I am going to attempt to write a blog post about the Monte Carlo final and what to make of it, but even as I begin to type this I'm not sure what I am going to say. I (and most other Fed fans) went into this final so excited about the opportunity Roger had to add this elusive trophy to his massive trophy case. Finally Nadal wasn't in his path and he was playing someone who had never won a Masters 1000 title before. Surely it was his time.
While I told myself it was a win-win situation no matter the result with Stan Wawrinka being his good friend, someone who is finding himself and an amazing brand of tennis later in his career, and who is a sweetheart in his own right, as the match went from Roger being in the winning position to Stan finding his confidence and aggression to turn it around (final score 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 Wawrinka), I realized again how badly I wanted this title for Roger. As happy as I am for Stan and all that he has now accomplished this year (winning his first grand slam, his first Masters 1000, and pulling off an impressive 6-0 record against top 10 players this year) it's hard to see Federer reach another final and end up faltering from a winning position once again.
But when you really add things up you have to see the positives. First of all, none of us even thought Roger would be playing Monte Carlo at all. So I went into the week thinking it would be good for him to just get some clay matches under his belt and gain a few points in case he has to miss any tournaments when his baby is born. Also, he was down and out against Tsonga in the quarterfinal, coming within two points of losing the match. He was fortunate just to be in the semifinal against Djokovic and beforehand I really didn't see him coming through that one. And though he certainly earned the win in the first set against Novak, if he had been totally healthy who knows what would have happened the rest of the match. So with all that in mind, the fact that he was in the final at all when I really didn't expect that at the start of the week was an amazing result. Did I want him to win it? You bet I did! But is it a disastrous result? By no means. If someone would have told us the end of last summer that he would make four finals in the first four months of 2014 we would have been ecstatic!
So with all that, as I process the way the match played out, regardless of the fact that he certainly could have won the title if he had just played a little better second set tiebreak, even though there is disappointment involved it was still a very good week, considering he wasn't even going to be playing in the first place. And he is happy for his good buddy Stan. He won't be moping around because he lost even though he had his chances. He will be heading home to rest, which it sounds like he really needs, to be with his lovely family again and await, hopefully soon, the birth of his third child. So let's take the good from the week and be happy for Roger for all that is so positive in his life right now.