How good was that? I’d say pretty damn good. If Roger’s level dropped a notch in his last match, then he was right back in the zone against Tomic. Roger made his intentions very clear when he broke Tomic in the first game of the match. He was gonna stamp his authority all over this match from beginning to end, not giving Tomic any hope and the crowd any reason to get behind Tomic. Tomic was allowed only one break point the entire match, as Roger put on another masterful serving performance. In my last post I said he must dominate with his serve, forehand and net play, and that is what he did once again here. Roger’s serve was red hot as he made 69% first serves and hit 11 aces. It is the most important shot in his vast arsenal and he used it to take the initiative away from Tomic. After breaking in the first game Roger held onto serve, and served out the first set with a service winner.
The second set was always gonna be closer, as Tomic desperately needed to win it if he was gonna stand any chance in this match. The quality of play was high and Roger created quite a few break chances. One such break chance was created at 5-5 by the shot of the match, where after some incredible defense from Roger he hit an unreal backhand to win the point. Lets take a look.
The staggering thing about this point was that every one of the five shot Roger hit in this point was a defensive shot, yet he won the point. He was really just trying to hang in the point, and finally when he couldn’t wrestle back the dominant position in the point from Tomic, he came up with a moment of genius to hit an outright winner. Boom. Something out of nothing. This is why I call him JesusFed because he can turn winners into winners, and probably water into wine too. Anyhow he could not convert the break point and it was tie break time. Tomic drew first blood as he got the mini break and took a 4-1 lead. He looked like he would even things up at a set all. But Roger was in a ruthless mood and wanted to get off the court asap. Roger got the break back at 5-3 after another great defensive play, where he used the squash shot to great effect to stay in the point.
After an extended base line rally Tomic steered a forehand wide and things were back on even terms. With Tomic serving at 5-6 Roger had a set point and won it after another long base line rally. Again it was that ever reliable forehand that did the damage when Roger hit it inside out and forced Tomic into an error. Roger had the youngster by the balls. He was never going to recover from here. If Tomic was harboring any such hopes it was snuffed out right at the start of the third set, when Roger broke Tomic after the point of the match. Lets take a look again.
First Roger sets up the break point with a return winner. On break point Roger again uses the squash shot to great effect to stay in the point, and then he starts turning the momentum of the rally around with another sweetly timed backhand cross court. Tomic has to half volley and does pretty well, but not well enough. He makes the pick up and goes for the drop shot, but he fails to drop it short enough as Roger runs it down with ease and places the cross court winner right into the corner. Some more unreal defense from the GOAT. This piece of brilliance shatters any hopes that Tomic may have had left of winning the match. At 4-1 Roger puts it beyond any doubt as he breaks Tomic again, after forcing the weak reply from Tomic with an attacking return and then hitting the forehand winner. He then does the formalities and serves it out to love with another service winner.
After all the pre tournament hype about this possible third round match up I would have to say that it lived up to it’s expectations. Yes Roger breadsticked Tomic in straight sets, but it was some of the highest quality of tennis and Tomic impressed me. I now believe he will go on to win majors. The kid is that good. Sure he started last year well too and then faded away, but he already has a slam quarter final to his name at Wimbledon. I think this kid has big match temperament and has that special ingredient that is needed to win slams. Yes he is arrogant and people don’t like that, but as I’ve always said there are very few tennis players who are not arrogant. Roger himself is arrogant. It is just something that is needed to become great. Call it arrogance, call it an undying belief in yourself. The fact remains that it is needed.
Tomic is not scared of anyone. You guys may not have liked it, but he made that clear in his presser when asked what he thinks about Roger’s comments about him. Roger put the pressure on him and he responded in kind. That is just how it is done. He didn’t fold like a cheap tent the way Murray has in the past when Roger put the pressure on him in the media. He got soundly beaten, but you never got the feeling that he choked. That forehand he missed when up 5-3 in the breaker he went for the winner. He didn’t become defensive. Tomic is only 20 years old, and he already made a great improvement from his last meeting with Roger in Melbourne. In that match Tomic was totally outplayed. This time around it was much more competitive. Tomic was on the verge of winning a set but Roger snatched it away from him.
I’m sure most Fedfans are having their fun now in slating Tomic after everything he has said in the media of late. But that is not me. Cockiness is just a part of tennis and I respect Tomic for the way he played of late and in this match. I also look to the future and can see that he is a special talent. Speaking of future talent, Roger is coming up against another very promising youngster in his next match when he faces Raonic. Raonic straight setted Kohlschreiber 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4. So he is obviously playing well too. Raonic is a little older than Tomic and a little more accomplished, having won 3 career titles as opposed to Tomic’s 1. Tomic has however had the better slam result of the two when he made the Wimbledon quarters. Raonic has never progressed past the fourth round of a slam, having achieved that feat last year at the US Open and in 2011 in Melbourne.
So he will be looking to make his first slam quarters when he faces Roger, but I think he will have to wait a little longer. The GOAT has been in ruthless form. He hasn’t dropped a set yet in the first three round of what was called a horror draw before the event started. It has been peRFect so far. Roger may drop his first set against Raonic however. Compared to Tomic who doesn’t have one big weapon, Raonic has maybe the biggest serve tennis has ever seen. He is just very tough to break and you can expect a tie break if not several. The head-to-head between the two is 3-0 in Roger’s favor, but each match have been very competitive. Two of them ended in a third set tie break and the other had a tie break as well, with Roger winning 6-4 in the third. They have played four tie breaks in three best of three set matches.
So now you know why I say we are almost guaranteed at least one more tie break. Over the best of five you can probably expect at least two tie breaks. If Raonic wins a set it will probably be in a tie break as well. I doubt that he will break Roger. I have never predicted a scoreline in the history of this blog and I don’t plan on doing so either. I just think the chances of getting it right are way too small, especially over five sets. But I will say if Raonic wins a set it will be in a tie break, and then there will probably be another tie break which Roger will win. Then there will probably be two more sets where Roger wins the set by one or two breaks. That is as close to making a score prediction as you will ever see me come. Oh what the heck. Just for the hell of it I will even write out the whole score. Roger will win 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2.
Now watch how horribly wrong I get it. Haha. Quickly looking elsewhere in the draw the big news was that Del Potro was upset by Chardy in five sets. I’m really starting to think that I was wrong about Del Potro in the past when I said that he would win many majors. Ever since that impressive US Open title where he beat Fedal he has not lives up to the hype. Yes he has been injured a lot but he has also been disappointing a lot. I think he can be a top five player, but I’m not sure he will win more slams or be #1. Then Djokovic and Murray had straight set wins as well on Friday. Djokovic looked good against Stepanek but not overly impressive. I expect him to raise his level again. Of course with Del Potro losing it means Murray won’t have to deal with him in the quarters. My fellow countryman and someone I played against, Kevin Anderson, also had a big win over Verdasco.
I watched some of that match and didn’t expect Anderson to win after being down two 2 sets to 1, but he won the fourth set tie break and then went into the zone in the fifth set, breaking Verdasco twice to win it 6-2. It was the first time he made the last 16 of a slam so I am happy for him. He now plays Berdych who he has had some close matches with. I think an upset is not impossible, although I do expect Berdych to win. So the round of 16 match ups have been finalized and there will be some interesting encounters. The interesting ones for me will of course be Roger/Raonic, and then Anderson/Berdych, Ferrer/Nishikori, and Gasquet/Tsonga as well. Well just as I wrote that I checked the live scoring and Ferrer destroyed Nishikori 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. I thought Ferrer would win but I didn’t expect that kind of scoreline.
Very good from Ferrer and it looks like he will rack up another slam semi. Well that’s it from me guys. I hope you enjoyed the match and my post. I will be back with more on Monday. Until then!