Allez! 71st title in 86 minutes of tennis peRFection.
This was a dreamy match from Roger, he's looked pretty lackluster this week just coasting through his matches and having to dig deep to beat Davydenko with determination rather than flare. I hadn't seen Del Potro play all week, but you only have to look the scoreline in his match against Tomas Berdshit to know he was playing at a good level.
I said in my prediction that Roger would have to play with variety and not get caught up in a slug fest, and that's exactly the game plan he brought to the table. Roger faced break point in the opening game of the match but after holding he brushed aside Del Potro, racing into a 5-0 lead and allowing Del Potro to win only 17 points behind his serve. Fed took the set 6-1.
The second set was bound to be tougher and Del Potro put up a lot more resistance, he created several break point chances, but a mixture of solid play from Roger and Del Potro having to go for the lines meant he missed them. From 2-1 down Roger won 5 of the next 7 games to serve out the match comfortably 6-1 6-4.
Something clicked with Rogers game today, the forehand was zoned in finding every spot on the court, and more importantly his movement was fantastic. Speed, footwork and court coverage were all on another planet. The backhand was solid as a rock too, and he was able to create some great cross court angles to drag Del Potro outside the lines time and time again.
The one thing I noticed in this match and against his victory against Davydenko in the Semi finals was Roger's defense. It has been crazy good these past 2 matches, it's always been a big part of his game, but it's looked even better this past week. He's tracking down balls and getting a lot of purchase on them, the squash shot forehand and sliced backhand at stretch have done a fantastic job of keeping him in points.
I think this got under Del Potro's skin, he was hitting big forehands, but Roger was keeping the ball in play, and often creating angles of his own to put Del Potro on the back foot after he'd been dominating the point. The length on all Federer's ground strokes today was exemplary and really prevented Del Potro from stepping into the court and crunching his forehand.
Overall it's been a good weeks tennis for Federer, like I've said in all previous posts, this tournament is only small scale so it's stupid to get crazily excited about it. But it's still a very good victory and I've taken a lot from the fact he beat Davydenko from a set down.
Today was all about JesusFed ripping forehands, moving around like a ballet dancer and never giving Del Potro a chance to dominate, yesterday was all about showing fight and still being able to win a match when his ground strokes weren't at their free flowing best so from these last 2 matches there are only positives. I guess the real tests will be when he faces Nadal and Djokovic in a Grand Slam – if he can play like he did today and yesterday (esp. yesterday) then he has a good chance of winning.[poll id=8]
The next tournament is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships so until then peace out.