ATP 500HalleRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Kudla to Make 12th Halle Final

Another day, another hard-working performance from Roger Federer has he made his 12th Gerry Weber Open final with a 7-6(1), 7-5 win over Denis Kudla on Saturday.

The Swiss is looking for his 10th title in Halle and is now on a twenty match winning streak on the grass but he's not had it all his own way this week. After admitting yesterday he was feeling a bit tired in press he again looked a bit low on energy but managed his game perfectly to up his level at the key moments, winning 84% behind his first serve and playing a flawless opening tie-break to get himself in front before closing out it out at the business end of the second set.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Halle SF 2018

Kudla won the toss and elected to receive. Roger then held to 30 and got off to a peRFect start breaking for 2-0 after a lengthy game. However, the Swiss couldn't consolidate as Kudla hit back. That steadied the ship for the American and the first set breezed buy with both guys holding serve comfortably and no more break points going the way of either player.

Into the breaker and Roger played a quality opening point, chasing down a ball out wide to whip a pass from very low to the ground. That set the tone for the entire breaker and Roger picked up the pace, winning 6 points in a row before finally taking it 7-1.

Kudla kicked off set two with a love hold and showed no signs up disappointment at bombing in the breaker. Roger then held to love but in game three it was he who showed signs of frustration, sending a ball out of the stands and receiving a code violation. Kudla continued to hold his own and in games four and eight Roger had to fight off break points. Game eight being the key as he recovered from 0-40 with some clutch play, upping his level when the circumstances called for it.

Buoyed by the hold Roger was able to summon a little bit extra towards the tail end of the set and suddenly it was Kudla who looked like the tired player out there as he dropped serve at 5-5. Roger then served it out to fifteen to move into the finals.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Denis Kudla
Aces 12 8
Double Faults 3 3
1st Serve 67% (50/75) 61% (45/74)
1st Serve Points Won 84% (42/50) 80% (36/45)
2nd Serve Points Won 52% (13/25) 48% (14/29)
Break Points Saved 86% (6/7) 33% (1/3)
Service Games Played 12 12
1st Serve Return Points Won 20% (9/45) 16% (8/50)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 52% (15/29) 48% (12/25)
Break Points Converted 67% (2/3) 14% (1/7)
Return Games Played 12 12
Winners 26 19
Unforced Errors 29 20
Net Points Won 59% (13/22) 69% (11/16)
Service Points Won 73% (55/75) 68% (50/74)
Return Points Won 32% (24/74) 27% (20/75)
Total Points Won 53% (79/149) 47% (70/149)

Shot of the Match

Federer Reflects On Kudla Victory Halle 2018

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Win Halle SF 2018

Look was different today than yesterday even though the score was the same, more baseline today compared to serve and volley yesterday. Pity I couldn't maintain the break advantage in the first set but I couldn't do that. Honestly, I think we both did a good job of not dropping serve and it was difficult to break for a while. But I played a good breaker like yesterday, I have been very successful playing breakers here in Halle. Kudla had a good chance when he had 0-40 in the second, that was a big hold for me so I'm very happy I found a way again today.

A different opponent in Kudla today but a very similar match to the Ebden one where Roger didn't play brilliantly but managed his game well and found something extra when required. Whenever he was down breakpoints or at the business end of things something kicked in and better tennis flowed from his racquet.

I particularly liked that opening point in the tie-break as for most of the set he'd looked sluggish but there was no way he was giving up that first point without a fight and he put in that extra effort to pull off the pass.

So not his best tennis of course but he's still winning and I don't think fans can have any complaints. Forehand a bit wobbly from the baseline and I don't think he's really serving well yet but like he said in the interview he's played a lot of matches lately without much practice in between so I don't think there's much cause for concern. Making finals when playing your B game is hardly a worry IMO 🙂

Predictions vs. Coric

Next up is Borna Coric who moved into the final after Bautista Agut retired leading 3-2 in the first set. The Spaniard took a tumble and injured his hip. After an off-court MTO he decided he couldn't continue.

Roger leads the H2H 2-0, he schooled Coric first time around in Dubai but this year in Indian Wells it was a very close match. The Croatian is improving all the time and he's put together a good run here so it will be another tough match tomorrow. I think it will basically boil down to what level Fed is able to bring, if he can play somewhat close to his best grass game then it should be more than enough but if he's struggling for rhythm then it's wide open.

What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Yeah, gonna be tough against Coric I think. But matches like that are important too pre-Wimby, so I don’t mind if it goes the wrong way (though obviously another title here would be fantastic).

  1. Fed will pull out all the stops tomorrow and win in 2. But my handwringing will continue as I hear him confess fatigue and that’s what I predicted. He’s weeks away from 37 and he’s put too much wear and tear on Gramperer’s body too soon before Wimbledon, in my opinion.

  2. Coric is a rather boring baseliner as far as I can see.Fed did better today in the 2nd set when he stayed back and didn’t come forward.So perhaps he should slog it out from the baseline.I think he will win.He was very crotchety today.I wonder why?

    1. I think that Roger
      Should continue coming into the net, itj is his style of play and help him to play shorter points

  3. Yes he looks low on energy. Proves he was right to rest his grand dad body before the grass swing. And after that is the grueling hard court season!

  4. There is no way that Fed will win tomorrow if he plays like this. I have seen Coric and he put in a totally differnt game then any of the other players fed have met this week so his forhand must work otherwise he can say goodbye to title 99….But I hope he has one more game in him before he can rest before wimbledon.

  5. Its a good thing Roger won his match in 2, though not the cleanest but he play the big points well. Experience counts against Kudla. Serve hasnt been accurate this week, hope he will do better tormorrow. Last match for this week, Roger has get his energy level up and increase level of intensity. Cmon Rog, lets do this!!!

  6. Tough match but he did it in two sets…
    For the rest of the day, please Roger, we only allow : one shower + one massage + one home-made lemonade watching one World Cup match and that’s all ! Rest, rest, rest…

  7. I guess at the end of the day it’s about Fed’s energy level. Hope for the best and not a 11:30 start! Perhaps his grumpiness is about his energy not being there when he wants it.

    1. I would say that your right that was the reason he was grumpy. I am sure he knows that Wimby is at least 3 sets no matter what and he is weeks away from 37. I think he will be motivated having gotten this far he knows he is 2 sets from his 99th. It isn’t getting any easier and should he prevail as I hope he does then motivation to make Wimby his century mark would mean everything to him.

  8. I was very surprised when a frustrated Fed hit the ball into the stands. Has he ever done that before? I can’t remember seeing it in a past match, but expect he must have done it at some point in his long career.

    I agree with those who said he must play better tomorrow against Coric. We want to see title no. 10 in Halle and career title no. 99!

  9. I was so worried that he might be sick or something as His legs were not moving at all. Just letting kudla balls in over and over without fight made me feel like watching Jack Sock’s game (or Kyrgios when he’s not feeling like it.) I feel from now on, he’d be even more careful with scheduling and won’t book too many back to back tournaments.

    Anyway, glad he won. They should have scheduled doubles first and then singles final to give old man an extra rest!! Anyway, I truly hope roger find that extra gear tomorrow and give himself the title no 99 and keep the no 1! (And save us some gray hair and high blood pressure! I’ve been so nervous—Plus it’s been all like 2-4am match viewing in San Fran— I have to watch them while holding my ? to comfort me and help me breathe!)

    1. Mari, on the same time zone as you. It’s brutal for most of the tennis season since most tournaments are in Europe. Final is at 4am…can’t decide whether to get up.

  10. Yes it is a tense business.1pm in Halle tomorrow so a couple of ours extra rest.Sorry that Roberto slipped and injured himself,hope that won’t effect him going forward.As for Wimbledon those grass courts should dry out with the good
    weather we are forecast.I think Fed was concerned about slipping.An injury now could be career ending.It has been rather wet in Halle all week,so even with the roof conditions not great.Feds face when that volley stopped dead at his feet.☹️

    1. I see Roger’s already got his jacket on in the post-match interview. Hoping that’s only because it’s cold …

      1. His voice was like when you’ve got a cold. Aspirins, lots of liquids and a bedtime story would sort it out!

  11. Well most of the spectators were well wrapped up so I guess that was the reason.
    Meanwhile over at Queens,that charming young man Nick Kyrgios was fined for making lewd gestures??

  12. Fed not at his best but good enough to win, it shows us the depth of the talent in the mens game. Roger
    seems to be able to lift his level when in trouble hope this continues lucky x

    1. I was wondering what on earth he was going to wear for Wimbledon this year. No Nike Swoosh, obviously, but I can’t believe Nike would have signed away the RF logo already, not if they’re still potentially negotiating. Looks better than last year’s outfit, though – not that that matters after he won with it!

  13. Seems people are panicking a bit too early. Yes Borna is solid and perhaps a better player than the what Roger has faced up untill now but Rogers below par level of play seems due to lack of practice ‘like he himself admitted’ and I feel its pretty smart if you look at the hindsight. Federer did mention in stuttgart the importance of staying fresh before a grandslam 7 matches best of five ‘long way to go stuff’. I wouldnt call him an old man just yet :p. I believe his pacing himself well for Wimbledon.

    And yes, I ll take a opposite routine here. Federer in 3 and 4 tommorow. He ll bring out his best for the last 😉

    He knows his no.99 ambitions(he knows his stats). Not gonna just give em up!

  14. I think Federer is hurting a little bit. Maybe a minor injury. He hasn’t been moving well and the forehand has been a bit inconsistent of late. I don’t want to put much emphasis on the final , I would rather he be fully rested for Wimbledon and have another great run.

  15. We’ve had house guests for the past few days so have only been able to watch the replays and that is so relaxing (only if we know the result and that he has won the match of course) and are thinking of doing that in future for the sake of our health. Really, it is no fun watching him play like this, do you agree?
    He is not playing so well, we can all see that, but as Jonathan pointed out, he has still got to the final. I also think that his opponents have been playing reasonably well, having nothing to lose. And we expect so much of him, too much perhaps.
    Something is bothering him, whether physical or mental we don’t know and may never know.
    Fervently hope that the “old” Fed comes back for Wimbledon.

  16. Tired, cold, frustrated by his own mistakes but he found a way so the desire still kicking in when needed! I think on grass in a final with adrenalin flowing, he beats Borna in 2.
    Then a restful week with little practice and off we go to Wimby which inspires him more than any other tournament. Allez 99 and then 100

  17. I think that all this old man/gramps stuff is over the top to be honest.He looks as lean and fit as he’s ever been.What he has lost in speed(not much)he has gained in experience.He will bring his best tomorrow.He is not going to let the
    World number One and Halle title go without a fight.

  18. Plays his best when it matters – that’s what he did peRFectly so no worries and the grumpy old man knows what to do. It’s another final guys, trust him! Allez #99!

  19. I am comforted by Annie’s and Wanda’s comments, so I am expecting Fed to take it in 2 sets. He definitely has looked mortal this week but he has a winner’s fortitude is all I can say.

  20. I really think he may be is tired or has an ache, remember in Stuttgart he said he had back ache and gluten ache. I hope this is a simple thing but it’s obvious he can’t deal with this all the time, he played against anyone (with all respect to the players who played against) but… come on… too many unforced errors, back hand, forehand , indeed smashes. We hope the best for him for tomorrow

    1. Gluten ache? Hm. He usually talks about “eating more gluten”. Could that be mis-translated from something? Where did you see it?

  21. Please fed fans he won in 2, the counter party has his said into this you know, Kudla and Ebden are good grass players, so don’t be alarmed he is playing well and get the job done, and I am full on confidence that he will win tomorrow

  22. IMO Coric is the favourite today.
    Did not lose a set so far, advanced easily in a tricky draw, had the closest thing to a W/O yesterday, and carries a lot of confidence knowing he was close to beat Roger in IW.
    Plus he has nothing to lose and Roger has a title and world no 1 to defend.
    I hope Roger find that extra gear, otherwise 99 may not happen today.

    1. With respect,it is one thing to be close to beating Roger,another to actually do so.If I remember Indian Wells correctly,he hung on in there and then was absolutely clutch in the last two games.I think that champions Fed,Nadal and Djokovic,bring their best to finals,I guess that is why they are
      Fed rarely looses a final due to fatigue (at least not obviously)injury is a different matter.The only time I remember Roger being obviously fatigued was against Murray at the Olympics where he had
      played a very long match against Del Potro the day before.
      So I am going with Fed here probably in three.

  23. I thought he was frustrated that shots he thought he should make easily weren’t working – couple of volleys into the net come to mind. Could be down to the weather – more rainy and cool conditions predicted for tomorrow. That may mean the roof, which is probably a plus, but it would still be cool. Plus I always think he seems easier in his skin when the family is with him. I guess we’ll see, as always – interesting that he was the one to bring up the potential 99th title in his on-court interview. It would be lovely for it to come tomorrow, but if it doesn’t, ok.

      1. 50% of risks it will rain during the final. So we may guess the roof will be closed.

  24. Coric should be favored tomorrow, he took him the distance @ IWells; this is the downside of not playing any clay tournaments, he wants to keep the # 1 ranking going into Wimbledon, thus he is playing with tha added burden of defending points from last year, if not Rafa overtakes him and might be ranked # 1 in the Wimbledon draw

    1. Wimbledon factors in past performances on the surface over the last year or two iirc so he’ll be seeded #1 there regardless.

  25. Something was clearly bothering him but he wouldn’t admit. Hope he brings the best today and Bri g home #99!

  26. Also I think he has been bothered about the court surface.Some bad bounces.That volley that stopped dead at his feet really pissed him off.It was then he hit the ball up into the stands.Very unusual behaviour for him.I also feel that he has been going through the motions somewhat and at times even rather bored.But clutch when he needed to be.

  27. Fed often loses these matches where many milestones or significant results are on the line. Top seed at Wimby, another week at 1, ten titles at halle, and 99 overall. I think the result is fair bc Fed played like garbage at the end, whether due to fatigue, injury, or apathy. Even if he won the first TB, he had a good chance to lose (great return got the mini break back for Coric; the next point was back and forth, then a big serve, then a silly Fed error but from deep), but that game at 2-3 in the third was a microcosm of the match, passive play on groundies and poor volleys). He had a great opportunity going in but he dodn’t play well and Coric played excellent. Fed doesn’t have another Wimbledon in him.

      1. With that incisive comment, you’ve really made your case. I’m a huge Fed fan, and I’m not wrong. Grow up, clown.

      2. Keep digging and proving my point, clown. And I’m tired from fucking your wife, but thanks for the tip. What a joke you are.

  28. I think Fed’s preparations for SW19 have been approached badly. For someone of his age he should not be playing back-to-back grass court events a week before the tournament. I’m in serious doubt as to whether he will be fully rested before his opening match in a weeks time, he looked burnt out.

    Losing last year to Haas was like a blessing in disguise and I fear that just like Montreal last year, chasing the computer points for No.1 will cost him heavily. In the end, who remembers the 250/500 wins or for how many weeks he was ranked 1? Only his slam count matters.

    Roger has said his practice and sponsors schedule is light once he arrives in London, so that could be a means for some “normally unplanned” extra rest.

  29. I’ll say it again. Fed should have skipped Halle. Too much at stake. Too much on the body. Now he’s got nothing to show for it except “match practice “ his 37 year old body will get rocked by.

  30. That was disappointing. I hate it when Fed reaches finals and then loses. At least losing earlier (like against Haas last year at Stuttgart) at least means more rest. Losing in finals is just precious opportunity lost and it is wearing on the body and mind, too. Anyway, moving on, hope he rests and practices well and comes to Wimbledon with his energy and enthusiasm restored.

    1. Fully agree. Why reach the final with so much effort only to junkball it? Third set was so ghastly to watch. same thing happened in IW finals. I just dont get the thinking. If you feel tired, just let go of the tournament and rest up, rather than losing another umpteenth final.

  31. When is Fed playing match 1? Should give him 8-9 days rest. Time flow is unidirectional, so, in spite of not being my damn business, Fed should scrap all social and commercial crap events and stuff like that and just rest, relax and practice when he feels the need. Screw the money, screw the show off, screw the sponsors. If the mind is not in peace, if the body is not healthy, all the other things are garbage. 2017 taught us all the most valuable lesson in decades of sport, all included.
    Now, cheer up!

    1. The reigning men’s champion, has the honour of opening on Centre Court at 13:00 BST. So Fed will play on Monday July 2. He will have 7 days to rest and train.

  32. Fraid I’ve been expecting Coric to win the whole thing since earlier on this week. I’m not happy to be proved right.

  33. Somewhat dissapointed in Fed. So much on the line. #99, 10th Halle, #1 after Wimbledon (had he won it) is gone possibly until USO. Was looking forward to #100 at Wimbledon. I know we are asking too much from Fed at this point. He played pretty well in the latst 2 weeks. Its going to be an interesting Wimbleodn now that Djoko is back in the scheme of things.
    Lets hope Fed brings out his aggressive game.

  34. I’m sorry but is everyone not know that Coric is 21 and Roger is nearly 37 that is a 16 years difference. Coric played extremely well and so did Roger but the kid was just better especially in set 3. This same young man has beaten Djocovic and Nadal and at 21 may possibly have a great future in tennis. Roger was frustrated because Coric was making shots that he thought he shouldn’t have made. I think that the big 3 are going to start seeing more and more of the young 20 somethings starting to make a move. Would I like to see Roger win Wimby yes of course but if he doesn’t I would love to see him win number 100 ATP this year. He has done it all this year win another Grand Slam become number 1 and has a total of 98 ATP wins. If he makes it 100 this year I will be very happy. Be happy that Roger can still make it to the finals. Look what happened to Busta with a hip injury this is a very demanding sport and 30 somethings are not usually in contention because of the harsh demands. All the best to Roger at Wimbledon. Congrats to Coric on a well played game he needed to play at his best and he did.

    1. Agree about part of Roger’s frustration being down to not expecting – and therefore not being prepared for – some of those Borna gets.

  35. The meltdowns in this comment section were amusing. Who knew some Federer fans were so fickle. Yes, losing is a little disappointing but honestly, Fed is 37, he can’t win them all. Fed faced stiffer competition on route the final (Piare, Edben, Kudla have been playing some good stuff recently) Coric more or less got a walkover in SF, and Fed could have still won in two possibly.

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