It’s always a good day when Federer wins and Nadal loses. Lets not kid ourselves. Especially when Nadal has just taken the number one spot away from the GOAT and looked to threaten again at Wimbledon this year. This is why I said two posts back that one should not take all this Nadal hype seriously until he’s proved himself more. Against Istomin Nadal showed signs of being injured as well, which is something that will probably always be with him from now on due to his taxing game style. Today Nadal lost 7-6(5), 6-4 to a fellow Spaniard which is something you don’t see happening every day. But it wasn’t easy going for Lopez all the way. After a tight first set, Lopez got a break in the second but was broken back straight away. Lopez looked nervous, but got the break again and then held serve for the win. This loss raises new questions about the extent to which Nadal is back.
There was obviously a lot of hype after the way he dominated the clay court season. However, Nadal has not won a tournament outside of clay in thirteen months, and that is not changing this week either. The way he performed this week on grass is not great news for him. First he gets taken to three tight sets by the world nr. 71, and then he gets beaten by the world nr. 31. His opponents had different game styles as well. Istomin is a base liner with flat strokes while Lopez is a serve-and-volley player who doesn’t have much in terms of ground strokes. Clearly things are a lot more complicated for Nadal off of clay. I know this is just one loss and Nadal may be tired. I’m just pointing to the fact that Nadal is not all of a sudden invincible since he dominated the clay season. Clay is after all his favorite surface and I won’t be surprised if he never wins a slam outside of Roland Garros again.
Federer on the other hand has turned to gold every since he set foot on his beloved grass. Today it was the same story as he beat Kohlschreiber 7-5, 6-3. It was a bit of a slow start as he faced a break point early on, but came up with a deep second serve which Kohlschreiber could not control.
“It was a bit of a bumpy start, but then I found my rhythm,” said the Swiss, a bit relieved after reaching the semi-finals.
Federer was strong on serve, as the German could manage to get more than two points on his serve only twice in eleven service games.
As for me, my serve was a dream today, the first serve as well as the second serve. I mixed it up nicely so the couldn’t really neutralize my service games.
The rest of his game seems to be in good shape as well.
I feel in good shape, playing well in all areas of my game. Tactically, I’m doing the right things, serving great, moving really well. So, there is no complaints on any level and that’s obviously a great feeling.
I was amused by the following statement from Kohlschreiber:
“Even if Roger played a weak shot, you can’t do anything with it because you just don’t expect him to play such a poor shot,” said Kohlschreiber, trying to explain why he was unable to take the chances which presented themselves.
The man is popular…
Lol. That it Roger pretty much is a nutshell. Kohlschreiber seems to have a sense of humor as well. He hopes not to run into Roger at Wimbledon early
“because he has registered four of his 75 grass-court victories against me.”
Roger now faces another German, Philipp Petzschner, who has has never faced before. But he is not taking anything for granted.
“That is not going to be easy. Philipp has played really well here and I have watched him, but we have not played each other yet,” said the grass court king, who doesn’t really know what to expect.
In the bottom half of the draw Hewitt and Becker will face off after both had straight set victories today. You would think Roger has a very good chance now of winning a 6th title in Halle and a 63rd title overall after the way he has been playing this week. Thank God the clay court season is over and Roger is back where he belongs. He is obviously still fresh after a less than demanding clay court season and he is playing himself nicely into form as the most important tournament in the world approaches. If you are a Fedfantic, today was a triumphant day, because it showed Nadal’s vulnerability off clay and Roger’s superiority on grass. I think we were all a bit worried that Nadal could really prove to be a handful at Wimbledon for Roger again this year. I’m not writing Nadal off, just saying that this is not 2008.
2008 was more of an anomaly as far as I’m concerned. Nadal was at his peak then and Federer was in a slump. I honestly doubt Nadal will ever hit that kind of form again, and Roger won’t go that low again either. Having said that, Nadal will go rest up now and will come back fighting fit for Wimbledon. I certainly won’t write him off. But Roger must be the favorite at this point to win a 7th Wimbledon title in little more than three weeks. Since Nadal’s loss today, the top four seeds at Queens have all fallen now. Roger was asked about it.
Are you surprised by the early exit of all your grand rivals in London?
FEDERER: Yes, sure. Who would have guessed that they are all out before the semis. I was following it the way I could. I’m not watching much, just hearing that one after another was going out because there are big names over there. Yes, surprising.
But then when it comes to Wimbledon … They are based in London, they will be in good shape, they just don’t have the matches or the momentum coming into Wimbledon, but they can still create that starting Wimbledon. We’ll see how it goes for my side. How I’m playing that’s the most important anyway.
Both Murray and Djokovic have been very disappointing of late, while Roddick suffered a blow by losing to Sela as well. Things are looking better for the GOAT…
May the Fedforce be with you.
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