Wednesday, February 27, 2013
On to the quarters
I was very happy with Roger's Federer's 2nd round win in Dubai against Granollers. He looked much more settled in every aspect of his game than he did in the first round. His serve was quite effective and he had some really beautiful winning shots. He was able to get the break points that he needed and was clutch in saving the few break points against him. And serving out both sets was very quick and easy.
I think there is actually quite a lot of pressure on him for this tournament. He wasn't able to defend his title in Rotterdam, instead getting only to the quarterfinals, so losing quite a few points from that. As he won the title in Dubai and also in the next two Masters 1000s that he plays last year, that is an awful lot of points to defend. It would do his confidence a world of good to be able to win again this week before heading to Indian Wells (where I am very much looking forward to watching him play live!).
Of course, he will need to continue to play well against Davydenko, who he has a great record against, but then will likely face Berdych in the semis, who has been an Achilles heel for him, and if he can get past him then likely a very on-form Novak Djokovic in the final. This is a stacked players field at the top and he certainly has his work cut out for him.
I only today realized that this tournament is a day ahead of most, with the final being played on Saturday instead of Sunday, maybe to give the players a little more time to head to the States for the upcoming big event. I hope to be watching a great final come Saturday.