Hi folks. Sorry for the lack of posts this week but I’ve simply been too tired and busy at my new job. My job is what pays the bills at this point so it enjoys priority over my blogging. But I felt I had to at least make a post after Roger won Halle today and after getting some rest this weekend. With the 7-6(2), 7-6(3) win over Falla in the final Roger won his 7th Halle title and 79th title overall. Roger have now won 14 grass court titles including his 7 Wimbledon titles and he is pretty much already the grass court GOAT. Sampras won 7 Wimbledon titles but only 3 other grass court titles. And of course Roger won the silver medal at the Olympics on grass too. He also defeated Sampras in their only meeting on grass. I would say Roger is the grass court GOAT but I would still like to see him win that 8th Wimbledon title.
And it might happen this year. After Roger took a break during the clay court season to be present for the birth of his sons his confidence took a bit of a hit, as he lost in the second round of Rome and fourth round of Roland Garros. But after this title I think Roger is now back to where he was before all that. And that is of course very important for his chances at Wimbledon. Roger could have beaten Falla 6-3, 6-4 because he was serving for the first set at 5-3 and broke in the opening game of the second set, but on both occasions he failed to consolidate with some poor play. At 4-3 Roger broke after two unforced errors from Falla, but then dropped serve to 15 when serving for the set. It went down to the tie break which Roger won easily. Then after breaking in the opening game of the second set I thought Roger would consolidate this time, after having one set under his belt.
But he dropped serve to 15 again. Again it went down to the tie break which Roger won quite easily again. My stream was bad so I couldn’t see much, but from the match stats one can see Roger’s serve was good once again. His net play has been good too which will be key at Wimbledon. He looks to be more aggressive and is more persistent in approaching the net. I saw a lot of serve-and-volley in the Nishikori match as well, which was his best match of the tournament. He defeated Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) after he lost the last two matches in Madrid and Miami to Nishikori and trailed in the head-to-head. So it was sweet revenge and I was impressed with Roger there. In the quarter finals Roger had a walk over over Lu, while in the first round he had a tester against Sousa which he won 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2.
I watched the second half of the first set of that match and Sousa was playing very well. He couldn’t keep that level up however and Roger’s consistency won the day in the end. After getting past that scare things could only get better. The final was not as good as the Nishikori match, maybe because Roger was a bit nervous after having had some problems with Falla in their last two matches and after losing his last two finals. I thought before this match it should be a routine win for Roger, but then I remembered that he had some problems with Falla in the past and that he wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence right now. So the result was pretty much what I expected. Roger won in straight sets but it was close sets. The scoreline is not really that important. The fact that he won the title will boost his confidence.
And this is not like last year when he won Halle and then lost in the second round of Wimbledon. Roger’s overall level has been better this year and he just needed to get back to that level after he took the break for the birth of his kids. Roger’s level has been very good this year but he has just missed out on some big titles. Hopefully this Halle title was just what he needed to win the biggest of them all now. Halle deserves at least 500 status anyway if you look at the players in the draw and the fact that it is the main warm up event for Wimbledon with Queens. It’s a sad state of affairs that there are 3 Masters on clay and none on grass, and of course the only reason why Nadal leads Roger in Masters titles won. Had there been only one Masters on grass and two on clay instead of three Roger would have led that stat too.
Anyway if Roger wins an 8th Wimby this year his GOATness will be undisputed as far as I’m concerned. There are many reasons for that which I don’t have the time to get into right now. The main thing is that Roger won a 7th Halle title and is as ready for Wimbledon as he will ever be. Since I got the prediction for the French Open wrong I’m hesitant to make predictions for Wimbledon, and I have already said that Nadal is the favorite for the title. But since Nadal was destroyed 6-4, 6-1 in his first match in Halle by Brown I have changed my view slightly. I’m starting to lean towards Roger for the title but it is a long way to go and like I said I don’t want to focus much on predictions after what happened at the French. Predictions are stupid anyway because no one knows the future and in tennis anything can happen.
Winning never gets old
Speaking of anything can happen, I just saw Dimitrov won the title in Queens after coming back from a championship point down in the second set and 2-4 in the third set. That’s huge heart from him and it is great to see he is coming of age. He could certainly do some damage at Wimbledon as well, but hopefully it won’t be a change of the guard situation like we had in 2001 when Roger defeated Sampras. I wish I could write more but I have to get in bed for work tomorrow.