Hi guys. Just a quick post from me before things get started tomorrow in Gstaad for Roger. I found this video and thought you might like to see it. It’s a good interview and a nice video as well. Roger reflects back to where it all started for him in Gstaad in 1998 when he received a wild card. Roger has been on tour for 15 years. That is a long time. Many of you would have started following his career way after 1998. I noticed him pretty early on. For the first time around 2000-2001. Immediately I liked his game and noticed how talented he was, but thought he would probably be another of those guys who underachieves. Then he had that breakthrough win at Wimbledon in 2001 against Sampras and things started taking off from there. I didn’t become a fan until the end of 2003 though when he destroyed my favorite Agassi in the Masters Cup Final.
And even then I still had loyalties toward Agassi until he retired. Anyway 15 years is a long time and Roger has had great longevity. He was #1 at age 31 and won his 17th slam at age 30. Those are already great achievements at that age. But of course we hope that he can keep playing for a few more years and hopefully win another slam as well. Roger gets asked about his longevity in the interview and of course scheduling smart and not going after appearance fees out of greed has paid off. He also gets asked about the toll all the years on tour has taken on him because it clearly has. And just like me Roger can’t quite explain why he is not always as motivated as he used to be, because I have always believed the game is still there. I think a lot of it is mental. All those tough losses to Nadal I think have taken a toll on his motivation.
But of course it is physical as well. Roger is also asked about the biological passport and says that he is all for it because he wants the sport to be protected. This is one of the reasons I don’t think Roger is doping, because he is such a fan of the sport and doesn’t want to hurt it. Next is the question about the new racquet, which reveals nothing new really. Just that Roger was always willing to experiment but that there was no reason to experiment with a winning formula. So the Wimbledon loss was a good starting point, and it was funny how Roger came out with the new racquet just after I made a post about him reinventing himself. Then the question about the US Open. As expected Roger does not feel like he is playing bad. That must be surprising to the so-called fans, who thinks Roger should retire. Just because he is not winning everything doesn’t mean he is playing bad.
Roger received a cow from Gstaad again :lol:
Yes he is low on confidence but I don’t think he played that badly in Hamburg either. Winning is a habit and Roger just needs to get back in that habit and become feared in the locker room again. Winning Gstaad won’t be a bad start. Roger knows the time that lies ahead is important if he wants to become relevant again. It looks like he is set on making the necessary sacrifices to make the North-American hard court season count. It’s all about ‘doing all the right things’ and gaining confidence with each step, starting tomorrow in Gstaad. Every day must be made to count. Roger US Open campaign starts tomorrow, not on the 26th of August. If he harbors hopes of hitting back in the best possible way after losing in the second round of Wimbledon, and from all the people that are writing his obituary, he cannot let a moment pass without using it toward his ultimate goal.
I’m not saying Roger must win the US Open to become relevant again. But I’d like to see him make at least semis. Anything else would be a bonus, anything less a disappointment. I just think an important time lies ahead for Roger and he knows it too. After a disappointing year it is important that he at least finishes it strongly. I am actually quite excited about it because when Roger is really motivated only good things can happen, and that could lie the basis from which he can have a good 2014 season. Speaking of the 2014 season, Roger has made it public today that he will play Brisbane in 2014 as a warm up event for the Australian Open, instead of Doha like he usually does. I wonder why he didn’t try that earlier, because Brisbane is played on the exact same surface as the Australian Open and it is actually in Australia and not the Middle East.
Aside from the obvious advantages of playing there I also like how Roger is still changing things up. It is once again something fresh and if things don’t work for you anymore, you make changes. So I am excited about that as well. But it is now all about the rest of the 2013 season and ending it with a bang. Roger has not played much this year and physically he is still fresh. It is the mental part that has been missing and I think Roger is now at a point where he is motivated and dedicated again. We saw that in the match against Mayer in Hamburg and he just needs to win a few more matches like that before he will be back in full flow again. After losing at Wimbledon I do think he needs to win the US Open to get his invincible aura back again, but if not I just want to see a good result from him from which he can build on into the indoor season and 2014.