Friday, June 15, 2012

Is there meaning in 250 tournaments?

The old guy beat the young guy today in Halle, Germany in a very tight match.  As with the last two matches they have played, Raonic won the first set, which was all about the serve, in a tiebreak.  However, as in the past, then the pressure seems to get to him a bit in the second and he folds on serve enough for a break.  Raonic came back strong in the third though, serving a bunch of aces again, and they once again ended up in a tiebreak.  Roger was strong this time, though and closed it out.  Raonic had said in his last match against him that he came out feeling like he could win and he left knowing he could.  Well, I guess he got a bit ahead of himself on that one.  Roger is still the stronger in all aspects of the game other than Milos's incredible serve, without which he doesn't have all that strong of skills, or at least which let him down in the important moments.  It will be interesting to see how Wimbledon goes for him this year, since last year was where he sustained the hip injury in a bad fall.

So, after Rafa Nadal was taken out pretty easily by last year's champion Phillip Kohlschreiber, who had never beaten him before, here's the question:  Do these small tournaments matter before grand slams?  On the one hand it helps them get their form as they have to quickly adjust to a new surface.  On the other hand it could tire them out more than necessary in something that doesn't give them many points.  I don't know - I have mixed feelings on this one.  I think it's good to see Roger in better form than he was at RG, and I think he probably needs this time to find his footing.  Obviously he has won it before and then gone on to win Wimbledon.  As Tommy Haas (who is having an awesome comeback) just took out Tomas Berdych, Roger's competition in this tournament has dropped considerably without two of his big foes.  Let's hope his older body can handle the pressure and that he can win Halle and Wimbledon in succession, giving him great confidence going into the Olympics!!.

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