Hi guys, I'm back after having played out a long summer 2007 season!
I'll pick up from my last post - so I had won Halle and headed into Wimbledon 2007, looking to improve on my QF appearance in 2006.
Round 1: Zeiner (2) def. Henman 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 - very easy victory for me, Tim Henman has been declining
Round 2: Zeiner (2) def. Benneteau 6-4, 6-0, 6-0 - again very easy
Round 3: Zeiner (2) def. Sa 7-6, 2-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 - Unbelievable match! Andre Sa was playing his best tennis and I struggled throughout until the 5th set where I finally broke his serve. The match lasted 4:33 hours and I'm very happy
Round 4: Zeiner (2) def. Ljubicic (16) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 - good match where I broke at the end of each set
Quarterfinal: Zeiner (2) def. Davydenko (7) 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 - EPIC 5:01 hours match! I will post a photo of the stats somewhere but Nikolay was playing well, I played badly. Match was very up and down, and I had to save 3 set points in 3rd set to win the tie-break. Then I saved 1 Match Point on my serve at 4-5 in the 5th set before breaking Davydenko and winning!
Semifinal: Djokovic (8) def. Zeiner (2) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 - Maybe I carried some fatigue over from the 2 5-setters earlier in the week and Djokovic was on fire. He broke me in the last game of the 1st set then broke again early in set 2 to take a 3-0 lead. He never looked back and I could not get into it, and Djokovic went on to win the title (his 1st Grand Slam in the game!)
Round 2: Zeiner (2) def. Monfils 7-6, 6-2 - I should have won quicker because I led 4-2, but played a silly game to give back the break of serve in the 1st set
Round 3: Zeiner (2) def. Murray 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 - Got destroyed in the first set and was also 3-1 down in the 3rd set, but somehow fought back
Quarterfinal: Davydenko (5) def. Zeiner (2) 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 - another amazing match between us! We both played very well on serve in the 1st set but he took a 4-0 lead in the tie-break and won it 7-3. I bounced back in 2nd set and broke his serve for a 5-3 lead and served out. Then I broke again for 1-0, but lost the break and saved 3 match points, but eventually lost. Monteal has not been a very successful tournament for me in the past either
Round 2: Zeiner (2) def. Calleri 6-2, 6-2
Round 3: Zeiner (2) def. Nalbandian 6-1, 6-2
Quarterfinal: Zeiner (2) def. Roddick (6) 6-4, 6-4
Semifinal: Zeiner (2) def. Djokovic (4) 6-3, 6-2 - I avenged my Wimbledon loss and played one of my best matches ever - only 2 errors in the whole match
Final: Zeiner (2) def. Blake 6-2, 6-4 - routine victory to win the title
With the win I returned to World Number 1 as Federer lost early so went into the US Open on a positive note. I had Djokovic in my half (Federer and Nadal were in the bottom half), but he lost in Round 4
2007 US Open:
Round 1: Zeiner (1) def. Monaco 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 - rusty start as I was broken twice in the 1st set. I was soon 3-6, 2-4 down and looking at a 2-set deficit, but managed to turn the match round with some strong serving
Round 2: Zeiner (1) def. Sela 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 - a very encouraging strong performance. I returned the ball very deep and won 100% of points at the net
Round 3: Zeiner (1) def. Moya (28) 6-2, 6-1, 6-3
Round 4: Zeiner (1) def. Nalbandian 6-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 - Nalbandian played well in the first set but I double-faulted on an important point in the tie-break which was annoying. I began to break down his game and eventually ran away with the match thanks to my forehand hitting
Quarterfinal: Zeiner (1) def. Baghdatis (17) 7-5, 7-6, 6-0 - He was hitting the lines at the start but eventually my returning was too good
Semifinal: Zeiner (1) def. Mirnyi (20) 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 - embarrassing, I don't know how he even made the SFs! He is usually a doubles player. This win set up another blockbuster 1 vs. 2 final against Federer
Final: Federer (2) def. Zeiner (1) 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6! This was a match decided by very fine margins and unfortunately I lost the big points. In fact, I led 5-4 in the 1st set and was serving for it! But Federer won a long rally at 30-30 to set up break point. Then he broke again to take it 7-5. I played better in the 2nd set and broke twice in a row to stretch the lead to 5-1, then held on. I broke twice in the 3rd set and led 4-1, but somehow Federer levelled again at 5-5, then broke me for the 3rd time in the set after a fantastic volley to win it 7-5. I then had 3 set points in the 4th set tie-break, but missed 2 backhand. Federer saved the 3rd set point with an ace then converted his 1st Championship Point with a backhand DTL winner. He won his 2nd Slam of the year (11 overall), but I increased my points lead over him by reaching the Final
I moved on to the Beijing Open, where I won in 2005 and 2006 on the synthetic courts. I was also on a 43-match win streak on synthetic surface (43-0 overall!)
China Open 2007:
Round 2: Zeiner (1) def. Gao 6-0, 6-0 - warm up match effectively
Round 3: Zeiner (1) def. Navarro 6-1, 6-0 - the key on this surface is my curving forehand DTL, which I used well here
Quarterfinal: Zeiner (1) def. Nalbandian 7-6, 6-0 - I played an outstanding 2nd set, no-one would have beaten me that day.
Semifinal: Zeiner (1) def. Gasquet 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 - I only just kept my streak alive!! Gasquet had his deadly backhand and he was outhitting me for almost the whole match. I saved 5 Match Points in the 2nd set before we exchanged 6 breaks in the 3rd set. I finally served out the match to move to 47-0 on synthetic courts
Final: Federer (2) def. Zeiner (1) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 - Federer came in with confidence after his US Open win and finally snapped my streak! He jumped out to a 5-2 double break lead in set 1. I recovered one of the breaks, but it was too late. I broke him at 3-2, then again for 5-2 and served out the 2nd set reasonably comfortably. But I started missing the forehand again in set 3, where he eventually broke me for 6-5 and served out the match and won the title!
All in all not a bad summer, but I only managed 1 title during that time - now I move on to Paris Masters and then to London for the ATP Year End Championships