ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Federer Comes Through Rain Delayed Opener in Indian Wells

A winning start for the GOAT in his first tournament since regaining the Number 1 ranking as he defeated the tricky Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(6) in a match that was curtailed by the rain on Saturday evening.

Four games into the second set the heavens opened and with no respite play was postponed until Sunday. Upon resumption, Delbonis played solidly to force a tie-break, but Federer came out on top, saving a set point to come through in one hour and 41 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Fed IW 2018 2R

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. After a short delay due to light rain play got underway with the Swiss holding for 1-0.

Delbonis levelled to love before Roger played some crisp volleys to hold for 2-1 and then break for 3-1 to get in front. The break was consolidated to 15 and Ded went on to take the set 6-3, having to save two break points en route to serving it out, aided by Delbonis playing too conservatively on second serve returns.

Into set two and the pair exchanged two holds each with little fuss. That's when the rain started and put a dampener on the match until today. Upon resumption at around 3.30pm local Delbonis started nicely to hold for 3-2. Roger then had to save a break point to level but he was able to reel off his next two service games to love and we were soon into a tie-break.

Delbonis had a peRFect 2-0 tiebreak record against Fed going in but it was the Swiss who got the better start moving up 4-1. However Delbonis pegged him back, recovering the mini-breaks to level at 5-5. Roger then double-faulted to hand his opponent set point but Delbonis couldn't take it,  again playing a little conservatively as Roger reeled off three points in a row to take the match.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Federico Delbonis
Aces 5 2
Double Faults 1 2
1st Serve 65% (53/82) 46% (33/71)
1st Serve Points Won 74% (39/53) 73% (24/33)
2nd Serve Points Won 55% (16/29) 61% (23/38)
Break Points Saved 100% (3/3) 0% (0/1)
Service Games Played 11 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 27% (9/33) 26% (14/53)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 39% (15/38) 45% (13/29)
Break Points Converted 100% (1/1) 0% (0/3)
Winners 22 13
Unforced Errors 40 16
Net Points Won 69% (18/26) 40% (2/5)
Return Games Played 10 11
Service Points Won 67% (55/82) 66% (47/71)
Return Points Won 34% (24/71) 33% (27/82)
Total Points Won 52% (79/153) 48% (74/153)
SABR 0 0

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Federer volley IW 2018

Weird match this one due to the rain delay so it certainly was a match of two halves 😀 I thought last night Fed struggled in the damp colder conditions for his timing but he managed to serve his way out of trouble to win the first set.

Today was more of the same with Roger again struggling a bit from the baseline on what looks to be a slow-ish high bouncing court. Fortunately, he served well when required and Delbonis didn't have the gumption on his set point or at six all in the tie break to get himself into the match,

So decent enough start, can't say he played well but has the confidence to pull out these wins even when not at his best. As for Delbonis, he does seem to have the type of game that makes thing awkward for Fed; lefty, unrhythmical stuttering serve and a typical clay court game. If he'd played more aggressive on his break points in the first set and in the breaker he'd have been able to force a third set but it was Fed who stepped up and moves into Round 3. Allez!

Predictions vs. Krajinovic

Next up is Filip Krajinovic who won his second round match 6-2 6-2. The Serb has had a decent last six months making the final in Bercy at the back end of last year and the semifinals in Dubai two weeks ago so is in career best form.

The two have never played but I don't think Krajinovic brings too much to the table that Fed won't have seen before; he's a solid baseliner and has a decent backhand which he can take early and is probably his key shot.  Other than that I've not seen too much of him,  I'm sure Novak will be giving him some tips so I think he'll be a test but Fed should win if he takes his level and timing up a notch from today.

What did you guys think of the match? Let me know your thoughts and predictions vs Krajinovic in the comments.

Federer vs. Delbonis Indian Wells 2018 Rating

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

NOT HIS BEST

Not Fed's cleanest match as he seemed to struggle with the conditions both last night and today with the error count sky high but found a way to win.

User Rating: 2.92 ( 6 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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52 Comments

  1. Judging from the highlights (Thanks, Jon!) Fed moves ok and continues to give stylish shooting treats as well. 40 UE’s seem a bit much, but haven’t we seen such before in tour starts in 2017, and nice improvement on the further digging in?

  2. I’m a bit confused: the scores on the ATP site today said that Fed won the toss and elected to receive: is that usual, to have a toss at the resumption of a rain-delayed match? Wouldn’t it potentially disadvantage one player?

    Very close match in terms of points won: Roger was only marginally ahead when they resumed.

    1. Good question, Alison. Never knew there was another toss after delay.

      Forty errors, yikes. Hope that was his “bad” match of the tournament. Fed saying he is still jet lagged and tired from MFA in San Jose. On wards and upwards.

      1. [Never knew there was another toss after delay]

        There is no second toss when a match is resumed.

      2. Thanks, Sid, that’s what I would have thought, because it makes no sense. Wonder what the ATP website were thinking of?

        Fed jet-lagged and tired still nearly a week on? That’s a bit worrying.

  3. Some clutch play, really, good to see when he was – don’t really want to say stuggling, but not in free-flowing mode. A bunch of the big names seem to be stuggling with conditions. Also intrigued to see some youngsters doing very well on both m & f sides. Sorry to see Shapo out already, but reminding myself he’s still only 18!

    1. Yes he’s only 18 and Felix 17. Keep an eye on those two. Should be fun. Too bad three Canadians had play each other. Raonic through. See if he stays injury free for more that 5 minutes.

    2. Shapovalov is never going to be a dominant force imo. He will be a bit like Delpo in that when he has a hot hand, he will beat anyone but he’ll have too many days where his game isn’t clicking. But you are right, 18 so plenty time to change his game.

  4. Not one of Roger’s better matches. He had a hard time returning serve, especially second serves. Several of hus hi service games were close and the forehand was off. I realt thought Roger could lose; indeed he should have lost the second set.Hopefully Roger will at least bring his B game tomorrow!

  5. Delbonis looked like he was going for outright winners a lot, as he had nothing to lose. Fed did look sluggish but perhaps he was indeed thrown off by the jerky style of Delbonis who defnitely has the power but not consistency.
    Fed only needs to win 3 more matches to get into the semis and defend the #1 ranking for another week, correct? Not that he needs more piling on of accolades and accomplishments but it’s all so delightful and I am reveling in it!

  6. He’s playing and he’s there and it all worked out ok. Said he’s tired after his exho, two part matches must be hell too but he’s won when not at his best so that’s a champ move. Worked out better for him than Norris ( and Edmund)!
    Has the Rossdales & his folks there must be quite busy times but having fun and enjoying himself is part of the coping with the grind for him and he’s mentioning post African visit he’ll.even look at clay. But is that just signalling I’m fine when all the top guys are ailing and giving the impression he’s still strong at number 1

    Hope he plays into this & another day match suits him too. Go Fed all these new kids everywhere and then his own different matchups are refreshing whilst they work out !

    Wonder if Mr Ellison is thinking of a roof!

    1. He looked tired in press actually. Probably the headboard knocking on his hotel wall where the nanny sleeps and he keeps seeing Rossdale sneaking out of there on a morning.

  7. Zverev pushed the self destruction button. Third set, got up to a 4-1 lead and had a break point on Sousa’s following service game. Lost the game and the next four games to get himself kicked in his opener.

  8. I thought Rog has a reasonably tough draw when I saw it in terms of the style/type of oppo. And so it proved with Delbonis. IW plays closest to clay and that’s where Delbonis is most comfortable. Openers are always tricky and this played out as we expected. Lots of errors, serve saving him at key moments, doing enough to win and that’s what you want at the beginning. Tbh tho, Delbonis Shld hv broken when Fed serving for the set. Poor game from Rog. TB was typical Rog, even at 5-2 up you expected a twist!

    Filip will give Fed more of a rhythm to hit off so I expect better today! Nice match time for us! 8pm UK. Allez!

    Btw pundits are ridiculous re Novak. He has had a stop start return and is clearly in need of time and matches. Nothing to panic about. I was surprised he played at all

    1. Yeah Delbonis got way too tight I think. 8pm is a godsend.

      I’ve not read any press around Djoker, first match back after minor surgery I thought he’d win a few rounds but wasn’t expecting insta-titles.

  9. Roger was lucky to win in straight sets. He will come out playing better from next match. Court looks too slow compared to last year or is it just the conditions are different? Delpo looks to be the most likely opponent in finals, but that’s a long way off. Hope we see a clean match from this point.

  10. A match to forget, especially the night one. The only positive thing is, Roger won it in straights despite making so many unforced errors at the baseline. He will only get better. Considering so many big names are gone after just one match, I am just relieved that Roger is still in the draw. Oh, and those two backhand smashes, one at 1-2 in set 2 and one on match point, were just beauties.

  11. An unusual start of the campaign, relieve with the straight set win. On the next match, Roger will need to be a bit cleaner; 40 UHEs will be unhelpful. I watched a bit Percy highlights a while ago and still remember that Krajinovic can counter-punch very well under pressure and at tight situations (the reason that he ended up in final at the Percy last year).
    Allez Rog!

    1. I just read somebody reasoning that Fed doesn’t care much about his UE’s. Agree on that, better drive on and be brave. Same person guessed, that Djoko is much more affected, and this may make him more aggressive, which may be good, but also more angry with himself, which is bad.

    2. Percy 😀

      Yeah Krajinovic gets called Agassi esque a bit I read. I think Fed like that style of game overall. If he’s moving well should be fine. He did look tired / drained in press. Get Rossdale off the scene ffs, bad influence.

  12. Lot of rust from Roger, maybe due to court conditions. It seems tricky but am glad he is through his first match. Cmon Rogaaa

  13. I am not sure that Djokovics problems will be solved with matches and rest.He is just so skinny and seems to have lost a lot
    of muscle.That final set breadstick must be a source of concern,he just seemed to run out of gas or give up.Very puzzling.

    1. He definitely lost muscle when he was on that crazy diet but seems to have put a bit more back on. He needs more matches, I don’t think he was tired physically as such, but the mental drain affected his legs, mind over matter but he’s not been in a tough three-setter for a while now.

  14. I guess the tournament directors are favoring Roger, they only give him night matche……. oh wait, Roger played during the day? And he didn’t get tired? And he won? Ohhhhhhhhhh ?

  15. He’s done it! Larry Ellison has done it! Never thought it would ever happen but he finally made his court speeds slower than the Oracle database.

  16. I think we Fed fans ask an awful lot of him.He wins his opening match in straights on what is playing like a clay court
    against an unpredictable lefty who is good on clay. I know people speak with love and concern,but he simply cannot win every match he plays.Last year he lost in the early rounds twice.It is going to happen some time this year as well.I think we should enjoy him while we can.He is indisputably the GOAT but he is also perhaps a Demi God,a nice
    idea the Greeks had about their heroes.Half mortal half God.Sometimes the mortal half shows up,but hopefully not
    this week.?

  17. Don’t know what it is. It appears that the seeds have tumbled out like flies this year. It does feel like that Larry has slowed the courts? unbelievable! Of course, no matter, as long as one man remains on the track. Here we go …
    Allez Rog!

  18. Wow, you are right Jonathan 🙂 🙂 🙂 . I did not anticipate that the match went over this fast 🙂 . Is Roger in a hurry for a party 🙂 ?

  19. Wow,forget Demi-Gods rubbish.This was full on Godlike form.I thought it would take three matches but he is there already.Great match,firing on all cylinders ,but I agree with Shmeltz,really needs a shave.?

    1. C’mon, the desert is a dangerous place to hang around. One needs to have a bandit-looking appearance to deal with cowboys in the wild west 🙂 .

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