The tennis was far from pretty, but the 6-4, 6-3 scoreline was. So whichever way you look at this match you’ve got to be satisfied. Watching the match I found myself disgusted with the level of tennis, but if someone gave me this scoreline before the match started I would have taken it without hesitation. Never mind how it came about. Roger needed a win and preferably a straight set one to help him qualify for the semis. The different scenarios for semis qualification in group B you can view here. I’m not gonna get into much detail for this match because it was such low quality that I struggled to stay interested. Roger broke in the 3rd game to take a 2-1 lead. It was disappointing to see Gasquet still standing two meters behind the base line during base line rallies. He is not even a good defender, so it really makes no sense to give the opponent that much time.
Gasquet first announced himself on tour when he beat prime Roger in the semis of Monte Carlo 2005 as a wild card. He then won the 1st set against Nadal in the final before succumbing in 3 sets. I mean this guy could have been a regular slam contender. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like he uses his brain much. At 4-3 Roger had another one of his recently typical mental lapses as he dropped serve with a bunch of unforced errors. Luckily for him Gasquet had no intention of holding serve himself and he got the break right back, then served out the 1st set. The 2nd set was even more atrocious from a Gasquet standpoint. He went ahead and dropped serve at the start of the 2nd set as well. Roger didn’t complain. Holding on to serve this time and not lapsing again proved to be difficult to say the least. But at least he succeeded.
Not bad stats for Roger actually
At 3-2 and 4-3 Roger appeared very fragile on serve again but fortunately Gasquet tried his hardest not to convert several break points. Then at 5-3 Roger actually did well to get the second break and avoid having to serve it out. Sure it took him something like 6 match points and several unforced errors before he got it done, but what matters is that he did so. It wasn’t pretty and even though it’s hard to believe, Roger did play better in the 2nd set than in the 1st. And in the end like I said the scoreline is what matters. Roger won in straight sets and with a double break in the 2nd set. Good enough. Quality wise none of the matches so far has been great. So it is better to look at the scorelines anyway. The quality of the Djokerer match was not great either, but the scoreline was decent too with Roger having won the 2nd set.
I posted the 2nd set tie break of the Djokerer match below so you can see that Roger played a great tie break. So actually so far I’m pretty satisfied with Roger. I like his chances against Del Potro too. Hopefully the match with Djokovic goes to 3 sets tonight which should tire him out even more. Remember I said I want to see Roger qualify for the semis at least in London. Anything less and I won’t have a lot of hope for 2014. He used to be the man to beat indoors. Just a couple of year ago he did the Basel, Paris, and London triple. If he can’t even make the semis in London now it’s gonna be pretty disappointing. But I think he will. His form has been steadily improving since Basel. It wouldn’t even make logical sense if he doesn’t make semis in London. In fact I think he can do better. I think he can at least make the final.
The one yard stare
So I don’t know about you guys but I’m still very optimistic about it all and I am happy about today’s result. Now we will see what happens tonight between Djokovic and Del Potro, after which Roger will play against Del Potro on Saturday. Tomorrow group A gets finalized when Nadal plays Berdych and Stan plays Ferrer. Nadal is expected to beat one of the many players he owns which means if Stan wins he will qualify for the semis, because Berdych routined Ferrer last night. Ferrer would do everything to avoid losing all his group matches but I think Stan can beat him. It would be great if both Roger and Stan can qualify for the semis.
Ps. If you look at the highlights below(11:20) you will see Roger shouted and obscenity to someone in the crowd. Not sure what that was about and not sure what to make of it either. Is this the warrior side of him coming out or is he taking it too far? Decide for yourself.
Djokerer tie break: