Greetings. The grass court season started this past week already with events in Stuttgart and s-Hertogenbosch. Federer was back heading the field in Stuttgart after missing the French Open due to back problems.
He needed three sets to defeat Fritz in his first match and two tiebreaks to defeat Mayer before falling to the player I have been hyping since 2014, Dominic Thiem. Thiem won 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 after Federer had match point on his serve in the second set tiebreak.
Thiem also had a 5-1 lead in the second set. Federer looked short of match play which you would expect after all his injury problems. He hasn’t played much at all so far this year which is a big concern for him.
It is starting to look like another 2013 which would hardly be worth his time. But it is a little early to say that with Halle and Wimbledon coming up. There is still time for him to play himself into better form and make a strong run at Wimbledon.
What I do find interesting is how quickly people started writing him off again, like he can’t play tennis to save his life anymore. It is strange how all of a sudden these people just ignore how well Federer played in his last three slams.
If it wasn’t for Djokovic he could have won all three those slams! But now that he’s had some injuries and couldn’t play he is done and should retire. That may be the case, but it wouldn’t be because he isn’t good enough anymore.
He was easily the second best player in the world before he got injured. What I would admit is that I always felt that the seemingly never-ending losses to Djokovic in big matches would eventually take its toll.
I mean we are talking about four straight slam losses, a World Tour Finals final loss, and several losses in Masters Series finals since 2014. I’m not saying that is why Federer got injured but it might be.
I don’t know how you keep coming back for one beating after the other when the beatings seemingly are only getting worse. In one way or the other, it must catch up with you. That said, I’m glad Federer was playing in Stuttgart injury free.
I hope he does well in Halle too, where his draw looks pretty good. It should be a pretty interesting event because he is drawn to face Goffin in the quarters and Berdych in the semis.
- Thiem Goes From Strength to Strength
Thiem is also playing Halle but he is not finished in Stuttgart where the final rained out today with him trailing Kohlschreiber 2-3 in the first set tiebreak with the German about to serve. I didn’t think there was any way Thiem would defeat Federer on grass.
And really Federer should not have lost that match but still huge credit to my man Thiem for being in his first grass court final. After his French Open semi-final, he shot up to #7 in the world and this is his best grass court result yet.
He just keeps going from strength to strength and is playing with a new-found confidence which you would expect after making your first slam semi-final. Clearly he can play on faster surfaces too.
— Tennis Photos (@tennis_photos) June 12, 2016
I always thought he could use clay as a kind of springboard to do well on faster surfaces because he does have a good all-court game. He has a big serve and actually has great touch at net.
Hopefully, he can win Stuttgart and then make a good run at Wimbledon as well. It is always good to see him play. He can do well in Halle too, where he could play Kohlschreiber in the quarters again.
In the semis, he’s got Nishikori who is not that great on grass so we may even see another Federer vs Thiem match in the final if we are lucky. But it is tough to tell what will happen in Halle which makes it an interesting event.