Monday, August 18, 2014
Joy for Federer and fans as he lifts his 80th trophy
Wow, what a rollercoaster ride of a final. But it ended in pure joy with Roger winning his 6th Cincinnati title and, more importantly, his 80th title overall.
For a while it seemed it was maybe going to be a pretty straightforward match. Federer took the first set 6-3 and then in the first game of the second set, which lasted over 10 minutes, he had multiple break point opportunities. I think if he could have taken one of those he would have rolled to an easy victory. He wasn't able to capitalize, however, and in the next game David Ferrer showed incredible tenacity, pushing himself to extremes to win some amazing points. It all went downhill from there, and what was really going on is anyone's guess, because before we knew it the score was 5-0.
My feeling is that there has been a mental block lately in finals for Roger. Anyone who plays tennis themselves can understand this feeling; the body tightening up at critical times, over hitting or under hitting just trying to finish it up. Although it's kind of hard to understand for someone with the accomplishments he has had, with the kind of year he experienced last year, it makes sense. Having lost in five finals this year, many of which he should have won, this win was hugely important for his confidence moving forward.
He started playing a bit better at the end of the 2nd set, managing to get one game and starting to find his form again. Yet I was still incredibly nervous in the third set, more than I was even in the Wimbledon final. I just felt this win was so necessary for him to find that ability to close out wins for big titles again. And he seemed to find that inner ability once again to get it done in style. I have to say I did feel sorry for poor David Ferrer, who has now lost all 16 times he has played Roger. And he tried so very hard, truly giving his all. He looked incredibly sad at the trophy ceremony.
On the other hand, though, Roger looked absolutely thrilled with his win, as his fans both in the stands and at home were going crazy with joy and relief. Myla and Charlene came to join the team for the award ceremony and looked so cute every time they were on camera. Roger was glad to be getting a bigger trophy to bring home for them.
Roger's joy continued as he went to the balcony to show off his coveted trophy to the huge crowd waiting for him. He had fun playing peek-a-boo with them, which produced many loud roars. Look at the extreme happiness on his face!
So he has great momentum now to take him into the U.S. Open. Hopefully he can get some good rest this week, especially with not needing to practice as much with all of this helpful match play he has had the last two weeks. And with Rafa Nadal announcing he won't be playing this year, Roger has an incredible opportunity to grab that elusive 18th major title. Allez Roger!