Nolby: Maybe he has to change a bit of his playing style, more to the way Federer plays. He doesn't waste to much power in the matches against weaker opponents and he is never injured. If Robin wants to stay at top 6 in the rankings, and increase even more (top 3 and a GS-win), I think he has to waste less powers in the early rounds. In that way, he won't be injured as much as Nadal for example and he can play tennis for many years to come.
Yea, noone has as economical a game in terms of preserving strength as Fed. I wish it was that easy. Fed has found ways to dictacte matches without giving 110% out there, whereas it seems to me that Del Pony and Soda really need to charge themselves up physically and mentally and "go for it" if you know what I mean, to win a tough match. When Robin is rested and in good shape physically (no shoulder or knee issues), he puts almost any match on his racquet by dictating the offense and as many have said: "blowing the opponent off the court" with his angles and agressive strategy. I watched the Fed match again and he had Fed on the run, not something you see very often. He had Fed lterally whiffing at shots he couldn't reach. Del Pony did a similar thing to Fed at the U.S. Open last year. Fed can have a player whiffing at shots, but usually hits a "zipper" when he moves them out of position with something soft laterally or from side to side (i.e. his drop shot from back deep when used effectively). Robin was nailing the ball at such extreme angles and with such velocity, Fed was robbed of time and couldn't do anything with the shots he could reach (i.e. he tried some of that soft stuff like the long drop shots, and he didn't even come close because he couldn't handle the shots).
Anyway, the Cilic and Berdych matches were interesting because those two employ a similar strategy as Robin does, but neither one is as effective at nailing the lines (although they are pretty good at that too), and I don't think they have the mental strength that Robin or Del Potro have: that "never say die" attitude and ability to come back after being down.
Here's a huge point noone is making in the media. Have the literal losses of Del Potro and Kolya (Del Potro just had wrist surgery and is going to end up missing almost an entire year, he is aiming for a return at the Paris Open in November; Kolya broke his wrist at Rotterdam) and the mental confidence losses by Nole and Muzza just made things too easy for Fedal? What would have happened in the Final if someone like Del Potro had taken a set or two off Rafa on his way to the Finals?
I mean, I don't think Rafa lost one set the entire tournament. Obviously, Robin had the 4 setter against Fed and the 5 setter on Friday against Berdych and Cilic match in the R16 was tough despite the outcome. Del Potro and Kolya were pretty much the main dudes who were taking Rafa out of tournament after tournament last year. If you take Soda out of the equation, Roger and Rafa lost a total of 0 sets. Roger came into the QFs with no sets lost at all and Soda took 3. If it is going to turn out that he has to take out a fresh and untested Rafa and Roger every tournament, and NOONE else steps up, he is looking at a pretty difficult to impossible task. He has to run through both of them at their highest level of confidence and highest level of energy and physical fitness.
Some might think as Soda fans it is a good thing all the other top players seem to be on the decline or have had disastrous long term injuries. I don't see it that way. If Nole had at least given Rafa a workout in the Semis and taken a set off him, a precedent for some kind of blueprint as well as a more weary Rafa would have made the match on Sunday more competitive. Tennis needs Nole, Muzza, and Roddick to start playing with more confidence again. The complete loss of a talent like Del Potro has been devastating to the competitiveness of the game as he was yet another guy that at least gave "Fedal" a test, if not completely beating one or both of them like he did at the U.S. Open last year. Kolya was doing pretty well at one point too, and seemed to have a game that really tripped Rafa up. Rafa didn't have to face Kolya once the entire Clay season because of Kolya's broken wrist. I'm happy Soda is still out there fighting, but he also needs the other top talents to start picking it up again too. Hopefully, that starts at SW19, and hopefully, when Del Potro returns to some kind of form sometime next year, we can start enjoying him as a legitimate threat to the top 2 as well. This wrist issue for Del Potro has turned out to be a horrible disaster for the game....he was one guy like Robin that you could always count on to make the Big Two have to sweat it out a bit and was a legitimate threat to take them out of every match.