Federer vs Karlovic.
Posted by tennisplanet on April 27, 2009
Facing Karlovic in the opening round may be both good and bad for Federer.
Good because a match against Karlovic doesn’t really prepare you for the later rounds since it’s impossible to find any rhythm. So getting that match out of the way right at the beginning instead of disrupting your game if you meet him in the quarters etc. should bode well.
Bad because if Federer is not on and the sets go to that crap-shoot called tie breaks, Karlovic has a very real shot at pulling off the upset. Add the boost in confidence Karlovic must have received after Federer’s loss to Wawrinka, the marriage, the ‘dismal’ hard court season, the racket smashing – and this could be the trickiest opening round match.
Federer needs a statement match early to reverse the ill effects of a lot of BS. Watch for Federer’s forehand early to see any tell tale signs of an early exit.
Federer has got to be overly conscious of his forehand, given what’s happened against Djokovic and Wawrinka at Miami and Monte Carlo respectively. Hope the consciousness is just enough to reverse the trend.
But if it’s anything beyond that, memories of Sharapova’s first serve percentage may start to flash.
It’s like a basketball player who has a poor shooting stretch and then starts to ‘aim’ his shots to rediscover his touch. Not happening.
Just a few months ago, the line up Federer has at Rome today would have been just routine stuff. But now it looks like one huge boulder one after another:
It’s doesn’t help that everyone of them has defeated Federer in the past what ten months?
That drop Federer had against Wawrinka at Monte Carlo from the semis and finals to the second round may be artificially induced considering the circumstances from marriage to last minute decision etc. but the surface must have had something to do with it too.
If you are reaching the semis and the finals on your favorite surface under ‘normal’ circumstances, it’s logical to expect a drop on clay when conditions have changed considerably both from within and from outside.
Did Wawrinka break that dam or was it just an aberration? At this point the answer is not as clear as it was a few months ago. Only Federer’s racket can provide a clue.
Federer reached the quarters last year and with the race tightening in a hurry just losing the points should be enough motivation to keep moving up.
Federer needs to fight to not go down any further in many respects and to show the world and himself what he is really made of.