Hi, guys. I haven’t forgotten about you. It’s just been a hectic time. I am in Krabi for the Thai Songkran holidays and things have finally settled down enough for me to make a post. I was glad to hear that Roger took a wild card in Monte Carlo, an event he has skipped in the last two years. At first I thought he added the event to his schedule because he wants to make another serious run at the French Open to see if he can win his second career slam. After losing the 2011 final to Nadal, it seemed like he kind of took the clay season less seriously. He had chances in that match to beat Nadal but failed for the fourth time against him in the Roland Garros final. In 2012 and 2013 he played only three events in the clay season.
So I was kind of hoping he was thinking of making another serious run at the French Open title, especially with Nadal looking fragile, but it is rumored that Mirka will give birth during the Madrid/Rome stretch. And of course Roger said he wanted to be present this time when Mirka gives birth so it looks like he added Monte Carlo to his schedule because he is going to miss some tennis. I am a little out of the loop with tennis at this point so correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the last I’ve heard. Of course, the birth of your child is a big event and you can’t blame Roger for wanting to be present, especially since he missed the birth of the twins if I remember correctly. But at the same time it would have been nice if he played three events in the lead up to Paris instead of two.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 11, 2014
I’m not saying he can’t make a serious run at the French Open now, but I’m not sure it will be enough if he only plays one warm up event to Paris. I just think Nadal is looking vulnerable and he has never won the French five times in a row. If there was a chance of him losing early again in Paris it would probably be this year. But of course Djokovic is also there and he desperately wants to win that elusive French Open and complete the career slam himself. He is back to his best after winning Indian Wells and Miami and I think this could well be his year at the French. He is also playing Monte Carlo and Roger is in his half of the draw. Of course, Roger is back in the top 4 which helps him a lot with draws.
His draw in Monte Carlo is probably as good as it gets. He will play Stepanek in the second round who defeated Karlovic and then Janowicz if Janowicz gets that far. Janowicz have been poor this season, and so has Tsonga who he faces in the quarters if Tsonga gets that far. It’s more likely that Roger will face Fognini in the quarters, who defeated a very capable clay courter in Sousa today. If Roger’s recent form is anything to go by he should make semis anyway. Then of course Djokovic will be a very difficult opponent. A Nadal/Djokovic final would be interesting. Nadal probably needs the title more than Djokovic after he has struggled of late. He needs to resurrect his season on clay as he usually does, but I think Djokovic could make it difficult for him like he did in 2011.
Roger will play his first match on Wednesday.