I’m still catching up on the DVR, but I caught wind that Roger Federer is facing Andy Murray in the Shanghai finals on Sunday. Fed scored some straight sets revenge on Novak Djokovic in the semis, and from what I’m seeing in the first set, both guys were revved up. Maybe Mirka has a calming influence when she’s in the stands, because Roger was definitely snarling more than usual on Saturday.
Yes, Roger would happily trade finals – Shanghai for the US Open – but it must have felt great to tag Nole right before the World Tour Finals and with the Australian Open around the bend.
Added bonus for Roger: he’s swiping the No. 2 ranking from Novak. Not that he cares. . .really:
Q. You defeated the world No. 2. Now you’re the world No. 2. How do you feel about it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, 2, 3, 4, as long as I’m in the top four, it doesn’t matter. I’d rather be 1 than 2 and rather be 2 than 3. This doesn’t have much of an impact. This isn’t why I’m here in Shanghai, to get back to No. 2 in the world. That’s a nice bonus. But the focus is trying to win the finals tomorrow. Obviously if I want to get back to world No. 1 at some stage, I need to win tournaments and get deep into tournaments. That’s why I need to beat the best to get there.
How’s that go again, Rog? No. 2, No. 3, it’s only No. 1 matters.
Andy Murray scored a tidy 6-4, 6-1 victory over Juan Monaco in the other semi. Any Andy Murray scholars out there who care to explain this quote?
Q. We’ll find out in a few hours, but any preference for tomorrow, Novak or Roger?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I do really enjoy playing Roger. You know, it’s obviously a great experience every time you get to play against him. So I wouldn’t mind playing Roger. But, I mean, I wouldn’t like to pick a winner of the match. I mean, Novak has played great. Last week he didn’t drop a set. He didn’t drop a set this week. Obviously the US Open, he got to the final and beat Roger. It’s tough to pick a winner. But I wouldn’t mind playing Roger.
Catch that everyone? Andy wouldn’t mind playing Roger. You know, for kicks and what not. It can’t just be the 7-5 head-to-head advantage the Scot enjoys over the Swiss, can it? (Murray’s 3-4 vs. Djokovic). I honestly think that Andy enjoys the challenge – with all the spin, variety, subtle head games, GOAT dust, etc. the match-up is the tennis geek’s version of the Sunday crossword puzzle. And Sunday in Shanghai gives us Geek v. Geek.
Anyone care to make a prediction?
Oh, and because I didn’t have a chance to post this after Monaco beat Melzer yesterday – a late entry for best tennis photo of the year: