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!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Federer into Shanghai Semis

Roger Federer advanced to the semifinals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Friday, defeating Croat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4 without too much trouble.

The World #1 broke in the first game of the match, but was broken back as the two split the first four games.  It was no worry for Federer, however, as he broke at love at 3-2 and broke again at 5-3 to wrap up the set.  He once again went up an early break in the second set and kept that break until 5-3, when he was broken, but then promptly broke back to take the set and the match.

Federer now faces US Open champion Andy Murray in the semifinals, whom he lost to two years ago in the Shanghai final.  Roger will certainly be looking for revenge as he looks to get to yet another final in what has been an incredible 2012 season for him.

In the bottom half of the draw, Tomas Berdych beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic took out Tommy Haas, who is back in the top 20 with this result I believe.

Both semis should be highly competitive.  Djokovic obviously has the edge over Berdych, but I think Fed has the advantage over Murray.  He will be hungry and focused and will want to end Murray's undefeated streak in Shanghai, which sits at 13-0.  Plus, winning this match and then the title would set him up to have a better chance at keeping the #1 ranking, if it's even possible at all.

 This will be a defining match for Roger.  If he is able to win this title, especially having beaten Murray and Djokovic back-to-back (even Berdych would be good), then he will have firmly put his foot down in the race for the #1.  Should he win, I can't see him giving it up easily unless it's mathematically impossible to keep it.

Seeing Djokovic vs Federer in the final would be a treat, since they are the #1 and #2.  They also had an amazing two-set match in Shanghai two years ago, and if they could replicate that magic, we would be in for an absolute gem of a match.
Have a good match, Roger!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Federer clinches 300 weeks at #1

Roger Federer guaranteed himself getting to 300 weeks as the World #1 by defeating Stan Wawrinka 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-0 in a tight match that could have gone either way.

The leader of Grand Slam titles had a sluggish start, and his friend and countryman Wawrinka took full advantage and played some splendid tennis to take the first set.  Roger looked like he was in control of the second after going up a break, but then lost it right away.  The set went to a tiebreak after Fed saved a break point at 4-4.  He took an early lead in the tiebreak and didn't look back, wrapping up a very close second set that he probably should not have won.

In the third set, it was obvious Wawrinka had nothing left after fighting tooth and nail to come so close to winning the match, and the nosedive in quality of his play enabled Fed to pick his game up and go to the bakery, closing it out decisively, 6-0.

My thoughts:

The match reminded me a lot of the match Roger played against Igor Andreev in the first round of the 2010 Australian Open, Fed's 16th Slam.  In that match, he was down early and avoided huge danger in the third set before winning it and then closing out the fourth set 6-0.

I hope the Great Swiss can gain confidence from this win, much like he did from winning in similar fashion against Nikolay Davydenko in Rotterdam in February (which feels like ages ago now).  Next up in the quarterfinals is Marin Cilic, who got by Fernando Verdasco in three sets.  The Croat is dangerous but unpredictable, and Fed should be able to win comfortably if he plays his game.

Getting to 300 weeks at #1 is just an amazing achievement.  That mark is only 12 weeks shy of six full years with that #1 ranking, which, if you really think about it, is out of this world.  Roger should be proud of what he has done this year in getting back the #1 and breaking this mark.  I don't see anybody in the near future ever being able to accomplish it.


In other action on the day, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both cruised into the quarters with wins over Lopez and Dolgopolov.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Tomas Berdych both advanced, but the #6 seed Janko Tipsarevic was upset by Tommy Haas 62 61 and John Isner was taken out by Radek Stepanek in three.

The quarterfinal matches are as follows:  Federer vs Cilic, Djokovic vs Haas, Murray vs Stepanek, and Tsonga vs Berdych.  Watch out for Djokovic vs Haas; the two had an amazing clash in Toronto earlier in the year and it would be great to see the same kind of tennis being played here in Shanghai.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Federer Wins Shanghai Opener

Back in action for the first time since helping Switzerland get back in the Davis Cup World Group a few weeks ago, Roger Federer picked up his 62nd win of the 2012 season with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Yen-Tsun Lu of Chinese Taipei.

Federer and Lu had met once before, in the first round of Wimbledon in 2009.  Roger won in straight sets that day, but it was a highly competitive match featuring great tennis.  This match was no different, as Fed got the job done in one hour and twenty minutes.

Federer got the break in the sixth game and did not look back, wrapping up the first set without much difficulty.  The second set was more competitive as Lu raised his level, but Roger got the decisive break at 5-5 and held at love to take the match.

For it being his first match back in a few weeks, Federer did very well against a tricky opponent.  He hit 22 winners to 23 unforced errors, but was never caused too much trouble to really worry him.  He only served at 54% but won 93% of his first serve points and 69% of his second serve points.  Overall, it was about as much as you could expect from a return match.

Elsewhere in the draw, Novak Djokovic easily beat "Baby Fed" Grigor Dimitrov, and US Open champion Andy Murray didn't even have to play, getting through by way of a walkover.  He would have taken on Florian Mayer.

The two Tokyo finalists from last week, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, were both eliminated by Marcos Baghdatis and Sam Querrey respectively.  Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon were also upset.

Federer takes on his friend and countryman Stan Wawrinka in the 3rd round.  If he wins, he will guarantee holding the #1 ranking past this week, and thus, past the 300-week barrier, which is a huge accomplishment.

Novak Djokovic will take on the lefty Feliciano Lopez, whereas Murray takes on Alexandr Dolgopolov.  Also watch for Querrey vs Berdych and Tipsarevic vs Haas - both should be quality matches.