I don’t think it was the start that Roger had in mind for the grass court season, but the main thing is that he won, which he did with a score of 7-6(8), 3-6, 7-6(5). I tuned in on the last point of the first set tie-break when Kohlschreiber committed an unforced error to drop the first set. In the second set, a call seemed to upset the Swiss as he got broken at 3-4. He hit a backhand wide that was called good after which Kohlschreiber challenged it and hawkeye confirmed it was wide.
According to Roger the challenge from Kohlschreiber came too late, but there was no way the umpire was going to change his mind. In the next game, he got broken and then lost the second set. The final set came down to a tie-break again where Kohlschreiber was in control at 5-4 with two serves to come. Roger had played a poor tie-break up until that point. Kohlschreiber only had to hold both serves to win the match, or at least win one point to put the pressure back on Roger.
But instead he lost both serves and dumped a sitter forehand return off a second serve from Roger into the net. It was disastrous choking, but I guess when you are 0-8 in the head-to-head you don’t believe you can win anymore. Someone said this reminds them of Roger’s match in Shanghai against Mayer last year, and that usually when this happens Roger has a good tournament. I don’t think this match was the same. Against Mayer, Roger was mentally strong and had some luck.
There were a lot of slippings
Against Kohlschreiber, he was mentally poor in the final set tie-break and was going to lose, only for Kohlschreiber to come to the rescue with severe choking. But like I said the only thing that matters is that he won. It wasn’t the easiest first round and his draw gets better now. The weakest aspect of his game was probably his forehand again. That shot lost a lot of penetration and accuracy with the change of racquets. He also missed some routine volleys. The strongest part of his game was his serve which saved him countless times.
Finally, Roger did his usual entertainment play when he hit a well-timed lob from behind his back which prevented Kohlschreiber from putting the ball away, after which Roger hit the forehand winner. Not something you see very often! As for other matches of interest the youngsters Coric and Zverev had good wins over Young and Nieminen respectively. As far as Queen’s go, Hewitt won the first set and was at *5-4 30-0 in the second set against Anderson, only to lose 7-6(5), 5-7, 2-6.
Retirement was a good idea.
- Hot Shot
The is in your court.