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ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererShanghai Masters

Federer Brushes Aside Bautista Agut in Shanghai

A drama free day today as Federer comprehensively beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-2 to book his spot in the Shanghai Quarter Finals. A much improved performance from his one against Mayer yesterday night; any rust appears to have worn off as the Swiss hit 33 winners and didn't drop serve in the 1 hour 14 minute encounter.

As I said in my prediction Bautista Agut is a weaponless baseliner who can run down a lot of balls and that just doesn't cut it against Federer when he's moving well. The Spaniard hits solidly and flat but with minimum power and as soon as Roger controlled the baseline he was able to dictate virtually every point. Some of the shotmaking was top drawer and time and time again Fed came up with some sublime backhands and deft touches to delight the Chinese crowd. Who by the way are Federer crazy.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Come on vs Agut Shanghai

Federer won the toss and elected to serve; kicking things off with a comfortable opening service hold. A break point soon came his way in Agut's first service game after a glorious backhand smash but the Spaniard levelled for 1 all.

At 2-1 in front Fed then created 2 more break points for 15-40, setting them up after a top quality rally but again he played passively on the return allowing Agut to hold.

This pattern of play continued until 5-4 where Roger finally decided to take his opportunity, hitting a brilliant volley before Agut went wide with a passing shot. 6-4.

After the Mayer marathon it was important Fed got this one done quickly and he got off to a great start in the second breaking to lead 2-0, again hitting a crisp volley to win the first point.

He backed that up with a brisk hold and soon found himself 4-2 up. In the 7th game there was a brief moment where Agut threatened to break back but that was purely down to a shocking line call.

Fed played an absolutely brilliant point which he finished with a clean forehand winner. However Agut's ball was called out and he challenged. It was of course in and the point was replayed which was a tad unfair. Fed lost it, got slightly frustrated and let Agut fashion a break point chance. No drama here though as he snuffed it out with an ace before going onto hold and then breaking serve again to close it out 6-2 6-4.

Match Stats

R.Β Federer R.Β Bautista Agut
Aces 8 0
Double Faults 0 0
1st Serve % 70% 63%
1st Serve Points Won 32/37 (86%) 25/38 (66%)
2nd Serve Points Won 8/16 (50%) 9/22 (41%)
Break Points Saved 1/1 (100%) 6/9 (67%)
Service Games Played 9 9
1st Return Points Won 13/38 (34%) 5/37 (14%)
2nd Return Points Won 13/22 (59%) 8/16 (50%)
Break Points Won 3/9 (33%) 0/1 (0%)
Return Games Played 9 9
Winners 33 10
Unforced Errors 21 20
Net Points Won 22/24 5/11
Total Service Points Won 40/53 (75%) 34/60 (57%)
Total Return Points Won 26/60 (43%) 13/53 (25%)
Total Points Won 66/113 (58%) 47/113 (42%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wins Shanghai 3rd Round 2014

A peRFect performance after the ropey display vs Mayer last night and Roger played 10 times better over the course of the match. His volleys were sharper and some of his shotmaking is just a joy to watch. No other player comes up shots like his and some of his strokes today were unbelievably good.

Of course Bautista Agut played a big part in this as he doesn't possess any weapons to stop Fed playing his game. He's like a weaker version of Ferrer but with a slightly better serve. That doesn't get it done vs. Fed on hard courts.

Agut's flat hitting with no real spin lets Roger find find the groove smack bang on the baseline and step into the court whenever he hits a well struck groundstroke. Easy as 1, 2 ,3 really and Fed now leads the H2H 2-0.

Stats wise it's a bit of a clinic with Agut only having a single chance to break serve whereas Roger constantly made inroads on the Spaniards serve. Clean kill and into the Quarter Finals, can't ask for more.

Predictions vs. Benneteau

Federer Benneteau Wimbledon 2012

Next up is Benneteau who's been in a great form post US Open, making the finals in Kuala Lumpur only to lose his 10th straight title decider. Looks like Julien is destined never to win an ATP title but there's no doubt he's been playing well over the last 2 weeks.

The Frenchman beat Dimitrov yesterday in straights and backed that up with a win against Sock today making 81% of first serves. As we all know he's got 2 wins vs. Fed on indoor courts and caused him all sorts of trouble in the Wimbledon epic from 2012.

Based on that it won't be an easy match but I can't really work out why Fed has so much difficulty with Benneteau's game. It's not like has any outstanding shots so I can't really put my finger on it? Perhaps he is just able to up his game vs. Fed and play at a real high consistency. Margins are extremely small at this level so if he can eek out 10% more from of his game then he becomes a danger to most guys. He might choke when it comes to the crunch but he has made 10 finals which is a pretty good number so he can clearly play.

I'll back Fed to get it done in straights, assuming he moves well and can boss it from baseline then he has too much in the locker. Hopefully he returns well too from the start and puts pressure on the Benneteau serve. That should give him the breathing space he needs and make the Frenchman think about how he's holding his next service game rather than allowing him to swing free on the return.

Fed in 2. 6-2 7-5.

Review Overview

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

Schooled

Bit of a masterclass in parts with Fed having far too much skill in all areas. RBA is a poor mans Ferrer and no match for the GOAT.

User Rating: 5.02 ( 7 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and 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 Fed and tennis in general.

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42 thoughts on “Federer Brushes Aside Bautista Agut in Shanghai”

  1. Wow that was very very close call, which needed hawkeye to intervene and the ball was in by a few
    Millimetres for Alex. Unlucky Amar, that’s how Leonardo Mayer felt yesterday after his loss. Anyway I didn’t watch the match but I will try to find a highlights video on you tube. But for now I will read up the post now.

  2. I just watched the highlights and I thought Federer was playing a lot better with fantastic shots from both wings. I just hope that he play like that against Benneteau.
    Wow Djokovic was made to work hard for his win. I just have a sneaky feeling that Ferrer might give him trouble and I hope Ferrer does win. That way Djokovic losses a bunch of points, which will come in handy for Federer if he can gain the maximum amount points to close the gap. First of all come on Roger and lastly come on Ferrer you both can do it. Fingers crossed again.

  3. Much better than yesterday’s near-death experience. Such a delight to watch Fed in that sort of form, coming up with some exquisite shots and vollaies. Mind you he produces some magic shots even when he’s having a bad day in the office anyway. Hope he gets even beterer! He looks great in the outfit, dosn’t he?

    By the way, I logged into the chat with my phone but an annoying add popped up and couldn’t get lid of it. Wish it was about handsome boys rather than girls… Tried to kill it then it logged off from the PeRFect tennis, again and again! I know nothing to do with PT, just my phone. Shame couldn’t join the chat, even I was there πŸ™ Better with PC where ad block installed?

    1. Hi Wanda…. have you just invented a posher way to write volleys. The way you spelled it ‘ Vollaies’ sounds proper cool. Its making me say the word in french LouisIV aristocratic with my nose up. From now on I am spelling that way as its somehow goes with the new healthy winning Federer. Go on Wanda. Here, here, Ra, Ra, Order!, Order!. Cool. Thumbs up. πŸ™‚

  4. great write up Jonathan! Following a great clinical win by Roger! Stats say it all. Everything worked tonight and he has clearly got the emeasure of the court, the balls, the flight etc. The thing which impressed me was his use of the slice tonight, which nullified the flat hitting of RBA and exposed his lack of creativity when back to the wall. Hoping Fed can come out with same aggression against Benny. Like you, hv never understood why Fed struggles against him. Something of the Simon hustle factor I Wld think, grinding balls back which are tough to deal with. Desperate for Roger to get to SF as keen to see how He can do against Novak at this stage in the season. Although after today, I am not discounting Ferrer who will have got a huge boost of confidence from beating Muzza, and Novak was a bit below his best against Kukushkin.

  5. Clinical performance notching another win after a grueling match against Mayer. Its a pity I wont be around to terrorize others with my HOLD chant against Benneteau. Probably save me that trouble of getting premature heart attack. Let’s go Rog!!!

  6. Delighted that Roger stuck in it to the end – this is what I most admire in top sportspeople. Yes, Lady Luck played her part but one must take the rough with the smooth. Very surprised in one way that Mayer nearly won as I don’t really rate him as a Top 20 player ( 25 in rankings now ). Don’t feel that Bautista-Agut or Fognini are real Top 20 players either. But as someone alluded to above, average players now see Federer as fair game. After all, to beat the legend is no mean feat and a great feather to have in one’s cap. The great Navratilova was a constant target as she got older but she maintained a steely grit which I no doubt Roger will display for the rest of his tennis career.
    If Roger can get by Benneteau in not too difficult a match for him, I think he has a real chance of taking down Djokovic in semi ( can’t see Ferrer taking down Novak ). After all, Djokovic needs to be beaten in China some time so who better than the Master to prevail? And if he can do this, surely he will finally beat whomever is in the final to secure a long-awaited first Masters’s title in Shanghai?

    1. Hey Paul, totally agree with you. I love the “Roger-domination”. Cannot get enough of that, but when there is a “Novak-domination”, it is becoming extremely boring and frustrating. Enough with his domination in Asia. Someone (preferably Roger) should definitely stop him. But… for me it is more important that Roger stops Novak from winning WTF πŸ™‚

      Oh and by the way if (better yet when) Roger wins Shanghai, he will definitely win Rome and MC (just to rub it in Novak’s face) πŸ™‚

    1. Seriously Sue….. I know I am the only one in the world who likes Berdych…. but sometimes it is even too difficult for me to like him πŸ™‚ The dude just wants to be hated πŸ™‚ His clothes….. unbelievable. Even I am ashamed….
      Remember this year (don’t know which tour) he wore a dark blue shirt with those big white flowers… and to make it worse his team 3 members wore exactly the same…. or last week at the doubles with Isner, oh my God, I seriously had to look away…. his shirt was hidious πŸ™‚

      But then his smile….damn….

      But don’t worry Sue, I will make Berdych (and Serena) believers out of you all πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. Katyani,
        I think the blue shirt with the white flowers is during clay season, Rolland Garros if I am not mistaken. Worst outfit ever (together with Radwanska who is also using a flowery outfit, in red).

        That moment, I really wanted to put them both on my grandmother living room. They will match with the sofa there πŸ™‚

  7. Awesome display from Fed, seems like a while since he’s played without getting broken. His BH and volleys were so on point in this match and it just shows what shaking a little rust off can bring out, impressive turn around from the Mayer match. Not sure what to expect with Benneteau, looks to be in good form and as you said is one of those players who gets in Fed’s head for some reason. Roger needs to kill his hope and momentum in the first set perhaps to stop the drama from exploding. One round away from Novak (probably), let’s go!

    Also what’s the deal with Andy? Was not expecting a loss at the hands of Ferrer who has been in a slum this season. Looks doubtful he qualifies for WTF unless Rafa pulls out.

      1. I believe Fed asked the umpire which mark the ball left on a Benetteau serve. Umpire didn’t answer, and when Fed asked again, he told him to hurry because it was a first serve. Then Fed got mildly pissed off πŸ™‚

      2. Nothing much. Second game of the match and Julian’s first serve seemed long. Federer walked up (fairly slowly to be honest) and thought about challenging. He asked the umpire what he thought, but the Umpire didn’t respond. When Fed said he wanted to challenge the call, the umpire made a comment that he needed to be faster if he wanted to challenge the call.

        I think what ticked Federer off was he felt the umpire ignored him when he asked whether it was out. The umpire claimed that he had heard Federer say something but hadn’t understood- to which Federer questioned why the umpire didn’t ask him to repeat what he had said. “It’s not like I was talking about my lunch” πŸ˜› LOL!!!

        I don’t think Fed’s accustomed to having to repeat himself. :p

      3. Feds was asking umpire whether he had heard him challenge: umpire said he heard him talking, but wasn’t sure what he said. Fed then said’ Did you think I was talking about lunch?’ lol – very tetchy, in typical Feds manner…

  8. Not a bad guess on the scoreline – except reverse two sets. Final set sublime. You asked the question I have often thought about: how come Benneteau can cause Feds problems? Obviously he didn’t in 2nd set this time, but he has proved troublesome in the past. Always had me scratching my head this…

  9. Anyone keeping scores?? We took revenge on Monfils, Robredo, Stan the Man, Berdych and now Benneteau.

    Now we have to take revenge on Delbonis and Brantz. Also….. Cilic. Revenge on the Greatest Gift to Tennis will always be there and I have a feeling we will have our chance at the WTF, AO…. and RG. Yep, I still believe Roger will beat Rafa once at RG.

    But first things first, tomorrow we take revenge on Novak. He has cost us too many great titles, even since last year. Enough of that πŸ™‚

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