French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Classy Federer Moves into 3rd Round at French Open

The Swiss came through hard hitting Oscar Otte in 1 hour and 36 minutes

Roger Federer is into the third round in Paris after recording a convincing 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over German Oscar Otte on Court Phillipe Chatrier.

Otte, ranked 144 in the world was looking to make the most of entering the tournament as a lucky loser and was able to hang with Federer throughout all three sets. However, his game unravelled when it came to the crunch as the 2009 champion progressed in 1 hour and 36 minutes.

The win sees the Swiss move into the last 32 at Roland Garros for the 15th time in his career and he'll next face Casper Ruud who defeated Marco Berrettini in straight sets.

Quick Match Recap

federer otte paris 2019

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. A hold to thirty put him 1-0 up but Otte showed some early signs of his gameplan with big hitting off both wings.

The German had said pre-tournament Federer was his idol growing up but he showed no sign of nerves as he held to love for 1-1.

Into game three and a super pickup off a bullet forehand return prevented Otte from creating 0-30 as Roger held to fifteen for 2-1.

The Swiss was then able to force deuce on the return but Otte held firm and that trend continued until 4-4.

In game nine, Roger held to thirty thanks to a slick topspin second serve ace on game point. That meant Otte had to serve to stay in the set and he got a bit panicky, pulling the trigger too early as Roge converted the first break point of the set to take the set 6-4.

Into set two and Roger kicked off with a hold for 1-0. A sick return the brought him to thirty all on the return but Otte held to level.

Back to back love holds put Roger up 3-2 and in game eight he was able to break for 5-3 by working the angles.

With zero trouble on serve in the set it was only natural Roger slipped to 15-40, but he found some sharp & short points to make deuce and then hold to take the set 6-3.

A straight sets win was the order of the day and but it was Otte who made the better start to set four, creating 15-40 on the Federer serve in game three. Federer saved both break points, the second with a classy inside in forehand before holding to level at 2-2.

With Otte looking strong on serve he held to 15 and then to love to lead 4-3. A quick hold from Roger saw him level at 4-4 and he was able to test how the German handled the business end of the set.

The lucky loser won the first point but then lost four in a row as Federer made his move to break for 5-4. The Swiss then served it out to fifteen to move into round 3.

Match Stats

  Oscar Otte Roger Federer
Aces 4 5
Double Faults 3 0
1st Serve 40/78 (51%) 62/82 (75%)
1st Serve Points Won 28/40 (70%) 47/62 (75%)
2nd Serve Points Won 22/38 (57%) 15/20 (75%)
Net Points Won 12/15 (80%) 23/31 (74%)
Break Points Converted 0/4 (0%) 3/4 (75%)
Return Points Won 20/82 (25%) 28/78 (36%)
Winners 26 35
Unforced Errors 22 24
Total Points Won 70 90

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

federer french open 2r 2019

Yeah, I mean, look, I must say I feel really good, you know, considering I haven’t played here in that long, Especially if I think back a few weeks and months ago before Madrid, didn’t know how successful I was going to play or how I was going to feel on the clay Honestly, I was, you know, looking at a worst-case scenario, losing first round in Madrid and then somehow having a tough draw here as well and not getting past the first-round hurdle, and now I am talking about having won enough matches in Madrid and Rome, winning my first matches here in straight sets. All of a sudden, you feel the clay court season has been, it’s been busy, you know, and it’s nice this way. So I hope I can keep it up. Next round is definitely going to be tougher, I believe, you know. I’m very happy. We’ll see how far it’s going to take me. So far, so good. Federer on his win over Otte

Another good match from Roger here and I thought he was able to maintain a solid level from start to finish. For the second match in a row, he was playing someone he'd never faced before and knew very little about which is always tricky.

However, he soon got to grips with Otte's low ball toss Dolgopolov-esque serve and never looked flustered, saving all four break points faced and applying pressure at just the right times to come through in fairly routine fashion.

It's obviously impossible to say just how well Fed is playing given his opponent doesn't have much pedigree but he played a well-measured match, kept points short but didn't go super high risk, opting for a lot of spin to give him margin and spread the court then teeing off when he felt like he could end the point in 1 or 2 shots. 

As for Otte, he played with a no holds barred approach, which allowed to him to stay with Roger from the baseline, but also saw him throw in some costly errors on some of the bigger points at the back end of each set. Still a decent showing and payday for him after thinking he was heading to the next Challenger Tournament given he lost in Qualifying to Garcia-Lopez. So he certainly made the most of it 🙂

Predictions vs. Ruud

I know that he’s improved a lot, you know, in recent years, and I think he plays very well on the clay. Again, I haven’t seen him play a whole lot. But for any 20-year-old to be on the big stage, playing a top guy, on a centre court, that’s what you dream of, at least I did Today, by the score line against Berrettini, seems like he did his work, and he deserves to be in the third round. I will take him very seriously. Federer on Ruud

Next up is Casper Ruud who defeated Berrettini 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Somewhat of an upset based on form and rankings but having seen the Italian go five sets in Round 1 I wasn't surprised to see Ruud come through.

The Norwegian is a clay court specialist through and through and in recent years has been training at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain. So as you'd expect he's bland and straight off the production line but he's super solid from the baseline and can do some damage with his forehand.

He's not someone I've watched a ton of, but I watched some his matches when he had solid runs in South America a couple of years back and I watched him recently against Dan Evans in Rome which was a close match. Evans should have won that and caused Ruud problems with his style but couldn't put the ball away when he really needed to.

In terms of approach, I think Federer will play exactly like his first two matches, look to keep points as short as possible, create the angles and try to get Ruud in awkward spots on the court.

They've never played or practised together before so he's another unknown for Fed and probably the toughest opponent of his French open campaign so far. Not significantly better than Sonego or Otte but I think he's more solid.

Ruud is friendly with Nadal so no doubt he'll be texting the Spaniard for tips tomorrow so Fed needs to be on guard, take it early and use that blend of grass + clay court tennis to come through.

What did you guys think of the match against Otte? Predictions against Ruud?

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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108 Comments

    1. I wasn’t able to watch the match but based on the highlights it seems like Roger had a good day at the office.

      #GoRoger

    1. Yoiu hope, Otte (no “r” on the end) will keep winning? With this tactic he wins no any single match in Challengers. It was Federer-specific. Knowing, he has zero chances, he was smart enough to try to play, what Federer didn’t expect. Playing dropshot before Federer does it.

  1. Again a clutch review. Thanks. I got the feeling Roge was holing back a little. Saving himself for what is to come and knowing he had this match on his racket. Do you agree?

    1. Thanks. Hm not sure, I don’t think he could take it too easy out there because of how Otte was playing, he was going for his shots and could end up fluking a set if he strings together a few winners.

  2. I think that Roger is managing his matches according to this algorithm:
    1) Target to play 3 sets
    2) Avoid tie-breaks
    3) Do not get broken
    4) Maximize the time spent on court while satisfying conditions 1, 2 and 3.
    This program might crash after round X.

      1. Close the eyes for a second, pretend it’s a hard court and go all out on whoever is on the other side, should he feel the faintest scent of an upcoming grinding fest. That’s everyone else’s party, not Roger’s.

  3. From the highlights it looks as if he has fun. And from his remarks that he’s delighted of going at least some steps into the tour(s). So far, so nice.

  4. At least I could watch this match without heart-stopping twists and turns … I also thought and am praying Fed was holding back a little. I like the way he is playing on clay, though. It seems to work for him. It has to be seen how it will do in next rounds. Go Roger!

  5. Thanks for the very informative write up.Fed always seemed in control and pretty clutch saving those break points,
    which could have complicated things somewhat.Impressed with how Otte gave it his all.
    Don’t know anything about Rudd,always tricky to play someone you haven’t met before.
    Very good win for Warwinka against Garin,no slouch on clay.
    Could Stan make another run?He used to flop a bit in Masters and bring his best form to slams.😊

    1. This was before the knee injury. Garin was in poor form as of late, maybe injured. Dimitrow unexpectedly in good shape. Dimitrov stops Stan. Or next Tsitsipas. No deep run for Stan anymore 🙁

      1. Well Dimitrov has just played a very tough five setter and Stan has the strength to hit through
        anybody on these slow clay courts.
        We shall see .I didn’t know Garin was injured,bit silly to play I would have thought.
        Tsitsy has Krajanovic next,not absolutely a lock to win that one.
        Also the mighty one will have to play five sets to get past Mayer😊
        It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

    2. @Annie Ruud is an out and out clay courter really. Will be tough but I think his game will throw in a few errors.

      Great win for Stan, best match of the year for him probably, or best since Rotterdam for sure. He is hitting the ball well.

  6. Thanks Jonathan. Another good one. Agree that Rog should keep it going in current mode. My guess is that it might get slightly tougher for his next match but score line will be similar.
    Allez Rog!

  7. Excellent match summary, thanks Jonathan. Now I can go over what exactly happened while annoyingly French TV switched over so often to French players’ matches. Don’t they consider Fed as their own? Anyway, another good win so I’m very happy. Loved him rising his level of game and got the timely break towards end of each sets!
    Still not crazy about the outfit (buggy fit doesn’t show his great shape) but today’s white version was quite acceptable.

  8. @ French BFR, soooo great that you managed to see Fed live at Philippe-Chatrier today! Look forward to reading your Fed fun/fan story 😉

  9. Efficient match, efficiently written up! 😃
    As was mentioned on Twitter, Sampras wld hv been proud of the timely break in each set. Did enough, went up a gear when needed, didn’t waste time or energy.i top expected Ruud to beat a weary Matteo and Fed right to be on his guard.
    Fed in possibly 4 sets

  10. When I clicked the stars for the review it only allowed me to enter 2 stars, mouse not cooperating 🙁 I meant 5 stars, so please revise…You should be a commentator, your reviews are impeccable, informative, on point and incredible! Bravo to Roger and to you too! I sincerely believe he can go the distance! First time 20 years ago was his initiation to the French Open. 10 years later he won it! And now yet another 10 years later another win!

  11. You were 10 minutes earlier than I predicted, Jon 🙂 (I said 7.25, just as I’m about to go into the theatre and won’t be able to read 🙂 )

    Haven’t seen any of this match (I was travelling/working), but my impression from the livescores was that Roger was probably playing within himself and just upping the pressure at the end of each set. I was never concerned about the result. Nice bit of claycourt practice – sufficient number of games, without being particularly stressful.

    1. Yes,spot on in your analysis.Fed did enough and raised his game when he needed to.
      Some incredible,rock solid overheads.He could teach Djokovic a thing or two about those.

    2. I think Fed was very relaxed. Not sure he was playing within himself as he had to be careful with how Otte was playing but sure he had more gears to go to if required. Played rocksteady near the end of the sets and Otte gave him the mistakes.

  12. He will need to serve a little bit better now, it’s crutial to remain unbroken until R16 at least, and obviously without dropping a set until QF. His forehand is on point, and I’m sure he’ll push harder when he need it.
    Hoping for Tsitsipas to lose soon, next it will be against Mahut and Wawrinka.

    1. Perhaps I am wrong but I think he was broken in the second set against Sonego.
      No great harm done if there is an immediate break back.
      Mahout seems to be having a renaissance at this tournament,such a shame Stan always seems to be drawn in Feds quarter.

      1. He was. I’m just watching it at the moment!

        I’m delighted for Mahut. Just when I was thinking (singles at least) retirement must be beckoning …

  13. Moving really well I thought. Some nice points. Otte’s lack of experience at this level showing, I think, but well done to him to not be overwhelmed by the occasion. As you said, heck of a result for a LL.

    I *DO* like the kit colors this way round better; not sure why.

    1. A couple of nice matches from Roger. Ok opponents and entertaining tennis.

      If Ruud trains at the Nadal Academy I would expect that he has embraced every part of the Spaniard’s programme. The key to tireless grinder tennis. Rog will have to play some long points.

      Nadal has only had cannon fodder so far and didn’t look good in his last match. He should be afraid of Djokovic, who is looking good.

      1. Federer’s opponents have been bang average too but Nadal’s arguably worse. Hanfmann barely played a match all year. His draw is a bit of a joke.

  14. The most important stat from first two matches is his first server percentage. If he maintains that, he can beat anybody. Any how, one match at a time.
    Now almost become a habit for me to keep checking your site and posts many times during the day and post any Fed’s match 🙂 there’s always something. Thanks John.

  15. Thanks for the classy write-up. Next Uniqlo should design a tuxedo kit for the sauntering classy Fed.
    Love the photos as usual. Again, a solid match and no sweat on my brow. Is Lindsay Vonn in love? Where is Mirka?

  16. Oh, and see that photo of Roger under the Thoughts on the Match? I remember seeing a photo when he was little in a similar pose holding the ball the same way. Awww.

  17. I’ve tuned in in the middle of the 2nd set.
    Wasn’t too impressed. One of the lesser opponents Fed got lately.
    Otte didn’t move well on the clay, slipped and fell a lot.
    He was nervous as hell on the big points.
    I thought Roger played solid.
    Took care of his side on the serve, had some difficulties reading Otte’s serve (Jonathan mentiond his ball toss) and he insisted on playing serve and volley even when the conditions weren’t good for that. A cloudy day with a lot of breeze. A higher tier opponent would have made another couple of passing shots and maybe it would have put Roger’s serve under pressure.
    I’m glad he got through without complications.

    1. Ah thanks, cool that you remembered. I had actually forgotten all about it! I used to do Birthday posts but kind of got out of the habit.

      Happy with the fact I have managed to maintain it for 8 years. Most blogs give up after a few months or pitter out after a couple of years so stood the test of time 🙂

    2. Oh Wanda, good on you for remembering! Yes, Happy Birthday to Jonathan’s PR blog! Eight years old, Roger’s favourite number. I can’t remember when I discovered you? That year or the next? Consistently awesome posts and mostly awesome contributors and comments.

      1. The secret is…we almost share the birthday, though I’m eons older than 8! That’s why 😉

  18. Another good round from Roger, good thing he was able to withstand onslaught from Otte. So glad he manage to save some break points. Important he conserve his energy in this first week. Stay sharp Rog!!

      1. Would it be weird to say that I actually tried haggis before and I like it ha ha ha. Have not arrive at EDI, soon soon.

        Wanda – deep fried mars bar, I can’t stomach it too sweet for me 🤣

  19. Well, they had to put him on SL, didn’t they. All the top guys get a turn. About 3am my time, don’t think I’ll be getting up.
    There is going to be a lot of unhappy fans. It’s not really necessary to put top guys on the smaller courts, is it? Except for Djokovic.

    1. Yes, it’s necessary. St least ion a slam, where you have a lot of matches in early rounds plus lots of local players, getting priority like everywhere in the world. And ladies have their big names and high ranking numbers too.
      Nadal was an Lenglen on yesterday (now complaints from King of Clay and current No. 2, ), Djokovic (No. 1) today, Federer goes tomorrow.
      What’s wrong in playing on Lenglen against low ranked opponent?
      You told “top guys” – but you meant Federer. Is Federer (Np. 3) still top guy – sure) – so the rule applies to all them. Others (like Thiem, no. 4 and currently no. 2 on clay plus last year’s runner-up) got finally a match on Chatrier. But he would be happy to still play Lenglen, until (hopefully) QF. TZhiem is not a Big Name (at least yet), maybe will never be).
      So what? This was expected to be more entertaining match than Federer vs. Otte or Nadal vs. Maden.

      The rules come from the tournament’s owner/director) and ATP ruler.

      Maybe precaution from Fed, feeling he could lose to Tuud? If so, better not on Chatrier.

      1. @PRF, please do not reply or remark to my comments. tbh, I have no idea what you are talking about most of the time. I reread your posts and I still don’t understand what you are on about.
        What did Jonathan say, “old man syndrome”.

    1. Not sure, how he will fare against age-mate Mahut 😉
      Diego was not the optimal option for Fed, so … he needed to disappear (they call it “the draw is opening”) 😉

  20. Let’s assume lightning strikes and Fed somehow makes it to the semi against Nadal, with his joke of a draw. Aside from a miracle or Nadal forgetting how to play, what would be the strategy for an older Fed to at least take a set? He really pummeled the Nadal forehand in earlier matches to open up the court for his devastating 2017 backhand, but that’s not today. Drop shots are risky to pull off often, and he can’t hang with Nadal from the baseline. Should he serve and volley more like he did against Raonic on Madrid’s blue clay? It would be nice to see a battle, instead of a mop-up, though the latter may be better if the preferred winner is Nadal, so he’s fresh for Novak.

    1. Arhh, you never know. RF is a bit unpredictable, or maybe he has a plan. But first things first. Ruud tomorrow – may be good training, as Ruud trained in Nadal’s Academy, so…

      1. Yea, maybe he will get into some rallies for rhythm’s sake there, but he should still try to exit fast. He needs to conserve energy big time, and the next two matches won’t be pushovers. I love the idea of a Fedal semi, but I sense the heartbreak coming. Perhaps losing earlier is better?!

      2. Well we know what Nadals advice will be there,topspin to the backhand,rinse and repeat a thousand times.

    2. Miracles sometimes happen, but iI agree, hard to expect the miracle of having some fight against Nadal. Maybe a minor “injury” before the SF would be better diplomatic solution?

  21. I don’t think anyone including Fed will be heartbroken if he loses here on his least favourite surface.
    I believe the idea was to play clay to avoid the rust of lack of match practise.
    His draw has opened up somewhat with the departure of Schwartzman.
    I think we may get a fed/Warwinka quarter final.
    Having said that he may go out tomorrow.He is playing very well,moving well,but if he comes up against an inform
    clay grinder then that will spell trouble.

    1. Would be nice to see some competitive match. So far 2 matches against nobody and the draw opening to continue to play nobodies.

      I can imagine, ATP and RG management want to have a Federer vs. Rafa SF, Ruud, then Mahut/Meyer, still nobody from Top50.
      Should Tsitsipas fail to win his section, than probably Dimitrov, barely inside Top50.

      Everything maybe good for tickets sale and for sentiments, but not so much for real tennis competition.

      And then maybe SF against Rafa, only symbolic, I guess.

  22. Hello all. I am no longer hiding !  Back from my 2-day tennis marathon at Roland-Garros.

    It was so great, fantastic, joyful. I watched Mr Perfect play for the VERY FIRST TIME and I will never ever forget it.

    And he won yesterday on top of that. I will tell you more in a fan story.

    The weather has been peRFect for two days (about 20 degrees – no wind – no rain). I had a good seat yesterday. A bit upper today – no issue.

    My calves are almost  as fit as Roger’s –  climbing and going down all the centre court steps !

    Yesterday, I went back to my friend’s (sheltering me) home at about 11:30 pm – after watching live in court number 1 the fifth set of Paire vs Herbert. A super match. Was too tired to tell you about my day at RG.

    Yesterday, I also could see Belinda Bencic, Sloane Stephens, Tsonga losing to Nishikori.
    Today, I could see Thiem this morning (not totally convinced about him but Bublik played well) then Serena, Caro Garcia and Pouille vs Klizan…
    Thankful to the organizers that they did not schedule Fed on Suzanne Lenglen yesterday… I would have missed him.

    Will tell you more about my Fed experience,  how the new RG stadium looks like, the people I met, the things I saw, the memories I will keep… in a few weeks. I took lots of pictures. Some of our hero don’t seem too bad.

    I let lots of good vibes from all of you on  the Ph.  Chatrier court hoping to see our Maestro still lifting his arms to tennis heaven 5 more times until Sunday June 9. He can do it !

    Good night and thank you Jonathan for the match reviews !

    PS : another French magazine cover with Roger on it… Nice,  isn’t it ?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/sportetstyle/status/1134133956163592193

    1. Oh, THANKS, FBRF, wonderful photo, – AND wonderful to look forward to your illustrated fan-story. It must be very nice doing it – to repeat the wonders all over again 😊❤️

  23. So glad you had a good time! Nothing better than the roar of the crowd and seeing Fed walk out on centre court. The French are going crazy this year.

  24. Hey guys, here we go… 5 more to go… aiming for the title and nothing less…. impossible… but doable… as long as we all and the Goat himself believe 🙂

    Wow Jon, 8 years… time flies. Congrats. Thanks for the blog and all the work you do for it and for us and for all the effort it must cost you. How lucky are we all to see Roger still play and kick ass? Mark my words.. the dude will play till he is 45 🙂

    Go Goat 🙂

  25. @Jonathaan,
    Do they not have tie-breaks in women’s tennis in the third set?
    Sitting here watching the usual interminable women’s match waiting for Fed and thought it would be nearly over at
    6 all but now on they go.😴

      1. Of course not. 252 is Mahut’s ranking and 68 Mayer’s.
        Nadal is playing right now Goffin, 33 right now but still some trademark, unlike Sonego, Otte and Ruud 😉
        BTW – Goffin just taken a set from Nadal and Nadal leads 2:1. Still no guarantee, Nadal will reach SF, hahaha …if not Nadal, then probably Nishikori and Fed … hmmm, if Dimitrov gets again mental issues because of his latest girl-friend and Tsitsipas gets a virus, than maybe another under-Top50 in SF and Fed in the final?

        In the upper hald, dark horse Caruso beats Djokovic tomorrow, then Struff and Thiem loses to Hoang, so Fed can even win the title not having played a Toip50 or higher. Every part of the draw can open, when Maestro is on fire 🙂

  26. Hi all! Good to see our man doing well–still a clean sheet, no sets lost despite having to save a set point. He showed real clutchness to close out that TB. Ruud looked like the better player for large chunks of the third set, but Federer toughed it out and came up with the goods on the big points. Those dogfights in Madrid and Rome did him good, now he’s used to fighting through tough situations.

    I’m with Katyani. I’m an optimist, Federer’s playing well enough to go all the way. Right now, just needs to focus on getting to the QFs with minimal time spent on court. Be interesting if Mahut beats Mayer, Federer facing an S&V player on a clay court would make a compelling match.

    C’mon Roger!

    1. Yes a good solid win.Fed was sublime in the first two sets,amazing footwork,and then went off the boil.
      Preposterous as it might sound I wonder if he becomes a bit bored,disinterested when things are too easy.
      Whatever,upwards and onwards😊

    2. Yep Steve, Roger always says he comes to play and win a tour, not to like participate in it. As long as he believes he can win, so should we… no matter what 🙂

  27. @PRF-you obviously don’t recognise sarcasm when you see it.Is English your second language?
    That would explain some of your posts,which can be difficult to understand.
    Your post at5.44 was very odd from someone purporting to be a Fed fan.

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