Well, the Madrid craziness continues with defending champ Roger Federer losing to Kei Nishikori in the third round: 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. I have to say I’m surprised. I’ve been underwhelmed by Kei in the past, perhaps because he always seems to be injured around the majors and I’ve never really seen him at his best. Well, he certainly has my attention! As disappointed as I am to see Roger out of the tournament so early, I continue to be excited by the emergence of some fresh blood at this tournament (enjoying watching Dimitrov play Wawrinka as I type this.)
Kei was certainly excited by the result(via ESPN):
“He was my idol and to beat him was one of the goals for my tennis career,” the 16th-ranked Nishikori said. “Beating Roger is, yeah … I need a couple of days to celebrate.”
Roger mentioned afterwards that he enjoyed seeing the young guys make waves, saying “I think it’s exciting and good for the game,” though he had a withering take on his own performance. I’ve rarely heard him sound so frustrated with himself (via ATP):
“I was lacking control from the baseline, and that pretty much carried through from start to finish. I’m pretty disappointed with my play. I’m not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn’t think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing.
“At least I’ll come out with some ideas of what I need to work on. Clearly the ball flies here and it’s faster, so that makes it sometimes trickier to find your rhythm. We’re so accustomed to always finding that rhythm eventually, so it’s even more disappointing if you never really find it, which was the case today.
“I feel like I want to go to the practice courts this afternoon, but clearly I’m not going to do that. I’m going to make sure I’m as well prepared as I can be for Rome. I’m excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts. And I like to do that, and I’ll do that well and hard.”
I like the anger and frustration better than Roger’s usual “I think I played fairly well” comments. Obviously you never know how it’s going to go when a player returns from an extended break from match play – in this case, not so great. But I do hope Kei celebrates responsibly, as they say in the tequila ads, and goes deeper into the tournament.
And. . .it looks like Dimitrov’s Madrid hot streak has fizzled out vs. Wawrinka, though his relationship with Maria Sharapova (who is into the quarters, where she’ll play Kaia Kanepi) is coming to a full boil.
Isn’t there an enterprising British tabloid that can hack into Grigor’s cell phone?
Do you think she calls him Baby Fed when they . . .oh, never mind.
Speaking of Baby Feds (how’s that for an awkward transition???), I just adore these photos of the Federer twins from this week. Roger’s exit means the Caja Magica not only loses some magic, but a whole lotta cuteness, as well. I can’t believe they grow up so fast!
As a new mom, myself, this one just makes me smile:
The twins can read already! I’m imagining Roger still on tour in ten years, and the twins in the player’s box doing their homework: “Hey Dad, what’s the square root of 16?”
This one cracks me up – the Federer Family Day Care Center. Onsite, of course.
All Fed family Photos via “Roger Federer the Champ”
And the quarterfinals are set. Thoughts? (I thought Simon had Murray in the bag today. . .)
Wawrinka vs. Tsonga
Murray vs. Berdych
Nadal vs. Ferrer
Nishikori vs. Andujar
Serena Williams vs. Anabel Medina
Ekaterina Makarova vs. Sara Errani
Angelique Kerber vs. Ana Ivanovic
Kaia Kanepi vs. Maria Sharapova