It was a pretty decent start for against Dabul. Dabul reminded me quite a bit of Falla. He is a lefty and have nothing really big. He is also the second shortest player in the draw at 5’7. But Roger is a different player now than he was at Wimbledon where he came very close to losing to Falla in the first round. This is the difference that confidence make. Roger took the game to Dabul and never looked in any trouble at all. The encouraging thing was to see how often he came to the net. I especially like the chip-and-charge and serve-and-volley plays. Roger did the same thing last year, but he may be doing even more of it this year. This is what Annacone is there for so that may be the reason for it. It’s just refreshing to see this kind of tennis. The US Open is basically the only slam left that rewards this kind of tennis. Even Wimbledon has disappointed.
There is one area of concern for Roger though, and that is the break point conversion rate. This is something that has been a problem for him for a while now. However if I remember correctly I think it was better in Cincy. His break point conversion rate against Dabul was 5/19, which is pretty horrendous. There were two games in the second set where Roger was up 40-0 on Dabul’s serve. Not breaking on either of those occasions is nothing short of pathetic. The score should have at least been 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. But I don’t see this as too big of a deal right now. It was his first round and there was still a lot of sloppy play. The important thing was that he was never in any danger of losing a set and looked comfortable. He even spoiled us with that amazing tweener. It’s certainly not hard to forgive him for the break point conversion rate after he made that shot.
That tweener was ever better than the one he hit last year against Djokovic. I mean it’s debatable but I enjoyed watching this one more. He had so much ground to make up to even get to the ball that he ended up right against the fence after he hit it. And to be able to control it moving at that speed just takes incredible skill and control. Roger’s serve was working well with a 64% first serve percentage and 18 aces. I also like how he is still being more attacking on the return. The faster the courts are the more important the serve and return becomes. It was just nice to see Roger having his confidence back and having fun out there again. It is good to know the Roger has his mojo back. Roger is now 16-0 in night session matches after this win, and has qualified for the world tour finals as well.
Presser: They ask Roger again about the Gillette trick shot, and he refuses to tell them if it’s real or not. Gotta love how he still teases people, even though I’m 99% sure now that it is not real.