Let’s see how far I get this time. But before I continue let me just apologize to any of you who have commented and got a message saying that you were spamming. I recently installed a new plugin because way too much spam has been getting through of late, so after some complaints from my readers I removed it. I will just have to keep deleting spam until I find a better solution. Well I haven’t been able to watch as much tennis and blog as much as I wanted to because the tennis is in the worst possible time zone for me and, of course, my health has not been 100%. Either way I have been very pleased with what I’ve seen so far from Roger. OK, it has not been vintage Roger but he just straight-setted Lopez 6-3, 6-4 to make his third Masters Series final of the year. And that at age 33. As a fan, I certainly can’t complain.
Roger has had to fight through a couple of tough three-setters against Cilic and Ferrer where he wasn’t quite at his best. As we have become accustomed to with Roger 4.0 he is willing and able to win ugly and grind out those tough matches where he is not quite at his best. That has been the main difference this year. Last year he just wasn’t healthy and confident enough to do that. This ability to grind it out has already seen him win an ATP 250, 500, make a 250 final, three Masters finals, a slam semi, and a slam final. Clearly a massive improvement from last year, but Roger has not quite broken through to win a big one yet. I feel like he is overdue to bag a Masters now. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he will. He is facing a resurgent Tsonga who is hungry to make his mark again after a long dry spell.
Poor stats from Lopez
Tsonga is a talented and dangerous player, but I believe in my player and think he will bag his biggest title of the year here. I feel like Roger has been playing well this year but haven’t been able to translate that form into a big title. Dubai was pretty big, but it is time to take the next step now. I think after the Wimbledon final Roger will be very confident in his chances too. From a personal standpoint, a third Roger’s Cup title would be highly satisfying. Not just for the title itself but also looking ahead to the rest of the season. I feel winning the title here is the next step if Roger wants to make a serious impact at the US Open and Masters Cup this year. It will just make me even more excited for what is ahead. I said after the Wimbledon final that I was not all that disappointed and that I was excited for the rest of the year.
I also said that Djokovic may just drop his guard a little bit going into the North-American hard court season and it seems like that is exactly what is happening. Obviously I am not writing him off for the US Open but to be destroyed 6-2, 6-2 by Tsonga tells its own story. Of course Djokovic got married after Wimbledon and his wife is expecting a kid to boot, so probably his mind has not been as much on tennis as usual. That could just leave the back door open for Roger at the US Open to slip through and win #18, especially with Nadal not having the best of seasons either and Murray still struggling. The stars could be aligning again, but there is still a long way to go. The most important thing Right now is to win Toronto which would give Roger that important winning feeling before the US Open.
Then I don’t even care all that much what happens in Cincinnati. Of course you would like his chances there too but at least it would take some pressure off him to win Cincy, and could it take a physical toll on him just before the US Open if he wins two Masters back-to-back? But again that is looking too far ahead. All focus now goes to the Toronto final. But before I go there let me get back to the Lopez semi for a second. The match stats were pretty good aside from the break point conversions perhaps, but against a big server like Lopez break point conversions can be misleading. Also, Roger tends to create many break point opportunities and as long as he converts on a few that is good enough to get the job done. As I couldn’t watch the match I can’t give an in-depth analysis, but clearly I am satisfied with a routine straight-set win over a player who has been playing very well of late.
Well, here it comes again. I wanted to say much more, but I gotta cut it short once more here. Least I got a bit more writing in this time.