I'd forgotten all about the draw for Rome. Honestly, my poor brain gets confused when so many tournaments are so close together at this time of the year.
Andy's draw doesn't look too bad. It could be worse. I'm not going to worry about any of it. I just want Andy to do as well as he can before RG, to give him some more match time and build his confidence, and then a good performance at RG would be great before we go back to a proper surface.
Oh, I forgot, good match report Luke, fair and balanced. I don't mind the word 'ousted' it's much better than certain media outlets who persist in the assumption that every time Andy loses he 'crashes out', whilst others merely lose. I feel inclined to remind some of them that Andy was around for longer than Djokovic or Federer.
Thinking back over last night, the thing that strikes me is that Andy doesn't seem too downbeat. I think that's good. He knows, I think, that he did create chances for himself and that he did play well for most of the match. I get the feeling that he was pleased that he put himself in a position to come through. It's a good start, something he can build on.
I still think it was interesting to see Petch's analysis after the match last night. He was able to show what Andy did well and provide some insight. Petch might be an Andy fan (although sometimes......
) but he isn't afraid to be critical when he needs to be. The fact that he thought it was one of Andy's better performances on the clay gives me reason to be positive.
I wondered whether the lateness of the hour when he would have got to bed the night before had a bearing on Andy last night. It couldn't have helped. I know some will say that it is Andy's fault for getting out of the blocks so slowly against Simon, and it is a point, but I think it is sort of understandable. He came out against Simon to a stadium that was almost empty and was playing someone over whom he has a big winning record. I think that is what made him seem so flat at the start. There was no atmosphere at all and he might not have felt as threatened as he would by playing someone where the h2h is close. In a way I'd like to see Andy adopt an approach of 'right, how badly can I beat you this time', against people like Simon, but obviously I wouldn't want that to make him reckless.
Against Simon Andy needed to get himself going and it took him a while. I only say that because the difference in him last night was striking. From the start last night Andy looked ready to go. I was actually quite pleased to see him muttering to himself a number of times, because to my mind it is a sign that he is up for it, as long as he doesn't get carried away, of course. I had to smile when Leif Shiras said that Andy plays better when he is angry. McEnroe has always said directly the opposite lol. Ahh, the fickleness of commentators lol.
Fingers crossed for a good Rome and a good few days of watching Andy in his sexy blue outfit.