French Open Rd 2: Darth Fed def Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3

Before I get to my match analysis, let me just say a few things about my blog. You would have noticed I have a new picture in the top bar of my blog. I recently saw my blog on another computer and realized that the top bar appears differently on different sized monitors. For the old picture was nicely fitted and I thought it was the same for you guys. So I just wanted to apologize for that. I am terrible with website coding and never had someone to help me. Thanks to my friend Jonathan from Perfect Tennis Blog I now have a picture that is properly fitted, and thanks to @its_fb from Twitter I have different pictures to use as well. Jonathan knows a lot about website coding and as a result he has gained many readers in a short period.

But of course he is a good blogger as well. I bring this up because it is not only a compliment to me that my blog is so popular, but mostly to you. Despite not even having a properly fitted top bar picture, you have faithfully read my blog. That means you are here for the content of my blog, and not just the appearance of it. Personally I like things to look good, and I was disappointed when I found out that my blog looked different on different sized monitors before I fixed it, but in the end the writing is the most important thing. Having a flashy looking blog is secondary. So I just wanted to thank you for focusing on what is important, and it shows that you guys are not shallow and that you have your priorities right. Anyway I’m glad that I have the top bar fixed now at least. I hope you like it.

Onto the tennis then. With his win over Ungur Roger broke Connors’ record and have now won the most matches in grand slams. Yet another fantastic record for the GOAT. I missed the first two sets again today because this time my channel decided to show the action on Lenglen and not Chatrier. Roger was racing through his first two sets while Djokovic was dragging his feet in the third set. At least they started showing Roger in the third set when things started to get a bit more interesting. Ungur had some chances to break Roger in the third set, but seemed to choke. Ungur then had two set points at 5-4 as well but again couldn’t take advantage. So I thought Roger would get this done in straight sets for sure, even though they headed into a tie break.

Roger was then a break up and serving at 5-4. He won his first service point to bring up two match points, but Ungur broke back. Ungur held both serves and broke again to win the second set. To my surprise he didn’t choke again. He was playing fearless tennis out there which was good to see. Ungur also has a very nice one-handed backhand which is also nice to see. At the start of the fourth set Roger was break points down but held on and broke in the next game. That proved to be the pivotal point in the match because there was no way back for Ungur from there. In the end this match was an improvement on Roger’s first round, which was to be expected. We have a better idea of where he is at now. Losing a set was not a big deal. Ungur actually played really well in that set and deserved it.

There was no reason for Roger to bring his A game yet. The important thing is that he got himself out of trouble in the first game of the fourth set and then steadied the ship. Roger now plays the winner of Klizan and Mahut, who is in a fourth set as I’m writing this. Roger’s draw has really opened up, which shows you once again that the importance of draws are overrated. He won’t face any seeds in his first four rounds. After that it gets pretty tough as he will probably face Berdych or Del Potro in the quarters, who both won again today. Del Potro had a tough four setter while Berdych had a routine straight set win. Berdych is probably the favorite to make quarters. Elsewhere Djokovic also won routinely in straights and still looks in good shape for at least a semi.

But let me get back to Roger’s chances at the French Open for a second. I talked about it in my last post and got a lot of comments about it. I love interacting with you guys especially during the slams. It’s probably the favorite part of the blog for me. I have already said probably everything I wanted to say in the comments section on my last post, but I will repeat some things here just to make it clear. I have said that it’s probably the best if Roger loses in the semis here and I stick by that. It’s not the popular opinion but I don’t care. I have many reasons why I think it is the best. Actually I am not going to name those reasons again here. If you want to know them you can go back to the comments on my last post. As the tournament goes on I will bring them up again anyway.

Lets keep the discussion going.

Ps. I made a chat thread for the Federer/Mahut match in the forum if you guys wana chat during the match




French Open Rd 1: Darth Fed def Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 to Equal Connors in Grand Slam Match Wins

And we’re off. I have no idea why they put Roger on Lenglen, but it meant that I couldn’t watch his match. I guess the French thought Gilles Simon was a bigger name than Roger. Anyway I didn’t miss much. First round matches for Roger is nothing more than an exhibition match, and nothing whatsoever could be deduced from this match. Therefor I won’t spend much time analyzing it. The few points I saw it looked exactly like Roger was playing an exhibition match, like the Abu Dhabi exho earlier this year. He looked like he was practicing and missed many easy shots. So anyone who takes this match seriously is mistaken as far as I’m concerned. Apparently at the end he was 5-1 up and then lost concentration, so the score should have probably been 6-1 in the last set.

But like I said I can’t read anything into this match. The nice thing was that he became the first tennis player to win more than 50 or more matches at every grand slam, and he also equaled Jimmy Connor’s record of 233 match wins at grand slams. That is pretty amazing given that Connors played until he was 44. The other record Connors has is the most amount of titles won at 109. Equaling that is pushing it, but with Roger you can never tell. If Roger reaches 100 titles it would already be an incredible achievement in this day and age. The game is a hundred times more physical and competitive than in Connors’ days, so it will be hard. I think Roger will still play for a long time though. I definitely think he will play until the 2016 Olympics.

Well look who the cat dragged in

Next up for Roger is Ungur who beat Nalbandian in four sets. Something that never ceases to surprise me is how easily Fedfans panic. Some Fedfans were already panicking about Nalbandian in the second round, and now he won’t even be there. I understand that fans care, but this is why you should not assume that anyone will win any given match. Unless the player is in the top three. Then their chances of going deep increases significantly. A draw is just a rough estimate of what could happen in the tournament. There is nothing definitive about it. What is definitive is that Roger will play Ungur next, who he has never played before and who I have never heard of before. If he can beat Nalbandian he can’t be all bad, but you would expect Roger to improve a lot from his first round and get a routine win here.

As for other results Roddick lost in the first round to Mahut in four sets, so he won’t be playing Roger in the third round. To me that is not an upset. Roddick is a pathetic clay court player like most Americans. Also Lopez withdrew from his first round match with Serra, so Roger’s draw looks much easier all of a sudden. Or does it? Not facing any real competition until the quarter finals won’t necessarily be a good thing when he comes up against Berdych or Del Potro in the quarters. It could save him some energy, but ideally you want the competition to gradually become stiffer so you can build your form up. The other two members of the big three had routine wins themselves. Djokovic won 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 against Starace, while Nadal won 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 against Bolelli.

Darth Fed decided to play with black socks in the end

As expected Nadal looks the best so far, while Roger looked the worst. Djokovic is somewhere in between. I don’t think that is a coincidence either. I have already told you that Nadal will win the tournament. I will predict further and say that Roger will make the semis and lose to Djokovic, although that is a much tougher prediction to make. I would love for Roger to get revenge for his two semi-final losses at the US Open to Djokovic by beating him for a second time in the French Open semis, but my gut feeling says this is Djokovic’s turn to finally make the final in Paris. Roger has lost so many times to Nadal in Paris that he won’t have much motivation to make the final either. So I definitely see a Rafole final with Nadal winning it.

Sorry if that prediction disappoints you, but I just can’t see it any other way. A Rafole final is due. I think what happened in Rome also tells us a lot. I see the French Open playing out pretty much exactly the same way. Djokovic will beat Roger in the semis and then the pressure of winning the Novak slam will be too much in the final. But not only that. He is not at 2011 level anymore and Nadal has now won their last two meetings on clay. I feel it’s a bit too predictable in a sense. I hope I am proven wrong and it plays out differently. We have seen the unexpected happen too many times to believe that the outcome is fixed, which is why we stay interested.





French Open Draw 2012

[1] Djokovic vs. Starace
Hewitt vs. Kavcic
Qualifier vs. Qualifier
Qualifier vs. [30] Melzer
[22] Seppi vs. Davydenko
Kukushkin vs. Gulbis
Qualifier vs. Muller
Darcis vs. [14] Verdasco

[11] Simon vs. Harrison
Malisse vs. Baker
Andujar vs. Hanescu
Cipolla vs. [18] Wawrinka
[28] Troicki vs. Bellucci
Fognini vs. Mannarino
Stebe vs. Souza
Qualifier vs. [5] Tsonga


[3] Federer vs. Kamke
Ungur vs. Nalbandian
Dancevic vs. Klizan
Mahut vs. [26] Roddick
[23] Stepanek vs. Qualifier
Clement vs. Bogomolov
K.Beck vs. Kubot
Qualifier vs. [15] Lopez

[9] Del Potro vs. Montanes
Roger-Vasselin vs. Pospisil
Ferrero vs. Dasnieres de Veigy
Qualifier vs. [21] Cilic
[31] Anderson vs. Machado
Prodon vs. Qualifier
Llodra vs. Garcia-Lopez
Sela vs. [7] Berdych


[6] Ferrer vs. Lacko
Paire vs. Ramos
Dodig vs. Haase
Blake vs. [27] Youzhny
[20] Granollers vs. Qualifier
Jaziri vs. Petzschner
Mathieu vs. Phau
Qualifier vs. [10] Isner

[16] Dolgopolov vs. Stakhovsky
Volandri vs. Qualifier
Young vs. Dimitrov
Qualifier vs. [17] Gasquet
[25] Tomic vs. Qualifier
GIraldo vs. Falla
Nieminen vs. Andreev
Ito vs. [4] Murray


[8] Tipsarevic vs. Querrey
Chardy vs. Lu
Tursunov vs. Soeda
Qualifier vs. [29] Benneteau
[24] Kohlschreiber vs. Ebden
Rochus vs. L.Mayer
Chela vs. Baghdatis
Lorenzi vs. [12] Almagro

[13] Monaco vs. Rufin
Rosol vs. Berlocq
Qualifier vs. Becker
Ramirez-Hidalgo vs. [19] Raonic
[32] F.Mayer vs. Gimeno-Traver
Qualifier vs. Karlovic
Kunitsyn vs. Istomin
Bolelli v [2] Nadal

The French Open draw was done yesterday and I guess it’s not at all surprising that Roger and Djokovic are in the same side of the draw again. But then again Roger lost his number two ranking before the draw was made so he left it to the draw gods to decide. In the end it’s maybe better that he is in Djokovic’s half of the draw. At least he has a decent chance of defending his final points from last year that way. If he was in Nadal’s half the chances would have been slim of doing that. Overall Roger’s draw looks pretty tough. It’s the toughest of the top four guys. The first round should be an easy win and then he gets Nalbandian who can be dangerous, but is well past his peak. If he wins there he it looks like he could face Roddick which should be almost easier than his first round.

In the fourth round I think he will play Lopez who has impressed me of late. I don’t think he can upset Roger but he can give him some good competition. The quarters is where it could get dangerous for Roger, because he will face either Berdych or Del Potro. Berdych tends to play amazing when he faces Roger and Del Potro gave Roger a very tough semi here in 2009. I think the quarters will be a key round for Roger. If he gets through that unscathed I think he would have a good chance of beating Djokovic. People made a big deal of the semi-final loss to Djokovic in Rome but Roger was clearly off. He had played a lot of matches and was definitely tiring. It disappoints me when people make such a big deal of one match when Roger have been playing so consistently well of late.

That match meant nothing to me. It makes no difference whatsoever to my belief in Roger 3.0. If he meets Djokovic in the semis in Paris my belief that he can beat him will be as strong as ever. I do believe he will get through the quarters as well, even though it may be a test. If Roger makes the final it is 99.99% certain that he will face Nadal again. And not because Nadal has an easy draw. Any draw at the French Open is easy for Nadal. I have already said that Nadal is the overwhelming favorite to win a 7th French Open, and not because I’m negative or a coward. It is my opinion and an educated opinion at that, so I would hope that people respect that. In tennis nothing is ever certain but some things are close to being certain.

I actually don’t have much more to say about the draw. I think the big three will make semis and in Murray’s quarter things are a bit more uncertain. Maybe Ferrer will come through there or maybe Murray will get his act together on clay and actually go through. Even Dolgopolov and Isner could surprise and go through there. But whoever goes through will be destroyed by Nadal in the semis. Then in the final we can only hope that some kind of miracle takes place and Roger or Djokovic upsets him. Does Djokovic have a better chance of beating Nadal? I would have said without a doubt if he beat Nadal in Rome, but now I’m not so sure anymore. On the other hand Fedal have met four times in the final and the result is becoming pretty predictable.

In the end I would like Roger to defend his points, but I think a Rafole final would be more exciting just because it would be something new and Djokovic did beat Nadal in their last three slam finals. So personally I’m not gonna be awfully disappointed if it is a Rafole final, although of course I prefer that Roger beats Djokovic. Long way to go anyway. Lets hope for another 2009.