ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentATP 500Roger Federer

Federer Defeats De Bakker to Advance in Rotterdam

Another routine win for Roger as he cruised past Thiemo De Bakker 6-3 6-4 to make serene progress to the Quarter Finals in Rotterdam.

As I predicted this was a routine match right from the word go; Federer served first and held to love and that's always a good way to start a match. At 1-1 De Bakker made deuce on the Federer serve but he held and just like we saw yesterday Roger was able to break the Dutchman in the very next game to lead 3-1.

De Bakker did well to save a couple more break points at 4-1 but with Roger serving well and moving excellently he took the first set 6-3. The only blip was hitting two consecutive double faults when serving for it, those were soon righted though and he was heading to the chair with a a 1 set cushion which is usually unassailable.

Second Set – De Bakker Plays Freely

The second set was more of the same, Roger broke serve in the first game when De Bakker netted a routine volley and with that the match was all but over. De Bakker fashioned a break back point in the next game but it was snuffed out and from there on in Roger just had to keep his advantage.

De Bakker started playing a lot more freely once he was in a back to wall situation and began ripping a few returns, a couple came off for some nice winners but Roger just has too much skill and adaptability to let that get to him. A love hold to lead 5-3 put the writing on the wall and Roger served it out comfortably 6-4 to setup a Quarter Final match with Julien Benneteau.

Key Points from the Match

Similar to yesterdays match you can't really gather a lot of intel from these matches, all I know is Roger is looking in great form and he's moving well which always helps especially indoors.

I'm enjoying his tactic of coming to the net too and he hit some sweet volleys today from some really awkward positions. He's serving quite well too so far which is always a good sign early on in the tournament.

As a fan, or if you're his coah like Annacone (who I don't think is there actually) you can't really ask for more.

Predictions vs. Benneteau

Federer & Benneteau at Wimbledon

Next up for Roger is Frenchman Julien Benneteau who beat Victor Hanescu in straight sets. Everyone immediately thinks of their epic 5 setter at Wimbledon last year which was one of the tensest Federer matches of 2012. Whilst it's a match worth remembering it's not one to really use as the barometer for their encounters.

To be honest that was a freak match and was Roger's one “bad match” during a slam where he has to dig deep to pull through, it showed Benneteau is dangerous but Roger defeated him comfortably at the Olympics just 2 weeks after their Wimbledon encounter in straight sets.

I think the scoreline will be similar to their Olympic match tomorrow too. Benneteau can be tricky and he's beaten Roger indoors before back at the Paris Masters in 2009 but I think Federer 3.0 just does everything better than him.

Obviously he has to serve well but if he can hold his own service games I think his variety will create more than enough chances to break Benneteau's serve and see out the match comfortably.

This will probably be my last update till after the tournament now as I'm heading over to Rotterdam to watch the Semi's and Final where hopefully I'll see Roger holding the trophy aloft and successfully defending his Rotterdam title.

I'll be recapping the matches on Monday though whatever the outcome so stay tuned. Allez les suisse!


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. What, Jonathan, you have tickets for the final??? I am from Holland and even I could not get tickets !!!
    How did you do that??? Well atleast I have tickets to the semis. Hopefully he wins tomorrow from Benneteau.
    It will be my first time seeing a tennismatch live and of course…………. Roger live.
    Two down, three more to go.

    Go Roger go. Up to the final, 40th edition, hopefully in orange.


    1. I do πŸ˜€

      I texted Roger and just said look mate, I’ve been blogging on your matches for over a year, I even had to write a post when you screwed up against Djokovic in the US Open Semi final so it’s about time you gave me some free tickets so he sent me a couple. Was a nice touch.

      πŸ˜‰ you gotta get in early for finals tickets, had them for a while.

      I think Roger will make the semi finals so you should get to see him and if you do I guarantee you’ll enjoy it!


      1. What about moi, Jonathan? I wrote about the Tomic match. I deserve nothing? πŸ™‚

      2. Oh dear. Roger sure as hell did not turn up today. Did wonder if he was under the weather, his focus and serve were so poor! Best pushed aside and we move onto Dubai. Plse Rog, sort out the serve!

  2. Tbh, didn’t think it was as good as yesterday. Liked yesterday more. But that was also due to De Bakker, who just didn’t play well tonight imo. Only for a bit in the 2nd set. But it didn’t came to much rallies and that doesn’t help. Zemlja yesterday had a lot more speed in his game, so Fed needed to react much quicker, which did benefit him I think. It shows his class though today, again, that even though this might not have been his best day, he still produces some lovely lovely shots and does things no one else can and does. His movement was lovely again. That was maybe the most positive thing for me. Did think he wasn’t too happy either given the fact he shook his head more than once and had a few “nein’s”… Of course he is still picking up rhythm. So no doubt tomorrow will be better and he’ll move it up a few gears against Benneteau. Hopefully 1st serves will go up and then I’m all happy again πŸ˜‰

    Have fun in Rotterdam and a safe flight!! Might see you Saturday night or Sunday.

      1. Don’t think so Sid; but there isn’t anyone else like The Maestro, so even in what he says on court he is unique… It all comes together now……. πŸ˜‰

      1. Well, you’re right about that, thinking about it again: just a regulation match. Maybe it was just dΓ­fferent and I was still in ‘Wednesday’s match mode’. Don’t know. And no breaks of serve is of course peRFect. I guess there is always the one match in a tournament that you have a different feeling about. And if this is the one and everything else is going to be (even) better, I’m very happy! πŸ˜‰

      1. Do you know where you will be seated? Are you making any videos? I really would love to see a (baseline) side view video of Roger, from the forehand side. There are some Youtube videos but not that great. Wish I had a video where I could watch an entire set only from the side. Just watch the footwork, the take back, the swing, the contact, the follow through πŸ™‚

      2. Yeah man, second tier seats so not overly close. I’ve only got iPhone camera too which isn’t the greatest at either pictures or videos so doubt I will be able to get anything good.

        There’s some good ones on the Fuzzy Yellow Balls Youtube, or at least there were, slow mo too. Check em out if you haven’t already.

  3. Enjoy Rotterdam. I hope Roger goes all the way!! I missed todays match so i am heading to You tube to watch highlights. Take pictures then i think u can use them for this blog without copyright infringement??? Anyway all the best at Rotterdam.

  4. Hv a great time! Go Fed! He has to win with you watching! I Wld actually like a Dimitov/Fed final! Although hv to say Delpo looking good indoors again, and looks thinner and fitter?

    1. Think Delpo looked thinner and fitter too, but he struggled yesterday I heard… Wasn’t happy at all on court and in the presser he said he needed to serve better. I’d still say a Fed/Delpo final is possible, but that’s also wishful thinking πŸ˜‰ I am going to be at the finals and would love to see them play both that day (on my bucket list really) πŸ˜‰ Dimi/Fed fwould be great too. Becoming a fan of the Bulgarian, although he still has a long way to go…

    2. Thanks πŸ™‚

      I’ve not seen Del Potro play so can’t say. It’s about time he improved his fitness though.

      Dimtrov/Fed final could happen. Would be interesting!

  5. Hi Sid, I think I was ‘Like’ No.600. I know it was rather late but better than never! I’m bit skeptical about FB. Now I feel ‘safe’ with Jonathan, haha….so finally I pressed the button.

    Jonathan and Katyani, have a great time in Rotterdam! A big kiss to Roger from me πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Wanda, I am really…………… looking forward to that. Can’t wait.
      I so hope he goes through to the semis and final.
      But I have to say this, I am very disappointed that I did not get tickets for the final.
      Those who have them…………………. well I’ll ….
      Seriously, this year I will order them in May or something or earlier !!!

      Hope you will see Roger live in your country too.


    2. I haven’t “liked” yet, but I’m sort of hoping I’ll do the 1000th. Maybe Jonathan will have a surprise gift for that “like”? Something maybe, I don’t know, like a ticket to the Wimbledon final or something? πŸ™‚

  6. Jonathan, I really enjoy reading your posts! I’m heading to Rotterdam too for the semis and finals..hope to see Roger lift the trophy! Looking forward to it sooo much!! πŸ™‚

  7. Jonathan my best eishes for you in Rot wooooow I envy you my friend, please enjoy and if you have the chance say hello to Roger for me jajajaja. Tank you for your incredible work. !!!

  8. I bought tickets for the semi especially to see a tennismatch for the first time and to SEE ROGER for the first time !!! What am I gonna do now????

    I WANT TO SEE ROGER !!! Now what???


    1. Katyani I am very disappointed for you and Jonathan. Sometimes this is how tennis works I’m afraid. I’m sure you are not the only Federer fan who bought tickets for the later matches because we expected him to make it that far. Hopefully he decides to come back to Rotterdam next year, once again very sorry but hopefully the semi final you watch will include some great shotmaking, so it will still make for a decent match for your money’s worth. Once again, very sorry πŸ™

    2. Katyani, he will play Rotterdam for sure next time. There is no reason why he would skip out on faster courts. So, next time try to get at least one ticket for an earlier round, but still keep the SF and F tickets as a backup.

      I am going to be in Cincy, Ohio for the entire tournament this year. Will watch Roger in the first few round and hopefully will be able to watch him in the later rounds too.

    1. Dude, Benneteau has troubled Roger in the past so it’s hardly a surprise and a fast court like Rotterdam. Roger isn’t playing that much either. He will be in fine fettle. Don’t sweat over it πŸ™‚

      1. Cheers mate πŸ™‚ what a topsy turvy match. I thought he was going to win the 2nd set. His serve was terrible. Any way i hope Fed plays better at Dubai and Indian wells. Thanks for cheering me up Sid. Ok

  9. My second thought was “oh Jonathan..”
    ..my first thought was …oh Roger..”
    It actually changes your day when he loses..

  10. …Its sad Katyani and Jonathan can’t watch Roger now! πŸ™ At least I got to watch him back in Melbourne this year! πŸ™‚

  11. Sorry Jonathan and Katyani. Fed just didn’t have it today but he’ll be back. Benneteau is a strong overall player with few weaknesses in his game (biggest thing for him is the mental side) and he gives Fed trouble. Was a bad day but I still see good things for Fed in Dubai and IW, and I like what I see in his mentality (the fight) and his willingness to move forward. He was only one point from serving for the set but Benny played good points to save them.

    1. Totally agree, Federer’s serve was not on today and as fans we can’t get upset over a loss where he was never dominating the match. Just wasn’t his day, I am only worried that this will stop momentum for going into Dubai. There is no way he is winning Dubai or IW if this Roger turns up, this loss is going to make him lose some confidence but not losing faith, he will get a title before his long break and before the clay season!

      RF said that he doesn’t want to leave and that he is sorry for all the fans that couldn’t see him play because obviously they bought tickets for semis and finals which includes Jonathan and Katyani. This is the reason I am feeling sad over this loss, this totally sucks for you. Katyani has never seen Roger play and Jonathan went all the way to Rotterdam. Talk about bad luck. So sorry for you guys, maybe next time.

  12. Happens folks. Three setters can be freak shows. Plus, Roger has lost to him indoors once, and was almost kicked out at Wimbledon last year. So, not really a surprise, and credit to the French man.

    I read a post on AtpWorldTour by a rabid Dopal fan on how happy he was that Roger lost. Well, celebrating a Roger loss in a trivial tournament shows what kind of low-life haters like him are. Just make sure you stay away from them. Their bite could be worse than their bark πŸ™‚

    1. What we also need to understand is the fact that the percentage of bad days Roger will have at this stage of his career will creep up slowly. It’s a sad truth that we as fans must accept and know that losses will come.

      Benneteau’s style has been a problem for Roger. Roger will lose to him once in a while. I’d rather it be at Rotterdam (sorry Jonathan, and Katyani), than say, at Wimbledon or Flushing Meadows.

      This also reinstates my belief in what Roger said, that faster courts even out the competition. I’m assuming Rotterdam had fast courts. So, players like Benneteau, who possess a different, or specific set of skills, will thrive against the big fish. Unlike Nadal, who wants more clay, and slower courts so the likes of him can dominate.

      1. And it’s not like he hasn’t had bad days in the last 5 years, either. People are overreacting and saying that he’ll drop bad performances like this more often, but forget some of his results. Canas IW and Miami 2007, Volandri Rome 2007, Fish IW 2008, Simon Toronto 2008, Karlovic Cincy 2008, Stan MC 2009, Baghdatis IW 2010, Gulbis Rome 2010, Montanes Estoril 2010. People are acting as if this loss will mean that he won’t be competitive anymore.

      2. I was kinda pissed when he lost to Canas in IW 2007, becauae that ended his 38 or something winning match streak. And losing to him again a week later in Miami!

      3. Kyle, you sure know your tennis πŸ™‚

        Agreed. There will be losses. And it’s not like he is hiding like Dopal when he is not feeling “well” to avoid playing matches and keep his head to head healthy.

  13. So sorry for all the people that have tickets for the semis and finals. I didn’t watch the match yet, but I believe this is the 1st loss to a player ranked out the the top 20 since 2008. Quite depressing even though we can’t expect him to win every match.
    I’m off to IW in March. I have great courtside tickets for 4 days. I get tickets for the 2nd and 3rd rounds both day and night sessions. ( Roger doesn’t play the 1st round.) That way I know I can see him play 2 matches for sure. I’ve done this the last 3 years. A great tournament to see all the best men, women and doubles players.
    Well, off to Dubai.

  14. It’s not his first loss to a player out of the top 20 since 2008, but it’s his first in a QF to a guy outside the top 20.

    But you know, Fed has been having these kind of occasional losses to guys like Benneteau for a few years now. He lost to Haas in straights and then won Wimbledon. He lost to Roddick and then won Madrid… it is true that Roger will have more of these losses in the next few years, but this loss doesn’t mean that he’ll have a bad year or anything.

  15. Who saw the match? Did Roger have a bad serving day? I’ll look on Tennis channel for a recap. He’ll do better in the next tourney.

    1. Yes a very bad serving day. Didn’t win much of his first and second serve points and threw in FOUR double faults. When Roger serves well, the rest of his game clicks. And as we saw today, that did not happen.

      1. His last double fault gave Benneteau match point as well. He’s been serving a lot of DF so far this year as well. Shame he hit that down the line backhand wide on match point, would have been epic if it was in.

  16. The BH DTL should’ve been an easy shot for him. Hearing rumours that his back played up but no confirmation from Fed or camp means can’t assume anything. Oh well gotta regroup for Dubai. Starting to wonder if he will get his 77th title before clay season.

  17. Ta’aal nazhab ilal Imaaraat, narjul khair li Roger. Huwa yaf’al kuwais hunaak. πŸ™‚

    [Let’s go to Dubai. Good luck to Roger. He will play well there]

    1. Wow i didnt know u r conversant in Arabic. Sid it looks like u r someone with hidden talents. Next u will telling me u r like Roger who can speak about 5/6 different languages!! πŸ™‚

      1. Haha! A friend helped with the translation πŸ™‚

        I only know 6 languages though πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey Conal,
      don’t read too much into Bleacher Report, unprofessional journalism at its best. The writers and articles are a joke, can’t be taken seriously whatsoever. Well Nadal is always throwing a tantrum about something or another towards the ATP. It’s either hard courts, time violations, blames losses on injury, prize money, the list goes on.

      It’s obvious Nadal’s complains reflect what would benefit him most over the other players as he states. He left the player’s council and just whines all the time, he does nothing about it. I don’t think it’s about slowing down the courts though it’s basically two things:
      1) Can’t beat Djokovic on hard courts anymore.
      2) Because of number 1, he hasn’t won a title off clay since US Open 2010.

      Funny how no one else talks about the same issue except Nadal himself, truly annoying really. I’m sure he’ll say he doesn’t want as many hard courts because of his “knees” but we all know he has ulterior motives. I think to some extent there are too many h/c but not because of the same reasons Nadal alludes towards. The speed is what concerns me the most, way too slow. Although it would be nice to see more indoor courts and at least a masters 1000 on grass, which would mean Bercy gets taken out (good riddance paris).

      The problem is not the courts for Nadal, it’s his style of grinding play, and obviously he won’t blame himself for playing too much so he will turn to the next best thing: ATP and Roger. Remember how he said at AO that Fed was a “gentleman” and did nothing about prize money (he didn’t step up either) or at IW that if Roger wanted fast courts then Roger would get fast courts? So disrespectful as a player and Roger’s friend. Don’t see how everyone sees this humble guy…But who cares, Nadal can complain all he wants, nothing is changing.

    2. Tell him to win that Brasil open and shut up already. Or if he loses, tell him to complain about the surface.

      Did he just say, “I can’t imagine any other sport involving aggressive movements such as tennis being played on such aggressive surfaces such as ours. ”

      Really? 6 hour marathons and he calls them aggressive surfaces? We don’t see Federer making aggressive movements. Nadal wants to receive service 6 feet behind the baseline then complain about aggressive movement? He runs for every ball with utter disregard to the pounding his body receives. He should be the last one to complain about the surface.

      I cannot believe this guy actually has a fan base outside of Spain.

  18. As it turns out Roger’s back is a problem again. Apparently, all through Rotterdam it was an issue. You could see his serve getting worse. He can’t seem to play in the cold. So, this loss to Benneteau makes sense now. Roger didn’t mention it at all but Annaconne did. A bit of a worry.
    I just don’t get Nadal. He never stops the whinning and gets away with it. I don’t think he’s too popular in the locker room.

    1. Hey Sue,

      Yeah, it was quite chilly in Rotterdam. I was wearing a scarf and gloves and without them it would have been pretty cold. Guess the back is an issue. Maybe explains the shirts in Melbourne.


  19. Welcome back to UK. I know it wasnt the semi/or finals that everybody hoped for. But at least u got see Del potro who is a deserved winner. I know alo of people including myself was upset when Fed lost. It was just one of his off days i suppose. Anyway hope Federer is healthy and fit for Dubai.and Indian Wells. We have to stay positive and hopefully the results will come with titles including a GS!!! Best Serajul.

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