First things first, Roger Federer has reached the SFs of the Rogers Cup in Toronto! And he had cake to celebrate his birthday on court! 😀 He defeated David Ferrer in 3 sets to get there in what was an up and down match to say the least. As the last few hours of his birthday came to an end, the Maestro put up a show of ridiculous, genius shots alternating with easy misses and double faults.
I felt that for most of the match, he was in control and that includes the good parts and the bad. He won the first set and the third though his own brilliance. And similarly he let his concentration drop and allowed errors to creep in during the second set. I am not saying Ferrer had nothing to do with winning that set. It’s never enough for one player to just dip in quality, the opponent then has to take his chances and pounce and that is exactly what David did. He played more consistently in this match than our Swiss hero and that doggedness Ferrer is known for, came into play down to the last ball.
For his part, Roger was very, very aggressive. He was determined to shorten each and every point at the net and he was mostly successful. He went to the net 30 times and won 22 of them. It was a bit of a wild match from Roger and the 49(!) unforced errors will make you cringe. But he also had 35 winners and it was the nature of those winners that proved to illustrate his talent. These winners weren’t just straightforward shots; rather each of them could be included in “Best of Roger” highlights reel. When his shots found their target, they were glorious. The forehands that nestled ever so perfectly in the baseline corners, the smashes that brought the crowd to their feet, the crazy pick-ups of shots that almost touched his shoes and the crazy angles of the volleys that made us all melt inside like ooey gooey butter. He was magnificent and shocking at the same time and honestly I don’t know where that leaves us in terms of his level for the next round.
So far in the past three matches, we’ve seen his forehand firing consistently which has been key in winning these matches. He has also been coming to the net quite a lot with good results. On the other hand, his serves have been somewhat off this entire tournament. He has hit quite a few double faults and his 1st serves in percentage have not been that high. Particularly worrisome is how much his 2nd serve took a pounding yesterday from Ferrer, especially in the second set when he won only 23% of those points. Also of concern is his loss of concentration in the second set in both of his past matches, although he converted on break points better yesterday than in the match before.
I am inclined to cautiously suggest that perhaps it’s due to the fact that he’s looked very tired the past few days too. That Cilic match took a lot out of him and then the Ferrer match obviously did the same. His matches have finished close to midnight and then, being Roger Federer meant he had to do press in three languages and do interviews in those languages too after which he has to cool down with the physio. It probably means he hasn’t gone to bed before 2:00 am the earliest. Here’s hoping he has enough left in the tank for the next match (and hopefully the one after that?) 😉 Here are the match stats, a shoddy highlights clip I found and the presser transcript which is illuminating as usual.Up next is another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez. He has a lopsided positive H2H of 10-0 against Lopez but as we have seen in this tournament no one is safe. Tsonga took out Murray in the other half of the draw while Feliciano upset home favorite Canadian #1 Milos Raonic. Lopez has been in great form, especially with his serving. He has so far saved 27 out of the 29 break points he’s faced in Toronto which is mighty impressive indeed. Plus the Maestro hasn’t played against Lopez for over two years; their last match was in Dubai 2012. Roger will have to create his own chances and convert them quickly while staying solid on his own serves.
Here’s hoping we get another win tonight! But before I end, here’s one tiny stat to remind you of how amazing our champ is. He has now won 728 outdoor matches which puts him in 3rd place, 1 match ahead of Lendl. He is still behind Connors who has 775 match wins and Vilas with a crazy 805 outdoor match wins. I leave you with this clip which is guaranteed to make you smile 😀 Good luck Roger!