In the end not exactly the result I expected but as we know in tennis anything can happen on any given day. And the more I think about this match the more I feel the result was meant to be. It was really an ‘off’ match for Roger, although he came very close to turning the match around in the second set. After Roger was in destructive mode against Seppi everyone kind of expected that he would beat Djokovic, but from the start it was apparent that he was not ‘feeling it’ out there. There was a lot of mishits and it looked like Roger 2.0 of old. The fact that he lost serve for a second time at 2-4 was not a good sign. I did however expect him to make a comeback in the second set. With Djokovic getting the break in the second set and serving for the match at 5-4 that didn’t look like it was gonna happen.
At 30-40 Roger was down match point and then came alive with an inside out forehand winner which dropped on the line. He went on to break two points later after Djokovic hit a forehand long. I’ll be lying if I said I wasn’t highly delighted. I sensed that the momentum had swung and that we may be in for one of the biggest and most dramatic comebacks in recent history. But the momentum hadn’t swung quite yet. Roger still had to win the second set, and for that he needed to win a tie break. But when he lost the first point of the tie break on his serve it was another bad sign. The first point of the tie break is always important. It often sets the tone for the tie break and that’s what happened here. Roger could never get the advantage back and it was all over.
It was disappointing but like I said it was just one of those bad days and I am not bothered by it in the least. I already said in my last post that I won’t mind that much if Roger loses here. It may just work out very well for him. If Djokovic goes on to beat Nadal today then Roger remains #2, and Nadal and Djokovic may end up in the same half of Roland Garros. They can then go ahead and tire each other out before a possible final with Roger. From the start of Rome I had the feeling this tournament would be decided between Nadal and Djokovic. It is slow red clay and they both had something to prove after Madrid. Roger did what needed to be done. He won Madrid and made semis in Rome, in both cases gaining points from last year.
Anyone who is not happy with that is not a Fedfan. I am amazed if not shocked at seeing some Fedfan reactions after this loss. Roger plays one bad match on his worst surface which could work out very well for him and people assume he is back to Roger 2.0. It’s unacceptable. Saying that Roger tanked is also wrong. Roger doesn’t tank but subconsciously he may have known that losing here is on his best interest. Beating Djokovic and losing to Nadal in another clay final wouldn’t have helped his cause. Been there done that. It would have given Nadal a boost before Roland Garros, cost him his hard won #2 ranking, and saved Nadal from his nemesis Djokovic. Don’t people see these things?? Like I said, I am more than fine with this result.
Now it is up to Djokovic to go beat Nadal, and I for one is very much looking forward to the final. If Djokovic beats Nadal it sets up things perfectly for the French. Each of the big three then have a Masters Series title in the clay season. They all will have a lot of confidence going to Paris and if Nadal and Djokovic ends up in the same half you really couldn’t have a better scenario. Not just for Fedfans but for tennis in general. Djokovic and Nadal is slightly more comfortable on clay than Roger and therefor it sets things up nicely if they play a tough semi and the winner faces Roger in the final. In fact if Djokovic wins such a semi it would be ideal because Fedal match ups especially at the French are boring and old. A Djokerer final would be superb.
Djokovic have had some personal problems during the clay season and I think this is now his time to shine. So I predict a Djokovic win. Ajde!