Tuesday, 25 August 2009

2Hander's Take: The shape of things to come...?

Federer def Djokovic 6-1 7-5

The result as I had predicted. However, I missed the first set, which I guess Federer dominated with at least a couple of breaks.

The second set Novak came to life, rather like Murray had done the previous day. I think Fed's got some crazy 'shock and awe' tactics deployed as opposed to these two kids not firing properly, as Top suggested. Federer got broken early for Djokovic to take a 0-3 lead. Then Fed broke back to make it 2-3. Fed almost broke once more with about 3 or 4 break points at 5-4, but the Serb held on. Then Federer broke once more to make it 6-5 before holding serve after the changeover to clinch the title.

Now, once again there were moments where one felt it could go to a tiebreak that the Serb would clinch and the same Fed that shanked his racquet in Miami would re-emerge. However, his nerves of steel held out particularly at breakpoints against his serve. Djokovic jokingly (NOT yokingly!) remarked during the presentation ceremony that he was "born in the wrong era" - which I disagree with. He has the potential to win any tournament he plays in. If he's on his game (the stick is NOT an issue now!) and if the top 3 are slightly off their guard, he can beat anyone deservingly. He has been one of the players to keep Federer on his toes.

I know I have been quite a harsh critic of Nole in the past. I think he has done some growing up off the court more than on, tho I think his volleying needs to be excellent to win Slams these days - which is definitely achievable. His groundstrokes have a lot of venom off both wings. He has a very good serve. Don't lose heart, we are expecting great things from you, Nole, and soon at that.

I think we are back to Slams and Masters 1000 events being 4-horse races once again. This is not a bad thing as we have a few not too distant outsiders like A-Rod, Del Potro and Tsonga (Fernando V, where have you gone?!?) to cause a few upsets along the way.

Question is, will the imminent US Open be the same? I have a sneaky suspicion it will. I think Federer will take heart from beating Nadal on clay earlier this season in Madrid. Is Nadal up to the task? Put it this way, I wouldn't be too surprised if he doesn't get past the semis. However, I want to him to play Federer, which he may do if he's in Fed's half of the draw. I want Fed to be back at his best but I also want the rest to be on their game as well, otherwise it will be back to the old days of Fed winning Slams without having to play his best tennis.

However, I think we actually have a competition on our hands this time round...here's hoping!!
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