Wow, what a day it was for sport! First the US qualifies for the second round of the Fifa World Cup after being robbed for the second time of a goal, then Federer takes care of business against an inspired opponent, and finally Isner and Mahut makes tennis history by playing the longest match of all time at 10 hours and counting. They will continue tomorrow after bad light stopped play for the second day in a row. You can read more about all the records that was broken HERE. This is truly an incredible match. Nothing like this will ever happen again, just like Federer’s 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals will never happen again. Federer himself was asked about the historic match and he said that he didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry when he saw what was happening. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see how this will conclude.
It may never conclude the way they are going now. But if they keep coming back day after day you would expect one of them to get tired eventually. The crazy thing is that it is a first round match, and they surely can’t let the winner play again tomorrow. That means a second round match must be played on Friday. To get back to Roger’s match, I was happy with his performance today. I call Bozoljac ‘Bozo’ because that is apparently his nickname. Roger started off well as he broke Bozo for a second time to take the first set. The second set was on serve until the tie break, where the one mini-break from Bozo was enough to win it. In the third Roger got the break early one and held on despite some inspired play from Bozo. In the fourth Bozo saved several break points with his big serve, but Roger would eventually edge him out in the tie break.
I was glad Roger could get it done in four sets. Another five setter after the Falla match would not have pleased me. In the end you have to say that Bozo played some inspired tennis and he was an awkward opponent. He certainly didn’t play like his ranking which is 153. He had a big serve with a wide toss that made the ball swing awkwardly. For this reason Roger seemed to struggle with his returns, and he wasn’t very aggressive on the return either. It was very different from the Falla match which was mostly base line rallies. This was more like old school grass court tennis with Bozo serving big and attacking the net. Again there are people suggesting this was not a good performance from Roger, but I beg to differ. This is only the second round and Bozo played really well. I thought it was definitely an improvement from the last match, even though Roger won’t admit that in his presser.
Next he’s got Arnaud Clement who he has a 7-3 head-to-head record against and hasn’t lost to since 2002. If I have to make a prediction I think this will be a straight set win. And Roger needs one just to clam things down. Clement has nothing big to hurt him with, so this match should really give us a better idea of where his confidence level is at.
Presser: I like the way Roger responds to the first question. He is always abrupt with the media which I find funny. He gets asked about the court speed of Wimby which has changed significantly over the last few years. They are using a different soil now which makes the ball bounce higher and has clearly helped Nadal. If they didn’t change the surface Roger may well have had 7 Wimby titles already, but he will have his chances this year.