I’m Back…for a Day

Hello Fedfans. If you read my comments on my last post you would know by now that I have been having problems with my laptop. Unfortunately it has not been fixed yet and I just have a screen for my laptop that I can use for a day. It has obviously been very frustrating not to have a laptop, and not only because Dubai was going on. I also spend a lot of time on twitter and my music is on my laptop too. So life becomes pretty pointless without my laptop. And after today I will have to send my laptop in again to see if they can finally fix the problem. That means I won’t be able to cover the first few days of Miami at least. It really is frustrating because I’ve already missed out posting on Rotterdam because of work. Anyway thanks for the comments you left while I was gone. I am humbled and honored as always that you are so attached to my blog.

The traffic to my blog was still pretty high even though I wasn’t making any posts. That makes it even more frustrating because I don’t wana let you guys down. But enough of the frustration. There is a lot to talk about tennis wise and I have a lot to catch up on and look forward to. So let me first get back to Dubai.  I watched all Roger’s matches accept for the first one against Llodra. After that he made Lopez his turkey(10-0) and eased past Youzhy. The conditions in Dubai was pretty fast which helps Roger. The thing that stood out for me in Dubai is the ease with which he held serve. Some service games he held serve under a minute which is just astounding. And the funny thing is that he wasn’t even necessarily serving with a high first serve percentage. The fact that he held serve easily put pressure on his opponent’s own serve and allowed him to break.

Roger was still riding the wave of confidence from winning Rotterdam. This is why I felt winning Rotterdam was so important. It helped him to find that momentum he had before he lost to Nadal in Melbourne and it also helped him to win Dubai. In the semis Roger was up against Del Potro again after defeating him in the Rotterdam final. So I was feeling pretty confident that Roger would get the job done once more. Despite losing to Del Potro in the US Open final it seems he pretty much owns him. Del Potro himself have been having a good time of it of late and it’s good to see him still working his way back up the rankings despite all the injury problems he had. I think he belongs in the top five instead of Tsonga. Anyway Roger went on to beat him in two tie break sets.

In the other semis there was a pretty big upset as Murray beat Djokovic 6-2, 7-5. Murray was playing very well and I’m not too surprised he beat Djokovic after what happened in the semis in Melbourne. Having said that, Djokovic was not at his best. He was a set and a break down, after which he broke Murray I think when Murray was serving for the match. I thought Djokovic would come back and win the match, but all credit to Murray for closing it out. Does this mean Djokovic is becoming more vulnerable? I think one bad match is not enough to draw any conclusions from. We always knew Djokovic was not gonna be able to repeat what he did in 2011. We will see what happens in Indian Wells and Miami. Getting back to Dubai, going into the final I liked Roger’s chances but Murray would be no pushover.

Dubai’s field was stronger than Rotterdam and here was a good opportunity for Roger to get a win over a top four player and improve his head-to-head with Murray which was 6-8 before the match. It was another dominant performance from Roger although it was still very close, 7-5, 6-4. The one thing that bothered me a bit was once again Roger’s poor break point conversion rate. That is something that has always been the case with him and he usually gets away with it because he produces so many break points and then eventually converts. But in close matches it can count against him, like against Nadal. The fact that he doesn’t convert a high percentage of break points shows that he is not as clutch as Nadal for instance. If there is any reason he can’t be the GOAT it is this, but he is such a force of nature that it hardly matters.  It was great to see Roger pick up a 72nd title and a 5th Dubai title.

Whenever you win five titles of an event you pretty much own that event. Roger have now done it at six different events – Wimbledon(6), US Open(5), Masters Cup(6), Basel(5), Halle(5), Dubai(5). He has also won Hamburg, the Australian Open, and Cincinnati four times. Roger has now won five of his last seven events played. He is on quite a roll and definitely had a better start to 2012 than 2011. Since that break he took after the US Open last year to ask some questions of himself, he seems to have indeed made some progress. I thought when he lost to Nadal that nothing much have changed, but I think the way he came from behind against Davydenko in Rotterdam was quite impressive. The thing with Roger is that he puts negative stuff behind him very quickly. He definitely doesn’t dwell on bad losses. The last two years haven’t been great outside of the indoor season.

Roger reached a kind of plateau where he didn’t win any slams or much outside of the indoor events. So far it looks like 2012 will be different and a slam is certainly not out of the question. Next up is Indian Wells and Miami which are pretty tough surfaces for Roger, especially Miami. They are using an even slower surface for Miami than for Indian Wells, and because of it Roger got destroyed last year by Nadal in the semis. Roger’s draw in Indian Wells looks pretty tough. In his first match he should have no problems, but in the third round he probably faces Raonic who have been playing well of late. It will be a test for Roger but he should be ok. Then he will face Monfils or Melzer it seems. Melzer just won Memphis so again Roger could have a pretty tough match. In the quarters Roger will have Ferrer or once again Del Potro.

Once again you would favor him to win, although Del Potro is always dangerous. I would rather he plays Ferrer. Then if Roger makes the semis he comes up against his nemesis. It a shame Roger is not in Djokovic’s half but he will not avoid Nadal forever. I don’t wana look further than the semis, since I don’t know how Roger will beat Nadal. I am not gonna get my expectations up too high for Indian Wells and Miami. It really annoys me that they make the surfaces so slow there. I’d rather they cancel the events and start the clay season earlier so that there can be a longer grass season and that the French Open and Wimbledon can be further apart. Well it was good to catch up with you and I hope you can forgive me for not posting of late after this post. I will do what I can to get my laptop back as soon as possible to cover some of Indian Wells and Miami.

Ps. I don’t have a phone with internet like someone suggested, so every time I want to use the Internet I must get away from work and go to an internet cafe that is not open after 5 pm, is expensive, and have a shitty slow connection on top of that.

Photobucket


Posted in Uncategorized.

19 Comments

  1. Hello Ruan, did not know you were having computer problems but happy you are back for at least a day. Hope you get it fixed soon because i missed hearing from you and know it must be very frustrating for you, anyone really to be without their computer. Saw all of Rogers matches in Dubai and thought he was on fire. There were so many moments of brilliance i was in Fed Heaven. Looking forward to IW and Miami, good month for Roger/tennis fans. Hope you will be able to see the tournaments so we can hear what you think.

    [Reply]

  2. Federer said that he wanted to play in the 2016 Olympics. Interesting, to say the least.

    After Dubai, he is tied for the most ATP 500 titles, and also tied for the most ATP 500 finals. Less important records, but records nonetheless.

    Considering the form he is in, I really think that number 17 is on the way this year. and the way things are poised right now, number 17 will lead to 286. I can’t wait.

    Let the Masters begin

    [Reply]

  3. Thanks for giving everyone a heads up on your situation.
    First, let me say that I am really proud how Roger won Dubai. He pulled himself through two very close matches, Del Potro match especially.I agree with you on the break-point conversion percentage and I’m sure Roger is trying to improve on that . I hope he can keep building upon win after win and not become too complacent. One, thing I would like to note is that Federer has been discussing some of the aspects of his game that he has been working on and in my opinion, he should be more reserved and work even harder to increase his level of play. I don’t want Roger to just win, I would like him to dominate more and more and give himself the opportunities he deserves. Maybe he does think this already, I just wish he would be a little less informative and let his game do the talking. As far as Indian Wells is concerned, I am going to take it one match at a time and hope for the best. I don’t expect much being a SSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW court but you never know with Fed. I sure with the cupcake draw for Nadull and Djerkovich, they will most likely meet in final. Murray will possibly face Izzay( Isner) and that should be a decent match. I don’t know to expect of Del Potro or Tsonga but I would like to see Tsonga give Rafa a pleasant beating. Wishful thinking.

    [Reply]

  4. Glad you got to watch most of the matches, Ruan. Those pesky computers; we are hopeless without them these days :-( . I also thought it was bizarre how Roger’s serve was holding up despite low 1st serve percentage. But he was only broken in the first match and then in the final, but was able to break back. Which is also surprising because I’m not really digging his return of serve either!

    But the results speak for themselves so I’m not going to harp on anything. Really, the fact that he has maintained his concentration in these matches is the main thing; so long as his focus is there, he will work out the technical stuff.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Appreciate your comments Katarina. I read your comments on MTF as well.

    [Reply]

    Katarina_YYZ Reply:

    oh! *blushes* hope you don’t mind I used one of your graphics for an avatar for a while :p

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No worries, I’d be honored ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. Federer finally takes a stand on time violations. In an IW interview, he said that he cant believe that there can be a four hour match with Nadal without him receiving a time violation. The most interesting part is that he only mentions Nadal and not Djokovic. It seems that the cordial Fedal Relationship is fading away.

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    “It seems that the cordial Fedal Relationship is fading away.” I hope that’s true. It will help him tremendously in his mental fight against Rafa. Though seen as a classy act, in my opinion, Fed was too kind to Rafa after his outbursts against Fed on the eve of the Australian open. He should make Rafa SWEAT more than being SWEET on him.

    [Reply]

    Wendy Reply:

    I hadn’t heard this, is it posted some place where we can read it?

    [Reply]

    Pratik Reply:

    I’m sure you could find enough links by a simple Google search, but since you asked:
    http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2012-03-09/9039.php

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=416158

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    Here it is:

    http://tennis.com/articles/templates/ticker.aspx?articleid=16783&zoneid=6

    Here is Tignor’s take on this issue:

    http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/03/buzzer-beater.html

    [Reply]

  6. Nice to hear from you Ru-an.I hope your laptop gets fixed soon and we all are hoping to see a good run for fed in IW and Miami.

    [Reply]

  7. Hey welcome back Ruaaan :-) If i was Roger Federer i would have known about you for long time and close the official web site cause this one has soul and belongs to us the fans, while the other one is more like a news site and even fan comments cannot compare with your job here.keep it up!!! :-)
    Seems to me the more time passes the more we realize that its not the bad match up with Nadal but as you said the break point conversion rate…Do you think he`s improving compared to his prime years` losses to Nadal or its just improvement from AO 2010 onwards?
    Do you see any signs in his play of a new Federer that he didn`t possesses at the same strenght earlier?
    I want to believe this time will be different and beating Murray is a sign … but was on a ultra fast court….so we never know… :-(

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I appreciate the comment Stoyan. If Roger did that and paid me for blogging then life might be a lot easier ;-) I will make a post tomorrow about Roger’s comments concerning Nadal’s time wasting tomorrow since I have internet for a little while longer.

    [Reply]

  8. Ru-an, good to hear from you. Hope you are doing well at your work. I am sure that you’re bursting with many things to say about Federer and tennis after your absence from blogging and I’m looking forward to reading those.

    One thing I’d like to say is how intelligently Federer played against Murray. In the semis, Murray had plenty of time to soak up Djokovic’s topspin shots and take big cracks with his backhand, even to go on the attack occasionally. Djokovic certainly didn’t help his case by playing so poorly, but he was always going to have a hard time repeating his 2011 season (and he’s surely imitating Nadal and taking it easier this year in the lower-level tournaments to avoid burnout).

    Federer played completely differently, changed the length of his shots and hit a little flatter and at sharper angles. Murray did not get too many chances to play those scrambling baseline points where he stays back and waits for a chance to use Federer’s pace against him. He was forced to play closer to the baseline and generate his own pace, and he made more mistakes.

    Serve-and-volley is usually not very effective against Murray, but Federer was able to change his serving pattern (more slice and flat serves, I think) and make it work, because he came forward a lot. He also hit some very good drop shots and returned very well.

    All in all, it’s an encouraging sign. Federer played really well even on the slow AO surface, so he should do well at IW. He’s able to maintain his confidence in his gameplan even when he’s put on the defensive and has to improvise, the slight hesitation he occasionally showed last year when he was put under pressure appears to be gone. The matches against Davydenko in Rotterdam and Del Potro showed that he’s once again able to win even if he’s not in total control of the match.

    I hope he can meet Nadal and beat him decisively in Indian Wells.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Steve, the job was sort of a volunteer thing to get experience for something big that I am planning to tackle soon. I may take off for the next few weeks to cover IW and Miami. Thanks for the support. You remain a class act.
    As for the Dubai final I think you bring up some good points. The faster conditions helped Roger to play first strike tennis and not allow Murray to play too much of that retrieving game. IW and Miami will be tougher for Roger to do that.

    [Reply]

  9. The Indian Wells event will be a touchstone for Federer as I expect and want him to reach at least the semi finals. Anything less would really disappoint me. Getting past Nadal will be tough though, because Nadal has never been an easy out for Roger ,and I expect a sharp and eager Nadal wanting to beat up Roger.
    But Roger’s spirit seems to have ripened and more ready to fight back and denounce Nadal’s annoying ticks and tricks, a Nadal who’s cladding himself with disguise of innocence and humbleness. If the weather conditions are good, with not too much breeze out there in the Californian palm desert, Federer might be able to best Nadal, because he has not lost at all his extraordinary gifts to bombard his opponents with a rich tapestry of accurate pinpointed shots; and if he has to face Nadal out there, I believe he will not hesitate a moment to use the dropshot when the latter eventually would decide to play his usual retrieval game way behind the baseline. I hope Roger will pull himself together in the difficult moments and will not crack under the pressure of Nadal’s tactics.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to hear from you Wilfried. I am liking Roger’s new attitude towards Nadal. I am about to start a post on it as I still have internet :-)

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *