Shanghai Rolex Masters, China
Men’s Final: [CR3] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [CR29] Gilles Simon (FRA)
Belief and execution are the keys to beating a higher ranked player. Simon did not quite believe and was unable to properly execute his game against Federer. He served for the first set and was broken. He had set points in the second set and did not convert. Simon’s swing became truncated and he lost his timing, tension does that to you. Instead of going for his shots, he played tentatively, pushing the ball right back to Federer.
It is easy to get discouraged after failing to convert on an opportunity to go up a set against a player like Federer. Many players panic in that situation, losing their focus and rushing their shots. The frustration begins to build with each error they make and they lose their focus even more. The match is spiraling out of their control and they are completely lost, they cannot think their way through nor can they seem to play their way back into the match.
Simon experienced what so many players have experienced over the years when playing Federer. They lose their advantage because they do not really believe they can beat him. Simon should have been more confident, he has beaten Federer twice, granted it was in their first two matches. Unfortunately, when he needed to believe, he doubted. When you doubt yourself, you are destroying your confidence, without which you cannot compete at your highest level. Federer was tested; however, in the end he won the match 7-6(6), 7-6(2).