Roger Federer's peRFect start to this years American hardcourt swing continues as he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 21 minutes.
The Swiss is now on an eight-match winning streak and has won 14 sets in a row as heads into a fourth round clash against Roberto Bautista Agut who defeated Sam Querrey in three sets.
Quick Match Recap
Del Potro won the toss and elected to receive. A Strange choice considering how well he served against Haase. Roger held to love in a matter of seconds for 1-0.
The Swiss then moved up 0-30 in the blink of an eye with some aggressive returning. 2 break points followed, but The Tower of Tandil held for 1-1.
In game six Roger fashioned two more break points but again couldn't find a way through. He was then pegged to 30 on his serve as Del Potro showed signs of life, but after holding Federer finally broke to 15 for a 5-3 lead.
Serving it out wasn't without its troubles with Del Potro holding two break point at 15-40, and two more after Roger made deuce, but the Indian Wells champ was able to hold and take the set 6-3.
Into set two and the Argentine kicked things off with a hold to 30. Roger levelled, and after a further exchange of holds, he was able to break for 3-2. A double break looked a possibility, but Del Potro held and created another break point of his own but couldn't find the answers as Federer went on to serve it out to love 6-4
|Roger Federer||Juan Martin Del Potro|
|First Serve Percent||58% (35/60)||66% (41/62)|
|1st Serve Points Won||83% (29/35)||66% (27/41)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||60% (15/25)||43% (9/21)|
|Break Points Saved||100% (5/5)||71% (5/7)|
|Service Games Played||10||9|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||34% (14/41)||17% (6/35)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||57% (12/21)||40% (10/25)|
|Break Points Converted||29% (2/7)||0% (0/5)|
|Return Games Played||9||10|
|Total Service Points Won||73% (44/60)||58% (36/62)|
|Total Return Points Won||42% (26/62)||27% (16/60)|
|Total Points Won||57% (70/122)||43% (52/122)|
Thoughts on the Match
A very nice win here from Roger who took Del Potro apart. It wasn't the highest quality tennis from Juan Martin, but Roger took the racquet out of his hands. He had no idea what type of shot Federer was going to play, had no rhythm from the baseline and looked bereft of answers.
We all know that if Del Potro can hit 2 or 3 big forehands in a row, the point is usually his but Roger didn't allow it as he totally nullified his game. Of course, he doesn't have the backhand anymore, but he beat some top players last year and took Djokovic to three in Indian Wells, so he's not a total pushover. Roger just played the right way and during the commentary; Hawkeye data showed his average contact point was 2 metres inside the baseline!
So solid win, 14 sets won in a row and into the fourth round. As for Del Po, hopefully the taping of both wrists during a changeover is precautionary and not a reoccurrence of his wrist injury.
Predictions vs. Bautista-Agut
Next up is Roberto Bautista Agut who beat Sam Querrey in three sets. Agut is the ultimate workhorse and seems to rack up so many wins by just refusing to miss. Of course, he's got a decent flat forehand and is very solid from the back of the court as well, but Roger goes in a strong favourite.
The Spaniard has a bit of a hockey shot backhand, and it's not obvious where he's going to win many free points as there's no standout shot in his game. It won't be a walk in the park, and we saw at last year's Shanghai Masters RBA can make you pay if you're not quite on your A game but I'll pick Fed in straight sets.
How do you see the match against the Royal Bank of Agut going? Can he track down enough balls and make Fed miss?