Well, this was JesudFed through and through. To remove a huge server like Raonic 6-3, 6-2 from the draw in 67 minutes takes some doing. And he needed to be that quick because this time Cincy is trying to screw Roger with the draw. It was bad enough that Roger had to play the second semi, not before 9 pm in the evening, but then they put on the WTA semi, not before 7 pm. This means after the 71 minute 6-3, 6-2 drubbing of Ferrer over Benneteau in the first semi there was still more than 100 minutes of waiting for the WTA to start, as Ferrer and Benneteau started at 4 pm. And then the WTA comes out and delivers their specialty which is a boring three set marathon. I don’t even know at what time Roger finally got on the court. Probably around 10 pm. I mean it’s just disgusting scheduling. But Roger made a mockery of it by defeating Raonic in little more than an hour.
From the get go he looked the part, holding serve to love in the opening game and breaking Raonic right away. Then he held serve to love again to take a 3-0 lead. In fact, he was peRFect on serve in the first set, not dropping a single point while making 69% of first serves. It gets no better. At 5-2 Roger then broke Raonic again after he was 15-40 down. Raonic finally served a double fault on set point. Roger was playing so well on his own serve that it put a lot of pressure on the Raonic serve which cracked under the pressure. Raonic ended with a 44% first serve percentage not because he was having a poor serving day, but because JesusFed was on the opposite end of the court. At the start of the second set, Raonic had a break point on Roger’s serve but importantly Roger snuffed it out.
Things went according to serve until 4-3 where Roger got the break after playing a terrific return game and set up break point after ripping a backhand pass down the line. Roger then went to deuce on his own serve but consolidated to make his sixth final of the year and sixth Cincy final. Vily posted the stats on my last post which says Cincy is the only tourney that Roger has won 5+ times where he has a peRFect record in the final. So going by that and the fact that Roger has a peRFect 15-0 record against Ferrer Roger must be the heavy favorite going into the final. It was really the dream performance against Raonic where everything just worked out peRFectly. And it couldn’t have been more timely given the scheduling. If it went to three sets Roger would have been screwed for the final again but he took matters into his own hands and is not the favorite for the title.
As good as it gets
This is make-or-break for Roger, but I have full faith that he will win in straight sets this time, unlike Toronto where the courts were slower. Roger has looked the part ever since the Murray match and I don’t expect fatigue to play a role in the final. In fact, I can see him doing something similar to Ferrer than he did to Raonic. Raonic and Ferrer are both very one-dimensional players on the opposite sides of the spectrum. Roger likes playing these one-dimensional types since he is multi-dimensional himself and have way too much game for them if he plays anything close to his best. I have already said that if Roger beats Raonic then winning the title will be all but a certainty for Roger, and I’m not about to change my tune now. I am not trying to jinx Roger or be over confident.
Of course no outcome if ever certain but this is probably as certain as they come. A 15-0 head-to-head record against Ferrer and a 5-0 record in Cincy finals. Not much more than that needs to be said. Aside from the fact that on these slippery courts things could get embarrassing for Ferrer if the same Roger shows up. Roger needs to win the title if he wants to win the US Open I think. He has lost in three Masters finals this year now and Ferrer is basically a sitting duck for him in the Cincy final. If he loses it is four straight Masters final losses and it won’t get any easier than this. But I have full faith that Roger will seize this opportunity and go into the US Open as the outright favorite. But yeah he still needs to go out there and win it. The tourney won’t win itself for him. Unfortunately, it turns out tomorrow is not a holiday for me.
I got the wrong info. That’s what happens when you try to speak English to Thai people! The final is smack bang in the middle of the morning hours for me too at 3 am, and I can actually feel my immune system weakening again. That said, I’m gonna do whatever I can to watch this match. A Masters title has been a long time coming for Roger. His last Masters title came at Cincy in 2012 so it has been exactly two years. He has been unlucky not to have won at least one Masters title this year already so it will be extra sweet if he can win Cincy. Therefor I don’t wanna miss it. It is exciting times to be a Fedfan again. Not only does Roger have the chance to win a Masters at age 33 but if he does so he will also be my personal favorite for the US Open. There is just that feeling for me that the stars are aligning again for Roger.
Again, I’m not trying to jinx. Roger has played well all year but hasn’t quite been rewarded. Make no mistake, a Masters title will be intensely satisfying. For me anyway. And if he can do that then the excitement of possibly winning #18 in New York would be a treat by itself. I think it’s just amazing how Roger is playing at his age. Incredibly he leads the wins against top 10 opponents for 2014 at age 33. He also leads the pack for overall wins in 2014. How incredible is that?! It is really a dream to be a Fedfan as he keeps proving the critics wrong again and again. I feel like he has been building up to something this year too and that he is not even hit top gear yet. He even has a chance to end the year ranked #1, all be it a slim one. But he has a very real chance to end the year ranked #2, given Nadal is not even sure to be in New York.
That is amazing in itself. I just love how patient Roger has been and how he bode his time. The Wimbledon loss was tough, but Roger just kept persevering and is now on the brink of a big pay off. And that could only be the beginning. There is still the US Open and Roger’s favorite indoor season ahead. It is astonishing to think what he can still achieve this year. But we need to stay grounded and take it match by match. The Cincy title is not in the bag yet and needs to be won. If he wins we can celebrate for a week and revel in the excitement of what is ahead in New York and indoor season. Well, I’m starting to sneeze again so I’m gonna end it here and try to get some sleep before the final. Then hopefully tomorrow I can make a post about the final, and hopefully Roger will by then have his sixth Cincy title and 22nd Masters title in the bag!
Awesome backhand passes: