Last night I thought we were going to get about 2 hours of tennis. Rafa would wipe Devvarman off the court in 45 minutes and Fed would punish the young American Ryan Harrison in about an hour or so. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Devarrman proved he was worthy of center court and fighting Nadal in every point. His spirited effort really earned the respect of the crowd as well as his opponent. However at the end Nadal's relentless vigor was too much for Devvarman losing 7-5 6-4.
Although Devvarman lost the match I could see his sense of belief. He knew he belonged. I think we will see him in the top 30 very soon and he will gain the support of the entire nation of India. \
Now lets talk Federer. How does an 18 year old wild card push Federer to 2 tough sets? Is the killer instinct gone? Harrison serving first dumps 2 double faults back to back and drops serve in the first game in 1 minute. I thought OK, deer in head lights, this match should be over in 45 minutes. But from that point forward Harrison, as did Devvarman, played fantastic tennis. He was aggressive and not intimidated by playing arguably the best tennis player ever to hold a racket. He served and volleyed, he took full cuts at Federer's second serve which came quit often. There was a moment where Fed seemed surprised and frazzled by the play of Harrison. We all knew Federer would ultimately win the match as a fan it made me wonder about his recent inability to put his opponents away. I know Im saying this after he beat Chela 6-2 6-0 but look at his other results and he seems to let players hang around in a set just long enough to give them a chance.
I am looking forward to seeing Djokovic, Rafa and Federer in the final couple rounds of the BNP Paribas Open. The results in the next few days will send a message to rest of the field on who really is the player to beat...it could be Del Potro!