The Artois Championships:
Rafa beat elderly grass courter Jonas Bjorkman 6-2,6-2. Do you think the Spaniard’s adjusted to the grass, yet? (He did lose his doubles match yesterday, but I’ll give him a pass on that one.) Djokovic got through Croat Karanusic in straights, Roddick needed three sets to get by Ginepri, who probably wishes they were still on clay (6-7,6-1,6-1), Hewitt, Gulbis and Fish all made it through and the big news for me: Gasquet won a match (beating Bolelli in straights)! Any news is positive right now when it comes to the Frenchman, who has been paralyzed by his lack of confidence, ducking big matches in Davis Cup and then the entire French Open! He’s also, much to my disappointment, decided NOT to play in the Olympics. We’ll see if “baby Fed” can find his confidence on grass.
Speaking of Roger, he breezed through his first match today against Michael Berrer, 6-4, 6-2. The tournament continues to keep a close eye on him at all times, and has passed along the following information on Roger’s feelings heading into the grass court season after his loss at Roland Garros (click here for the full article):
Shortly after his arrival in Halle, Federer worked out on grass for the first time. “The surface here is a little different from Paris,” he joked at the press conference. He must have enjoyed the training session – and certainly was looking forward to the tournament. His first conclusion: “I am already feeling comfortable here again.”
Joining him were girlfriend Mirka as well as his physiotherapist, his fitness trainer and coach Jose Higueras. Federer has started the mission “Wimbledon-Victory”. “I am already over the loss in Paris,” he stated. “It does not matter if you lose by a big or a small margin. A loss is a loss. After all, I was in the final of the French Open, so I am happy about it.” He did not seem too frustrated about missing out on the sole Grand Slam title he has yet to win.
Uh, okay. I guess Roger’s always been a believer in the power of positive thinking.
Other results from Halle: defending champ Berdych continues his unimpressive year with a straight set lost against “Mr. Popular” Robin Soderling, fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber beat “wait, this is my comeback!” Tommy Haas, and Blake is currently in a three set battle against German Benjamin “no relation” Becker.
It was nice to see Baghdatis come through in straights yesterday against Jan Hernych. He faces Santoro next, which should be interesting.