Well, that happened, didn’t it?
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did his happy “thumbs dance” all over Court Chatrier on Tuesday, trouncing Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. It was not an epic, it was not a thriller, it was not a Herculean effort for the Frenchman. It was a breeze. Okay, that’s disrespectful to all involved – of course it’s never “easy” to beat Roger Federer in a Major quarterfinal – Jo’s coach, Roger Rasheed, even shed a tear at the end, and not because he was chopping onions. Jo played a solid match when it mattered most , in front of his home crowd at his home Major. His opponent, well, let’s just say he didn’t make his presence felt out there.
At least it was quick. At least it was Jo-Wilfried. This is not the kind of loss you want Roger to suffer to the likes of Tomas Berdych. If he’s going to lose in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, then make it to a charismatic Frenchman with a gorgeous smile to go with that powerful game.
So, that happened. Why it happened. . .well it’s all too tempting to speculate. It’s funny the things that run through my mind during and after these kinds of matches. It goes something like this: Poor old Roger was tired after that five setter vs. Simon! (It lasted all of three hours and was played on Sunday, but still. . .) Plus, his back probably hurt. The guy’s only form of physical therapy is a black t-shirt, for God’s sake! Geeze, now that I think about it, maybe it’s a blessing that he lost early, and to Jo-Wilfried. No shame in that, no real harm done to the career head-to-head or GOAT reputation, the quarterfinal streak is intact and since he’s obviously old, tired and injured why not close up shop early and get ready for the BIG PUSH? Wimbledon! So let Rafa and Nole play one of their six hour matches in the semis. No matter what the outcome of the tournament, both will be mentally exhausted come SW19. That’s it! Brilliant, Roger! Simply brilliant! No wonder you were grinning at the net afterwards. How long did you and Mirka stay up after the twins were in bed, discussing this master plan?
You don’t think he’s capable of such deciet? Come on, the guy has a history of being sneaky!
Yeah, my whole thought process is pretty embarrassing. I’m just being honest. No judgement, okay?
The real upside to this loss: We have an interesting break in the Big 4 stranglehold on the Major finals, with either Ferrer or Tsonga in the mix. We also have two fabulous quarters left to play between Tommy Haas and Nole and Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafa. With Roger out, this is basically a win, win, win, win, win, win situation for me! (Okay, full disclosure: I’m rooting for Jo, then Nole, then Tommy!)
Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova played the match of the day today in their quarterfinal, with Serena escaping in three sets. It was so fun to see Sveta play at almost her top level and to see someone who could match Serena’s power and variety stroke-by-stroke. I also enjoyed seeing Serena have to fight for her win. Her tennis is awesome in almost every match, but to see her have to gather herself and find the next level takes awesome to the biblical level. I don’t foresee her needing this kind of tennis in her semifinal vs. Sara Errani, but things could get interesting in the final if Vika emerges victorious on the other side of the draw (sorry, Maria, but I don’t want to watch another bloodbath of a final).
Thoughts? Feelings? Confessions?