Federer sticks to the script, brushes aside M&M in 57 minutes to reach third round at Hamburg.
Posted by tennisplanet on May 14, 2008
The two two-match losing streaks Federer has had in the last eight months must have motivated him to take care of business in the opening round emphatically. With shaky starts in the opening rounds and against tomato cans lately, this must have been a huge relief for Federer.
And guess which stat in his game finally showed up to make this an easy contest for Federer? 79% first serve percentage. That’s the highest percentage for him for the entire season. Next best was 75 against Ljubicic at Indian Wells. With his average for the season at just 64%, is this an aberration or a trend?
Couple of surprises though. Federer had just two aces and was broken twice on the two break points M&M was able to earn.
Overall, given his track record this year, it was a great win. With Soderling next, the test continues. With so many screws tightening around him now, it could either spur Federer to engage another gear that only reveals itself under dire conditions, or the added pressure may further disintegrate the ship.
The game for Federer has now evolved to the extent that his mental attitude dictates his physical performance now, versus when the physical game was more dominant in the past. When physical capabilities decline in relation to the competition, the great players employ that mental gear to survive and break through the last layer of ceiling to burst into the ‘legend’ stratosphere. Everyone of the great athletes of the past can testify to that. From Jordan to Sampras to Ali.
We are all hoping for that transformation to extend this great era in the sports world. Will it take its root here at Hamburg?