That was far from ideal. Roger started well enough as he raced to a 5-1 lead in the first set. But given how he has played of late it wasn’t a huge surprise when Giraldo broke back twice to get back to 5-4. But at least Roger then broke serve again to win the first set. In the second set Roger once again broke early and took a 3-0 lead, but again Giraldo broke back to get back to 3-2. Roger broke again to take a 4-2 lead and then held on to take the second set. In the third set Roger played well to take a 5-0 lead, and the bagel was on. But true to his form he could not serve out the match. Giraldo broke back and held serve to make it 5-2. From the scoreline you would guess that this was pretty good stuff from Roger. But I was not impressed. Roger is clearly still struggling with his confidence. The score should have been 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 at worst.
This kind of tennis won’t get Roger far in this tournament. I also noticed that he was trying to hit the ball harder. If that is a tactic he is employing with the eye on beating the power hitters like Tsonga and Berdych, then he has obviously learned nothing. We have long ago established that going toe to toe with the power hitters is suicide, and yet stubbornly Roger does it time and time again when he comes up against them. We will just have to see what happens if he comes up against another power hitter. The only one he can really run into is Tsonga, and Tsonga may not get that far. So maybe this is not really on Roger’s mind. It shouldn’t be anyway. He needs to focus on getting to the quarters first of all. That will be difficult enough. If he then happens to play Tsonga then he needs to think about changing things up instead of stubbornly trying to win the battle of power.
Maybe Roger is just trying to find his confidence that way, which I am not against. I felt against Berdych in Cincy that he was way too tentative in the decisive moments. So maybe he is trying to find his confidence by going for his shots. This would be a good tactic in my opinion. I think he needs to so something to find his confidence anyway, and taking some chances may be a way to get that done. If he misses then so be it. But at least he is giving himself a chance to find confidence by doing that. We will see how it works out for him, but I am glad he is at least trying something different. I don’t think he is getting far by just playing the way he did in Montreal and Cincy, so he way as well. Roger’s first serve percentage was good at 63% and 7/18 break points won is not the worst we have seen. He shouldn’t worry too much about those if he is trying to take more chances.
Loved the clothes!
So after weighing the options I’m gonna say that this was an overall positive match for Roger. For everything he has given me the least I can do is believe that he knows what he is doing. I will probably be proved wrong, but I guess some part of me wants to believe that he can still snatch this title and become the first man to win majors for nine straight years. Nothing is impossible, right?