I hope you all had a fun new year’s eve and have a blessed new year. After Roger’s fantastic end to 2011 there were a lot of enthusiasm and hope for 2012. I have to admit I’m still a bit shocked at how much people have made of Roger’s performance in the exho. I feel like he deserves more than that from his fans. An exho is a glorified practice session and very little should be read into it indeed, especially for Roger. I guess it shows how much expectations some of his fans still have for him. What if he fails those expectations? How would we feel then? Not very good I can promise you. The less you expect the less you have to lose. So everyone got their expectations up after the indoor season, but I warned people that outdoors is an altogether different ballgame. Indoor tennis should not be taken as a measure for Roger’s form.
I think fans are too emotional. They get all excited when Roger has a good indoor season and then when he loses in a meaningless exho they move to the opposite side of the spectrum. Geez. Can’t we just lower our expectations a bit and enjoy what is left of this GOAT’s career? I’m not saying you should not have any expectations at all. That takes the fun out of it as well. Just accept that Roger is not in his prime anymore and lower your expectations somewhat. I promise you it will be worth your while. Then he can pleasantly surprise you, instead of deeply disappointing you. I learned this last year. I had high hopes for Roger at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and I ended up disappointed, as well as on several other occasions. It just doesn’t make the Fedfan experience much fun. It starts to bring you down.
On the other hand I didn’t have much expectations for Roger at the French and US Open. And then he played some fantastic tennis. With a bit of luck he could have won one of those slams. Lets just give the guy a break. He has given us so much throughout the years. Lets not be greedy. If he then wins a slam it will be a huge bonus. For me just seeing him play well and the excitement of him being a contender at a slam is enough. I know it’s not fun when he plays badly, but that makes the times he plays well more rewarding as well. In his prime he was always playing well, and it was hard to really appreciate what we were seeing. Now there is some more contrast and we can appreciate his best level a bit more. Also for me it helps to take interest in what goes on at the top of the game. The rivalries at the top of the game I find interesting.
Now lets move on to Doha. I just felt like I wanted to get that off my chest before we head into this new season. Roger will play Davydenko is the first round on Tuesday I think. He won’t play tomorrow. Some Fedfans are worried about Roger’s chances after the exho. Davydenko is clearly not the same player he was at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 when he beat Nadal in Doha. I mean his level has really dropped off. So I’m not too worried. Having said that Roger must make sure that he wins this. Losing in the first round won’t be great for his confidence going into Melbourne. If he beats Davydenko the exho will all of a sudden be forgotten and Roger will look good for a semi-final spot. Looking at his draw he should in fact get at least three wins under his belt, because he doesn’t have really tough competition until the semis.
In the semis he can meet Tsonga once again, which is getting a bit ridiculous. Losing to Tsonga won’t be so bad though. The main thing is to get some competitive matches under his belt before Melbourne. I have already said that I would actually prefer he loses in the semis or final here to take some pressure off himself. But I do feel he needs to get a few wins under his belt and just show people how little the exho meant.