Roger Federer fell short in his bid to win a 5th title in Hamburg, losing to 114th ranked Argentinian Frederico Delbonis76(7), 76(4).
Things started out great for the 4-time champion as he broke in the third game, but could not consolidate that break. The two went back and forth the rest of the set and it ended in the eventual tiebreak. Federer had a 4-2 lead at the changeover but squandered a set point and then Delbonis converted his.
In the second Roger faced a lot of pressure on his serve but dealt with it well as he usually does. He saved three break points in his opening service game and then a few more at 3-3. At 3-4, he had a break point chance but the Argentinian put away a nice forehand winner and won the game. In the tiebreaker, he struck together some good points and got the biggest win of his career when Roger dumped a tame forehand into the net.
It's a disappointing loss as they always are, but I am trying to look on the positive side of things. Fed got 4 matches under his belt with the new racquet, fought well in two matches against Brands and Mayer, and got some added matches. The title would have been sweet, but it's not doom and gloom that he didn't win it. At the end of the day, he had a set point in the first set and a break in the second to serve for the match, so perhaps if a few points had gone his way he would be in the final challenging for the trophy.
Overall, I am happy with the way he played with the new racquet. He generated more power off the ground, especially his backhand, and his defense was a bit better as he was able to get better quality shots on the run. Some of the shanks and mishits were still there, but as I said previously, those are a result of not being in position to hit the intended shot, not the size of the racquet.
It is interesting to note that he played the match vs Delbonis with his back taped, so I hope that's not a big problem (though I feel it will never go away). Not that it was an excuse for his play - this was one of those matches he would have found a way to win last year when his confidence and momentum was greater.
Well, onwards and upwards to Gstaad, in Switzerland, where Roger will look to pick up title #78 and #2 of the season.
This is my tennis blog, Lefty Advantage. Tennis is my biggest passion in life and I started this site to discuss the great game. I mainly follow the career of Roger Federer, but I truly love watching all tennis, whether it be the final of a Grand Slam or a junior tournament on the other side of the world.
I have played tennis for 13 years. If you ever met me, I could talk your head off about all things tennis for hours on end if you would let me. Welcome, and enjoy the writing!