Hi guys. Since Roger has not been in action this year so far, and only will be when the Australian Open starts on the 14th, I thought you could use some tennis to get you in the mood for the 2013 season. Lets roll the clock back to 2012 and have a look at some of the best points. There are two videos that I found on Youtube featuring some great points and majestic shots. The best point for me is probably the one between Roger and Murray in Shanghai, which is at the start of the second video. Just incredible offense and defense from both players. Running each other all over the court and Roger finally winning it with the drop shot. Unreal. Of course Roger lost that match, but at least he won the best point of the match! There are several points that features Roger and many of them ends with him hitting a drop shot winner, putting his silky skills on display.
Gotta love the drop shot he hit against Murray in the Wimbledon final, while the one against Kudla in Indian Wells and Ferrer in Madrid were as good as it gets. I like these highlights because it brings back some good memories of Roger’s 2012 season. From his Masters Series wins in Indian Wells, Madrid, and Cincy, to his 17th slam title at Wimbledon. Even in the matches he lost he played some amazing points, like the one against Murray in Shanghai and against Djokovic at the Masters Cup. What a stretch volley that was in the tie break, and then hitting the winner from behind him. But of course it’s not all just about Roger. The best shot for me is the one ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov hits against Troicki. It doesn’t get much better. Just shocking skill and entertainment value. Speaking of Dimitrov, he made the final of Brisbane where he lost against Murray today.
He had some impressive wins on his way to the final and was serving for the first set against Murray. Then had set point but lost the first set 7-0 in the tie break. In the second set he was a break up again but lost the set 6-4. It was a breakthrough week for him and maybe 2013 will be the year he really starts breaking into the top echelons of the game. He has the potential and is and exciting prospect, playing a lot like Roger. It would be nice if he lives up to his promise, because that would give us Fedfans another exciting player to follow, even if he will probably never come close to being the player Roger is, not to mention the person. But you never know. In the other tournament that was played in Doha Gasquet and Davydenko made the final. Davydenko looked impressive on his way to the final as he destroyed Ferrer 6-3, 6-2. He seems to really like playing in Doha.
It looked like he was going to win his second title there as he went up a set and a break in the final, but against all expectations Gasquet came back to win the match 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3. Gasquet have never really been known for his fighting abilities, so this was a bit of a surprise to say the least. I think it is fair to say this was a breakthrough week for him as well. He is already back in the top 10 and this title will give him even more confidence. Gasquet is another ‘Baby Fed’ type, as many people draw parallels between him and Roger when he started coming onto the scene. Big talent and great one handed backhand of course. So it’s nice to see the players who play attractive tennis having a good week. Speaking of attractive tennis, there is quite a few points that features Nadal in those videos too. Can’t say that I missed him much at all.
Roger looking very relaxed, as you would expect after the year he had in 2012.
I guess his fans find that retrieving, grinding game style heroic or something, but for me it’s dull and kind of cowardly. I think a player with real balls takes the initiative and goes in for the kill, like Roger does. It really isn’t that heroic to run yourself into the ground until your opponent makes a mistake. Yes, you have to be clutch to make that final winning return. But it takes more balls to go on the attack. You take a risk, while the retriever just waits for the opening or the error. It’s also not very smart to be a grinder, because it burns out your body and shortens your career. Anyway I’m not complaining, just saying. Something they have done to try and speed up things is to enforce the 25 second time violation rule between points. Just a shame it is an ATP rule, while the slams are ITF. Which in turn means the fact that they are finally enforcing the law is almost pointless.
It is mostly about the slams, and if the grinders like Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray are still gonna be allowed to take 40 seconds between points there, it won’t help much to speed up the game. So it won’t help players like Roger much who plays by the rules. But at least the ATP is doing something. Hopefully the ITF will catch on. Other news is that the court speed at the Australian Open may be faster, although just marginally. This news comes from an interview with Roger, which I will also post below. It’s a good one and if you haven’t seen it yet it is definitely worth checking out. If the courts does happen to be faster, which we can’t be sure of just yet, it could just give Roger some much needed help in beating the likes of Murray and Djokovic. Roger really struggled to hit through the Djokovic defenses in 2011 Down Under.
In 2011 Djokovic 2.0 was having that amazing season and his level dropped since, while Roger has taken it to a new level since then. Add the possible increase in court speed to that and he may just beat Djokovic this time if they meet in the final. That’s a lot of ifs, but food for thought anyway. This post has developed quite a bit after I was initially only going to post the best points of 2012. But I don’t post every day so I’m glad I could cover some of the recent news surrounding Roger and tennis. I hope you have all had a good start to 2013 and that Roger can do the same in Melbourne in just about a week’s time. It’s just around the corner!