Buongiorno! Another nice match from Federer as he progressed to the Semi Finals where he'll meet Frenchman Benoit Paire. Like his 2 previous matches this was a solid display and another great serving performance that saw him defeat the young Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 7-6 (2).
I think the circumstances prevented seeing a stylish display like we saw against Simon & Starace ; play didn't start will 10.30pm local time due to poor scheduling of a WTA match which meant the players were waiting around all day and also because Janowicz is quite a tricky customer. But regardless of the level of play I'm pleased Roger got it done in straights and looked pretty composed throughout, let's take a look at the match.
Quick Match Analysis
I was hoping Roger was going to school Janowicz last night much like he did to Simon & Starace but it was clear from the first few games this was going to be a much closer affair.
The first few games were all about the serve as both guys were serving big and accurately, more so Roger who was racking up the aces count for fun and they came to his rescue as he saved 2 break points early in the first set.
After that opportunities were few and far between for both guys, Janowicz was coming up with some really powerful hitting that kept Fed honest and didn't really give him a lot to work with. The most important thing was Roger was taking care of his own service games easily so you felt the very worst outcome was going to be a tie break.
As it turned out Roger got the all important break at 5-4 when he played a really nice return game, Janowicz ended up playing a very daft drop shot on set point when he had ample time to hit a winner into the open court and Roger tracked it down then made the pass to take it 6-4.
Janowicz is one of those unpredictable kind of players who can play 4 terrible points and then come up with something crazily good at that's how the second started as he went for complete broke in Roger's opening service game, hit some big shots and got an early break probably hitting the best forehand of the match on break point.
I'm not sure how Roger could have stopped it really, maybe made a few more 1st serves as he was a little bit sluggish in that particular game but Janowicz proved he's a dangerous shotmaker and can hit winners at will. He also moves well for a big guy and has a lot of variety which is quite unique for someone of his build.
After the break of serve we were back to a serving display from both guys, Roger got back into the groove and never looked like dropping serve again and whilst he created a couple of inroads on the Janowicz serve there wasn't really any drama or chances.
That all changed though at 5-4 with Janowicz serving for the set as Roger put together some solid returns and then a classic clay court play to break back and put himself back in control of the match.
He then held serve to lead 6-5 and had 2 match points in the next game but wasn't able to capitalise due to a big serve and a poor return so a tie break ensued. As usual the guy with the best tie break record of all time upped his game when it mattered and returned solidly to move 4-1 in front and then never looked back as he closed it out 7-2 to setup a semi final with Paire.
Yet again some very solid match stats from the GOAT. Great to see that consistency has been a core part of his game this tournament.
Point of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
This was just another solid match from Roger, he's found some good form here after letting us down in Madrid which is nice to see. His serving has been truly impeccable all week and today he served at 76% first serves which is exceptional.
I think this was just a match where Roger's return game and experience were the telling factors. He often plays the chipped return too much but against big servers the block return is such a useful tool to have at your disposal and he used it really well last night.
Janowicz is clearly a very dangerous opponent and I thought Roger played a very consistent match and raised his level when he needed to which was good to see. I was also pleased that Roger maintained his winning record against cocky youngsters who have said something about him in the press. Janowicz called him arrogant earlier in the year so it was good to see Roger put him in his place.
As usual these guys talk a lot off the court but then as soon as they get onto it the reality hits they're playing the GOAT and then soon are in awe of him. Same with Tomic and now Janowicz who appeared to congratulate Roger heavily at the net.
As for Janowicz he still looks like a loose cannon, maybe he's not as unclassy as I first thought so time will tell. I do think he's going to be player for the future though, he has some quite scary shots when they come off and like I said he moves well for a big guy. Perhaps just slightly too tall to win a slam though.
Predictions vs. Paire
Both matches were very routine with Roger winning in straight sets but I think today might be a little more tricky. I haven't seen much of Paire lately but looking at his results it's obvious he is improving and he has caused Nadal a few problems on clay recently too so he's clearly no mug.
I think just like the Janowicz match this is where Roger's experience will tell and I think he will get the job done in straights. If he serves like he has all week I'm not sure Paire can make an impact and I'm sure Roger will be able to create some chances on the return.
Elswhere in the draw the big surprise was Berdscat defeating Djokovic in 3 sets, Djoker was 6-2 5-2 up but ended up losing 2-6 7-5 6-4. Quite a surprise to say he has such a dominant record against the Czech. I only saw the last few games but it looked like Berdych started zoning and Djoker let his game slip, I've seen some people say Djoker tanked here so he could head into the French without letting Nadal get another look at him. Interesting theory but I'm not sure. He was 5-2 up in the second set!
The other big surprise was Nadal beating Ferrer in the other Quarter Final 😀
Anyway, I'm hoping Roger dispatches Paire and makes his first final of the year, this has been a successful tournament whatever happens from here on in. Allez!