Hi, folks. Roger is safely into the second round of the 2014 US Open, but with more difficulty than expected. I tried to watch the match, but my laptop wouldn’t pick up my wi-fi network, so I didn’t see much. From the highlights and other sources, I gather that both Roger and Matosevic played very well, other than the third set mental slump from Roger. From what I saw Matosevic played much better than I thought he would, but from what I saw Roger played really well too. He was up to his old brilliance with one or two unbelievable shots, and his backhand looked to be back to peak level. In many ways, he looked like the Roger of old, which was very encouraging and positive. As I expected the title in Cincy boosted his confidence, and I am liking his chances to win #18 here even more.
The problem is Djokovic clearly can’t be written off either, but more about that later. I don’t think the relatively close scoreline of 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) for a first round is anything to worry about. If Roger didn’t slip up in the third set this would have been a routine win, and like I said from what I saw Matosevic was actually playing really well. The first two sets were routine with a break for Roger in each, and in the third set Roger broke again to take a 4-3 lead. From what I hear there was then an incident where Matosevic looked up to Roger’s box where Michael Jordan was sitting and shouted ‘I want to be like Mike!’ Personally I find that funny but apparently Roger did not as he got distracted and handed the break back to Matosevic. They headed into a tie break which thankfully Roger won relatively easily.
Never turn your back on a Federer tweener…
As this was a first round match not much can be concluded from it as usual and I won’t make much of the fact that Roger handed back his serve to Matosevic after having broken. The score really should have been 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, but the tie-break could have been a good thing in the end to help Roger sharpen his mental game. The important thing was not to drop the third set and there he was successful. The first round is just a settler and this match had more of an exho feel about it with Jordan being in attendance. Roger even pulled off another epic tweener. He hit it after the lob from Matosevic was out, but what made it epic was that he hit Matosevic right on the butt after Matosevic had already turned around. That was really entertaining and Jordan had a good laugh about it. It really was a treat to have the basketball GOAT in attendance, even though I didn’t see much.
From a personal standpoint, Jordan is one of my biggest sports idols. I was watching the NBA playoffs when I was in college in the States and Jordan won the sixth title with The Chicago Bulls. I remember very well that lost shot he took to win the championship for The Bulls. Anyway, it was nice to see the two GOATs finally meeting and of course Jordan was a huge idol of Roger when he was growing up as well. In conclusion, the match with Matosevic was very positive for a first round. Roger would not have been on his mental game yet, but the breaker in the third will put him in a good mental state for his next match. Also, I loved the overall impression I got from Roger. He just looked very confident and relaxed out there, exactly what I expected and hope for. Now to get back to Djokovic.
The two GOATs sat down for a chat
I felt that he was not necessarily gonna be much of a factor this year in New York and said that he could lose before the final. Sure it is still possible, but I was just reminded what a dangerous and quality player he is and that the early losses in Toronto and Cincy could have been just the wake-up call that he needed before the big one. Sure Djokovic have only won the US Open once and he just got married, but he is way too dangerous to write off. The danger is there that he can do to Roger what he did to him at Wimbledon if they both make the final which would be kind of devastating, but it is way too early to worry about that. As far as the match stats go for Roger the serve stats were top notch and the overall stats were good, aside from the break point conversions which are too early to mean anything.
Roger will play Groth next on Friday who he has never faced before.
Ps. Roger and Jordan did a shoe promotion thing for Nike so Roger was wearing a pair of Air Jordans for tennis. I thought they looked pretty nice but I much prefer Darth Fed with the black shoes and socks.