Hi Guys. Since this is my off weekend and I’m at home I am trying to catch up for lost posts. So I hope you appreciate it. I am enjoying your comments on my last two posts as well and I hope we can keep the discussion going on this post. There has been a lot of talk about Roger 2.0 and Roger 3.0 in my last two posts. There has also been some criticism and negativity so I want to try and make this posts a bit more optimistic. And a good way to start doing that is by looking at the above Roger Federer Australian Open Best Points. That was Roger 3.0 in full swing. I enjoyed these highlights because I could only watch Roger’s match against Murray. There are some unreal points in those highlights. For instance the point at 4:25 in the first video against Davydenko where he makes a ridiculous backhand flick pass.
Or the unreal defense at 7:44 against Tomic where he wins the point with another genius backhand flick. But I want to turn your attention to three consecutive points against Tsonga in the second video highlights, starting at 1:50. In the first point Tsonga drills a backhand cross court to Roger backhand and he just punches it up the line for an unbelievable winner. Pure genius. I love Tsonga’s reaction too. Then the next point is the one that really sums up Roger 3.0 for me. It is 5-5 in the third set with the two having split the opening two sets and we are at a crucial juncture in the match. Roger is down 0-30 on his serve and in a tight spot to say the least. If he loses the next point he goes down 0-40 and he faces 3 straight break points, which are almost like set points. Note that he misses his first serve as well. More pressure. He hits a kick serve to Tsonga’s backhand and Tsonga makes a solid, deep return down the line.
What he does next defines Roger 3.0. With utter abandon he rips a backhand down the line for a clean winner. Tsonga is left stranded in the middle of the court and he can only watch as the ball disappears out of his reach. Roger was not having a particularly good day. He played some great tennis but it was patchy stuff. It was his ‘off’ day but he still found a way, which I noted in my last post as well. It is all about belief and confidence. Despite not having the best of days he still had the belief and confidence to rip a clean backhand winner off a 50/50 ball under immense pressure. Then for good measure he hits another ridiculous backhand return in the next game which sets up the point for him and leaves Tsonga cussing in French. Those three consecutive backhands in the highlights is really a thing of beauty to me.
He then hits another backhand down the line winner in the tie break to set up two set points and the rest is history. His backhand was really working well for him in Melbourne and it is a thing of beauty when on song. That whole highlight package is a thing of beauty. I think we have had some good discussions on my last two posts and I think we can conclude that Roger 3.0 didn’t necessarily leave us. Thanks to Steve for making an insightful comment as usual and bringing an important fact to my attention. After the heavily packed schedule of 2012 I wasn’t too happy hearing that Roger would go to South-America to play exhibitions matches, if you can remember. I thought he badly needed the rest after such a season. But he chose to go, and although it was inspiring it did not allow him to get away from tennis and everything that goes with it.
He was travelling far and dealing with the media and fans all day. It was tiring. He had to opt out of playing Doha because of it. But it wasn’t enough. He still needed more rest. No doubt he was ready for Melbourne, but the body and mind needs more time to recover. I think he recovered enough to be able to give it his all for two weeks in Melbourne, but at the cost of another burnout. Yes, I think he is still suffering the aftereffects of the 2012 season and not completely resting out. So…I don’t expect much from him in Indian Wells. I think he will make semis at best probably. But then comes his two month break and then he will finally be able to fully recover from 2012. So I think that break is a very good thing and the fact that he is not playing Miami this year. There is no incentive for him to play Miami anyway which is slow as sandpaper.
Then he can come back in Madrid and start anew. The clay court season is not his favorite but it will be good preparation for the grass court season anyway, where he will defend his Wimbledon title. You probably heard today that Nadal won Acapulco beating Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in the final. No vulturing Mickey Mouse events for Ferrer when a big name is around. Nadal’s comeback looks to have been a success and he is confirmed to play Indian Wells too. Indian Wells should be pretty interesting now with Roger kind of falling a bit at this point and Nadal rising. Roger and Nadal have always alternated like this in their careers. I hope it’s not a sign that Nadal is now on the rise and Roger is falling, as in for an extended period of time. But I’m not gonna worry about that too much just now. I will wait until after the clay and grass court seasons before I will really make a call.
Roger 3.0 could be back after his two month break. But if Nadal 3.0 rises it could make things difficult for him too. An in form Nadal in the mix is extra baggage for Roger to carry. Nadal could potentially win the French Open and be a serious threat at Wimbledon again. But it is not a given that he will win the French Open again. This may just be Djokovic’s year. Speaking of Djokovic, I think in 2012 he had a lot of pressure to follow up his amazing 2011 season. I think he has less pressure in 2013 and he could do big things. He already did by winning in Melbourne but I think he will win a minimum of two slams. Three is certainly a possibility and the calender slam is not entirely out of the question, although it is pushing it. I think he wins 2-3 slams this year. He is looking very good. I like his chances at the French and he can definitely win in London and New York too.
But it depends what happens in Paris. If Djokovic wins there it will take a big effort and at some point it will catch up with him, leaving the door open for Roger or Murray to win Wimbledon or the US Open. If Nadal however wins the French then Djokovic could potentially repeat what he did in 2011 by winning Wimbledon and the US Open. Or Nadal could even win the French/Wimbledon double again. I hope Djokovic wins the French because a rampant Nadal does not bode well for Roger’s success. Either way all these different possible scenarios makes things interesting. The rise of Nadal is not the worst thing that can happen either since it opens the possibility of more beat downs of him in finals to Djokovic, which is a match up I enjoy a lot. So I hope you are as excited as I am about what lies ahead in the tennis world.
Ps: I’m missing Wilfried and Veronica.