Mats Wilander here, I hope everybody is enjoying the Aussie Open. Roger Federer is today but not so much last night in his five set victory over Gilles Simon. Federer came out and played brilliantly in the first two sets winning both very comfortably. It was hard to see how Simon had beaten Federer the only two times they had played. But then the third set started and Simon was a different player. He started playing a little bit more agressive and that was enough to turn Federer into a player without any confidence at all, no self belief and no idea what to do. Simon broke Federer’s serve three times in winning the set 6-3. All the work Federer had done in the last six months with new coach Paul Annacone wasn’t paying off, because of Gilles Simon’s ability to absorb pace and then suddenly generate enough pace of his own to hit outright winners. To be very critical, Federer didn’t do a very good job adjusting to the situation. He stayed very close to the baseline without going for his shots and that’s no place to be defending from. Simon eventually won the fourth set 7-5 and if I had to pick the winner at that stage I would have gone for Simon. He had won the only two matches they had played and now the last two sets. But Roger Federer is a different player these days and again became the “dictator” of the court. Sometimes it’s good to be stubborn and stick to the gameplan, because the same way Federer had lost the third and the fourth set he somehow won the fifth 6-3. Play safe and take a lot of chances, just like Roger Federer….by Mats Wilander, Melbourne.
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