French Open Rd 2: Federer Bagels Teixeira 6-3, 6-0, 6-2

First time in a while we see Roger bagel and opponent. It wasn’t the best start as Roger broke early on an got broken right back. I thought it would be a Federror day. But Roger picked it up to get a break and served out the set. In the second set he really got going with some good tennis all round. JesusFed? Hard to say, since it wasn’t exactly a tough opponent. But Teixeira fought hard and managed to avoid baked goods in the third set. Although the start wasn’t encouraging, I thought the rest was pretty inspiring from Roger. Roger now plays against Tipsarevic, who had an equally comfortable win in the second round. Roger leads the head-to-head 3-0, with that one long five setter at the Oz Open when Roger had mono. Dare I say, I expect Roger to win this one without much trouble. We shall see.

Yesterday the big news was that Nadal was almost upset by Isner, but scraped by 6-4 in the fifth. This was the sign of vulnerability I was looking for from Nadal and I wasn’t in the least surprised. It is obvious that Djokovic is doing more and more damage to his psyche with each win over him. If it wasn’t for Nadal’s ability to fight back we may have seen the biggest upset in a very long time.

Nadal looked fragile as he let Isner back into the match after winning the first set. Isner gained in confidence and use his huge serve along with an attacking game plan to win the next two sets. Nadal then did well to win the final two sets. Even though this match showed us how vulnerable Nadal had become, it will give him confidence having come through it. This match reminded me a lot of the first round match between Roger and Falla at Wimbeldon last year.

The fact that Roger came through that match gave him confidence, but not enough to pass the quarter finals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nadal now makes the final, but if he runs into a hot opponent like Roger did at Wimbledon I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost either. Either way, I can’t see how he will beat Djokovic. Djokovic next faces his biggest test however against Del Potro. If Del Potro is on fire the upset is not impossible. This is the one time I prefer that Del Potro loses. If Del Potro wins it will probably mean a sixth French Open title for Nadal. Djokovic is in Nadal’s head right now and he will breathe a huge sigh of relief if Djokovic gets eliminated from the draw. I think that is the only way Nadal is winning the title. As long as Djokovic looms in the draw a dark cloud will hang over Nadal, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he loses before the final.



Roger Federer,Stanislas Wawrinka

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  1. I think you’re missing the forest for the trees here, Ru-an. If Del Potro beats Djokovic, it will probably mean that he himself is on fire. This changes everything. Del Potro would gain momentum and confidence again which should be enough to demolish King Fed and Nadull back to back. It makes sense, doesn’t it? And one more…If someone asked you to choose between Roger reaching the final and Djokovic capturing his 1st FO trophy, you would pick the latter, right?


    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah but im not sure Del Potro is ready to go the distance. Djokovic is more the proven commodity on clay this season. About your question, i asked the same thing on twitter! Its a tough one. Roger cant beat Nadal due to his backhand i think, but it would obviously be nice if he makes the final by beating Djokovic. Roger has already made 3 FO finals where he lost on the other hand, and i cant see how another loss to Nadal in a GS final would do his legacy any good. So yeah id probably prefer Djokovic makes the final, stop Nadal from becoming the clay GOAT, and in that way help Rogers legacy!


    manu Reply:

    ru-an, you value roger’s legacy(which is eternal) too much. Fine, if the GS record is broken others never will.


    IROCK Reply:

    DUde No one’s dominated rafa on clay except djokovic and Delpo defeating Novak will just give him enough confidence to get the FO .del po doesn’t stand much of a chance against Nadal,he isn’t back to his best


  2. I think Del Potro is too underdone to give Djokovic a really tough match. He won’t be back to Slam-winning form this season, I feel. His offensive game is not at its best, he’s having to do a lot of hustling and defending, and so he got injured. The way Djokovic is playing he’ll run Del Potro all around the court.

    This match from Federer was encouraging. He deliberately tried out all his tactics, and played very aggressively and cleanly.

    Tipsarevic of course is very dangerous, so he will have to be careful and take all his chances when he gets them. But I think he can come through.


  3. Nadal played a tactically poor match against Isner. Sure, Isner was serving big. But Nadal was so far behind the baseline receiving serve that in most cases, he was taking the returns above the head and could hardly do any damage on the return. In most cases, the balls landed short. Seeing this Isner began to rush the net and put pressure on Nadal. Isner at the net is a fearsome proposition, with his wingspan, he is almost impossible to pass and you saw Nadal pile up the errors on the passing shots.

    In the last game before the tiebreak, he stood closer to the line and crunched two returns back at Isner’s feet and got 15-40. As it happened, Isner made 4 big first serves and Nadal went back to 15 feet behind the baseline in the tiebreak, which he duly lost.

    In the fourth set, Isner had a momentary lapse and was broken in the second game I think and by fifth set, he was surely running short on fuel. So the same returns which were intercepted with drop volleys were taken by Isner a fraction late and ended up becoming passing shots.

    Taking returns on the rise is not something that Nadal likes(he only does it when he has nothing to lose, like when he was leading 6-5 in set 3). The person who can exploit this best is Andy Murray with his big first serve and his fantastic speed and touch at the net. This is the same gameplan that Tsonga used all those years back against Nadal in AO 08. Unlike Isner, Murray can do damage returning Nadal’s serve and stay the distance. If he can step it up in the mental department, which he has done against Nadal in slams, he has a chance.


    Ru-an Reply:

    Another great post Aravind. You summed up what happened between Isner and Nadal much better than i did.


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