Saturday, 1 April 2017

Federer outlasts Kyrgios - just !

In over three hours of some of the best tennis played on the men's tour this year, Roger Federer scraped over the line against a valiant Nick Kyrgios who was booed and heckled by a crowd spoilt by the riches being delivered to them, but unable to contain their vitriol towards one of those providing the elite entertainment.

Even Mrs Federer at one stage joined in the chorus of anti Kyrgios sentiment when in fact she should have simply rejoiced in what her husband was delivering.

Set one was where perhaps Kyrgios lost his chance to stamp authority on the Miami Open semi final.  Federer was holding serve with apparently more ease than Kyrgios, but both reached three holds without too much drama.
Then the Australian produced a stunning return game which surprised the Swiss ace who these days is surprised by little on any tennis court.
Two break points were created, and only the first was able to be saved, as the twelfth seed broke for a 4-3 lead.  5-3 came quickly with Federer rattled.

Serving to stay in the set, Federer drew on all his reserves to avoid another lapse, and despite being pressured constantly to deuce, he managed to hold and ask Kyrgios to serve for it.
At 15-30 Kyrgios played the perfect point except for the easy put away which he carelessly put outside the court.  
Federer seized on the break points gifted him and won the game to level at 5-5.

The eventual tie break was a marathon in itself and Kyrgios again left chances begging before Federer decided to claim the prize 11 points to 9.

Deflated at losing a set which he should really have won, Kyrgios didn't fall in a screaming heap, rather kept up his end of a thrilling contest and the two served their respective ways to another tie break - this one lasting as long as the first.
Kyrgios saved match points and Federer saved set points but for the first time in the tournament Roger lost a tie break.

Set three - tie break again.  Kyrgios up 5-3 and in a replica of the Berdych quarter final, Federer won the final four points of the match.  7-6 6-7 7-6 and Federer in the final.

One that slipped from his grasp for Nick Kyrgios, but after all the tears and racquet destruction he must take heaps of positives from the match.
He forced Federer to produce his absolute best to win, and there was only a breath in it.

A shame that the crowd was so disgraceful in its vociferous abuse of Kyrgios.  Yes it is a choice not to like someone, but to yell it at him for three hours, even at times while he was preparing to serve or about to hit a forehand was a bit rich.
Love Roger till the cows come home but leave the hate somewhere else.

There was a second semi final, actually played before the first, and Rafa Nadal dispensed with Fabio Fognini as expected, in straight sets 6-1 7-5.
This match was the first of the day and played before a women's doubles semi final.
The tournament organisers scheduled it correctly because the Nadal match turned out to be about as interesting as a curtain raiser for the doubles.

The Nadal / Federer final however, should be a cracker.  Federer is on a roll in the head to head battle which has historically been a Nadal picnic.  Twice this year - Aus Open final and Indian Wells round of sixteen - Roger has mastered Rafa, and Rafa is a little angry.  Can he change his game plan sufficiently to blunt the Swiss serve which has overpowered the Spaniard so far in 2017 ?

On what we have seen from Berdych and Kyrgios against the Fed Express there is every chance that a first Miami trophy could find its way into the Nadal luggage.

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