Friday, October 31, 2014
Even though Federer lost in the quarterfinals of Paris today, it didn't take too long for the initial disappointment to dissipate. Sure, the thought of him winning a third trophy in a row sounded appealing, and giving himself a great chance to end the year at #1. But think about it - a lot of fans weren't necessarily even expecting him to play Paris at all after winning back-to-back trophies in Shanghai and Basel. He had already expressed that the World Tour Finals in London and Davis Cup were his priorities. If he would have made it all the way to the final he would have put two more days worth of matches into his already tired body. I say it's time for a rest and to get ready for the last two big events of the year.
He didn't play a bad match at all in his loss to Raonic. I will say, though, that Raonic played quite amazing. He knew what was on the line for him - a chance to participate in the esteemed World Tour Finals - and he played like someone with a lot to lose. Yes, I was getting frustrated with the way Federer wasn't having much of a chance on Raonic's service games because of that incredible serve, especially after having faced this already against Karlovic just the week before in Basel. But Milos stepped up in more ways than just his serve, painting the lines many times on his forehand, and he deserved the win. And I don't feel that Roger really minded losing that much anyway - his mind is already moving ahead to getting some rest and hopefully playing amazing in London.
Also, I never really felt that Roger adjusted fully to this ultra slow court in Paris. Even though he got a couple wins, it seemed like it was a little more of a struggle than normal maybe. I'm hoping the court in London will be a bit quicker for the style that suits his game so well. He has already expressed he is hoping to win in London. It will be a hard task, as always, but with the season he has had, why not?
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Roger Federer continues to amaze. At 33 years old he just won his second Masters 1000 title in a row, adding a trophy he has never won before, and beating world #1 Novak Djokovic in the process With his 4th title of the year in 9 finals, with the most wins of anyone on the tour this season, those calling for his retirement have been shut down as he proves himself over and over again.
It was a hard fought battle in the final. Unlike the match against Djokovic in the semifinal in which everything seemed to be working, a practically perfect match played by Roger in Novak's eyes, the match against Simon for the trophy was one of grit and determination, fighting through when things weren't going his way. Starting the match by getting broken was certainly less than ideal, and then seeming to find no way to get into Simon's service games made for a frustrating first set, really just getting a bit lucky that Simon got tight trying to serve for the set. Somehow, somehow, though, he managed to find a way to hang in there and take the tiebreak. I really thought getting the first set under his belt was going to give him confidence to be able to close out the match in easier fashion, especially with Simon needing a medical timeout before the 2nd set started. Although Roger had his chances to break, though, he just couldn't find a way to get it done. And much credit to Simon who kept hanging in there. Thankfully Roger was able to save break points and close it out in a second tiebreak.
Really this match didn't seem like the final to me - the semifinal against Djokovic was the match he totally shined in, playing the kind of tennis his fans absolutely love, with brilliant winners and not many errors. He has been showing once again what a healthy Roger Federer can do, in spite of the criticism from the media, and supposed fans even, as he fought through injury last year. I just can't say enough how impressive it is that someone who was supposedly finished, according to many, who was just too old to be relevant anymore in today's game, and who was going to ruin his legacy, at 33 (and with four kids, no less) has ignored all that, has continued to work hard, push through, and has already won four titles this year, again, with the most wins of anyone on tour. I am just so impressed, in awe really, at what this man can do. He now has a week off before one of his special tournaments, Basel, then we'll see what he decides to do about Paris before the World Tour Finals and Davis Cup. There's even a potential he could end the year as World #1, though he would have to have an incredible finish to do so. With the way he's been performing, though, I'm certainly not going to put it past him!
Friday, October 10, 2014
In spite of being all stuffed up with a cold this week as well as beginning his conquest in Shanghai with a very late night, Roger Federer is through to his 11th semifinal of the year, to play world #1 Novak Djokovic.
It started out with a rather perilous match against Leonardo Mayer, who was playing some sublime tennis. Roger had five match points against him and would have been out on the first one if a lucky net cord had gone the other way. But he managed to save all of them, some in a very topsy-turvy tiebreak that would challenge any Fed fan's nerves. Since then his form has gotten progressively better. In his 3rd round match against Batista Agut he was certainly tested, but came through in straight sets.
His quarterfinal match against old foe Benneteau, who has given Roger and his fans some headaches in the past, proved to be a treat with some spectacular points on both sides. Until the last couple points in the tiebreak in the first set it was impossible to tell who was going to come out on top, with Benneteau giving all that he had as he usually does against Roger. That seemed to be all he had left, however, as the second set went very quickly with Roger serving up a bagel to close things out.
Roger has once again had to play all late evening matches in Shanghai. Thankfully, however, his semifinal against Djokovic will also be at this same time, as I'm sure conditions are fairly different in the daytime. I won't even venture a prediction on how this match will go, but either way Roger has continued to play amazingly this year and fully deserves the place he will go to at the beginning of next week, back to #2 in the world.