It has been confirmed that Rafa will make his comeback to the tour at the Montreal Masters Series event after being sidelined due to knee problems since the French Open. Roger is still uncertain due to Mirka being pregnant. The article says her due date is 10 August. Montreal starts on August 8, and I’m sure Roger wants to be there when the baby is born. So it’s hard to know what his plans are. If he decides not to play at Montreal it means he will only have the one warm up tournament for the US Open in Cincinnati. Missing Montreal is not that much of a problem in terms of ranking points as he lost in the second round there last year to Gilles Simon. Rafa on the other hand is the defending champion, so no shortage of points for him to defend.
With Rafa’s injury problems it may mean that Roger will go even further ahead in the rankings, even if he doesn’t play in Montreal. In terms of his preparation for the US Open I don’t see it being that big a deal either if he misses Montreal. He is now so full of confidence, he didn’t play any warm up tournament to Wimbledon and still won it. He must be feeling so in control right now and I’m sure he can still put in the work on the practice court. Rafa on the other hand desperately needs match practice before the US Open. His last match was a demoralizing loss against Soderling in the French Open, and he will desperately be looking for some confidence. He is not like Roger who can just step on court after a long break and be successful either, he is the type of player who has to stay on top of his game.
I’m looking forward now to see how he deals with adversity and I wonder what his results will be until the end of the year. I don’t think he has much of a chance defending his title at Montreal, it will almost be like a test run to see how he is feeling back in tournament play. And I don’t give him much of a chance at the US Open either. In fact there is a good possibility that he will slip even further back in the rankings towards the end of the year. Someone like Murray can easily pass him in the rankings, and maybe even Djokovic. Having said that Rafa is a fighter and I hope he can overcome adversity the way Roger did so that the rivalry can continue. I prefer him being Roger’s main rival to Murray, and so far it’s been a great rivalry.
I hope for all the fans’ sake that Roger will be back at Montreal, but if he doesn’t return then at least we have the birth of his baby to look forward too. A little Fed is on the way!