ATP Masters 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Federer Brushes Aside Verdasco to Make Dubai Quarters

Another night session victory in Dubai for the GOAT as he defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-3 in exactly 1 hour to book his spot in the quarter finals where he'll meet Richard Gasquet.

Not vintage Federer in the opening exchanges as Verdasco had a 4-1 lead in the first set but Federer regrouped winning 20 points in a row (5 love service games) to snatch the first set 6-4.

After the trademark Clownando Fiasco implosion it was plain sailing for the Swiss and although he did drop serve in the second set when up a break he cruised home 6-3 with some stylish play.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Defeat Verdasco Dubai 2015

Roger won the toss and elected to receive. Smart move against someone who has a habit of double faulting but Verdasco got off to an absolute flyer, holding to 15 and the breaking Federer from 30-0 behind to lead 2-0.

During the first 5 games you got to see what kind of talent Verdasco possesses, he hit some thumping forehands, dropped some big serves and dominated every area of the game. During the 14 games after that though we also got to see how easily he goes off the boil and ultimately loses.

At 4-1 he had the first set completely in control, but at 4-2 0-30 the crowd disrupted him slightly and he got broken back to love. Roger then reeled off 16 points in a row, to go with the 4 he'd won in the game previous to steal the set 6-4. Insane really from Fiasco but Roger definitely did take his chances and went through the gears once he got back on level terms. The defensive point at 0-15 4-4 sticks in my mind as the nail in the Verdasco coffin.

Into the second and Fed won his 6th straight game, breaking Verdasco from deuce but then failed to consolidate as the Spaniard levelled. It made no difference though as a he got a second chance at 2-2 which he took before reeling off a love service game to lead 4-2. No late drama in this one as Verdasco then made a double fault at 3-5 15-30 before missing a wild forehand to hand Fed his spot in the Quarter's.

Match Stats

F. Verdasco R. Federer
Aces 5 4
Double Faults 3 0
1st Serve % 53% 70%
1st Serve Points Won 17/28 (61%) 24/28 (86%)
2nd Serve Points Won 10/25 (40%) 7/12 (58%)
Break Points Saved 2/7 (29%) 0/2 (0%)
Service Games Played 10 9
1st Return Points Won 4/28 (14%) 11/28 (39%)
2nd Return Points Won 5/12 (42%) 15/25 (60%)
Break Points Won 2/2 (100%) 5/7 (71%)
Return Games Played 9 10
Winners 13 17
Unforced Errors 26 15
Net Points Won 4/6 7/12
Total Service Points Won 27//1253 (51%) 31/40 (78%)
Total Return Points Won 9/40 (23%) 26/53 (49%)
Total Points Won 36/93 (39%) 57/93 (61%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Fiasco Dubai 2015

Another solid display here from Federer and he came up with some really nice shots throughout both sets. Verdasco caught him cold in the first few games as he came out firing off both wings. That approach didn't allow Fed to settle or find any rhythm, kinda like the Youzhny opening exchanges except Verdasco hits a bigger ball and has a flashier game.

However Fed kinda just stuck around and waited for a chance, he finally got the opening in a Verdasco service game he needed and took control after that. Nothing much to see at all other than a Fiasco implosion and Fed keeping his base level where it needs to be to get the job done.

The stats make good reading and 70% of first serves is impressive. I wouldn't read too much into getting broken twice as a.) it's a fast court b.) the first break was Verdasco red lining and c.) the third break was just Fed taking his foot off the gas for a split second. Net play also came into the mix quite often which is always good to see and Fed hit some pretty sweet volleys, especially in the 3-2 game in the second set which he held to love in about 60 seconds.

Looking pretty solid so far and winning which is all that matters 🙂

Predictions vs. Gasquet

Federer Gasquet Dubai 2015 Predictions

Next up is Richard Gasquet who saved a match point en route to beating Bautista-Agut in 3 tight sets. I didn't watch but RBA had a break in the third set so probably should have got over the line.

This is the second three set match Gasquet has played on the spin here in Dubai so he should have plenty rhythm coming into it which is the only real negative for Federer as he's not really spent much time on court himself. If Gasquet can strike clean from the word go and keep it up for the entire match then he probably has a reasonable chance of scoring a win but I think it's highly unlikely. The gung ho tactic worked for both Youzhny and Verdasco early doors but they simply couldn't keep up the sustained firepower. Can Gasquet? Probably not.

Fed obviously has a huge mental advantage here too after the Davis Cup victory last year in the fourth rubber and his comfortable lead in the H2H also works in his favour. As long as he serves decent and dictates from the baseline then Gasquet will struggle to create enough pressure to really trouble him. Fed in straight sets for me. 6-4 6-2.

Federer v. Verdasco Dubai 2015 Review

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

Viva Fiasco!

Another decent display from Fed and he never looked back from 4-1 down in the first set to cruise home in 1hr.

User Rating: 4.17 ( 6 votes)

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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43 Comments

  1. Saw the match , 20 points in a row was crazy stuff (although verdasco did play a part). I ed still say fed has still not reach the level that he needs , in order to clinch his 7th Ship here. But he looks very quick, lean and refreshed to give it a best shot( glad he lost his doubles match as a blessing in disguise really). My analysis Round 1 – was 55-60% of RF , Round 2 – 65-70% .Thats an impressive jump(the fact that he did play a lot better) I geniuinely believe the radar will reach its apex exactly when it is needed. As a critic he s my favourite to lift 2nd title of the year this Saturday. Allez Rog!

  2. Great summary Jonathan. Some loose forehands in that first service game…but once he broke back, I knew he had it in the bag. Some sparkling forehands followed + some great volleys, and it was pretty straightforward in the end. I honestly don’t see Gasquet troubling him and I agree with your straight sets prediction. Considering the long break, Feds is looking pretty sharp. 🙂

  3. I admit to some tense moments when I checked the scores and saw he was 3-0 down. Nevertheless his ability to stick with it & turn it around speaks VERY positively of his form at the moment, both physical & mental. Against, say, Nole, a start like that would cost him a set; but even against him, if he’s got the kind of self-belief that can turn around his own performance even after a bad start – he could conceivably still win in 3.

    Some nice highlights there; I too noticed he was making some nice half-volleys – seem to remember he talked about that being one thing he could do with the conditions here, in one of his recent interviews.

    Gasquet has only ever beaten him on clay, the last time in Rome 2011; they’ve played 5 times since then. Roger would have to bring an absolutely shocking game to lose here I think.

    So the qfs are:
    Murray-Coric
    Berdych-Stakhovsky
    Djokovic-Ilhan
    Federer-Gasquet

    Who would have predicted THAT? Well, we would probably all have gotten 1/2 of each pairing right – after all, the top 4 seeds are there – but their opponents are definitely eyebrow-raising. Coric wasn’t even in the draw. Ilhan? Really? Hard to bet against a top 4 semis.

    1. I’m going to go on record and say that Coric- Murray is going to be the most boring match, point construction-wise ever. They’re both super defensive. But Coric did beat Nadal at Basel, so we might be in for an interesting end result though.

    2. No real choice but to half volley quite frequently on a court of this speed. Same story on grass.

      Crazy QF lineup. I don’t know what to expect from Murray – Coric. I would expect Murray to just run him round the court and win easily.

      1. Because you have less time to prepare or back pedal to hit a more traditional ground stroke. Most players only hit half volleys when they are forced to because they can’t play anything but that shot…

        Fed hits them for that reason but also uses it to try take time away from his opponent too (ball comes back quicker when you half volley as you’re taking it earlier) and make sure he has a more advantageous court position for the next shot if required. If he retreats then he’s further behind the baseline and likely having to play neutral or defensive ball rather than been able to hit offensively.

      2. Murray – what the hell – 55 UFEs – shocking, honestly, though Coric played pretty well – definitely future star material I think.

  4. Dang missed entire match and livechat again 🙁 now have to rely on highlights. From the looks of it Roger started slow but steered ship right to get a W.

  5. Good match for me, drama free, good points, Federer looking confident on his shots. It’s too early but I believe that Roger has a decent shot at the title if the Murray semi doesn’t drain him too much. It’s good to see him fresh again, mentally and physically.

  6. Hey, sorry for my ignorance and amature tennis eyes, but I cannot see the talent you guys are talking about Verdasco. Yeah, a great powerful FH, what else? Can you kindly explaine? Is he good at the net for instance?

    1. Amazing forehand that is very versatile – flattens it out, hits with spin. Big serve, great ball striker. He just has a lot assets to his game that you cannot really teach.

      I mean he played somewhat close to his potential in the first few games and took apart the GOAT to lead 4-1. If he wasn’t such a headcase he would be a slam winner easily.

      I think this probably best showcases what he’s capable of – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjnvvzmX6MY some of the shotmaking is unreal from him here.

  7. Hi Jonanthan

    Have to admit at 3-0 I thought oh what is he doing – then it was just like a light went on and he realised he had a job to do 20 straight points 5 love games is that a record? Gasquet next not seen any of his games but hopefully Roger will come through in flying colours – he is after all wearing enough of them on his kit!! I still think the shoes are a no no but loving the orange top

    1. Blake on Fed:

      “I was playing my best and he sort of showed me a new gear. That was tough to deal with. I was thrilled to get my one win over him at the Olympics. I know he was still No. 1 in the world and still trying to win and wanted to win the Olympics but that was a thrill for me. But all the other matches – he showed me a whole new level…”

    1. “Rafa-beater” becoming a “Muzza-beater” very fast 🙂

      I think he was a replacement for Kohli?? If Muzza loses, I think he would tweet Kohli “Why dude, why did you have to get injured??” 🙂

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