Most pundits have been seeing the Roddick v Federer final as an
inevitability, but having watched Roddick against Bracciali, and
Federer now against Kiefer, I'm finding the two favourites far from
convincing. Bracciali clearly showed that the Roddick serve isn't quite
as invincible as we may once have thought, and perhaps, if he was a bit
more experienced in 5 sets, there may have been an upset.
Federer has been coasting through matches, but has been looking rather
complacent, making rather a lot of unforced errors, and not really
forcing the issue. Kiefer appears to be dictating a lot of points with
Federer playing too defensive, and looking vulnerable to passing shots
at the net (approach shots aren't looking his usual standard). I think
he'll beat Kiefer, but I really think he's looking beatable this year.
I do believe there's a window of opportunity for Lopez and Ancic (and
lets not completely discount Hewitt) in Federer's half, and Gasquet,
Nalbandian (and maybe even Murray) in Roddick's half. The 2 players
most likely to capitalise are Ancic and Gasquet I think. Gasquet looks
more than capable of breaking the Roddick serve, whilst Ancic has the
power to back up his serve-volley again and really put the pressure on
Federer. I'm not confident enough on this to put a bet on it, but I
don't think its going to be Federer v Roddick in the final this year...