Hey all, what a stellar performance from Federer tonight as he completely outplayed Nikolay Davydenko to move seamlessly into the Dubai Semi Finals.
I thought Roger would win but might be in for a tough ride tonight; yet as it turned out this was a complete clinic from the GOAT who gave Davydenko a tennis lesson out there tonight with imperious serving and brutal groundstrokes from start to finish.
After looking sluggish against Jaziri and improving considerably against Granollers, Roger stepped it up again tonight making 76% of his first serves, converting 4 of 7 break points and not dropping his own serve en route to a 6-2 6-2 victory. GOAT display.
Federer Hits Big
Davydenko is the sort of player that can start hitting the ball stupidly well from the very first point but it was Roger who came out with a bang in tonight’s match, setting up 2 break point chances in the very first game which were wasted, holding to love himself and then breaking at the second time of asking to take a 3-1 lead.
Another break followed with more clean ball striking from the Wilson Wand and with a 4-1 lead the set was practically in the hands of the Swiss. It’s tough to say what Davydenko could have done differently, he was hitting the ball well but Roger was able to boss all the points, the Russian did miss a few makeable volleys but he was always under pressure.
At 5-2 Roger made a sweet half volley pick up on his way to 40-0 and 3 set points, he got pegged back to deuce but reeled off 2 more points to seal the first set in just 29 minutes.
The GOAT Glides
The second set was almost an action replay of the first and Roger was now in the ascendency breaking again at 1-1 and soon found himself leading 3-1.
3-1 soon became 4-1 after Roger broke serve yet again and then held to love before serving out the the match in style 6-2 6-2.
Point of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Well peRFect display as far as I’m concerned, perhaps Davydenko is a tailor made opponent who’s passed his best but you still have to get the job done.
The Russian is still more than capable of winning matches again top guys having beaten Tipsarevic in the first round but Roger just never allowed him to settle.
It was easily Roger’s best match of the week so far and everything clicked. When he is able to fire down the first serve and back it up with a big forehand then the Fed express turns into an unstoppable freight train.
In terms of the match stats they make great reading with 5 aces, 0 double faults, 76% of first serves in play, and incredibly winning 70% of the points behind his second serve despite playing an aggressive returner. Also rather surprisingly the break point conversion rate of over almost 60% (4 from 7) was impressive.
Davydenko isn’t at the peak of his powers anymore and clowned up a few volleys to hand over cheap points but more often than not it was Roger stepping into the court and hitting some of the sweetest times forehands you’ll ever see.
Predictions vs. Berdych
As predicted it’s Federer vs. Berdych in the Semi Final and it’s the first time these 2 have met since Berdych beat Federer in 4 sets at the US Open. That was a painful loss for both Roger and the fans at the time so I’m hoping he takes the form he showed today into that match and teaches Berdshit a tennis lesson.
It won’t be easy I don’t think as Berdych played well in Marseille and has looked good this week in most of his matches but I think Roger can take this one if he plays smart, aggressive tennis much like he did today.
Berdych has a habit of zoning in against Federer but the fact still remains he is a mentally weak player as we saw against Tsonga in Marseille and also briefly against Tobias Kamke earlier in the week where he was broken twice and faced an awful lot of break points.
I watched the Marseille final and Berdych lost against Tsonga because he completely lost the plot mentally, questioning the umpire and moaning about minor things like Tsonga jumping up and down on the return, it caused him to boil over and that threw his game out of synch.
I think Roger has to be aware of that and use it to his advantage, if he can dominant all the plays and get under Berdych’s skin at the same time by either playing unreal tennis or even taking a leaf out of Tsonga’s book and jumping around on the return he'd win the match I just know it. I don’t think Roger will use that kind of tactic but I’d sure like to see him to do it, remember when he psyched Nadal out in the Madrid 2009 final? Boom!
Tactics aside, I think the faster courts here will favour Roger too, and if he can serve well then I reckon the break point chances will come and he’ll take them when it counts. It could go 3 but I think Fed might get this one done in straight sets 7-5 6-4 and in all likelihood will face Djokovic in the final (he plays Del Potro so that might be fun) I’ll be back with a report tomorrow of hopefully an emphatic Federer win. Allez les Suisse!