Today against Llodra was a better performance from Federer as he shook off the rust after a long break from tournament play. It wasn’t a good start for Federer though as he got broken in his opening service game to trail 2-0. Not exactly a confident start, but at least he got the break back to trail 3-4. Both players kept holding serve and in the tie break Federer raced into a 6-1 lead. Llodra held serve once more after which Federer broke again to win the first set. In the second set Federer broke in the fourth game and the sixth game to take a 5-1 lead. There was some playing around between the players as it became obvious that Federer was going to win the match, and at one point Llodra served and underarm serve which caught Federer off guard and made him miss the return. At 5-1 Federer played a sloppy game and got broken, but had no problem in holding serve at 5-3.
I thought it was a more polished performance than the match against Chela, but that is to be expected after Roger’s break. I thought Roger’s returns was probably the key for him. He kept blocking the ball back to Llodra’s feet who is a serve-and-volleyer, which put him under constant pressure. He also looks like he is still trying to be more aggressive on the return which is good to see. Next up is the match that we have been expecting between Roger and Berdych. Roger lost his last two matches against Berdych including the one in Miami where he had match point. This is for me really where we will see if Roger is improving. He was expected to beat Chela and Llodra, so those matches didn’t tell us much. Berdych is the type of player that Roger has been having problems with. Berdych himself had a close three set win over Dolgopolov.
Someone wants to eat Roger like an ice cream (Source)
Against Berdych I’d like to see Roger at least try something different, whatever it may be. I’m sure him and Annacone will come up with some sort of game plan. I just hope that Roger will execute it under pressure and not just allow Berdych to dominate. Other good news is that Roger told reporters that winning 20 grand slams is a realistic goal for him. I don’t think he is bluffing because it’s not out of the question if he can turn things around with Annacone. But the important thing is that he is thinking big and even if he just adds two more slams that will be great. He also says that he knows his body better than ever, which is important as he ages. You can read more about it HERE.
Tomorrow’s OOP: http://www.rogerscupmen.com/men/pdf/OP_aug13_10.pdf