I only posted the bottom half of the draw where Roger finds himself. You can find the top half through the link. Before I get to the draw I just want to mention something that Joe just brought up and which didn’t cross my mind in the last post. I felt during the final something was a bit off after the first set. Roger’s level dropped and he seemed to have lost his mojo. I think there is a possibility that he was becoming tired. Of course you would never hear him mention any excuses, but he did say he was not convinced that he would play Miami. That is already clue that he was feeling the effect of playing both singles and doubles in Indian Wells and going deep into both draws. He did say he is more likely to play Miami than not, and I think he will play. But I’m sure he won’t play doubles again.
I just felt something was missing from the second set onward in Roger’s game compared to what we have seen from him of late. That is why it is also important not to be too critical of Roger, because we never know the inside story. We look at things from a distance. I think Roger should play Miami, but of course he will know best. He is in the draw anyway and it looks like a decent enough draw. He doesn’t get Nadal, Djokovic, or Stan in his quarter. He gets Ferrer who he will most likely pass in the rankings after Miami, even if he does not play Miami. But I’d like to see him play Miami to put some distance between him and Ferrer. Also since he did not play last year and there is a lot of points up for grabs for him. With his draw he can make at least semis and score an additional 360 points.
His draw is Karlovic, Verdasco, Gasquet/Anderson, Dimitrov/Ferrer, Djokovic, Nadal/Stan. It’s a pretty tough draw but in his current form you’d like his chances to make semis at least. I don’t care much about Miami anyway. It’s so slow and I see it basically as free points for Roger to strengthen his ranking. Karlovic first round could be tricky and quarters with Dimitrov or Ferrer could be tricky too. A Fed vs Dimitrov quarter would be fun so hopefully we get that. Djokovic is probably the favorite for me to win the event and would be harder to beat here for Roger than in Indian Wells. It’s hard to know what Nadal will do. His draw is not that difficult and he could potentially make the final, but who knows with the form he is in now. Hopefully Stan can get it together again and make semis at least should Nadal be there.
But to get back to my opening argument I think Roger may well have been tired and that it was not necessarily a bad thing that he lost the final. Yes I would have loved for him to win Indian Wells a 5th time and beat Djokovic consecutively. But Roger has an eye on Davis Cup this year where Switzerland has a great chance, so playing doubles was important. Also playing a lot of matches now may serve him well further down the road. And finally Djokovic winning may work out well for Roger if Djokovic can finally stop Nadal at the French Open. I’m not trying to make excuses for Roger. I just feel like Djokovic looked a bit like a lost child out there for the first set and a bit and then he came back to win the match. I think Roger was mentally tired in that final set tie break especially. That would explain why he just ‘went away’ after being so clutch of late.
Something just didn’t feel quite right to me…