The Paris Bercy draw has come out but I’ve restrained from discussing it so far as the Swiss Indoors Basel is still underway. However, considering it’s the eve of the Swiss Tournament and looking at Roger Federer’s draw I can’t help but comment on it. Basically because I feel it supports my suggestion even more as to why he should just skip the tournament and take the week to prepare for the World Tour Finals in London.
As you can see, after getting a round 1 bye, he faces off against possibly Gilles Simon in round 2 with whom his H2H is 2-2. Should he get through that, he should face off against Nishikori, but given his injury it is very possible that he could face off against Benoit Paire, whom he defeated in the Swiss Indoors QFs. And then in the QFs who should be waiting for him but Tomas Berdych the man who has been in red hot form and beat Federer in the US Open for his first ever night match loss at Flushing Meadows and his earliest exit from the US Open since he crashed out in the 4th round in 2003. Berdych ALWAYS gives Roger problems. Tomas has had issues in the past with consistency, he can’t keep up his red hot streak for very long. But so far, since the US Open he has been going strong and will prove to be a very difficult obstacle for the maestro to overcome. If Roger does get through to the semis he will face yet another nemesis, the newest Grand Slam Champion who has a 10-8 record against him and beat him comprehensively in Shanghai 2 weeks ago. Tough match doesn’t even begin to describe it when facing Andy Murray. Now assuming he gets through all of these formidable opponents, he will have the most in-form player in the world right now waiting for him in the finals, Novak Djokovic. Except for perhaps his round 3 match, all other matches will be brutal right till the end.
It is also crucial to remember that by the time Nole reaches the finals, he will become the new #1 player regardless of whether Roger defends his title or not. In fact, all Novak has to do is reach the semis, just to make that happen. Also if Roger reaches the finals, win or lose, he will still need to rush off to London right away before the World Tour Finals get underway the very next day. No downtime, no practice time, and he will have been going strong for 2 solid weeks of tennis by then already.
I really think he should skip Bercy this time around. Bercy was one of the few Masters 1000s he hadn’t won yet and now that he’s ticked that off his bucket list he should give himself a week to ease into London, a tournament he absolutely loves. I believe it is right up there with the Grand Slams in his eyes (and mine too!). It has been a seriously long year and he needs to pace himself not just for London but for being fresh for 2013. And if he is back on song in 2013, he might just get his #1 ranking from Novak right back to add on to his 302 weeks at the top. Skip Bercy Roger! And win the World Tour Finals for a record 7th time!