Another battling performance from Roger saw him defeat the left handed Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to make the quarter finals where once again he will face Del Potro. (Anyone else bored of that matchup??)
It was a lackluster performance from Roger really and against a better opponent he might not have been able to change the match around. He looks pretty low on energy which is clearly understandable considering he's been ill all week with some kind of virus.
The first set was pretty awful from Fed, he was spraying the ball all over and making a ton of errors. Bellucci plays aggressively and didn't really have to do much to win the vast majority of points. He hit quite big and Roger just kept making errors.
Like the match against Raonic, Roger broke immediately at the start of the second set. It's weird how he's managed to somehow buckle down in these matches and hang in there to turn matches around.
After taking the second set 6-3 I thought Roger would cruise through the final as Bellucci is not a player I associate with mental strength or willingness to fight until the end. However it was actually pretty close and at 4-4, Roger found himself at 0-30. He found a serve out wide though and then 3 netted returns from Bellucci saw him clinch the game and then break himself to seal the match.
It wasn't the prettiest match by a long shot but it was good that Roger came through. He's not feeling well so it would be easy to just write off the match after dropping a set, but he's fought his way back into them, tightened up his shots and managed to pull through.
I really struggled to make the transition [from yesterday's match]. I was quite surprised, but at the end I found a way, dug deep and came through,” said Federer. “It's really important. At the end of the day, these are the wins that sort of almost feel better, to be quite honest, because when you're playing great, it's simple, and it's easy.
Federer vs. Bellucci Press Conference
Predictions vs. Del Potro
Zzzz another meeting against Del Potro. If Roger isn't feeling great then this could go either way. Everyone expects Del Potro to be the next dominant player so surely he is due a win against Roger if that's to be case.
The last 3 times they have played Fed has won pretty easily, and Del Potro has no tactics or gameplan out there. He just smacks the ball around and see's what happens.
Over 3 sets on a slow hard court Del Potro might be more of a handful than he was in Dubai and Rotterdam. If Fed mixes it up then all should be fine and he'll win in straight sets. If he starts on the back foot like has done past 2 matches then it could be tricky.