Roger Federer is into the 3rd Round at Roland Garros. He defeated Marcel Granollers in straight sets to get there. However, the journey wasn’t as smooth as the scoreline indicates. The match started well enough with Roger immediately breaking Marcel and going up a 2-0* lead. Serving at 2*-4 down, Granollers got broken again leaving Roger to serve for the set at 5*-2, which the Maestro did with no problems. Set 1 was done in the blink of an eye.
Set 2 is where things started to get ‘fun’, the kind of fun that Roger likes… and we don’t. Annoyingly Marcel picked up his level and Roger lost a bit of focus. Then, out of nowhere, Roger got broken serving at 2*-3. But Roger put the pressure back on Marcel right away as the Spaniard tried to consolidate his break. After a hard fought game Roger finally got a breakpoint and he took it to level the set. After that, neither player blinked, although Roger started to play with more ease and confidence. The inevitable tie-break came and Marcel only got his first point. After that, Roger got the next 7 to take the set.
You would think with that momentum, holding the first game in the next set would be easy for our champ. But as we have found out, sometimes Roger takes the long, scenic route for no apparent reason. What followed was an awful service game from the Maestro and he got broken in his very first game in the 3rd set. Roger was so angry at himself that he yelled some choice words into his towel. But for once he channeled the anger in the right way and got on the board. Then in the next game, he pushed Marcel to the brink till he finally got the break to get back on serve at 2 all. A quick hold took him to 3-2*and then he continue to pressure Granollers by pushing him to breakpoints again. Marcel kept hanging on but eventually the Swiss broke and yelled ‘Come on!’ You could say he was fired up 😉
Roger consolidated the break with a love hold and suddenly, the set that started at *0-2 went to 5-2*with the Maestro winning 5 consecutive games. Marcel had to serve to stay in the match and he held after a long time, making Roger serve for the match at 5*-3. The Spaniard pushed him to 30 all but Roger was not in the mood for any more shenanigans. He got his first match point and that was all he needed to storm into the 3rd Round, 6-2, 7-6(7-1), 6-3. Here are the match stats. Here is a tiny highlights video clip and a clip of the crazy double-handed backhand lob he hit. This is what he had to say in this presser:
“I think I was actually playing very well. I wasn’t nervous really. I think things went well for me for the first couple of sets. I think I was in control. Even though I was down a break in the second set, I still felt the match was in my racquet. And when you feel that way, obviously you’re always going to feel more confident, more comfortable, not nervous.
But the thing you don’t want to do is you want to start off badly sets, and that’s what happened in the beginning of the third. I played a horrible game. It was just very disappointing and frustrating. But after that, I must say, it was probably my best spell of the match right after that. The reaction was what I wanted. Maybe that’s also one of the reasons why I did get a bit angry with myself, because it was really just such a bad game. … I was able to play with variation today. I was offensive. I was successful at net. So overall, I was very, very pleased.”
“Why not? The goal was always to play for a long time regardless if I had kids or not. I’m happy I’m still going, and I’m happy that my kids occasionally come to watch me play. I would definitely think it had a positive effect on me as a person and my life, as a player. My relationship with my wife, it’s been wonderful.”
He was also asked about his next opponent, 23 year old Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranked 88th in the world. Like many of us, he has barely seen the youngster:
“I don’t know him very well. I might even go so far to say I have actually almost never seen him play maybe before. [It will be an] interesting match-up clearly, and [a] different approach to the match I played today.”
Dzumhur however, definitely knew about his opponent 😉
“I watched [Federer] playing the semis of, I think, Wimbledon with [Andy] Roddick. That was the first time I was cheering for him. Since then he’s been my idol. I remember him since I was 10 or 11, and now I have this opportunity to play against him.”
He elaborates on his excitement even more in this interview clip. So the next match will be yet another Federer fan playing against his idol and obviously trying his best to show off his skills. For the sake of millions of us kid, if you could tone down the enthusiasm a bit and replace it with awe and reverence, that would be highly appreciated! 😉 The match will be the second match of the day again but this time, Roger is back on Chatrier. Good luck Maestro! Please try to have a ‘fun’ match that follows our definition of word please!