Hey folks. I hope you are well. It’s been a while since Roger’s disappointing loss in the US Open semis to Cilic and I am overall very happy with Roger’s year so far. He was very solid in the slams and won three other important titles. Obviously all the fans were hoping for #18 but it wasn’t to be, and yet there is an awful lot to be grateful for as a Fedfan. I mean at age 33 Roger is having a terrific year and the best may be yet to come. Roger’s favorite indoor season is still ahead and then of course the Davis Cup final, which the Swiss qualified for for the first time in 22 years when they defeated Italy yesterday. I was making updates since Friday on Facebook when they began and I hope you all can join us there soon. I have neglected my Facebook page in the past but it is a very useful platform to use together with my blog for updates between posts, live chatting during matches, and much more.
I want to grow my Facebook page so please like, comment, and share. On Friday Roger was first up in the reverse singles against Bolleli as the Swiss number one(good to see!) and he won 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. Stan then put the Swiss in the driver’s seat at 2-0 when he destroyed Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. In the doubles on Saturday I was able to watch just a little bit and there was no Roger as he apparently asked Luthi to sit out the doubles. At first it looked like Stan and Chiudinelli would get the job done and Chiudinelli played some good tennis, but in the end his lack of experience showed as he played a poor fifth set and the Italians pulled the tie back to 1-2. I’m sure the Swiss could have made it 3-0 if Roger played doubles, but I was kind of happy that the Swiss lost the doubles because it gave Roger the opportunity to be the hero again.
I say again because I’m sure you would remember how he saved the Swiss against Kazakhstan in April. On that occasion he had to win the deciding rubber against Golubev which he did in straight sets. This time it was not the deciding rubber but Roger was the one who clinched it for the Swiss and he was the only team member who did not lose a match. He deserved to be the hero after the way he saved the Swiss in April anyway. He defeated the Italian number one Fognini 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(4) in the fourth rubber to clinch the tie for the Swiss. My connection was too poor to watch again but I caught the highlights of course and it seems Fognini played better with every set, so it is a good thing Roger closed it out in the final set tie break. Something that really caught my eye in the highlights was Roger’s forehand.
Since I didn’t watch the match it is hard to say for sure but he sure seemed to strike his forehand really well. That is maybe the one shot that has not been at its best since Roger started playing with his new racquet so that was nice to see. Hopefully it is a sign of what is to come and that Roger found his forehand again. It is a key shot looking forward to the indoor season, Davis Cup Final, and Australian Open next year. We know Roger’s serve is his best shot, and when he has his best forehand to back it up he is very difficult to stop. I think there is a very exciting period ahead now. First the indoor season where Roger always does well. Even last year when he had that very challenging year he still did well in the indoor season, and used it to start momentum for a much more successful 2014.
He now has an opportunity to do the same going into the Davis Cup final and Australian Open next year. Remember my last post where Roger said he is very close to winning a slam(I still haven’t verified whether he really said that but I think there is a good chance)? I’m not trying to create expectations again. Seriously. But it does make you think about Australia and what a Davis Cup victory could do for his confidence. Maybe Roger needed more time to get back to his best after the big low that was 2013? And if that is the case then the indoor season and Davis Cup final could provide the ideal opportunity for him to do just that. No surface is as friendly to Roger’s game as indoors and Roger usually peaks at the end of the season.
Remember what happened in 2008 when Roger had that tough time due to mono and he then won the Olympic gold with Stan in doubles? That inspired and propelled him to winning a fifth US Open later that year. Imagine what a Davis Cup title could do for him. Now I realize I am looking way ahead again here and creating expectations among many a Fedfan with what I’m saying, but I plead not guilty. I have already said I don’t expect Roger to win another slam. Roger has a great record Down Under but the speed of the surface doesn’t really favor him and Djokovic and Nadal remain very difficult to beat there. I just think if the Swiss wins the Davis Cup it will inspire Roger a lot, and I never said Roger can not win another slam. I just said I don’t expect it.
It is up to every Fedfan what kind of expectations they have because we all deal differently with Roger not meeting our expectations. And lets face it, the Swiss are still far from winning the Davis Cup. They will play the French in France in the week right after the Masters Cup. The French just made very short work of the Czechs and they have great depth. The tie will be played indoors but the surface still has to be decided upon by the French. They may choose clay seeing that Roger’s best surface may be indoor hard, but it’s not like Roger and Stan can’t play on clay. The likes of Tsonga and Monfils will be a handful that’s for sure, no matter what the surface. It is the #3 and #4 in the world up against the #11 and #18, so on paper the Swiss will be the favorites.
But this is Davis Cup and that pretty much goes out the window when you are playing away. The crowd will be crazy and Roger and Stan will have to have very cool heads. We know Roger is used to these situations but Stan can sometimes be a hot head. There Roger’s support on the side will also play a role to keep Stan calm. And I assume they will play Fedrinka in the doubles, but you can’t be sure until match day like we saw against Italy. It is all very exciting and it keeps the off season shorter too. How great is it to be a Fedfan?! I know I say that often but it can’t be helped. Let me just make it clear that I don’t rate the Davis Cup very highly as individual achievement goes because it is a team competition, but I do think it can possibly propel Roger to slam success again.
And with everything Roger has achieved in the sport it will indeed make his resume that much more complete!
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