Hey all, not the prettiest match from Roger but he got the job done ending David Ferrer's 11 match unbeaten streak to qualify for the semi finals for the 4th straight year in London.
I was expecting a fairly comfortable match for Roger, he was 13-0 in the H2H going in and has never really been troubled by Ferrer but it was actually tricky for him today. After Roger saved 3 break points in the opening game of the match I predicted he'd break Ferrer immediately and blitz the first set; I was half right as he broke and it was soon 3-0, but in true Stefen Edberg Sportsmanship style he handed Ferrer the break back and got pegged back to 4-4.
At 5-4 Roger upped his level just a notch and when Ferrer hit a backhand wide at 0-40 the set was his. After he lost the break I thought a breaker was on the cards but yet again Fed won the points that mattered and Ferrer crumbled.
It was a tough first set to judge really, it looked promising with Fed staving of break points early but his game never quite clicked, Ferrer is in good form too so he probably put Roger under more pressure than he's managed to in his previous matches. His backhand and serve were definitely off but to come good at the end was good to see and you felt like if Ferrer was going to win the match he had to win the first set.
The second set was another sloppy affair with the only improvement being Roger's first serve percentage. Ferrer wasted 2 break point chances in the opening game and after that little happened with both guys holding comfortably. I thought Roger was going to break at 5-6 when he got to love 30 but Ferrer won 4 straight points to take it into a breaker.
The breaker was the one area that pleased me most in the match, after serving poorly all game, Roger reeled of 5 well placed first serves to move into a 6-3 lead. Ferrer won the next two points but Roger sealed it the third time of asking to ensure he qualifies for the semi finals, beat Ferrer for a 14th straight time and records his 70th win of the season.
Did Ferrer Waste His Best Ever Chance to Beat Federer?
I honestly don't think Ferrer will ever get a better chance than he had today to beat Fed. Roger made 39 unforced errors in the match and his first percentage was as low as 34% in the first set, if he gives you a window like that you got to take it.
Ferrer was on an 11 match winning streak, won his first Masters 1000 title in Paris and has won the most titles this year with 7 yet he still couldn't get the job done against a below par Federer wasting 9 of his 10 break point chances. With all that in mind I can't see him ever breaking his duck.
It was a good match and I am happy with my game. I had a lot of chance to break his serve. When he had one break point, he made it. Sometimes with these players, if I don't take my chances, I don't win the important points and it is very difficult to win.
Federror in London – Cause for Concern?
After seeing Fed cruise past Tipsarevic it looked like he was back with a bang after his Post US Open lull but then today he looked a little flat again. Watching Fed of late has been a series of peaks and troughs.
Today was definitely a trough as the serve and backhand were way off the pace. Usually when Roger hits more unforced errors than winners it's in a match he loses but luckily today he just won the big points when it mattered.
I'm not too worried as he still got past a red hot Ferrer in straight sets and it could have been far worse. Roger usually plays 1 bad match a tournament, and from what I remember from his match against Ferrer last year in London it wasn't the prettiest match either; yet he still got the job done and went onto win the tournament.
I think I definitely needed a good second serve, especially in the first set. But I think also, credit to him for being a great return player, getting back a lot of good returns on good serves. That makes you go for the extra special serve, and then you start missing by a little bit. Today, I had to use everything I had in terms of variation, kicking it, sliding it, going all different ways.
Gimelstob Hits with Federer
This isn't a particularly interesting video but I thought the bit at the end was a great quote from Gimelstob:
There's so many great players, there's a lot of great champions; but there's only one Roger Federer
Prediction vs. Del Potro
Next up for Fed is Del Potro, this one could be interesting because it's likely that Del Potro needs to win to qualify and Roger doesn't need to becasue he's already through. But at the same time he'll be looking for revenge after he lost the final in Basel to Del Po.
One guy playing to stay alive, the other playing for Pride and Revenge. It could be interesting.
Regardless of the permutations I think Roger will beat Del Potro and move into the semi finals unbeaten. He has to serve better than he did today and hit the backhand cleaner but I can see those clicking back into place and doing some damage.
This is a very special tournament in many ways, it's always been the tournament I wanted to be part of when I started playing at the beginning of the year, many years now. I had breakthrough results at this event. I learned a lot. I've loved everywhere I've played over the years at the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals. But I think this one is obviously special, because it's in London and The O2 is an amazing venue. I'm happy it's going to stay here for the next few years.
What are your predictions for the remainder of the World Tour Finals?