With Rogers announcement he won't be playing the upcoming Shanghai Masters it means there's only 3 more tournaments on his schedule this year for us to look forward to – The Swiss Indoors in Basel, the BNP Paribas Masters in Bercy and the ATP World Tour Finals at the o2 arena in London. After the disappointing loss to Djokovic in the US Open Semi Final, I thought I'd look towards these last few tournaments and talk about what we can expect from Roger. I'll also give a brief look into 2012.
Swiss Indoors Masters Basel
Date: 29/10/2011 – 06/11/2011
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Category: ATP World Tour 500
Surface: Indoor Hard
Prize Money: €1,225,00
This is Rogers home town tournament and he's once again defending Champion after beating Djokovic in last years final. This is one of my favourite indoor tournaments, its a nice atmosphere and a cool little stadium. The field is is also usually very strong. This year there's a few changes; the red surface has been swapped to match the blue of the World Tour Finals, and they've also switched to the Head ATP World Tour Final Ball that's used in London.
Djokovic is once again in the draw (injury permitting) along with Wawrinka, Fish, Roddick, Berdych and Bagdhatis. Which is a very good lineup for a ATP Masters 500 tournament. This will be Rogers first competitive match since the Davis Cup in early September so he will no doubt be slightly rusty after such a long lay off. He gets his tournament underway on Super Monday (Oct 31st) at 18.30hrs.
I'm not sure how much Roger will put into the rest of the season – he looks set to lose the Number 3 ranking to Andy Murray so I do feel alot of Rogers sights and efforts will be on the Australian Open. He put in a very strong show at the end of last year winning Stockholm, Basel and the World Tour Finals – but it didn't exactly serve him well for this season. He started well in Doha but after that it was a string of losses and a title drought. However, Fed definitely loves playing in front of his home crowd, the indoor surface is one of his best so I'm sure he will make a solid effort.
Prediction: Federer Win
BNP Paribas Masters – Bercy
Date: 07/11/2011 – 13/11/2011
Location: Paris, France
Category: ATP World Tour 1000
Prize Money: €2,227,500
I've never really enjoyed this tournament, I'm not sure whether it's the stadium but it just never gets me excited. To top it off, Roger has never really done well here and it's one of the few titles that eludes him on tour. He put in his best showing last year reaching the Semi Finals where he lost to Monfils. But over the years he's lost to players like Julien Benneteau and Nalbandian in the early rounds. I can't really see him changing that this year, I think many players treat this as a warm up to the World Tour Finals and Roger is no different. As a tournament, it never really seems to get going.
Prediction: Federer Quarter Finals
ATP World Tour Finals – o2 Arena London
Date: 20/11/2011 – 27/11/2011
Location: London, England
Category: World Tour Final 1500
Surface: Indoor Hard
Prize Money: £2,227,500
I've been to the end of year tournament in London for the past 2 seasons, the o2 arena provides a great atmosphere and is a quality place to watch tennis, I was fortunate to watch Roger beat Nadal in last years final. I'm there again this year for the Semi's and Final so hopefully I'll get to see Fed in action again. Roger has a great record in Masters Cups, winning 5 titles, his first coming in 2003.
As I stated earlier, I have a feeling that Roger is looking towards 2012, and not these less important tournaments that are on the horizon. Although the World Tour Finals produces some high quality tennis, I don't believe players take this stupidly serious. Sure, they would like to win, but nobody places too much importance on it, as nobody ever remembers who wins them. I bet 95% of people have forgotten Davydenkos win in 2009 and nobody ever really talks about it.
I think Roger will make the semis here, he should comfortably progress from the group stages and then run into another member of the top 4. Like I've said, I don't see this tournament as a priority for Roger so I'm not expecting him to play in JesusFed mode.
Prediction: Federer Semi Finals
A very early look towards the 2012 Season
I'm still undecided about what the most important tournament for Roger is in 2012. I can tell you it's a toss up between the Australian Open and Wimbledon. I think if Roger is going to win another slam, he has to win one of these 2 tournaments, which could pave the way for him winning a couple more.
The loss to Djokovic at the US was a different kind of loss to what we're used to, and one I think that has pissed Roger off so to speak. I hope he can harness this to work harder, get even better and pull off a big win.
I guess I will be extremely hungry going to Australia next year. It’s clear and obvious. I know if I keep on working hard now that I’m feeling so good right now it will all pay off. I know it.
Season 2012 Polls
It might be a bit early but what do you guys think of Rogers chances for the future and in 2012?
And if you answered yes to the above question (which I'm sure you did) please complete the poll below:
Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.