Federer Receives Favorable Draw at US Open
 J. Sousa
 Bautista Agut
Well there it is folks; the 2014 US Open draw. Will this finally be Roger’s year in New York again? If you look at the draw his chances certainly look good, but people seem to forget he still needs to win seven best of five set matches and possibly beat Djokovic in the final. I would say it’s way too early to start thinking about #18. Look what happened at Wimbledon. Before the tournament every Fedfan was hopeful that it would be #18 for Roger there, until the draw came out and Nadal was in his half. Then when Nadal lost and Roger’s draw opened up every Fedfan was once again hopeful that Roger would win the title, only for their dreams to get smashed in the final by Djokovic. If we have learned anything about draws it is that it is unpredictable and the initial draw seldom means much.
Roger’s day outfit
For instance a player nobody expected could go on a hot run in the bottom half and upset Roger. Or Djokovic could kick into top form again from the quarter finals onward and be unstoppable in the final. I don’t expect those things to happen, but nothing is guaranteed. Roger’s draw is Matosevic, Groth/Ramos-Vinolas, Karlovic/Granollers, Fognini/Bautista-Agut, Dimitrov/Monfils, Ferrer/Cilic/Berdych, and Djokovic/Murray/Tsonga. It’s not gonna get any better for him at this stage. Then in the top half you have Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, and Isner all in the same quarter. I mean are you kidding me?! This is the dream draw for Roger and if you are ever gonna believe in destiny or that the Gods favor Roger to win something then it is now. But still you got to remain grounded and remember what happened at Wimbledon.
Hitting the practice courts. I’m just loving the outfit!
I’m not speaking for myself so much as I am speaking for many Fedfans who were crushed after the Wimby loss. You all know by now that I took that loss well and that it didn’t bother me as much as other Fedfans. I felt that it was destiny for Djokovic to win Wimby and that Roger was up against the law of averages. For that reason I felt there was unfinished business and I was already excited about the North-American hard court swing. If you don’t believe me go back and read it. I just don’t want Fedfans to set themselves up for disappointment again and come here and leave very negative comments. We all want Roger to win this and we all sense there is a great opportunity for him here, but it is better to let go of any expectations. I have learned a lesson from Wimby myself, all be it maybe not as hard a lesson as for some others.
Guess who is back for the night session…
I learned to be grateful for what you have and not focus on lack. This is an extremely important lesson for life in general as well which I learned recently. So for me I am just extremely grateful that Roger won Cincy after a two year drought in Masters titles. The biggest mistake to make now would be to have already forgotten about that reward and focus all the attention on winning the US Open. Personally I am very grateful that Roger won Cincy after losing in three Masters finals and that he has had a superb year so far. I mean at age 33 and after the all time low of last year. So the US Open title would be more like a nice added bonus for me. I am not attached to the outcome. I am just looking forward to another slam and to enjoy every one of Roger’s matches. I hope you feel the same.
Roger answers some fan questions. Good stuff:
Agree completely, Ru-an! I am pumped and very optimistic about Roger’s chances. I talk about the draw endlessly. But ultimately, like you, I don’t have expectations. I’m very grateful for all he has given us this year already. It’s not realistic to have high expectations for Roger at this stage of his career, even with a soft draw. But if he pulls it off, well and good. If not, it’s not the end of the world. “Focus on what you have and not focus on lack”. Good one, Ru-an!
Oh, Ru-an, LOVE the outfits especially Darth Federer! That practice white Betterer t-shirt and blue shorts are so awesome too, Ru-an, totally agree with you!!!
August 22nd, 2014 at 1:45 pm
Yup, Darth Fed is back. We all know what happened the last time Darth Fed paid a visit to the USO.
Ru-an no matter how much Fed gives his fans will always want more, but he’s such a class act it’s natural to want him to win…but win or lose how can you not but admire him! Still C’mon Roger x
August 22nd, 2014 at 1:48 pm
Well wanting to Roger to win because he is a class act and not having expectations is one thing, and expecting Roger to win and writing him off if he doesn’t is another…
Completly agree Ruan as much we love watching Roger play if he dosent win any tournament barring clay and miami its a disopintment…The draw is just peRFect..i am hooked for two weeks now..
This is how I feel about Roger’s unfinished business in New York:
In Australia, Roger has won 4 Titles. Yes it could have been 5 but it feels like he has closed that chapter.
After the crushing defeat to Nadal in 2009, Roger came back and won in 2010. He has lost in the next 4 years always in the Semi-Finals, including two losses to Nadal (2012 and 2014) but in both cases, Nadal didn’t go on to win the tournament. Therefore, Roger can claim that he is the more recent of the two champions in Australia.
Roger won the only French Open separating the 9 GS that Nadal has won there. He took advantage of the only door that was left open and that’s good enough. Yes, he made the 2011 Final as well but to me the memorable performance there was the Epic Semi-Final against Djokovic snapping his unbeaten streak. Therefore, Roger can feel like the chapter there can be closed as well.
At Wimbledon, Roger avenged the 2008 loss to Nadal by winning in 2009. Then Nadal won it again in 2010, and Roger was able to win it yet again in 2012, therefore also becoming the more recent champion there. The epic way in which Roger won his 7th Wimbledon Title, and returning back to Number 1 was the Ultimate. Yes, he could have won his 8th and he may yet have one more chance, but being in 9 Finals is an amazing feat, and the way he fought in that final was simply mesmerizing. He could close the chapter at Wimbledon with no regrets.
Finally, the US Open. 2008 was such a long time ago. So is 2009. I was there in the Final, when against all odds, Del Potro stole Roger’s 6th US Open title. At the time, there was this sense of nostalgia, as if the book wasn’t closed the way it should have been. Then in 2010 and in 2011, Roger was stopped from getting into the finals yet again. Maybe, the fates didn’t want him to face Nadal, and maybe he’ll thank them later. Nadal is the most recent champion in New York and that has to be corrected!
It brings us now to the 2014 US Open. An amazing draw! No Nadal! Djokovic appears weak. Murray and Wawrinka are both in Djokovic’s section.
Roger is playing amazing, and not just as of late. If you look at it – ALL year apart from the Rome/ French Open stretch, Roger has played very consistently.
Roger has been in 8 Finals. No one can match this feat this year. He has the most Top 10 wins of all players. (12:4) and is 2:2 with Djokovic.
He is ranked 3rd by the ATP at Most Service Games Held All Year.
There are three keys to this revival:
The New Pro Staff RF 97 Racquet
Healthy and Confident Roger
Roger is playing efficient, aggressive, fluid tennis. I’ll let Ru-an delve into the details here but it’s all true.
And then one final thing. Darth Federer is coming back! He was here back in 2009 and now he is back to finish the job.
Roger lost the All-White Final at Wimbledon but will win the US Open with the All-Black Outfit.
If for some reason, Roger does come short, it will not be the end of the world – just a huge opportunity missed. The season will still be very positive for Roger but we all sense that Roger is on the VERGE of greatness.
We swallowed all these defeats – in Brisbane, in Australia to Nadal, in Indian Wells to Djokovic in the 3rd set Tie-Break, at the Monte-Carlo Masters after leading Wawrinka, at Wimbledon after the Epic comeback, and in Toronto after forcing the tie-break against Tsonga.
I sense that if Roger could trade all these losses and titles for the US Open, he’d do it. And it looks like, that might very well be the case.
I’m excited as ever for this year’s US Open. There will be some peaks and valleys along the way, some surprises as well, but I am confident that Roger will stand victorious in the end.. I haven’t felt like this in a long time.. If there is destiny in sports, then this is it! #18
August 22nd, 2014 at 3:50 pm
Hey Vily, trust me, AO is NOT over for Roger. He has made what SF all the time?? Once (2015 or 2016) there will be a time when he will reach a final and my God…. even win it I know most fans have given up on AO because of the slow courts, but guys…. the dude makes SF there !!! Believe me, a final and even winning a final will happen.
And… no, I am not crazy…. even RG will happen. With or without Rafa playing
August 22nd, 2014 at 3:59 pm
Wow, you people talking about Roger winning the AO and FO. I’m just glad he won his last match.
August 22nd, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Absolutely, my point as well. We should not go overboard. This man is 33. Has to win 7 matches, probably some of them going to five sets. One match at a time folks! Be patient, you never know what is going to unfold in the next two weeks. Just appreciate good tennis. Perhaps Roger is more relaxed than us, the crazy Fedfans.
August 22nd, 2014 at 5:41 pm
Most probably Jiten. A lot of Fedfans already have Roger winning the title. They forget the 7 BO5 matches and a possible final with Djokovic I guess.
August 22nd, 2014 at 8:14 pm
Ruan is quite right (simply yet very powerfully put Ruan!) but Vily, somehow that 2:2 with Djokovic this year seems a little like unfinished business to me.
Maybe I need to work on my attitude…
August 23rd, 2014 at 12:13 pm
Nothing wrong with your attitude Joe. Just remember that Djokovic is in his prime and Roger is not, so 2:2 is actually good for Roger. That said, there may be some unfinished business after what happened at Wimby. That is after all the one that counted.
Agree with you! from. Ow on, everything is GRAVY for Roger. And we all celebrate with him each step of the way!
Very good post, Ru-an, with lots of common sense, I like. Thank You! Both day/night attire I like, too. “Betterer” t-shirt is a hit….Roger will always be a winner in my heart…wish him Good Luck at USOpen, one match at a time.
Anxious for the tournament to get started…..
August 22nd, 2014 at 9:01 pm
I’d kind of like to see Roger wearing a Winnerer T-shirt after USO… but maybe that would be a bit too arrogant?
We’ll see I guess. I have a lot if question marks for Djokovic. Everybody assumes that he’ll make the finals but I am not so sure.
He has been in 5 US Open Fina while Roger has been in 6.
Roger had a Run of 8 straight SFs (2004-2011) while Novak also had a run of 8 straight – (2006-2013). So I don’t know.
It would be impressive if Novak makes it to the finals with the tough draw he has. But I am just not so sure. Murray and Tsonga are very hungry and they want to do something here. I also feel that Wawrinka may show up as well. Let’s not forget that he beat Novak in Australia and that he also lost a 5 setter last year at the Open.
I don’t think that Novak is rolling into the final. He’s had a great year but the combination of marriage/ kids/ winning Wimbledkn will result in a meltdown. If he makes it to the final, I’ll be very impressed and nervous at the same time.
Let’s hope that Roger makes it as well and just go guns blazing. Let’s not forget that the Wimbledon Final was decided in the 3rd set Tie-break which went Novak’s way.. They also have a 5-th set tie-break at the Open. I hope it doesn’t come to that!
August 22nd, 2014 at 7:44 pm
Well said Vily!
I’m starting to worry about Stan as the best dark horse too, or maybe that one of the young guns will (try to) make a move…
August 23rd, 2014 at 5:01 am
Agreed Vily I am not so sure Djoker will make it to the final either. I didn’t write in my post about the scenarios for the top half because I didn’t want to look like I was looking too far ahead, but my feeling is the top half is very open. I think Djoker, Murray, and Tsonga all have a shot at making the final. People seem to sure to me that Djokovic will make the final. Tsonga destroyed him in Toronto and and could go on a hot run to the final again. I thought Murray was on the brink of something good before he ran into Roger in Cincy. He could go all the way to the final too. I think it’s about equal chance between those 3 as to who makes the final. Not counting out that Isner could upset Djoker too. He is also due for a good run. Djokovic has his work cut out for him.
Sorry to hype up the situation even more guys
August 23rd, 2014 at 5:12 am
Thought the actual stars would spell that Roger will win the USO in this article. Anyway I’m not sure how seriously I would take Bodo Alex. He chose Bautista-Agut as the dark horse, in effect saying Roger could lose to him of all people. RBA is in my opinion a pusher with no weapons.
August 23rd, 2014 at 8:20 am
Yeah don’t worry I’m not getting my hopes up too much. I realize that at Roger’s age it’s gonna take something awfully special for him to go all the way. We just have to wait and see.
August 23rd, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Don’t get me wrong. He is the favorite for the title to me. But if Bodo calls RBA a dark horse I’m not sure how seriously you can take him.
beautiful ruan. for the past the.lesson I have been working on is what you wrote. grateful,abundance, appreciation are the keys to happiness for me regardless of what life gives you moment to moment. Joe, Joseph cambells heroes journey is the fundamental structure for just about everything I write. love from Shanghai guys.
August 23rd, 2014 at 4:54 am
Yes you are a great example of this Eric. I have noticed that about you. You appreciate every little blessing life brings your way and therefor they are bound to keep coming and to increase. I won’t be surprised if you win your personal slam. All the best in Shanghai!
August 24th, 2014 at 1:25 am
Means a lot to hear you say that. It’s not natural for me. Years of work and only now just getting it. I suffered tragedy and loss and was very angry for a long time. Marrying a woman who is a master at this was the best thing I ever did.
August 24th, 2014 at 7:05 am
Well you sure seem to have caught up with your wife! This is kinda crazy but I suffered tragedy and loss myself, and was very angry for a long time too!
August 24th, 2014 at 8:38 am
it is no mistake.that I found you, Ru-an.
August 24th, 2014 at 8:59 am
Was thinking the same thing.
August 23rd, 2014 at 2:13 pm
That is so cool! I think a lot of writer’s put together stories about the Hero’s Journey without realizing it – but to be fair, that’s probably not so much the case these days as it was before Campbell’s work became popular!
Knowing what you are doing in re the Hero’s Journey makes your art so much richer IMHO, and lets you ring some of the deep bells in the human psyche (humans really like that). By coincidence, I’m actually re-reading Hero With a Thousand Faces now – and it’s hard to say since I’ve picked through it so much in the last ten or twelve years, but it’s probably about the fourth time. There’s a lot there! I’ve read and own many other Campbell books too, and you can color me a huge fan.
When you have some time, drop us a line to let us know how things are going! I wonder what it’s like to be on your own Hero’s Journey when your trip is about ‘Hero’ stories too! Do you ever feel like you’re looking at yourself through a microscope?
But enough about that – I want to wish you the best of luck in Shanghai, and don’t forget to have fun there too!
All the best,
August 23rd, 2014 at 2:33 pm
This book by Campbell that you mention sounds interesting Joe. From your comments on my last post he sounded interesting too. It may be my next read. Can you tell me some more about it? Cheers.
August 24th, 2014 at 1:36 am
Joe I am very conscious of being on my own heroes journey. We all are. It’s the awareness of it that makes it extra deeply fulfilling and which allows me to alter my path, to write my own story so to speak. I have been reading and rereading JC (coincidence?) for 20 years. Have you ever watched his interviews with Moyer on PBS? Ru-an that might be a nice light way to introduce you.
Yay!!! The schedule is out and I am happy! Here’s why:
1. Djokovic will play Monday and then potentially on Thursday (US Open spreads the 1st round over 3 days), then Saturday, then Monday, then Wednesday, Saturday and then Monday (if he gets that far)
2. Roger will most likely play Tuesday, then Friday, then Sunday, then Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and then Monday! )
I am happy because this schedule puts the spotlight on Djokovic first and then it will allow Roger to see what he does first and then do one better.
Also, for purely selfish reasons, my wife bought us tickets for that Thursday (4th of September) so I’ll definitely be able to see Roger play!
In any case, I think that it’s a good schedule. It will allow Roger to kinda find his game in the 1st week with 2 days inbetween his 1st and 2nd round and then really get into the tournament with only a day between each match which would be fine for him since he’ll be able to get into a rhythm.
By the way, I liked his pressed today because he looks grounded, maybe slightly nervous but what he said about not getting ahead of himself was spot on! )
August 24th, 2014 at 2:33 am
I am still jealous about your getting to watch Roger play! But this schedule looks great; in fact, it could scarcely be any better.
On a slightly different note, here’s an interesting article about the top players. I knew that Roger runs less than the others but the stats about his return of serve were very surprising to me; hope you’ll enjoy reading:
August 24th, 2014 at 11:04 am
Thanks Joe that’s very interesting indeed. Roger taking returns even earlier than Djokovic. And yet he is such a great returner of big serves. Lighting fast eye.
Another quick and superficial summary is coming your way now! Joseph Campbell is more interesting and relevant today than any summary of mine can explain, but here goes:
First of all, The Power of Myth is a good book for a busy professional to start with, for an introduction to Campbell and his work.
Hero With a Thousand Faces is a deep and scholarly work almost 400 pages long, that required a lot of study on my part. It was so much more than worth it (!), and I also have to admit that my own blind spots may have had a lot to do with the amount of work required! But Campbell unifies psychology, mythology, art, science, and religion in this amazing book, so I should have known I would have to stretch myself at some points.
Please note first of all that ‘Hero,’ summarizing 90% of the world’s mythology or more, is actually about each person’s life.
Campbell considered a culture’s myths, just as he would consider art, music, scientific discovery, religious thought, etc. to be reflections of unconscious psyche. He said that his purpose in writing this book was to uncover some of the deep truths ‘disguised under the figures of religion and mythology.’
He starts the book by pointing out in an indirect way how many of us who haven’t encountered ego death are actually living out myths unconsciously. This is, in my understanding, how psychoanalysts approach their patients on some level – by determining what myths they don’t realize they’re living out. Carl Jung talks about this in Man and His Symbols as well. But there’s some work to do to get through the early pages.
In any event, here’s the point of the book as I see it: I think Campbell would say that every human life is a hero’s journey. The journey will result in the inevitable death of the hero; but out of that death, there can arise an authentic human being.
This is also one of the foundational points of life as Joe sees things: Ego death is absolutely necessary for spiritual rebirth. “When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified – and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn,” as Campbell says. So I think this is a healthful way to deal with unfortunate circumstances that occur in our lives, and I can’t emphasize that enough. We have to die to a tragedy in order to be reborn; if we don’t, we live that tragedy again and again, every day of our lives.
Campbell steps back in the early going to make this remark about the Greek plays of tragedy and comedy: “Tragedy is the shattering of the forms [forms = basically the world of objects, the sensory veil (of polar opposites) that hides our minds from deeper reality – Joe] and of our attachment to the forms; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible. Thus the two are the terms of a single mythological theme and experience which includes them both and which they bound: the down-going and up-coming (kathodos and anodos), which together constitute the totality of the revelation that is life, and which the individual must know and love if he is to be purged of the contagion of sin and death. All things are changing; nothing dies…”
The bulk of the book is dedicated to a description of the phases of the hero’s journey as we encounter it in myth. But these phases correspond with steps in the process Carl Jung calls individuation. I want to note that he gives careful attention to the teachings of the Christ and the Buddha.
Campbell’s prose is beautiful, but some of his sentences are an entire paragraph long! I do want to give a sample I think is relevant:
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be one with all the world.”
Looking at what I’ve written, I think I may have gone on too long already! I know I have a tendency to do that… but I’ve also done very little to describe this vast and symphonic book. Eric and any others who may be familiar with Hero, please add any comments you think will help about the volumes of depth I haven’t mentioned.
For anyone this summary offends, please accept my sincere apologies! If you’ll tell me so, I’ll try my best to explain and/or make amends.
August 24th, 2014 at 6:55 am
Don’t worry about offending anyone Joe. This is my blog and I like what you said. Thanks for the summery it looks interesting. I have read extensively about the meaning of life like I told you and have found my answer, but I’m sure it would be an interesting read regardless. I am looking for something intellectually challenging to read, as I found some of Freud’s stuff when I read it. Would this be in a similar category?
August 24th, 2014 at 2:45 pm
I haven’t read much Freud but he had some excellent observations, for which in the United States he doesn’t get the credit he deserves in my opinion.
What I can say though, is that Campbell and Carl Jung seem to be on a similar wavelength; Jung has a book called Man and His Symbols that he wrote (with colleagues) near the end of his life to explain his work to the public. It has a lot in common with Hero With a Thousand Faces and I’d recommend Jung’s book too. Jung is more an analyst whereas Campbell is more a synthesis, but both were brilliant men.
August 24th, 2014 at 4:14 pm
Joe, you’ve done an excellent job. Yesterday my writing partner and I met with scholars all afternoon to try to uncover Chinese mythology such that we may apply these exact principles to our screenplay and have them resonate with the Chinese the way European mythology resonates with western audiences. Think King Arthur, Cinderella, etc. countless movies have recreated these myths. The fascinating thing is that it was extremely difficult for them to identify Chinese mythology. We are gathering elements and symbols that we can include in our story but still haven’t found full mythology. Joe if you are aware of any I would love to hear about it. If you don’t mind, perhaps Ru-an could connect us via email so we don’t hijack the tennis conversation too much. Btw Joe, Ru-an is a very deep guy who at one point was simultaneously blogging on topics such as these.
August 24th, 2014 at 2:00 am
That really sounds like a lot of fun (and a definite challenge). I know Campbell mentions some Chinese myths in Hero (mostly Buddha types as I recall), but I’ll look for some others.
Sharing email addresses is fine with me!
August 24th, 2014 at 1:11 pm
Just saw this. Sure I’d connect you. And I guess suffering kinda forces you to become deep.
August 24th, 2014 at 2:55 pm
I know I didn’t have much of a choice. Leaving for southern china at 5 am. Not sure what my internet access will be. So if you don’t hear from me enjoy the hell out of this next 10 days. go go go Roger!!! I should be back in Shanghai for the semis or final. Go go go, baby!! Have fun you guys!!
August 24th, 2014 at 2:59 pm
I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I pushed a lot of suffering aside and repressed it for a decade or more, living in denial when the opportunity to grow from painful events was staring me starkly in the face…
My life felt as if I was falling from a tall building. But eventually, the ground broke my fall.
Ha! At this point I’m able to find some amusement in how big a fool I was (but that is not to say that I’ve eradicated all foolishness – I certainly haven’t).