I'm not sure how it was possible that he did even worse than last year, considering how in form he was coming into the final. He started off brilliantly, even breaking Djokovic in the first set, but the fact that he gave the break back immediately pretty much sums up the match. Djokovic was the better player throughout, and the superior player on all the pressure points. Djokovic was so good that 'too good' doesn't do his performance any justice. He was superhuman. He was Federer-esque in how clutch he was - he never got broken again after that game in the first set. His performance was reminiscent of Peak Federer - indeed, reminiscent of Roger's match against Murray.
I'm really disappointed. I honestly don't think Roger had a better chance than this match. If only he'd held serve in the first set; if he'd been up one set to love, who knows what might have happened.
Then again, the fact that Djokovic overcame the shattering disappointment of missing 7 seven set points in the second to win so emphatically in the last two sets surely makes it more than plausible that he would've won regardless. He was on a mission tonight. As a tennis fan, I'm honestly blown away by how brilliant he was.
As a Federer fan, though...I wish he'd capitalised after that heroic effort to win the second set, coming back from 3-6 down to win 12-10, and saving a set point on Djokovic's serve at 6-5 with a miraculous backhand pass. Djokovic hit a strong first serve which elicited a weak reply from Roger. All he had to do was to hit the ball into the open court. Djokovic hit a routine angled forehand, one that would've been a winner against anyone else...but Roger ran it down and hit it past Djokovic at the net for a Djokovic-esque winner.
Sadly, the sheer elation I felt after that point, and when Roger hit the winning volley for the set, was not to last. Roger made way too many errors while Djokovic was stingy on that front. Djokovic played a tight, controlled game, while Roger's aggression verged on the desperate. Djokovic was also smart, making Roger move to his forehand side with flat, aggressive backhands, and Roger could never get to the ball fast enough to hit a running forehand that landed anywhere near confines of the singles sideline and baseline. Djokovic really exposed the deterioration in Roger's movement tonight, the way no other opponent in the tournament did. That's why he's the World #1.
Objectively speaking, this match, at least for the first two set, was brilliant. It just sucks that Roger is on the losing end yet again. Still, I would be lying if I claimed not to have been inspired by his fight and his determination in that second set tiebreak. Such things are what champions are made of, even those past their peak; and even if he never wins another slam again, he will always be the best.
In slightly cheerier news, I played tennis with Kelvin and he was so bad that I actually won, even if I didn't win. I served for the match again at 6-5; at deuce, he hit a ball out, so I went out to get it. When I came back to play the last point, he said that he'd given up.
Okay! Fine by me! It's kind of sad that I couldn't beat him more comprehensively, considering he practically played without a serve. He was serving all these doubles and then, when that proved too much, he hit these ridiculously short and soft serves that he simply popped into the service box. How sad was it that they actually troubled me?
I did hit some pretty awesome shots though - two backhand up the line winners, and an actual put-away easy-peasy volley that I did not miss.
That said, I am really the most idiotic person in the world. First, I hit an amazing backhand cross court return that I was sure was a winner. I promptly stood idly by to admire what I just did. To my utter shock, the ball fucking came back, and when I realised it and stepped up to hit it, I somehow attempted a forehand swing volley - and needless to say, I swung it into the net.
Second, Adrian told me a million times to cover the open court whenever I hit a ball down the line. Did I remember that? Of course not. When am I going to remember to move back to the centre after a down the line shot, instead of leaving my forehand side completely vulnerable? I need to think, for god's sake.
Anyway, that was fun, even if it wasn't much of a work out because he was tired. I practised my serve for a bit and got really pissed off. I think I need to break it apart; start with the racquet at the back of my head to get comfortable with the pronation, then find a full swing that works for me. My old service motion was full of redundant motions; and American Mark told me to ditch the massive circular movement and bring the racquet head up to the back of my head immediately with a bent elbow. I think it made perfect sense, so I've been trying to do that. Half the time, though, my ball toss is too low, or too much to the right, or too shitty; the other half of the time, my service motion is all weird and awkward, and I don't pronate. It's so annoying. I can't believe I'm still struggling with my serve after so long.
Anyway, because tennis wasn't much of a work out, I went to the gym at my condo and worked out on the cross trainer. It was my second time using it. I wasn't dripping with sweat like the first time (probably because I kept my visor on) and I burned 10 more calories in the same amount of time. It was super tiring but it felt pretty good. Britney Spears kept me going! (I need to make a work out play list.)
I'm tired. I'm going to wallow a bit in Roger's loss and then go to bed.