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.