Roger Federer played his match against Rafael Nadal tonight like he had a dinner reservation (and considering it is his special lady friend's birthday, he probably does). Once he started losing, he just... kept doing it.
Let's just say that it was not my favourite Federer match - or Federer loss - of all time. He seemed like he had his crankypants on the entire time. And he made 38 unforced errors.
And he was wearing that grey outfit which makes him look like a giant wall. I am not a fan of Roger in grey. He's always referred to as an artist, so give him a freaking palette, all right?
Rafa, on the other hand, was wearing a midori-and-pineapple technicolour dreamcoat and I thought he played exceptionally well tonight. If he can play this way tomorrow against Djokovic, I think he has a swell chance of winning. And if it's not going to be Roger to break that streak, I feel like it should be Rafa. And with the clay season approaching, that would be such a powerful message to send...
Anyway, although Roger looked a little out of sorts in this match, I don't think it was any kind of pre-existing condition or anything he was carrying in. He made way too many errors, but the fact of the matter is that Nadal was playing so well he didn't give Roger too many chances. I talked the other day about how the rankings aren't lying at the moment - Fedalovic really are so far above everyone else it's just not funny. Well, Indian Wells and Miami have demonstrated that Rafa and Novak really are #1 and #2 at the moment (in no specific order, though if Novak wins Miami tomorrow, I think there really will be a specific order).
Roger has some work to do. But although there seems to be a lot of apocalyptic disaster talk around - and the dispassionate performance he turned in today against Rafa won't help it - he's still played great this year. When the only guys you're losing to are guys ranked above you, then you're doing pretty well. Roger Federer will be all right - hell, he is all right. Sometimes you get outplayed. Such is the nature of the game.
Nadal/Djokovic tomorrow is going to be a super intriguing match. I'd love to watch it, but as it's on at 3am my time, I don't think this is going to happen. It's rare that what's intriguing about a natch is defense, but these two dudes are the best at it in the game right now, no question. I'm hoping for some loooooooooong rallies and some sweet-ass shotmaking. It has the makings of an eminently watchable match... even for those who probably won't be able to watch it!
...and then comes clay...