Hi guys! Finally things have settled down enough after a very challenging month for me to make a post again. If I had to go through all the things that went wrong it would probably be the longest post I ever made, but I am here to post about tennis so I won’t get into that. It’s just nice to be back and I have missed tennis, Roger, and you guys. The last post I made was about Roger taking a wild card in Monte Carlo, so I actually missed only one tournament. It felt like more because I could basically not make a post for a month. Anyway I was still following Monte Carlo and catching some highlights on Youtube. Roger ended making the final in Monte Carlo only to lose to his buddy Stan.
It was a tough loss to take because Roger has historically owned Stan and he would surely not get another chance like that to win one of the only two Masters Series titles that has eluded him over the years. He even won the first set 6-4, then lost the second set in a breaker, and Stan dominated the final set 6-2. It was a big disappointment but Roger was clearly happy for his friend. Roger is now 1-3 in finals this year after losing in the finals of Brisbane and Indian Wells and winning Dubai. At least Roger got another win over Djokovic in Monte Carlo who was struggling with a wrist injury, and he still narrowly leads the head-to-head 18-16. As far as the Fedrinka relationship goes I realized that if there was ever a problem from either side it was from Stan.
I was amazed at Roger’s humility once again. He really just wants what is best for Stan, even though Stan has said some less than complimentary things about Roger and his Davis Cup policy in the past. If there was ever a problem it was Stan’s jealousy and I think he has finally overcome it now with his first slam title and win over Roger in Monte Carlo. I’m happy for Stan but what really impressed me was Roger’s complete lack of resentment towards Stan for denying him one of only two Masters he has not won and the fact that he has said some less than friendly things about him in the past. Roger looked so happy for Stan that you thought he had won the tournament himself. Now that is true friend.
This week is Madrid of course and you can view the draw here. Roger’s draw is Paire/Simon, Bautista-Agut/Verdasco/Seppi, Murray/Tsonga, Nadal/Dimitrov, Ferrer/Wawrinka. Given the poor form Nadal is in and the fact that Djokovic withdrew due to his wrist problem it’s not the hardest draw. It is also the clay surface where he has the best chance of beating Nadal. He actually has a chance of a rare clay win over Nadal if they meet I believe, but with the form Nadal is in he may not even get that far. As I suspected would be the case that final in Melbourne really crushed Nadal’s confidence. In Monte Carlo Nadal got straight setted by Ferrer who he had only lost to once on clay in their previous 18 meetings on the surface.
Then in Barcelona he loses to Almagro for the first time in their 11 meetings. I saw some of his tennis and his confidence is really shattered. I expect this form to continue as well. Historically Nadal has always slumped after losses like the one against Stan in Melbourne, and the slump has always lasted for a long time. I don’t see him winning the French Open this year either. But the fact that Djokovic is struggling with a wrist injury does help him. I just think his confidence is so low that we will probably see an early round upset like that one against Soderling in 2009. Then of course Stan is a serious threat for the title, and Roger will also have his chances. I’m not sure when the baby is due.
We know Roger said he wants to be present for the baby’s birth this time so who knows what will happen. I’m glad Roger is playing Madrid anyway. It has been pretty good to him because it is higher altitude and faster conditions, and I have this week off so I want to follow the tennis and blog about it. At least Roger had a good run in Monte Carlo which means he has already played quite a bit of competitive tennis on clay. He can afford to miss Rome now for instance and still be ready for Paris. Winning the French again will be a tall order but at least I’d like Roger to give it another serious go, especially now that Nadal is at an all time low. It even seems very doubtful now that Nadal can catch Roger’s slam count which is great news.
He has not even equaled Sampras yet which everyone expected would happen in Melbourne, and I think he is going slamless this year for the first time in many years. Not even equaling Sampras is now a guarantee, although I do think he will win at least another French Open. Well that’s it from me for now. I hope Roger can make another deep run in Madrid and even win it. But we will have to see what his form is like. He was pretty poor against Tsonga in Monte Carlo, and only won thanks to an epic collapse from Tsonga in the tie break. Roger’s break point conversion rate was 2/19 in that match which is bad even for him. I am looking forward to watching some tennis!