A Federer vs Nadal final is still possible in Basel, but it’s still a small possibility at this point. Nadal should really have lost already after being down 1-6, 4-5* 0-30 and 0-3 in the final set tiebreak but came back in his usual never-say-die way to win 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(4). Rosol came out pretty much in the zone just blasting winners left and right and really should have closed Nadal out. No doubt he helped Nadal’s cause with a good dose of choking.
But in the end you have to give Nadal a lot of credit for winning this. For all intents and purposes, it looked like Rosol would just blast him off the fast indoor courts in straight sets, but he miraculously found a way back. In the third set, he was leading by a break but then he became distracted and complained to the umpire that Rosol was doing something with his racquet on the return before every second serve.
Nadal gave Rosol the proper sendoff
There was a good amount of mental warfare going on in this match. But mostly from Rosol. He was doing everything in his power to distract Nadal and succeeded in the third set when he broke back. Nadal is not a guy you want to piss off too much, though, and in the end Rosol paid dearly for provoking the beast. He ended up looking pretty amateurish after choking on two occasions when he had the match within his grasp.
He also came off as a jerk. I can’t say that I’m particularly crazy about Czech players myself. Rosol, Stepanek, and Berdych all have strange personalities. So I actually took a fair amount of satisfaction out of this result, but also because the Fedal final is still a possibility. Clearly Nadal did not feel very comfortable on the fast indoor conditions which makes this another telling win for him on the road back to his best.
He now plays Dimitrov who is a very beatable opponent. Rosol was in the zone so beating him would have given Nadal confidence. Dimitrov can play well in these conditions, but he’s been absolute garbage this year so I expect Nadal to win. Then Thiem defeated Haase yesterday after getting bageled in the first set, 0-6, 7-6(5), 7-5. That was good to see on a surface that doesn’t suit him either because he’s been struggling lately.
- Federer Routines Kukushkin
Today Federer looked much more comfortable than in Shanghai as expected as he defeated Kukushkin 6-1, 6-2. Federer is always going to fare well indoors, especially at home. Remember I said I still expect him to do well in Basel, Paris, and London. I’m sure he is now well rested and ready to make the best of these last three events, starting in Basel. That said, he was 4/13 on break points again.
He now plays Kohlschreiber and then the winner of Mannarino and Goffin so he won’t have any problems until the semi-finals at least. It will be interesting to see if Nadal is still alive at the semi-final stage whether it affects Federer negatively. Tomorrow there are some good matches including Anderson vs Coric, Stan vs Karlovic, and Nadal vs Dimitrov. Who do you have winning those matches?
The is in your court.