ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Federer Cruises Through Indian Wells Opener

No time wasted for the GOAT in Indian Wells as he moved into the third round with a 6-2 6-1 victory over wily old veteran Stephane Robert in just 51 minutes.

It was the first-ever meeting between the two, but Roger soon had the upper hand, taking advantage of Robert's AWOL first serve to break five times in the match and win 71 percent of points behind his own delivery. The win sees the Swiss set up a tie with Steve Johnson who defeated Kevin Anderson in a third set tie-break earlier in the day.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Indian Wells 2nd Round 2017

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Perhaps wanting to see if Robert had any nerves, but the Frenchman played a perfect opening game holding to love.

Roger quickly levelled, coming up with a sweet backhand lob on the opening point and in game five took advantage of two Robert double faults to break. The break was consolidated for 4-2, and another break soon followed with some aggressive play as he took the set 6-2.

Into set 2 and Roger broke instantly and held for a 2-0 lead. Robert held for 1-2, but that was the last time he would trouble the scoreboard as Roger cruised home, bringing out the SABR later int he set en route to taking it 6-1.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Stephane Robert
Aces 4 1
Double Faults 1 8
First Serve Percent 59% (24/41) 30% (14/47)
1st Serve Points Won 79% (19/24) 57% (8/14)
2nd Serve Points Won 59% (10/17) 45% (15/33)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/0) 0% (0/5)
Service Games Played 7 8
1st Serve Return Points Won 43% (6/14) 21% (5/24)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 55% (18/33) 41% (7/17)
Break Points Converted 100% (5/5) 0% (0/0)
Return Games Played 8 7
Winners 22 5
Unforced Errors 20 14
Total Service Points Won 71% (29/41) 49% (23/47)
Total Return Points Won 51% (24/47) 29% (12/41)
Total Points Won 60% (53/88) 40% (35/88)
SABR 50% (1/2) 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Indian Wells 2017 Robert

Very happy. The knee is a thing of the past, which is great. I don't even have to think or talk about it. So I thought the match went really well. I’m very pleased with how it went. And moving on to the next round, it’s going to be a different matchup, so I’ve got to adjust again. I admire those guys who make the breakthrough later on and find a way and not lose love for the game early. It’s nice to see him do well now and beginning to play against great players on the big courts. That’s been so motivational for those guys to keep going. All of a sudden, age just becomes a number.

Very smooth start for Fed here against a guy who's had his best results at the back end of his career (as Patrick Mouratoglou will surely tell you without even needing to ask 😀 ) but just doesn't have the weapons to trouble the top guys.

Robert made a decent start to the match with some nice shots, but his Achilles heel was his serve as he made just 23% of first serves in the first set and could only muster 29% for the entire match, hitting eight double-faults in the process. You just can't get away with stats like that, and it's why he only managed to win three games.

As for Fed he was sharp enough to get the job done, hit some nice shots, but you can't judge his level other than it being more than sufficient to win through without ever really breaking a sweat.

Predictions vs. Johnson

Federer Johnson Wimbledon

Next up is Steve Johnson who defeated Kevin Anderson in three sets. Anderson is struggling to come back from a leg injury, and he had the trainer on twice during the match but was able to take things into a third set breaker which he lost 7-4.

I watched some of the match briefly, and it was pretty much what you expect, the conditions suited Anderson, but Johnson was too tough a competitor in the end and won through.

Roger has only played him the once before at Wimbledon last year where he beat him on one leg, so I think he's a big favourite going in.

Johnson has a decent enough game, he won 72 matches in a row at College Level, but against top 10 he's 2-17 which shows against the better guys he's not quie there. Tiny margins of course so if Fed has an average day at the office Johnson is more than good enough to win but with a very attackable backhand it's a matchup Fed will favour so I'll pick him in straight sets.


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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Tsk tsk. Someone needs to make an app that notifies you when your fave player is next on.

      I actually had an idea for an app for myself, dunno if people would use it. But basically for when you gotta wake up at silly times, it notifies you when the match prior to e.g. Federer has finished and alarm goes off. I lost count of times I woken up as per the schedule and some WTA match has gone 6-1 1-6 7-6(10) in 3 hours!

  1. It’s always great to see Fed but Robert played so poorly it was not a compelling match. Agree that Fed is a favourite against Johnson but Johnson should give him more of a match.

  2. I only watched the highlights. Not much to draw, really. Robert didn’t look very fit though. Sometimes it looked as if moving sideways caused him some pain. Feds did alright, but he was very lucky in his very first service point!
    But this has barely started…
    I’ve watched a few matches. Murray-the-Moaner confirmed my previous “thesis” about him not being part of any Big-N.
    I liked: Nishioka beating a guy 3x taller than him. I’m all for skills and nothing for physical loftiness.
    Also liked Fognini beating Tsonga. Not that I’m a particular fan of his childish antics, but the guy’s game sometimes clicks and fires 150 km/h winners as if he was scraping out snot from his nose. Speaking of unorthodox blokes:
    I didn’t like: Dustin Brown losing against Evans because of a terrible service day and the usual tricks being totally off.
    Th-th-th-that’s all folks.

    1. 36 is Robert, not a great mover but has a few tricks. I thought he might serve volley more tbh.

      Nishioka is decent, but Berd served for the match twice in the second set? Tomas on a bit of a down swing lately.

      Evans is a good player, not a surprise he beats Dreddy really. Prob the betting favourite.

  3. Roger looked like he was running late for a dinner appointment with Larry Ellison. Totally blitz his poor opponent who is more senior than him. I have to report him to VA (veteran athlete) on cruelty inflicted.

    Jokes aside, good start for Roger. On tv shots looks very flat and fast. I hope he get a day match, night matches means I will not be able to join your chatroom 🙁

  4. Hey, is it my idea or Roger looked slightly overweight? It looked to me as if he had a bit of a belly…

    Good start for Roger though… Although Robert did little to upset Roger. Too many double faults, poor movement, not a single decent shot. Roger on the other hand looked to be hitting the ball very fast.

    1. No, Fed had always the belly, in recent years. Just watch all of his matches maybe 2012-now… It’s not bad having a belly on court, knowing that everyone is fighting hard to get some incredibly muscular abs. Shows that Federer ain’t pushing himself to the maximum, as Fed is taking tennis 50/50 fun and competitive , he looks like a relaxed person and probably everything is going well with him… 😉

      1. I remember at the early stages of his career, my countryman Fernando Gonzalez had some trouble with being so lean and muscular. He didn’t have the energy to finish long matches and in more than one occasion he would feel sick and start to throw up.
        So they put him on a high calorie diet which included fatty elements such as burgers so his muscles would build some reserve energy in the form of fat.

      2. Oh, Gonzalez… Just flashbacked 🙁

        I miss the old tennis times. Coria, Gaudio, Gonzalez, Fed, Rafa, Safin, Hewitt, Kuerten, Nalbandian, Agassi, Sampras, Henman, Haas, Rafter, Roddick and even more,more and more…

        Makes me sad when I watch old tennis matches, even when I hear those names. Tennis was entertaining back then, and was definitely better to watch than now.

  5. I noticed on the last thread the discussion about the “Anything is Pospisil” phrase. Actually, that started some time ago, probably in 2013 when Vasek had his breakout season. At one time you could even get a tee-shirt with that on the front, but don’t know if that is still possible. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the info Hartt. I saw it this time only and it seemed so true with the Big 4 not quite there all of a sudden in 2017.

      Novak could be next if Delpo sticks to his guns unlike letting him off the hook last time

      Rafa could be next if Verdasco comes out with guns blazing

      Fed will not be next as he already did that in Dubai

    2. Ah yeah I remember that now.

      I read some interesting comments somewhere that Pospisil made, saying he had a bad last 2 years mindset wise but is back in a better place now… maybe he can rise back up the rankings. Reminds me a bit of Berdych in his build / movement.

  6. Match was quickly won… But it’s Robert and not a solid top 30 opponent, so we are a bit in the obscure… Seemed like Fed was hurrying for something. He was impatient and played points really quickly…

  7. [somehow off-topic] I just realised that Del Potro is a seeded player! He is currently 32nd in the rankings. Happy for the guy cause he deserves it. I think he should have been the top 4 guy replacing Murray. Unlucky guy. Just imagine a top 4 Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Del Potro.

    1. I think he got in when Gasquet withdrew or something?

      It would be interesting to see what he’d done without the injuries, never even won a M1000…

      1. He’s an unlucky chap. His wrist is letting him down. Easily if he wasn’t injured, he could have been up there battling with the top 4. TBH, I think Del Potro could have become #1 because on his day he can be a monster.

  8. Haha! Fed and his belly! Always had a tummy but possibly at his leanest ever! Robert was terrible! That flat serve has no margin for error! Typical 1st match I thought! Early rust, found service rhythm and never looked back! Will hv to be better re Johnson but he will get some rhythm there and can attack net more.. onwards! I do think this tourney is very very open! No one has looked really impressive, everyone just getting used to conditions so we shall see over next 2 matches.
    Ppl bit harsh on Muzz.. short memories?? And Vashy no mug! Andy never does well here just as Novak fails in Vincy and Rog fails in Rome….

    1. Yeah 8 double faults, low ball toss too Robert.

      Tournament is wide open, Berdych now gone as well, served for the match twice? 😀

      Fed not really failing in Rome, hasn’t he made multiple finals?? Murray 1 final here in IW in 09?

      1. Fed has been solid in Rome, but his luck was somehow similar to that of RG. Fed should have won 2006 Rome. I still remember how he lost that game. He choked it. He was up 4-1 in the 5th. He blew so many chances that day…

  9. With how well Fed is hitting his backhand, I can’t imagine Johnson being a serious trouble for him. Having said that, Donskoy gave him problems and he is of a similar style to Johnson. Fed will be prepared, as always.

  10. I thought fed played incredibly high level. His back hand was on fire .He was ripping backhands even he got a slight chance. I really think he can beat Nadal and Djokovic if he plays like this.

  11. Roger Federer and 100% Breakpoints converted…. sigh…. what a great time to be alive 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Ps: Why isn’t anyone hiring Boom Boom the Carrot Becker?? Didn’t he get Satan to infinity and beyond?? I thought everyone would be giving their right arm to hire him 🙂

  12. More like Boom Boom the Banana Becker as I remember.

    He will soon be with Novak looking at recent failures

    Breakpoint conversion always depends on the calibre of the opponent’s serve.

    Fed’s not gonna have it easy anymore. 70 % is good enough to win I guess

    1. Tennis TV is not (yet) showing the replay – very disappointing!!! And might be reason for no article yet?
      Only possible a few seconds of highlights – which appeared very promising!

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