Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Gasquet to Swoop into Second Week of Australian Open

Five-time champion Roger Federer is into the fourth round in Melbourne after defeating Richard Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 59 minutes.

The Swiss, who now holds a 17-2 record in the H2H against Gasquet put in a solid performance throughout, winning 80% of points behind his first serve. As a result the Frenchman was only able to muster his first break point late in the third set when he made a mini-revival to level from a break down at 4-4. However, Federer soon halted any notion of a comeback, playing a smart return game to break at 4-5 to win through. He'll face World Number 80 Marton Fuscovics in the fourth round.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Gasquet 3R AUS 2018

Federer won the toss and selected to serve. The first point was a belter with Fed guessing correctly at the net after a lengthy rally and he went on to hold to love for 1-0.

Gasquet quickly matched him but in game four Roger strung together a quality point at 30-30 and
although Gasquet saved the first break point, he wasn't able to save another as a short second serve was dispatched for 3-1.

With Gasquet only having broken Roger once in their last five meetings his options for getting back into the set looked limited and at 2-5 down Roger reeled off some sweet backhands for 0-40 and a Gasquet double fault gave him the set 6-2.

Into set two and a Djokosmash saw Fed lose the opening point but he was able to keep momentum on his side as he held for 1-0. Gasquet needed to up his intensity after dropping the opening set and he did so by playing further up the court; hitting some swashbuckling backhands as the scoreboard ticked along to 3-3. That was soon 6-5 for Roger and a tie-break looked the likely outcome but Gasquet let the pressure get to him as he was broken to 30 with Fed hitting a sweet pass to set up break point.

Losing the second set having had a huge hand in it must have been demoralising for Gasquet and he soon found himself down a break in the third as Roger moved 3-0 in front. That was soon 4-1 but with the finish line in sight, Roger faltered as Gasquet hit some big groundstrokes to break back and win three games in a row for 4-4.

With Fed's footwork looking a little sloppy he steadied the ship with a love hold for 5-4 and Gasquet's resistance came to an end as Federer took his game up a notch, leaning into some backhands to break and take the match 6-4 in the third.

Match Stats

R. GASQUET R. FEDERER
Aces 3 12
Double faults 3 1
First serve % in 68% 65%
Win % on 1st serve 67% (41/61) 80% (49/61)
Win % on 2nd serve 41% (12/29) 42% (14/33)
Break points won % 50% (1/2) 63% (5/8)
Winners 27 42
Unforced Errors 16 30
Net Points Won 59% (10/17) 70% (26/37)
Total points won 84 100
Avg Serve Speed 181kmh 189kmh
SABR 0 0

Shot of the Match

Awesome angle πŸ™‚

Interview

Thoughts on the Match

Fed 3rd Round AO 2018

My head’s still spinning from the match point where I got so lucky so I’m just trying to get over that one. I think I was able to maybe stay a little bit more on the offensive than he was and maybe I was protecting my own serve a little bit better than him, I don’t know. But the second set was tight, the match was close.

Another solid performance from Roger here and the match turned out a little easier than I had expected. Based on how Gasquet played in Shanghai last year, winning the Davis Cup and his form so far in the tournament I thought he'd bag a set but Roger had other ideas. Like he said on the court,Β  he was able to serve well and take advantage of some Gasquet lapses to come through without too much trouble.

The first set was the simplest with Roger really capitalising on anything short to break twice, the second was more about staying with Gasquet who upped his level/ball striking quite significantly only to flop at 5-6 and the third managing to shake off the loss of the break to get another at just the right time.

I still think his footwork is looking a bit sloppy overall (check the run around forehand he tries at 4-3 deuce 3rd set; he's so late the ball is 10 feet outside the tramline) but it was extremely humid on the court which does take it out of you and both guys looked a bit drained. Fed also seemed a little frustrated by some of his misses too but he's yet to drop a set and is working his way nicely into the tournament as we head into week two Down Under

Predictions vs. Fucsovics

federer-fuscovics

Next up is Marton Fuscovics as he defeated Nicolas Kicker in straight sets. This will be Fuscovic's biggest match of his career, so he'll be Hungary for success when he faces Fed on Monday. I've not seen a lot of him and his results are nothing to write home about. He does have 4 challenger titles to his name but this tournament was his first ever win at Slam level. He was fairly solid as a Junior though so perhaps he's on the rise now despite being almost the same age as Dimitrov who seems to have been around forever.

The two have never played before but fortunately, Roger has some intel as he practised with him in Switzerland and also at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart last year. From what I've seen he's a solid baseliner with a decent forehand and he moves well. Seppi beat him a few weeks ago on this surface in a Challenger Final in Canberra and he's not played anybody of note so far aside from a sub-par Querrey so I think Fed wins in three sets.

What do you guys think of his Fourth Round opponent? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Gasquet Australian Open 2018 Rating

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

90th Win @ AO

Another solid display in tricky humid conditions. Served well, kept offensive and got it done in three sets.

User Rating: 4.11 ( 14 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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67 Comments

  1. lovely match to watch. I love Gasquet’s backhand of course, and it was a pleasure to see the two swoop around the court.
    If you have not seen the post match interview by Jim Courier you have to watch it…what a hoot!

      1. I had seen a highlight gif of that backhand & hadn’t realized till I saw your shot of the day how hard he had worked over Gasquet’s bh PRIOR to the highlight just to get to that point. Reminiscent of game -4? – in the final last year.

  2. Excellent write-up Jonathan and super-quick. This was an enjoyable match once Roger got into the second set. Gasquet must have been a bit miffed as he played well but not good enough for our hero. Thought Fed’s serve wasn’t at its best and he gave me a few bad moments at the beginning when the backhand kept finding the net. His team looked nervous for a while too which is always worrying but he seems to be in good shape.
    Love Berdych – i’ve always liked him but I like him extra specially now.
    Who will get rid of djoc and nadal?
    No idea how Fed will play against Fuscovics, but it must go well, yes?

    1. Thanks.

      Yeah he missed a few backhands early. Got better at the match went on though and came out on top in several bh to bh exchanges. So good day at the office really.

  3. Saw Fucsovics play Cilic at Basle.It was a very close match with two tie breaks for Cilic to win. He is dangerous, they all play out of their skins against Roger, and Roger has never played him before.There will be no room for complacency and I felt a little bit of complacency crept into Rogers game in the third set.He definitely lost focus and the game where he lost serve was full of unforced errors.That forehand!!! Cannot afford that from now on but to be fair I don’t think he will. Quite a few misses on the backhand as well but some spectacular strokes as well.Both players looked very hot,not very comfortable conditions to play in.

    1. Agree with you on Roger’s relatively weak performance in the third set. He had a tough time holding serve in the second half of the third set, giving away almost 50 percent of the points through poor shots. He was fortunate to close it out in three sets.

  4. Agree about the mixture of glorious shots & questionable footwork – at that point you mention in set 2, he looked off balance to me, which almost never happens. Didn’t realize about the humidity, that could explain a lot as you say, even with the reduced temperature; and wild temperature fluctuations can be draing in themselves.

    Nadal looking fearsome. Djokovic keeps looking vulnerable & then slaying his next opponent anyway. I think Chung may have a chance there depending on conditions – Novak hasn’t looked like he’s got 5 sets in him & Chung just demonstrated he does – if he can get there.

    Berdych & Kyrios 2 other very interesting players to see managing really well this year… maybe Sue’s (was it Sue?) prediction about a Nick-Rog final…. will… ok, can’t say it yet. Fucsovic next – glad Roger’s had some practice with him even if no official matches.

    Sorry to see Ash Barty go out on the ladies’ side though I like Osaka too. Barty had a really nice kit I thought – an actual ensemble. Angie Kerber looking like the one to beat over there. (Haven’t been watching actual matches, just recaps & comments.)

  5. Hmmm,I don’t think practice is quite the same as playing in the fourth round of a grand slam but we shall see.Interesting that Fed said that it was his match against Berdych that showed him where his game really was last
    year.Hopefully the same result this year.?If he gets there of course,not wishing to disrespect Fucsovic.Have to be
    really careful typing that name!

    1. Exactly, that’s why players beat Fed in practice easily then get blown off court in matches πŸ™‚

      I think it’s all the intel he needs, he’s going to know his strengths and weaknesses from practice sets. He was in SUI for a week so they probably played 10 or more sets.

  6. Hi, everyone!

    This was a solid win by Fed, all things considering. It was a tougher match than it looked and I am glad that Roger won in straights..

  7. Yes,sometimes televised Tennis makes it seem too easy.Gasquet is a very good player indeed.I remember the first time I saw Del Potro.He hits the ball so hard it is difficult to see it as it flies across the court.Television does not rely
    reflect this power or the strength and co-ordination required to hit the lines.Now I have really gone crazy,singing the
    praises of the ‘gentle’giant.Great win for an utterly determined Berdych today.

    1. TV 2 dimensional so you do get more of the spin and nuances when watching live. Depends on where you are sat too, behind baseline is the best view in the house. Or just in the one of the corners. Side on never as good.

  8. Thanks, Jonathan, a good win πŸ™‚ . That FH, which missed even the doubles’ side line by a couple of inches πŸ™‚ . Strangely, I actually quite like it. Of course, it is not for the audacious execution but for the dying standing up altitude πŸ™‚ .
    I hope that the next guy will not create too many dramas. Three down four to go.
    Allez Rog!

    1. Not quite sure what you mean? The attitude he would run around it no matter what? I dunno if that’s a good thing πŸ˜€ he nearly fell over tbh. I did the same thing once, trying to run around a ball that was getting further and further away from me, eyes on the ball, feet in a mess, nearly went for six.

  9. Revving up nicely for week 2. Richie definitely played one of his better matches and shld hv taken the second set but Rog played the big points better.
    Loved that FH squash shot early in 3rd set, amazing rally.
    Footwork was ok I thought, he just didn’t want to drop a set and definitely looked pleased to finish it on that lucky MP. Looked v humid out there which is often more energy sapping than dry heat. Gasquet was sweating buckets!
    Marton got to QF in Basel and had a very close match with Cilic and did brilliantly against Germany in DC. Finally coming good on his junior promise but Fed knows his game a bit, and on RLA, will simply be too experienced I think.
    Looking forward to Nick/Grigs. Fully expect Nick to come thru. Diego another Nadal fall guy? Plse Can Chung take out Novak.
    Allez!

  10. A good match, great shot making by both players especially with single handed BHs. Except for minor blip in the 3rd, Roger played good considering the conditions. He will need to up his game more in the next coming rounds.

  11. Good win for Roger. Glad delpo is out but berdych looks really good from what I saw in the highlights of his match. Hope things go smoothly for Roger and as rough as possible for the rest ?

      1. I always thought for his height and big serve, if Berdy could only volley better, he could even win a slam. Looks like he is finally at the end of his career starting to do it. Not sure if he has the mental game to win a slam anymore, but certainly could problems for the favorites to win it. He always did, but has more weapons now?

  12. I’m surprised you rated Fed quite high this match, I thought he was hanging on the line in set 2 and could have easily lost it. Sloppy in set 3 as well. Gasquet having to twice serve to stay in the set/match definitely helped Roger to come through with his clutch play and experience. I hope he will have easy round 4 and be rested well and prepared for a potentially Berdych encounter.

    Elsewhere I’m not so convinced Kygrios will be a threat to Nadal. He doesn’t have the fitness level to keep himself going imo. I hope Diego will give the bull a good test today

  13. I’m waiting for more “smoldering intensity” all the way to match #7. No one is talking about Chung which is strange since he won the gennext tournament. Now we need someone, anyone to take out Nadal and Djoker.
    Wonder if Stan and Novak will be back to their former selves?

    1. I have faith in Chung. Maybe not enough to take out Djoker but he can definitely make it lengthy and painful for Djoker. We really need someone to take out and Spanish bull though

  14. Well Schwartzman certainly gave it a good go.Nadal is certainly not unbeatable taking four hours to beat a man only
    5f 5 inches tall.To get to the final Nadal will have to get through Cilic,who will get free points on serve and probably
    Dimitrov who is playing really well against Kygios at the moment.

  15. Fed not as nimble as usual., I thought it was the shoes that put me off however Jonathan having
    read your write up and the many posts I guess he did enough to win. Although I thought R G
    played well, his forehand looked as good as I’ve seen it, but C’mon Roger we need your dancing shoes x

  16. Yeah, next match is day session! Finally get to watch one live. Can’t believe Nadal has played 15 GS matches vs no one ranked in the top 25. Horseshoes up his arse or Toni working his magic from home.

    1. Sue,
      very recently, I read an interview Uncle Toni had in Die Basler Zeitung, he
      emphatically stated that his pupil, Nadal, will pass Roger’s 19 GS!
      Nadal, being younger, can become a threat, Roger’s 20th would be ever so nice.

      1. Hi Dolores! If that does happen, in my mind, it would be a tainted record. Interesting that he has never had knee surgery.

      2. @Sue
        Did Fed ever had a knee surgery? Did you see Stan’s knee in Melbourne? This is how it looks like after a serious surgery. After some simple arthroscopy, maybe only diagnostic, you get characteristic 2 scars, which are well visible for some time, at least 2 months. I have never seen such points on Roger’s knee. So even if it was really arthroscopy, it was probably only diagnostics.
        And how can you know, if Nadal had a knee surgery or not? Some publish their hospital photos, others not. Nadal had so many times and partly for longer knee problems, I cannot imagine, there was never a surgery.

      3. @PVR You are absolutely right. Nadal must have had multiple surgeries on his knees and kept it a secret from the world. AND he has special make up on his knees so no one can see the 2 scars.
        Roger must be a BIG liar. He must have faked the knee surgery! Don’t know if I’m a genuine fedfan anymore.

      4. Don’t remember my scars still being visible a couple of months after – and I’d guess surgical techniques have moved on in the past couple of decades. Mine only show up if the rest of the skin’s red. Have you been looking at pictures of him in 4HD?

  17. Two of the greatest single-handed backhanders. A delight to watch

    The other two in my book – Stefan Edberg & Justine Henin !!

    Fed probably has it comparitively easy tomorrow. But then onwards its gonna be 50-50

  18. Hello Jonathan and all Fedfans!
    A quote from Tom Perrotta, WSJ 1-20/21
    Roger Federer ages like a fine wine!
    Ah, nice Tom….wanted to share this with you all.

  19. Great win by Grigor today.I do think that he will be far more of a threat to Nadal than Kygios who is over reliant on his serve which amazingly let him down in three tie-breaks.I know Grigor choked twice! Serving out but got the job done at the end.Lets hope Cilic tires Nadal and Dimi can finish him off.If he gets to the final with that extra day off,he will be very dangerous as we all know.

    1. I watched full match Nick vs. Grigor. Poor game from both. Kyrgios is not going to be real force in tennis. His tennis still instinctive, his movement still poor. I think, he does not really like tennis.
      What Grigor like the most is to have opportunities for pumping and showing teeth. His best weapon is to have lots of luck in decisive moments. Not a match for Roger. Not a match for Rafa.
      Cilic not a match for Rafa too. Too nervous and making errors when it goes to TB. Nadal defeats him with ease. . So if we want to be realistic, Nadal is in the final. Not sure for Roger. His performance vs. so mentally weak Gasquet was not convincing. If Gasquet was a bit stronger mentally, would beat him. Yes, Berdych will be the real test.

      1. I never could see Rafa not making the final unless his knees gave out – and they appear to be fine again?

    1. Hey Susie, Dutch time 5 o’clock in the morning, which means for you guys 6 o’clock… one hour more to sleep πŸ™‚

  20. Well different people obviously see things differently.I thought the Nick /Grigor match was very good,with a very high standard of tennis from both.To say that Grigor won through luck is ridiculous.Grigor came very close to beating Nadal last year in the semi-finals and surely has a good chance to avenge that defeat.And of course that will
    give him plenty of chances for pumping and showing his teeth.Thinking about it though that sort of behaviour is more Nadals style than anyone else.?

    1. Maybe he/she watched a different match all together. I liked what I saw in Dimi in that match, he showed lots of heart, focus and consistency. I like his chances against Nadal

      1. I only saw Grivor vs Nick match from middle of 3rd set, and I loved it. The power play of Nick and variety that Grigor showed kinda remind me a bit of Roger and Rafa match (sure it is just my personal opinion).

        Grigor seems more mature and able to control himself better on court, maybe that’s the key. Pointwise they are tight too I believe. I also think Grigor got a good chances assuming he win against Edmund.

        Alison and Sue,
        Just ignore the troll, I wonder why he/she even put Roger as avatar. He/she is worse then Pablo back then, at least Pablo was not fake, pretending to be RF fan. Feeding the troll will only give attention that they crave.

      2. I am a Fed fan but just prefer Rafa to win.

        Federer is looking great, I believe is a lock in the final specially if Nole loses. Rafa is in good form too but he has a more difficult draw. I predict a Fedal with Federer winning as the Rod Laver looks really fast.

      3. Ah Pablo,
        Sorry, it wasn’t you that I mean. I meant another Pablo from around 2013-2014 who also commenting on this site, putting so much hatred towards Federer and fans.

  21. Oh, now almost all the big names or top seeds in the lower half are out, Goffan, DelPotro, Sasha, Novack, Dominic. Roger, are you listening πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ?
    Allez!

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