I don’t even know where to begin. Well no, scratch that. I actually do know the first line of this post. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROGER FEDERER!!!! Our Maestro turned 33 today! But he made sure the dying moments of being 32 years old were memorable. He finally finished his Rogers Cup’s 3rd Round match vs. Marin Cilic with less than an hour left before his birthday. But before I get into that I do want to apologize for not having a post for Roger’s first match in Toronto. The US swing is particularly difficult for me to follow because of time-zone issues and my non-tennis life got in the way 😦
Now back to the match. It was almost 3 hours long and had way too many twists and turns for me to recount it faithfully here. Roger had a break point in Cilic’s first service game of the match but didn’t capitalize on it. That would come back to haunt him as neither player gave an inch after that. In Roger’s 3rd service game he double faulted twice to give Marin a break point but saved it. Then, in Marin’s 5th service game Roger had another break point but Marin saved that with an ace. Ultimately this set led to a tie-break. At the change of ends both were on par at 3 all. Marin finally blinked for a second and went down a mini-break 4-5* leaving Roger to serve for it. Roger got the first point to get to 6*-4 but then lost the next point and hence the first set point. Back on serve at 5*-6 however, Cilic made another error and thus Roger won the first set. Here are the stats.Onto the second set which was even tighter than the first. Both players continued to hold serve while pushing each other but not quite getting the break. Soon Marin was serving to stay in the set at 4*-5. And that’s when the match became ridiculous. The game took almost 20 minutes and Roger had not 1, not 2 but 6(!!!) match points come and go. A few of those were credit to Marin whenever he got a first serve in, but mostly, Roger failed on the big points as well. At the end of that marathon game, Cilic was pumped and rejuvenated with the hold while Roger looked frustrated and miserable. Though he was able to hold serve easily in his next game to get to 6-5*, he could make no dents on Cilic’s next service game as Cilic held to love to take the set to another tie-break. Momentum was clearly on Marin’s side and a dejected Roger barely tried and lost the tie-break quite easily. 1 set all and we were going to a third set. Here are the stats for the second set.The third set started with Roger still being quite annoyed at himself. Immediately in his first service game he got into trouble with yet another double fault that gifted Marin a break point. However, Roger saved it right away to hold and get on the board at 1-1. From then on, it was a repeat of the second set in many ways which was impressive considering the mental anguish Roger had to overcome in order to try and continue focusing on the set at hand. Yet again we came to Marin’s 5th service game for more drama. Marin was serving to go up 5-4* and make the Swiss serve to stay in the match. He was almost there too and had game point. Then one after another errors started to creep in while Roger also turned the screws. From game point it became deuce and then Roger had a break point. He failed to convert it of course. But then he got another one, the 10th of the match, and FINALLY Roger converted. Huzzah!
But there was still work left to be done; he knew it and his fans knew it so even though he broke Marin, there was only a tiny fist pump from the Swiss. Roger opened with an ace and an untouchable serve, 30-0. Marin got the next point, 30-15. A gorgeous forehand that nestled right in the corner gave Roger 2 match points. 57 minutes had passed since he last had match points so I’m sure he was super stressed. But by then, Marin’s resolve had melted away. The Croat hit the shot long and it was Game, Set, Match, Federer 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4. Here are the match stats.Roger didn’t play badly at all, and especially from the second set onwards, the match was played at a very high level by both players. Roger played badly in the big points in set 2 but perhaps that’s why this match win was so important. Despite the second set fiasco, he was able to turn it around and win the match in the third set. He has lost some close matches like these this year so to have come through on the winning side for these types of matches must give him a great deal of relief.
Up next is the ever-hardworking Spaniard David Ferrer. He had his own tough match in the previous round as well, though it wasn’t as dramatic as Roger’s. Still, he is coming in with relatively good form. He had tough opponents but came through each time. I know the H2H is 14-0 in favour of Roger but H2Hs only count when looking back. Just ask Novak how his H2H with Jo helped to prepare him for his loss to the Frenchman last night. Tonight is a new match and with it, a new set of conditions and an opponent Roger hasn’t played in a year and a half. Plus Roger finished the 3rd Round match really late and looked very tired once it was done. So basically, yes I am worried. But here’s hoping he got plenty of rest last night and is fresh and raring to go. Another night match for Roger tonight. Hopefully we will get another win with it.
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Roger!/ Joyeux anniversaire Roger!/ Happy Birthday Roger!
❤ Hope you have a wonderful day and year! ❤