Hi guys. Isn’t it nice to see Roger in action for consecutive weeks? Especially with him playing this well? The 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 win over Chardy was clearly not a straight forward one, but the people who claim Roger played badly are delusional at best. Chardy was on fire and is a very destructive player when that is the case. He has a huge serve and forehand. How on earth did Roger play badly if he defeated him? It is just astonishing what utter nonsense people can come up with. What do people expect anyway? That Roger should show up at every tournament and peak from beginning to end? That is not how it works. It takes time to adjust to the new conditions and you try to peak later in the event against the best players. Chardy had already played a match while this was Roger’s first. So Chardy had the advantage of being better adjusted. For one thing these courts are slow and the bounce is high.
Very unfortunate that the ATP keeps doing this but it is what it is. Indoor tennis used to be played on carpet, but nowadays they have surfaces that plays more like indoor clay. Too bad for Nadal he sat Paris out yet again. He probably would have loved this surface. It certainly is not what indoor tennis used to be but that was not gonna stop the GOAT. These days there isn’t much that can stop the GOAT. It seems he has forgotten how to lose and is not only winning all the routine matches but the close ones as well. Since that match with Mayer in Shanghai Roger has been especially impressive in the mental department. He gets through all the close ones even when he is not at his best. It’s like they say: winning is a habit. It’s the opposite situation of what we had last year when losing seemed to be a habit with Roger. It just goes to show the importance of confidence and momentum in tennis.
Pretty decent match stats in the end
Roger came out cold as he got broken in his opening service game and fell behind 0-3. Chardy on the other hand came out hot after his first round win and was smoking that forehand. It really is quite a delicious shot to watch when in full flow. Chardy even had a break point at 4-1 for the insurance break, and if he had won that point the first set would surely have been over. But Roger played a very solid point and then held serve. Then at 5-3 with Chardy serving for the set Roger broke back to 15 after a forehand return winner. As we have seen so regularly from Roger of late he breaks back in the nick of time to steal a set. This has happened at least a couple of times since Shanghai and therefor it has very little to do with luck, and everything to do with confidence and self belief. After Roger broke back he then faced three set points on his own serve. And again that would not have been the first time that happened since Shanghai.
You almost expect him to save those set points now. He is just mentally extremely solid. It has to be said that there was some poor tennis in there as well from Roger, but nothing that cost him too much. It was just mental adjustment after the two day break and coming down from the high of the tournament win in Basel I think. Some sloppy play at times but like I said nothing that cost him much. At 5-5 Roger then broke serve himself, to love, and served for the set at 6-5. Again he played kind of a sloppy game and this time it was Chardy who broke him to force the tie break. It wasn’t the highest of quality tennis in the first set but exciting and enjoyable because it was not predictable. In the tie break Chardy dropped his serve on the opening point and I don’t think he ever recovered from there. Once Roger won the opening set it was difficult to bet against him winning the match, but it certainly wasn’t all straight forward from there.
Yep, it was that kind of day
In the second set it was Roger who set up two match points at 40-15 after some ridiculous defensive play on the Chardy serve. This time it was Chardy who saved the match points though and the second set would be decided by a tie break as well. Roger got the early mini break but Chardy broke back and at 6-5 he blasted a forehand winner to break serve and win the second set. It was all squared but Roger wasted no time in taking control of the match again as he broke in the opening game of the third set. At 3-1 Roger had a chance to get the insurance break, a lot like Chardy did in the first set, but Chardy saved it. Unlike Chardy in the first set though Roger was not gonna let him back in the match and served out the match to love at 5-4. All in all it was a very entertaining match with many twists and turns but with Roger’s mental fortitude winning at the end of the day once more.
Roger will now play local player Pouille who pulled off the upset over the crazy Fognini. I watched some of that match and even though Fognini did his usual clown act by losing the second set from 5-2 up, Pouille did a good job and I like the look of his game. I’m looking forward to his match with Roger today and since he is a relative unknown him and Roger have never played before. Other results of interest yesterday were that Stan won his first match for some time which I’m sure Roger will be relieved about. The only other seed than Fognini who lost was Isner who lost to Monfils who will now play Djokovic. Djokovic looked very solid in his win over Kohlschreiber and despite the fact that he has a much tougher draw than Roger he could win this title. The slowish conditions favors him which is why I kind of hope he loses before the final. Or Roger’s year end #1 hopes could suffer a fatal blow…