Hey guys, feels like a lifetime since my last blog post but I'm back for the hard court swing which starts next week in Toronto. Since Wimbledon there hasn't been much to blog about and I've been working on a few different things ahead of the US Open and indoor swing. Like they say: No Roger = No Tennis so there hasn't been a whole lot going on other than some smaller events in Europe and in North America.
Onto this post and first up is the draw for the Roger's Cup. It's Fed's first tournament back since Wimbledon and as far as I'm aware he's been back in Switzerland relaxing, giving Gwen Stefani a guided tour round Zurich and hopefully putting the hours in on the practice court.
The big news pre tournament is that defending champion Nadal has withdrawn with a right wrist problem. This guys injuries are like clockwork and it seems unlikely he will defend a hard court title again this year as the USO his is only shot. I am now hearing he is using some blood spinning technique to quicken the healing process, legal but highly controversial. If you do some Googling on Premiership Footballer's flying out to Spain and America for these treatments your suspicion radar will be going into overdrive. But back to tennis 😉
Roger's Cup Draw 2014
This is Roger's first appearance in this event since 2011 and it's never been one of my favourite tournaments to watch. Fed is a 2 time champion but I wouldn't say it's one of his best hard court tournaments; he lost to Tsonga last time out here and Murray the year before that in the final. The good news is that it's 2 years since I really paid much attention to this event other than last year's Semi Final and Final so I might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Federer's Projected Opponents
- 1st Round: Bye
- 2nd Round: Peter Polansky / Jerzy Janowicz
- 3rd Round: Marin Cilic
- Quarter Final: David Ferrer
- Semi Final: Tomas Berdych / Milos Raonic
- Final: Novak Djokovic
First up for Fed could be a very tricky opponent in Jerzy Janowicz, he's had a poor year but with a serve like his then he's definitely a danger. He played both Bastad and Hamburg after Wimbledon but only won one match in both those events and he's 13-17 for the year. Not sure he can cause the upset if I'm honest but Fed will probably be a little match rusty after no competitive play in 4 weeks.
Third round could be against another big server in the shape of Marin Cilic, he looked good at Wimbledon with Ivanisevic as his coach but he's mentally poor and just lost to Robredo in Umag on the dirt. Definitely has the potential to give Fed trouble but lots of question marks over his ability to close out matches. I think he'd have to win in straights to come through.
Quarters is seeded to be Ferrer who's form has been patchy at best this year, a poor Wimbledon and then he lost to Leonardo Mayer in the final at Hamburg. Ferrer would usually be able to vulture a title where none of the big names are playing with ease but he was unable to stop Mayer who won his first title. Fed owns this guy on all surfaces so it should be routine on a hard court, especially if he's not playing at his best level.
The semi final is seeded to be either Canadian Milos Raonic, who lost in last years final to Nadal or Berdych. Fed schooled Raonic at Wimbledon but he's likely to be a tougher proposition on hard courts, especially with the crowd behind him. Berdych is up and down this year so I have no idea what to expect from him, he can be lethal on a hard court but he's lost quite a few matches to lower ranked opposition this year.
Then based on seedings we could get a repeat of the Wimbledon final against Djokovic. He has a pretty tough half though with Gasquet, Murray, Wawrinka, Nishikori, Tsonga and Dimitrov all in the mix. And of course Fed has to get there too, his last outing in Canada wasn't the greatest but if he continues his Wimbledon form I think he has a decent shot at making the final.
Tough to really make any predictions as none of the top guys have been in action a whole lot since the grass. Raonic is currently playing Washington DC so he's had an outing on the hardcourts, as has Berdych but he lost to Pospisil in straights. But Fed, Djok, Murray, Wawrinka haven't played. And those that have like Ferrer have been on the European clay.
Federer's New ProStaff RF Autograph 97
It's been a long time coming but Federer's new racquet is finally available to buy off the shelf. We all thought he was using a 98″ model when he first made the switch but this obviously wasn't the case and you can check out some of the specs below:
Personally I'm not a big fan of the paint job on this one and I much preferred the whole matt black look. The red just doesn't look quite right in my opinion and I wish they had just kept it one colour. When I see this shade of red and black used together I instantly think cheap product. It almost looks like a fake Wilson you can buy on eBay from China.
Interestingly whilst writing this I just received an email from Wilson's PR team about the racquet, and the design was done by a Tennis Fan / Graphic Designer whom Wilson discovered on a forum and then hired for a year. If you're reading this Wilson, next time run the design via the peRFect Tennis Quality Control Panel and Feedback Group, you'll be better for it 🙂
Interested to hear what you guys think of this paint job in the comments.
Tennis T-Shirts from Color13
Finally, earlier this week I was lucky enough to receive some T-Shirts from Laurent, the owner of Color13.com. There's a big choice of t-shirts with an entire range dedicated to Federer. You can see some of the designs in the image above but I would recommend heading over to his site and checking some of them out. There's a ton of colour and sizing options available.
Quality wise they are very well made, wash well and are perfect for the practice courts. Cool packaging too and I've never seen a T-Shirt packaged like that before. Check them out at Color13.com
Anyway Live chat is of course back for the US Open series and will be open for Federer's second round match against Janowicz or Polansky which will most likely be on Tuesday or Wednesday.