Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Roger Federer starting 2014 off right
Happy New Year Federer fans! I can't think of a better way to ring in 2014 than with a decisive first win for Roger. And for me it really was ringing in the new year since I was up watching it at 1 a.m. I actually went to bed and was going to see the results and hopefully a replay on You Tube in the morning - after all, this is only a 250 tournament, right? But I woke up a bit before the match was going to start and of course then there was no way I was going back to sleep. It was well worth sitting at my computer in my bathrobe in the middle of the night!
After the year Roger had in 2013 none of us knew for sure what to expect. But he has been sounding confident, knowing he is feeling well finally and had a good block of training time, and that certainly gave me confidence that he was going to be a different player than what we saw much of last year. And that was definitely the case. I had come to expect, though dread in 2013, the multitude of errors that were coming off his racquet, whether using his old trustworthy 90' or the new bigger racquet head he tried in the summer. Was that going to be the new but older Federer? Instead what we saw last night was the confident and aggressive Roger that only showed up on occasion last year. Of course this still needs to prove itself over several matches, but to me he looked like a different guy to the way he had been playing. The combination of injury, lack of practice and lack of confidence makes a huge difference.
I am certainly hoping the negative press and media members who had been claiming his drop in form was all about age will soon have to eat their words and admit that even though he didn't talk about it much until the end of the year, it really was about injury not about decline. He will have a test against Matosevic in the next round, but I see him getting through it in straight sets. In fact, to be honest, I see him winning this tournament to start his year off just the way we would want to see it. Hopefully I'm not setting myself up for disappointment, but that's how much I believe in him for 2014.