I don’t have much time so this post won’t be long, but I definitely wanted to say something about this match. I hope everyone understands now why I made nothing of the exho in Abu Dhabi. Roger was looking utterly different than he did in those exhos. I wasn’t happy that Roger missed an easy forehand to breadstick Davydenko in the second set, and as I said Davydenko is not the player he used to be. But still I think this could be classified as JesusFed. There was great intensity while the serve and forehand were in great shape. Roger made a staggering 85% of first serves. I can fully understand why Roger did not care much about the exho. If he gave 100% and lost then Djokovic and Nadal gains a mental edge over him before Melbourne. If he wins then it’s just an exho and it means nothing. It’s a lose-lose situation.
At this stage, it is about proving doubters wrong and messing with the minds of his opponents. Losing to Djokovic and Nadal in Abu Dhabi gives them a false sense of security. Roger has always been an intelligent tennis player. He knows what he is doing here. The way he was playing today you feel he has a great chance to win this event again. If that happens then it happens. But for me it is certainly not important. The more people write Roger off the better as far as I’m concerned.
If he wins Doha then he has a lot of expectations going into Melbourne again and I don’t like that. We saw how he is able to raise his game today when it matters and surprise everyone who wrote him off after a silly exho. I feel it’s better if he goes into Melbourne in a similar situation and then raise his game again. Last year there were a lot of expectations after he won Doha and I wasn’t impressed with his play in Melbourne.
He just looked vulnerable from the start. We will see. If he wins Doha then it is still a title and a confidence boost. I’m not gonna write him off for Melbourne if he wins Doha. It is after all not a very important event. Today Nadal beat Kohlschreiber in three tough sets while Tsonga also needed three sets to beat a wild card. So neither of them is looking in amazing shape. They will improve with every round though. If Roger does happen to play Nadal in the final and win then it could be a good thing going into Melbourne. But there is a lot of tennis left to be played in Doha. Roger now plays a guy called Zemlja who I’ve never heard of. Should be another easy win. I hope you enjoyed today’s display from Roger and for those who doubted him I hope will have a bit more faith next time(or less expectation).