I enjoyed this extended highlights reel from Roger’s second round match in Basel. It was a tight match, with perpetual up-and-comer Thomaz Bellucci taking the second set before Roger found a way to close it out: 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5. It’s nice to see some serve-and-volley from Roger on the indoor courts:
Grigor Dimitrov, who had a tough 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 win over Julien Benneteau on Wednesday to earn his own spot in the Basel quarterfinals, showed off why he’s considered the tour’s current “Baby Fed” during his first round win over Troicki. Come on Roger, you can top this!
Former Baby Fed, Richard Gasquet, is also in the Basel quarters after a straight sets win over Roger’s good buddy Marco Chiudinelli. Juan Martin del Potro, who Roger must be eyeing as his final opponent this week, easily made it through his first round match vs. Falla. I’m looking forward to the Argentine’s second rounder vs. Great American Comeback King Brian Baker (Baker proved himself yet again in the first round with a win over tough indoor customer, Radek Stepanek).
In Valencia, fans were treated to some bonus time with Juan Carlos Ferrero, who played the last singles match of his career yesterday in his loss to countryman Nicolas Almagro, but managed to stay alive in doubles, teaming with partner David Ferrer on Wednesday to take out the team of Berlocq/Dolgopolov. Yay! We can admire Juan Carlos’s Petite Prince hair for at least one more match!
The ATP put together tribute for Ferrero, featuring Murray, Djokovic and Federer making nice, if slightly awkward, remarks in the “have-a-nice-life” vein. I would have liked to hear more from J.C.’s Davis Cup teammates, but Roger’s words about growing up on tour together were lovely:
In other Valencia news, two of the tournament’s biggest servers were knocked out early. John Isner lost to Belgium’s wispy warrior, David Goffin, despite hitting 21 aces and winner 68% of his service points (via ATP) and Milos Raonic lost to Gilles Muller. Little guy Leyton Hewitt was knocked out by Ivan Dodig after scoring a big upset in the first round vs. top tenner Juan Monaco.