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What now for Roger?

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What now for Roger? Empty What now for Roger?

Post by summerblues on Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:40 am

With some of our tears dried up by now, what do we make of this result in terms of what it means for Roger?  I see very wide range of possible answers.

He could decide that since he did all he could, was in as good a form as he can be at his age, and yet came up short, he may as well call it a day and retire this year at Basel.

Or he can think that, while at 38 it is hard to tell how much longer it can last, for now he is right up there, so why not continue the ride indefinitely and see where it takes him?

What do you think he will do?

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Post by summerblues on Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:51 am

Here is my optimistic spin.

In many ways, W final was very similar to - albeit an unhappy version of - the AO17 final:

- In both cases Fed ran into a player who had regularly beaten him on the biggest stage numerous times before and we did not know how Fed's game would hold up.

- In both cases Fed's game looked surprisingly competitive, arguably better than his opponent's, and arguably he could have (should have?) won both matches before they even reached 5th set.

- But in both cases he produced enough patchy moments that the matches did go into the fifth set.

- Even those fifth sets were quite similar:  Fed went down an early break, but broke back and broke again to serve for the match late in the fifth.

That is where the similarities end.  Fed managed to serve out AO17 (though not without struggle - he went 15:40 down before righting the ship) but not W19.

But in spite of a different outcome, the matches were very similar.  Fed could have easily won them both, he could have easily lost them both.

Federer seems to have taken the right lessons from AO17 and never looked back in his rivalry with Rafa.  Excepting their RG match (and Rafa is an entirely different beast on clay) Rafa never came close to Fed in any of their subsequent encounters.

Can Fed try to take similarly positive lessons from this match?  Yes, he lost, but had he not have too many dips in sets 1-4, this never even needed to be a close match.  How about Fed aims for a do-over at the USO?

Delusional this?

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Post by bogbrush on Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:39 am

I am extremely optimistic after Wimbledon. He did far, far better than I ever hoped and was very unlucky not to have beaten both of them in the space of two rounds. This tells me that

- his physical condition was up to going toe-to-toe with Nadal for 4 sets then 5 hours with Djokovic 48 hours later. Incredible.

- he was clearly better than both players. In fact to be fair Nadal could make a better argument over that than Djokovic really, he did at least enjoy a set of clear superiority and lost in closer sets; Djokovic was walloped in 2 sets and squeaked by in 3 by the narrowest possible margins having mostly been just surviving. To see Federer put both matches on his own racquet was astonishing.

- bear in mind in the quarter he had also squashed the World #8.

It’s just about his motivations and maintaining health; does he want it?
I suspect he will and I am beginning to take seriously the though of a competitive 40 year old at the business end of Slams.

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Post by Daniel2 on Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:27 am

I'm just annoyed because he threw it away and Djok lucked out like usual.  I'll take some positives if he actually gets some luck and also starts holding his nerve in key moments.  He's let way too many titles slip away.

I'm getting tired of looking at Nadal and Djok and their ugly boring games that are being allowed to succeed on even grass.  The people running these tournaments need executing.

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Post by barrystar on Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:59 am

bogbrush wrote:I am extremely optimistic after Wimbledon. He did far, far better than I ever hoped and was very unlucky not to have beaten both of them in the space of two rounds. This tells me that

- his physical condition was up to going toe-to-toe with Nadal for 4 sets then 5 hours with Djokovic 48 hours later. Incredible.

- he was clearly better than both players. In fact to be fair Nadal could make a better argument over that than Djokovic really, he did at least enjoy a set of clear superiority and lost in closer sets; Djokovic was walloped in 2 sets and squeaked by in 3 by the narrowest possible margins having mostly been just surviving. To see Federer put both matches on his own racquet was astonishing.

- bear in mind in the quarter he had also squashed the World #8.

It’s just about his motivations and maintaining health; does he want it?
I suspect he will and I am beginning to take seriously the though of a competitive 40 year old at the business end of Slams.

Absolutely agree - I never expected to be disappointed because he had the final vs. Djoko on his racquet having dispatched Nadal comfortably in the end.  His performance in the longer rallies was also astonishing, and his game management (i.e. losing that set 6-1 vs. Nadal before coming right back into it almost at once) was something to see.  He and Uniqlo will be expecting him to be their face of Japan 2020, and then who knows?  His game is so efficient because he can rely on his technique and his bravura hand-eye coordination hitting near half-volleys from the baseline.  He appears as difficult to work out for his opponents as ever he was.  My horizon of 'expectation' has moved from 2020 to 2021.  He needs to stay fit, of course.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:47 am

Fed had a tough draw, to begin with, and his draw stayed on the course till the final. This is where he needs some help with draws opening up a bit where he may not have to be both Nadal and Djoko. Fed/Nadal/Djoko are at a completely different level compared to the rest of the field. So asking either one of them to beat the other 2 to win a slam is very difficult. 

None of them have successfully beaten the other 2 to win any of their last few slams.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:50 am

With a better draw and/or better conditions at the French he could have won the French and Wimbledon.

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Post by barrystar on Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:47 pm

The whole reason for me taking encouragement on Fed's behalf from Wimbledon is that the draw made no noticeable difference - he got to two match points to win the whole damn thing on his serve.  An ace or an unreturnable serve, namely what he had served at 30-15 to get there, would have ended it.  He didn't lose those points and then the game because of the draw.  In fact, as they stacked up, and arguably subject to the Kyrgios factor, Fed's draw was the hardest.  There's a case for saying that for Fed the most important hour or so of the tournament was the second two sets against Nishikori, who was playing at a level which required Fed to step up to win, which he did.  Fed was then able to come charging out of the blocks vs. Nadal and take crucial advantage in what has always been a battle of the front-runners.

Djoko had #57, #111, #48, #66, #23, #22, Fed

Nadal had #274, #43 (Kyrgios), #72, #69, #65, Fed

Fed had  #86, #169, #28, #20, #7, Nadal, Djokovic

* numbers are world rankings, Wimbledon seedings were slightly different

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Post by legendkillar on Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:26 pm

He absolutely exceeded expectations, more so given the conditions he faced and plus how his draw went to plan with no real favours towards the business end. It wasn't going to be fitness that was the major barrier to him losing. I can't recall the last real smash and grab Slam Final whereby it felt like a right steal and that's how Djokovic should be feeling. He will in his heart of hearts he had no business winning that match on the face of it. Djokovic was hanging on by fingers and that tells me that even his powers of fitness are not what they were. You have to be really tough mentally to overcome losing those championship points and had Federer overcame that, the feat would've gone up even more notches as his finest hour. 

Right now Federer has his 2 major rivals where he wants them. Having to incorporate much more risk into their encounters and more so having to bring their game more on to their racquets. I think that rattled Nadal more so in their encounter that he couldn't live with the relenting pressure from Federer's shots that required Nadal to be more aggressive on the groundies. When you consider Federer changed racquet head size and that has somewhat revolutionized his game and none of the field have experienced such a eureka moment. It's not so much about where can Djokovic and Nadal take their games, but the rest of the field. What can they do that will enhance their game like we have witness with Federer and the racquet?

It all rests on how confident Federer feels playing on. I always recall Daley Thompson when he spoke of decline but still winning "I knew I wasn't at the height of my powers, but if I wasn't getting any worse and that level was better than anyone else, why can't I still compete and win" That should be Federer's view on his current standing.

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Post by Tenez on Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:19 pm

What next for Roger? losing from 3 MPs v Djokovic at the USO.

Frankly, when it happened once at the USO 10 I thought it was unbelievable...doing it again at the USO 2011....was absurd!....doing it again at Wimby this year, proves that heros never win on earth...especially when they most deserve it.
So I'd not be surprised if Djoko were to do it again....Surely a mental block is building on Roger's mind!

However the price Djoko will pay for that is probably never surpass Nadal's slams count.

That what the stars tell me tonight!

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Post by sphairistike on Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:34 pm

I agree with most of what I read here and it goes along with what I wrote the other day. 

However, about your latest post Tenez, I do not think Fed will lose again from being MPs up against Nole, at least when serving for it with, but it is only my opinion.

USO 2010, these MPs were on Nole's racket and he played me aggressively on them to win them (despite both times needing a 2nd serve). USO 2011 was the closest to what happened this time, but let's not forget back then he took revenge at WB 2012 in SF were he served a similar serve as the one he did at USO 2011 that was returned by the magic/lucky shot just to make a point Nole could not do it again and indeed he was right and won that SF and the championships.

My point last time was, and it coincides more with the rest of your post Tenez, that Nole will start paying for that already at the next slam, as he had shown after AO 2012 and after RG 2016 and if he goes in a almost 2 year slump as he had done both times, he will indeed probably not surpass Nadal's slam count, not even equal it if Nadal adds the next RG.

The other positive from WB is that the speed of the court does not seem to be the issue anymore for Fed. I don't think it has ever been against anyone one but the rest of the Big 3-4, but it seems now that he is older, it may even help him a bit in absolute as he got slower and as a consequence not be as much of a negative vs. the rest of the Big 3. Here's hoping. What will matter more, and we have seen that at USO 2018 and RG 2019, are most likely the weather conditions (maybe also as he is older). The thing I noticed even more at WB 2019 and that is more of a concern is how much slower he is running to his FH side, not sure why this side more than the other...

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Post by summerblues on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:49 am

sphairistike wrote:The thing I noticed even more at WB 2019 and that is more of a concern is how much slower he is running to his FH side, not sure why this side more than the other...
My impression is that this has been an issue for many years now.  I did not think it was particularly worse this Wimbledon.  In the end, they are all getting older.  The last couple of years Rafa has been unable to run as much as he used to, and Nole was not at his best on Sunday either - nor really at any time after the AO.

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Post by summerblues on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:51 am

We all see things quite positively.  On the other hand, let's say Fed fails to win another slam, and say Rafa remains at 18 or 19, and Nole finishes at 21.

Then this match will bother us properly.

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Post by summerblues on Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:02 am

Daniel2 wrote:Djok lucked out like usual
It is not too shocking that a match as close as this one will involve some luck.  But to some extent Nole has made his own luck.  He was not playing well and could have easily lost in three sets.  But he was hanging in there as best he could and Roger in the end could not finish him off.  And it is not like Roger lost it on some freaky bounce or a net cord, he just could not play those MPs well enough.

They all have some bad luck and some good.  Fed could have lost 2017 AO.  People may not think of it much now, but he looked the weaker player going into the 5th set at 2007 Wimbledon.  I believe Rafa even had BPs in Fed's first two service games in that set, but Fed escaped in the end.

Nole on the other hand will always have his fiasco when running into the net on a volley - and collapsing meekly thereafter - while a break up late in the 5th set.

Rafa was on his way to take 5th set vs Nole in AO12 until he missed an easy DTL shot into an empty court.

Stuff happens.

BTW, regarding 2010 and 2011 USO.  While they were annoying at that point in time, I suspect it is quite likely that those losses ultimately helped Fed to keep slam lead on Rafa.  Rafa and Nole split those two USOs, while I feel fairly certain that if Fed had made it, Rafa would have beaten him on both occasions.

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Post by bogbrush on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:50 am

summerblues wrote:We all see things quite positively.  On the other hand, let's say Fed fails to win another slam, and say Rafa remains at 18 or 19, and Nole finishes at 21.

Then this match will bother us properly.
Yeah, it will, but what has enthused me is the evidence that at 38 (virtually), he is better than Djokovic and plays a beautiful game to do it. People can argue the first part but the second is indisputable by anyone with eyes and a brain to process it. This means Federer will always be revered as the greatest player I've ever seen unless someone even more gifted comes along, and in truth my opinion is the only one that matters to me - same as the rest of you I guess.

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Post by barrystar on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:33 pm

bogbrush wrote:
summerblues wrote:We all see things quite positively.  On the other hand, let's say Fed fails to win another slam, and say Rafa remains at 18 or 19, and Nole finishes at 21.

Then this match will bother us properly.
Yeah, it will, but what has enthused me is the evidence that at 38 (virtually), he is better than Djokovic and plays a beautiful game to do it. People can argue the first part but the second is indisputable by anyone with eyes and a brain to process it. This means Federer will always be revered as the greatest player I've ever seen unless someone even more gifted comes along, and in truth my opinion is the only one that matters to me - same as the rest of you I guess.

Aye - and the fact that he's here beating Nadal and pushing Djoko to the absolute limit aged 37 going on 38 tends to kick Wee Keira theories in the nadgers too.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:25 pm

You are all too positive imo....Don't you think Federer will fill the pressure next time he has MPs v Djoko or else? He has an absurd ratio of matches lost from MP and though I do not attribute that to mental weakness, or even mental lapse, it's bound to affect his future big events.

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Post by sphairistike on Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:48 pm

We are positive, but too positive? Not sure. Will Fed feel the pressure when he has MP, yes, as everyone does. Will Fed lose the match as a consequence? Hopefully not, otherwise, as you need MP to win a match, he would never win another match.

Now the more interesting question is what do we attribute the loss to from being up double MP on his own serve? You think it is not mental weakness, I can agree on that, but not mental lapse? What is it then? Imagine being in his shoes and knowing you have Wimbledon #9, slam #21 on your racket, you are serving at MP and you have another one in case the first one does not work... Maybe he already saw himself carrying the trophy, or maybe something else? 

It happens quite often when you have some historic achievement (or any big achievement) almost in your hands that you see the finish line already when it is not crossed yet and you get passed or you lose... On the other hand, when you are trying hard to leapfrog someone and you see you are just there behind or when you are trying to come from behind to win a tournament and the last game is against the one in front of you, you get extra motivated and suddenly play better and win.

No one except maybe his close circle will know what happened at that moment, but mental lapses get more frequent when you get older and this could be why, since Jan 2017, when Fed was healthy, most matches he lost he had MPs. In 2017 the problem did not seem as big as he won 2 slams and more tournaments than any other player but 2018 was a year where he also was physically subpar for some chunk of it etc. This one now this year is the most annoying as it happened in a slam and (again) against Djoko, but mental lapse would not be a surprising reason. 

We are positive as it seems Federer has been showing he is still the best player outside of clay. The negative is that it has not translated in slams won after AO 2018. Does it mean he will not win another slam? Hopefully he will win one (or more), but because he is getting closer and closer to retirement, each opportunity gone by makes such a win less and less likely, but to be fair, it seems to me it has also gotten less and less likely for Rafa and for Djoker too and we know Fed can maximize this if neither of them makes the final or if he only meets one of them on the way to the trophy or maybe even if he has to beat both as this Wimbledon, despite being a loss, shows us it is in the realm of what is possible. And for me this is what is the most positive.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:50 am

barrystar wrote:The whole reason for me taking encouragement on Fed's behalf from Wimbledon is that the draw made no noticeable difference - he got to two match points to win the whole damn thing on his serve.  An ace or an unreturnable serve, namely what he had served at 30-15 to get there, would have ended it.

The draw made a difference in my opinion as I think that if it was anyone other than Djoko from that half, Fed wouldn't have wobbled on those 2 MPs. And even if wobbled, would certainly not lost 4 points in a row from 40-15 up.  He only needed to hold that game.

 Anyone else,  he wouldn't need more than 3 sets to finish the job. Fed losing 3 TBs in a match is not something which isn't attributed to whoever is the opponent. So the draw did make a difference. The draw allowed an easy path to the finals for Djoko, none came in is path whom he was expected to lose or even struggle to beat ( baring a tiny bit of Agut).

Whereas for Fed he needed to see through Nishi and Nadal to reach finals. This is where a bit of help with the draw was needed.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:37 am

sphairistike wrote:

Now the more interesting question is what do we attribute the loss to from being up double MP on his own serve? You think it is not mental weakness, I can agree on that, but not mental lapse? What is it then? Imagine being in his shoes and knowing you have Wimbledon #9, slam #21 on your racket, you are serving at MP and you have another one in case the first one does not work... Maybe he already saw himself carrying the trophy, or maybe something else? 

Fed suffers mental lapses, loss in focus in many matches. And he has acknowledged it too in some interviews. This could be a sign of mental fatigue just from the demand of focus the opponent puts for Fed. If the opponent refuses to phase off, asking Fed to play good till the last point is won, Fed has suffered in those matches. And all such opponents have a healthy record against Fed including slams.

I can name many and all of them have healthy, if not winning h2h vs Fed. Fed had lost matches to all of them having MPs, some of those MPs on his own serve too.

1. Djokovic
2. Nadal
3. Berdych
4. Delpotro
5. Theim

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Post by bogbrush on Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:47 am

You’re all making way too much of the match point thing.  The big thing is being able to get them. Keep getting them and he’ll win big matches, play poorly and losing them doesn’t come into play.

Any idea that Federer is going to play this well, get to match points, and regularly fold is just stupid. Even after these he still played well enough to force break points and take it to a toss-up.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:26 am

bogbrush wrote:You’re all making way too much of the match point thing.  The big thing is being able to get them. Keep getting them and he’ll win big matches, play poorly and losing them doesn’t come into play.

Any idea that Federer is going to play this well, get to match points, and regularly fold is just stupid. Even after these he still played well enough to force break points and take it to a toss-up.
 haha.. yeah .. The tennis lull needs to be killed. Till we get to see some with US open series.

I don't think Fed gets to match point and will lose. I just think against certain opponents, he can wobble and fall off.

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Post by Jahu on Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:37 pm

Federer has lost 22 matches after having a match point since his first loss of this kind in 2000 when he lost to Tim Henman at the Vienna Open.

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Post by Slippy on Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:16 am

Tenez wrote:You are all too positive imo....Don't you think Federer will fill the pressure next time he has MPs v Djoko or else? He has an absurd ratio of matches lost from MP and though I do not attribute that to mental weakness, or even mental lapse, it's bound to affect his future big events.
Obviously, it’s a small mental weakness compared to Novak and Rafa. Look at the bungled smash in the SF - he clearly gets very nervous when serving out in very close matches. Of course, that’s completely natural but suggesting it’s anything other than down to his mentality is wrong.

My view is that Fed needs to win the US Open to improve his slam count now. In 2020, his focus will naturally switch to the Olympics, which is huge for him and Uniqlo and he has to start finding the grind of slams difficult at some stage. 

Currently, it looks like we could be arriving at next year’s US Open with both Novak and Rafa on 19 slams, unless someone else steps up or one of them gets injured, so that could be a very exciting tournament.

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Post by BEL19VE on Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:35 pm

Disagree Born Slippy.

Firstly I think Feds main chance is Wimby 2020, I don’t think he’d be so focused on the Olympics that he neglects his favourite tournament.
Secondly Nadal’s movement is now so slow and terrible that I doubt he will ever reach 19 slams.
Only thing I agree with you with is Djokovic may be on 19 slams this time next year, but I think it’s more likely 20. I think he’ll end his career with slams in the mid 20s. I hope he cheats on his wife again and loses the plot this summer.

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Post by summerblues on Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:46 pm

Slippy wrote:In 2020, his focus will naturally switch to the Olympics, which is huge for him and Uniqlo
Spoken like a true Murray fan smiley

I am sure Olympics are big for Fed/Uniqlo, but Wimbledon or USO will still be higher priority for him.  I imagine Uniqlo will build their Olympics campaign around his participation rather than him winning the title there.  Sure, he will prefer winning to not winning but - unless he decides that the slams are beyond him by then - Olympics will, rightly, continue to take a back seat to the slams.

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Post by summerblues on Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:52 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:
barrystar wrote:The whole reason for me taking encouragement on Fed's behalf from Wimbledon is that the draw made no noticeable difference - he got to two match points to win the whole damn thing on his serve.  An ace or an unreturnable serve, namely what he had served at 30-15 to get there, would have ended it.

The draw made a difference in my opinion as I think that if it was anyone other than Djoko from that half, Fed wouldn't have wobbled on those 2 MPs. And even if wobbled, would certainly not lost 4 points in a row from 40-15 up.  He only needed to hold that game.
Certainly draw makes a difference - easier to face Nishi or Cilic than Djokovic, no doubt about that.

I think when most of us Fed fans, having seen this Wimbledon, say things like "it is nice to see that the draw does not make a difference", we really mean something weaker than that.  Before the Wimbledon, we would have felt that for Fed to have a realistic chance to win, he would have needed to avoid at least one - or maybe even both - of Rafa/Nole.  But this Wimbledon showed that he certainly had a solid shot even while facing both of them.

Maybe we really mean something like:

"It does not matter what the draw is, he has a fighting chance".

Which is something we probably did not believe coming into the Wimbledon.

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What now for Roger? Empty Re: What now for Roger?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:36 am

Since the last few years, Djokovic is a bigger challenge for Fed than Nadal. Nadal is mostly still employing the 2006-08 tactics of plugging to FEd's BH and he would give an error. That has stopped working to a great extent.

Djokoivic is a better server, a better returner, and better mover than Nadal. Also he is able to move around Fed way more easily than Nadal can. Fed's movement on the FH side is too slow now and Djoko can clearly take advantage of it.

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What now for Roger? Empty Re: What now for Roger?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:24 am


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What now for Roger? Empty Re: What now for Roger?

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