Match win 1,100 for the GOAT as he kicked off his Halle campaign with a comfortable victory over lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in 52 minutes.
The Swiss looked in solid form against his short notice replacement after Yen-Hsun Lu withdrew earlier in the day. After the hiccup vs. Haas, it was the perfect start to the week against an opponent who had plenty grass matches under his best after winning Surbiton last weekend and playing in qualifying here.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to serve. The first point was the longest rally of the match, and it showed Sugita wasn't going to die wondering as he went for his shots from the word go. But Roger soaked it up to hold to love for a 1-0 lead.
Sugita quickly levelled for 1-1 with a hold to love of his own, but in game four he was broken to 15 and Roger breezed through the set taking it 6-3 with some nicely constructed points along the way.
Into set 2 and the opening game saw Roger convert his third break point of the game to move in front and from there on he began to roll, breaking twice more for a five love lead for what looked to be an early evening bagel. However, the Swiss had other ideas, dropping serve from 40-0 love to allow Sugita on the board but it made little difference as the Japanese couldn't hold his serve as Fed sealed it 6-1.
|Roger Federer||Yuichi Sugita|
|First Serve Percent||69%(29/42)||65%(34/52)|
|1st Serve Points Won||90%(26/29)||56%(19/34)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||38%(5/13)||33%(6/18)|
|Break Points Saved||0%(0/1)||62%(8/13)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||44%(15/34)||10%(3/29)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||67%(12/18)||62%(8/13)|
|Break Points Converted||38%(5/13)||100%(1/1)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Net Points Won||73% (11/15)||46% (5/11)|
|Total Service Points Won||74%(31/42)||48%(25/52)|
|Total Return Points Won||52%(27/52)||26%(11/42)|
|Total Points Won||62%(58/94)||38%(36/94)|
Thoughts on the Match
Good win here against a decent enough grass courter. Lu was the opponent on the original draw sheet but like I said in my preview post there were question marks over him after he withdrew from s-Hertogenbosch last week, so Sugita came in as the lucky loser.
The two had never met before but Sugita can play some flashy stuff to reel off points, and after winning the Challenger in Surbiton he was unlucky to not qualify after losing a 3-hour match with Mikhail Youzhny. So heading in he was a tricky opponent given Roger's limited match play on grass so far but the Swiss did an excellent job of managing his service games and never really allowing Sugita into things. Winning the first point of the match was a nice settler too as the Japanese teed off on several groundstrokes and from there on it was plain sailing as the numbers suggest. Movement good, serve solid enough and he never really looked in trouble.
Predictions vs. Mischa Zverev
Next up is Mischa Zverev who continued his good form from Stuttgart to see off qualifier Lukas Lacko in straight sets.
Zverev should have made the final at the Tennis Club Weissenhof, and he's a tricky customer on this surface. He's got great volleys, a good serve and his forehand's hard to read. With that in mind, I think he'll put up far more resistance than the last time the two met in Halle which resulted in a double bagel. But I still think Fed comes through easily enough as I'm not sure where Zverev hurts him. So I'll pick Fed in 2 sets.
What do you guys predict for the next round? Let me know in the comments.