I feel a bit better after this match. I wasn’t sure Roger was prepared to face Nadal, but he after all needed to make semis here at the very least after losing to Melzer in Monte Carlo. There was still a lot of unforced errors, but Roger obviously knows how to handle Soderling. The head-to-head wasn’t 15-1 before this match for nothing. I liked Roger’s drop shots in this match. Soderling doesn’t move forward well and he was caught off guard on several occasions. As expected, Nadal won easily. This means we have a 24th Fedal match up tomorrow, with the h2h currently standing at 15-8 for Nadal. I’ll be highly surprised if the h2h isn’t 16-8 after tomorrow. We all know what happened in Miami, and this is clay after all. I’d like to believe that Roger has a chance, but nothing tells me that he does. He beat Nadal in 2009 in Madrid, but that was obviously a different Roger.
If he wants to repeat that performance again then something drastic will have to change. In that 2009 match Roger didn’t put a foot wrong, and it was still mighty close. It looks very likely that we will have another Nadal/Djokovic final here. The ATP Tour has become a two man show. Djokovic beat Ferrer in a tough three setter today, but in the end he was always the favorite. Ferrer is simply a work horse with limited talent and doesn’t deserve the title of the second best clay courter on tour. Thank God we won’t have another Nadal/Ferrer final. At least there is now a chance that Nadal will get challenged on clay, even though it is highly unlikely that Djokovic will beat him. Even though I find it hard to believe that Roger can win tomorrow, something in me wants to believe. Either way I just hope he plays well and and least makes it close.