Watching the ATP Basel final yesterday I couldn’t help but feel the desperation in Roger Federer. He was more animated than I’ve seen him in a long time, talked with himself, contested the umpire, shot a ball into the roof of the stadium and seemed agitated with every shot that didn’t go his way.
This wasn’t the pre-2013 often magnanimous Federer, this wasn’t a maestro, this was a player fighting to play his best.
Although he lost the final in the end, 6-7 6-2 4-6, he can take many positives out of his hometown tournament and the main thing was that he fought hard and tried his best. Even if he didn’t reach any absolutely glorious heights, the second set was very good and he refused to just fade out at any stage in the match. In the end you just have to give a proper applause for the focused and confident play from Del Potro. He was the better player yesterday, even if it was very close.
So, all you Federer fans reading this are of course, like yours truly, hoping that our champ qualifies for the ATP World Tour Finals. Thanks to his final showing he only needs to win one match in Paris to do that. He will face either the tall, hard-serving South African, Kevin Anderson or the winner of ATP 500 in Valencia, Mikhail Youzhny. Both players can give him a test, but looking at the facts and the confidence that Federer must have collected from his four wins, he should get ready for London and the O2 Arena next week.
And if he does I hope to see the Fighting Federer and the magnanimous, confident maestro, all rolled into one. Then he can win another title in 2013.