OK I was just having some fun with the title. In all honesty Taylor Dent played a good match, it’s just that Roger likes to play against that style of tennis. Dent was all over the net and like I said before Roger likes a target. His returns and passing shots was of a high quality. Seeing this match I can’t help wondering how long Roger might have dominated at Wimbledon still had the courts not slowed down considerably there. He loves this kind of attacking tennis and short points. I remember the epic match against Sampras at Wimbledon when the courts were still fast. He looked very much at home in the conditions and beating an all time great like Sampras was of course testament to that.
But lets stop reminiscing about yesteryear and focus on the now for a while. The key to the match was the fifth game of the third set where Dent threatened hard to break Roger’s serve. I don’t know the exact amount of break points Dent had but it was about five in that game. You always knew that game was going to be a pivotal game in context of the match. When a player gets opportunities to go ahead in a match and they don’t take advantage of it you will often find that the other player breaks right thereafter, which is exactly what Roger did. He broke Dent to go up 4-2 and then held serve for 5-2. Then both held serve one more time before the first set was history.
In the second set Roger started playing with more confidence, after looking a little shaky at the beginning of the match. Once he got through the fifth game it was one way traffic and he broke Dent two more times with some exquisite tennis in the second set. The first serve percentage for Roger was 56%, which is fair enough. The winners to unforced errors differential was positive as in his previous match which once again suggest a quality match from him. Even though Roger is having problems with Rafa and Murray I like the clinical way with which he deals with other opponents. It shows that his lack of confidence against those two opponents is not affecting his game too much against other players, which is a good sign.
Next opponent for Roger is Andy Roddick who beat Gael Monfils 7-6, 6-4 earlier. He will now face Roddick for the nineteenth time, having lost only two of their meetings. One of those losses came last year in the same tournament and in the same round. That was when Roger was having the bad run and he will want to keep proving that 2009 is a new beginning for him. He already beat Roddick easily in the Australian Open earlier in the year if you can remember. Roddick is also a different player in 2009 but is simply no match for Roger when he is playing anything close to his best. So this should be another straight set victory for Roger, all be it a closer one then against Dent.
In other matches in the bottom half of the draw the Djoker easily disposed of Thomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, while Jo-Wilfred Tsonga had a harder time against fellow countryman Giles Simon winning 6-7(4), 6-3 6-2. Tsonga now plays the Djoker and have won their last four matches since losing to the Djoker in the Australian Open final. The Djoker has also been struggling with confidence of late so I wouldn’t be surprised if Tsonga wins for a fifth straight time. Therefor I am expecting a Roger/Tsonga semi-final, but more on that later. In the top half of the draw Verdasco beat Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2, after the commentator Robbie Koenig said Stepanek was the favorite :roll:
Bad commentary aside I’m happy to see one of my favorite players who is a threat for Murray and Rafa is still alive and well in the tournament. He now faces Murray who sent Viktor Troicki packing 6-1, 6-0. So much for Nalbandian’s performence in this tournament! I hope Verdasco can repeat his performance against Murray at the Austrailian Open where he beat him of course. Not only would that give Roger one less bogeyman to worry about in the draw but it would also most likely give us a rematch of the sensational match between Verdasco and Rafa at the Australian Open. Rafa is currently playing against Stanislas Wawrinka. Should he win he will face Juan-Martin Del Potro again who beat David Ferrer surprisingly easily 6-3, 6-2.
Match highlights(the backhand at 0:39 was something special):