Jeu, set et match Federer 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5.
Another dropped set but again another fairly comfortable victory on Phillipe Chatriere. I can't really weigh Roger's matches up at the minute, he's playing like he plays in Exhibitions matches. I'm not sure if it's him taking it all too easy because his draw has been a total dream or his game is just not clicking yet. Some people are speaking of injury and others saying he is lacking motivation. But this is all speculation and I think we can only asses his game when he actually plays a meaningful match against a tough opponent, which is likely to be Del Potro or Berdych in the Quarters. The only facts we have to work with are that Roger hasn't played his best yet he's in the 4th round, I'd still stay that's a success.
I thought Mahut played pretty well considering he's not expected to do well on a surface like clay but he took chances and they paid off. Roger wasn't at his best but then again he didn't need to be so what more can one say? If a player plays gung ho style tennis then it's always going to be a tricky type of match. I don't see the dropped set as a problem as the match wasn't physical in the slightest.
Roger played well in parts as usual and it was good sign that after relinquishing the break in the 4th set he broke again and served it out with no trouble. Other than that the match was pretty dull, I didn't feel like it was ever a match as such because the outcome was only going to be a Roger win. Even if it was 5-5 in the fifth it was only going one way.
One thing I noticed today was how everyone seems to panic when Roger drops a set or misses a forehand. This is round 3 of a slam against a guy who has a poor record on clay, there is no need to start worrying. I also think we need to stop speculating (something which even I am guilty of) about Rogers game, he's still winning and he's still in the draw so I'm not going start over thinking things.
I was slow out of the blocks.My game is still not quite working & I am not quite happy but that's how it is.
Predictions vs. Goffin
I remember when I wrote my French Open Draw analysis and said that Roger had quite a tough draw, I couldn't have been more wrong as it's really opened up. Kamke, Ungur, Mahut and now Goffin, it's really too easy. Whether that's a good thing I'm not sure as it means he could head straight into a tough match without ever having to get out of first gear. But then again he has a wealth of experience so should be able to up his game when required.
Back to the Goffin match, this guy has done well to make the fourth round as he only got into the draw after another player pulled out with injury. By making it this far he's landed an €80,000 paycheck which is more than he's won all year. Clearly there is no way Roger is losing this match, it will be pretty routine.
Again, Roger doesn't need to play well, would it be nice to see him triple bagel the guy? Yeah of course, but if he doesn't I won't mind. It is likely to be straights and I go for a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory.
Could the IMG story effect his play?
A lot of talk yesterday, both on twitter from fans and in Rogers press conference was about Roger no longer being represented by IMG or by his long time agent Tony Godsick.
I don't think it's too much of a big deal, I imagine Roger knew long before the news broke that he was leaving the company. He didn't appear to like the questions in his presser but I guess that's not surprising seen as though it has little to do with the Tennis or the French Open which is clearly more important to him than who is management company are.
As to why IMG no longer represent him I'm not sure, I know a lot of people are saying it's IMG only wanting to represent the guys at the pinnacle of their careers which is why Tiger Woods left the company last year. I guess it's been a while since Roger won a major but he's still a big draw in the game so hard to assess whether those are the reasons Woods and now Federer left.
I imagine Godsick could still represent him now he has left IMG (barring any restrictive covenants) so Roger may still stick with him for the remainder of his career. Who knows but I doubt it's going to effect his game in the slightest.