Murray No Match for The Fed Express on Speedy Cincy Courts

It was great to see Roger proving me wrong. I take being wrong and Roger winning over being right and Roger losing any day. In fact, I may just try the jinxing thing in the future, even though I don’t believe in it. Should I say Roger will lose to Raonic?! I was especially thrilled with the fact that Roger got this done in straight sets without even entering a tie-break. I mean I couldn’t have been more wrong, but I couldn’t have been happier about it at the same time! Roger looked the part right out of the starting blocks, and for once I can deliver a full report as I was able to watch the full match. I had to get up at 6 am on Saturday morning, but it was more than worth the effort. Roger was threatening the Murray serve right from the start, and even though he was 0/6 in break point conversions early on I had a feeling he would just keep pushing for the break.

He looked to be in that kind of form. He got the break in the fifth game after Murray dragged a forehand crosscourt wide. Roger then had to save break points on his own serve in his next two service games, mostly with the help of his ever reliable serve. At 5-3, Roger broke Murray to 15 for good measure and won the first set in doing so. It was an impressive start, but here was a lot of work left to do. Murray broke in the third game of the second set and all of a sudden he looked to be back in the match while Roger was having a familiar slump at the beginning of the second set. The situation became worse when Murray broke Roger for a second time to take a 4-1 lead, but this time Murray could not consolidate. Roger set up break point at 30-15 with a divine little chip pass cross court. Murray saved the first break point with an ace, but Roger forced the issue on the next point to get one break back.

I still didn’t think it would be enough to come back in the second set. Then at 2-4 and 0-15 came the point of the match which may have played a big role in turning things around. A long rally ensued where Roger did some terrific defensive work, after which he capped it off with a blistering forehand down the like winner on the run. GOATing. Then at 3-4 Roger set up two more break points and Murray double-faulted on the first. Now Roger was right back in the second set. Roger then set up game point in the next game with a delicious forehand winner that he took on the rise off an attacking return from Murray. He held serve to win four games on the trot and took a 5-4 lead. Murray was finally able to hold serve and even things up at 5-5. Roger responded in kind and at 5-6 Murray would serve to force the breaker.

You would think that would be the minimum he will be able to achieve after wasting a double break, but GOAT had other plans. Murray even had a game point at 40-30, but Roger played two more terrific points to set up match point. The point to set up match point was particularly well crafted. By then Murray’s will was broken. Roger simply chipped a return back deep after which Murray dumped a forehand into the net. Game, set, and match! It was a masterful display that reminded of JesusFed. I mean the stats weren’t that impressive but the fact that Roger shut out a very dangerous opponent in straight sets without needing a tie break is an impressive enough stat. This was supposed to be Murray’s match where he gets a win over a top ten opponent and announces that he is a strong favorite for the US Open.

Yet Roger made him look like the opposite. I guess Roger is damn serious about winning his first Masters of the year and being the outright favorite for the US Open. With Stan losing to Benneteau, Roger is now definitely the favorite to win Cincy. No doubt Raonic poses a threat but Roger is 5-0 against him and looks in no mood to let another Masters slip from his grasp. This is the Masters Roger has won no less than five times and the fast conditions provide the ideal opportunity to finally get his first Masters title of the year. Roger doesn’t look tired either. Good call from Eric again. He looked more motivated and energetic against Murray than I have seen him for a long time. He just looked the part. Of course, this is Cincy and we shouldn’t get too excited because the US Open will be slower.

But I am just excited about the prospect of Roger winning his first Masters of the year. Never mind the US Open. And if he can do that then you would like his chances in New York too. Unless Nadal plays and his serve suddenly speeds up by 15 mph(which is highly likely given his history) then who is a serious contender for the title other than Roger? Nadal postponed his announcement as to whether he will play in New York, probably waiting to see the draw. Why is that even allowed? Who says Nadal is not just waiting to see what kind of draw he gets? That wouldn’t be fair. Anyway, I am not sure about the rules here so I am just speculating. But knowing Nadal he will probably show up in New York playing like he never left the sport and win the title. It’s sickening, but that’s what he does.

Roger played some Edberg-like volleys in this match

Only God knows how, although I have a very plausible explanation. But let’s just focus on Roger. I like what I am seeing in the American hard court season and I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I did say right after the Wimbledon final that I am excited about North-America and that it could just be where Roger’s fortunes change. I mean there was always the chance that Djokovic was not gonna be highly motivated after the big relief and release that Wimbledon was for him. He had broken the slam final curse and he had his own wedding coming up. It wasn’t very hard to call that he could be there for the taking. Roger means business. It is clear. He senses there can be a great opportunity for him here and I love how he is seizing the moment. I think the Murray match was always gonna be key for him and I can’t help but like his chances to win the title now.

Sure Raonic is an obstacle with his big serve and attacking game on the fast courts, but Roger is a great returner of big serves and there is a reason he has a 5-0 record against Raonic. The last time he beat Raonic was in the Wimbledon semis after Raonic was on a hot run. Yet Roger made him look average. I mean he didn’t even need a breaker to straight set arguably the biggest server in tennis today. So you can’t help but like his chances again. If he wins he has probably Ferrer in the final who plays Benneteau. Either one would be almost a gimme for Roger in the final given the surface and the opponent. You’d think if he beats Raonic this title is all but in the bag. I am excited now and grateful that Roger beat Murray because now I am finally able to watch some tennis. Monday is even a holiday here so I’d be able to watch the final too and make a post the same day.

It’s been a bit of a rough time with the blogging given my health was not optimal and the time difference with the US, so I am looking forward to watch more tennis and keep you up to date. As far as Roger’s game itself against Murray goes I loved how he mixed things up with his slices and the beautifully constructed points. There was nothing in particular that stood out other than maybe the ever reliable serve, but Roger’s break point conversion rate was solid again after a poor start and he just played a great match in general. Murray is good himself at mixing things up and constructing points so it was an entertaining match with some great points. It will be entirely different story against Raonic where it will just be a question again of being good on return and taking his chances when they present themselves.

Come on champ, get it done!

 

 Highlights:

THAT rally:

Posted in Cincinatti, Masters 1000.

26 Comments

  1. Ru-an:

    I am not too worried about Nadal. There is NO way that he’ll come out of the blocks after losing in the 4th round at Wimbledon and come out in New York and win the title. Absolutely no way. He has never succesfully defended a Slam outside of Roland Garros. It is not happening.. As far as Djokovic, he’ll pose no threat. Ferrer is consistent again and he might even beat Nadal or Sjokovjc for Roger. I can certainly see that happening. Raonic is a tough customer as well.

    I just want to see Roger win here – si that he can the monkey of his back. Roger is extremely DANGEROUS when he plays care-free. He said that he’d like to play care-free prior to the Murray match and we saw what happened. Against Raonic, winning the first set is key… But it won’t be easy. Arrogance is not needed. Focus is. That being said, I think that there are several tournaments where Roger just does VERY well in:

    Wimbledon – 7 Titles in 9 Finals
    US Open – 5 Titles in 6 Finals
    ATP World Tour Finals – 6 Titles in 8 Finals
    Cincinnati – 5 Titles in 5 Finals
    Dubai – 6 Titles in 8 Finals
    Basel – 5 Titles in 10 Finals
    Halle – 7 Titles in 9 Finals

    I think that Roger does extremely well on fast courts and I think that this year he’ll do very well as well.. How well? We’ll find out. I don’t think that not winning in Cincy will necessarily hurt Roger’s chances at the US Open but winning it will Certainly help him!!! :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well Nadal has actually never defended a hard court title, and I don’t think it is happening at the USO. It is just that he is completely unpredictable and that he comes back from injuries even stronger that annoys me. I am not 100% serious when I say he is a serious threat, but you just never know with him. I don’t think this is his year anyway. Him and Roger fluctuate and this is Roger’s year. If Djokovic was not sick during the FO final he could well have beaten Nadal there too.
    Nice stat abut the finals btw. Shows us that Cincy is actually Roger’s most successful tourney if you take strike rate in the final.

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    balthazar Reply:

    Nadal being unpredictable is an understatement, Ru-an. The guy is a freak of nature when he comes back from an “injury.” And we all have our justifiable suspicions of why that is so. And now he’s toying with the press, delaying his announcement of playing or not. My Lord, what next? It’s true that he might not even show up. But then again, he could come buffed and super-strong and blow everyone away with a juiced-up serve, his wrist miraculously healed. And then the fawning press will portray him as the warrior of warriors who bravely conquered adversity…. God help us, God save us from the likes of Rafael Nadal.

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    Chris Reply:

    It’s awful just how likely this is. I wish Nadal’s antics would finally catch up with him and he would crumble to the ground.

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    Vily Reply:

    Personally, I actually WANT this bad boy Nadal to play. And I am not worried about him either. If Roger wins today, he’ll have 4 straight finals since Late June. He’s playing awesome.. If he wins Cincy, I don’t care about Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. Roger is the man.. But let’s wait and see how it goes today. Ferrer won today so Roger is the favourite tomorrow if he wins today..

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    eric Reply:

    Really? I don’t want any part of Nadal. I hope he tries to come back, gets tested in the second round, and is revealed as the fraud and cheater we know he is.

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  2. Raonic played terribly, but don’t let that take away from the Roger’s performance. It was JesusFed that showed up tonight.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well if it was JesusFed it’s not like Raonic was gonna do a lot better than he did. Fed got way too much game for him and made him look bad. Roger has a way of doing that to opponents. People forget that.

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  3. Guys,

    I don’t know where to start from! Roger is really starting to amaze me – even at the age of 33!!! How amazing is that?! Playing 10 matches in 13 days to start.

    He’s made 4 Straight Finals – starting all the way back in June.

    If you look at his year so far, apart from the missed opportunities in Finals, his year is right up there with 2012. And I feel that he’s not even done..

    I mean the guy is incredible. I was so worried that he’ll get burned out after Toronto but boy, I was wrong…

    Roger made the finals in Brisbane and lost that but that was an anomaly.

    Then the Australian Open Run was absolutely amazing and if it wasn’t for Nadal, he was winning #18 there.

    Then he goes and wins the next tournament in Dubai. Then he makes finals in Indian Wells and almost wins there.

    Then he makes QFs in Miami on the ultra slow hard courts.. Then he makes Finals in Monte-Carlo.

    Then obviously his kids get born so he quits early in Rome and the French Open.

    And then he wins Halle, makes the Wimbledon and Toronto Finals and is about to win his 22nd Masters 1000 tomorrow in Cincy.

    Roger just keeps on going. Fatigue is nowhere to be found and Roger is playing better with each match. Tomorrow might go to 3 even though I think that the hunger to finally win a Masters 1000 after making 4 Masters Finals will proper him to victory.

    And I am telling you: Win tomorrow and Roger is to me the OUTRIGHT favourite to win the US Open.

    The omens are good. And the predictions will prove true:

    Nadal Lost the Australian Open Final and then Won the French Open

    Djokovic Lost the French Open Final and then Won Wimbledon

    Federer Lost the Wimbledon Final and then Won the US Open

    The stars are aligning. Roger is playing amazing tennis. We’ve been sensing how he is on the verge of making something SPECIAL.

    Well, let’s start by him winning his first Masters 1000 in 2 years right before the US Open and watch out for RF at the US Open!!! He’s the man right now..

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  4. A few days ago I mentioned that Roger was bringing forth excellence in all parts of his game but never on the same day and that if he could get it all working at the same time – look out. That is exactly what I was talking about. JesusFed. And I loved every single minute of it. Thank you Roger for giving me that gift tonight!!!

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  5. Was busy. Couldn’t comment. Frustrating coz it has been such exciting last few days but Ru-an and all you lovely Fed family, love all your passionate comments!! Yippee! Holy Smokes! Where did this guy come from? Where did the mental strength come from? 33 years old!! Man, 33 years old, playing every night, doing overtime presses, spanking top guys, making finals. Gosh! Is he an alien or what?! Makes all of us feel like such weaklings, doesn’t he??!! Haha! Ru-an, thank you for two wonderful posts! Yeah, it’s hard to watch these matches live with the wacky times but thank god you woke up for the Murray match! It was such a delicious match wasn’t it? Haha! Just love it when Roger spanks the top guys! I always said, always said, if Roger play his all court game, no one, but no one can beat him. Where did he start giving all those slices to Murray?! Murray just couldn’t settle, couldn’t have any rhythm. And how bad did Roger make Raonic look?! That is what I call signature Roger : making other players look bad, stifling them and rushing them. Roger, this year, under Edberg finally realised two things : 1)that he “remembered” he has an all court game and 2)that coming to net has to be a regular and permanent fixture of his game (not only when he is feeling confident or when he is in the lead). Gosh, if his health holds up, It’s looking ooh so scary! – The second coming of Roger(Christ)!! Haha! Hope there is no let down in his energy level tomorrow. He looks fresh against Raonic, though, don’t you think so, guys?! Everything is coming together now as Eric commented. I was a bit worried too that his whole game wasn’t working well all together at once but the Murray and Raonic match did look like it is all coming together nicely now. He is playing so freely. The Murray match was so therapeutic, haha! He is hitting form. He has played enough matches. He is mentally SO there. He is SO ready for USO!! If anything, this year can be put down as the year of mental breakthrough for Roger. All hail the King!! Honestly guys, with the way Roger is “climaxing” now, even if he loses tomorrow, I don’t care. He is prepped already to take the rest of the year by storm!! C’mon Roger! Cincy no. 6, if you please! Thank you!

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Veronica you have left me with nothing else to add, all the things I would have said myself. That following the great upbeat post by Ru-an right on the button! Only hope that Roger will be rested and we know he will be up for it so C’mon Roger x

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    Alex Reply:

    Good comment but Roger has to win tonight against Ferrer otherwise he is taking yet another step back. I mean to lose in a final to someone who has never beaten you in their career would be pretty terrible. I mean he is going to play the extra match tonight anyway, he should give his all to win and get the confidence boost of a masters 1000 title.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah Alex, I agree he should give it his all, every ounce of his energy; afterall he does have at least a week to rest before USO. But if really there is a big let down in energy tomorrow ( he would have had very little time to recover, maybe only few hours of sleep after press, etc) especially against a fresher and grinding Ferrer, it is completely forgivable and I would put it all down to tiredness and not be too fixated that he must win Cincy to break the finals loss streak. Still, of course, it is best he wins. I hope and I think he will.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Again I don’t agree with you. This is make or break for Roger as far as I’m concerned but I think it will be straight sets this time unlike on the slower courts of Toronto. I’m not worried about tiredness either. He had a quick match against Raonic. No doubt the scheduling was disgusting again not at least letting the WTA play right after the first men’s semis but Roger doesn’t look to be in any mood to lose.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Oh and Alex, I disagree about this being a step back if Roger loses tomorrow. If Roger should lose, it will be completely because of fatigue, not anything to do with his game. It wouldn’t be in the same league as Brisbane, MC and IW losses. I bet you he wouldn’t be losing sleep over it if he loses due to fatigue. He knows he has found his game. Unlike the Toronto final which he didn’t play well (all right the switch from night to day was difficult but still Roger could have played better and Tsonga wasn’t playing all that well either) and there may have been a few regrets.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Thanks, Elizabeth, I just love it when Roger uses the variety he is blessed with. I really really hope he gets at least a few hours of deep decent sleep. Poor Roger. My female instinct is all activated. I so sympathise with the terrible scheduling he is a victim of, like I wanna protect him from all that, , haha! But should Roger win this, then I bow down to him; truly the god of tennis. Absolutely incredibly freaking fantastic! Weak era arguement?! So out the window it goes! Old man Roger at no. 3 and standing toe to toe with the best players today; gosh, what would a prime Roger do to the generation of today??!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Elizabeth Roger makes it hard not to be upbeat.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to hear from you Ronster. But I agree with Alex Roger needs to win this. He can’t afford to go and lose in yet another MS final against someone he owns 15-0 on a fast surface. That wouldn’t bode well for his USO chances. But I don’t think he will lose.

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    veronica Reply:

    Haha, you creative genius! Ronster! You got me there for a minute, Ru-an; didn’t quite knew who you were referring to! You guys are mean competitors, Ru-an, Alex, and now Charlie! I guess we girls have softer hearts, ha! OK, guys, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. Yes, it would be extremely damaging to lose to someone you own; Yes, Roger is not in a mood to lose it;(you know what? I believe he will win it tomorrow!) Yes, it was a quick match against Raonic with little energy expended. I agree completely with all that. But what I am saying is IF the worst scenario, the horror of all horrors and the inexplicable happens; that fatigue finally catches up with Roger (in Toronto it was just his first week so despite the crazy scheduling, there should be no excuses for tiredness there)and Roger comes out flat/sluggish and Ferrer plays the match of his life, then I won’t consider this kind of loss as a make or break or a step back for Roger and it wouldn’t dent his confidence. Although winning Cincy would sky rocket his confidence, at the same time, it would not dent it if he loses. Disappointed and frustrated maybe. That’s all. Roger would know he is hitting some great form and it is just a little hitch of a bad schedule that’s done him in. Roger has come too far to allow these losses to take him a step back; despite the finals losing streak, I firmly believe that. And Charlie, although it is more acceptable that he lost to Tsonga by virtue of Tsonga having ability to beat all top 3 guys; for me, Toronto was poor. Roger didn’t show up. No excuses. Tsonga wasn’t even playing as well as he had in his earlier matches. But Ru-an, you did so well jinxing (or is it anti-jinxing?) Roger in the Murray match. Do that again, Ru-an so Roger will win! Haha!

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    Vily Reply:

    I am sorry if I am joining the discussion a bit late… but even as I appreciate and respect all the points that Veronica has made, I am gonna have to agree with Alex and Ru-an on this one.

    If Roger loses tomorrow (about 20% chance), I am gonna say that Roger is an outright favourite to get to the final of the US Open … But Lose?! Is that what we want?! I mean yes it’s great to make finals. Roger has made 8 of them. He’s made a Grand Slam Final and 4 Masters 1000 Finals. But at the end of the day, trophies and victories are what counts. Roger stated that earlier on his career he didn’t know how to lose a final. He had won 24 straight finals supposedly. So I bet tired or no tired, Roger wants to win this and frankly, he’s got to win this. He needs to close to the deal. Only then I’ll feel that he can WIN the US Open. Because getting to the top of the mountain and falling just before you reach the peak is not good enough. Roger knows that and the fact that it’s a fast court, he won’t let that opportunity slip… It almost feels like he’s gonna be THAT extra motivated to just get it done this time.

    It would be an absolute aberration if he doesn’t manage to win here.. But I predict a 6th title in 6 tries (100% Strike rate as Ru-an likes to say).. :-) )

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  6. I agree with you Ru-an, losing to Ferrer would be extremely damaging, because at least Tsonga has beaten him before in major tournaments, so I wasn’t too surprised when he lost to him, but Ferrer has NEVER beaten him, so to allow another of his pigeons to get a win over him will not do any good for his confidence. I feel that if he can finally win one of these big titles, he will be ready to give the USO everything he has to go for a record-breaking 6th USO and of course his 18th slam.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    No doubt about it Charlie. He needs to finally get that MS title under the belt just before the Open to give him that winning feeling. This is his moment that he must seize and I have full faith that he will.

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    Vily Reply:

    I agree totally!!! Bar some terrible inexplicable thing happening, Roger is winning today. He MUST!!! And he WILL! Finally!

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  7. All right guys, 4 against 1, how can I win?! Haha! Hey! Where are all the ladies?! Come, back me up pray! These warrior Nadal-like guys are just killin’ it! Haha! No worries, guys, Roger’s got this in the bag. He would give an arm and a leg to win this one, you can bet on it. I wonder though what you guys would be commenting should Roger lose this!

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