- What wonderful emotion showed by Roger Federer in Basel when he won on Sunday!
The champ claimed his 65th title so it was so surprising to see him nearly in tears.
But it is a really special event for him, at home in front of an audience totally dedicated to him.
I think it also proves how hard the Swiss has worked since he asked Paul Annacone for help.
After a season of struggles (because when you're Federer, only reaching a quarter-final in two Grand Slams can be seen as failing), he understood that if he really wanted to win Majors again it was high time to go back to work.
He seems so much more motivated now and we've noticed signs this summer in the States with his offensive mindset.
To see him play so many tournaments and being so focused in each one shows his renewed spirit.
He told how he felt stronger than last year before the match, how he was fit and it was unusual for him to show how ambitious he was for the final.
It wasn't the best match of the year.
After winning the first set, Roger totally lost his rhythm and the second set. I felt like he was searching for his game and he was struggling a lot.
I think he saw himself losing at that moment and it would have happened if Novak hadn't missed all the offered chances before sinking in the decisive set.
It's so refreshing to watch Federer, this amazing champion, being so hungry for an ATP 500 event!
- In Valencia, David Ferrer clinched his home tournament against Marcel Granollers who seized his chance in the draw after the early defeat of Andy Murray.
The Scotsman is again too erratic and his quest for a coach is inefficient.
It's becoming urgent now that Murray finds a real coach. He can go on as he is and remain in the top five but if he truly wants to win a Grand Slam, he has to make sure a top quality team surrounds him.
Murray has a lot of skills but his last two seasons are the ultimate proof of his lack of a clear guiding force.
The fitness period coming after the Masters Cup, it'd be very interesting for him to pick someone in order to be in the best possible conditions to start 2011.
Ferrer isn't talked about much but he wins a huge amount of matches per season.
This year only Rafael Nadal has won more matches than him. He has claimed two titles and reached three more finals in 2010.
A mini Nadal and an outstanding gladiator.
- The Paris Masters this week is the last tournament before the Masters Cup.
Rafa Nadal won't be there (officially because of tendonitis in his left shoulder) but Federer is playing back-to-back tournaments.
I find it reassuring that both champions have learned from their mistakes.
The Spaniard, unable to stop playing in the past, has accepted that he needs to save his energy in order to stay healthy. So now he's taking rest when needed.
The Swiss, not really involved in the smaller events, has paid the price when it mattered in big tournaments. So now, he's playing every event he's entering with real commitment.
- The last tournament of the season in Bali ended with a triumph for Ana Ivanovic which isn't a surprise.
The Serbian confirmed once more that she's playing again at a really good level and, most importantly, that she has regained the confidence she was severely lacking.
The work done by Heinz Gunthardt paid off and that's why I was astonished when she announced their collaboration was over.
After suffering for so long andhaving tried so many coaches, she had finally found someone able to bring her what she was needing the most: confidence, a game plan and serenity.
The surface in Bali is unusual as it is so quick and sleek and was well suited to the Serbian's game.
A good serve with a nice slice plus fast and flat groundstrokes were the main weapons to own in Bali.
- Italy won the Fed Cup on Sunday and only two countries have won the last sixth editions of the Fed Cup: Italy (three times) and Russia (three times).
I hope this will make the French officials think about a way to help France to be at its best in this competition.
Italy wins because of the cohesion of the team which eat, and train together all year long and not just in a week long training camp.
Russia wins because they can count on a lot of great players who are kept motivated to play Fed Cup by being allowed to keep their usual team to prepare for the event.
For each tie, the private coaches of the girls are there, training their player and so working all together for one and only goal: the team success.
PS: the first video of this blog is ready and should be on-line in a couple of days. Technical aspects and changes to Rafael Nadal's serve will be the topic.
- Roger Federer
- Rafael Nadal