What a shame that Stan could not play a more leading role in his sequel with the Spaniard. Who knows what was on Stan’s mind, with the Paris terror, etc. The surface, conditions and recent beating he put on Nadal gave credence to the idea that Stan would be a win away from the SF and Nadal a loss away from a trip to some mysterious Mediterranean beach for his “off season” program. We were wrong. The 2 & 3 was especially bad with game totals maybe coming into play.
Now we have to watch more short top-spin scowls from the muscular top-spinner, scowling around the court. Nadal will probably beat Murray for his SF ticket. Stan can still advance, but that deplorable score line will probably come-back to haunt him.
On the other side, Roger looks absolutely splendid. I watched both matches. His match v Berdych included great variety from the Swiss that kept Berdych off balance. Other than the early trouble in the first, Roger showed tremendous form.
Novak looked solid v Nishkori, of course. I heard some claim that Djokovic’s breadsticking of Kei was more impressive than Roger’s win over Berdych because . . . well, there was no rationale – just fanboy garbage. In fact, Kei retired in the R16 in Paris, so he’s probably not in his best form at the moment. Berdych gave Novak a bit of a challenge with two TB in Paris. In the end, both Roger and Novak looked great in their opening matches.
Today’s tilt was pretty vintage Roger, though Novak looked a bit on the outs. He was due for a let-down, but Roger might have had a lot to do with that. Roger’s serve was solid (67% 1st, 75% 1st service points won, 67% 2nd service points won) compared to Novak (72%, 51%, 67%).
One of the best parts of the match concerned some long baseline slug-fests that showed these players’ tennis genius. Roger was on the better end of a lot of these exchanges. Good stuff from these two blokes.
And isn’t this how the game works. Roger getting back at Novak here at the WTF with so much on the line, historically. The little debate going on about Roger’s ’06 v Novak’s ’15, etc. Roger showed-up today with a little vintage high-level quality to end the Serb’s streak (didn’t he have about 5 different streaks going?).
This reminded me a bit of that 2011 French SF, with Nole a heavy heavy favorite coming in, but Roger playing just brilliant clay court tennis to register the upset. Not sure if anyone remembers that. 😉