Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Cruises Past Krajinovic into Australian Open Third Round

The Swiss came through 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour and 32 minutes to set up a showdown with Queenslander John Millman.

Roger Federer is through to the third round in Melbourne, moving past Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 and recording his 99th match win at the Australian Open in the process.

The Swiss was in fine fettle from the word go, taking time away from an opponent who spent three hours on the court yesterday after rain postponed play on Monday.

Federer has still never lost a second-round at Melbourne Park, and after winning the first set in just 21 minutes he was well on the way to his twenty-first consecutive third-round tie, firing 42 winners to 19 unforced errors, and breaking serve seven times during the 1 hour and 32-minute encounter.

In the last thirty-two, Federer will face John Millman after the Queenslander saw off the in-form Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets over on Melbourne Arena.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Big Fh Ao 2020

Krajinovic won the toss and elected to receive. Federer kicked things off with solid hold to fifteen to lead 1-0.

Two superb backhands down the line helped Roger create 0-40 in game two, and although the Serb saved the first with an ace and the second with a deft volley, he went long on the third to drop serve.

At thirty all in game three, Krajinovic challenged a second serve that caught the line by a couple of millimetres. Point Federer and he held for 3-0.

With just fifteen minutes on the click, Krajinovic soon found himself down 4-0, struggling to cope with Federer's early ball striking to drop serve from deuce.

A service hold to thirty put Roger up 5-0 before Krajinovic stemmed the tide and avoided the bagel with a hold to love.

However, the set was soon Federer's, holding to love to take it 6-1 in just 21 minutes.

Into set two and Krajinovic found himself down 0-30 before throwing in a couple of serve and volleys to mix it up and win the next two points. There'd be no let off from Roger though as he fired two big forehands to break serve for 1-0.

A hold to fifteen consolidated the break for 2-0 before Krajinovic fired down a love hold to keep somewhat in touch.

More smart serving kept the advantage for 3-1, and in game five Roger came up with a ridiculous stretch forehand pass to set up two more breakpoints. The Serb saved them both to hold for 2-3.

Game six saw Krajinovic enjoy his first success on the return, narrowly missing out on a 0-30 window but for a flukey net cord from the Swiss.

Despite that, he still fashioned a breakpoint which Federer did well to save with some good footwork off a return into his feet. Two solid serves got Federer the hold for 4-2.

A sweet drop shot that left Krajinovic glued to the court gave Roger 15-30 in game seven, but Krajinovic hit back with a stylish backhand down the line before holding for 3-4.

That hold kept the Serb in the set, and he took full advantage, striking the ball sweetly from the baseline and taking advantage of some Federrors to break for 4-4.

Unfortunately for Krajinovic, his hard work was soon undone, missing a smash off a high ball despite letting it bounce for 0-30 and then netting a simple backhand volley which had previously looked rock solid on the breakpoint.

Roger served it out to fifteen, aided by two aces to take the set 6-4 in 39 minutes.

Having smashed a racquet after dropping serve at the end of set two, Krajinovic's woes were compounded when he hit his first double fault of the match on a breakpoint in the first game of set three.

A hold to love consolidated the break for Federer for 2-0 before the Swiss fashioned another breakpoint. Krajinovic saved it, eventually escaping the multi deuce game and calling for the Doctor at the changeover with what appeared to be an arm problem.

The medical timeout didn't affect Roger's rhythm as Federer held to love to lead 3-1 and went onto break for a 4-1 lead.

A hold to fifteen put Roger one game away at 5-1, and just minutes later the Swiss was in the third round, ripping a cross-court forehand winner at 30-40 to take it 6-1.

Match Stats

Aus Open 2R 2020 Filip Krajinovic Roger Federer
Aces 4 14
Double faults 2 0
1st serve in 74 % (57/77) 69% (47/68)
Win 1st serve 58% (33/57) 77% (36/47)
Win 2nd serve 20% (4/20) 62% (13/21)
Break points won 33% (1/3) 50% (7/14)
Net points won 54% (14/26) 83 (15/18)
Receiving points won 28% (19/68) 49% (38/77)
Winners 22 42
Return winners 2 0
Unforced errors 24 14
Return unforced errors 0 0
Total points won 56 89
Fastest serve 197 km/h 201 km/h
1st Serve Average 184 km/h 183 km/h
2nd serve average 151 km/h 158 km/h

Highlights

On Court Interview

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Kraj Ao 2020

I'm very happy, it's a great start to the season so far, I'm feeling really relaxed out on court. You train hard and hope it pays off and not that it was all for nothing this week so I'm happy I'm still going. Looking forward to the next round and hopefully another good match.

At 0-40, 5-1 I thought it wasn't a 100% fair that he played three and a half hours yesterday and me zero, but the rain helped me so you have to take the win when they fall that way. I do feel a bit sorry but you have to take advantage of it.

He had a very high first-serve percentage, it was very high from him to only get a handful of second serves and it wasn't just like he was kicking them in. Nowadays guys have easier power, they make more first serves than ever. Back in the day, 60% was good when I was coming up, 55% was the norm, now everyone is serving 65, 70, 75% sometimes even higher so it's pretty crazy. But the surfaces are slower, so I was able to get the ball back into the rally and figure it out from there so you have to win them differently nowadays. Federer speaking to John McEnroe on court after his win over Krajinovic

Another clinical win here from Roger and his game is clicking nicely in all areas. Serving well when he needs to, the forehand looking solid on the run and when he's in that groove, there are very few if any players who can match his perspicacity on a tennis court.

While there is no doubt Krajnovic will have been feeling jaded after three hours on the court yesterday, he still produced a high level of tennis throughout, just not one high enough to trouble Federer who is a master at playing with a lead.

The only real blip was the dropping of serve in set two but Federer soon restored order and only losing 19 points over three sets is rock solid. As for the other stats, all good from Federer's side especially those 42 winners and 49% of receiving points won.

As pointed out by McEnroe on court, it was surprising to see Krajinovic serve at 90% but still lose a set 6-1 however if you look at his serve location map, while he's making them with good speed, they're not as tight to the lines as Federer's which gives the returner that bit more time to put it back into play.

Serving Location Fed Kraj

Given Roger was able to make so many returns, he was able to shape the rallies how he wanted them tactically and manoeuvre his opponent around with some well-constructed points and that's why he broke seven times. Job well done 🙂

Predictions vs. Millman

Fed Millman

John is a great guy, I practised a lot with him, I almost passed out when I played him in New York it was so hot He had no problem with it, he's from Queensland it's normal stuff. I played him two other times, once in Brisbane I almost lost that one too and once in Halle. He's a super good guy, unbelievably tough opponent, there are not many guys fitter than him out there, and those are the guys I respect the most actually because they get the most out of the game. I hope it's going to be a great match with some great rallies and I hope you guys enjoy it. Federer on his upcoming match with Millman

Next up is John Millman who defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets earlier in the day over on Melbourne Arena. 

Hurkacz had been highly touted as a potential banana skin for Federer given his solid start to the season at the ATP Cup and Auckland. Still, you can never count out Millman, who is a typical Aussie hardcore competitor and rock-solid from the baseline.

Federer knows that all too well, having lost to Millman at the US Open in 2018 and being run close in Brisbane a few years earlier so he will be fully aware of what to expect on Friday.

So far Roger has been able to cruise through against a fairly limited Steve Johnson and then a tired Filip Krajinovic, so Millman will be the toughest opponent of the week so far.

That's how it's supposed to be and based on Fed's level so far I expect him to come through. He'll need to play one more ball against a never say die opponent but given he's liking conditions and looks to be strong physically he should be able to outplay Millman with his all-court game.

What did you guys think of the win against Krajinovic? Predictions against Millman? 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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77 Comments

  1. At the middle of set 3, Filip seemed to have given up. The arm issue may have helped.
    I wouldn’t draw many conclusions from the match though, but that does not take away from the fact that Fed did what he had to do. Cruise mode is all it takes? So be it.

    1. Yeah the killer for him was dropping serve after breaking back and playing well. That will have made the arm issue even more of a thing in his mind knowing his task just got even more uphill.

  2. What a joy to see! Worth getting up at 4:00 am to watch the amazing Maestro show his stuff. And thank you as always Jonathan for your speedy and dead-on write up.
    P.S. Does anyone besides me wish the 102nd use for duct tape was to be used on John McEnroe and Chris Fowler’s mouths?

    1. Ha ha yes, Fowler could have his mouth taped. McEnroe was strangely fawning in his interview. I wish I could watch the match with commentary from Robbie Koenig.

    2. It was ridiculous the other night when McEnroe asked how many times Fed had played Davis Cup and he said not many – when Fed played every year between 1999 and 2015 with only 2010 and 2013 being exceptions.

      1. I have seen him do much worse, that one with Will Ferrell was dreadful. In this one he asked him about the match, about Krajinovic playing yesterday, him serving at 90% and then what he thought about the Millman match. I thought it flowed quite well.

        Usually, we get stuff about what he had for lunch yesterday, what he did at the weekend or what he thinks of Coco Gauff. Who cares.

      2. Yes Mark Petchey really has the gift for a good turn of phrase. I think he might be with an Australian TV station for this tournament, I caught a bit of him and Koenig together in a highlights clip.

    3. What I don’t like is the “idolization” of JMac’s behaviour in his playing days. So much talk, clips, etc about it.
      Pisses me off. But he knows his stuff and thank god, no Will Ferrell this year.

  3. Still going nicely! Thanks 😊
    Next may be a bit more nervy, but still, Roger looks strong and relaxed, having fun also. So – a good chance to continue like it

  4. You do well to mention the Forehand on the run John…

    Nowadays it’s the shot that tells me if Fed is fit or not…fit as in able to slug it out from the baseline with Rafa and Nole should he meet them.

    Hope he can go up a gear or two as the tournament progresses…

  5. Miliman is a tough opponent for Federer, kind of like Simon. They have played 3 times I thin, and 2 were tight. The guy just gets everything back , is in great shape, and can retrieve all day and then throw in a hard down the line backhand once in a while.

    But as Jonathan says Federer will not take him lightly and him and Lluibicic should figure something out looking at the tapes. And hopefully Federer doesn’t resort to lots of dropshots to get out of long rallies.

    It could be a very tight affair, probably will be a night match again since it’s an Australian involved. Too bad, I thin the day coursts are faster.

  6. Thanks Jonathan, so far so good. Roger picked up balls so early and played very well. Agree that Millman could be tougher on paper but I don’t think that his volley will be as good as Krajinovic’s. If Roger plays similarly, he will go through in straight sets. All those lower seeds in Roger’s section have fallen. Staying focused, he will be in semi.
    Allez!

    1. Yes, we need not to get ahead of ourselves. This is the guy who can throw in a poor match more frequently than in the past now, don’t forget!

  7. So far so good and Roger is playing to impress out there. I’m optimistic for a long run!!
    Johnny Mac has never hid the fact that he’s a huge FedFan. He seems to be taking it to the next level in Australia, perhaps he’s joined Tony G as Roger’s agent haha

  8. Hell of a game. Everything was on point, serve a little bit less than the first game but the rest was perfect. The first backhand winner on the Serbian’s serve and the forehand of the second set were simply stunning. Let’s move on with Millman, but things do look bright

  9. Great write up on a very good match for Fed. I am impressed by his high energy so far. Full of bounce and this is borne out by his stats. Very few ufes and good serve stats.
    Millman is going to be much tougher. Will it be a night match? Conditions cld play a part. Hoping Fed continues on this positive dynamic trajectory. Allez

  10. Finally watched replay and enjoyed the match. Fast paced and aggressive play from him, with good energy and composure. It was great to see! And the outfit (minus the logo) is growing on me. Doesn’t he look gorgeous?

  11. Me too Wanda, finally had a chance to sit down and watch the match. And, the colour is growing on me. Are the shorts a different cut and material? But hate the red squares everywhere. And, no haircut Roger for awhile please. Did you notice Toni G wearing the old RF hat? Is that a dig?
    I was worried about his lack of matches but he seems to be raring to go. I would prefer a day match but hey, it’s the biggest ticket in town. It will be interesting who the crowd will be rooting for.

    Another interesting match tonight is ST vs Raonic. They’ve never met. Raonic is injury free for at least a few more days.

    1. I saw a fan tweet that the logo is coming back very soon after speaking to Godsick at Melbourne Park during a practice or around the grounds.

      Must be imminent as he wouldn’t be telling fans that on a whim…

  12. Interesting comments from Roger in the quote you posted, about how 60% first serves in used to be a great number, not so much any more with slower courts. Also like your illustration & explanation about serve position & how it makes a difference for the possibilities on return.

    Noticed Seve was quoted somewhere talking about how much the balls fluff up & how that makes real-time changes in how things play that you have to adjust to.

    Fun to see a few younger guys win this week. Mikael Ymer nearly made it past Khachanov, he’s still only 21, & the experience should stand him in good stead.

    Looking really good so far. Allez Roger!

    1. I was thinking about this earlier, this match proved that serving at 70% isn’t necessarily better than 60%. I had a quick look and most of the top guys are making around 65% across a calendar year. There are plenty guys up at 70% but they aren’t winning matches So you know they are not putting enough on their serve.

      I believe it’s impossible for anyone with a ‘good’ serve that isn’t Isner’s height to consistently hit 70% across a number of matches. One-offs, yes, Ongoing, no.

      I think Fed, Luthi and now Nadal said the same about the balls.

  13. Jonathan, I will be interested in your view of the court condition, speed and bounce wise. Judging from how Roger played so far, both speed and bounce appear to be well suited to Roger’s style. Have you felt the same?

      1. Like I said in another post, a can of AO tagged Dunlop balls doesn’t last me much. After a couple of hours they look like Phil Spector’s head. Two more hours and the pressure loss makes them useful only for dog play. I’m piling up those. My club uses them too and my class goes through a full basket at an alarming rate.

  14. Well, Serena is out. I wonder if anyone would dare say….hey honey…..maybe you should work on your fitness and maybe lose a few. Will she ever win another slam?

  15. Argh Federer got broken in the 4th out of nowhere. Miliman is playing very well here. It could well go to a 5th and then Miliman is the favourite, I think. Very frustrating, I knew Fed would have problems dealing with Miliman’s style, just something about him. Fist pumping every point.

  16. Millman is an annoying sack of crap who sets up a wall against roger. With such a nice draw, fed is running a track meet with this hacker and now looks to come up short. Disappointing so far.

  17. He’s done. What a waste of a tournament, losing to a bum. As usual, fed got frustrated and proceeded to crap himself. Just retire, man. What is the point.

      1. Eating my words, a rare occasion…=) Honestly, it looked quite over several times, but he really impressed. Even if he bungles the next match, this was already a good tournament, b/c he showed a lot of fight and skill against a younger and fitter guy. God bless.

  18. Holy shit. I take it back, that was some grit. Honestly, Millman had it, and Fed got lucky, but unlike so often in the past few years, he didn’t give up and actually fought. God bless, he may actually have a chance to go deeper.

      1. Typical Fed fandom nowadays. I don’t get anxious, just angry, but amazingly, he did it this time! We just need him to atone for Wimbledon, one big match, and we can finally rest…

    1. Ha ha I’m a sinner as well, then… what an ending down 8-4. I knew Federer would probably claw back a bit but lose 10-8 or something.

    2. Me too. Should have listened to that inner voice which said “Don’t worry, he’ll win this”. But boy, does he put us all through it en route!

    1. Only now??? I’m taking pills, scrubbing ointment, getting injections and seeing a Tibetan guru for the past, what? 10, 15 years?

  19. Federer didn’t play that tiebreaker poorly for those who didn’t see it. Miliman hit three ridiculous winners, one at the net, and two passes, off points Federer ‘should’ have won , at least 2/3 of them. At that point it was 8-4 and I figured Federer would say, well I have 100 million dollars, why fight against this incredible luck. But he bore down and somehow didn’t let it get to him.

    In his comments to Courier afterwards, he did say that he was already thinking of the losing press conference after. That’s the immense pressure this guy is under. Age 38 and he has to explain to a shocked world why he lost a set, let alone a match.

    He is also playing against the 2005-2007 version of himself they showed up there on 100th win highlight video. Inspirational when he has NOTHING to prove at all.

    1. Arjuna, Fed didn’t do enough with the two shots that led to the Millman passes. His one approach was soft and to his forehand, and the easy volley sitter he cut right into the middle of the court. Yes, Millman still had to hit them, but Fed gave him the chance to look good. Vintage Fed would never allow a second look on those balls. Shades of that gambled approach against Djokovic at Wimbledon (paid off against Murray in 2012, almost the same play, so a decent percentage play), and he couldn’t sustain. Here, he made it.

      1. Hi Holdco, thanks. Yes when you watch it live you just expect him to win that point because he worked it well to that moment. But as you say the fact that Miliman hit a winner 3 times in a row means it’s more on Federer’s side (or Miliman is in the top 5 of the world).

        WHen you mention those miserable match points against Djokovic you had me. ARgh, why didn’t he just shit back a bit there instead of hitting a poor approach ? Weirdly, sometimes I think Federer doesn’t have enough confidence in his own game to just win patiently.

      2. Arjuna, I think strategically, it wasn’t the worst play on that approach. The prior point, it was just a solid return and an error, not much to fret over. On the second, Djokovic was facing the barrel of a loss just like Fed was looking to win. He should’ve worked the point a bit and gone inside out first, but he went in, which would be okay, but it was short. You have to give Novak props for making the pass, even though Fed didn’t make it too tough for him, but Fed surely wanted to end it right there and not get into a rally that he likely thought he’d get tight in. In 2012, on match point, he hit the same medium quality approach to Murray’s forehand, and he slapped it way out. Novak didn’t. Ultimately, they’re hitting a ball with a stick, so what you expect to happen often won’t.

        My bigger issue is that Fed counted on his serve to get him some freebies even if the approach didn’t pay off, and on the next two points he had to hit weaker second serves, got involved in rallies, and lost both. His serve went away at the biggest moment, though he was lucky to be there, really, since if Novak had backed up his first break in that fifth set, the match was over. Definitely the only tragic match of a great career, but he’ll compensate by beating him in a big final anywhere. The odds of that though…

    1. Yes, indeed. I only hope he can recover sufficiently to play against Fucsovics. 4 hours! (Which in itself is pretty ridiculous for a Federer 5-setter)

  20. I am already throwing the tv remote at 7-4, then when they continue I am asking myself, ‘what happened? New rules?’

    Hahaha

    1. You have to admit, though, it would make a better end to a championship title than up-to-7. Feels a bit more demanding, less run-of-the-mill.

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