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Miami musings – Friday April 3

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:54

Wait a minute – did Roger just…?!
Federer versus Djokovic, Miami 1000 Masters semi final. Second point, game three, final set. The Swiss reaches for an overhead, dumps the ball in the net and, in a fit of frustration, smashed his racket on the ground. His Wilson K Factor SixOne Tour 90 racket crumpled on the purple court as an astonished crowd watched on.

Nobody could quite believe it, or quite knew how to react. The fans cheered him back on court with his new racket, a very odd spectacle, but a measure of the support Roger enjoys around the world. The umpire must have been stunned too – he did not give Federer a code violation. The only two people left unfazed seemed to be Feds himself and, to his credit, Djokovic, who wrapped up the set and the win to reach the final.

In the press conference afterward, Roger would not be drawn on the incident. When asked what was different about today that you just lost it there for a moment?” he replied, just because I smash the racket doesnt mean I lose it. I didnt lose it. I was just frustrated.

Its the end of the hardcourt season – I dont care anymore, Im moving over to clay, a new chapter – Federer

It is unusual to see the normally very undemonstrative Roger Federer show some emotion, and it did say something about what he was feeling out there. But the words lost it were the journalists and not Rogers. The fact that Roger arrived at his press conference less than 10 minutes after coming off court says plenty about what he must have been feeling. He says he’s now looking forward to playing on clay; seems hes relieved to be finished with the hard court season. So, presumably, will be the contents of his racket bag.

Patient Murray waits on del Potro to book place in final
After 2 hours and 17 minutes Andy Murray notched up a three set victory over Juan Martin del Potro 6-1 5-7 6-2.

Muzza played a sublime first set. He went for every point, showing what amazing retrieving skills he had, as well as the gift to slot a winner from almost anywhere. Incredibly, it took del Potro 31 minutes to win his first game.

The Argentine supporters got very vocal in the second set and del Potro gave them something to shout about. The players matched one another game for game until del Potro broke the Scot in the 11ith game and then held serve to take the set 7-5.

The talking point of this match is probably the decision by del Potro to call for the trainer at 2-4, advantage Murray. Muzza had moved Juan Martin around the court and as he went for a volley he seemed to pull up with a groin strain. After a lengthy visit from the medical team play was resumed but Murray won the game and then served out the match to take it with a magnificent backhand down the line 6-2.

After the match del Potro confirmed he had cramping and that this was normal seemed like a massive time out for a bit of cramp, especially at such a critical point in the match. Murray coped with the lapse of play really well and, emerging as a consummate pro with a microphone in his face, said at his press conference that the concern for the well-being of the player must always come first.

Argentines do press conferences well
Picture the scene. The players sit before the press after their match as part of their ATP commitments. Questions are first taken in English then the native language facing rows of journos…usually. So at Juan Martins conference he answered our English questions and then the Argentinian press stepped up – literally. They stormed the table where DP was sat and thrust every manner of recording equipment in his face in what can only be described as a little rugby type scrum. I thought it looked fantastic and would like to suggest that the British press start doing this too. It would make the conferences so much more engaging – and fun!

Mills shows boon of a ref’s life
Legendary tournament referee Alan Mills and his wife were courtside for the Federer-Djokovic match. Not surprising, as Mills is the tournament referee, but good to see that he gets to watch the action close-up – and can bring the missus along.

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