Bullet dodged. From Overcaffeinated. Thanks.
Posted by tennisplanet on May 28, 2009
A BULLET DODGED
So Roger scraped through a match against a dude who he should’ve technically belted to submission. Sure. The pundits and media might write and ask questions otherwise; and start to question Roger’s form etc. Let them. It will pretty much show they were not watching the match.
Yes Roger had a truckload of unforced errors, however he really did not play that badly at all. What he was up against was a heavier court, cooler temperatures and a dude who had a red-hot first three sets. So good in fact that he had the first break of the match; had a host of set points in the first set tie-break and blew each one as badly as Divine Brown did Hugh Grant; won a second set when some thought he would flake away; played out of his brain to 5-1 in the third and had Roger reeling… then he hit a flat or blew a gasket. Aka. he choked. On top of this, the level of play he kept – that insane level – started to falter.
Legs got heavier in line with the body tightening on the realisation that he was about to go two sets to one up. Even if this happened, no way he would’ve won this match. Roger’s supreme conditioning would’ve seen him through. Fumes only go so far. In this case, to 5-1 in a third set, for the wilt in the tie-break was of the Acasuso of normal, and the fourth set…well, he should’ve just packed his gear at the end of the third, or just sat with the rest of the spectators to watch the Roger show roll on.
Going back to Roger – he was in cruise control in the second and no doubt expecting to play a close match, but taking it in straight sets. Sure he was up against a red-hot dude who took a massive gamble on putting all effort/energy into three sets and wish for the best, however he hung in the second until he played some crap points and got broken. Sacre Bleu.
Why so close in the first two: Roger was hitting very short. I missed the third until he was 1-5 down. Then noticed Roger started hitting deeper and deeper. This really was the key to the turn around IMO, as his game was steady and serve was not bad either. He kept Acasuso pinned to the back of the court, and also benefited that Acasuso is scared of the net on the short balls.
Vintage Roger? Heck no. Actually quite a boring match despite the close score. Just something in the “spark” factor that was missing. Was great to see how Acasuso took it to RF, but not a great specatacle of the Roger / Rafa kind at Wimbledon 08 and Aust Open 09.
And rolling on to round three…Vamos Roger!!