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 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.
|Roger Federer||Stephane Robert|
|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|
|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)|
Thoughts on the Match
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
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.