It’s my off weekend and I won’t be home tomorrow when I think the Basel draw comes out, so I thought I’d make a post now. The biggest news about the draw is that Murray withdrew anyway, so there won’t be much more to say about it. The fact that Murray withdrew is great news as far as I’m concerned. You can find the entry list here, before Murray withdrew. Murray was really the one guy who stood in Roger’s way to an incredible 6th Basel title. With his withdrawal Roger becomes the overwhelming favorite. Roger may have been the favorite anyway, but he has been struggling a bit of late and Murray would have been a real threat.
It was important for me that Roger wins his home event. The US Open semi loss halted his momentum of 2012. It was a tough loss and his performance in Shanghai showed that he had not recovered yet. He looked emotionally tired. So it was important for me that he stopped the slide before the end of 2012. The 2012 season has been so good for Roger that it’s important for me that he needs to carry some of that momentum into 2013. If he doesn’t perform in his favorite indoor season it would spoil a lot of that momentum he gained. I’m always looking at the bigger picture rather than just living for the moment.
If Roger wants to keep playing until 2016 he needs to plan ahead. Yes, 2012 was amazing. But if he fails in his favorite indoor season his rivals will sense that he is self-satisfied with what he achieved in 2012, and that he will be there for the taking in 2013. I have accepted that Roger will lose the #1 ranking to Djokovic. That is inevitable. Therefor it is even more important that he makes a statement at the end of the year. If Roger wins Basel and the Masters Cup it will take a lot of shine off of Djokovic’s #1 ranking, and he will be in a good position to reclaim the #1 spot. It’s important to stay mentally on top of the competition.
Yes, Roger is mentally tired after a long year. But I feel if he wins Basel it will give him a shot of adrenalin and he will have a great chance at the Masters Cup as well. So the withdrawal of Murray plays into his hands. It will make it just that little easier to end the year on a high. Even if Djokovic is the year end #1, the year would still belong to Roger if he wins Basel and the Masters Cup. It would give him the mental edge. I mean if Roger wins 2 more titles it would give him 8 for the year, including Wimbledon, the Masters Cup, and Olympic silver. That would would win the year for him over Djokovic and Murray.
So even though the season is close to over I feel there is a lot on the line still. Roger is the reigning indoor king and I have a feeling he can really make that count by winning Basel and London. Forget Paris. I think Roger should definitely not play there. Playing three weeks in a row would be a mistake. Win Basel, take a week off, and come back to win London and the best player of the year title. This is the peRFect scenario and you know I am an optimistic fan. Yes I get it wrong sometimes, but that will not stop me from believing in my player. I think Roger has one more push left in him to make this another extraordinary year of his unrivaled career.