After a hiatus, I’m back! Life outside tennis has kept me busy and to be honest, I just wasn’t finding the groove to write. I was pretty excited for Rome but that ended up being a 72 hour detour for Roger Federer. He came, he played, he left.
Rome is in my memory for his first interviews post the birth of his twin boys rather than the Chardy match. I don’t have much to say about it. He had a match point but Chardy ultimately won. Since it was only one match, everyone had their own interpretation of it. Some said it was worrisome that not only did he lose his first match, but also that he doesn’t have enough match practice before Roland Garros. Others said that since he only became a father 5 days prior, the fact that he played at all was a miracle. I myself fall somewhere in between. Would I have liked him to get a few more match wins? Yes. Did I think he was so distracted and unfocussed that he allowed Chardy to win? No. He might have been tired for sure but watch the 3rd set again; he fought tooth and nail till the end. He was upset when he lost and Chardy won fair and square, not because Roger ‘allowed’ him to.
He didn’t come to Rome to lose right away. Maybe not to win the tournament but if he didn’t think he would win a few matches he wouldn’t have left his family so I think he played the match fully intent on winning rather than just to hang out in Rome. There were so many variables at play in that match, he was tired, Chardy was amazing, the wind was ridiculous, and who knows what else. Basically I think of this match as an anomaly that tells me nothing about how his form is, going into Roland Garros. Speaking of which….
Roland Garros starts today! And our Maestro is up second on Chatrier. Here is the schedule. He has actually been in Paris since last Monday I believe, and judging from the various practice clips and photos, not only is he looking sharp, he is also enjoying himself immensely. Here is a clip of his practice with Wawrinka and here is another one with Hewitt. He looks fresh and eager and that’s how we want him heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. He just about managed to remain ranked at #4 at the end of the Rome tourney so he was able to have his own quarter in the French Open draw. He is in the same half as Novak Djokovic. I have long since given up on draw analysis because #1. 2013 taught me never to look beyond the first match and #2. Draws usually open up in the most random of ways that render predictions obsolete. So you won’t get any draw analysis from me. There are a zillion other sites and blogs out there dedicated to that anyway 😉 At most you will get a link to the draw from me so here you go.
What we do know is that his R1 opponent is 26 year old Slovakian player Lukas Lacko, ranked 88 in the world. They have met only once before, Australian Open 2011 R1 which Roger won in a quick straight sets match. However, Roger has said he’s practiced with Lacko a few times and knows his style of play and ability to take the ball early. This looks straightforward on paper but I will reserve any comments till the match is over. Not too long to go now! Meanwhile I’ll leave you with some videos. Here’s a media day video that features a bit of our champion. Here are two Moët & Chandon videos of Roger looking oh so divine! Video 1 and video 2. You might have to sign in to see these since there might be an age restriction for this video depending on which country you are in. Lastly, here’s a fun video of Stefan and Roger trying out google glass 😀
Good luck for the match Maestro! Allez!
***Photos from the Roland Garros facebook page***