Well that was quite an interesting day of tennis, wasn’t it? First Nadal gets upset 6-2, 7-6(4) by 17-year old Coric, and then Roger puts on another master class against Dimitrov for a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory. 17 years old. Are you kidding me?! Clearly the kid has a very bright future ahead of him. I certainly didn’t expect him to beat Nadal but he showed great composure and maturity in the second set to hold on and get by far the biggest win of his career. So there is another new youngster in the mix which is nice to see.The teenagers Kyrgios, Coric, and Zverev have all come to the fore of late which is nice because it has been a long time since any teenagers have made big waves in the tennis world. Nadal’s loss to Coric means his tennis season is over as he announced he will finally get his surgery done and miss Paris and London.
It’s a damn shame as I would have loved to his behind getting kicked a few more times in the indoor season, but as we have seen from Nadal he only competes when conditions are favorable. He is never ‘injured’ during the clay court season for instance. And of course with this loss he avoids Roger in the indoor season as well, keeping his 23-10 head-to-head over the GOAT nicely in tact. It’s the story of the head-to-head folks. Nadal was very seldom good enough to face Roger on surfaces that favor him, especially in Roger’s prime. But Roger was always good enough on clay to face Nadal, being by far the second best clay courter of his generation. The same can’t be said for Nadal about indoor or fast surfaces. He is a very lousy indoor player for a so called GOAT contender.
I’m not even sure Nadal really has appendicitis. It’s hard to believe anything he says anymore, and who knows what is next for him. He could be finished and win no more slams, or he could surpass Roger’s slam count. He will probably win the next four French Opens anyway and become the ‘GOAT’ with the most unbalanced resume of all time. I don’t even care anymore. It’s not worth giving attention to, because he comes across as a child who is throwing his toys out of his pram to look for attention. Rather I want to focus on Roger and all the fantastic things he has achieved this year already. What a privilege to be a Fedfan! I say it again and again but it is so true. Even at age 33 Roger just keeps scaling new heights. Roger has won more matches this year leading up to Basel than he did in 2007(61 vs 58)!
But that is hardly a surprise to me given how little he played last year. Leading up to Basel this year Roger had already played 71 matches, whereas last year at the same point he had played only 49 matches! Amazing. The Nadulltards have already began their doping allegations since Roger can play so many matches at 33, but in the process very conveniently ignored the stat I just posted. 2013 was basically a rest year for Roger and I always knew he was gonna play catch up at some point. It’s been absolutely phenomenal what Roger has done this year so far, and the best may be yet to come. I would really like to see Roger claim this Basel title. There is always one more title to win and one more thing to achieve, and really we should just be grateful that Roger is still playing.
But if he wins Basel it would just be very satisfying for a number of reasons which I listed in yesterday’s post. If he does that I don’t even care what happens for the rest of the year, because then he has already exceeded my expectations. Roger now plays Karlovic who defeated Becker 6-4, 6-4. We know Karlovic is a danger with his massive serve, but we also know that Roger matches up very well against big servers. You have to like Roger’s chances for the title now after the way he disposed of Dimitrov. I could only watch the first set of which was a high quality affair. The first set was obviously very close and I was quite impressed with Dimitrov. For a while there he was looking very threatening but in the end Roger’s mental superiority and experience won the day quite comfortably.
But he is also more talented than Dimitrov. Dimitrov is just a lesser version of Roger. They have very similar playing styles but Roger just does everything a little better. That is why I am not crazy about Dimitrov. Who wants to be an imitation of someone else, no matter how amazing they are? Certainly not me. I want to be my own man. So it was nice to see Roger giving him quite a spanking in the end. The big test came with Roger serving at 5-6 in the first set to force the tie break. He had to face down three set points there, which if he lost any of this match would obviously have had a very different complexion to it. So it was closer than the scoreline suggested. Roger went down 15-40 in that game. He first came up with a forehand winner and then a second serve ace to save the fist two break points.
Looking lethal in Basel
As clutch as it gets. And then he saved another with a serve-and-volley on a second serve. It was just very gutsy stuff. Once Roger came out of that very difficult and long game he quickly took control of the tie break as he broke Dimitrov’s opening service point and wrapped up the breaker 7-4. It reminded of the match against Benneteau in Shanghai where Roger also won the first set breaker 7-4 and then put on a master class in the second set to bagel Benneteau. I missed the second set but from the highlights I could tell it was very high quality stuff. And as expected Roger tightened up his break point conversion rate. So like I said Roger now plays Karlovic while the other semi is between Coric and Goffin, who upset Raonic. I watched some of that match and Goffin is now on a 15-match winning streak after titles in Metz and the Mons Challenger.
He is surprisingly small but he has a pleasing game. Much more pleasing than the one-dimensional Raonic anyway. So it was nice to see him win. It should be an interesting encounter between him and Coric too. Both are high on confidence now for different reasons, and I’m sure the possibility of facing the GOAT in an ATP 500 final will be all the motivation they need to give it absolutely everything they’ve got. They will be on first followed by the GOAT vs Karlovic. And I am pleased to see they will be playing earlier today as it was already 3 am this morning for me when Fedtrov finished the first set. The Paris draw is also out and it looks good for Roger. The only guy that really poses a threat before the final is Berdych but I doubt that with the form Roger is in. Anyway it’s now all about today. Looking forward!
Edit: I screwed up with the stats regarding how many matches Roger played this year compared to last year(like I usually do), but it comes to the same. Roger played 22 more matches leading up to Basel this year as opposed to last year. It is fixed now and yes, you are allowed to correct me.