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Federer into the Rome QFs – will face Jerzy next

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Round 3 day at Rome was a mixed bag of comprehensive wins, hard fought losses, nail biting moments and one withdrawal. Thankfully for us, Roger Federer was in the first category. He defeated Gilles Simon, 6-1, 6-2 and is through to the Rome QFs.

FedStatsR3It was 62 minutes of gorgeous tennis. In my mind Roger was clinically efficient in the first set and more of an artist in the second. The first set took 23 minutes with Roger’s only ‘flaw’ being his 1st serve % which was at 55%. It didn’t matter however as he won 81% of his 1st serves and 77% of his second. Simon gave him only two break point opportunities and he seized them both. In the second set, the 7th game was key with Simon fighting off 4 break points before Roger finally took the game to go up a double break to 5-2. He served it out with a love hold and aced at match point to wrap it up. Roger had more errors in the second set but it’s because he began to play and experiment with his shots. As he himself said in the post-match interview, he used his full arsenal of shots and most of them worked beautifully. Time and time again he used his drop shots to make Simon scramble to the net. He had gorgeous volleys and laser like forehands and backhands from the back of the court. Roger kept flirting with the lines and corners and winning almost every time with Swiss precision and showing us the never-ending depths of his talent.

Roger will next face the mercurial Polish star Jerzy Janowicz who took out Tsonga in Round 2 and Gasquet in Round 3 and is hungry for another top 10 scalp.http://www.foxsportsasia.com/tennis/news/detail/item973580/ He is a big guy, with big game and one who moves surprisingly well for someone his size. As Federer said in his interview, he hasn’t played Jerzy before and his breakthrough was in Paris Bercy last year which Roger didn’t play. I think he will not underestimate Jerzy one-bit. He might need time to get used to him in the first set but, provided we still see Federer in his current form, he has far too much variety to let Jerzy settle into a rhythm. It is absolutely crucial that Roger serves as well as he has so far, and not get broken so he can focus on Jerzy’s service games instead. I keep thinking of consistency being the key factor for Roger this year, he needs to maintain his high level and if he does this today, I think he will prove too difficult for Janowicz to handle. Fingers crossed that the Roger of the past two days also shows up today.

One interesting comment from Roger before I end this post. In his interview Roger was asked about whether it would make a difference if he was seeded #2 at Roland Garros and he simply said ‘no’ with a smile and I was laughing. I totally agree, because he could still get Rafa in the SFs at the very least and then Novak in the SFs. And as he pointed out, they all need to get there first and this year has already been a somewhat shaky year in my opinion for the top guys so who knows what will happen 10 days from now. For now though, we are still in Rome, so strap your seat-belts on, we’re in for another exciting match tonight at 9pm, local time. Allez Roger!

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2 thoughts on “Federer into the Rome QFs – will face Jerzy next

  1. Well… He’s done it again. Impressive play, impressive mentality. I was again so proud to be a fan. Applauded behing my laptop for some of the breathtaking shots, hold my breath a few times, smiled the entire match (even during this incredibly long game, cause I knew he was going to take it in the end) and am still smiling.

    Simon obviously was in awe too judging from the smile he gave Rog at the net when it was done. It was like ‘well… I really didn’t have an answer to that man’, and he didn’t. Rog took him out of his comfort zone a lot and was dictating it from the 1st service game. And of course he had a few shanks here and there. Even in the zone, he is still human and as you said that mainly happened in the 2nd set when he was trying stuff too… But some people on Twitter were quite harsh about that, which I will never understand. Luckily, I could block it out again at some point and just enjoy what was happening in front of my eyes.

    Jerzy up next. You know what I think about him. He can be an interesting player, but unfortunately his attitude overshadows his play. Rog sounded focused last night, when he talked about Jerzy though. He has a good idea about his strengths and no doubt will inform himself about this week’s matches too, so I have no doubt there will be a game plan and a game plan B if needed. Sure he needs time to get used to Jerzy, but as you said before, that works the other way too. There is a lot to do about Jerzy already beating 2 top10 players this week but from what I heard and the bit I saw from both matches, that wasn’t necessarily cause Jerzy outplayed them but more cause Jo and Gasquet weren’t at their best this week. If that’s true, that would put things in perspective. But no doubt he’ll go into this match with a lot of confidence. Btw, shame they’re not going to read all Rog’s accomplishments out loud when they enter the court… It scared the hell out of Tomic before. Who knows what it’ll do to Jerzy if they did that 😉

    Anyway, if he stays focused and as sharp as the first two matches, I see absolutely no reason why he wouldn’t school Jerzy and put him back in his place (and we all know that’s needed!). He definitely deserves the faith that he’ll get the job done! 🙂

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    • Thank you for your comments Natasja! Insightful as usual! I too noticed the smile from Gilles at the end, it was good to see, Gilles was not at his very best but I think it wouldn’t have mattered last night, Gilles probably knew that too. I didn’t see too many harsh comments on my TL but perhaps it’s because I wasn’t there much, only in between games, which Roger kept winning 🙂 As for Jerzy, I’m sure Paul’s done some scouting already (I didn’t see Sev last night in the box, did you?) and they will come up with a game plan. Jerzy has also had to work much harder to get to the QFs than Roger so we’ll see how that matches up. Your comment about reading out Roger’s accomplishments on the mic as he enters the court made me smile instantly. You know before Tomic said that, I never even thought of it from the opponents point of view, especially someone who faces him for the first time. To realize you’re going up against 17 grandslams and EVERYTHING else he’s done, that’s almost mean in a way! I had a great impression of Jerzy after Bercy but since then his attitude has been poor to say the least. He really does need to be taught a lesson. Hopefully Roger can do that tonight! I know the Roger from yesterday can! Thanks again for your comments and for reading despite the delay! 3am was a little too late for me to write last night!

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