Friday, March 2, 2012

The pressure's on Roger Federer

That's not a bad final coming up in Dubai: Andy Murray, who knocked off world number-one Novak Djokovic in the semis, will face off against Roger Federer, who saw off Juan Martin del Potro in two tough sets.

It'll be the first time the two have played against each other since 2010. Murray actually leads in head-to-head matchups, but Federer always seems to come through in the biggest occasions, like Grand Slam finals. He's done a good job of deflecting any pressure off himself in those instances and directed it toward Murray.

This time, though, I think the tables can be turned.

I've been on and on about this over the past few months: It's great that Federer's winning a ton of matches and titles. He's also been tuning some pretty tough opponents with regularity: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and del Potro most of all.

However, he still hasn't notched a solid win against his fellow members of the "Big 4"--that victory against Rafael Nadal in the World Tour Finals notwithstanding.

I think Federer needs a solid win against Djokovic, Nadal or Murray to bolster his Slam-winning chances going forward. The Majors don't come as easily for him as they once did, but perhaps starting at the Dubai final, the odds can be raised a little more in his favor.

The pressure's on.

(Photo: Getty Images)