What an epic match that was. I personally thought this would be an easy win for Roger, but Lopez had other plans. As we have gotten used to of late, players often play above their usual level against Roger. That doesn’t mean that Roger didn’t play his little part in this struggle. Roger wasted several game points when he was serving for the first set, as well as several break points during the match to make things harder on himself. He ended with 1/6 break points converted, something we have seen all too often from him these days. It comes back to his lack of mental fortitude. At least he managed to pull this one out of the bag, which should give him some confidence. The turning point really came when Lopez was up 5-2 in the final set tie break and was in total control of the point. Roger was desperately scraping and threw up a lob from a defensive position.
It was a sitter of a smash for Lopez but he he messed it up badly. That was match point right there. If Lopez made that smash, as he should have, it would have been over. So in the end Roger didn’t win this match, but Lopez lost it. It is not the way you want to win, but Roger will take some confidence away from this, knowing he came through a very close and crucial match. If he had lost it it would have once again been a new low. Now at least he lives to fight another day. A lot of credit have to go to Lopez who served huge and even hit backhand winners off his usually unreliable backhand. He really should have won the match. I guess having a choker like Verdasco on the side line cheering him on didn’t do his confidence much good, because that was a pretty major choke by him in the final set tie break.
Roger now comes up against Malisse, who he has an 8-1 record against. The Lopez match should have given Roger some confidence and he should not have too many problems with Malisse. Roger’s draw is actually not as bad as I thought. If he wins he will face the winner of Tsonga and Soderling, so he should really make semi’s here. But I guess with Roger these days you just don’t know. A match I’m very much looking forward to is Del Potro against Nadal. I don’t know if Del Potro is back to his best yet, but he is playing some great tennis nonetheless. He won Estoril and now beat Cilic 6-3, 6-0. I am really hoping for the upset. Del Potro has the depth and penetration of shot to trouble Nadal. The faster conditions will be in his favor too. I think it would be great for the clay court season if Del Potro can pull off the upset. Vamos!