ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRogers Cup

Federer Defeats Ferrer to Make Semi Finals in Canada

Another late night for me and another close one for Roger as he defeated David Ferrer for the 15th consecutive time 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to move into the semi finals in Toronto.

Not the cleanest match from Fed here but he again served well when he needed to, came up with some stunning shots in all 3 sets and eventually prevailed after resisting Ferrer’s high intensity at the start of the 3rd set. If you haven’t seen the highlight reel for this one I recommend you go and check it out as there’s at least ~5 out of this world shots including a squash shot forehand passing shot that was almost behind him at a key moment in the third set. Unbelievable racquet head control.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Serving vs Ferrer

With Federer winning the toss and electing to receive he got off to a dream start as Ferrer made 4 unforced errors to drop serve immediately. However FailtoConsilidaterer was in the room and handed the break back instantly for 1-1.

Fed then had a second chance to break in the very next game but Ferrer held on to lead 2-1 but a run of 3 games gave the Swiss a 4-2 lead which he was able to maintain before breaking again to take the set 6-3. Check out two of the sweetest volleys you’ll see all year with the scoreboard at 4-3.

Serving first in the second set is always an advantage after winning the first and Roger made it count by breaking Ferrer to lead 2-0. However he again faltered dropping serve tamely before Ferrer held to level.

Breaking back gave Ferrer a nice burst of adrenaline and he began to play more aggressively in the rallies and on the return. It paid off for him too, as he broke at 4-4 to win 10 of the last 11 points to level the match. Roger looked rattled really, shanking the ball well into the stands on a couple of shots and failing to make any sort of impression in the rallies.

The start of the third again saw Roger come under pressure on serve at 0-30 but he reeled off 4 consecutive points, hitting an immense squash shot forehand pass at 40-30 to pull off a huge hold. I think this game swung the match back in his favour dropping serve would have been a real morale breaker. Holding from 0-30 stemmed the Ferrer surge and put him back in the driving seat.

After holding at the start of the decider it was imperative that Fed kept up the pace on serve and he was able to, playing a brilliant game at 2 all to save a break point before breaking Ferrer for the 6th time to lead 4-2. The one break proved to be enough as he served it out comfortably to take it 6-3. Impressive energy levels after the Cilic match to raise his level late in the third when he needed it most.

Match Stats

D.Β Ferrer R.Β Federer
Aces 0 7
Double Faults 3 3
1st Serve % 61% 57%
1st Serve Points Won 32/56 (57%) 40/50 (80%)
2nd Serve Points Won 18/36 (50%) 15/37 (41%)
Break Points Saved 4/9 (44%) 3/6 (50%)
Service Games Played 14 14
1st Return Points Won 10/50 (20%) 24/56 (43%)
2nd Return Points Won 22/37 (59%) 18/36 (50%)
Break Points Won 3/6 (50%) 5/9 (56%)
Winners 10 35
Unforced Errors 32 49
Net Points Won 6/15 22/30
Return Games Played 14 14
Total Service Points Won 50/92 (54%) 55/87 (63%)
Total Return Points Won 32/87 (37%) 42/92 (46%)
Total Points Won 82/179 (46%) 97/179 (54%)


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Birthday Cake

I was able to find energy and really serve better at the very end, which was key against David because he was doing a really good job on my second serve to put me under pressure.

Again not the greatest display from Fed but he ground out another win by playing the important points well. It was disappointing to see him fail to consolidate breaks of serve to make his life easier but over the course of 3 sets he was again the better player and deserved to win.

Ferrer has a shocking record against him but he probably put up one of his best showings in a while, sets for him are usually hard to come by and if he managed to reverse a couple of moments in the decider he could easily have won the whole thing. I said pre match the Fed-Ferrer matchup is always a good barometer of Roger’s game and based on the match it looks like he isn’t in top form, but he keeps on winning which is all you have to do.

Perhaps the failing to consolidate and general high UE count may cause him to come unstuck either tonight or in the final, but he might just be able to play himself into form and keep hustling his way through matches. He’s done a great job of keeping it point for point so far this tournament and not letting any set backs really leave a bad taste in his mouth. Both Cilic and Ferrer could have won but both those guys are sat on flights to Ohio whilst Fed is a couple of matches away from winning the tournament

Back to some positives and I think Fed is moving really well at the back of the court not just in this match but all week, he’s been digging up balls from defensive positions and he also hit the FH on the run well too which is an important shot.

Some fans are worried that Roger’s defensive game isn’t as good as it was, but I don’t think that could be any further from the truth. All year he’s been defending brilliantly off both wings and several times last night he came up with high quality shots at full stretch to keep in the point. The thing with Fed is that he will always refuse to give up any ground on the baseline, that means taking the ball early and on the half volley to keep the initiative, shanks are part and parcel of playing that type of game but reward is you can dictate play far more freely than if you’re 6 feet behind the baseline.

Volleying wise he seems to miss the easy ones but comes up with magic any time the ball is at full stretch or right on his toes. The serve has been pretty clutch all week and it was again tonight for the most part, just needs to cut out the sloppy games to avoid getting broken 3 times.

Predictions vs. Lopez

Federer Lopez FO 2011

Next up is the resurgent Feliciano Lopez who’s back inside the top 20 after a stellar run of form at Queens, Eastbourne and Wimbledon. This is another guy who Roger owns in the Head to Head; 10-0 with their last meeting back on the hard courts of Dubai in 2012.

Lopez is a huge talent with a massive serve but his mental strength is questionable, he should have beaten Federer in Madrid back in 2011 had he not missed a routine overhead at 5-2 up in the final set tie break. Epic choke really and one that sums up their matches which is why I think Fed will get it done.

I think Lopez might offer some stern resistance as he’s been serving well but winning is a different ball game. I think the match is definitely on Roger’s racquet whatever happens, he just needs to not get broken himself and string points together on the return. Lopez is going to look to come in when he can behind his first serve so Fed needs to be on form with the return, hitting it aggressively when he can and using the short slice to make that first volley extremely difficult. When Lopez has to hit up on the ball he’s going to struggle to cause Fed problems as the first volley is key for him.

I’ll pick Fed in 2. 7-5 6-4.


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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    1. Was planning to see the match but fell asleep on my keyboard :-p the next thing when i woke up Fed was serving for the match πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      So thx Jonathan for the recap and the highlights. Lopez won’t be an easy task as he looks in form but I have faith our man can get it done πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ this time I’ll have a long nap before to be able to stay awake for the SF πŸ˜‰

      Anyone else looking forward to see the Jo-Dimi matchup??

      The Cincinnati draw doesn’t look awful either with Murray as potential QF opponent and Milos again in semis… anyway waiting for the draw analysis Jonathan πŸ˜‰

    2. Nice win Alex πŸ™‚

      Last night was tough to stay up for, especially as Raonic / Lopez went on a long time. I was out for the evening, came back at 11, slept till 1.45 then watched.

    1. Awesome recap as always Jonathan! I hope he goes all the way with this one! Will just be sweeter with him being 33 now and just celebrating his birthday. If he wins maybe he’ll skip cinci? I hope he plays there too! The courts suit him so well

    2. Cheers Eldrin.

      Maybe he could, guess it will depend on how the legs feel. Will get 2 days rest if he makes final I guess. 1h 25 flight from Toronto to Cincy so not too long a travel.

  1. You are right that Fed should have the edge. It will be key that he can get into Lopez’s service points because the Spaniard – unlike many other of his countrymen – is not a great defender. It is the incredible defensive game from his toughest opponents that typically has caused the most problems for Roger – and most other players on the tour. For that we probably have Dr Fuentes and his ilk to thank.

    1. Lopez has no backhand really but he’s a dangerous player. Definitely effective and would be top 10 if he was mentally better. Could go 3 but I’d like a quick two sets.

  2. Wow. Shankerer. Wow. And yet as you said Jonathan, “Some pure genius moments mixed in with a high number of errors and shanks”. Thank you very much for the explanation of how taking the ball early & on the half-volley can lead directly to (some of) those shanks; it was so clear, having just watched the other quarters, how early & quickly Roger was taking the ball.

    I was disappointed to see that backhand volley into the net though, the one that apparently mirrored the one that lost him the set a few days ago; I’m sure he’s worked on that since, & it’s troubling he can’t figure it out. I actually wondered if they’re still figuring out what optimal string tension adjustments to make for later/cooler conditions with the new racquet.

    I had forgotten I would have to put up with Ferrer vocalizing loudly on every. single. shot. Most annoying. He did play some great points as you said, and it’s encouraging that Roger was – often, not always – able to meet him at that higher level. Feel like Roger’s going to need to be able to introduce the higher level himself though to continue. Lopez constructed some beautiful points to end at net – though as you point out he’ll be facing an entirely different level of defender today, even if Fed is still not at his best. Still hoping for things to click for him; it’s not like he had nothing, & as you point out in your analysis we can still hope he’s playing himself into form. (Looks like I agree with everything you said today!)

    Also agree with something you said about the outfit: I had liked it when I first saw it, but the flipping colors don’t match. That’s just sloppy. Neither the white nor royal blue headband really goes either. The shoes ARE kinda cool & actually go with the shirt (which I still like, in isolation….) (although I also agree with what – Sue? – said, that it’s shorter than usual, which makes it fly up & expose midriff – not a bad thing from time to time, but not all the time. I caught him tugging at it once too, as though he was trying to elongate it.) … or I found myself thinking, if they would put a collar on Dimitrov’s shirt, that would look pretty cool on Roger & might even go with the shorts as is.

    I thought he looked exhausted at the end. Today’s match will be a little earlier, & hopefully he’ll have been able to rest more than on his bday. Great opportunity for him here; really hope he can take advantage of it.

    1. Not sure about tension but I don’t feel like he was struggling to keep the ball in the court off the ground. I think the volleys are missed mainly due to casual technique and not great footwork.

      I switched off as soon as the match ended so didn’t see him eating the cake, looked sickly sweet though. Two tough 3 setters late at night in a row now. Hopefully he sees of Lopez quick.

  3. Great write up. Agree FEd played sme awesome tnnis and kept on attacking throughout which was key for me. Ferrers tactics hitting deep to the FH down the line were brave but Fed showed that his lateral movement is nearly back to his prime. Some of the gets were unbelievable and that one at 40-30 start of 3rd set deserves a highlight of its own as do the great angles he hit at 2-2 to the Ferrer BH. Superb!
    Nice to see Lopez take down Raonic who does seem to get nervy in front of a home crowd, and get back in to the top 20! However, think like you that Fed will continue to improve as he heads to the finish line and I am still hoping for a Fed v Grigor final.
    Again, terrible time for Europe but aim to give it a go!!!

    1. Yeah Ferrer hit the ball harder than I expected. Looked like he wanted that 1-14 H2H score quite badly.

      1am tonight, 2am for you in Espana. Lucky Sunday can be a lie in morning.

  4. Good match by Roger. As usual, made it harder than it should have been. Anyway, victory at the end is what counts. Lopez is not easy, but Roger will come through and I really hope this is not going to be another loss in the finals tournament. There has been too many this year already. Roger needs to elevate his game and cut down his UFEs. Far too many in this match.

  5. Excellent recap, Jonathan!

    The match certainly had a few of ‘the best points of 2014’ in it, hadn’t it?
    Okay, it wasn’t a flawless JesusFed’s match but for me those incredible, exquisite shots and the win in the end cancelled out being broken and UFEs. Just as you said “Impressive energy levels after the Cilic match”, awesome that he’s still out there late at night in a row on his 33th birthday, still moved extremely well, toughed it out again. Great stuff from him really πŸ™‚

    1. Cheers Wanda,

      Yeah too many great shots to mention, he hit some huge forehands as well right into the corners. Special stuff.

      Hopefully a cleaner performance vs Lopez tonight. Should be less physical.

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