I couldn’t watch much of this match as it was the last match on Center Court and the WTA did a good job as usual of holding up the play. I just watched some of the first and second sets and then caught the highlights on youtube. From the start, I could see that Roger found a very good rhythm on his serve. In fact, I don’t remember the last time he looked so smooth on the serve. The match stats says it all. 25 aces is high over three sets in anyone’s book and only one double fault. The 77% first serves made is ridiculously high, and so is the percentage of points won on first and second serves. It doesn’t get any better than that on serve and I really think the new racquet is helping Roger in that department. The rest of the stats are just as impressive. I said in my last post that I expect Roger to tighten things up, especially in the break point conversions, and that is exactly what he did.
4/6 break points converted is good for anyone, let alone Roger Federer. Roger didn’t approach the net much, but he still won a high percentage in the forecourt. The 44-5 winner to unforced error ratio is highly impressive as well. Finally, Roger didn’t face a single break point on his serve and broke serve four times himself to win 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. Just an extremely efficient and clinical performance and nothing less will do if he wants to win the tournament. This is because the rest of the big four continues to impress. Nadal was thoroughly tested by Rosol again but this time he prevailed 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4. I watched this one and was amazed to find that Rosol was playing exactly the way he played when he beat Nadal in 2012. The difference being that Nadal never gets upset consecutively by the same player and this time he was up to the challenge.
As good as it gets
Rosol came out blazing away again, just hitting aces and winners at will almost. He breezed through the first set and went a break up in the second. It looked like this time he could make short work of Nadal, but I was stunned by Nadal’s mental strength yet again. He came back from a break to force the tie-break and in the pivotal tie-break he came back from a break again after Rosol was up 5-4 with two service points in hand. Nadal also saved a set point at 5-6. It is honestly scary how mentally strong Nadal is. I hate his game and the way he competes, but you have no choice but to respect his mental strength. It is without a doubt the best in history. Rosol himself was fearless yet again, showing no signs of intimidation from Nadal like just about everyone else does. That in itself was impressive.
He even deliberately knocked over Nadal’s water bottle at a change of ends. But Nadal remained unfazed and got his revenge. Unreal. Now you better believe Nadal will make semis, if not win the tournament. But as Fedfans it won’t do us much good to focus on what he is doing. I am just happy with the way Roger plays because with the way he plays at least he will have a chance if he faces Nadal in the semis. Roger now plays Giraldo who beat Granollers in a marathon 5-setter. I can’t imagine that Giraldo would do much damage with the way Roger is playing and I expect another straight set win. Looking a bit further on in the draw Janowicz beat Hewitt in five sets and it looks like Roger could face him in the last 16. Janowicz can be dangerous but not really with the way he played this year so far.
Clenched fist after a job well done
Then Stan is looking pretty good as well, while Lopez and Isner should be interesting in the next round. It should be between the three of them as to whom Roger faces if he makes the quarters, and it is impossible to call a favorite as to who it will be. Roger’s draw looks good for him to make semis, but that is looking too far ahead. In the top half, Djokovic was thoroughly tested by a rampant Stepanek. I watched some of that and Stepanek was playing out of his skin. So I wouldn’t make much of the close scoreline. Djokovic also beat Simon handily today, and will face Tsonga in the last 16. Tsonga’s 14-12 win in the fifth set over Querrey in the second round would have boosted his confidence and he can potentially be another test of Djokovic. But Djokovic is looking good. I’m sure he will make semis at least, but probably the final.
As for Murray, he still has to play today against Bautista-Agut which I will be watching. Bautista-Agut just won the title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and it should be another very watchable encounter. Already this Wimbledon have delivered some great matches and I expect that to continue. Murray is looking sharp himself after losing just two games to his previous opponent. As for my dark horse Dimitrov, he may bite the dust today already because he is down two sets to one against very talented Dolgopolov. It is nice to see that another talent is coming through and continuing the good form he has showed so far this year after he has been too inconsistent for some time, so I don’t really care who wins. I like Dolgopolov’s flashy game too. Well, I’m off to go watch the conclusion of the Dimitrov/Dolgopolov match.
Enjoy the tennis!
Ps. I forgot to mention that the roof was closed after the rain stopped play at 3-3 in the second set. You better start praying for rain so long in case of a Fedal semi-final. No doubt that would make Roger the favorite.