Hi, folks! Glad to be back with you. I’m done traveling and can now focus on what is left of Cincinnati. Not sure how much there is left for our man now since he is still having to grind out three setters and now faces a resurgent Murray. Murray also lost to Tsonga in Toronto and is looking to make his move here in Cincy. He has already beaten a very difficult opponent in Isner yesterday after saving two match points. He ended up prevailing in the third set breaker. Roger, on the other hand, beat another difficult opponent in Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The tennis is still at a difficult time for me and again I was unable to watch, so I had to rely on highlights, match stats, and some usually reliable sources again. But first let me get back to Roger’s first match for a second where he defeated Pospisil 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-2.
I didn’t see that match either but I gathered Roger played very well in the third set. From what I can hear he also stepped it up in the third set against Monfils. This is a positive thing going into his match with Murray. I am also impressed with how Roger keeps grinding out there wins, despite not having it all going his way. Sure it’s not helping him to stay fresh but it shows me he is still finding his range and improving. He will have a week to rest before the US Open anyway. He is playing a lot of matches now which I think is a good thing. I am quite impressed with Roger’s fitness too. You’d think he would start running out of steam at his age, but he keeps playing better. Not sure which part of his game is better and which is worse at this point though. Against Tsonga, the net game was good while the baseline game was poor while against Monfils it was the opposite.
Roger seems hungry and motivated anyway. That is the most important thing for me. There were many ‘Come ons’ against Monfils or whatever he is saying, and I read in a comment that he got fired up at 3-3 in the third against Monfils after an argument with the umpire. It’s good to see the fire is still there, even though the game is not always there anymore. As long as the fire is still there Roger is talented enough to still get some very good results. Maybe that is the most improved part of Roger’s game; the mental part. It is tough to call what will happen against Murray. After taking everything into consideration, I think Murray is probably the favorite. I just think he is due. Things didn’t go very well for him at Wimby and Montreal, and I think the win against Isner would have done him a lot of good.
Good break point conversion rate!
Roger said himself that the win against Isner is the type of match that will give Murray a lot of confidence and that he expects a tough match. Also that he feels he can play freely because he had enough matches for the US Open now and that losing won’t be the worst thing given all the tennis he has played. It would give him some extra time to rest up and prepare for New York. If Roger beats Murray he will probably need another three-setter to do so and his draw is not getting an awful lot easier after that. To win Cincy Roger will probably need to keep playing three setters and two tough weeks back-to-back may just catch up with him in New York. So I take a similar stance to Roger about this match. I wouldn’t say it’s a win-win situation for Roger. More like a no-lose situation.
Of course, I would like to see Roger play more matches this week and win the tourney if I’m being selfish, especially now that I have some time to follow the tennis. But from a less selfish point of view whatever the result is will be the best result. The other big news was of course that Djokovic was upset again, this time 7-6(6), 7-5 by Robredo. How are all these Spaniards able to peak so late and to keep playing at the top level despite their taxing game styles? Either way Djokovic seems to really be struggling with his form and I don’t think he will win the US Open. He has only won it once so I don’t see why he will win it being in poor form. It looks like he is still on honeymoon which is good for Roger’s chances at the US Open. It is something I predicted might happen and Roger looks very motivated at the same time.
This bodes well for his chances in New York, even though it is the slam that he has gone the longest time without winning. Kind of hard to believe given how dominant he was there for five years. In a way, I feel like he has unfinished business in New York. He got pretty unlucky in 2009, 2010, and 2011. With Nadal and Djokovic both having problems, this may just be his chance. He would still need to save energy in the first week and have a friendly draw, but it could happen. I’m sure many people will feel his game hasn’t been good enough and that New York has not been the happiest of hunting grounds in recent years, but ever since Roger lost in the Wimby final I always felt like there was still unfinished business and that something really good could still happen. This is of course just a personal hunch and doesn’t guarantee anything.
Hello, I’m Dorkerer!
But so far things have been working out the way I thought they might. Djokovic looks like his head is not quite in the game right now, while the opposite seems to be the case for Roger. Roger may not be routining all his opponents in straight sets, but he looks hungry like he has unfinished business. I expect Roger to give it his all against Murray and that it will be a close match. If he loses it will be fine for reasons I already stated. I think he has gained a lot of information about his game now and feels good about it. If Murray wins he might go all the way and win the title, which would boost his confidence and probably make him joint favorite with Roger for the US Open. That is not necessarily good but may not be avoidable. If Roger beats Murray he probably needs to win the tourney or he spends more energy without getting the boost of a title.
And that in turn could catch up with him in New York. I think Roger is in a good position now anyway. I will be fine with whatever happens in Cincy from here on.
Update: Stan just lost to Benneteau. Should Roger really make a push to beat Murray now, given that this is Cincy and he will have Benneteau, Ferrer, or Robredo in the final? It could be worth it to lay it all on the line and go for that first Masters title of the year. Roger has a 5-0 record against Raonic too. Thoughts?