than Fed did yesterday in the semifinals. After jittery starts by both players they each managed to win in straight sets. But I’m not going to put much stock in either of those wins.

Federer’s never lost a Sunday Slam final not played on clay. That said I’ll bet on black again, in straight sets.

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