- Federer Finishes Off Monfils
Today was a unique day in grand slam tennis as all of the big four were in action, but less unique was the fact that they all won. Of course, Roger had to complete his match today against Monfils due to bad weather yesterday, and he did what the doctor ordered which was to finish Monfils off in straight sets for a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, and in the process shutting out the fanatical French crowd. Clownfils showed up right in the opening game when he was up 40-0 on his serve.
He played an absolute clownish point, after which Roger took advantage and broke serve. Immediately the crowd fell silent. So in fact it was Clownfils who shut out the crowd. Then all Roger had to do is to hold onto his serve to keep the crowd out of it, which to his credit he did competently. At 3-1, Roger had Clownfils at 0-40 on his serve, but couldn’t break. That seemed to rile up the crowd some, but it wasn’t enough as Roger hit a forehand winner at 5-4 and 40-30 after a weak return from Clownfils to win the third set.
Job well done. In the fourth set, Monfils just seemed to tank as he got breadsticked. Pathetic. Like I said, Monfils is right at the top of the pile when it comes to talent, but mentally he is right at the bottom. He is a complete clown and I am not a fan at all. All he had to do was compete hard and the French crowd would carry him through, but he came out looking like someone who thought he was a clown in a circus. Whatever. I am glad Roger got the job done in four sets and will play Stan tomorrow.
That is the match I wanted to see and Roger didn’t waste much energy today. It was more like a nice practice session to get ready for tomorrow.
- Sock Bothers Nadal
There were a fair amount of people who thought Sock could bother Nadal. I wasn’t one of them. And, in fact, had Nadal held serve at 5-4 in the third set Sock wouldn’t have bothered him, but he uncharacteristically dropped serve and dropped the third set 7-5. This is not something you often see from Nadal on clay if ever. So I thought that was a good sign for the upcoming match with the Djoker. In the fourth set, Nadal served a second serve ace on a crucial point and that swung the set in his favor to win 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
Even though Nadal suffered a mini-collapse in the third set, I thought Sock played well and his backhand held up better than I thought it would. I have already said I thought Nadal showed signs of vulnerability and that I thought it is not a promising sign for him in his all-important match with the Djoker. However, some people see it as a good thing for Nadal that he was tested, and I have long ago given up making serious predictions about Nadal. I said earlier this year that I have him winning two slams this year.
I have also said that if he doesn’t win the French Open he may be stuck on 14 slams indefinitely. That is because I simply have no clue with this guy. He can take seven months off the tour and come back to dominate his worst surface. So yeah, I don’t know what to expect. I would like to think the Djoker will finally get it done this time, but I thought the same thing last year. Realistically, Nadal should actually be the favorite until he loses a match again in Paris, not before.
- The Rest of Today’s Matches
Where Nadal was looking shaky again today, the Djoker was rock solid. But I suppose you could also say he slipped up in the third set when he dropped serve before he won 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. You could say the Djoker was rock solid and Nadal was looking shaky, the way he has done since the grass court season last year. You could also say that makes the Djoker the definite favorite for Djokodal 44.0, but before you know it Nadal beats the Djoker, wins a 10th French Open, and is right back in the hunt for Roger’s slam record.
But I will preview that match some more tomorrow. Let me just get today out of the way. Murray also dropped a set today against Chardy before winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. As I thought Chardy won one set at best and he did well to do so. Murray is clearly feeling a lot more comfortable on the dirt these days and he is one of the favorites for the title. He plays Ferrer next who schooled Cilic 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. I got that one clearly wrong, but I don’t think many people were expecting that result.
- Tomorrow’s Matches
So tomorrow Roger is back for a third day in a row to play his buddy Stan on Lenglen. They won’t be buddies on the court, however. I hope not anyway. I don’t want to see Stan donate another match to Roger like in Rome. Stan has looked very good so far and I find it hard to believe that he will collapse again like he did in Rome. Roger leads the head-to-head 16-2 and Stan has a good shot here for getting a much-needed win in the rivalry. I don’t care who wins. I just want to see what happens when they both play their best tennis.
It would no doubt make for a great match and be good entertainment. Obviously Fedfans want to see Roger win, but Stan has lost so many big matches to Roger that I personally wouldn’t be too bothered if he wins one. I think he deserves one by now. But it’s not even about deserve. I just want to see them both play their best tennis and find out who is the best on clay right now. I don’t want to see any donations from Stan like in the past. I want to see him come out and blast those groundstrokes without mercy.
And then I want to see if Roger can find a way to mix things up to come out on top. In the other quarterfinal tomorrow, Nishikori will take on Tsonga in the Chatrier cauldron where the crowd will be 100% behind Tsonga. Nishikori holds a 4-1 lead in the head-to-head and he is the better player these days, but Tsonga has obviously found some form and with the French crowd behind him he could easily win. That’s a wrap from me. Looking very much forward to Fedrinka tomorrow!
The is in your court.