“I don’t feel like five, six, seven, and eight have no chance,” commented Federer. “I definitely think they have a chance to go deep, like it was in the year with Juan Martin del Potro and Nikolay Davydenko making the finals.
“Fish and Djokovic at this point look a little bit weary. But then again, I think with a week’s break everything can heal and they are maybe going to be in top shape.
“I do believe if Djokovic is fit, and Murray fit as well, which it seems like he is, they are also going to be difficult to beat.
“And Rafa, regardless how he is going to be, he is always a tough customer. So I think it is going to be a really good World Championships.”
I hope you are still enjoying Roger’s win in Paris. Roger in the mean time has looked ahead to the Masters Cup in London next week, saying the Murray and Djokovic will be tough to beat. I love how the title of the article is ‘Murray a major obstacle in London – Federer‘. And of course this is a British website. The British keeps putting pressure on Murray despite the fact that he is clearly feeling it. It’s not that the title is completely off. It’s just that extra spin they put on it to an extra bit of pressure on Murray. Roger has played mind games with Murray in the media before, but I don’t think that was his intention here. I think he was just being honest when he said that Djokovic and Murray will be the ones to look out for, as well as Nadal. I mean that is what I would have said. I think the last time he put the pressure on Murray was before the 2010 Australian Open final.
There he had a reason to do it because it was only Murray standing in his way. Why would he single out Murray in this situation? That would mean Murray is his biggest threat, which is not the case. The way I see it Djokovic is the biggest threat to Roger if he is healthy. But that is a big if because he is looking weary like Roger says. I think Djokovic should have skipped Paris, in which case he would have been better prepared for London. But he decided the money was more important. Then Nadal is the next biggest threat for me. We know Roger has never lost to him indoors, but he remains a threat due to the match up issue. Last year he was the only guy to win a set off Roger. And third comes Murray. Murray had a good chance to come in as a hot favorite after his exploits in the east, but then he got a sketchy injury in Basel and choked against Berdych in Paris.
The fact that they play in London is added pressure for Murray. The guy just can’t step it up in the big time. As for number 5-8 I don’t see how we can have something similar to the Del Potro/Davydenko final. Probably the guys that can make the biggest impact of the last four is Berdych and Tsonga, but we saw what Roger did to them in Paris. In the end Roger is the clear favorite to take a record sixth title for me. I don’t think the groupings matter too much. Roger will have either Djokovic or Nadal in his group. I already said that I hope it is Nadal, but Djokovic won’t be too bad either. It would be good if he gets Djokovic early. Roger is coming off a high and Djokovic has been struggling, which means he can get a much needed win over the Serb. Then it won’t be bad to have Fish and Ferrer in his group, because I can’t see him losing to either one of those.
Tsonga and Berdych are bigger threats, but he just beat both quite comfortably in Paris. So in the end I would like Nadal, Fish, and Ferrer in Roger’s group, but if it is the other three it is not that bad either. Roger will try to win all his matches anyway, and will be the favorite for doing so. These days this is the best time of the year to be a Fedfan. We get to relive the glory days when Roger was effortlessly dominating the tour. Roger goes into the Masters Cup with the best possible preparation. Last year Roger was going through a tough time in the middle of the year and he needed to rebuild, starting in Toronto. He went on an impressive run, but it took him quite a while to get back to his very best at the Masters Cup. This year he has actually been playing at a more consistent level.
He was still playing very well at the US Open. Therefor it was easier this year to kick right into top gear again when the indoor season started, even though he skipped the Asian leg. Yet there is still an upward slope of form here. Roger has been more impressive in Paris than in Basel. He has had tougher opposition in Paris and showed more impressive form. Therefor I think he can play even better in London. When Roger was at his very peak in London last year he didn’t have one ‘off’ match. There was only one match where he was not quite as impressive as in the others, which was against Soderling. I think this year we could see something similar. In Paris Roger had the one ‘off’ match against Monaco, but if the upward trend continues then Roger won’t have a match like that in London.
If he does want to have an ‘off’ match, then it must be in the round robin. The thing about the Masters Cup is that there are no ‘easy’ opponents like Monaco. But the round robin system does allow for you to lose one match and still qualify for the semis. Anyway my point is I don’t think Roger will need a match like that. I think he can win the event like last year without losing a match. Lets not forget that the Masters Cup is the unofficial fifth slam. There are no easy draws and only the player who is in the very best form wins. Roger sure is in great form and he must once again use this opportunity to get some important wins under his belt. He can use a win for his head-to-head’s with the top three especially. He is 1-4 against Djokovic for the year and 0-3 against Nadal. A win against each of these would be the peRFect way to cap off the season.
I am now very much looking forward to London. I don’t want to set my expectation too high, but I simply can’t deny the fact that Roger has another great chance here to finish the season on a high. Six Masters Cup titles would be another impressive record for the GOAT…