Well, today is the day. Can you believe it, Andy in three big finals this year. Maybe some didn't need to worry about Andy not winning any Masters this year after all.
I don't care if the Olympics isn't a slam in the technical sense. He still had to play to win, and he did. I don't think I will ever, ever forget watching him just go for Federer like that. People can say Federer was tired, he'd had the long match with Del Potro, blah, blah, blah, but Andy still had to go out there and do it. He knows that if you let Federer, or any of the top three back in, they can run away with it (sorry, I know that isn't helpful, but it is true) and he wasn't having it. I hope he comes out with that mindset today. If he does he will be tough to beat.
I would argue that although the road through the US has been more bumpy at times, he has risen to the challenge in the same way. Every time he has been threatened he has responded. I hope, and really believe, he is ready to respond in the same way today.
I know what the head to head says, but I look at it in the sense that of their last three meetings Andy has won 2, so he knows he can beat Djokovic. What I feel he can take from the Olympic semi final is the idea that he can go toe to toe with Djokovic and then make his move. I think he has to serve well to do that, clearly, to give Djokovic less opportunity to break him, but again, as in the Olympics, Andy has served well in the US when he has needed it most.
I think the Andy who met Djokovic over the net at the AO last year is gone. To me he looks more confident, seems to have greater belief in himself, as if he knows he belongs up there, which he does. He seems to be playing with more freedom now, when he is playing his best. I think Andy can take so much from the semi in Australia, which was so close. Yes, he arguably took his foot off the gas in the 4th, but he will have taken a lot out of that match, I'm sure of it. I've just bought the DVD of that, it's my birthday present to myself (lol) but I'm not watching it until after the USO is over. I don't want to jinx him by watching a match he doesn't win.
The one thing that did concern me is whether or not the conditions during the semi final would have upset Andy's rhythm. Then again, it has been something of an on and off tournament for him at times, so you could argue that establishing a rhythm has probably been tough anyway. Where I think Andy may well benefit is with the time off between the semi and final, not just in terms of the possible advantage that he was off when Djokovic was playing, but in terms of getting his rhythm right, refining his game, getting himself in the right place to produce the best result.
As I said yesterday, I'm not even going to think about Andy losing until we are faced with it. Sure, he has had a great year, a wonderful summer especially, but his year isn't over yet, not by a long way. While Andy is still in he has a chance to win. Hey, poetry lol.
Come on Andy love, hold that head up high and show him what you can do. You CAN do this, you know you can. Stay strong Andy and fight for it. Do it for me for my birthday!