Just a brief post from me as Roger made serene progress into the third round defeating Carlos Berlocq 6-3 6-2 6-1 in just over 1 hour and 30 minutes. It was a very routine match and just like the one against Grega Žemlja on Tuesday he was never in any trouble.
For both the fans and Federer himself I think this was a better type of match due to some longer rallies and Berlocq's style of play allowing Roger to get plenty of clean strikes on the ball and build rhythm.
Quick Match Analysis
The first set started very smoothly from Roger and he looked to be hitting the ball well from the off as he broke early to lead 4-1. It looked like it could be a breadstick stick as Fed had more break points in Berloq's next service game but couldn't take advantage. That didn't make a difference though as Roger served it out after getting taken to deuce 6-3.
The second set started well too with an immediate break but Roger failed to consolidate which was probably the only disappointing part of the match for me. It's only a minor blemish on his performance but like it or not Roger is making a habit of doing things like that and they can be costly.
Fortunately he did break again immediately to lead 4-1 and I think that pretty much broke Berlocq's resolve who knew the result was know a formality. That set ended 6-2 and the third was always going to be a walk in the park with Fed breaking in the first game and sealing the double break in quick succession to put the match to bed 6-3 6-2 6-1.
|Stats||Roger Federer||Carlos Berlocq|
|1st serves in||36/69 (52 %)||70/83 (84 %)|
|1st serve points won||27/36 (75 %)||36/70 (51 %)|
|2nd serve points won||22/33 (67 %)||2/13 (15 %)|
|Fastest serve||126 MPH||121 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||113 MPH||102 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||95 MPH||86 MPH|
|Net points won||28/40 (70 %)||7/17 (41 %)|
|Break points won||7/13 (54 %)||1/3 (33 %)|
|Receiving points won||45/83 (54 %)||20/69 (29 %)|
|Total points won||94||58|
Thoughts on the Match
As far as I'm concerned this was another solid match from Roger, there were no real concerning moments and he played at the level he needed to over the three sets.
Berlocq is just a fairly consistent baseliner so he was never going to cause Roger too many problems anyway so the match was basically what I expected. I was 1 game out with my scoreline prediction 😛
There weren't any real areas I thought Roger excelled either to be honest, he was just consistent in all of them but I did like how aggressive he looked to play and his overall net play. I feel the net play is going to be a key area against Nadal should they meet especially on serve as he has to get as many free points as possible.
There were numerous times where Roger made some great digs and also showed great reflexes at the net which I think is a sign he is quite sharp at the minute and “on” his game. There were a couple of casual misses but you're always going to get them in a match of this nature so they're nothing to worry about.
Stats wise it was again another good performance too, winners outnumbering the unforced errors and winning 75 percent (27 of 36) of the first serves he fired down while Berlocq could only 51 percent (36 of 70) of points when he got his first serve in play.
Probably the only negative I can think of is Roger dropping serve and failing to consolidate the break when he had it in the second set. Some fans say that it's due to him not needing to focus against someone like Berlocq, but we've seen stuff like this cost him in the past and it happens more frequently these days. I'd much prefer it if it didn't happen as not dropping serve in the match would have made this an extra clean match.
For me, one match against Rafa is not going to make my season or going to make me super confident or not. It needs to be more than that. It hadn't been actually a terrible season up until Wimbledon really, and Wimbledon was just a disappointment. I wish I could have played better, but I thought (Sergiy) Stakhovsky overall played pretty well. Let's give him some credit, too.
After that, I just really hoped I could win Hamburg and Gstaad back-to-back to gain confidence. It never really happened. For me it was just playing matches again, enjoying myself training really hard, and I really got the matches I was looking for in Cincinnati, and I'm still hopefully gaining confidence match by match.
As we know, it might not just take a match but it might take just a few matches, and next thing you know you're playing really, really good tennis again and you're close to playing some really great tennis. I think that's kind of where I am right now, and that's where every match is really important to me and how I play every single point.
Predictions vs. Mannarino
Remember the above on match point vs. Mannarino at Wimbledon in 2011 under the roof?
Next up for Roger is Frenchman Adrian Mannarino who defeated Sam Querrey in 4 sets which was a bit of a surprise. I don't rate Querrey but he's won career titles and has the better record but clearly Mannarino was the better player only dropping his serve once.
Roger leads Mannarino 2-0 in the H2H both matches taking in place 2011 back then Mannarino was quite new to the tour and clearly nowhere near good enough to trouble the GOAT. As for today? I think that's still the same story.
I haven't seen him play since then to be honest but from what I remember he lacked any real power, he did make the third round at Wimbledon this year so he's not going to just roll over but this should be a good workout for Fed. The biggest test will probably be how he returns the lefty serve so that might be interesting.
Mannarino will have definitely improved since I last saw him and will obviously be more match ready / battle hardended but he lacks the firepower to do any damage. The only way you really beat Fed is either hope he has a shocking day, overpower him or pound his back hand all day long.
Mannarino can't do either of those last 2 despite being a lefty so he just has to hope Fed has a terrible day at the office which I can't see happening. I'll say there will be one close ish set and predict Federer to win through 6-2 7-5 6-4 Allez!