Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Federer v Lopez as it happened

Flushing Meadows, New York, 27 August-9 September

US Open, Flushing Meadows Fourth round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) bt F Lopez (Spa)

3-6 6-4 6-1 6-4

By Piers Newbery

Fourth set

Federer 6-4 Lopez
There we have it – Federer holds serve to 15 to complete a fine win after a very sticky start. I fancy this boy for the title, you know. Thanks for staying with it and see you all again tomorrow for a bit of Djokovic v Monaco and lots of Henin v Serena. Should be good.

Federer 5-4 Lopez
Well done Feli, who saves three match points from 0-40 to the ecstatic cheers of the now presumably well-oiled New York crowd.

Federer 5-3 Lopez
My colleague Caroline Cheese is going to a press function tomorrow that will see her face Greg Rusedski’s serve. There is more chance of her breaking Greg than Lopez breaking Federer, who holds to love again.

Federer 4-3 Lopez
Lopez holds serve to 30. I am distracted by a trailer for ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’. Anyway, Federer to serve again.

Federer 4-2 Lopez
Ace number 10 helps Federer to a sixth straight love-service game. Safe to say, there’s not much prospect of a Lopez break at the moment.

Federer 3-2 Lopez
A couple more of the flicked cross-court backhands that have been the feature shot of this match help Federer to deuce but Lopez hangs on.

Federer 3-1 Lopez
At 30-15 Federer rolls into the net, punches a sharp backhand volley behind Lopez and then leaps to put away a smash. Easy.

Federer 2-1 Lopez
Lopez stays in touch, at least on the scoreboard.

0347: “Boring – that’s what some people think of Federer’s utter dominance. I say: phenomenal. The way he dug himself out of the hole of losing the first set AGAIN. Piers, fear not you’ll have an early night. Relatively speaking.”
From anon via text (I’m quite happy to watch Federer playing like this, whatever the time. He’s been brilliant tonight against someone in top form themselves)

Federer 2-0 Lopez
I don’t know who’s struggling more to keep pace with Federer – Lopez or me. Another love-service game for the champ.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
And goodnight. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, but this one is done and dusted now. However, Federer is always worth watching for the kind of backhand winner that takes him to break point in this game. Unfortunately, Lopez then comes up with a double fault.

Third set

Federer 6-1 Lopez
And barely have I finished filling you in on the previous game when Federer wraps up the set to love. Lopez is starting to look like a beaten man.

Federer 5-1 Lopez
Lopez is not playing badly but is nowhere near the level of the first two sets and Federer breaks again with an off-forehand.

Federer 4-1 Lopez
Federer is serving beautifully and holds to love again.

0331: “I sense a gear change from Federer. My insomnia is fading… back to bed soon.”
From David, S. Wales, via text

Federer 3-1 Lopez
Lpez does well to hold on from 15-30 and remains alive in this set.

Federer 3-0 Lopez
Federer quickly holds and the world is back on its axis, thoughts of an upset are receding, and Mirka looks decidedly more chirpy.

Federer 2-0 Lopez
We’re in the middle of one of Federer’s irresistible patches of form and two stunning backhand winners help him to 0-40 and three break points. He then finds the best of the bunch to break, hooking a backhand around the Spaniard at the net and down the line. That game alone was worth staying up until 3am and beyond for. Magic.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
Federer still seems to have his head in the second set as he slips 0-40 down but the champion finds his best stuff to get out of trouble, with four first serves and a blistering forehand winner. That will be hard to take for Lopez.

Second set

0316: “I want Feliciano to win, at least that way Roddick’s got a chance in the next round. By the way, isn’t insomnia great?”
Sarah, Bucks, via text (I’ll remember that when I’m trying to sleep at 9am)

Federer 6-4 Lopez
This is more like it. At 30-30 Federer hangs on as Lopez batters him with heavy forehands before hitting back with a fizzing backhand cross-court winner. The world number one then takes the set with a lob that Lopez can only put in the net on the backhand smash.

0310: “I think that Federer could possibly be took to 5 sets by Lopez. Thrilling stuff!”
From jhono via text

Federer 5-4 Lopez
Lopez is ‘in the zone’ as they say, belting everything without a care in the world. A screamer of a backhand winner gets him to 15-30 but Federer holds on and gives it a bit of “C’mon!”

0306: “Everyone go to bed. Fed without question will move into 3rd gear on the big points to go through in 4.”
From Shane in Armagh via text

Federer 4-4 Lopez
Federer gets a sniff of a break when a foray to the net takes him to 30-30 but the Swiss then falls victim to a desperately tight Hawkeye decision. He looks less than chuffed but at deuce produces his first magical moment of the day with a backhand pass down the line. Lopez saves the break point with a heavy second serve and manages to hold.

Federer 4-3 Lopez
A swift love hold for Federer and already a tie-break looks likely.

Federer 3-3 Lopez
Lopez wallops three massive serves on his way to another hold, although Federer does make one move to the net and plays a decent forehand volley.

Federer 3-2 Lopez
Federer is pushed a little more on serve but at 40-30 finds a service winner. Despite the very real possibility of the biggest shock since Kevin Curran beat John McEnroe, this match hasn’t really got going. Lopez is succeeding through big serving and Federer has yet to find any magic.

0245: “Is anon a gal? I am trying to sleep downstairs knowing the match is on TV upstairs. Have to work in a hospital no less, sigh!”
From SRM via text on 81111 (We’ve got two anons so far, no idea of their gender I’m afraid, but if they’re on the internet at 3am I’m guessing male)

Federer 2-2 Lopez
Another regulation service game looks on the way when Lopez goes 30-0 up but Federer claws his way back to 30-30 in a couple of long rallies. Feli’s best bet is finding a big first serve, and two in a row seal the game.

Federer 2-1 Lopez
Federer looks very comfortable on serve, holding to 15 this time.

0245: “I’ve never been published either and figure 3am is probably as good a time as any to try. Fed to play badly but win anyway in 4.”
From anon mk2 via text

Federer 1-1 Lopez
A sloppy forehand into the net lets Lopez down and the pressure is on at 30-30. Another Lopez error hands Federer a break point but he saves it with a big second serve and goes on to hold. Federer’s grlfriend, Mirka, does not look too happy in the stands.

Federer 1-0 Lopez
Federer holds serve to love – can Lopez maintain his form on his own serve?

First set

0238: “With this form Federer can’t win.”
From anon via text

Federer 3-6 Lopez
Well, I say. ‘Feli’ takes the first set after one false alarm. He looks to have wrapped things up at 40-15 but Federer goes to Hawkeye and is successful. The Swiss then wins the following point to put more pressure on Lopez, but the Spaniard finds yet another big serve to wrap up the set in 24 minutes.

Federer 3-5 Lopez
Federer holds to love, and history tells us that he will now break serve. Meanwhile, a small child is dragged out of the stadium by his father to the boos of the locals. Heartwarming stuff.

Federer 2-5 Lopez
Lopez is looking pretty fresh at the moment and races through another love-service game. It’s possible, just possible, he might win this set.

0228: “Good morning. I want to be the first message posted. I’ve never been posted! Pleease? Feli to take it to 5 sets but not as fresh as you so fed in 3.”
From anon via text (Extraordinary, I’m touched)

Federer 2-4 Lopez
Another wayward forehand spoils a good game for Federer.

Federer 1-4 Lopez
Federer sends Lopez a warning with one looping forehand pass down the line and a chipped return gets him to break point, but the Spaniard holds on with a big serve. Federer’s timing remains dodgy and Lopez extends his lead. Don’t get too excited though. I’m telling you now, he’s not going to win.

Federer 1-3 Lopez
Some swashbuckling stuff from Lopez, who gets to the net and swats away a high backhand volley for 15-30. He then hammers a forehand winner and has two break points. And the Spaniard converts with a majestic return backed up by a superb volley. Incredible stuff. Of course, it will never last.

Federer 1-2 Lopez
Lopez is all over the net and it works for the moment as he holds to love. Federer hasn’t found any sort of rhythm yet.

Federer 1-1 Lopez
A straightforward hold for Federer, as Lopez’s coach Albert Costa looks on from the stands. I wonder what game plan the former French Open champion has coooked up for this match.

Federer 0-1 Lopez
Lopez has a big serve and likes to volley so could pose a problem or two for the champion. He opens with a double fault and an ace and comes through to 15.

0205: Federer arrives on Arthur Ashe Stadium sticking with his all-black outfit, while Lopez is wearing a tracksuit. The stadium PA plays the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars, presumably in honour of Federer’s sinister new look.

0202: While we wait for the players to turn up, I’ve been enjoying Lopez’s official website where I am told, among other things, that “Feli passed the early years of his childhood on a normal way”. Excellent. Federer’s website is an altogether more clinical affair. Apparently, Roger’s hair colour is “dark brown”.

0155: Not surprisingly, Federer has a pretty handy 4-0 record against Lopez, although they haven’t played for two years and the Spaniard has got a couple of sets against the world number one.

0149: Well, I don’t know about you but I’m feeling as fresh as a daisy and up for seeing something special from Federer. And Lopez too, I suppose, although the chances of him springing a surprise tonight are minimal, it’s fair to say.

Story from BBC SPORT

Advertisements

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: