Hey guys, a bit of a quick post here as I just haven't had a chance to do my usual post as I've been on the road all day. As you may have seen from my comment on the previous post I was lucky enough to watch this one live on Centre so this is a slightly different format here as I didn't take any notes to do a quick match recap 🙂 but my thoughts are Fed looked top class.
The first set was a bit of a joke from Mannarino who looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights but Roger played so cleanly, barely making any unforced errors and just jumping all over anything short from the Frenchman who had no answers. With the first set done in the blink of an eye, the £120 ticket looked like it wasn't going to be giving great value for money but Mannarino did eventually settle down in the second and made it somewhat competitive. His strengths are massaging the ball around the court with precision so once he found some rhythm he was able to produce some nice points but with no real power there just aren't any free points coming his way.
Fed on the other hand just has so many options out there and although I've seen him on grass before the seats I had this time were pretty close up and in the corner so gave me a much clearer view of what he has to offer: soft slice, short slice, knifed slice then all of a sudden he's taking two quick steps up the court and ripping a forehand inches from the ground that's landing in thanks to his racquet head speed. That variety and injection of pace made Mannarino so unsure of his game and like I’ve said many times before Fed’s brand of tennis is just so unique. Virtually every other player on tour first instinct is to move backwards, Fed’s is to keep moving forward and he’s taking balls out the air that nobody else even considers.
From a fan view, I guess it was over all too quickly on the day but even when Roger is part of a one-sided match it's still fun just to see what he produces. The other one-sided match of the day was Nadal vs. Vesely and it just didn't compare, of course, it's down to personal preference but both guys took far too long between points and it never really had any wow moments. If you compare tennis to chess even when Nadal is winning it feels like he's played out a stalemate with his style. As for his level I think he looked decent but not in spectacular form, Vesely was a real disappointment though, his forehand was powder puff stuff, loopy and it just sat up waiting for Rafa to take charge. He also moves like a journeyman heavyweight boxer so it was never going to work out for him unless he flattened out his game on both wings and tried to rush Nadal but he didn't have it in him. It would have been interesting to see how Mannarino faired had he faced Nadal, I'd still go with straight sets Nadal but at least Mannarino can play some tactical ball.
Anyway, a 16th Wimbledon Quarter Final awaits, 81 service holds now in a row and 31 sets won on the spin at SW19. For my money, his was his cleanest performance of the tournament so far and it was nice to see him stave off those break points when they finally arrived. In terms of the Quarter Finals normal posting should resume, still on a bit of a road trip so I can't squeeze posts in like I have done if I'm on a train or plane but it's slightly less hectic now and I will, of course, be watching tomorrow.
I'm also going to do a Wimbledon Experience post-tournament as quite a few things have changed since I last wrote about tickets etc. I camped for yesterday's tickets so spent plenty of time on site and around the area to know what's going on. I think the food in the grounds has improved too but there's still plenty scope for improvement elsewhere in terms of ticketing, scheduling etc. so stay tuned.
Predictions vs. Anderson
Next up is K-Bomb who defeated Monfils in four sets. A good win for the big-serving South African and he's in pretty good form. Federer has some pretty resounding victories against Anderson though and leads the H2H 4-0. Anderson's wife blocked me on Twitter when I asked her how much Kevin was paying for the tennis lesson after one of those beatdowns. Hopefully, it doesn't come full circle and my gloating come back to haunt me in the shape of Anderson playing lights out! But I think Fed pulls out the win, he will make Anderson work hard every point