When Roger Federer conceded in the second round of Cincinnati to Andrey Rublev with a scoreline of 6-3 6-4 then fans were very surprised.
Is loss in Cincinnati going to affect Federer’s chances at the US Open?
One of the reasons for Federer’s defeat as per the analysts was the conditions in Cincinnati, which was much faster and a player not in the rhythm was sure to struggle in those conditions.
It may be noted that Federer was on a break for several weeks after Wimbledon. Federer was not moving well in Cincinnati and it caused some mistakes. He seemed too defensive in the match. He looked ‘rusty’ and his speed was a little less than ideal. Probably this was the reason for Federer’s defeat there.
Now this lack of game practise can be crucial for Federer’s chances in the US Open. He is slated to play 2 matches on hard court before he starts US Open campaign. If he finds his rhythm in these 2 matches, then he will be a contender for the US Open trophy this year. Also, the conditions in the US Open will not be as fast as in Cincinnati which should help the Swiss great find his rhythm easily.
A relevant question is whether playing just 2 matches is a disadvantage for the maestro. Heinz Günthardt, the former tennis great from Switzerland says:
“That’s certainly not optimal. It is hoped that he will receive a relatively good draw, which is possible in a 128-tableau. At the US Open, best-of-5 is played, meaning that Federer has more time to find the rhythm. If he wins the first few matches, I’m not worried about him. Because Federer needs very little to play really well. Not least, he proved that at the Australian Open in 2017, when he got better after a long break during the tournament. I have the same hope for the US Open.”
Federer is expected to be at the top of his game after the defeat in Cincinnati. If he is able to find his rhythm then certainly there is no stopping him.