Why do I call this a dream week? After all, it was Roger Federer's 7th time to win the title in Cincinnati; it's not like it was anything too new to him. But how often does a player not only not lose a set on their road to the trophy, but more importantly not even have his serve broken one time? And not just that, he only faced break point three times in the tournament, and not one time in the final against the world #1. That is simply unheard of!
Anyone who watched any of Roger's matches during the week couldn't help but have heard about and observed his ultra-aggressive tactics. His new return strategy started out as a joke in practice - moving up to within just a couple feet of the service box and taking the serve incredibly early, stunning his opponent. He even used this on big server Kevin Anderson, much to the shock of everyone watching. Some of the shots he produced during the week were just outrageous. To continue to add to his game at 34 years old after all that he has accomplished in his career is so impressive and can be added to his extensive list of what he is so admired for.
The quick conditions in Cincy are so well suited for his game. I kept thinking through the week as I watched Federer shine and Djokovic struggle how things would be different if so many of the court surfaces hadn't been made ridiculously slow. There were still quite a lot of long rallies during the tournament, so the argument that there are no long rallies with quick courts doesn't ring true. There was a lot of very exciting tennis! I will hold myself back from going on a long rant about this, but I'll at least say that I wish it was more even as far as slow and fast surfaces. I mean, this year Federer beat Djokovic on the quick surfaces, Djokovic beat Federer on the slow surfaces. Different strengths for different players. Enough said.
I heard it said many times after the final that this was the first time Roger had ever beaten the the #1 and #2 player in the world in a tournament. To me that sounds bad because it sounds like he wasn't capable of doing that. What many were ignoring, however, was the fact that the majority of the time he has been ranked #1 or #2, so it would have been impossible simply because of that. Again, enough said.
I loved seeing the Federer girls at the tournament, seeming a little more tuned in than previously. When Roger went to greet his family after his win, I couldn't stop smiling for many minutes afterwards. Even though I know everyone has already probably seen it, I still have to put the sweet video in.
And finally, I leave at the end of the week for my first experience at the US Open! I will be there the first week. It will be a very different experience than my time at Indian Wells this year, where I was able to sit right down at the front because I was volunteering; here I will be up in the nosebleed section. But being at a grand slam for the first time will be quite an experience and I'm very excited! Hopefully will still get some good Roger time.