Federer’s draw at Cincy following a similar pattern.
Posted by tennisplanet on August 14, 2007
There appears to be no worthy opponent to test Federer before he reaches the semifinal, a pattern similar to Montreal, Wimbledon, Roland Garros and even Hamburg.
When your most challenging match is expected to be in the second round, against an out of form Bagdatis, it is not the best scenario, considering the current landscape. Murray is out, and I expect Robredo and Ljubicic to be out too before they get to Federer.
There is a chance he might not even get Bagdatis, and his draw will most likely look like this:
Opening round: Benneteau.
Third round: Chela.
That’s like jumping into freezing water, right after coming out of an airconditioned room.
At Wimbledon he went through this:
Gasquet was the only real deal there, and he was too dead to even walk on that court. You think the five-setter was the result of that ‘talent shock’? You bet.
At Roland Garros:
Robredo was the only one there to help acclamatize for the final shock, specially on clay against Nadal.
Ferrer was the closest to the challenge there, with over the hill Moya and Ferrero, even though they are clay courters, but not enough for the ‘Nadal effect’. Luckily that affect was missing in the final.
Although Federer cannot be blamed for how the draw comes out, he will be blamed for not going all the way, now that the hard court season has not started well. Anything short of a title here, will be blown open by the media. And if it happens in the semifinal against Djokovic again, that will create a frenzy not seen for centuries.
On the other hand, Djokovic has Gasquet, Nadal has Youzhny and Gonzalez and Roddick has Berdych and Davydenko. Ideal to get your engine roaring and get yourself upto speed, right before the finals.
It is human nature. We tend to play down or up to the competition.
Not a perfect setting for Federer going into a ‘must win’ situation.