French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Starts French Open with Straight Sets Victory

Bonjour! Federer's French Open campaign is underway and it went as smoothyl as I expected as he defeated Spanish Qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-2 6-2 6-3 with complete ease.

It was a very routine match and Roger barely had to get out of 1st gear to pull through and this was a very nice match just to ease his way into the tournament with.

The stats of course made pleasant reading and to think that some “journalists” thought this match might be close was quite hilarious really as clearly they hadn't done their homework.

I won't be going into any depth with this match in terms of a review as it was just simple – the GOAT vs. a child who didn't stand a chance. The match was done in 80 minutes and whilst I'd like to call it an emphatic start really most guys in the top 10 would have pulled off a similar result should they have been playing Pablo Carreno-Busta. But either way you can only beat what's in front of you and Roger made it look extremely simple.

Quick Match Analysis

Fed Footwork

Like I said this will a very quick match review, the first set was a total breeze with Roger breaking Carreno-Busta in the very first game. I could tell from the very first points that the Spaniard didn't have any kind of weapons so stood virtually zero chance of making any sort of impact.

1-0 and a single break soon became 5-0 but rather ridiculously Roger managed to get broken when serving for the first set, I was actually disappointed by this as even against complete mugs he is struggling to close out a set. That's ok when you're 5-0 up but when you're facing Dull and you have just broken to lead 5-4 you can't afford to drop serve like that.

Anyway, Carreno-Busta managed to hold in the next game before Roger served it out at the second time of asking to take it 6-2.

The second set went much the same way as Roger just cruised on through it, this time serving it out without any hassle whatsoever. Carreno-Busta was done by this point and had no real hope of coming back into it so he just had to savour the experience and treat it as a learning exercise.

Third set Roger took his foot off the gas a little bit, played a few showman type shots to entertain the crowd and allowed his opponent to get 3 games before breaking his serve one final time with a scintillating backhand down the line to close out the match.

In a nutshell it doesn't get much more routine than this one folks, Fed hit 33 winners and converted all of his seven break points which was nice to see. A minor blemish is that he dropped serve but it wasn't going to hurt him in a match like this so there were no consequences.

Match Statistics

1 Aces 10
3 Double Faults 0
65% 1st Serves in 67%
55% 1st Serve Points Won 83%
37% 2nd Serve Points Won 74%
196 KMH Fastest Serve 202 KMH
165 KMH Average 1st Serve Speed 182 KMH
138 KMH Average 2nd Serve Speed 148 KMH
9 / 20 (45%) Net Points Won 14 / 18 (78%)
1 / 3 (33%) Break Points Won 7 /7 (100%)
12 / 59 (20%) Receiving Points Won 41 / 79 (52%)
12 Winners 33
29 Unforced Errors 19
50 Total Points Won 88

Some very solid stats here, dominant in all areas.

Thoughts on the Match

Federer after defeating Cannelo Busta

There's not a whole lot to be learned from a match like this other than knowing Roger looks like he's playing pretty well and has continued in a similar fashion to how he played in Rome.

All he has to do in the early rounds is play his natural game and just try and get the job done with as little fuss as possible which was exactly what he did today. What more can you say or ask for?

As for Cannelo-Busta I wasn't impressed to say he came into the match with a boat load of hype, he has zero weapons so will probably be a top 50 player and that's about it. Obviously he was playing the GOAT so he was bound to be outclassed but he couldn't really do any damage and his weight of shot was lacking to really make in impact.

I guess he is young so will develop but not one for the future as far as I'm concerned.

Predictions vs Devvarman

Next up for Roger is the Indian Somdev Devvarman and this will be a bigger test than the one he faced today. They've met once before in Dubai back in 2011 with Roger winning 6-3 6-3.

Devvarman isn't ranked that highly but he can be a dangerous man to face as he will definitely take it to his opponent and look to play first strike tennis.

I think this will be a nice test for Roger and will also be a good match to watch because both guys will look to hit winners and play aggressively.

It's always fun when Roger faces off against guys who also play first strike tennis as often it brings out the very best in him both in terms of offence and defence.

I'm guessing it will be on Tuesday or Wednesday, should be a good one and I think Fed wins in straight sets 6-4 6-2 6-2.


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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Yes first this time! πŸ˜€

    Don’t think Devvarman would be much of a test, I don’t reckon he’s got any weapons to hurt Roger. Saw he against Janowicz in the AO, and the only reason that he went up 2 sets was that Janowicz was in error mode for the first half of the match. Then when Janowicz got his game back he destroyed him 6-0 6-1 in the next 2 sets. So I think Roger would have a similar routine match next round.

    Meanwhile Llleyton was doing his best to remove an ‘obstacle’ for Roger in the draw but Simon prevailed, I think Simon wasn’t playing well at all and he shouldn’t be a problem at all for Roger as he will just toy Simon with those dropshots like in Rome again.

    I like it how even the schedule is favouring Roger this time. He gets an extra days rest, possibly avoiding the bad weather where players might have to play 2 days in a row. And most likely he will play the first semi while Nadal and Djoker fight it out later on the day!

    1. Maiden title πŸ™‚

      Well from my prediction of Roger only dropping 10 games I don’t think he will be taking him close, but I think the style of tennis he plays is a nice test. He will play offensive so Roger will need to come up with passing shots on both wins and keep on his toes, these are good matches early in a tournament.


    2. Jonathan, did you just submit a post, on your own blog, then immediately put the first comment in and claimed victory? You should be ashamed man πŸ™‚

      Folks, I’m giving Jonathan a code violation for conduct unbecoming of a blog owner. This is even worse than Nadal playing a clay court match, at a slam, in Mallorca, with Ferrer as his opponent, Fuentes as his trainer, and Uncle Toni in the chair!

      Youssef, you are the deserved winner. And Katyani, you were close but you’ve got to take those match points when you have the chance. Mental, you think? πŸ™‚

      1. Nah I’m just incredibly skilled to type out such a large post before Youssef posted. πŸ˜›

      2. Wait a minute, are you the real Jonathan or some other Jonathan? Who are you impostor? πŸ™‚ Either ways, you are disqualified!

      3. Sid……………. I’m working on the mental stuff !!! I will have my day, soon !!!

      4. Sid my name IS Jonathan but just a different one. I might capital the ‘N’ the next time I post as JonathaN so as to differentiate. πŸ™‚

      5. It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. There’s no drama in this.

      6. Sid – you are saying Katyani’s problems at not commenting first are mental issues?

        I disagree, it’s all about equipment, Katyani needs a new, faster laptop to compete with these advancements in technology. Level the playing field.

        Guys like you with your Babolat liquid cooled processor are operating with such a big advantage πŸ˜›

      7. @Jonathan – you should sign up to Gravatar and get an icon – to go next to your name.

        I’ve told people about this about a million times yet nobody signs up – use Fed, yourself, a tennis ball – I don’t care. Least we will recognise regulars with their own avatar. 2 second job.

      8. Please Jonathan, don’t let Sid give me a lecture about equipment !!!
        Please keep me out of yours and his endless equipment discussions !!!
        I am happy with my coming second at commenting !!!

      9. Oh poop! Sorry, JoNathaN. I thought you were Jonathan posting as an impostor (no pun intended) πŸ™‚

      1. On your own serve or on the opponent’s OR in the tiebreak? πŸ˜€

      1. Seriously Jonathan, you let me enjoy my victory for just one minute !!! How cruel you are !!!

      2. Hah, England’s Fuentes telling me to start doping !!!! Where has the world come to?

    1. I know the feeling… I thought I was 1st or at least 2nd when I was writing… Huge disappointment… πŸ˜‰

  2. Loved to see The Maestro back out on court. Pablo was disappointing. I thought he’d be at least a bit better than this but it was a) Roger (and I think he was a bit starstruck at times) and b) a slam (which he doesn’t have the mentality/consistency for yet) and c) just too much for him in general (couldn’t keep up with the pace, was mostly slightly too late for things and had a bit of bad luck too a few times). Anyway. It’s done. Rog’s level is Rome-like I thought, just like you. Devvarman no doubt a bit more difficult and luckily they’ve played once before (always hate the matches where they meet first time).

    Well and about serving for the set and getting broken: it happens. And it happens to him too. As he said on the Reddit Q&A, sometimes matches in early rounds bring more nerves than semis or finals strangely enough… Who knows? Maybe that was the case today… Or he just messed it up… But he had a double break, so no problems at all…

    I think he looks focused and relaxed at the same time during practices and I have a feeling he knows exactly what he’s doing and has full belief at the moment. This quote actually confirmed that: “3 weeks ago in Madrid it was “I hope to play like that”. Now it’s “I’m going to play like that”.Thats what has changed in 2-3 weeks”.
    So onwards and upwards πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Natasja,

      Yeah he should have really bagelled this guy though, meaningless in the context of this match but still needs to be ruthless as things like this can be the difference between winning and losing the tournament. Handed the break over really.

      Devverman next, should be fun.

      1. Maybe he should have. Hard to say really. Something to say for both sides, thinking about it now.

        I just think that when it really can be the difference as you say, he would have switched gears and then it never happened. And even if it still would have happened, can you expect a player nΓ©ver ever to have one bad game? To be 100% focused *all* the time? I think that’s humanly impossible… That’s always my argument as you know by now and will always be my argument. The expectations we have from top4 players are sky-high (or higher even) and think it’s unrealistic… But we will probably agree to disagree on that πŸ˜‰ Which is good too. Keeps a discussion lively πŸ˜‰

  3. PCB will be a good player very soon. He’s won 7 Futures tournaments this year and was on a 39-match winning streak. He has a good return and backhand. This was also his first Grand Slam match, so he was nervous and it showed early on and we know how quick Fed is out of the gate when his opponent gives him a big opening.

    1. Come on man you are basing that on what you read about him. The guy has no weapons, unless he puts on a ton of muscle and develops a weapon he’s just gonna be a bits and pieces player probably making semi finals on clay 250 events. No more.

      1. He has a good serve, and a good BH. It was his first Slam match ever, he wasn’t going to play his best especially coming up against Roger. He did great in Portugal a few weeks ago beating Benneteau, Goffin, and Fognini before taking a set off Wawrinka. He has a bright future if he continues to develop right.

    1. So he should have, he’s only 19. Just looked – poor results in Junior Grand Slams. Can’t see him doing anything, I was less than impressed.

  4. i dont think devvarman plays agrresive he is more of a counter puncher. Ive seen him a lot. He will be a bigger test but wont be able to do much as he doesnt have many weapons

    1. I thought he went for his shots, from what I remember in Dubai anyway. Guess he won’t be a natural on clay courts though so should be an easy ish match.

  5. Hi All,
    I agree with you Jonathan, the last match between them in Dubai was contested match with lots of winners from both sides; this one should be fun to watch and roger should prevail at the end.
    Predicted result: 6/2 6/3 7/5

  6. One down…6 to go? Here’s hoping.

    Perfect start for Roger, 100% BP conversion (rare) is what I like to see. Saw him coming to net a lot, I think it’s vital to conserve energy in early rounds so its definitely the right play at this stage in the tournament

    Sucks you can’t do point of the match though, but the match point, BH down the line had to be the one right? Can’t believe commentators and fans thought that this guy was even gonna match Fed, and then the fans who got worried as well.

    Anyway, no Fed till Wednesday, will enjoy Berdych/Monfils tonight, only a contest if Clownfils doesn’t show up though. Devvarmen should put a good showing I guess but straight sets again should do it. Allez!

  7. Hi Jonathan!
    Haven’t been around since the Rome semi final, I see I have some catching up to do!
    First of all RG round 1- great showing! It was irritating to see him lose serve while serving for the first set (that was the first game of the match that I saw). But I guess he was a little too bored so decided to have some ‘fun’.
    I am starting to like the haircut. There. I said it. I have a hard time believing myself.
    Don’t like the shirt much. Its okay to wear non-polo for MS 1000s et al, but completely unacceptable for a slam. Plus his shorts split midway in the first match. Why the hell is Nike treating him this way? Maybe there are some more flies that need swatting.
    I really was pleasantly surprised with the draw. I would stop believing in conspiracy theories, but Djoker starting Tuesday made me raise an eyebrow.
    Devvarman next for Fed, right? I hope Rog defeats him easily. Somdev gave Nadal a bit of a fight a couple of years ago, which was good to see since he’s my countryman, but I hope he doesn’t trouble Roger much. It’ll be nice if he can play some tight tennis though, just to give Roger some practice for the next rounds.

    1. Hey FedFan,

      Not sure on the “fun” part. Typical Fed failing to close out the first set. Needs to avoid that happening.

      Ah they split, is that why he had to leave the court? Haha.

      I doubt he will trouble Fed, should be quite entertaining, couple of close sets. Allez!

  8. Hey Jonathan, your “Rafa will lose early” prediction might not be too far fetched aye? A set down in the first round to Daniel Brands. Hmm, I remember in 2011 when Isner pushed Rafa to 5. Rafa losing the first round would make headlines haha, will it happen? remains to be seen.

      1. You’re right. Misses one return after getting the mini-break and can’t handle the pressure anymore. Oh well, shows that Nadal isn’t as invincible as it seems I guess right now. Also, never realised how Rafa can’t handle big servers/flat hitters to a degree. A guy like Berdych should be able to do more damage but he’s non existent mentally so no surprises there. I’m definitely liking Djoker’s chances of him handing Nadal his second loss in Paris and also the weather these next two weeks doesn’t look to be sunny at all so he should really take advantage.

  9. Very happy with his draw and good first match at RG. He has a few tough matches ahead so its good he gets more match plays. I think no one is focusing on him right now with Nadal and Djoker due to meet at the semis. Everyone is waiting for that match.

    1. Clownfils played well! Berdscat always loses in the first round of a slam once a year.

      Of course, I predicted Berdych would lose before the 4th round in my FO draw post, 1st one of my prophecies fulfilled πŸ˜€

      1. Then again, he did have a heck of a draw… But he didn’t play too bad, monfils played pretty damn good for someone coming back from injury πŸ˜€

  10. Sid,
    Just question in case you had a chance watching some highlights of Brands Vs. Nadal. What was the racquet frame size that brands used in the match? This might prove some theory out there πŸ™‚

    1. Warning: Equipment discussion ahead

      Hey Shamtoot, you didn’t just ask me if I was watching a Nadal match? Really? And on Clay? No way, unless if he is playing Roger, which actually makes it even worse as Roger loses πŸ™‚

      I read up that Brands uses a Wilson Blade 98, a powerful (mostly flat) racquet. Head heavy. No wonder Brands has such a power game. And, he has a two handed backhand. And, he is 6 feet 5, so Nadal’s high kickers are usually in his strike zone on both wings. Gulbis uses the head heavy Wilson Steam 100. Nadal uses the Babolat Aero Pro Drive 100, Djokovic uses a Head 100. Murray a Head 98 and Roger Federer is in the wrong company. Both Rosol and Del Po use the Wilson 95 sq. in.

      A friend of mine uses the Blade 98. He has sick ground strokes. I borrow his spare racquet at times and it makes my serve and ground strokes a beast and I rarely get broken πŸ™‚

      1. My bad, must’ve been confused with some of the other big hitters. Even better, 6’5″, 98 sq. in. racquet, single handed backhand, more power πŸ™‚ Every thing must be right at or just under his strike zone.

  11. Went to Roland Garros yesterday (first time at a Grand Slam!!!). Was really hoping to see Federer practice, but no such luck. Instead saw Raonic practice from 10 feet away, part of Ramos vs. the polish Janowicz match from 1st row, the russian girls Kuznetsova vs. Makarova fighting it to the end, and part of 1st set of Sharapova vs. Taiwanese player.

    Highlights were seeing a very focused Raonic at practice session (have to say that he looks a lot more attractive & fit in real life than on screen) & Kuznetsova (the girl is strong!! was blowing Makarova off the court with her ground strokes). Personally did not like the on-court behavior of Janowicz, despite most of the audience being Polish + very pro-JJ. He showed up late for the match while Ramos was waiting, had an air of being very cocky and not very focused on his own game; alo seemed like he went to check every ball that was called out. Nevertheless, the guy served 225km/hr numerous times and once he cleans up his game (too many errors coming off his racquet) and hopefully deflate his ego a bit, he has some weapons to do some serious damage in the future. We’ll see.

    Couldn’t watch more than 25 minutes of Sharapova on center court (someone gave me a free ticket), as it was just very boring. Got up and left.

    And lastly, I stayed until the end to see the French public go absolutely nuts when Monfils beat Berdych. It was fun being amidst it all πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Daria,

      Sounds like you had a good time.

      I didnt see the JJ match, but he needs to get some class. Seems he respected Roger when they played but against anyone else he is a little disrespectful.

      Sharapova is only good for doing draws, nothing else πŸ˜›

      Bet the crowd went crazy for Clownfils, was loud enough on TV!


    2. Jealous you’re in the middle of the action! Grand slams are the best for the fans no doubt. However I think the fan experience is more friendly in Australia or New York.

      Would love to sit in a French crowd for a Fed match, they appreciate the genius more than anybody πŸ™‚

  12. One boogeyman down! πŸ™‚

    Fun fact: last time Berdych went out in the 1st round of a slam, Nadal followed suit three days after that. πŸ˜€

      1. For Jonathan A.K.A Nostrodamus. Wow ur predictions are falling into place!! I hope ur one about Nadal losing early comes true πŸ˜€
        Ps can u give me this weeks lottery numbers !! Cheers lol πŸ˜€

  13. Remember Jonathan when I said in the beginning of this year watch out for Goffin?
    Well, how did that work out for me !!! Hope he takes his chance now against Novak.

    Goffin looks like a boy and has the body of a boy, still Novak looks thinner.
    How thin is that man?

    Second year for Goffin: David versus Goliath.

  14. You all talked about what Roger has to wear. What do you think about the color of Novak’s shirt?

    1. Roger is wearing the same kind of color at the WTF this year I think.

      And yeah, Goffin is a nice player, I hope to see him up towards the top these next couple of years πŸ˜€

    2. Hi Katyani… I am currently watching the Novak match, and you wanted to know about the colour of Noles T~Shirt?? I cant make my mind up as from far it looks ok but from near it looks like he bought it from the Thrift shop. ” Not sure if he looks Incredible ΒΏΒ‘ “

      1. He guys, I thought Goffin played good, but I think he got really disappointed when he lost the first set. Novak did not play his usual self, but of course that will come later.

        Maybe now people will understand a little bit more when Roger lost the first set to Goffin last year, he can be pretty good. Anyone heared Roger’s interview about Goffin? He said David played better than he did, but he got tired real soon and that is why Roger won last year. Nice of him to say that.

        The color of Novak’s shirt was not bad (not good either) but something different than the grey he wears most of the time.

        Anyone else noticed that Rafa and Novak maybe don’t play that well in the first week of a GS but the second week they do, and for Roger it is just the other way around.

        Tomorrow Roger will not play in the biggest court, but the second biggest.
        What is up with that?

        And he almost has his 900th win !!! Go Roger Go. One match at the time.

      1. Not usual Fed league…. I thought this year’s outfits have been pretty bad, except maybe indian wells (both orange and blue)…

        But I’m impressed with Goffin though, Djoker didn’t play a terrific match by far, but goffin’s showing some nice things πŸ™‚

      2. Agree! I am loving Goffin’s game more and more. Hope he bulks up a bit and makes it up the rankings. He seems to be one of the nicest 21-22yr olds in top 70 right now. Seems to not be afraid to just go for his shots no matter who is across the net, unlike some others who just fold.

  15. Hey guys, just caught a glimpse of what Roger is wearing for the US Open and Nike has committed yet another unforced error this year. New York is normally his saving grace but I have no idea what kind of crap Nike is trying to pull this year…

    1. The blue? It’s okay, barely… although the finishing looks ugly as hell…

      WTF are you doing Nike!?

  16. Hi guys, Roger will remain number 2 if he reaches the RG final and is now 6th in the race to London.
    Nice to know right?

    One question. I am watching the match now, if Roger is playing so well and has a lot winners, how come he has more ue’s than Somdev?? How is that possible?

    Oke, he is one set away.

    1. 1 – That’s because of Roger’s aggressive style that always puts the match on his own racquet. Nearly 55 winners in a total of 22 games says a lot.
      2 – It’s the Winners to UFE differential that’s more important in the end that the total UFE’s.
      3 – Against weaker opponents, he is more likely to go for his shots and try out a few things resulting in more UFE’s than he normally would.

      1. He Sid, thank you for explaining. I never know when an error is forced or unforced.
        Today he was treating it like a practise match. Which is oke, but next is Benneteau, dangerous. Hope he wins that 899th match.

      2. Winner: When you hit a winning shot that your opponent is unable to touch at all. This includes aces.
        Unforced Error: When you are in not pressure from your opponent but you make an error, hit the net, hit long, etc. it is considered an error. Double faults count as errors. If you forget to bring your racquet to the match, it’s an unforced error πŸ˜‰ In a way, an unforced error by your opponent is almost like a winner for you.
        Forced Error: When your opponent hits a shot that puts you under pressure and you commit a mistake, you make a forced error that you wouldn’t otherwise had if you weren’t under pressure. There a a variety of ways this can happen.

        Different scorers count them differently. It’s subjective.

        Benneteau must be fried after that five setter.

    2. Well, when you’re more aggressive, you try to go for more which leads to more errors. Somdev was just giving the ball back to Roger, so a lot less UE. Simply less risks. Another thing is that Somdev hits the ball without any pace, so Rog has to hit harder (= more risks) to get the pace he wants.

      Excuses aside, I think his concentration went walkabout, to many EASY shots he missed… Some really nice winners, but a times it looked like he was bored out there….

      That’s my take on it anyway πŸ™‚

      1. Hi Simon, I think you are right. This was too easy for him. Which is kind of bad, because if I remember correctly he does not do that well in tours where he has it easy the first few matches. When he is challenged (like Rafa or Novak or Benneteau or Monfils are now) he plays more aggressive and hungrier. Like almost all the tours he entered in the beginning of last year and of course Wimby.

        Is that maybe a concern that it is going too easy for him? Hope not, Benneteau is next. Nothing easy about that.

      2. I don’t’ think so Katyani. I think Roger is really lucky to have this draw where he doesn’t have to play above more than 60% and lose energy, especially on the clay which for Roger will be the most taxing for the body. Roger will be guaranteed to be involved in rallies as he moves deeper into the tournament hence why I think he would rather have it easy now and not be tested earlier so yeah no concern. Benneteau won’t be able to hurt Roger on an outdoor court and I guarantee he will be spent from his match today- he is so French btw, can never close things out and always makes it more complicated. Tsonga is where the real test is. Now that Gulbis is out (someone’s going to lose their massive ego) the draw has opened up even more, I doubt Monfils keeps this up so who knows how long his run lasts. Tsonga is basically the only guy on paper right now that is stopping a 6th FO final and potential 2nd FO so here’s hoping Roger is ready for him when he comes. Allez!

        I can see Roger approaching Roland Garros a lot more aggressively than he did last year which is great- he has to keep it up when he meets top players though.

      3. Hope I’m not gonna get burned, but I think benetteau is going to be a breeze. But someone needs to challenge him soon…

      4. Me either, easy matches are good here. Tests must come later.

        Benneteau won’t be a test here. He’s not great on clay and he will be tired after this 5 setter. Apparently hurt his leg anyway.

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