That was another flawless performance from the GOAT. Roger broke in the opening game of the match and once more to take a 5-2 lead. During the first set he dropped only two points on serve, holding serve to love twice. Gasquet just couldn’t get a sniff. In the second set Roger got the break again to go ahead 2-1, but Gasquet broke right back as he came up with some screaming winners off his weaker forehand side. It wasn’t so much Roger’s level dropping as it was Gasquet lifting his. However Gasquet just couldn’t stay with JesusFed as Roger broke again in the seventh game. At 5-4 Roger served out the match with yet another love hold. It was a virtuoso serving performance from Roger as he finished with a 75% first serve percentage. He also converted 67% of break points. It’s pretty safe to say that this was JesusFed.
It is just great to see Roger playing like this in full flow again. And of course the indoor courts have a lot to do with it. If only there were more indoor courts and more fast, low bouncing surfaces, Roger would be doing a lot better at this stage of his career. You can just see what a difference the indoor courts makes to the consistency of his backhand. You hardly see any shanks and players can’t attack it much. Also Roger’s attacking and volleying abilities really pays off in these conditions. We all know Roger can play on slow, high bouncing surfaces, but given his attacking game style these conditions is just that much better for him. Roger will now play against Monaco who beat Fish after Fish withdrew in the third set. The score was 1-6, 7-6(6), 1-2 when Fish withdrew. I think Fish may have had a match point or two in the second set.
Monaco has been showing some good from of late, making the final of Valencia and now being in the quarters of a Masters Series. However, he will get utterly destroyed tomorrow by a far superior player. Monaco has nothing to hurt Roger with, certainly less than Gasquet, and I can already smell some bakery goods being cooked up by Bakerer. Roger leads Monaco 3-0 in the head-to-head, having won their last meeting at this year’s US Open 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. Roger was in similar form then and you can expect a similar scoreline tomorrow. Today Murray also destroyed Roddick 6-2, 6-2, looking in promising form himself. Murray will play Berdych next, who qualified for the Masters Cup today when he beat Tipsarevic. It does very much look like Roger and Murray will face off in the semis now, unless Berdych can pull off something special.
In the other half of the draw Djokovic was let off the hook by his countryman Troicki as is usually the case, and now comes up against Tsonga. Tsonga leads the head-to-head 5-4 and I think he has a good chance tomorrow. Djokovic still doesn’t look in prime shape and said he felt his shoulder again against Troicki. He may even aggravate the injury against Tsonga. I don’t think Djokovic should have played in Paris, but I guess he just couldn’t say no to $1.6 m. The last semi-final spot will be taken by the winner of Isner and Ferrer.
Tomorrow’s OOP: http://www.fft.fr/sites/default/files/programmevendredi.pdf