Paris QF: Federer def Monaco 6-3, 7-5 to Win 800th ATP Match

It was pretty obvious from the start today that JesusFed has left the stadium. Roger’s timing was off from the start as he dropped serve to fall behind 2-1. He started timing the ball a little better though and broke back to even thing at 3-3. He held serve and then broke again to lead 5-3. In the second set Roger’s timing was still way off, but I felt he had chosen the right time to have an off day. He was always going to be a huge favorite against Monaco, so he could afford for his level to drop. The second set was anything but plain sailing though. There were no breaks until 5-5, after which Roger took advantage of his third break point in the game. It was anything but a clean match. Roger made 35 unforced errors and there were a lot of shanks. But JesuFed had been present in the last three matches and he was bound to make an exit at some point.

This is just inevitable these days. Roger can’t keep the level of his prime up as consistently as he used to. Even when he is going  through a a good spell he has his off matches. But like I said, it is better than it came against Monaco and not someone else. If it happened against Berdych he would have lost. Berdych beat Murray 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in a messy match. In the last few games there were some serious choking. When Murray got broken at 4-4 in the third set he was down 0-40 on his serve. Berdych dumped two easy returns into the net and on the third break point Murray served a double. I mean it is just scandalous stuff for pro tennis. Murray showed once again just how badly he lacks in the mental department, and Berdych wasn’t much better. Roger has lost three of his last four matches against Berdych, and the one that he won was 7-6 in the third.

It seems Berdych has become a problem opponent for him. I’m hoping JesusFed will be back tomorrow and Roger gets a convincing win over Berdych for a change. He needs it. I don’t think there is any reason that he can’t if he plays like the last few days. Berdych really isn’t anything special to me. It is only when Roger is below par that he struggles against Berdych. If he serves well and play decisive tennis, then I can’t see why he should struggle with Berdych. Big news today was that Djokovic withdrew before his match with Tsonga. It is now pretty obvious to me that he showed up to take the $1.6m and in doing so he put his body at risk. He also cost the fans a match by withdrawing. And of course the fact that he withdrew means he won’t get another loss to his record. This is a pretty ridiculous rule by the ATP which needs changing.

How can you play a tournament and neither win nor lose? I mean it doesn’t make sense. Djokovic should really have 5 losses in the season by now, but according to the ATP he only has 4. By not winning Paris he has lost his chance of surpassing Roger’s 2006 season anyway. He now has to win the Masters Cup just to have a chance to equal it. If Roger was in the same situation I think he would have skipped Paris and gotten ready for the Masters Cup. Your health is more important than money, and so is your reputation. For this reason Roger will have more longevity than Djokovic and Nadal. He is motivated by love for the game, not money and greed. I still believe Roger has a great chance to win Paris for the first time. I think he had his one ‘off’ match now and will be back again against Berdych. Then there is no Djokovic in his way in the final either.

Highlights:

OOPhttp://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2011/352/op.pdf

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7 Comments

  1. A B performance from the master today. His timing on his groundstrokes was slightly off and he had to dial it down and not try to go for so many winners from the backcourt.

    Fortunately he was able compensate with his net game. He seemed to set up the rallies to approach a bit more often, rather than try to finish the points from the back, and came up with some gorgeous volleys to bail him out of tight spots, especially in the second set when Monaco had some chances at a set point.

    Good thing he got some volley practice today, because he’ll need every bit of it, plus the rest of his game, to handle the powerful Czech.

    Berdych played an outstanding match and exposed (for the umpteenth time) the fundamentally reactive nature of Murray’s game, pummeling winners and serving huge.

    Yes, there were a lot of errors, but Berdych’s style is high-risk anyhow (especially against a great defender like Murray) and Murray was under enormous pressure to take care of his own serve, and try to match Berdych’s pace by playing more attacking tennis than he usually would. Berdych was slightly more aggressive and he eventually prevailed.

    The draw was kind and allowed JesusFed to take a day off without serious repercussions. Hopefully he will be in the house relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take care of business tomorrow and Sunday!

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  2. Roger can do much better if only he finds a way to have a super day tomorrow.He has to be hungry for this tournament, his 3 nemesis out of his way, the door is wide open, this is an opprtunity he can´t afford to miss…I´m so loaded with hope of a win for Roger…so Come on Roger be “Roger Federer” and beat this cocky guy!!!

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  3. It’s not surprising Federer’s level dipped against Monaco after what happened in their last meeting (USO2011). He will be much more focused against Berdych.
    On the other hand, Berdych is very dangerous when he’s on. He hits strong and flat shots to the corners and puts his opponent on the defense. Federer must take the initiative and shouldn’t let Berdych find his rhythm. He also must make Berdych run as much as possible (Berdych should be tired after today’s match) and use the surface low bounce the keep the ball off Berdych striking zone. Finally, he must take the first set.
    Good luck.

    A word about Djokovic. He did “the right thing” – he got the money, didn’t lose a match and got more time to recover for London. His behavior follows the same line as in Basel – getting bagelled in the the 3rd set to make sure everybody knows he lost because of injury (so nobody thinks by mistake that he “just” lost).
    It is all fine except for one thing – it’s so classless. So far from Roger Federer.

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  4. I felt the same way. Roger’s timing was really off but he found a way to win. Ok, let’s be honest Monaco found a way not to win but he is ranked 34 in the world. Rankings don’t lie.
    The Berdych match will be much more difficult. If Berdych was on he would be taff to beat but he has never played two “great” matches in a row. I am looking forward to it. There are no moonballers in the semis. Tsonga, Isner, Berdych and Roger play attacking tennis.

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  5. It’s a bit off topic but nevertheless has been mentioned marginally in Ruan’s post, namely Novak Djokovic’s “shoulder injury”.
    Where’s the sport logic of pulling out back to back out of Basel and Paris (after having played a bit), but clearly intending to compete with the rest of the top in London ?
    Is Djokovic’s injury still bothering him really ?
    If this is the case, he better gives his body a “real break” and let the shoulder heal instead of soon competing again at the highest level. I myself am giving my own shoulder a couple of weeks rest to let it heal after having hurt it by playing some overheads with too much of power during amateur doubles. The pain doesn’t go away easy, despite having taken inflammatories. Unless Djokovic has some wonder doctor, he’s playing with his health and undermining his body.
    If the injury on the contrary is not bothering him anymore, it is quite unfair to leave the tournament in Paris in my opinion.
    Whatever is the case, in London there won’t be any place, any space for Djokovic to hide. If he’s not a hundred percent fit, his flight might turn into a glide, landing safely with his two feet again on earth.

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  6. Just watched Roger take it to Berdych. It was Federer at his best, strong serve. He made it look so easy…….. Good Luck in final tomorrow Roger.

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