Hi guys just got home from work and I will make a really quick post about Roger’s match against Wawrinka, and quickly preview the Fedal quarter final. The match is in about three hours and fortunately I will be able to watch it. I also watched Roger scrape by Stan 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5. It was the worst start possible for Roger as he dropped serve to love in the opening game. He broke right back however to even things up at 1-1. He then broke in Stan’s next service game as well and held serve for 4-1. Things had returned to its usual course of events for this head-to-head. At 5-3 Roger comfortably served out the first set to 15. In the second set Roger got the break at 1-1 and looked like he was cruising. But serving for the match at 5-4 he dropped serve to love. All of a sudden Stan was back in the match and the second set would be decided by a tie break.
This is where Roger appeared way too passive to me. He didn’t try to take the initiative and dominate Stan. Instead he waited for Stan to falter and he did not, winning the tie break after a double fault from Roger. It was strange an inexplicable tactics from Roger. At 1-1 Roger’s frustration showed as he got involved in an argument with the umpire after he felt he wasn’t given enough time to challenge his own serve. Losing that point meant he was down 0-40 and for the third time in the match he got broken to love. That in itself is very strange and something you never see. Roger was in a tight spot but once again Stan could not consolidate. It would prove to be costly for him as Roger broke him at 6-5 to progress to the next round. So in the end Roger won because of his mental edge over Stan and not because he did anything special.
You are not gonna beat Roger Federer many times if you fail to consolidate twice in a match. So nothing special at all from Roger. Basically just waiting for Stan to falter. People don’t seem to hold out much hope for Roger against Nadal. At first I didn’t either, but you can’t really deduct much from the match against Stan. And to say that it was his back bothering is assumption too. We can’t know that unless we have official confirmation of it. Roger was being too passive out there and that is what cost him the second set. Maybe he got bored. Or maybe this was just his off match and he will be back in top form against Nadal. If his back is indeed bothering him then he may as well not show up because he must be at his best to beat Nadal. I watched some of the Nadal/Gulbis match and Nadal seems to be getting back close to his best.
After losing the first set 6-4, he came back in his usual fighting fashion and won the next two sets 6-4, 7-5. He is just a very tough one to beat, even after having played only three events since his long break from the tour. Having said that, he is not there yet. But that almost doesn’t matter because you know he will rise to the occasion against Roger in a match up favors him. One thing is for sure: a totally different Roger must show up today if he is to beat Nadal for a second year running in Indian Wells. He must get his serve back and dominate from there on, like he did last year in Indian Wells against Nadal. The forehand, the backhand, the volleys, the variation, the footwork, it all must be there. I’m not really sure what to expect but I’m hoping the last match was not Roger 2.0 again and that it was just the quiet before the storm that is Roger 3.0 in full flow.