First of all it’s nice to see some of my long time followers commenting again. Been missing you guys in the quiet times. And yes I always read your comments even if I don’t reply. Unfortunately our man lost 6-4, 6-4 against Isner and Querry today with his partner Allegro, but it was good he got some more court time. Every little helps. The genius of Federer goes beyond what he does on the court, and as always genius can be missed if one doesn’t pay attention. What I am referring to is his scheduling and his ability to peak at exactly the right moments, which are the slams. I can almost guarantee you that by the time the second major of the year kicks off in the French capitol, that Roger will be ready to defend his title. Don’t be deceived by the fact that he has had three early round exists in three Masters Series events.
The loss in Rome meant nothing, because his schedule is worked out in a way which peRFectly builds up to the French Open. First he begins with taking some time off just to do some normal training to get used to the clay. Then the next step is the doubles in Rome, which is just a subtle step up from normal training. Next he heads over to Estoril which is a smallish tournament where he will for sure get a few easy matches in the first couple of rounds. Of course no match is really easy at that level, but it should be enough to get him some wins under his belt which is what it is all about. He just needs to get that winning feeling back. In 2008 he was struggling as well but still won Estoril, and it would be great for the confidence if he could do so again. Then he heads over to Madrid which will be his main warm up event for Roland Garros.
Roger was out shopping with the family again today. Nice shades Rog
So you can see he actually goes through four levels of preparation before he even gets to Paris. He is now at the half way mark and it is time to get some single wins. Even though Estoril is a small event, I’m actually really looking forward to watch how he eases into things and get some confidence going. I mention these things so that you can appreciate some things about Roger which you may taken for granted before. He really is the full package, and people who get all emotional about losses outside of the majors really misses what he is all about. Someone even left me a comment mentioning that Roger lost on purpose in Rome not to face Nadal. I don’t know if he goes that far, but he is so smart that I guess anything is possible. Federer is an enigma, as most geniuses are. No one knows how he keeps peaking at the slams. He just does it time after time.
Someone who has not had any confidence problems of late is Fernando Verdasco. Winning is a habit, and no habit is more important in tennis. Verdasco is now on an eight match winning streak after beating Djokovic for the second time in two weeks today, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4. It was a much tougher affair than the 6-2, 6-2 win in Monte Carlo, but a win is a win, especially over the world number two. I’m really liking what I am seeing from Verdasco of late. I have always liked his talent and he is a nice guy. He is having the kind of clay court season which I expected from him last year, but it took him a year to mature enough to be the force on clay I knew he could be. There is now a good possibility of a repeat of the Monte Carlo final with Nadal and Verdasco. Verdasco is playing Ferrer in the semi-final who beat Tsonga 6-4, 6-1, while Nadal beat Wawrinka by the same score.
Nadal will face Gulbis in the other semi, who beat Lopez 7-6(6), 6-1. It’s nice to see Gulbis maturing as well, but can’t see how he can possibly upset Nadal. As far as Ferrer/Verdasco goes, that should be more competitive. But again I would have to go with Ferrer. If Verdasco and Nadal should meet in the final again, I hope Verdasco can forget what happened in Monte Carlo and give Nadal the tough match that he is capable of giving him. Today in the first set Wawrinka was playing some fantastic tennis and gave him the closest set of the clay court season so far. If Nadal keeps playing like this he will be tough to beat. Especially with Del Potro still out of action, who I hear is doubtful even for the French Open. So we can count him out as a factor this clay court season. We are only about half way through the clay court season though. Lets see what happens…
For more shopping pictures click here.