Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez are ready for Wimbledon

After a couple tournaments where he showed some signs of being rusty after taking an extended break during the clay court season, Roger Federer played the best match of this grass court season in the championship match of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany against Alexander Zverev. Federer’s backhand was back in solid form as he dominated Zverev 6-1, 6-3 for his ninth Halle title.

At The Queen’s Club in London, Feliciano Lopez won his sixth ATP singles title by beating Marin Cilic at the Aegon Championships. With the five wins this week, Lopez moved into third place among active players with 72 grass court victories. Only Roger Federer (157 wins) and Andy Murray (102 wins) have more grass victories. That’s good company!

Wimbledon begins on Monday, July 3rd. Many people consider Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to be the strong favorites.

Roger Federer’s Best Match?

Last night I saw Roger Federer play possibly the best match of his career. There have been many more meaningful matches in his career, especially against his Indian Wells Round of 16 opponent, Rafael Nadal, but the way Federer destroyed Nadal (6-2, 6-3) has to be graded up there with some of Fed’s best performances.

Much was said on Tennis Channel after the match about how Roger Federer switched over to a bigger racquet in 2014 and it is now paying dividends. Jim Courier gave almost all the credit for that decision to Paul Annacone who was Federer’s coach back then. I think the switch was definitely beneficial and it does take awhile for players to adjust to new racquets, especially in Roger’s case because he had used the smaller head sized racquet for so long.

The improved 2017 version of Federer, minus the loss to a much lesser-skilled player a couple weeks ago, has a lot to do with his backhand. Beautiful topspin backhand technique has been a staple of Roger’s game, but the one-handed backhand is a shot that relies on a lot of confidence, and Federer hasn’t always exhibited confidence on that wing during big points and matches. It’s quite possible that a mix of the bigger racquet, the couple of years of improved timing with the racquet, and current coach Ivan Ljubicic’s guidance, has put some energy and confidence into Federer’s step and swing. Of course there could be other factors that cannot be discounted, such as a feeling of nothing to lose and a renewed spirit for the game of tennis after being away from the tour a good chunk of 2016. Whatever is happening, it’s a pleasure to watch!

In the quarterfinal round of Indian Wells, Roger Federer will play Nick Kyrgios. The unpredictable Australian is fresh off back-to-back wins against another great player, Novak Djokovic. Make sure to tune in on Friday.

Weekend Plans for January 28 and 29

This weekend I will be focusing most of my efforts on moving out of condo into new house that we took possession of on Monday. Along with the move out of condo, I will need to make trips to our storage unit to go through stuff that’s been in there for almost a year. Don’t want to bring moldy items into the new house!

I will also be waking up early, early in the morning tomorrow to watch the Australian Open men’s final. Let’s go Roger Federer!

Where the top 10 women are starting their tennis seasons

On January 1, 2017, a new Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tennis season begins with three main draw events taking place across three countries. The main draw of the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia starts on January 1st, and both the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand and Shenzhen Open in Shenzhen, China events commence on January 2nd.

Angelique Kerber striking a forehand
Angelique Kerber striking a forehand

The top 10 women will be starting their seasons at the following locations:

  1. Angelique Kerber – Brisbane, Australia
  2. Serena Williams – Auckland, New Zealand
  3. Agnieszka Radwanska – Shenzhen, China
  4. Simona Halep – Shenzhen, China
  5. Dominika Cibulkova – Brisbane, Australia
  6. Karolina Pliskova – Brisbane, Australia
  7. Garbine Muguruza – Brisbane, Australia
  8. Madison Keys – recovering from wrist surgery
  9. Svetlana Kuznetsova – Brisbane, Australia
  10. Johanna Konta – Shenzhen, China

For a more complete list of tournament entrants, go to the official WTA Tennis website.