As I thought Roger beat Ferrer in straight sets and the head-to-head record now stands at 14-0. It’s quite amazing the head-to-head record Roger has with some of the top players. Taking into account that Ferrer never gives up and fights for every point, it’s pretty astonishing that Roger has such a head-to-head record over him. It’s obvious to me that Ferrer has a mental block against Roger. Judging from what I’ve read and the match stats Roger was far from his best, but still beat Ferrer in straight sets. Ferrer just doesn’t have anything to hurt Roger with. Roger made only 53% first serves and his unforced errors outnumbered his winners by 39-28.
The first serve percentage has now been a problem since Shanghai. It is a sign of lack of confidence to me. When Roger is confident he makes a high percentage of first serves and that makes him very difficult to beat. It’s harder for me to make an analysis when I can only watch the highlights of Roger’s matches. I thought the win over Tipsarevic was a good sign for his title chances. But after the Ferrer match I am not so confident anymore. It seems to me Roger is still burnt out. I don’t believe he is going to win the Masters Cup anymore. You can never count him out, but he is not the favorite to me anymore.
The favorite to me at this point is Djokovic, who beat Murray 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in their round robin match yesterday. This result also showed that Djokovic is the mentally stronger player between him and Murray. He now leads the head-to-head with Murray 10-7, and I think he will end up winning the head-to-head. The other match that was played yesterday was between Berdych and Tsonga and Berdych won that in three sets. In group B today the other match was between Del Potro and Tipsarevic, with Del Potro winning that 6-0, 6-4. It looks like Tipsarevic will be the whipping boy of group B and end up losing all his matches.
The interesting match that is now left in group B is the one between Roger and Del Potro. Del Potro needs to win to have a chance of qualifying for the semis if Ferrer beat Tipsarevic, which you would expect. Roger needs a good performance against Del Potro after the Ferrer match. He did just what was needed against Ferrer and must show that he can raise his game and put that Basel final loss behind him. His title chances in London may depend on the result against Del Potro. Not in terms of qualifying for the semis, but in terms of showing that his confidence is high enough to go all the way.