Congrats to Federer on equalling Djokovic on 5 Indian Wells titles after defeating Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in the final yesterday. This was his second big title of the year which is a bit of a scandal for Murray and Djokovic.
Then again, the speeding up of the courts in Melbourne was a huge break for Federer and it didn’t hurt that Kyrgios took out Djokovic in Indian Wells and subsequently withdrew from the tournament.
But one should give credit where it’s due, unlike Fedfans who didn’t want to give credit to Djokovic for defeating Federer time after time from 2014-2016. Even they are now willing to admit that Federer is still playing at a very high level.
Stan Wawrinka cries, jokingly calls Roger Federer an “a—hole” after beating him at Indian Wells pic.twitter.com/1bBgEscDDj
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 20, 2017
So again, well done to Federer whose ability to take the ball early and play fast takes Stan out of his comfort zone. Stan made some time for himself by standing way back on Federer’s second serve but Federer just countered it by serve-and-volleying on his second serve as a surprise.
Stan is now 0-15 against Federer on hard courts which tells you how much he struggles with this matchup. Stan likes to have time to take big cuts at the ball but Federer is constantly rushing him and he just can’t find any rhythm.
It should be no surprise then that Stan’s only three wins over Federer came on clay.
- Djokovic Pulls Out of Miami
Murray pulled out of Miami earlier due to an elbow injury and now Djokovic has followed him with the same problem. For Djokovic, it is an old problem that has been plaguing him since last year.
In hindsight coming back in Acapulco was a mistake but it was positive in the sense that it shows how much he cares. Too much in fact. Sometimes you can be too eager to come back. I have already said last year that ideally Djokovic should have taken off the rest of the season after completing the personal slam at the French Open.
The best ever run in the history of tennis from 2015-2016 had clearly taken a huge physical toll on him. Of course, he had to go for the calendar slam but I think after losing at Wimbledon it would have been a good time to call it a season.
Now his body still hasn’t recovered properly and as a result, he is missing one of his best events where he was almost certain to string several wins together if not win the tournament. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for him but sometimes that is what is needed to learn.
Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw due to an elbow injury. We wish a quick recovery to our champion. pic.twitter.com/BPof3TwgWw
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 19, 2017
He should probably skip Monte Carlo now too. Or maybe he is skipping Miami so he can be back in Monte Carlo. We will see but clearly, he can’t afford to rush things. The clay court season is now becoming even more important after the fiasco in Indian Wells and Miami.
If he does well in Madrid and Rome he can still be a threat in Paris, but the first priority now should just be to stay healthy. Federer is threatening to dominate at the age of 35 and the only guy who is capable of stopping him is Djokovic.
Murray is not good enough and Nadal has declined too much. Federer is probably the favorite to win Wimbledon this year and if Djokovic wants to stop him he has to start getting his act together.