Federer v. Nadal 2006 - Episode 3
Tennis fans everywhere got the dream match of all time. Federer is through after an ugly first set against Nalbandian, and only playing 3. So he is fresh and angry. Nadal took his match in 3 outright, so he is fresh and hungry. Will Federer consolidate all 4 Grand Slam cups in one trophy room, or will Nadal keep a perfect lifetime record at Roland Garros, a perfect year on clay, extend his winning streak on clay to 60, and his record in clay finals against the #1 player in the world to 3.
Federer in 4. It will never really be close.
Federer was probing Nadal, looking for how to beat him. The probing is over. This is a major. He comes out angry and firing. Paul Henri Matthieu showed us all how to beat Nadal. Pin him to his backhand with shallow, wicked angles, come in every chance you get, and hit your put-aways to his forehand wing.
Nadal is talking about staying back against the Federer forehand. I don't know if I believe him. But, either way, Federer will creep in as close as he can to the baseline, attack the shortest, harshest angles he can, and keep the heat on.
As for me, I exercised my demons from last week.
Last week we were up 6-4, 4-0 when my partner pulled a calf muscle. I think I already told the story, so I'll hush up about it. But the bottom line is that my mental fragility took me hostage again. I did the opposite of elevate my game - suckify? Putridate? Whatever, it was painful.
This week it was 6-0, 6-0, and in the bonus sets since we had some free time it was 6-1, 6-0. I could apologize that these opponents were not as good as the first ones, but I can lose against anyone. A choker can always lose. It didn't happen.
I love playing grimly. It's my favorite feeling out there. Today was grimmmmmmmm.
We'll see what next week holds,