Sunday, 23 March 2008
Go Mardy, Go
Wow, Fish ambushes Federer. Watched the first set last night when Fish was in charge but fully expected to wake up this morning to find that Federer beat him in 3.
Federer tried to put a positive gloss on the result (as well as the best player in the game he is also one of the most PR savvy):
"All in all, I'm happy the way this week has been going for me. The walkover is an awkward situation, but you have to take them when they come around.
"A semi-final to start off with at the first Masters Series is a good thing again, and I hope I can go from here and win in Miami and on to clay.
"I feel I've got the matches in I really wanted, you know. So I feel better than still 10 days ago, that's for sure."
But there's no getting away from the fact that he's currently in his worst run since becoming No 1. By the end of March 2006 Federer had won 4, including 1 Slam and 2 Masters. Wind the clock forward 2 years and he hasn't even made a final.
Rumours of his death have been exaggerated - as I've said before I still believe he'll end the year No 1 - but it's hard to imagine he'll ever enjoy the complete stranglehold on the sport that he had between 2004 and 2007.
The only crump of comfort for Federer is that when the ranking are published tomorrow he will have increased the gap over Nadal, as Rafa failed to defend the points he bagged by winning the tournament last year and Federer improved on his first round exit in 07.
It's worth pointing out that Fish only entered the tournament thanks to a wild-card. And it's great to see an underdog journeyman have his day in the sun. I hope he goes all the way and takes the title this evening.