I’m not a Fed fan, and I’m not a Berd KAD. But let’s write a post from the view points of both, shall we?
It’s been a tough year to be a FedKAD. His Majesty Of The Golden Stroke won the Australian Open, but has struggled since then. He lost to Bags in Indian Wells and Berd in Miami… after having match points in both. At the French, he lost to Sod, who he beat in the final the previous year (he also lost his slam semi streak) and then fell again to big hitter Berd in the quarters of Wimbledon. Devastating.
The match tonight?
One of huge importance. He’d tee off against Thunderdome, a guy who had beaten him three times before, and in the two previous meetings. Under the lights in Toronto with a packed house? A pretty big deal.
That’s why such a huge mental victory over such a tough opponent is a huge deal heading into the US Open. Fed has his break chance in the second set to close out the match easily, and couldn’t. He shanked on set point and was forced into a third. And even against the wall at 3-5, he managed to break, stay alive, and eventually win the match in a tiebreak with the weight of an enthusiastic, pro-Federer crowd. One he will likely receive in Flushing Meadows. Will this match finally give him the confidence to beat tall, big hitters like Del Potro and Berdych? Only time will tell.
It’s been a pretty kickass year for Tomas Berdych. Beating Federer in Miami, making the semis of the French, and then beating Federer again in the quarters of Wimbledon and making the final? I like.
Berdych hit the court tonight against Federer tonight, and while he eventually lost in Toronto, there are a lot of positives to take out of this match.
Firstly, his mental strength. A huge improvement this year, it’s been fantastic all week. Down 0-30, Berd hit back to back huge serves, both followed by a relaxing, self-massage shrug. He’s clearly comfortable and encouraged by his coach, and confident in his game and plan.
Secondly, his forehand. T-Berd possesses wicked racquet head speed, and with his “whip” approach to the ball, he kept Fed guessing, whether it was on out wide forehands or low slices, he was off balance. Even better, it was working. Berd was nailing winners he should have hit, and creating angles and other winners many players would never bother with.
Thirdly, he’s beaten Fed before and can play with the big boys. Slams are five sets, y’all. If Toronto was a slam, they would still be on court, and there would be a lot more to be said. Berd knows how to throw down.
So while a blown chance at another victory over Fed may come as a stinging blow to camp Berdych, not all is so evil in the long run. Watch out for Thunderbird in the USO, there’s a lot to still be done.
Um… so there you go. Debate in the comments? I dunno. Big win for Fed, a lot of positives for Berd. Gonna be a crazy USO. Can these guys be in the same half in New York?