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
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!