Hey folks. I had an emergency at work today and couldn’t really enjoy this title from Roger but maybe I can do that now by making a post. The final was a mismatch as I suspected it could be, but I didn’t want to sound too self-assured in my preview post. Due to the situation I was in I couldn’t really enjoy the match but like I said it was a bit of a mismatch anyway as Roger blew Goffin off the court in only 51 minutes. Goffin has a pretty nice game but as I said in my last post he just doesn’t have the weapons to hurt Roger. I don’t see him ever being a top 10 player either. Maybe he can hang around in the top 30 somewhere, although there are more and more young talent coming through. Roger’s most impressive matches in this tournament were against Dimitrov and Karlovic. He also had to work very hard against Istomin, and he no doubt deserved this title.
All in all I thought it was a very impressive tourney from Roger especially from a mental standpoint. And then of course he played some beautiful attacking tennis as well. I see the final more as a reward for the hard work he put in during the week. And it comes at an opportune time because it helps Roger to stay fresh and ready for Paris this week. So in the end things have worked out really well and Roger is now 6-5 in Basel finals. It was also nice that Nadal got humiliated by a 17-year old and that Brennwald’s big investment in him failed. This is also Roger’s 82nd title as he keeps closing in on 100 titles and he also achieved his goal of 5 titles for this year. So aside from not winning a slam it has already been a successful year. Lets face it, the slams are the most important thing.
Enjoy Brennmug! #karmaisabitch
But it is not the only thing and Roger still has chances at slams if he keeps his current form up. The most important thing is the present moment. If Roger can win the Masters Cup and end the year as number one it will go a long way towards helping him win a slam next year. Remember in 2011 when Roger won the triple in Basel, Paris, and London and then he went on to win a slam in 2012? And given how close Roger was to winning a slam this year it is even more important that he ends the year well and set himself up well for 2015. It is hard to predict how things will play out because Nadal will probably come back from his injury next year and play like superman out of nowhere again, and the normal pattern is that Roger slumps when Nadal rises and vice versa.
Roger is having a superb 2014 by his current standards and that makes you think that he can slump again in 2015. But there are things that make you think he can keep his current form up too, like the fact that he seems to have solved his back problem, found the ideal coach, changed his racquet and playing style, etc. Nadal is now on 14 slams and I think this is where this whole GOAT debate gets very interesting. Nadal is now within striking distance of Roger’s record and Roger knows that. I think the rivalry is heating up more than ever. Nadal for instance made a dig at Roger when he said the Davis Cup this year is weak and Roger hit right back after Nadal’s upset in Basel, saying that Nadal should not be losing to someone he has never seen play himself and that he doesn’t understand Nadal’s choices.
Champions don’t whine. They win.
If you ever thought these two guys were friends think again. In fact Nadal recently confirmed that they aren’t friends. Roger already predicted a long time ago at the Hit for Haiti in Indian Wells with Nadal, Sampras, and Agassi that things will heat up between him and Nadal towards the end. Well I believe we have now reached that point and things are already heating up. Nadal may be in charge of the head-to-head but Roger is in charge of the slam titles and he is not gonna just sit back and watch Nadal catch him. He wants to win at least one more slam himself and do whatever it takes to stop Nadal from catching him. I think next year at the Australian Open Roger will already have a great chance of winning another slam because he will have a top two ranking and Nadal may not yet be up to speed after his disastrous indoor season.
But like I said the present moment is the most important and now all the attention goes to Paris where Roger has a good draw. His potential opponents are Chardy, Karlovic/Fognini, Raonic/Agut, Berdych, Djokovic/Murray/Nishikori. Roger will only play on Wednesday and by then he should be fresh and ready to go. If recent form is anything to go by Roger will win this tournament especially if Djokovic doesn’t make the final. I put Nishikori and Murray as possible opponents for Roger if he makes the final because it’s hard to predict what kind of form Djokovic will be in after the birth of his baby. We know Nishikori beat Djokovic at the US Open and Murray just won his third title in five events after beating Robredo in the Valencia final. He is up to 5th in the race and it is nice to see that he will surely now qualify for London with his late run.
Pizza party time!
He is too good a player not to be there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a deep run in Paris either. With four spots still available in London this should be an interesting event and of course for Roger it is important to do better than Djokovic to keep his year end #1 hopes alive. As far as the draw and the current form of him and Djokovic goes the odds certainly seem to be in favor of him doing so. Ideally I want to see Roger win Paris and London and end the year #1. As far as Davis Cup goes that would be more like a nice bonus if he can get it. Getting the year end #1 would be a terrific reward after missing out by such a small margin on the Wimbledon title this year. That would come right after a slam title for me and ahead of the Masters Cup. But a lot of pressure is now released with Roger winning Basel and reaching his goal of five titles for 2014.
It sets us up for a very enjoyable and interesting rest of the season!