As expected Roger was feeling confident after his win over Raonic, and Gasquet just had no chance today. Having said that, Gasquet is just a disappointing player overall. Like the other Frenchman he has no heart. He also stands way too far behind the baseline. Roger got the break at 2-1 with a sweet forehand return winner up the line and that proved to be decisive in the first set. In the second set there were two more breaks and that was that. It was a pretty boring match with no drama whatsoever. Roger’s first serve percentage was high at 70% and the 3/6 break points converted was decent as well. So in the end another very satisfactory performance even though it was a very one-sided match. Roger will now play against Ferrer who beat Almagro 7-6(8) in a the third set.
Ferrer showed his usual amazing fight after it looked like Almagro would escape his turkey status against Ferrer. It will be a tough match for Roger but the way he is playing now you better believe he will get the win. Roger leads the head-to-head 12-0 and I don’t see any reason why Ferrer will get his first win tomorrow. Speaking of first wins, Verdasco got his first win in 14 meetings with Nadal today. The score was 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. It was a bizarre performance from Nadal, losing from two breaks up in the third set. I highly doubt that has ever happened to Nadal. I mean I was expecting him to probably lose this week after all the tennis he played but I didn’t expect he would lose this early to someone like Verdasco.
After the match he was complaining about the blue clay and threatening not to come back next year, which was sour grapes. Why he even plays four clay events before the French Open blows my mind. He knows he he going to lose in one of those events so why play it? Isn’t it better to try and remain unbeaten before going to Paris and get some much needed rest in the process? Only Nadal will even understand his scheduling. Losing this early means he loses quite a bit of points as well, and as far as I know Roger will surpass him in the rankings if he makes the final. But of course there is a long way to go. The semis will be the key match if it is Djokovic, which it will probably be. Djokovic currently leads Wawrinka by a set and a break and then he just has to beat Simon or Tipsarevic.
If Roger beats Djokovic then he will most probably win the tournament, given that Nadal it out. That would mean that he will surely go into Paris as the number two seed, given that he has more points to gain in Rome. So the semis of Madrid could be crucial for Roger’s French Open chances. If Djokovic and Nadal is drawn in the same half there then Roger could face Djokovic in the final and possibly win the title. It’s an exciting prospect but we are very far from there and many things still have to fall into place. I am just happy that Roger has continued his great form of 2012 here in Madrid and that he will have a good shot at the title. I am very excited for the weekend. We may just witness something special but at the very least we will see some good matches!