…and yet another record crumbles under the weight of the one and only GOAT. Roger became the first man in history today to reach the final of all the Masters Series finals as he reached his first final in Paris. And what a performance it was. I actually missed the first seven games, but I quickly gathered that Roger was in God mode. After yesterday’s ‘off’ match I predicted that Roger would be back today, and it was nice to see that I was right. These days Roger needs about one’off match per tournament when he is playing well. I also told you that Berdych is nothing special and that he is no match for Roger when he is on. Roger needed to prove that fact today as he has been struggling with Berdych of late. And he got just the start he wanted as he broke in the opening game. He continued putting on a master class as he wrapped up the opening set.
In the second set it was the same story as Roger broke in the opening game. He hit some amazing shots in the second set as well, including a blistering backhand pass and a sublime backhand flick pass. This was Federer at his best. After the first set you could be excused for worrying that Roger would take a vacation again, but there was no such thing going on. He even broke Berdych to love in the final game to rub it in. This was indeed a sweet victory. There is just something about Berdych which makes him hard to bare for many a Fedfan. It is not just the fact that he has beaten Roger three out of four times before this match. He is just a very annoying character. I knew Berdych has been having success against Roger of late simply because Roger has declined and played some very average tennis. There simply isn’t any other reason.
And how sweet it was to see Roger prove that today. I think Roger had enough of Berdych himself and was extra motivated today. What has Berdych achieved this year? It blows my mind that he even made the Masters Cup. Hopefully he is in Roger’s group so that Roger can give him another severe beating. Roger’s match stats was incredible. He made 70% first serves, had a winner to unforced error ratio of 34/13, he won 6/6 points at the net, and he converted 3/6 break points. That is God like. This goes down as one of Roger’s best performances of 2011, if not the best. Only the Roland Garros semi can rival it. And it is no surprise that it happened indoors. If there were more indoor events Roger would be winning more. It is that simple. With indoor tennis the natural conditions is taken out of the equation and therefor it makes for the cleanest, most attractive tennis.
Personally it is my favorite conditions to watch tennis in, and it’s a huge shame that there aren’t more indoor events. There is no possibility of having rain delays and wind and sun does not affect the players. Clearly the ATP Tour can to with more indoor events, if only it is to offset the grinding base line junk that Nadal and Djokovic has brought to the sport. Nothing these two players can come up with is even close to as watchable as the clinic Roger put on today. It is just the ultimate in tennis entertainment. Roger is now looking like he did last year this time when he went on a tear and won three indoor events. I think the same could happen this year. Only this year he had more rest and it is all happening in a shorter time frame. Roger will face the local favorite Tsonga in tomorrow’s final. Tsonga had a very tough semi against Isner which he won 3-6, 7-6(1). 7-6(3).
It was an entertaining affair as Tsonga saved three match points at 5-6 in the final set. I doubt fatigue will be a factor as Tsonga had a day off yesterday when Djokovic withdrew. But either way I think Roger is the big favorite. I think Roger will be all business tomorrow and win his first titles in Bercy. Of course you can never tell for certain, but I find it hard to believe that Roger will not show up tomorrow. He had his one off match against Monaco and has locked back into the zone. If he plays anything like today, Tsonga will be in for another fast beat down. Roger was in similar form this year at the US Open and beat Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Of course Roger lost to Tsonga at Wimbledon and Montreal this year, so another reminder of who is the boss would be just what the doctor ordered.
The head-to-head stands at 5-3 and Roger has to put distance between him and other players while he is indoors. I am now very excited for tomorrow. If Roger bags this title then suddenly 2011 looks a whole lot better, and he will go into London as the clear favorite. He will have a week to rest before London and something similar as last year would be on the cards. But the job isn’t done. Tsonga has got some serious weapons and the French crowd will be right behind him. I just think Roger will relish this opportunity to win a big tournament that he has never won before and come up with the goods once again tomorrow. Good luck GOAT!