This match turned out maybe a little tougher than expected, but in the end Ferrero played really well. Roger started off in JesusFed mode and got breaks in the 6th and 8th games to win the first set. He was really spanking that forehand. In the second set Ferrero started fighting back and Roger’s level dropped just a tad. It was enough for Ferrero to get the break in the 10th game, and he won the second set after Roger hit a forehand long. Fedfans were getting nervous as usual, but I knew this was Roger 3.0 and that he doesn’t go down easily. In the second set he locked back into JesuFed mode and broke Ferrero in the second game with a cracking forehand up the line. At 4-1 after a long baseline rally Roger exploded with a backhand up the line to break Ferrero again.
There were some very nice backhand returns and backhand down the line winners in the third set. In the end Ferrero played a great match just to be able to take a set off Roger 3.0. Maybe the difference in this match compared some of Roger’s last few matches was the first serve percentage which was on the low side. I think because this is red clay and slower conditions we can expect that Roger’s first serve percentage will drop. The surface puts more pressure on his serve and therefor causes it to drop. That is my theory anyway. We will see how it plays out. In Madrid it was very high. Red clay is undoubtedly Roger’s worst surface, strange as it feels to say that with everything he has achieved on the surface.
As for Nadal it is of course his favorite surface. He has been cruising through the draw and beat a very good Berdych today in straight sets. It is hard to see him being stopped here. For Roger to beat him on this surface will be very hard indeed. Djokovic might have a better chance, although he did struggle against Monaco, coming back from a set down. Today however he made short work of Tsonga. The other semi-finalist is Ferrer, who beat Gasquet in straight sets. So Nadal will play Ferrer and I don’t see any way how he loses that. Now we are just waiting for Roger to play Seppi, who is having a great tournament by his standards after beating Wawrinka in a thriller yesterday. Stan had 5 match points I think and choked it away pretty badly.
So now Roger will come up against an Italian with his home crowd behind him. I can’t see how this will make any difference to the outcome of the match. Seppi has no weapons while Roger has weapons to spare. I expect a straight set win. The head-to-head is also 8-0, so I think we are looking at a Djokerer semi which would be very interesting indeed. I think Nadal and Djokovic is playing well again on their favorite red clay while Roger is less at home. We will see how things pan out. Roger still has business to take care of before a mouthwatering semi with Djokovic. Lets do it!