Open secret is Roger’s love for this grass court tournament based in Halle, Germany. The Swiss has won this one a record ten times and has dominated it such that he won it three times without a loss of a single set. But on Monday he had to work hard against Belarussian qualifier Ivashka despite winning in straight sets. Only one break of serve the whole match and it went to the Swiss master. Ivashka’s serve was dynamite. He is a big guy and can pass for a basketball player any day. He notched up 8 Aces against Federer and as a result of his good first serve won a huge 73% of his points on first serve.
I got to feel bad for Ivashka. He probably played the better tennis to Federer only to lose the tie break. Watch that forehand at 3-2(30-15). Federer has got a forehand of his own in his locker watching 5-5 first point. As we know, what separates the BIG 3 of men’s tennis from the others is their ability to go a gear up on the crucial points. Roger did just that. Watch 6-4 in the tie break. Grass is all about net play knowing when to come to the net and when to stay. No body does it better than Roger. Got Ivan Ljubicic all fire up in the crowd. Second set, Roger seized the only break of the match in the twelfth game. Watch 6-5(30-0). Incredible defense by Roger with that forehand lob which pushed Ivashka deep into the corner of his side of the court pretty much turning the tables during the rally. A tight victory for Roger, Ivashka doing himself no “disservice” with this display.