Monday, Nov. 10 was anticipated with eagerness by Federer fans all over the world. The match between Roger Federer and Gilles Simon, though scheduled for the late evening, was something everyone was preoccupied with.
But sadly, those who wanted a Federer victory were denied the euphoria of seeing him win. After a two-hour gutsy battle with Frenchman Simon, Federer finally succumbed.
Though he took the first set 6-4, he seemed to be ill at ease and his game continuously faltered thereafter.
In the second set, he converted a break in the third game but ended up giving a break to Simon in the next.
Also, he didn't manage to convert many opportunities that came his way. On the other hand, Simon suddenly transformed the game, played a few great shots and took the second set 6-4.
That was it! Federer suddenly looked vulnerable and the pressure was on him. The scene at that point eerily reminded one of the Toronto Masters second round.
As Simon geared for serving in the third set, Federer fans expected magic to make its presence felt and hoped for a Federer rebound. Unfortunately, the wheel of luck was not going to turn that way.
Although both Federer and Simon retained their service until the sixth game, the 23-year-old Frenchman proved too good in the end. He forced Federer to make mistakes that the Swiss Master rarely makes. Federer's game was unnaturally below par, his shot selection not up to the mark at all.
But more important than this was the fact about Federer's unforced errors. After every prefect shot, Federer committed an error. It was something that neither him nor any of his fans would have wanted.
The fact that he needs a coach ASAP was reflected time and again today, and the draw will not do anything to help him. It is the grossest draw that could have been drawn.
With Murray and Roddick out there to challenge him in the next few days, it seems an uphill task for him. The only solace that can be garnered is that, last year too, Federer lost his opening match but went on to win the title.
So, that is one more thing to look at the glass as being half full. But I would like Federer and so will each and every fan of his, to make the glass not half full, but fill it to the brim!
Gan Batte Khudasai Federer!!