Last night was a bit of a waste of time as all 4 short priced favourites won in straight sets. Thankfully a loss on the Australia/India test match was offset against a very tidy green on the England/Pak test.
Tonight looks more promising.
Federer v Nadal:
While they are 2 and 3 in the world they won’t meet in finals which takes a slight edge off the encounter.
Both players have had experts writing them off over the last 12 months but it took an exceptional season from Djokovic to knock them down a place each. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to match the Serb’s 2011 season.
Federer opened at 1.70 which was the price I expected. Nadal leads their head to heads 19-9 and he has won 5 of their last 6 matches.
In all their matches in 2010 and 2011 ( 8 matches ) in all but 1 match the winner of the first set won the match.
On current form Federer has the edge for me. Some expected Del Potro to be able to trouble him but the Argentinian was handed a free tennis lesson. Karlovic’s serve was expected to take at least 1 tie break set but the big serving giant could only get to 1 tie break which he lost as Fed won in straight sets. Maybe local boy Tomic could spoil the party? Nope. Easy 3 sets win for Roger. When he concentrates and is motivated he is head and shoulders above the rest. Only Djokovic can stay with him in the mood and form that he has shown here.
Nadal has improved his serve consistency in this tournament. His forehand has looked good but his backhand is a potential weakness for Federer to exploit. He has had a much easier route to the semi’s but you can only beat the player that they put on the other side of the net. It wasn’t until he came up against the impressive Berdych that he looked in trouble. Berdych has served exceptionally well and has proved very tough to break. He continued that form into the Nadal match and took the opening set. In the early part of the second set I really felt that Berdych could take a 2-0 lead but Nadal’s fighting spirit just doesn’t know when to quit. His self belief brought him through that set , taking it in a tie break. Berdych’s head dropped and Nadal was in control after that.
Fed’s price has shortened to 1.67 and doesn’t offer fantastic value against the world number 2. However I just can’t see him losing unless his own level drops this week. He is more motivated for the grand slams and a semi with Nadal and a potential final with either Djokovic or Murray will not see him lacking in intensity.
Federer to win in 4 sets. I would expect him to take the first set too.
Update: Wow! I was gutted that I could only watch the first 2 sets. Federer started the opening set playing like a tennis god. He was taking the ball so early and Nadal had no reply. Then Fed startd making errors and the ball was coming off the frame of his racquet. Nadal came back to take the set to a tie break which Federer won.
Nadal then started to get to grips with the match and whilst still playing well, Federer wasn’t able to maintain his intensity. He took the set with a double break.
This was some of the best tennis I have ever seen or expect to ever see. I missed the last 2 sets but Nadal won both.
Nadal won 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4.