This was a refreshing start from Roger to the clay court season. He has new clothes and his game looked new too. He was serving very well from the start and his forehand looked pretty lethal as well. What a difference change of surface can make. The one thing I noticed again is that Roger’s backhand jumps up quite high on the clay and there was not much Kohlschreiber could do to attack it. I think the clay helps him in that sense. I also think that Roger is a better clay court player than a slow hard court player. Or at least these days. His movement on clay is great while it would be harder for someone like Djokovic to grind down his backhand. Against Nadal it’s a different story because Nadal is left handed and can use the forehand angle to Roger’s backhand. So I have new hope for Roger against the top two as far as Djokovic goes.
Clay is just a totally different rhythm from hard courts. The ball bounces higher and there is more time between shots. If Roger keeps up this kind of form I think he will definitely make the final. He was good in all departments and never looked troubled out there. Granted Kohlschreiber was not exactly playing a blinder, but like I said this was a refreshing start from Roger after taking some bad losses to the top two in the hard court season. When Roger said in the press that he is ready to make a huge step forward in the clay season it is now just that little easier to believe him. I really hope I won’t regret saying this, but I have new hope(no jinx).
On-court Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxtEMtzTm7U&feature=player_embedded