Roger will face Benjamin Becker in the second round of Madrid, who beat Carlos Moya 6-0, 6-2 today. I wouldn’t make too much of that win by Becker, who is ranked number 46 in the world. Moya has been out with injury and has slumped to somewhere in the 500’s in the world. The two have played once before in 2006 when Federer took care of Becker in straight sets. Those were the days. In 2006 Federer probably had his best season ever, so you can’t read too much into that win either. Roger is maybe on the worst run of his career, but I’d like to take a positive mindset as a fan going into Madrid. But at the same time have no expectations. Roger seems to feel the same:
“It would be great to win here again if I could. I can get confidence on the practise courts,”
“For me, the Madrid title in 2009 was the key to Paris. Winning the event by beating fellow rivals was very important. But no matter what happens here, I’ll be prepared for Paris.
“But if I had the choice I’d prefer to do well here again.”
At least he is talking confident if nothing else. Whether he will be ready for Paris is yet to be seen. We have to look for positives right now, and the positive is that he has one more tournament before Paris and a week for the practice courts. If he does well in Madrid all will be well again, and it is possible. But even if he doesn’t do well in Madrid he knows what it takes to do well in Paris. His record there in the past five years has been outstanding. Amazing to think he has only lost to one player there in the last five years, who happens to be the clay court GOAT.
“I’m doing well in training, I’m only lacking a bit of match time. I’m hitting the ball cleanly, but maybe not as clean as I did to win in Australia though.
“But it (form) is not far away. I”m doing the right things and I’m not worried. I really hope to do well here.”
“I’m not speculating on how I’ll do here, but I have confidence I can do well. As the holder, I have high hopes.
“Once I’m done in Madrid, I’ll look at the game plan and see what has to be done. Either way, I’ll have enough time to get ready for Paris.
“I know what it takes to perform well there.”
If nothing else, at least we can take comfort from the fact that Federer thinks he will be ready for the French Open. And who are we to doubt him given his track record. Once he fails at a slam I will begin to doubt him. But for now there is no reason for it.
In the mean time to lift our spirits in these times, I found these videos on Youtube today which was great to watch. It is about Roger’s journey last year. Enjoy!