WTF: the new Toothface.
The ONE time I wanted Murray through to the semi, the ONE. EFFING. TIME. No, even better: Juan Martin del Potro has played nothing but shithouse tennis since the US Open. The one time he turned up on court with any semblance of form… the ONE. EFFING. TIME!
Cease showing off your teeth!
But it wasn’t meant to be, as Federer lost to del Potro 62 67 63. He had a chance to take the match at 3-3, when he shanked 3 breakpoints on del Potro’s serve. Visibly annoyed and scolding himself, Federer promptly went on to be broken at love the next game with a bit of bad luck, a shank, and a double fault.
One minute, Federer was on a string of comfortable service games and inching his way into del Potro’s, the next, he was down a break and the Pony was serving for the match. That’s tennis, y’all.
Sad (pretty) face for sad hearts.
Monkey was feeling a little down too! 😦
The good news is that Federer is through to the semifinal as the winner of his group despite the loss. Murray, Federer and del Potro all posted 2-1 records in their round-robin group, but Federer won out on percentages of games won/lost, while del Potro beat Andy Murray by a single game. Had Federer held at 3-4, Murray would’ve been in. Roll in the ridiculous tanking rumours.
The bad news is that the H2H against del Potro now reads 6-2, and 2-2 for the year. Given that del Potro is an up-comer and has won their last two meetings, this puts Fed’s advantage in their H2H in theoretical territory.
It also means that del Potro is now not just an execution problem, but a game plan problem. Sure, Fed’s execution was abysmal in the first set. During their Australian Open quarterfinal this year, Federer made a total of 9 errors and 38 winners.
Today, we had glimpses of Ferd and his stinky play instead. Exhibit A:
Ferd, you didn’t need to make it that cute… and you wonder why the man was so visibly angry throughout the last set.
Until Federer figures out a way to stop sending balls back to del Potro within his strike zone, Ponyboy is going to keep pounding forehand monstrosities at him. And because del Poop hits flatter and harder than anybody on tour, it takes away the need for him to go for the lines, while increasing pressure on his opponents to pull the trigger earlier, constantly change directions on the ball.
It also means that no one is going to overpower Pony with sheer bludgeoning tennis. It’s a similar style of play to Maria Sharapova – they don’t do everything, but what they do? They do ridiculously well.
It’s time for Federer to get back to the drawing board for this guy. Figure out a way to handcuff him, neutralise the groundstrokes. While Pony is many times the player that Ivo Karlovic is, it would help for Fed to take a more “big servers” approach to Pony: hold thy own serve, prepare mentally for tiebreaks, and for fuck sake, take whatever breakpoint second serve that comes your way.
I knew it was a mistake letting Federbear out of the cupboard. Back to solitary confinement, I’m so not having your babies!