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ATP Masters 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoor Masters

Impressive Federer Crushes Muller in Basel

Exhibition stuff from the GOAT here as he dismantled Gilles Muller 6-2 6-1 to make swift progress into the last 16 in Basel. To be honest there's not much to say other than it was a demolition job from Fed somewhat aided and abetted by his Luxembourgian opponent who played slow, predictable Tennis and looked like he was wearing lead boots for most of it.

In dropping just 3 games Fed got the job done in just 46 minutes which is his fastest every victory at the Swiss Indoors. Although a blink and you'll miss it type encounter there was still enough time for the maestro to piece together some impressive points finished with some exquisite shot making. Perfectly placed passing shots, acute volleys and chip charges gave the crowd plenty to cheer and left Muller looking out of ideas. Even though fans didn't get much of a match I'm guessing many of them were just pleased to see Fed step on court after he revealed he was playing without a contract and considered only playing Doubles this week. Looks like the possibility of ending the year number #1 swayed his decision πŸ™‚

Quick Match Recap

Federer vs Muller Basel

Roger won the toss and elected to serve; slippin to 0-30 before reeling off 4 straight points to hold. Muller soon levelled but from that point on is was all about Roger, holding serve in extremely comfortable fashion and breaking Muller to lead 4-2. More serene play from Fed saw him break again at 5-2 to take the set 6-2. A very weak display from Muller who didn't look he had any intensity in his game, Roger just made some sweet returns and the left hander had no answer.

The second set didn't get any more competitive with Fed firing down a love hold to kick things off before breaking Muller for the third time to lead 2-0. That lead soon progressed to 5-0 in what felt like seconds and although Muller send down a love hold to avoid the bagel Roger closed it out with consummate ease.

Match Stats

R.Β Federer G.Β Muller
Aces 9 3
Double Faults 2 2
1st Serve % 58% 53%
1st Serve Points Won 20/21 (95%) 11/20 (55%)
2nd Serve Points Won 12/15 (80%) 8/18 (44%)
Break Points Saved 0/0 (0%) 1/5 (20%)
Service Games Played 8 7
1st Return Points Won 9/20 (45%) 1/21 (5%)
2nd Return Points Won 10/18 (56%) 3/15 (20%)
Break Points Won 4/5 (80%) 0/0 (0%)
Return Games Played 7 8
Winners 22 9
Unforced Errors 7 18
Net Points Won 9/10 4/10
Total Service Points Won 32/36 (89%) 19/38 (50%)
Total Return Points Won 19/38 (50%) 4/36 (11%)
Total Points Won 51/74 (69%) 23/74 (31%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Return of Serve Basel 2014

peRFect start to the tournament for Roger and he looked to be in great form. He was able to return well and served big when he needed too; precision stuff to all 4 corners coupled with plenty of variety. The serve was backed up with aggressive groundstrokes and volleys behind it which meants points were over in an instant. Muller isn't going to hang with Fed from the back of the court so unless he can get the first strike in he has no chance, the fact he's never won a set against Roger tells you all you need to know. So all in all a very pleasing start and what more can you ask for? He's picked up where he left off in Shanghai and the indoor clay practice clearly hasn't effected his hard court game.

As for Muller, he was never in it. I think he played a very low intensity match and was basically a passenger throughout. Granted Fed was playing some crisp Tennis but he was just plodding along; ambling into the net behind his big but poorly placed first serve and making things very easy. Flat footed and just no real urgency in his game. Check the stats, Fed won 69% of the total points in the match and didn't face a single break point despite only serving at 58%. Barely had to break a sweat to be honest so Muller's level or lack of definitely made this one a walk in the park.

Predictions vs. Istomin

Istomin

Next up is Denis Istomin who took out Jerzy Janowicz 6-1 6-1. A good win for him and he's meeting Roger in Basel last 16 for the second year running. The Uzbekistani managed to win a set for the first time against Fed last year but went onto lose in 3 which means the H2H currently stands at 5-0.

Fed was very much out of form at this stage last year coming in off the back of the US Open loss to Robredo and then the disappointing match vs. Monfils in Shanghai. This year is a complete reverse so that doesn't bode too well for Istomin, he couldn't see off a low on confidence Federer so he's going to struggle against a resurgent one.

Istomin hit's a heavy ball but he's not really a guy who can trouble Fed in many areas. If he can hit big consistently off both wings then he obviously has a chance but there are very few guys capable of doing that – Del Potro, Cilic and Wawrinka are the only ones who really spring to mind. Fed in straights 6-4 6-2.

Review Overview

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

Dominant

Too good in all departments. Made Muller look slow and amateur.

User Rating: 4.35 ( 7 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and 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 Fed and tennis in general.

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66 thoughts on “Impressive Federer Crushes Muller in Basel”

      1. Remember your sandwich Eldrin?? Well it was pasta for me…

        Morale de l’histoire: Never ever go to the kitchen around the time the post is due…

        πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      2. awww tough luck bro! you win some you lose some I guess πŸ˜€ you at least enjoyed that pasta right? πŸ˜€ You still have a healthy lead, let us catch up to you HAHA let this be a Novak-Roger battle to YE #1 :))

  1. Super stuff from Fed, nice rhythm for his first match, liking his continuation of form from Shanghai Final a lot! Gd post J altho to sure you beat Feds time!!
    Ps hilarious that Novak called his son Stefan! At least it wasn’t Boris!!

  2. Masterful speed on the match and on the post Jonathan!

    Really glad to see his form maintained from Shanghai, though he certainly wasn’t troubled here as he was in his first match there. I’d like to see that 1st serve % a little higher but as you pointed out Muller didn’t really require it of him – saw on Twitter that he only dropped 4 points on serve over the entire match. And one of those was the double fault he started with. A good sign that he was able to shrug that off & immediately get in gear. Highlights show him floating over the court again, always a good sign, & as you say visibly constructing very effective points.

    I’m very pleased with this start, especially after Roger’s sad comments in press about the “few hiccups” over the last few years with the tournament. This whole tiff is so senseless – I know Brennwald has been there forever and is looking to prepare for a time when Rog has retired – but even though he has the experience of many greats retiring, and therefore no longer appearing at his tournament, Fed is different in that he is a BASEL NATIVE – this should be such a win/win for them both, they should both get to be so excited about this, & it’s so sad that, at the moment, they aren’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if Fed would be happy to make appearances even after he’s retired, since it is his hometown tournament, & that Brennwald with all his experience is not building that relationship now….. bleah.

    Also saw something on Twitter where somebody said something along the lines of, I just made that noise David Foster Wallace talked about when watching Federer make impossible shots – made me smile.

    There have been some negative comments about scheduling, but I have seen some reports that Fed himself asked for the Wednesday start. So as Roger might say – Chillax πŸ˜‰

      1. Yes, we’ve talked about his long-standing interest before – you linked an article about it last year. Hopefully as Brennwald ages, he’ll get to a place where he wants to retire, & his resistance to the idea will weaken.

  3. It was impressive. Feds barely broke sweat; poor from Muller certainly, but Federer was in a hurry to rush him off the court! Excellent start.

    Just watched Dimi/Zverev match: based on that, IF Dimi meets Federer and plays like that, there will be no worries. Zverev definitely one to watch and he’s pretty!

    1. Thought Grigor looked like he had a slight injury. Def didn’t go for some shots! Anyway hope he plays Fed as everyone else is pretty dull!

      1. Right on both counts Susie: there was some mention of injury and he certainly wasn’t moving well for most of the match; he got it done but you could almost here him saying ‘phew!’ at the end, so he’s struggling, but it will be rather a dull line-up if he doesn’t make it. Gulbis also carrying an injury, but he’s out now.
        Dull had no trouble – apparently Herbert dished out 11 DFs – he’s being handed these matches on a plate!

    2. I didn’t see any of Faux Federer. Zverev probably could have won based on the live scoring though, inexperience looked like it cost him.

      PHH vs. Nadal was one way traffic. He made too many errors from what I saw.

  4. Hey guys, great and fast win for Roger. Loved it. Nice to see a match where I had no reason to be nervous at all πŸ™‚

    Loved the remark the commie made in the 2nd set: “33 year Roger is playing like 23 year Roger without hardly breaking any sweat” πŸ™‚

  5. Oh and Jon, nice remark, summs it all up (hopefully tomorrow too):
    “Istomin couldn’t see off a low on confidence Federer so he’s going to struggle against a resurgent one” πŸ™‚

  6. My commute from work to home in some heavy traffic today took more time than Roger needed to take care of Muller πŸ™‚

    By the way, has Nadal even heard about the guys he has played so far? Looks like Brennwald picked up some obscure names, and put them around Nadal for the first three rounds.

    So, Stefan Djokovic. Hope he grows up to be a server and volleyer, unlike his Dad. Next, when is Doper junior due? Although the rate at which Nadal pulls out, Xisca may have to wait for a very long time.

    1. Lololollololl @ Dull

      Didn’t watch the match so thanks for the recap πŸ™‚ glad to see fed is conserving energy, he’s gonna need it if he wants to make a genuine push for the year end no. 1. As for nadal, I’m sorry but there is no way you can ‘play your way’ through appendicitis – that’s a serious medical condition that is hardly controlled through painkillers/ anti-inflammatory meds so I don’t know what the hell is going on with him. Wasn’t he supposed to be undergoing surgery? How has that suddenly been pushed back? Quite a strange fella, that nadal. Anyway…go fed!

    2. Hahahaha! πŸ˜€ great one! πŸ˜€

      How about this grand slam final in 25 years? Stefan vs Leo/Lenny, could be fun hahah

  7. Wow, what a start from Roger – wasn’t expecting that as Muller is normally quite a solid player. I know it was a long time ago now but he did beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2005 in four sets, so he is no mug. Agree with Jonathan that Roger should take out Istomin in straight sets but a word of caution: he must be in some form to beat Janovicz 6-1, 6-1 so Roger needs to be wary. Was there something up with Janovicz to suffer such a facile defeat? To the quarters then, and Roger should take out Dimitrov – especially if the latter is holding an injury, but if so, it is a pity that he is less than 100% as this could have been a more exciting match. If Roger should play Pospisil, he also needs to be wary as the latter has caused Roger problems in previous matches, even though Roger has always prevailed. On a positive note, maybe Roger will have worked out how to beat him more easily than the last time? The semis will probably be either Kukushkin or Karlovic ( now that the former has taken out Wawrinka in previous round). I am plumping for Kukushkin but Roger should have enough in the tank to make the final, and in doing so, set an Open Era Record of eleven appearances in the same tournament final ( beating the great Vilas who made ten at Buenos Aires ). Another record for Roger would be very sweet! I have never rated Kukushkin as a player and frankly my eyebrows have been raised as to his recent performances, including pushing Djokovic all the way in Shanghai. The final would then be almost certainly Raonic ( if he has recovered from his recent illness ) or Nadal. I hope for Raonic as I frankly don’t understand why someone would play serious sport with an appendectomy prevailing but then again I have NEVER trusted Nadal so would not be surprised if there are more mind games going on from his corner. In any event, I would be most surprised if Roger does not go on to beat either Raonic or Nadal in the final. I note here that despite Nadal’s unbelievable ability on clay and generally excellent form on all other surfaces, his return of ONE indoor tournament title in his career to date ( and on an indoor clay court no less ) compared to Roger’s career twenty titles to date, is nothing short of abysmal. And some claim him to be the GOAT?

    The Paris Masters will then be exciting because if Roger should somehow win it ( a very very tough ask ), and Novak goes out early / ish, then the Number 1 ranking is definitely ( if nearly unbelievably ) on the cards. Though Roger would then almost certainly have to win the Year-End in London to achieve this. And how about the magical 1,000 career wins, which could then be attained at the Davis Cup Final five days after the Paris Masters? I can but dream, can’t I?

    1. Apologies to Mr Nadal – he has won TWO indoor tournaments ( not one as I stated above ). Of course, it goes without saying that these were both on his beloved clay…

    2. Cool comment Paul. Didn’t know about the Open Era record for final appearances.

      I think Janowicz has had a terrible year and isn’t in form. Him losing 1 & 1 isn’t too surprising based on his results this year. I doubt Istomin had to really play lights out to get it done.

      RE Kukushkin – he is pretty talented, just injury prone. I think he is top 50 player for sure. And don’t rule out Goffin to trouble Nadal!

  8. Quick win for Roger which is good, he needs quick matches to conserve energy. Its a shame Brennwald continue to being a total ass coupled by lighting issue – karma yes?

    1. Karma, haha. Yeah, agree with you Dippy and Sue, what’s wrong with Brennwald? Without Roger’s name, the Basel might not be able to carry on its status as the prestigious event. What do Swiss people think of him, I wonder?

  9. Why is Roger playing without a contract? What is wrong with this idiot, Brennwald. Bite off the hand that feeds you. What an insult to Fed. His home country, unreal.

    On another note. Thoughts and prayers to the family of the fallen soldier at the Canadian War Memorial. This isn’t the Canada I grew up in.

    1. Brennwald is a complete idiot and an utter shit. Doesn’t deserve to have Roger – he should remember if it wasn’t for the champ, that little tournament would earn no money at all: does he honestly think that he would get the sort of attendance he gets without him? What a tosser. Look how the cheater has treated his tournament? Missed it twice, and the one time he has attended he hasn’t stopped moaning/giving excuses. A draw is a draw, but the suspicion remains that Brennwald cooked up an easy draw for him so he stays in the competition to the final.

      This guy ought to retire and let someone with enthusiasm for tennis – and for their home player – takes precedence over an inflated ego. Seems like he’s suffering from delusions of adequacy… πŸ™

    2. Fed wants to buy Basel when he retires. Brennwald will probably be trying to make it difficult for him.

      Check the Basel tournament history timeline on the Swiss Indoors site. More about Brennwald than previous winners πŸ™‚

      1. Ah come on Sid, give our man a break. His namesake screws him over twice. First by suddenly forgetting what Roger all did for him and the Basel Tour. Second by getting you know who and making him more important than our Goat.

        Isn’t that enough to get some to drink?? πŸ™‚ Our Goat is only human you know πŸ™‚

      1. Ah, perhaps not – there’s apparently a Moet & Chandon VIP lounge at the Basel facility – could be there.

      2. ….but on further consideration, since the copyright includes Chinese characters and is sourced from Weibo, I bet this was taken in Shanghai after all.

      1. Wasn’t that the event where he failed to show up for lunchtime practice the next day? πŸ™‚

        I should hope it wasn’t champagne: I may be teetotal, but even I know you don’t drink champers from that type of glass!

  10. To those who this concerns, a personal and small message from me: Happy Divali.
    May our God give you all what you desire with your heart and may he and she keep you and all your loved ones save. And… may our God give our Goat all the good things that he deserves !!!

      1. Happy Diwali..
        47 mins..WOW..SUPERMAN is back.. huh.. it took me 70 mins from my workplace to home…

      2. Hey Sweet Wanda, thanks. You can write Divali or Diwali, but it is actually Dipavali.
        But… I have a big problem this year. Our God is testing us Roger Fans. Divali starts and almost ends aroung 18:00 hours, but at that time Roger will play !!! What to do?? God or Goat?? πŸ™‚ Nah, Roger has my attention 364 days a year, today is for our God and religion πŸ™‚
        So, if you are reading this Roger… sorry, but still dude, you better win and fast too πŸ™‚

      3. Hey Federeroholic, nice name by the way. I actually raced home from work to see the match. Which I did. But at 2-2 1st set I think, I went to get dinner. When I came back, he was in the 2nd set like 3-0 up !! Roger wants to win and leave the Basel Tour asap. And he should do that. Win it and then never come back. Sorry to say for the fans, but that Brennwald guy does not deserve that Roger is in his lovely tour.

    1. Thanks Katyani…
      today i prayed to GOD for GOAT health and success (a win against Nadal and a GS)… so both GOD and GOAT day for me..
      Denis tried to create menace and FED made soo many UFE in the 3-6 first set, i felt he was homesick (?!?)…but then from 2nd set start, precision service games, mixing up at net from our HERO simply unsettled Istomin rhythm. Created BP opportunities at right times…Cheers MAESTRO…!!!

      oh… and it is called “Deepavali” only in Andhra (Telugu) and Diwali in North India…

  11. Wrapped up in 46 minutes, “Impressive Federer”, indeed! Pleased he didn’t consume his energy too much. And it was good to see him keeping the fine form. I even watched replay to see some of his magic again and again.

    Glad you are also in a fine form, too Jonathan. Is this also one of the fastest posts you uploaded? Keep up your good job πŸ™‚

  12. Please all my briany friends …can someone predict closely and correctly who plays on what days at the WTF? Does it not follow a certain sequence?

      1. Yes, it should be fairly standard this year, because Bercy isn’t finishing as WTF starts. Trouble is that until the draw takes place we don’t know who will be in each group. My guess is still that Roger (and Andy) will get an awful lot of daytime matches.

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