I couldn’t see much of this match as my stream was too weak, but what I did see was that Djokovic 2.0 and RolexFed showed up. Djokovic was playing at the same level he started off with this year, while Roger obviously couldn’t care less with his Rolex on. I usually don’t even make posts about exhos as far as I can remember, because it’s more like practice than anything else. For me and for Roger anyway. Maybe other players take it more seriously, but I just don’t find it very interesting. I think Roger just wanted to hit some balls in front of a crowd and collect the appearance fee. Djokovic on the other hand was playing seriously. This is his only warm up event before the Australian Open so he kind of have to.I think it was a good decision of him not to play anything else before Melbourne.
After feeling the strain of a long season at the end of this year he needs as much rest as possible and with his taxing game style he needs to schedule smartly if he wants to keep dominating. Roger on the other hand still has Doha ahead and I don’t even think he should take that too seriously. Last year he won it and didn’t play well in Melbourne. I’d rather he goes into Melbourne kind of under the radar and surprise me. That’s what happened this year at the French and US Opens. In the past he was so much better than anyone that he could afford going in as the favorite, but these days I actually believe it is better for him to fly under the radar. People are now gonna draw all kinds of conclusions from this match, but it really doesn’t matter much. OK so Roger wasn’t looking very good out there, but how is he suddenly gonna go from winning three events in a row including the Masters Cup to playing like this?
He obviously doesn’t care about these events. We may be able to tell more from how he plays in Doha, but like I said I don’t care how he does there either. If he makes semis or final I’d be fine with it. I don’t want him going into Melbourne with all these expectations again and then disappointing. I’d rather there be no hype so he can just focus on his game and surprise people. As I said, I think Djokovic looked good. I don’t mind that either because I want Djokovic 2.0 to stick around and stop Nadal from winning more slams. Of course that won’t make it any easier for Roger, but at least Roger has a better chance of beating Djokovic than Nadal has. Talking of Nadal, he also lost easily 6-3, 6-2 to Ferrer today. I doubt he was taking things very seriously either, but I hear he has a problem with his shoulder.
Roger serving with his ‘new’ racquet. Nice colors.
I expect his injuries to get more and more as his career starts winding down. His body has just taken a huge pounding over the years. I don’t know how the shoulder affected his preparation for the season. It’s hard to tell with Nadal too. Sometimes he is injured but then plays very well. You can’t always take him very seriously. It was a good win for Ferrer anyway, who beat Nadal in Melbourne this year. Ferrer also beat Tsonga in the first round, so he is looking good. In the other first round Djokovic beat Monfils. Roger and Nadal was seeded one and two because they were in the final last year I think. Or maybe Djokovic wanted to be seeded third to get the extra match. So in the end the only conclusions I can really draw from this tournament so far is that Djokovic is playing well again and looks to be over his hangover from the first half of the year.
Tomorrow Roger will play against Nadal for the third place playoff while Djokovic will of course play Ferrer. That could tell us a bit more, as I think both Djokovic and Ferrer will play seriously. I expect Djokovic to win though. Then the Fedal match could be a bit more interesting as well as neither of them is looking very into this event. But again, it’s just an exho and therefor to me it’s basically meaningless. Finally I want to say that Djokovic remains my favorite for the first major of the year. The way he was playing today he will once again be very hard to stop in Melbourne. But lets wait until tomorrow. You never know what can happen in the final. I don’t think I’m gonna be doing anything special on new year’s eve so I may make a post again tomorrow. For those of you who are going to be out partying, have fun and be careful. Happy new year!