Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Cruises Past Basilashvili in Melbourne Opener

Impressive start from the GOAT in Melbourne as he crushed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in just 72 minutes to book his spot in the 2nd Round against Alexandr Dolgopolov. Bit of a schooling really as Federer kept his foot on the gas from start to finish, breaking his opponent 8 times in the match and dropping just 3 points behind his first serve en route to victory.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Basilashvili Australian Open 2016

Federer won the toss and chose sides, Basilashvili then opted to serve first; holding to make a solid start landing 5 out of 5 first serves. Fed quickly levelled and then went up a break courtesy of some genius defensive work. The break was consolidated for 3-1 and the Georgian was then broken to love for 4-1; he did however get one of the breaks back, taking advantage of a sloppy Federer service game for 2-4. Roger however soon recovered it, breaking again in game 7 before serving out the set to love 6-2.

Into the second and Basilashvili immediately went down a break as Roger began to really give him a bit of a hiding; bamboozling him with a forehand dropshot en route to the double break and 3-0. A bagel looked likely at 4-0 but Basilashvili saved a break point to hold for 1-4. However he wouldn't trouble the scoreboard again as Roger held then broke to take the set 6-1.

With no way back for Basilashvili it was purely about saving face for him and he offered up a bit more resistance in the third, going for some big shots which paid off as he kept parity up until 2-2. A love hold for 3-2 though saw Roger have the finishing line within sight and he broke for 4-2 before reeling off the next 2 games to surge into Round 2.

Match Stats

Stats Roger Federer Nikoloz Basilashvili
Aces 6 2
Double faults 3 5
1st serves in 36/56 (64 %) 44/68 (65 %)
1st serve points won 33/36 (92 %) 23/44 (52 %)
2nd serve points won 9/20 (45 %) 7/24 (29 %)
Fastest serve 206 KMH 212 KMH
Average 1st serve speed 189 KMH 185 KMH
Average 2nd serve speed 162 KMH 160 KMH
Net points won 12/18 (67 %) 6/11 (55 %)
Break points won 8/14 (57 %) 1/1 (100 %)
Receiving points won 38/68 (56 %) 14/56 (25 %)
Winners 31 9
Unforced errors 20 29
Total points won 80 44
Distance Covered (M) 1231.7 1266.8
Dist. Covered/Pt. (M) 9.9 10.2
SABR 1/1(100%) 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Basilashvili AO 2016

Routine, schooling, a hiding, call it what you want it, was one way traffic in this one and Roger played a very impressive match. You don't win slams by playing awesome tennis in the first round of course but it was a very good victory with a lot of positives – serve, groundstrokes and net game all firing nicely. Fed took virtually every ball on the rise and just didn't back off one iota which Basilashvili could not handle. In terms of first rounds you will rarely see him play a better one.

Not much else to say really and so far there haven't been any upsets. Djokovic won through comfortably as did Nishikori, Berdych and Kyrgios. So all the seeds in the top half are still right there in the mix. In terms of court speed Rusedski said on Eurosport it's playing pretty slow so far but he hopes it will speeds up in Week 2. Obviously take what he says with a pinch of salt but from what I've seen it does appear to be sludgy with lots of extended rallies; which is probably the reason we'll see any big upsets in the early rounds as the top guys know how to grind it out.

Predictions vs. Dolgopolov

Next up is Dolgopolov who saw off Berankis in 4 sets. The Ukrainian is a tough proposition at any time during a tournament but especially in the second round so Fed will need to be on his game like today. Fed leads the H2H 2-0 and I'm backing him to get it done in straight sets as I think he is too solid. Dolgopolov has lots of shots and spins but lacks consistency on serve and from the ground so I think Fed will have a ton of opportunities to get on the front foot. I'll pick Fed in 3 – 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

What did you think of the match? Let me know your thoughts and predictions against The Dog in Round 2 in the comments.


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. Very Quick recap it seems…Reports are much more interesting when you didn’t get to watch match…Hope he brings similar form in R2 too…

  2. Aha, I was right that you’re writing the post while watching! Jonathan, the multi-tasking goat, or you actually write the script for Fed and he plays :lol

    As the 1R, it was peRFect match, thoroughly enjoyed, especially BHDL winners and super angled FHs.

    1. Nah you can churn shit like this out in 20 minutes πŸ˜†

      Yeah he hit the backhand really well, looked confident on the shot, but when you’re 6-2 5-1 up it’s hard not be…

  3. A good clean start by Fed just what he needed 0nly 3 points lost on 1st serve if he can keep that gojng this tournament is going to be fun hopefully will take dog out in 3 if dog were against anyone else i would cheer him on.

  4. As efficient as Roger, quick turnaround for first AO match report. Roger started well with a series of BHDTL winners, insane. His opponents doesnt have much weapon to hurt Roger. Happy he is through πŸ™‚

  5. I’ll watch the replay later in the evening, but not all of it since time is a bit short. Is there any set worth watching in its entirety? From the highlights it looked a bit like a warm-up (but, oh-so much more entertaining than most atp finals)
    On a different note: how long did it take last evening for eurosport to sort out the broadcast issues? I had just started watching the Dragonball vs CabbageWriter match when all of the sudden, no image. I went to bed.

    1. Not really – Set 1 probably the best from what I remember. Just find some extended highlights on YouTube.

      I’m not sure about the issues, I didn’t watch any last night but was working fine this morning.

  6. Thanks Jonathan, agree with all of your points. That was a good warm-up match – clean and swift.
    Up next with shot-making Dog, Roger will need to dictate play and especially exploit Dog’s low FS percentage. Putting pressure on Dog’s 2nd serve, Roger will win in straight and should concede less than 11 games.

  7. Fed looked great in this win. But he always does look great against almost anyone except Djokovic and Nadal. Backhand looks awesome and the forehand with more control. Hope he can up his first serve pct and win more on his second serves by the second week. Should be routine till the semis, I hope.

      1. One thing I hope Roger improves is hitting the ball deep consistently. He hits too many short balls in rallies. Against Djoker or Nadal one is all that it takes to lose the point. The more points he can end with his BHDL, the better his chances for winning his matches.

  8. The ATP site said Roger “dazzles”. Watched the hi-lites, nice. Moving well, everything looking good. I like the dog too, entertaining game. Straight sets sounds good to me, Jonathon.

    Watched a bit of Djoker/ Chung. Chung is someone to keep our eye on for the future. In five years time, the tennis landscape will look very different.

    I think Fed always wanted to win a final with Edberg, his idol on his team. This put a lot of pressure on himself. So, when the final rolled around, Fed didn’t play freely and lost…think Wimbly. Just a thought but perhaps that pressure is now gone and Roger can play for himself.

    1. Wimbly 😐 It’s Wimby!

      I think this theory about Edberg pressure is far too early to tell. Not a lot of people know this stat but he’s 0/1 in finals so far without him πŸ˜†

      1. You’re right. Smart man. Outfit looks pretty sharp. Pospisil having back issues again…the guy never gets a break.

  9. 64% of first serves won’t get Roger the tournament won. He has to be more effective against top20 guys.

    Perfect match on all other stats.

  10. Wow!!that was fast.. Im on the road, when his match started,after one and a half hour I stop to check the score..then he won already…!!..great match…just keep the confidence Fed..i think that is the key…

    Oah..I take back what i said about his outfit.. He looks COOL!!love the outfit!!

      1. yup!!! Love Love the shoes!!!

        The forehand cross court shot was amazing!!! He’s flying all over the court… Fed Express…

        How does Fed manage not to strain his hand against big servers or who players who use two hand backhand/forehand??

    1. Oh… I mean like Raonic who hit the ball more powerful than the other players, or players that use two hand hitting the ball. Is there any possibility that players like roger who only use one hand is much prone to injury or strain??
      **Sorry I didn’t play tennis, I try it a couple of times, but suddenly I stop and switch to badminton..dont know why..:)… So I dont have much knowledge to this kind of stuff..**


  11. Yep, done and dusted in just over an hour – pity some of the women can’t take a leaf out of his book. πŸ˜‰

    As others have said, some delicious BHDTLs and zinging forehands. I think it was a pretty good serve % personally, and winning 92% (even against a low ranked player) is fantastic.

    I too have changed my mind about the shirt – looks great on RF (as almost everything does) and I like the paler moss green headband. Still don’t like the blue strip down the back though. He looked pretty cool in the mint green. I like the Dog and his quirky play (sad that he’s playing Feds), but I agree, 3 sets. It will be an entertaining match I’m sure. Allez Federer

  12. Hi Jonathan, Your analysis is great, Thank You. Good to see Roger back on court, looking cool and crisp, unlike we saw in Brisbane due to his illness. I was only able to see the third set of today’s match but so much enjoyed just seeing him play, also liked his cool green tennis attire. Klasse, Roger!

  13. Last! You need a board for that! ? Good start is all there is to say, got some rhythm and will be pleased with his time on court!
    Reckon he will come thru the Dog who isn’t back to his best but will no doubt provide some entertainment! Reckon that”ll be a day match….

  14. Do u think that the one broken serve, that faltering of concentration for one game can prove crucial in matches against the other big three whose serves are pretty hard to break??

    1. Excellent start I like the outfit and the touches of light green from the shirt he wore in the breakthrough win in Melbourne. The stripe down the back is preferable to the shiny short stripe that was done to death..I am sure it looks great in person as he dashes and leaps about as he did last night. Quite balletic at times!

      I hope Susie is right about the day match as the weather is set to turn and those Melbourne evenings can be chilly , ball gets heavy and all much harder to push through.

      Did anyone see the list of names in the Swedish paper? Fed’s plea to know names has been answered whether it is accurate is another thing but can’t just be spun away now. A big day ahead on the court in the heat and scorching off it.

      1. Actually whilst the names are interesting they go back to 2011 so maybe this can all be spun away !!

    2. @Sahil yes and no – he can’t afford to have a lull against guys in the top 5 for sure. But “can it prove crucial in matches against the other big three whose serves are pretty hard to break??” Who? Nadal, Stan and Murray are all easy to break. Djoker is not lately.

  15. Safe to say he’s shaken off the aftereffects of that cold. He stayed close to the baseline and took the ball so early, looked like he was half-volleying many of his rally shots. He was moving like a dream out there–especially apparent with the number of clean DTL backhand winners he made. Seemed like it took him all of one set to get used to the pace of the court. Of course it’s easier to look good against this level of opposition and things will get harder very quickly. But this was a great start.

  16. Fed crushed poor Basilashvili
    Probably made him look silly
    Thankful to see a healthy Fed
    Sure he’s gonna surge ahead

    Time to conqur Alexandr

    1. Absolutely Sid, height of corniness. Tbh had never heard of Dolgopolov being called The Dog. So when I heard of it, just couldn’t resist the Goat-Dog aspect.

      To continue the corniness, hope its a Goat-eat-Dog world tomorrow.

  17. Well hello…
    Went to an exam seeing Nadal was having a bit of trouble, saw him break back in the 4th… Never thought Fernando would pull through… Bye bye Dull πŸ˜€

  18. Changed my prediction: Fed to struggle against The Dog. As per so many other times when Nadal has got knocked out early. Couldn’t believe my ears when my sister told me.

  19. I’ve just watched a 9-minute highlight. Dull did not play too badly but did offer quite a few short returns. Fernando didn’t let those short balls go unpunished – he just wacked them with abandonment. Dull broke Fernando early in both of the last two sets but could not stop the Spanish locomotive in the end πŸ™‚ .

    1. Can someone please tell me why the Nadal first serve was so slow? At least that’s what I saw in the first set highlights.

      1. It was only big for the USO that year πŸ˜†

        Nadal serve has always been a start the point shot tbh, takes control thereafter.

        Absolutely useless serve for someone who is over 6ft.

      2. Even by his miserable serving standards (outside of USO 2013), it was bad against Verdasco. He was literally rolling them in.

  20. The ATP page is swarming with commenters “asking” RN to retire or at the very least change coach. The latter is a pertinent position; the former is just plain evilness. Who would like to have people telling you to stop doing what you do for a living because “you’re no good anymore”?

  21. I can’t believe that Nadal has lost. Tbh even though I don’t like him I actually feel sorry for him as currently Djokovic is my most hated and dislike. As for the comments for Nadal to retire is rude. Its not a if he hasn’t lost before early. They were saying the same thing about Federer about 5/6 years ago. Seriously the media is ######## and######!!!!!########!!!!!
    I hope djokovic the match fixing robot transhuman loses early too.

  22. i watched part of the match. Like a fool, I went to sleep after the 4th. I thought it would be a repeat of that match many years ago. Couldn’t stomach watching a Nadal win. Nadal said Verdasco “probably” should have won. Don’t feel sorry. Happy for Verdasco.
    Btw, his right foot is an issue. This match might have done him in.

    1. Yeah, same here I didn’t care for watching a Nadal win, though nowadays less so than before thanks to Djokovic becoming our enemy No.1. So I checked the score in the decider 2-0 Nadal, thought hah typical of him. No doubt about his win then I left to work. A great victory for Nando, he better wins next round.

      Can Nadal bounce back?

    2. Verdasco hit some crazy forehands. Nadal hard to judge, his game style not conducive to winning now he seems to have lost some effectiveness on the forehand / overall speed.

  23. I feel sorry for Nadal’s REAL fans because they won’t be able to see him ahead and it surely breaks many hearts when the person you are supporting loses in first round.
    On my hate-meter (if that is the word),number 1 is Djoker .I would love to see him lose and i would enjoy every moment of it but I also know that it won’t happen anytime soon.I can’t stand Djoker now,maybe because he defeats Fed or he is winning everything but I want this guy to lose badly.
    As far as our champ is concerned, dolgopolov will provide some resistance but ultimately will fade away.

    1. Most Fed fans had the same feeling about Nadal 3/4 years ago, it’s just whoever is winning the most / beating Fed more often than not. So it just changes with the weather πŸ™‚

  24. Aren’t major upsets fun? Nadal is finished in the slams. Yet he is only a year older than Djokovic and Murray. Grinders don’t last forever. Watch this space. I am picking Djokovic to stumble sometime soon. As for Roger, it was a nice start and enabled me to (mostly) forget Brisbane.

    1. Djoker is very different than Nadal though. Nadal plays 3m behind the baseline, running his knees ragged. Djoker is pinned to the baseline and counters anything you throw at him. Very different play.

      I also believe that Djoker is better physically than Nadal, and I don’t expect him to stumble like Nadal quite yet.

      Also, lets see if Nadal is really gone, he can always make a comeback on clay. Never rule him out ^^

      1. Nah, Nadal’s time at the top is over – or he would have found another formula to put himself back in contention. Maybe the others have already discovered their own formula, to catch up. And Djokovic is still a grinder. That takes its toll and shortens careers – Borg, Wilander and Chang, among others, can attest to that. Done by 25.

  25. For me, nadal has really had a similar time to Roger. His biggest declines are his forehand and speed, but I also think he’s lost just a bit of nerve in the bigger moments.mthe difference is, Roger had a complete enough game that he could improve elsewhere. Nadal lives and dies by how effective his forehand is.

    Great performance by Roger today. It’s been a while since I have seen serving that monstrous. And dolgo (even though he gav up in the third) played a really convincing match, he also played the way he needed to play to have a chance.

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