Federer and Nadal Both Ease Into Third Round of Indian Wells

Hey folks. I couldn’t watch this match due to internet failure but Indian Wells is in a bad time zone for me anyway and I’m not sure how much of the action I will catch. I did however watch the Dimitrov vs Kyrgios match which turned out to be a disappointment for me since I’m not much of a Dimitrov fan and Kyrgios deserved to win the match. Kyrgios lost the first set on a tie break but then won the second set 6-4 and served for the match at 5-4 in the third after having broken Dimitrov’s serve at 4-4. But just as he hit the last shot of the game in which he broke serve he rolled over his ankle and afterwards he couldn’t move. So his game collapsed and he lost the final set on a tie break. It was a very unfortunate end to a good match.

As for Roger I see he made more unforced errors than winners and served below 50% first serves which is highly unusual for him. Is Nadal on his mind again? That sounds almost absurd so I’d rather wait to see what happens against Seppi to draw any conclusions. It’s more likely that it is just the court speed because the surface is a fair bit slower than Dubai. I hear he shanked quite a few backhands which is probably due to timing issues on the slower courts. The serve could be for the same reason, but it is indeed unusual for Roger to serve below 50% first serves. I can’t remember the last time that happened. And the serve is hit out of the air after all so the court surface shouldn’t affect it too much.

But like I said I am not drawing any conclusions and Roger won by a good scoreline. We have a kind of interesting situation now similar to that in Melbourne. Roger is on course to meet Nadal in the semis and now he has to play Seppi again. Surely this is a different situation as it is not a slam and Roger has not lost his three matches to Nadal in Indian Wells like he did in Melbourne, with the beatings getting worse continually. Fedal is 1-1 at Indian Wells with Roger winning their meeting in 2012 and Nadal winning in 2013. I think this provides the ideal opportunity for Roger to not only get revenge over Seppi but also over Nadal if they happen to meet in the semis. Nadal looked quite good against Sijsling himself and now plays Young.

Nice shirt

As usual clay has done Nadal’s game wonders and he could well make semis. But both him and Roger have plenty of good players to deal with before Fedal becomes a possibility. It looks like Roger will have to deal with Berdych in the quarters if he gets that far while Nadal would have to deal with Raonic or Dimitrov at that stage. But we will see what happens tomorrow. If Roger schools Seppi in straight sets like he should then we can relax. But if he struggles or even worse loses then we know Nadal is deep inside his head. Today it is again the turn of the top half of the draw and on Saturday Djokovic and Murray both had easy wins. I don’t see much of interest going on today but I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow!

 

Highlights:

Presserhttp://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=107382

Posted in Indian Wells, Masters 1000.

34 Comments

  1. Hi Ru-an, what happened to sour you on Dimitrov? I remember at one point you seemed to be hoping he was destined for big things. It’s a shame Kyrgios lost because of injury, but he’ll surely get another chance to shine this year. He was just in the AO quarters, which is really good for someone his age.

    Conditions at IW can be quite windy and Federer did mention it was breezy yesterday. This means he has to be very precise with the serve and his timing. Even though he made a lot of errors and served poorly, he was still 13/14 on net points. This was only his first match on this court, after all. If he can blitz a guy in straight sets while making only 49% of his first serves, he’s doing well. I think it’s important for him to keep his attacking mindset from Dubai and use his net game and come forward whenever he can.

    Federer has to play with a lot of spin on this court because of the high bounce, but at the same time he has to be able to hit flat and be aggressive so it requires absolutely perfect footwork and timing. The wind makes things even more complicated. But when he does get it right he can play some amazing tennis on this court.

    As I suspected, Nadal is in good form and it must be assumed he’ll be back to his best very soon. Certainly if he makes the semis (which is all but assured, given his record of making 8 straight semis) it will take a great performance from Federer to stop him.

    I am cautiously optimistic, given that in their last encounter at IW, Federer was playing with the smaller racket and had a bad back. He should have been blown out 6-1, 6-1, but he made it reasonably competitive, given that he wasn’t moving well at all and couldn’t serve properly. If he stays aggressive (and he said he made a deliberate point of this during his first match) he has a great chance to beat Nadal.

    It’s true that he’s never won a tournament in which he’s had to play Seppi, but this is a good opportunity to overturn that trend. Seppi can only win if Federer is inconsistent and I don’t see lightning striking twice.

    C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Steve I liked Dimitrov’s game at the beginning and had hope that he would be like Roger. At least to a certain extent. But I don’t see true champion qualities in him. I’ve already said that he tries to be too much like Fed and dating Sharapova is just terrible. Also he doesn’t have a tennis coach in Rasheed. Rasheed is a drill sergeant and would do better in the army. I doubt he knows much about the game. Dimitrov is talented but hasn’t lived up to the hype. Kyrgios has already made two slam QF at age 19 and have beaten a big 3 member at a slam. When Dimitrov was the same age he was still playing slam qualifying, never mind beating a big 3 player in a slam. Same with Coric he is way better than Dimitrov was at his age. Thiem too. Dimitrov better start making his move if he wants to win a slam because the next promising era is already coming through. Kyrgios is already better than him. He just lost yesterday because he got injured. Sorry Eric if you are reading this. Just my opinion.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Haha, that’s ok Ru-an. I understand how you feel. I had very high hopes for Dimitrov and think he has a beautiful game and tremendous talent. He also has a fantastic life story growing up extremely poor, having to practice on a wood floor in a gym so cold he had the wear gloves. I respect what he has accomplished and I like him as a human being. That said, he does lack that star quality or champions edge, at least for now. You look at how terribly Djokovic played tonight and yet he still manages to raise his level on the important points and get the win. Grigor does not have that and can never be a champion until and unless he finds it.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Plus I’ll just add that I believe Dimitrov made it to the quarters of both AO and Wimbledon, where he beat Murray and then really pushed Dokovic to a tie break or two in four sets. He hasn’t yet put it all together, but he’s no slouch and he’s been making steady progress in the rankings, now right around number 10 I think.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes he did do well at the AO and Wimby last year. But as you can see he lost all 4 tie breaks against Nadal and Djokovic. Not saying he can’t win a slam or two. He sure seems to making steady progress. He’s just not my cup of tea. But who knows maybe if he can prove himself a bit more and actually win a slam I can like him more.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you didn’t take any offense Eric. Yeah I feel like Dimitrov is very talented and yet something just seems amiss. He is almost as talented as Fed but just that small margin makes a huge difference. It shows you how small the margins are at the top. Same in the mental department. It’s like Albert says he is not hungry enough. Not going to the WTF while being in London, dating Sharapova, and trying too hard to be like Fed are all signs that he doesn’t have a champions mentality. I’m sure he is a nice guy but for me to be a fan of a player that champions mentality is all important. Dimitrov seems to be in it for the attention he gets. That is what I strongly dislike about him.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I know I am in the minority on this so I fully expect the abuse to come but… Why is dating Sharapova a negative on him? The woman he’s spending his off time with is dedicated to fitness, eating well, sleeping well, she’s a veteran with a professional work ethic and a killer instinct. Could be a lot worse than that. He could be dating an actress like McEnroe or Sampras did. Did dating Mirka, also a professional tennis player negatively effect Fed? What’s so terrible about Sharapova aside from her grunting and lousy serve??

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I mean, come on. She’s the number two player in the world. If Mike Tyson wasn’t playing women’s tennis, Maria would be number one!!! :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ha Mike Tyson. She wishes!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No abuse Eric. It’s just the whole celeb thing what I told you before when I said he seems to be in it for the attention. And he just served 2 DFs at 5-6 and 15-15 in the third vs Robredo to lose the match. That is mentally very poor.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Yep, very mentally poor and happens very regularly with Dimitrov. Strange and unfortunate.

    [Reply]

    Albert Reply:

    In my mind, I kind of put Dimitrov in the same category as guys like Gael Monfils. Very interesting to watch, interesting playing styles, some good natural talent, but not really the true champion mentality. Particularly with Dimitrov, dating Sharapova is probably not something a real mens tennis champion would want to do, and the way he turned down the opportunity to be an alternate at last year’s WTF also shows that he doesn’t quite have the dedication it would take to get to the next level.

    Personally I still find him likable and I watch his matches occasionally, but I don’t really see him getting to the real pinnacle of the men’s game.

    [Reply]

  2. Out of all the tennis players Dimitrov is the one I really can’t take seriously. No doubt he can play good tennis but I’ll never believe that he doesn’t like to be known as ‘Baby Fed’ even today we are hearing from the commentators about him trying out the blacked out Wilson R. it’s just Fed all over again. As for his personal life Serena or Maria you can’t deny the boy aims high. Was glad that Roger managed to win but he looked as though he was running on treacle, Indian Wells tennis for all the players has been for me a let down…love the palm trees but hate the slow courts x

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah, Liz, BIG disappointment IW so far. Thank God for those Palm trees!!! At times I swear watching the trees have been more spectacular than watching some of the tennis played so far! lol

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Wow! Hurray! Our lovely sunshine is back. How dearly we missed you! The most anticipated comeback of the year. Much more than those made by Dull after the so called injuries. Welcome back. Hopefully Fed will reciprocate by winning IW.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes we need Sunshine here Jiten. She has to offset my cold factual nature.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    But it is happening the other way round. Your so called negativity is affecting her instead. LOL! She is not very hopeful of our hero winning the current tourney. Hopefully negative multiplied negative will bring out the positivity in all.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Or maybe just realistic? I’m not saying Fed can’t do well here but usually Veronica is right about these things too. When she is negative about Fed it is usually useless to try and be positive. I have tried it in the past and she always turned out to be right. So I don’t fight it anymore.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly Elizabeth. I can’t take him seriously for a second and the blacked out Wilson is a dead giveaway that he is utterly attached to the Baby Fed image. It’s very strange how he does everything Fed does. Did you hear he is also going to Istanbul now? Lol! As for Sharapova I think he can do much better.

    [Reply]

  3. All the players seem to be complaining about the balls (especially Nadal, of course). There’s something not quite right to be honest, no player has produced anything spectacular. In fact, the only guy who’s been playing decent tennis is Murray IMO.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    And Tomic! Surprise surprise! IW seems a far cry from what it was before. Isn’t it supposed to be one of the quicker courts? Doesn’t Roger usually does well there? But looking at how Roger played his last two matches, he’s struggling with his timing and how the courts play. If I remember correctly, Roger also struggled with the courts last year ( of course he was also injured). You think they may have slowed It down since last year? I wouldn’t put it past Larry to do it for his boy!

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    Absolutely Larry is so in love w Rafa it’s ridiculous. Wouldn’t surprise me at all that he intentionally improved the conditions for his boy.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nadal is always complaining about something that’ for sure.

    [Reply]

  4. Slow courts, exhos overkill, Roger is not winning this! If he doesn’t settle down and stop going like he is on his farewell tour, no. 18 isn’t happening! Sorry guys to be back with such a negative comment (miss you guys and LOVE your comments, welcome all the new guys who are making some really great comments and thanks for asking after me, Ru-an, Dolores, Jiten, Kat, Joe, Steve, you guys are just so lovely, so good, I feel the love! Hehe! and I feel really bad for disappearing for so long but I’m really up to my neck from late last year and been out of the country for a while. Tennis is sorta pushed aside for the moment) but it is what it is. He messed up AO and it is looking like he may screw up IW as well. Hard to understand his decision after such a great start in Dubai. He’s not quite himself; even when signing on camera, his smile wasn’t the usual happy one. Is he sick/exhausted? God knows. Everyone seems happy for a Fedal and thinks at last Roger has a great chance of beating Nadal. On the contrary, I’m bracing myself for another disappointment. It seems Roger is not fated to meet Nadal whenever Roger is in top form. In these awfully slow courts and in his form right now, I don’t see him beating Nadal. Although Nadal is also in poor form, it is still advantage Nadal. IW is a happy hunting ground for Nadal; made all the merrier with his personal poodle, Larry, at his beck and call, stroking his ego every opportunity! Also, poor form or not, Nadal always plays his best against Roger. And what does Roger have? Playing like shit atm,(ha), playing like the last place he wants to be is in IW, playing like he has already played 54 exhos beforehand..ha!…..I don’t know what to expect from Roger. It will be a stern test against Sock; and I can just see Big Berd doing some birdshitting come quarterfinal if they both make it. IW is a gone case. I would LOVE to be wrong. Prove me wrong, Roger!! C’mon!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Sorry, Mistake, Roger wasn’t injured last year but in 2013.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Ronster! You’re back! Lol. We missed you. And no you are not wrong about Roger. I personally think he won’t make semis. Something is weird again like in Australia and I am afraid Nadal is messing with his sub conscious again. He beat Seppi in straights but Seppi was his useless self again. Roger looked out of sorts again and was lucky that Seppi basically just rolled over. Maybe I am wrong and Roger will get his shit together but I can see him losing to Sock or Birdshit. All of a sudden he looks very different than in Dubai, and by now he should be used to the courts. We will see but there is certainly a possibility that Nadal is deep in his head.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Soooooooo nice to have you back Veronica!!!! And I really and sadly agree with you guys. Roger has been mediocre at best. Unless he picks it up he will “mysteriously” not make it to the semis. No big mystery to me, just look at who’s waiting for hm there. If he was serious about winning this he wouldn’t have flown to NYC for that bullshit exho. I really really really hope he proves us wrong and gets it together but I don’t see it happening.

    [Reply]

  5. Hey Veronica!

    Welcome back! We certainly did miss you, frequently and abuncha! In fact, I was just about to ask Ru-an to make a post all about you, in hopes it would persuade you to come back! :-)

    I hope all the stuff pushing tennis aside in your life is good, but I’m not trying to pry. If it’s not all good, then I wish you all the resilience and resourcefulness in the world.

    And as far as your observations about Roger are concerned, you’re quite right, of course. It’s really impossible to argue that he’s been a little off lately. And ‘good on you’ (they still say that in Australia, don’t they?) for not sugar-coating the truth!

    All I can hope for is that these difficult matches, whatever the reason for them (courts, timing, fatigue, brain) – will actually be good for Roger. I worry more about Roger’s next match when he plays at his highest level of near-perfection, b/c that level is almost impossible to maintain, especially with all the miles behind him now. On the other hand, these tough matches seem to toughen him up – especially mentally – most of the time!

    So fingers are definitely crossed all around, for you and Roger both! It is so good that you’re back Veronica – do take care of yourself, and please don’t be a stranger!
    :-)

    P.S. Ru-an, can you tell us how to make kissing smilies?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You can’t.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    HA!! That is the absolutely classic!!!
    Joe: “Ru-an, can you tell us how to make kissing smiles?
    Ru-an: “You can’t”
    Love it and love that Veronica is back in the mix!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Just telling it like it is Eric. You can’t make kiss smileys on my blog. I’m serious.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    As in they don’t exist. Just to make that clear.

    [Reply]

    eric Reply:

    No, I got it completely. I just got a kick out of your different ways of speaking and personalities and that little exchange cracked me up.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Cool. Nadal looking ominous.

    [Reply]

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