Quick write up here on the Ferrero match, I predicted straight sets but it went the distance. This was the first time these two had met in 5 years which on the tour is a long time. Just like 9 out of the 12 previous meetings it was ultimately Roger showing his class when it mattered and finishing with a flourish.
Both players started solid until Roger broke in the 6th game to take a 4-2 lead. He faced a break point as he tried to consolidate (as per usual!) but held then got the double break to take the first set 6-2.
In the second set Roger's level dropped and he started making a few errors. It still looked like he could break at any given time but it was Ferrero who got the breakthrough at 5-5 and he served out the set to take the match into a decider. Ferrero really capitalised on Feds slump, I thought Roger looked pretty flat in the second set and a little fatigued. Ferrero on the other hand was as wily as ever and played very consistently. I fully expected him to show fight but he showed some nerve and played some good stuff which was good to see.
The fact the match went into a third set looked as though it annoyed Roger, which actually helped him raise his game. He dialed in his forehand and his shot making ability was back to its usual brilliance for all of the third set.
In the end the decider was total one way traffic as Ferrero managed to win just 1 game and we were treated to some Federer magic. First up was an extended rally that ended in an unplayable backhand up the line and then on match point Roger pulled out a delightful backhand smash to wrap it up 6-2 5-7 6-1.
As I mentioned above I was surprised it went to 3 sets but I guess in the end all that matters is that he got the job done.
I have to say that I think this tournament will be tough to win for Roger, as we all know he's never won it before and slow clay doesn't provide optimum conditions for his style of play.
Nadal has so far looked impressive but it will be interesting to see if Berdych can do some damage when they face each other in the Quarter finals.
Djokovic isn't looking as dominant, well at least via the scorelines, but he's still winning so it's tough to rule him out.
Today's highlight was Murray losing against Gasquet. He's having a crap season so far and the Lendl partnership looks like its not really improved his game. Still early days but losing in the 3rd round of Masters 1000 tournaments isn't a good sign. I read after the match Murray said he's had a back injury since December, no mention of it prior to today so who knows how bad it is. It kept him out of Madrid but why play Rome if it's still a problem? My recommendation for him would be to be retire. In terms of what he could do after tennis I think he'd make a great Bond. Not.
Predictions vs. Seppi
Next up for Roger is Andreas Seppi, Fed leads the head to head 8-0 and I think it will be 9-0 by the close of play tomorrow.
Seppi has the advantage of the crowd fully behind him but I'm not sure he can live with Roger especially after going the distance with Wawrinka in 3 close sets.
The last time these two met was in Doha earlier this year and Roger won in 3 sets. I remember the match pretty well and it was quite a close one. Although as we later found out Roger had a back injury and withdrew from his next match so this clearly influenced the scoreline.
I'll go for Roger in straight sets 6-4 6-2.
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