Another cruise match from Roger as he made light work of Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4 to setup a third round tie with the only Australian left in the draw and the guy everyone is talking about, Bernard Tomic. I’ll get onto that match shortly but firstly todays match against Kolya.
Just like the match against Paire on Tuesday this was another imperious victory as far as I’m concerned. Straight sets, no break points faced and an extremely comfortably victory. What more can you ask for?
The match in terms of tactics played out pretty similarly to every other time these 2 have met on tour, Davydenko played aggressively, Roger never backed down, served well and ultimately forced Davydenko to go for too much and made him make mistakes in the key moments.
Davydenko is robotic in style so often matches follow the same pattern, he starts well with clean ball striking, fights off some Federer pressure early and then folds when he comes under continued attack. Today’s match followed the script as he saved break points early and then got broken as Roger moved into a 4-2 lead and cruised to the first set taking it 6-3.
The second set was similar to the first, Davydenko cranked his serve up a notch and went for the lines early in most rallies but he wasn’t able to find any consistency and after dropping serve early he failed to make any inroads on Federer’s serve losing it 6-4.
By the start of the 3rd set Roger was never going to let Davydenko back into it and was helped out even further when the Russian played a terrible opening service game to hand over another all important break of serve. As per the first two sets Roger cruised through on serve and served out the match with ease to head into the third round.
An Impressive Win
Tonight for me again showed Roger is in good form and feels very comfortable with where his game is at. His movement was spot on and he didn’t give up an inch on the baseline meaning he was able to transition well and also pile real pressure on Davydenko throughout the whole match. The end result was the Russian trying to hit the lines too often and Roger always ready to capitalise as soon as he got on top in the rally.
A few fans seemed to be a little disappointed with Roger’s game tonight and I saw tweets and forum posts like “oh he’s not finding his range”, “he’s making too many errors”. I find it a little unbelievable really, I’m not sure what fans expect this early in a slam but he can’t really do much more than win and win comfortably at that. The match wasn’t even close and he won in under 2 hours in stupidly warm conditions.
I thought his game was clicking too, when you’re playing a wily old verteran like Davydenko who’s still able to take the ball extremely early and play in a relentless kind of style to come through without facing a break point and without expending too much energy is impressive.
Dayydenko might be number 40 in the world these days but we shouldn’t forget he was in the top 4 for quite a long time and has a winning record against many of the other top players. Except Roger of course who now leads the H2H 18-2. GOAT.
The match stats might not have been the greatest from either guy or the rallies of the highest quality but that’s often the nature of this type of match. Roger made 68% first serves and won 76% of points behind it against a guy who has a great return of serve. 3 out 13 on the break points isn’t Roger’s greatest stat but he created a lot of chances and didn’t face a single one on his own serve. Very solid from what I saw and it bodes well for the tournament.
What did you think of the pink trainers?
Predictions vs. Tomic
Next up for Roger is the match that everyone has been anticipating and talking about against Bernard Tomic. The press have been making a meal out of this one ever since the draw came out last Friday and both players have been asked about it non stop in interview and press conferences.
If you read Roger’s press conference after the Davydenko match there isn’t one question about how he played; everything is related to Tomic.
It’s kind of annoying really as this is only a third round match so it’s not exactly deserving of such hype but I suppose it’s going to be interesting to see what Tomic can do. The fact he’s the only Aussie left in the draw also means the press are going to be all over it. He has said he can beat anyone after his positive start to the year so it’s time to let his tennis do the talking.
At the end of the day, you got to wait for the match. All the talk around it. I don’t read the press, so I don’t know it’s going to affect me … I think it’s important to be confident to a degree. It seems he has that. Now obviously we both have to live up to a big match, big hype, and then we can talk about it afterwards.
Right now I’m still at the beginning of the season. He’s obviously played a bit more. So he knows more so where he is with his game. So it’s an interesting matchup right now I think for both of us.
I have a feeling Roger will be pretty motivated to stamp his authority on this one. I doubt the press or Tomic’s comments have effected him but he always seems to silence players when they have made cocky remarks. I get the sense a few Fed fans are worried about Tomic but I’m not so sure. He’d have to really have improved to do any damage as far as I’m concerned.
I think it will be closer than last year, maybe Tomic can win a set but if JesusFed shows up and plays aggressive I think he’s going down and it may even be a Monaco like US Open beat down if his game really clicks.
Tomic played way too far behind the baseline against Brands today and dropped a set in a pretty close match. He’s improving but he hasn’t faced anyone of Roger’s calibre in Sydney or in his first 2 matches Melbourne.
Of course Tomic fans are quick to point out he beat Djokovic in the Hopman Cup but we can’t really read too much into Exhibition matches and it’s also worth remembering he beat Djokovic at Kooyong in 2010 too but nobody remembers that!
I have a feeling this surface is just a tiny bit faster. That may help all of us feeling like we’re serving better. But then again, maybe he is serving better. That may be the case for him. He’s done a nice job of holding his serve, putting pressure on the return. I’ll find out many, many things in a few days.
Hopefully it’s an interesting match, as it’s always good to see Roger face the next generation. It’d be good if the crowd get into it and to be honest I’m not sure how well liked Tomic is by the Aussie fans. He is all they have left though so that might count for something but I see Federer dazzling them under the Rod Laver Arena lights winning through 6-4 7-6(5) 6-4.