Roger Dodger

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This is an appropriate title given Federer’s form today (his somewhat typical pattern in big matches we might call failing to rise to the occasion or simply missing big opportunities — either with the match in general, or with certain key spots in a big match, which are often breakpoints); it’s also an appropriate title given my brief visit to Los Angeles today, home of the MLB Dodgers.

At one point today I was sipping a beer in a mid-town pub streaming Thiem vs. Zverev on my device. I re-watched the first set of that match just now, back at home; like Federer, that was quite uninspired and/or uninspiring.

I had a feeling the form would drop today. We don’t know about Tsitsipas because he played Federer, who, again, really pooped his pants. That opening few games in the first set compiled more UE than he had in an entire set (or match) vs. Djokovic the other night.

And then I just watched the game at 5-4 in the second set, Tsitsipas serving for the match, yet Federer gets a couple of breakpoints there at 15-40. He dodges those quite well! Actually, I might say he barfed those up. That was bad.

Indeed, he came crashing down from that marvelous form he had vs. the Djoker.

I am back to the L.A. area tomorrow, but will be deep in the mountains (the L.A. area has some of the best mountains in the state this side of the Sierra). I will likely miss tomorrow’s final. Thiem looked pretty pedestrian today, but I have to like him in this match because of his experience, which sounds almost silly given who he’s playing and the kind of tennis we know Stefanos is capable of. Let’s just say that I suspect Thiem has had a couple of dumpers now since dismissing Federer and out-dueling Djokovic.

In other words, I think he’s due.

But anything is possible given these warriors and it’s just a little Bo3.

Great to see the OHBH shine in such a big match with two of the sport’s future (the present, silly) stars. Seriously: what a magnificent final with such style and skill on hand, on this huge stage, in this rather famous tennis arena (the ATP Finals move to Italy next year if I’m not mistaken). I can’t wait to watch my recorded version tomorrow evening.

We’ll do much more post tournament, looking back on the season and looking ahead. I really don’t have much interest in the DC (new format and all) that kicks-off in a couple of weeks, nor do I have much interest in the ATP Cup in January, for that matter.

Looks like the writing is on the wall: the beginning of a new era in this grand old sport.

Thiem vs. Tsitsipas, two of the best fighters in the sport (young or old), should put a nice exclamation point on the end of this ATP season, as a cue for me to start prognosticating about a new season (a new era?), and a reminder for most of you to start rethinking that awful THBH you wankle around the court. 😀

Cherrio!

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