Again I couldn’t watch this match, although I did catch some of the last set on a barely watchable live stream. From what I hear Roger played well the first set, but then went for a mental holiday in the second set. Kind of understandable as he just came from holiday. At one point he served three straight doubles, something I haven’t ever seen happening with him. It may be a first. Can’t say that I’m very impressed with that but it is what it is. At least in the third set he pulled himself together and got the break early on, which proved to be enough to get the job done. Niemenin did however have a break point when Roger was serving for the match. As I told you Niemenin made the final of Stockholm and winning a set off Roger is not entirely unexpected. It was the first time in twelve tries that he won a set off Roger and it ended up being a good test for Roger.
I think this match will put him in good stead for the rest of the tournament. Roger now plays his old turkey Roddick, who he has a staggering 20-2 record against. I bet he is already licking his chops for another beat down of his favorite whipping boy. For those of you who don’t know, a player becomes your pigeon when you have a 5+ lead over them in your head-to-head. When it’s 10 or more the player is your turkey. Surely there should be something for a 20+ differential? And it would only make sense to call it an ostrich, which is the biggest bird as far as I know. It would be nice if Roger can make Roddick his ostrich. I don’t know if that has been done in professional tennis before. Would be something. Anyway it’s still not a walkover. Roger still has to go out there can get the job done which is exactly what I expect him to do.
The big news is that Murray withdrew from his first round match after “injuring his butt during sleep”. Hmm sounds dodgy to me. This just goes to show that Murray should never have showed up at Basel in the first place. Basel is Roger’s turf and only Djokovic is a worthy opponent for him there. This excuse by Murray sounds like total nonsense to me. Can you imagine Roger injuring his butt during sleep? I mean he hasn’t even done so on court for crying out loud. I think this is a mental injury more than anything else. Murray should have stuck with Valencia and gotten his 500 points. Now he goes home with 0. Roger doesn’t mind. It just gives him a chance to take back the number three spot more easily. But in fact Roger wants to get back to number one again, as my faithful readers have pointed out after my last post.
I couldn’t find the presser, but apparently he said that he still wants the number one ranking back, and that it is a long term goal. That gives you a glimpse of his mindset regarding the future. Personally I love it. When many people, including some of his own fans, are talking about his retirement, he is setting his sights on the number one spot. Roger is the eternal optimist. I love that about him. He doesn’t allow anyone other than himself to dictate to him about his tennis. If he feels good physically and he still enjoys the game he will keep playing and set big goals. To hell with the rest. It’s not all about winning either. Of course the losses will come more frequently as he ages, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love being out there and can’t still win big titles. Getting number one back will be hard because of the consistency it requires, but I like Roger’s mindset anyway.
Elsewhere in Basel Djokovic beat Kubot 6-1, 6-2 today, reminding everyone that the first round hiccup was just rust after all. On Djokovic’s side of the draw Fish withdrew in the first round, and Berdych lost in the first round as well. It really is quite a mystery to me how Berdych can still be in the top ten. He never seems to have any big results and he is inconsistent. So it looks like there isn’t much in Djokovic’s way to the final. But the same can be said for Roger after Murray’s withdrawal and Tipsarevic’s withdrawal in the first round as well. I guess it was destined to be another Djokerer final in the end. I hope it is anyway. Would be very interesting indeed!