Needless to say, not quite the result that I expected. I was obviously too assured about the outcome of this match. It just goes to show that in tennis nothing is ever certain. Not even with Roger having transformed as a player since the US Open last year and having a 21-2 record over Roddick, guaranteed the victory. In the end that is what makes tennis interesting. In a sense it is great to see Roddick get this result after being completely owned in his career by Roger and declining fast. It just goes to show that anything is possible. I am not a Roddick fan in the least but I am not that closed-minded and obsessed that I can’t be happy for him and admit that he played a tremendous match. As Fedfans we are a spoiled bunch.
We are one of the most immature fan bases out there because when things don’t go our way we throw our toys out of the pram. We are not used to not having things go our way. Or that is the way it used to be anyway. For me personally that has changed in the last few years. Prime Roger or what I would call Roger 1.0 hardly ever lost. Since 2008 we saw Roger 2.0 who was much more vulnerable. There were many tough losses and I kept throwing my toys out of the pram. But since the US Open last year we saw Roger 3.0, and I would like to believe Ru-an 3.0 as well. I am more mature as a fan, and I can take losses like these with a smile. I already said that the Indian Wells title confirmed to me that we are seeing a new Roger since the US Open, and I am not gonna change my tune just because of one loss to Roddick playing out of his mind.
I am very surprised when I see fans making a big deal of this loss, as if this loss spoils everything Roger has done since the US Open. God forbid he loses to a player who was playing the match of his life! I guess some Fedfans thinks Roger 3.0 is prime Roger and that he is not allowed to lose any matches. Well I have news for them. Roger 1.0 is never returning. That’s why I call him Roger 3.0 after all. Sure I wanted to see Roger defend at least his semi-final points, but upsets do happen. Or else it wouldn’t be tennis. This doesn’t all of a sudden mean that Roger can’t get back to number two or one in the rankings. People are awfully short-sighted. They have no sense of a bigger picture. Or maybe I just read Mens Tennis Forum too much.
But we all tend to do it. I have been guilty of it many times in the past and I’m not gonna fall for it anymore. In the bigger picture this loss is as much a blessing as a curse. Before Indian Wells and Miami started I was not very excited. I didn’t hold out much hope for Roger to improve upon his results from last year. I would have been content with him just defending his points. But then he criticized Nadal for time wasting and I was starting to feel a little more excited about his chances. He looked hungry and confident. My excitement wasn’t disappointed as Roger won India Wells and beat Nadal in the process. In the end he made a 325 net gain on his points for last year’s North-American swing. He also bagged another Indian Wells title and beat his nemesis in the process.
I can’t ask for more. Rather I am happy for Roddick who badly needed this win and I am also happy for Roger who now gets a much deserved break after playing an awful lot of tennis of late. Roddick played an awfully good match last night, make no mistake about it. It was not like Roger played badly at all. Roddick just came out from the start like someone possessed. There were no breaks in the first set as they headed into the breaker. Roddick got the early mini break but Roger broke back. Roddick then got another break after hitting a winner off an overhead from Roger. It was just too good. Roddick had seized the initiative and the tie break with it. In the second set it was all JesusFed as Roger came storming back.
The momentum was back with Roger and he went up 40-0 on Roddick’s first service game in the third. This was the key game of the match. Roddick saved all three break points and then saved one or two more. Roddick’s serve was on fire throughout the match and although I don’t remember much of that game, Roddick probably saved quite a few break points with his serve. I think there was also one point where Roger missed a pretty makeable forehand which could have changed the outcome of the match. In a match like this the margins are very small and you can’t expect Roger to always come out the winner. When Roddick held serve the momentum shifted again and in the next game he broke Roger with a string of forehand winners.
I haven’t ever seen Roddick play better. He was deep in the zone. With the way he was serving there was no way back for Roger after that break. This was just a totally different Roddick. He was crushing the ball instead of pushing it. It was just Roddick’s day. He has always loved the Miami conditions anyway, while it is far from Roger’s favorite conditions. Both players have won the title twice, and had Roger not won after being two sets and a break down to Nadal, he would have a poorly one title. Roddick also leads the head-to-head with Roger in Miami 2-1 now, which pretty much sums it up. Outside of Miami the head-to-head is 20-1 in Roger’s favor. Roger will now just have to wait before he makes Roddick the first open era ostrich. He just needs two wins and no losses which is easily doable.
But anyway I was glad for Roddick that he got this win. He is too good a player to lose to Roger all the time. In my last post I said I wasn’t convinced about Roger’s chances to win this title and my gut feeling proved to be accurate. Not only did he not win the title but he didn’t pass the third round. If he did make the semis he would have almost certainly lost to Djokovic. I prefer he loses to Roddick who he owns anyway than losing to Djokovic who has beaten him four out of the last five times. I look at this loss as a blessing in disguise. It’s like losing your car keys today instead of your car tomorrow. Now that Roger lost early in Miami he may just take a wild card in Monte Carlo. He must decide weather he wants to take a six week break before the clay and grass court season and risk losing some of his recent momentum, or take less of a break but risk tiring during the clay and grass season.
The clay and grass court seasons includes Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros, Halle, Wimbledon, and then the Olympic Games three weeks later. The fact that the Olympic Games is this year may just cause Roger to skip Monte Carlo. Otherwise I am sure he would have played it. It is not enjoyable for us Fedfans when Roger is out of action for six weeks but in the end Roger has to do what is best for his health and longevity. It has been a great start to the year and whatever Roger decides to do I am not complaining.