Poor end to the group stages from Roger as he crashed and burned at the hands of Juan Martin Del Potro losing 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 in just over 2 hours. It was another poor match from Roger and he pretty much continued from where he left off against Ferrer; not serving that well, making too many errors and not really being able to dictate.
The writing was on the wall from the start of this match to be honest, early errors, backhand not operating smoothly and the forehand isn't really factoring as a dominant shot this week. In fact I had to tweet during the match asking if he'd even hit any forehand winners. When do you ever have to ask something like that??
Roger had a couple of chances at 4-4 in the first to break but wasted them and the set ended up in a tie break and Roger didn't play it that well, his forehand went AWOL and Del Potro was soon leading 5-1 with 2 mini breaks. No real back there and he won it 7-3.
The second set was a weird one, after winning the first set I thought Del Potro would be fired up but he went flat, that allowed Roger to break his serve early after a string of errors and 1 break turned out to be enough to level things up. To be fair it was a pretty good set from Roger, he won 20 of his 25 service points and made just eight unforced errors, they're good stats but Del Potro should have been far more pro active I thought. The crowd were flat too which probably didn't help.
The third set was very poor, Fed netted two backhands en route to being broken in the first game and then never looked like getting back into it. He wasn't able to dominate any rallies, no venom on the ground strokes and Del Potro just coasted across the line without really being tested. Another win for him and that's 2 on the bounce now against Roger, very similar to the end of the 2009 season.
Overall this match sucked if you're a Fed fan, Roger said himself that it's always better to win your final round robin match and I agree. I don't see how you go into the semi finals feeling confident on the back of a loss. You don't play another match when you have lost in any other tournament around the world so it must be a weird feeling, to know you have lost, yet you're in the semi finals tomorrow. Roger did the same in 2009 and lost his semi final to Davydenko of all people so I don't think this bodes well for him.
Federer vs. Del Potro Match Stats
Predictions for the Semi Finals
Straight up I can safely say that Roger isn't defending his title in London. Some of you will say that's defeatist, I'm not keeping faith or I should be more be optimistic but that's not the case here; I'm just being realistic.
I said that Roger wouldn't win Basel; he didn't. And I said after Basel that he won't win the World Tour Finals which he won't do either. His level isn't there, he's burnt out and he's lacking confidence right now. The season is over for him and he needs to go and relax over the Christmas period. After he plays some stupid Exhos.
I had hope after how he played against Tipsarevic but it turns out that Tipsy is just the whipping boy of the group and he flattered Roger. Roger still played pretty well but since then his level has dropped off a cliff.
I'm not sure who Roger is playing in the semi's yet, depends if he tops the group, most likely it will be Murray and I think Murray will be winning that one. Further increasing his H2H which is unfortunate.
It very much looks like it will be a Murray vs. Djokovic final now. I think Djokovic is the favourite but we'll see. There's a slim chance Roger could make the final but regardless I don't see it ending well.