In case you thought you read wrong, you didn’t. The title does read ‘Federer def Murray’. I thought I’d have some fun with the whole ‘war of words’ thing between Roger and Murray. Today Murray lost 6-4, 7-5 against David Ferrer, after ‘injuring himself in practice’. Again that seems like a very suspicious injury to me. First he injures himself in bed, and now in practice. I mean it’s not like the guy is 80 years old. He is a professional athlete for crying out loud. Does he not warm up before he practices? I think this is more of a mental injury. Why is it that every time Murray loses an important match he is injured? This is not mere coincidence. It is becoming an excuse. The pressure just got to Murray if you ask me, and then he got ‘injured’. He is playing at home and the pressure is big, and then he gets involved in a war of words with Roger to make the pressure even worse on himself.
If he just kept quiet and focused on the job things could have been very different. It is easy to dismiss this as a random injury which could not be helped. But think about it for a moment. Is this the first time this has happened? It happened just two weeks ago in Basel. Within the space of two weeks Murray got two freakish injuries. You can say what you want about Roger. You can say he is arrogant, playing mind games, or just being plain honest. But one thing you gotta give him is that he almost always seems to be right. He said that the Asian swing was weakened because him and Djokovic was absent. And what happens when they are back? Murray gets injured for two consecutive tournaments. I mean that is more than Roger has been injured in his entire career. And then he ends up losing to someone who he has previously owned on hard court.
Some of you thought Roger’s comments were arrogant and out of line. In my book you are not arrogant when you are right. If Roger made comments like these and he was proved to be wrong most of the time, then the ‘arrogant argument’ would be a lot easier for me to accept. But he gets proved right time and time again. Now, I know there are some of you that is going to say that Murray was injured and there is nothing he could do about it. That argument falls flat when you look at the astonishing regularity with which Murray fails when the pressure is really on. Whether it be through good old choking or through ‘injury’, he always fails. How often does he have an injury when he is losing a match he should be winning? It is just a way of not taking responsibility and looking for excuses. And it is not fair towards his opponents because it makes it look like he only lost because he was injured.
Oscar winning performance or real injury?
But either way I do think Roger had a role in this defeat of Murray. Not to take any credit away from Ferrer, but there is no way Murray should be losing to him indoors. Ferrer is basically a work horse with no weapons. He is a good clay courter and has had some decent results on hard court, but indoors he just begs to be dominated. Last year he was the whipping boy of his group and got destroyed by everyone. I mean Murray should beat Ferrer indoors on one leg. I just think the pressure was too much for Murray. He will now either withdraw before his next match or play on and not make the semis. Personally I hope he plays on so I can see him losing some more. Group A has opened up some more now that Murray is injured. Djokovic beat Berdych 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) today after saving a match point.
Djokovic is still not at his best but he was just better than Berdych under pressure. I think Berdych has a good chance of making semis now. He will probably beat Murray or whoever comes in Murray’s place and then it will be between him and Ferrer, as I think Djokovic will beat Ferrer too. Tomorrow is the much anticipated next chapter in the Fedal rivalry of course, and they will play the evening session. Someone has said that this is just a round robin match and therefor doesn’t mean much, but every Fedal match means something. Roger very much needs to win for the head-to-head. I think he will step it up against Nadal. In the Tsonga match Roger did just the necessary and his form was pretty average. I think he will be focused against Nadal and try to play at his highest level.
This is not a high bouncing surface where Nadal can moonball Roger’s backhand to death. Roger’s serve will be key as usual and he must remain on the offense. He has to do the same as he did in last year’s final in other words. Because the bounce is low he doesn’t have to allow Nadal to moonball his backhand and he can step into it. The main thing is to keep the points relatively short and not to let Nadal settle into a rhythm from the baseline. This is Roger’s domain and he must make that clear from the start. If he allows Nadal to win the first set then things will get complicated. I think as long as he wins the first set his chances will be good. For Nadal to win two straight sets against him on indoor will be difficult. I am hoping Roger can just get it done in straight sets. He has after all been the form player while Nadal has struggled.