general MC: your take on the Fed match against the russian shrimp.
I thought they both played at a fairly high level for the first few games in the first set.
Looked like they were both trying to establish a foothold closest to the baseline and see who would blink first in the battle of half volleys from deep shots. Davydenko blinked first and was broken.
After that, Davydenko only had sporadic moments of good play, though he served some bombs (130 mph is almost unbelievable from him), but he didn't do it enough to bother Federer.
After Federer established superiority in the match, he relaxed and didn't play consistently at a high level, but just did enough to break when it counted. He was going for a lot of tough shots, quick strike tennis and didn't seem to worry if he was making more errors than usual. My guess is that he didn't want to stay out in the 104 degree heat longer than necessary. His serve was on, something close to 70% on first serves and 60% of second serves won, and he didn't even face a break point the entire match. That was enough.
Memo to Davydenko: it's difficult to win if you can't break. Once Federer got on top of him, Davydenko looked at a loss mentally. He couldn't figure a way to hurt Federer. Well, I don't think he has enough weaponry to hurt Federer these days. He is not as quick as he was, he was not able to get close enough inside the baseline to hit enough angles, and he can't keep up his running for as long as he used to. He's simply aging faster from a playing standpoint than Federer is.
Anyway that's how I saw it. Now Federer will play the youngster Tomic. Tomic has shot off his mouth quite a bit... saying how much confidence he got from beating Djokovic a couple of weeks ago. Memo to Tomic: It was only an EXHIBITION. Did Djokovic really care? Anyway, Tomic does look a bit more fit and seems to be playing with more confidence, but hasn't really played any top player in a tour event this year. I think at most he might take a set. 3 sets is more likely. But who knows, maybe Federer will toy with him for awhile to keep the crowd entertained.
We'll see what happens.