Sunday, May 3, 2015

Federer claims 85th title in Istanbul

It was a topsy turvy week for Federer in Istanbul, but at the end of it all he was holding up a beautiful trophy to inaugurate this brand new tournament.  And who better to always have on record as the first title holder than the GOAT, the Maestro, his majesty Roger Federer?

The final started out strong for Roger, playing aggressively and cutting down on the errors that seemed to plague him through the week.  He closed out the first set easily at 6-2.  But from experience both watching and playing, I was well aware that a 6-2 first set doesn't necessarily mean anything.  And sure enough, the 2nd set was a much tighter affair.  In spite of a break which should have ended it in much easier fashion, this was given back, and other break point opportunities not taken (in part definitely due to some great play by Pablo Cuevas).  It inevitably went to a tiebreak and wow, what an experience that was.  Both players had some definite moments of choking, and really, I'm surprised it didn't end up in a 3rd set.  Roger had several wasted match points, but Pablo decided to return the favor by wasting his set points.  Ultimately some better play ensued and Roger was able to close it out finally at 13-11, after blood pressure rising and heart attacks from many Fed fans.

This was the first clay court win for Federer since Madrid 2012, but as that was blue clay it was surprisingly his first red clay title since 2009.  Now he will head to Madrid, I'm sure with more confidence, and hopefully a couple days rest before starting a difficult journey with a tough draw.  But that's a different story for a different day.  For now we will celebrate the happy feelings of his hard fought 85th trophy. 

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