Wow, what a beat down! Soderling made a lot of unforced errors in this match, but this was another fantastic performance from the GOAT. He missed a break point in the first game of the match, but I refused to believe we will see the old Roger today. He then took every break opportunity from then on, ending with 6/7 break points conversions. I actually made a tweet early on saying that it is very easy for Roger to beat Soderling when he plays normal tennis. Roger just has too many ways too hurt the one dimensional Soderling. If this doesn’t prove to you that Roger has the tools to still beat these power hitters then nothing will. But it all comes down to confidence. Roger didn’t even bring his A+ game today. He just played with enough confidence to employ the right game plan, which proved to be the undoing of Soderling.
When he moves Soderling around and vary the spins it becomes very hard for him. People will say Soderling just played terribly, but this has a lot to do with the way Roger played. Soderling was never allowed to settle from the back of the court which caused many unforced errors. Obviously at the French Open Soderling was in the zone, while Roger was not feeling very confident. That match is now well and truly forgotten after this win. Djokovic also won 6-2, 6-3 against Garcia-Lopez today, which means we now have the semi I wanted. I think Djokovic should be scared. I don’t care how well he’s playing. When Roger is playing as well as he is now Djokovic is in trouble. The US Open loss is also still fresh in Roger’s mind. We know Roger is not the type of guy who has revenge in his mind, but if there is one guy I know he does not like then it is Djokovic.
He will certainly have some extra motivation to win this match after what transpired in New York. In the other side of the draw Murray had an easy win over Tsonga as well, while Monaco upset Melzer in three sets. It looks like we could have another Montreal scenario here if Murray makes the final, which would give Roger the chance to turn that result around as well. The point swing between Roger and Rafa now stands at 870. If he beats Djokovic it will be 1110 and he will pass Djokovic in the rankings again(apologies for yesterday when I said he must win the event to pass Djokovic). This could all work out very nicely for Roger if he wins this event, but there is some way to go still. Djokovic and Murray won’t be pushovers. But judging from what I have seen from Roger so far this week I would have to make him the favorite to walk away with the silverware.
In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he does so without dropping a set. I’m excited, because these last few events of the year could prove to be a very productive time for Roger. If he could win this event he would be riding a wave of confidence and would have a chance to rack up some more titles. But I am getting ahead of myself again. All focus now goes to the semi-final match against Djokovic which is like a final. The head-to-head now stands at 10-6. I think if Roger keeps up his attacking play and confidence he can’t lose this one. What makes Djokovic tough for Roger is his impressive defensive play. He gets a good stretch from the back of the court and keeps a lot of balls in play. But this is only a problem for Roger if he is not fully confident. If he plays like he has been he will overpower Djokovic and finish off weak replies at the net.