Before Wimbledon this year Roger have never played against Melzer, even though they have been together on the tour for a considerable time. Since then Roger has already made the head-to-head 3-0 and haven’t lost a set in the process. In the first set today JesusFed was in the house once more. There was simply nothing Melzer could do but hold serve at 0-5 to avoid the bagel. In the second set, Roger toned it down a bit while Melzer upped his game. There were no breaks of serve until the tie-break. In the breaker, Melzer got the first mini-break, but Roger hit a lucky shank forehand which got him the break back. Then at 4-4 Melzer dump a nervous volley into the net. Roger then served out the remaining two points without a problem to make his first semi-final in Paris. It’s hard to believe he has never been past the quarter finals here, given that it suits his game well.
Hopefully, he will take the title now, which means he then needs Monte Carlo, Rome, and Shanghai to complete Masters Series titles at every venue. Today Roger gave another amazing service display. He served 18 aces, just two double faults, and made 67% first serves. These courts really do assist the serve, and Roger is making full use of it. Incidentally the winners and unforced errors were the same as against Stepanek, 33-13. Roger didn’t approach the net as often as yesterday though, winning 4/7 in the forecourt. On break points, he was 2/6. So again it was an exceptionally high-quality match from the GOAT. What is a bit sad to me is that Murray lost to Monfils in three sets. I would have liked to see Roger play against Murray to improve the head-to-head, but it doesn’t matter all that much. It means he will have an easier match and he is still 2-0 against Murray in slams.
In the other semi-finals, it will be Soderling vs Llodra, who beat Roddick and Davydenko respectively in straight sets. It’s not really surprising that the French have two players in the semi’s, given that the French excel in their homeland. Roger has never lost to Monfils in five meetings, and I don’t think he is doing so here. With the departure of Murray, Roger is now even a bigger favorite to win this title. Not that I think Murray had a chance against Roger in this form and on these courts, but he could probably have given him a tougher match than Monfils. The only guy left that can possibly test Roger is Soderling, but then again in this form and on these courts, Roger is probably unbeatable. I’d like to see Roger play Soderling in the final. That could give him more chance to avenge that French Open loss as well.
Since the beginning of the week I felt Roger will be hard to stop in this event. It does look like he is about to win a fifth title this year, and if he does so he will be the firm favorite to win the Masters Cup as well. Can you see it? Four consecutive titles, six titles in the year including a grand slam, a Masters Cup, two MS titles, a 500, and a 250. It’s starting to look very possible…