ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Federer Blows Away Anderson at Miami Open

The three time champion outclassed the South African 6-0, 6-4

Roger Federer is through to his seventh Miami Open semi-final after crushing Kevin Anderson 6-0, 6-4 in 1 hour and 24 minutes.

Federer had won five of his six meetings against the sixth seed and the Swiss maestro was in fine fettle throughout, breaking the Anderson serve three times in the first set and handing the South African a bagel.

It was the first time the Anderson has ever lost the first set at ATP level to love and even though he made the second competitive, Federer was always in control as he cruised through into Friday's Semi Final.

He'll next face 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov who came from a set down and blasted 40 winners in a close match with American Frances Tiafoe.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Miami QF 2019

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. A crisp return on the second point that pinged from the middle of the racquet followed by a drop shot set the tone and the Swiss moved up an insta-break after converting his second break point.

A hold to fifteen saw Roger consolidate for 2-0 and an insurance break was soon in his back pocket. Correctly challenging an Anderson serve that was called an Ace on breakpoint which was actually 1mm out and the South African double-faulted to further add to his misery.

Another hold to fifteen put the Swiss up 4-0 and a crazy net exchange left Anderson looking dazed and confused as he dropped serve for the third consecutive game to slip to 0-5.

Many of you will remember when Roger said he doesn't really like bageling opponents after he donated a game to Murray at the 2014 World Tour Finals in a 6-0, 6-1 win but he showed no mercy here, serving it out to thirty to take the set 6-0.

Into set two and as if Anderson's day couldn't get any worse he dropped serve again after playing a 16 point game and holding three game points.

Roger then consolidated to fifteen for 2-0 and was soon up 3-1. However, a missed volley at deuce in game five took the razor sharpness off Federer's game and he dropped serve to 15 in game six, hitting a couple of poor approach shots as Anderson finally found some groundstroke winners.

Buoyed from the break back, Anderson held to love for 4-3 before Roger levelled. Into game nine and 14 minutes later Roger came away with the all-important break, converting on his sixth attempt and preventing Anderson from capturing any of his three-game points.

The Swiss then sealed it with a hold to love to book his spot in the semi-finals.

Match Stats

  Kevin Anderson Roger Federer
Aces 4 3
Double Faults 4 2
1st Serve 56% 60%
1st Serve Points Won 60% (25/42) 80% (20/25)
2nd Serve Points Won 33% (11/33) 53% (9/17)
Break Points Saved 62% (8/13) 0% (0/1)
Service Games Played 8 8
1st Serve Return Points Won 20% (5/25) 40% (17/42)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 47% (8/17) 67% (22/33)
Break Points Converted 100% (1/1) 38% (5/13)
Return Games Played 8 8
Winners 17 13
Unforced Errors 30 12
Net Points Won 63% (10/16) 50% (5/10)
Service Points Won 48% (36/75) 69% (29/42)
Return Points Won 31% (13/42) 52% (39/75)
Total Points Won 42% (49/117) 58% (68/117)

Shots of the Match

On Court Interview

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Anderson Miami QF 19

Super fun match here from Roger and we again got to see his full repertoire of slices, drop shots, attacking play, geometric precision and more.

The Swiss picked up from where he left off against Medvedev and played a flawless first set where the confidence kept on flowing and virtually every shot he tried came off. In this mood, Fed is just so fun to watch as nothing is off limits 🙂

Anderson won just 10 points in the first set, and even though Roger only served at 38% he was all over him. He said before the match he knows how to make it tricky for Anderson and he delivered on that promise, constantly putting him in awkward positions that made the South African look like the old man out there.

The second set could have gone the same way had Roger not missed that volley at 3-2 deuce which let Anderson hold and build some confidence and in the game where Roger was broken Anderson reeled off some decent groundstrokes.

The way I saw it was Fed got off to a great start by mixing it up, which gave him a ton of confidence to the point where he started winning every exchange from the baseline too. That produced some complacency and moved him away from the mix-up play and allowed Anderson to get some rhythm and land a few blows.

Fortunately, he came out on top in that 4-4 game which lasted 14 minutes and quickly ended any chance of Anderson working his way back into it.

So top quality match and worth staying up till 1.30am for. All the stats make good reading and the interesting one is that Anderson had to play 33 more points on serve. 

Other than that the standout for me aside from all the fun points was Fed's movement and explosivity. Even when Anderson connected big his defence looked impenetrable and he was right there flicking another ball into play.

Predictions vs. Shapovalov

Fed Shapo

Yeah, I mean, look, I practiced with Denis way back – I remember Edberg was with me on the court and I was warming up. I think he warmed me up for a match in Toronto, I believe, and he came out. He might have been 16, 17, and, you know, similar to today, he was just hitting big.

I was, like, Wow, it's unbelievable. How old is he? How good is he gonna get? I don't know. But he was very impressive. Same with the serve. He has that beautiful swinger going. You know, it just felt like he belonged there. Then I watched him play Tsitsipas in the Junior Wimbledon, semis or finals, I don't remember what it was. But it was during my Wimbledon run too. I don't remember.

It was one of those matches where Tsitsipas should have won it, but both great onehanded backhand already, and, you know, I remember Denis was just going for broke, basically. The more important it became, the bigger he went. Yeah, big fan of his game, so it's going to be tough tomorrow.

Next up is Denis Shapovalov who again came from a set down to defeat Frances Tiafoe over on Grandstand. The Canadian is into his third Masters 1000 final semi-final and he's come through some real tests this week defeating Evans, Tsitsipas and now Tiafeo in three sets.

Roger has never played the left-hander before but they have practised together on hard courts so I think he knows what to expect.

Shapo has a huge hard-hitting game but he's still fairly raw so I think Fed will continue his gameplan of mixing it up and baiting Shapovalov into going for too much. 

Roger has a pretty good record against left-handers too so I like his chances. I'm sure Shapo will take confidence from seeing what Thiem was able to do two weeks ago in Indian Wells so you can't write him off and as Roger said, it's going to be tough. Hopp Schwiiz!

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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68 Comments

    1. Couldn’t realized Roger had less winners than Kevin overall even though it didn’t feel that way during match…. sometimes these stats are bit tricky on winners/unforced errors (of opponents)….

      I was thinking about getting mess after giving break back on second set but Roger played good 9th game even after some gutsy saves by Kevin.

      Hopefully he gives us another two good matches…

      1. Sorry, but numbers don’t lie. They cannot. Disagreement happens when you try to elaborate a judgment based on them. Example: Kev’s bp conversion was higher than Fed’s. This is 100% true. Can you use this to say that “Kev returned *better*”? Hardly. You will get a *better* assessment of the return game by including the number of bp. And even this is incomplete. How many were “created” and how many were “gifted”? And so on.
        So, folks, please stop blaming the numbers and instead analyze the use we humans make of them and the fallibility of our judgement,

      2. The term lies, damned lies and statistics isn’t saying the numbers are lying. It’s saying you can bend them to prove a point.

        The numbers never paint a full picture and they don’t reveal the circumstances of a match.

        If I was averaging 100 in test cricket when I retired, then I’m statistically better than Don Bradman. But when you look past the numbers, I played every test match against Zimbabwe, then the numbers mean nothing.

        Same for breakpoints, if won a match 7-6, 6-4 and the stats says I am 1 out of 30 on break points. Then wow, what a joke. Except watch the match and all thirty breaking points came at 5-4 and my opponent hit 29 aces on every break point before I converted to take it 6-4.

  1. So much fun and yes worth the late night. It was all on show and so enjoyable watching the confidence soar from 1st game.
    Denis will be full of vim and vigour but yes I expect that low slice to play havoc again and the sheer variety. Tiafoe played such a classic corner to corner baseline slugger game. Fed won’t give him that

    Allez

    1. I think while that’s true in a British tradition, it’s less true in other traditions, even when derived from the British. Can’t remember if there’s a specific story about it or if it’s just hey, this is how we spelled it because we liked it better.

  2. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the live scores after a while and saw Roger was a set up already! I’d assumed that Kevin must have had a recurrence of the (?) elbow injury until I saw the comment about Rog seeing the ball like a football!

  3. Awesome performance, just one of those nights where he’s fuckin flying. Hope he’s still got plenty of energy for his third day in a row, I think shapo is guna be very pumped so I’m expecting a tight one. Hope he can pull it off

    1. Yeah schedule got a little tougher with the rain but least he hasn’t spent too long on court. Matches have worked out quite well, test early to get used to conditions and from there he has played efficient as poss.

  4. That was a glorious match to watch. It was on in the morning here for me but I still was too nervous to watch it live. When I get really nervous I only watch matches later after I confirm Roger has already won!
    The Bagel in the first set also made me nervous because if Roger let down and had lost in 3 it would be somewhat worse to win the first set to easily only to lose the match… (convoluted thinking I know)

  5. Jon, you were spot on as always! Kevin played poorly in the first, with a terrible first serve percentage and many unforced errors. Roger played great, but only 38 percent first served. As you noted, in the second set Kevin served much better, hit his ground strokes quite well and did not give up easy points. Federer’s first serves were returned, his ground strokes were not quite as effective and while his serving percentage increase in the latter half of the set, he was no longer getting cheap points. Plus he stopped slicing his backhand returns and helped Kevin get into a baseline groove. I felt a break of Federer’s serve coming and it did. Roger changed his return strategy, but even then it was almost too late. He needed six break chances in game nine. I felt that if Kevin had held in that game, he was more likely to win the second set than Roger. The third set would have been tight, almost a repeat of Wimbledon was in the offing! As Roger said, margins are tight, and even though he is playing better than ever before, the opposition has caught up finally!

    1. Yep, I was nervous watching the scores at 4-4, because I knew, based on Roger’s recent form, that if he’d missed the chance to break there he’d probably have lost his next service game, and the set, and then … who knows? Would really have hated him to lose in 3 after that first-set bagel. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that …

    2. Hm did Anderson play badly in the first set? I’m not sure, he wasn’t allowed to play good or bad as Roger completely dominated. He was under huge pressure from basically the first point. Sweating buckets and breathing hard after 2 games.

      Agree with the rest. Although playing better than ever before? No chance, that’s fake new just for media and a talking point to have. They say it about all the greats, Oh Ronnie must be playing better now than he ever has. Nope.

  6. Loved the match and Roger played much better than I expected him to. He has to be wary of Denis S though. He has nothing to lose. beat Nadal when they first met. He will be going for all his shots and it seems Roger’s consistency is not was it has been. And his break point convesion rate has not been great in 2019. I can see Denis taking a set. But looking forward to the Fed-Isner final ;p

    1. On the contrary, if you look at the stats from Krajinovic match onwards Fed has been much stingier with UFEs. Consistency won him the match v Medvedev and last night. He knows it’s hard to hit thru this court ( he said post match that slower conditions last night allowed him to read Kevs serve). He has adapted beautifully to this court and it has showed. :))

  7. Fun match indeed!
    Incredible level of play. Not as a what ever call 37y/dad/grandpa but a tennis player of any age. It was a god level, wasn’t it? The Slicerer at his best. And first 8 games, I saw the stats that he made 100% 2nd service returns wow. I wonder why this same Fed sometimes forgets how to return 😆
    Sweet to hear Shapo saying he was looking forward to the matchup with Fed whole his life. Hope for a great tennis lesson for him. Allez!

  8. I didn’t hear my phone buzz tonight. Got up at 5:00 am, looked at my screen and when I saw 6-0 6-4, I checked the result on two websites to be sure. Just watched the replay of the match. A fantastic performance from Fed ! The ping-pong point at the net can be added to the Raz Ols 1000 points selection !

    Roger, evergreen
    Green Roger  – ever
    … so many years (13 !)  after the text below was written…

    https://youtu.be/GMfjJwLmKZ4

    It sounds like a tale… Once upon a time, a very gifted man played tennis…
    Hey guys, aren’t we lucky to witness  this ???

    And I hope it will be fun against Shapo tonight … in the middle of the night again… Yees …

    Good luck, champion and thanks for the post, Jonathan.

    1. Did you see the ping-pong point from reverse (Kevin) side? Roger was even smiling during the point, ridiculous 😆

      1. What a point that was! Just getting that return back, with the stretch when he first approached the net, was amazing. Glad you mentioned about seeing it from the other side – it’s from about :49 in the TennisTV highlights Jonathan posted above.

  9. Enjoyed every second of his game against Anderson couldn’t be betterer…
    And next to Shapo will also be unforgettable.
    Maestro Roger is really enjoying himself!

  10. For me, having two Canadian teens in the semis is great. They both have talent and are nice people. They both had Fed as their idol, so a dream come true. Shapo is a bigger risk taker which can be good and bad. Felix is steadier and I’m sure will give Isner a run for his money. Awesome for tennis in Canada. They are making national news along with Andreescu.
    Roger seems to like this court and the set-up in the stadium. Playing some entertaining tennis this week. Heaven on earth.

  11. Great movement and magical shots that only Roger can make, coupled with loads of unforced from Kevin made this an easier win that what I worried about. The fact that Roger’s slices have more sting in Slowami than Wimbledon shows how much they have screwed up with the grass to make it easier for baseliners to win is a shame. Shapo is finally playing up to his potential and getting better with experience. It’s not going to be easy. Federer with his amazing repertoire of shots and explosive movement has the edge in spite of being almost twice Shapo’s age. Another testimony to Roger’s longevity at the top of this sport is that his SF opponent and possible finals opponent combined might be younger than Roger 🙂

  12. Next Gen is still definitely …. Next. Guess who the Top 3 in the ATP Race are now? Yes, the Big Three. I wonder when was the last time that it was Federer, Djokovic and Nadal? And Fed moves to #1 in the Race if he wins Miami. Pretty amazing really. If Fed can get some good results on clay (or grass) to leapfrog Zverev, it could be the Big Three at the top of the ATP Rankings again!

  13. Humidity back up to about 70% for this Anderson match which certainly will have affected ball travel & may have had an impact on Kevin’s fitness, though Roger looked amazingly fine. Today it’s running a little lower, 64% last time I looked. Looking forward to a good match w/ Shapo – I too have really enjoyed watching the youngsters at this tournament.

    Confidence flowing as you said Jonathan, & that comes out as some of that anticipation I was missing. Nice analysis.

  14. I do enjoy when Fed beats Anderson. I sense Kelsey Anderson is not a Fed fan? I remember in one of their earlier meetings, she was writing blogs about tennis wife life on some site, so I tweeted if she was going to reveal in her next post how much Kando paid for the tennis lesson as Fed made him look clueless.

    Instantly blocked 😆

    1. He went to the towel every time after his serve, drove me crazy. Use your wrist bands, your shirt if you must but every time. I hope they change the rule so players have to get it themselves and still have to serve within the 25 second clock.

  15. If L and/or L grow up to be proffs in tennis, they might one day in court meet Denis, the grand old still swinging an awesome racket. But what amazing teams the 2 youngsters may have then!

      1. “Bryan”, yes. I don’t remember ever seeing they play singles. At a point I think one of them was at around top 300 singles, but to be successful in doubles you cannot be distracted in singles. Even Roger would be a fine doubles player but he would have to give up playing singles in a profitable way. Maybe when he gets to his fifties…

      2. I enjoy Roger’s doubles a lot – as in Hopman and Laver Cup. He seems to have so much fun of it, – it accords with his social mind I think.

      3. They have both played a bit of Singles, few Davis Cup rubbers and some on tour.

        But they aren’t good enough to play singles. Neither of them would have made a living on it.

        Instead, they ride off the coat tails off singles on the doubles tour. I’m with JMac, doubles is a bit of a joke now.

  16. Just watched the replay Fed/Shapo. Awesome. No doubt about S’s talent – huge. Has to tame his shooting to more precision just, then – beware! Federer amazing. Brilliance astounding nearly all way.

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