Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Cruises Past Clarke into Round Three at SW19

The Swiss came through a testing second set to win through 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2

Eight-time champion Roger Federer is into the last 32 at the All England Club with a comfortable 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over British Wildcard Jay Clarke.

The Swiss, playing on newly roofed Court 1 for the first time since his defeat to Kevin Anderson last year, overcame a tight second set to progress in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

He will next face Lucas Pouille after the Frenchman defeated fellow countryman Gregoire Barrere in straight to back up his victory over Richard Gasquet in the first round.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Clarke SW19

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. A love hold from the Swiss put him on the board and then a terrible opening service game from Clarke that featured three double faults handed him the break.

That was quickly consolidated for 3-0 and although Clarke got on the board in game four and had two break chances in game five, he wasn't able to trouble the scoreboard again, dropping the set 6-1.

From the opening set, it looked like the Brit didn't have the required game to cause Federer any problems but in set two he began to hold more easily. Roger, on the other hand, eased off and the pair exchanged comfortable holds throughout the set.

It wasn't until game seven until Roger had a half chance at 15-30 but couldn't capitalise and after sharing five more comfortable holds, the set resulted in a tie break.

Into the breaker as it was Clarke who made the better start with the mini-break thanks to a crap Federer volley.

Unfortunately for him, a cheap error gifted it straight back and Federer was able to take charge, sweeping the tiebreak 7-3.

Roger kicked off the third set with a solid hold to love and from there began to crank up his game, breaking to love for 2-0. The break was consolidated to fifteen, followed by a love hold for 4-1 and Clarke's day out on Court One was soon over as the Swiss held for 5-2 before breaking, aided by Clarke double fault at thirty all, to take the match 6-2 in the third.

Match Stats

  J. Clarke R. Federer
Aces 1 10
Double Faults 7 2
First Serve % In 50/86 (58%) 46/73 (63%)
Win % On 1st Serve 31/50 (62%) 42/46 (91%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 18/36 (50%) 19/27 (70%)
Net Points Won 12/20 (60%) 31/38 (82%)
Break Points Won 0/2 (0%) 4/5 (80%)
Receiving Points Won 12/73 (16%) 37/86 (43%)
Winners 16 46
Unforced Errors 21 25
Total Points Won 61 98
Distance Covered 1649.4 m 1738.4 m
Distance Covered/pt. 10.4 m 10.9 m

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Clarke 2R Wimbledon

I thought the crowd were great, they were really hoping for Jay to get into the match and he did that in the second set. I struggled to take care of business a bit from the baseline. Thankfully I played a pretty good breaker, I had some help from him as he gave me a couple of unforced errors. I really enjoyed myself. The tank is full – I came here with a lot of confidence – the first few matches haven't been very taxing physically. You try to win your matches regardless of the score if you win them in straight sets that's better. Federer on his win over Clarke

A decent enough win for Federer here and he now has ninety-seven match wins at Wimbledon which is mightily impressive. He's also never lost to a wild card in his career so it was an uphill task for the Brit who'd repaid the AELTC's faith in his game by winning his first round against Noah Rubin.

In terms of level, it was plenty high enough against the Derby man who has a Mayweather size entourage but doesn't really pack a big enough punch from the baseline to force the issue or put Federer on the back foot.

The second set felt a bit like the Harris match with Federer not really moving that well and looking like he wasn't on the money with his footwork but after recovering to win the tie break he was able to coast home without ever being troubled. 

Stats wise it's all good reading with 46 winners to 25 errors and he was rock solid behind the serve which was dominant throughout the match. Aside from those two break points in the first set that were erased with some timely big serving, he didn't face another break point and Clarke never won more than two points in a return game from thereafter. 

Predictions vs. Lucas Pouille

Next up is Lucas Pouille who defeated Gregoire Barrere in straight sets. After making big strides a couple of years ago, Pouille has been in and out of form but is capable of putting together wins and he went all the way to the semifinals at this years Australian Open.

Roger has played Pouille once before, back in 2014, which was early days in the Frenchman's career so you can't read too much into it. The two have practised together multiple times since though with Pouille being one of Federer's sparring partners in Dubai before his epic comeback at the 2017 Australian Open.

Pouille also has a Wimbledon quarter-final to his name at Wimbledon as well as a Stuttgart final so he's no mug when it comes to grass court tennis. There aren't too many weaknesses in his game and he's solid in all areas so it will be a stern test for Roger. He will need to play his brand of explosive and attacking grass court tennis to stop Pouille finding a rhythm. If he serves dominates like today he should get it done.

What did you guys think of the match against Clarke? Predictions against Pouille Lentils? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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64 Comments

  1. 5 to go. Played a below average match, but still plenty good to win easy. Gets tougher from here and I’m sure he’ll pickup his level and start performing better. Hope Nadal and Djokovic get some tough matches. It does look like Fedal semis and finalist plays Djoko. Hope Fed with the cup on the final Sunday. Too early now. Next round might see Roger winning a hard fought straight sets.

  2. Seemed pretty straightforward but those second set wobbles are a bit worrying.
    Pouille,when he is ‘on’ is very dangerous.I think Fed will win in four,please God not five as that Berettini guy really is
    dangerous.
    Rogers draw seems pretty tough to me.
    Nadal,having survived Kyrgios ,may be tested by Tsonga or perhaps Query(26 aces today-did I read that wrong)
    but I have a feeling Nadal is going to be there in the semis.

  3. i also think Feds draw is tough. He has been solid enough but slightly jittery at times. Loved the ‘crap volley’ comment because it really was! in fact he hit 2 fairly close together…….
    Has to up the level and cut the ufes out! Too many today but the bounce was a bit variable. Court 1 is pretty cut up and if dry weather continues, all courts will suffer.
    As you say Lucas is a stern test and he seems playing with a bit more confidence, altho hasnt had much oppo so far.
    watched Nick/Rafa live today. Amazing atmosphere. Nicj competed very well but played 2 loose breakers, shame. Nadal looking horribly competitive and clearly gunning for the tiitle. Can Tsonga do anything otherwise we are relying on Evans……

    Some of these results, truly bizarre! Cilic losing to Sousa is too ridiculous for words.

    1. That must have been an amazing experience.
      No love lost between those two,both objectionable time wasters but playing each other it must
      have been like watching MaCenroe and Connors years ago.
      Two underarm serves😊
      Yes it has all been a bit odd so far,so many seeds out,Stan losing to that huge servebot.etc.

  4. Needs to up his level for Pouille, seems a bit flat overall and forehand doesn’t seem to have as much pop on it as we’re used to but that’s just my opinion. I get the feeling he’s still trying to figure out how to work points on these courts. By the way, does anyone have any decent knowledge on queuing up at Wimbledon? I’m planning on going on Saturday and been wondering if 6am start is good enough to just get a ground pass? Obviously a lot big of names on Saturday

    1. Yeah, I think 6 am will be fine. I guess if you can arrive at 5am then you’ll be through the gates quicker. Keep an eye on those twitter accounts.

      I’ve never just gone for a grounds pass so no idea how long it takes to get in the grounds?

  5. The little I saw from Nadal today looked quite good. His serving was also very good, so I agree that if Fed can make it it will be a tough match against Nadal. But there are some hurdles to overcome before then … Go Fed!

  6. Thanks for the write up Jonathan, I missed it here in Japan. I feel like I have enough info based on your summary and the comments. Bottomline, Fed is on track, will need to improve, still has a chance.

  7. Good win for Roger, but with where his game stands now I don’t see him beat Rafa if they do meet in the semis. He doesn’t look as comfortable as usual on the court. Hope he can up his game.

  8. Personally there just seems to be something off with Roger. His stats look good, double winners to errors, but watching him he just doesn’t fill me with confidence. I don’t know why. He missed some shocking volleys on top of the net today.
    It is odd how the draw worked out that Roger’s section is now the most loaded with seeds and players in top form all winning in straight sets from Pouille to Berretini to Nishikori.
    Tsonga looks the biggest threat to Nadal now, if Nadal gets past him I can’t see him losing before the semis. Djokovic’s section is looking even easier than it did to begin with!

    1. I think the opponents and the conditions have so far provided boring matches. Not complaining as been fairly comfortable wins, but so far the tournament has not been great IMO. Crap matches on the show courts and just feels like any other tournament so far!

  9. Not the first time I see comments on – “has to up his game” and more like that. Of course he’ll up his game as tourn goes along. He always did!

  10. Yeah…overall something seems off with Federer. Pouille could even cause the upset and I wouldn’t be surprised. Hope he figures it out before it’s too late because if he so craves title no9 here, there’s a tough road ahead.

    1. I too get the feeling there’s something not quite right – or perhaps it’s just age. Or horribly slow courts. Or something.

    2. Early days. I thought he looked a bit uncomfortable with conditions so far but played well enough. He’s not really faced anyone good though, can almost play at half pace.

  11. Thanks for the post and all the comments from everyone. I’m a thinkin Roger will be back on home turf from now on and that should help moving forward.
    Would Nadal have jumped off Tower Bridge if he didn’t win today?

  12. Heard from yours truly late on in set 2: “Roger, if you slice that backhand for the third time in succession, you’re … yup. Going to put it in the net.” 🙁

    1. Ha good one. Yes I felt the same way . I feel he’s a bit flat, not moving around as well as he did in Halle. . But he is trying to save energy. I was disappointed in the Kygrios match, he played well but to me it looks like Nadal has got an improved serve, he had a lot more aces than usual and he looks super motivated (of course he always is).

      Both courts are slow and relatively high bouncing, so I think the slice is not doing so well. Meanwhile Djokovic is moving through quietly.

      1. It might be slow but it’s still fairly low bouncing I think. Anyway I hope it’s really just Fed saving energy because I am not totally feeling his game right now. The 3R round match should tell us more…

      2. Haven’t seen any of Djoker yet. Fed’s days off are also mine but two solid wins for him. Saw some of Nadal, looked decent too, Kyrgios had some chances though.

  13. I suppose he did start slowly in Australia 2017 and then picked it up once past Berdyck but that was a different
    surface and two years ago.
    These very slow courts will absolutely suit the Djoker as if he didn’t already have the easiest draw imaginable.😡

  14. Next gens, familier grass courters, many of them gone this early, jeez. Got emotional watching Marcos Baghdatis to bow out. I can’t help imagining what would like…No, shut it Wanda!
    Anyway, thanks for the excellent recap, Jonathan. As for our man, agreed it wasn’t a JesusFed appearance but yeah on paper it went all good. Hope nothing to worry and keep going stronger each match.

  15. Any win at this rate is good to me, even though not JesusFed but i’d rather god mode shows up at later stage like semis or final. Early rounds is to pace himself and adjust accordingly. Remember 2014 & 2015 loss to Djoker, he went peaked during the semis but final wasn’t that good. Just my humble opinion

    1. Yeah doesn’t need to peak too early. Just get the job done. For me grass court tennis has been boring so far at Wimbledon. Basically even more of a baseline game than ever. I’ve not even really enjoyed Fed’s matches much yet, the ray of light in the draw is Dan Evans. Was a great match vs Basil.

  16. Very very disappointed with the slow courts. I heard the locker room rumour is Roger is not impressed with these slow courts? Could it be the reason for him not looking right? I’m not a conspiracist but even if their intention is not to screw Fed they definitely want less upsets and prop up the two whom I so despise now.

    1. 90% of the press conferences are a complete waste of time. The questions fall in one of these categories:

      -Lame standard question: “How did you feel on court today?”
      >Lame answer from someone not articulate enough (99% of the interviewed) “Yeah, it was like, you know, kinda like, I felt good (it’s “well”, you arse orifice!) on court, the crowd was like (you say “like” one more time and I’ll bomb this room), amazing, really ubelibale (huh?) atmosphere (sure, 21% O2, 78% N2 and some pot scent. It really felt like… (Booom!)
      >Honest answer: “Like a stand-up comedian who forgot the jokes. It may change after I win 20 majors…and then again…”

      -“Specialist” question: “It seemed that on set #1 you were not attacking on very opportunity and the balls also had some strange bounces… … (describes all the sets, breakpoints, questionable umpire decisions, matchpoints)… … … … … (3 minutes of gobbledygook later) … … What are your comments?”
      >Answer: “Yes.”

      -Provocative question: “Did you really try to hit xxxxx?”
      >Lame answer: “No, it’s one of those things that are part of the game (really?). We are trying to win the point and it just happens that xxxxx was on the ball path. It never crossed my mind to hit him, God forbid.”
      >Honest answer: “You bet I did, MATE!”

  17. The Pole( not trying to spell that name)has taken a set off Djoker.
    The curse of court number one?
    Let’s hope they put Nadal on it against Tsonga😀

  18. FAA just sucked – out in straight sets against Umbert.
    Another Next-Gen-Hype Bubble that imploded even before meeting Dopovic…

    1. I suggest we just let them grow up until they grow beards… and accept that the “next gen” thing is just some made-up marketing fantasy.

      1. The media, ATP etc put a lot of pressure on these young players. It would be hard to cope with it all.

  19. So, Roger’s on last on Centre tomorrow, after Nadal v. Tsonga. Anyone want to take a bet on the match not finishing before curfew?

  20. IMO the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments is a little premature. In the early rounds, Federer’s simply not going to play at the level he would in a Grand Slam final. It would be a waste of energy.

    As he says, you can’t win a Grand Slam title in the first week of the tournament, but you can lose it. The priority is to get through without expending energy. Even that dropped set in R1 was hardly a disaster–the match was still ten minutes shorter than Nadal’s straight-sets victory against Yoshioka!

    The opponent has some say in the match too, especially if he has a big serve. Spamming aces will keep it close even against Federer. But he’s almost always going to win the important points, and pull away when it matters, which he’s done so far.

    People are being way too hard on the young guns, grass is tricky to play on (especially given how short the grass season is) and upsets happen more often than on other surfaces. Not surprisingly, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal are the only players to win Wimbledon since 2002. Only the most experienced and dominant players are able to go all the way at the All-England Club.

    Hoping he ups his game to handle Pouille. If he serves well and stays aggressive, he can do it in straights.

    1. Very reasonably put, thanks Steve! As for Pouille, they know each other very well, and so I’m not very nervous about to-night. But of course we never know for sure about luck and so on, just to keep us feeling the thrill, – maybe with a bit more reason than earlier this week

  21. Well I can only speak for myself of course,but with the exception of Thiem on clay none of the younger players
    seem to be doing anything on any surface on a consistent basis.Yes they might win the odd tournament here or there which props up their rankings but it is the consistency that is missing.
    Agree that grass is a difficult surface ,especially this grass,which is reflected in the odd results we are getting.
    Green clay,someone has called it,bit of a travesty at Wimbledon of all places.

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