I am happy to let you know that I will also be playing #Hamburg this summer, where I have many fond memories.
All of a sudden playing Gstaad makes a little more sense, doesn’t it? After Roger added the 250 clay event in Gstaad to his summer schedule he has now added the 500 clay event in Hamburg as well. Ranking wise that makes more sense than playing Gstaad and not playing Washington. Roger lost a lot of points at Wimbledon and the Olympics points will drop off soon too. By adding Hamburg to his schedule you can now ask whether he should rather have played in Atlanta and Washington, instead of Gstaad and Hamburg. In the end I think it’s about spending more time close to home for Roger, which is why he opted for the latter. He is doing a lot of switching back and forth on surfaces that way, but I don’t think it will be too much of an issue. Most tournaments are played on hard court and Roger won’t need much time to adjust to it.
The most important thing I think is for Roger to get matches and build confidence, as well as ranking points. The surface doesn’t really matter. The field in Gstaad is Tipsarevic, Stan, Monaco, and Youzhny. These guys are all very beatable for Roger. Stan may be the hardest to beat given his recent clay court form. The Hamburg 500 field is of course tougher and includes Almagro, Haas, Monaco, Simon, Seppi, Janowicz, Dolgopolov, and Paire. This is the first event Roger will play and it won’t be easy to win. But he has a great record in Hamburg and should be the favorite against all these guys. Hopefully he can win both Hamburg and Gstaad and gain 2 more titles for the year in the process. Winning a title always gives confidence, no matter what the strength of the event. If Roger loses in these events it won’t give him much confidence, but at least he will be getting more matches.
The nice thing is that he will be playing 3 events now where he has no points to defend, and then at Cincinnati he has to defend another title. But despite that I don’t think he can return to the top 4 before the US Open. Roger had such a good year in 2012 that it is making it hard for him to maintain his ranking. Also Ferrer has been super consistent. As for dropping to #6 in the rankings after Wimbledon, at least that won’t happen as Djokovic defeated Berdych in straight sets in the quarter finals of Wimbledon. Del Potro also defeated Ferrer in straight sets which was good to see. Del Potro’s run has probably been the highlight of one of the most boring Wimbledons in recent times for me. He now plays Djokovic who has looked awfully good and Djokovic is probably the favorite, even though Del Potro beat him at the Olympics at Wimbledon last year.
Roger won Hamburg 4 times when it was still a MS event(’02, ’04, ’05, ’07) (’13?)
In the bottom half there was yet another straight set win for Janowicz over Kubot. Who would have imagined that quarterfinal meeting when the draw came out? This Wimbledon was a big setback for Fedal that’s for sure. Janowicz in the semis of Wimbledon? Are you kidding me? But kudos to him for seeing his opportunity and taking it with both hands. The game can sure do with some young talent coming through. The only match that provided any real drama was the one between Murray and Verdasco. And it was big drama. Murray somehow managed to lose the first 2 sets and I could hardly believe my eyes. At least he came back to win the match 7-5 in the 5th. I was at work so I couldn’t watch, but apparently Murray was way too passive in the first 2 sets. I think he was feeling the pressure. The important thing however is that he won.
The trademark of Murray 2.0 has been that he wins the matches where he choked in the past. He comes close to losing but in the end he comes through, which is all that matters. Many people now think that Djokovic is the favorite after Murray was pushed to 5 sets by Verdasco, but I will stick with the one I favored for the title since the start. Djokovic is looking very good and I will definitely not be surprised if he wins the title, but I can’t change my mind now. Djokovic first have to overcome Del Potro anyway, who is not an easy opponent. Murray has Janowicz who I think he will deal with easier. Janowicz has a big serve which is a good match up for Murray because he has good returns. Janowicz did beat Murray in Bercy last year after Murray was a set and a break up, but I think the moment will probably be too big for Janowicz here.
The British crowd will also be firmly behind Murray, and apparently they were very biased in Murray’s last match. Janowicz in the Wimbledon final just doesn’t seem quite right. I’d love for Del Potro to win the whole thing. How cool would it be if we get a Del Potray final? You have two guys who have both won one slam at the US Open and wants to cement themselves as not just a one-slam wonder. These two have been compared for a long time and while Murray has had much more success outside of the one slam that they both won, if Del Potro should beat Murray in the Wimbledon final he still has to be viewed as the more successful player. I’d love for that final to happen actually and Del Potro to win it. We are far from that though and Djokovic has to be the favorite to make the final at this point.