2006 PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
ROGER FEDERER v JAMES BLAKE
7-5, 6-3, 6-0
At the start of the match, Blake followed the game plan perfectly. His aggressive play forced Federer to be on the defensive and Federer ended up forced to hit shots on the run that barely made it to the net. Blake was taking the ball early and hitting huge flat shots that landed just inside the baseline that made Federer struggle with his usual pinpoint accurate timing.
But the aura of the champion left Blake a little anxious, and he missed several easy volleys and smashes that let Federer back into the set.
Once given a few gifts, Roger wasted no time in asserting his game. Federer started to reverse roles and make James try to hit running passing shots, but now his aim was off. Blake should have tried to revert to a more cautious gameplan, but he kept swinging away, but was no longer finding the lines like he was in the first set.
"Along with a couple of mistakes by me at the end of that first set, he really picked his level up and played unbelievably, put pressure on all my service games, was kind of cruising on his," Blake said.
"Instead of making him come up with a great passing shot, I went for too much, ended up missing, gave him freebies. You can't do that against the No. 1 player in the world."
In the final set, Federer was smooth, urreal, unbelievable, and amazing... which for Federer is nothing new. The finals of a tournament always seem to bring out the best in the Swiss champ, and today was no different.