It was good to see Roger continue his good form today. After trashing Davydenko Roger started in similar fashion today. He was serving well and ripping the forehand. He broke twice to routine Zemlja in the first set. It was windy conditions though which is always an equalizer. Roger used his slice backhand to make things difficult for his opponent however. The slice is slow and the wind blows it around, which makes it a difficult shot to deal with. In the second set Roger seemed to go on a slight walkabout, but I would rather call it Relaxerer. I think he was so in control that he could afford to just relax out there and not really exert himself unnecessarily. He is good enough not to have to give 100% when he is in control of the match. He just hung in there until he got the chance to break Zemlja to 15 at 4-3 in the second set.
He then served out the match to love. So in the end you can say he wasn’t quite as focused in the second set which would be consistent with recent trends, but I prefer to take the positive outlook and say he just didn’t need to really exert himself. Why bagel and breadstick guys and put extra pressure on yourself? If you are Djokovic 2.0 in 2011 then you can do it, or Roger in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 for that matter. But Roger is now older and there is no need to try and be the top gun anymore. I think it has become clear that Roger is now the hunter and not the hunted anymore. And I think this role suits him just fine in the latter part of his career. He wants to just sneak in under the radar and win one or two more slams. No need to have the favorite tag anymore, because it puts extra pressure on him that he doesn’t need at this stage of his career.
I love the look of the new racquet. Something fresh, something different
Roger will now play against Seppi who he leads 7-0 in the head-to-head and have never lost a set against. I think it is safe to say he will make the semis. For me that is enough at this point. That will prove all the doubters wrong who made so much of a meaningless exho. For me he doesn’t have to prove anything. In fact I regret that I even made a post about the exho. Usually I don’t because it is so pointless. But I thought I’d give you something to talk about while we were waiting for the real tennis. Nadal also won easilt today against Gremelmayr. But of course it took him much longer than it took Roger to beat either Davydenko or Zemlja. That is just the difference between Swiss efficiency and Spanish grinding. Nadal will now play Youzhny. If he wins then he will probably play Monfils, while Roger will probably play Tsonga in the semis.
Looking at Roger’s form I would back him again to beat Tsonga and make the finals. I wouldn’t mind if he loses but then again a Fedal final is always fun. And I do feel that Roger would have a good chance of beating Nadal here. The courts look pretty fast and of course Roger just trashed Nadal in the Masters Cup which will help his case. Lets see what happens. There are still a few matches left to be played.