Congrats to Roger on winning his second title of 2010! With this win he ties Agassi for the second most Masters Series titles at 17, one behind Nadal now. He also goes to fifth on the list of the most career titles won and is only one title behind Sampras now who he will surely overtake. The titles don’t come as thick and fast nowadays as they did in the past, so it’s extra nice when it happens. But more importantly for me it’s just really good to see him come back to form and play himself into really good form for the US Open. For a while there I thought he may lose in a fourth consecutive final, when he lost the first set. But then I realized that Fish has had a lot of confidence boosting wins this week, while Roger only completed two matches. Roger came out being just a little bit slow, and Fish took advantage of that.
Maybe Roger was just a little over confident as well and underestimated Fish. He wasn’t really taking the game to Fish, not returning well enough and waiting for Fish to beat him. And in the first set that’s just what Fish did. There were no breaks in the first set, and in the tie break Fish broke first. Roger broke back and then got a break of his own. He couldn’t take advantage though as Fish was the more aggressive player. I pretty much know Roger’s moods these days, to an uncanny degree. In the first set I was not really into the match just expecting Roger to win in straights, and he seemed to have the same attitude. But when I got my act together in second set Roger followed suit as usual. He picked up his game and took it to Fish more. It was just that switch which he had to turn on mentally and after that it was pretty routine.
I think I’m starting to like the pink (Source)
People seemed to think that it was a dramatic match, but that wasn’t really the case for me. Roger only faced one break point throughout the match and never got broken. In the second set tie break he blasted Fish off the court with some clinical tennis. I mean it was a close match, but nothing dramatic like the Berdych and Djokovic matches last week. In the third set it was pretty routine as well as he broke Fish in the ninth game. He then served out the match without too many problems. So this was another excellent performance from Roger aside from being a little too passive in the first set. And lets not fail to give credit to Fish who has reinvented himself and taken his game to another level of late. He may just cause a couple of serious upsets at the US Open in this form. He will certainly be a dark horse which the top seeds won’t like to see in their part of the draw.
As far as Roger goes I’m feeling very happy with his game right now. You know if Roger wins the smaller events he is just an animal in the slams. Last year he also won Cincy but lost in the final of the US Open to Del Potro, but at the same time he was drained from doing the French Open/Wimbledon double and he slipped up in that match mentally. I think this time he is much hungrier and actually have had better results, with a final and a win in Toronto and Cincy respectively. We couldn’t have hoped for a better return to form for Roger and I am very confident about his chances at the US Open now. Not over confident, but a quiet confidence. These days he often struggles in the smaller events, so this is a sure sign to me that he will be very hard to stop in New York. Everything is there now.
The game was always there but most importantly he has his confidence back. The crisp footwork is back which makes all the difference to his strokes. He is also looking to be attacking which is another key for him. In the end it’s not necessary to get too carried away about tactics, but at the same time he still hasn’t beaten a big power hitter convincingly. That is the only remaining question mark for me. Del Potro won’t be defending his title in New York which pretty much leaves Berdych and Soderling. We know these are tough opponents for Roger. The win against Berdych in Toronto was anything but convincing. It could have gone either way. These will be the most difficult opponents for Roger in New York together with Murray. I don’t think Roger has figured out to bet these power hitters convincingly yet.
But that is also because both Soderling and Berdych has improved dramatically in the last year or so. I actually have no idea how Roger should go about beating these guys consistently. They are just incredibly awkward opponents for him when they play well, as well as for everyone else. But I’m not going to waste too much time worrying about that. It’s just something he will have to deal with if and when it arrives. Maybe he won’t have to face them or maybe he will just be too good for them this time. For now I just want to enjoy this win and remain upbeat about things. Roger will now enjoy this win and head back over to New York where Mirka and Annacone will join him again. That in itself should give him a boost. He will then prepare in New York for a week and then began his quest for a record sixth US Open title. Now wouldn’t that be something?