ATP 250HalleRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Nishikori to Make Halle Final

Another Halle final awaits for the GOAT as he defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3 7-6(4) in 1 hour 13 minutes and will now play Alejandro Falla for a shot at his 7th title.

I know a few fans were worried Fed was under tennised going into this match after the walkover he received in the Quarter Final but his serve was at it's precisional best making 76% of first serves. He also played with a lot of intent, pushing Nishikori way behind the baseline and finishing countless points with some crisp volleying.

The win today now means Federer is playing in his 9th consecutive final in Halle after withdrawing in 2007, 2009 and 2011. It also gives him a shot at defending a title for the first time since 2011. Quite an important final even though it's only a 250.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Nishikori Halle

A lightening quick start from Federer here as he found his first serve from the word go. Nishikori also started solidly but at 2-3 some errant ball striking and some solid Federer forehands saw him drop serve. Of course Roger then gave the Japanese an opportunity to break straight back but he hung on to hold for 5-2 and then served out the set 6-3.

Winning the first set is key on grass but like we saw in Miami, Nishikori can easily come back from a set down to snatch victory. However when he dropped serve in his opening service game I though Fed was home and dry. Of course there was a slight twist in the tale as Nishikori broke back immediately and started to look the sharper of the two off the ground.

With Nishikori holding serve more and more comfortably it required some precision serving from the Swiss to keep in touch and force the tie break. With Roger having an 8-9 losing record in breakers this year it was pleasing to see him get an immediate mini break to lead 2-0. However a sick return from Nishikori saw him win 4 points in a row to lead 4-2.

2-4 is significant scoreboard pressure but some sweet forehands from Fed saw him claw back the mini break and when Nishkori went wide with a forehand he lead 5-4 before hitting a huge serve to bring up a match point which he converted the first time of asking. Albeit without actually realising he'd won :D.

Match Stats

  K. Nishikori R. Federer
Aces 1 10
Double Faults 0 2
1st Serve % 69% 76%
1st Serve Points Won 24/37 (65%) 37/53 (70%)
2nd Serve Points Won 14/17 (82%) 11/17 (65%)
Break Points Saved 0/2 (0%) 1/2 (50%)
Service Games Played 10 11
1st Return Points Won 16/53 (30%) 13/37 (35%)
2nd Return Points Won 6/17 (35%) 3/17 (18%)
Break Points Won 1/2 (50%) 2/2 (100%)
Unforced Errors    
Return Games Played 11 10
Total Service Points Won 38/54 (70%) 48/70 (69%)
Total Return Points Won 22/70 (31%) 16/54 (30%)
Total Points Won 60/124 (48%) 64/124 (52%)

Federer Doesn't Realise He has Won

Thoughts on the Match

Federer def Nishikori Halle

Very impressive serving display from Federer today and I enjoyed his desire to try get to the net wherever possible. It caught Nishikori off guard plenty times and won him plenty cheap points which keeps the pressure off his service games.

It's quite strange to think he was in the semi finals having only played 1 match on grass previously so I think this was an impressive display against a guy who prior to getting injury in the Madrid final was on a hot streak of form.

I also think Fed learnt his lesson from his recent loss in Miami to Nishikori too and he didn't let Nishikori dictate from the baseline. He kept pushing him back whenever had had chance, mixed it up with the slice and constantly asked Nishikori to come up with passing shots by ghosting into the net whenever he had chance.

In terms of improvements as usual it's just the return games and avoiding hitting too many mid court, weak backhands. He hit quite a few nothing shots into the middle of the court today and paid the price. It will be interesting to see if Falla tries to employ a Nadal like strategy of hitting CC FH to BH in tomorrow final. However is backhand is his better shot of the two so it's not quite as big a concern.

Predictions vs. Falla

Federer - Falla London 2012

Next up is Colombian Alejandro Falla who defeated Kohlschreiber in 3 sets to make only the second tour final of his career. This guy is no stranger to playing Roger and although he's 0-6 in the H2H I don't think he's going to be a pushover here. 4 of the 6 meetings between these to have been on grass, the most recent one coming at the London Olympics where Falla took Fed to 3 sets.

No doubt some of you will remember Roger's match against Falla at Wimbledon in 2010 in the first round which was a bit of an epic. Falla had a 2 set lead in this one and also served for the match in the fourth set. Fed broke him to 30 but then had to save another break point of at 5-5 before finally running away with the tie break 7-1 and the fifth set 6-0.

I've seen Falla play quite a few matches over the years including when he took out Isner at Wimbledon 2012 so I know he's a very good match player who does everything well. If he puts his mind to it and plays aggressive he can be extremely dangerous. He's a lefty too which always makes thing a little bit more awkward.

It's also no secret that he likes to play Federer; that all stems back to 2004 when Fed schooled him for the loss of just 3 games, again at Wimbledon. Falla said that is one of his all time favourite career moments, simply because he got to play against the defending champion on Centre Court at SW19.

Falla has a very solid backhand which Fed will need to be careful of tomorrow for sure. It's an interesting match up here because Falla's favourite serve goes into Roger's weakness, and Federer's favourite serve goes into Falla's strength. That potentially means Falla wins more cheap points than Federer does, which then means Roger needs to have a consistent day at the back of the court in extended rallies.

Returning the lefty serve out wide in the ad court is always a tough one for Fed as it naturally puts him at full stretch on his weaker wing so he'll need to get the ball back in play otherwise I can see a tie break or two happening.

I'll pick Fed in two close sets but he will need to serve extremely well and make sure he pushes Falla behind the baseline when he has chance. 7-5 7-6(4). Allez!


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. I love it when the win comes unexpected πŸ™‚ I just woke up from an extended nap and what do I find?? The match post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
        Tomorrow however Fed IS expected to win. He HAS to win actually πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll be able to watch the whole match as I couldn’t today :-/
        PS. So funny he didn’t realize he won πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      1. Yeah let’s hope he isn’t distracted by the thought of Switzerland v Ecuador at 5pm!!

    1. Grass is “the toughest surface”. Period. Only rank idiots think otherwise. πŸ˜‰

      1. No, Shamtoot, you most definitely are not. I’m just very sad though, that you happen to be a Nadal fan.

      2. What shall I do Sid, shall I switch, mmmmm can’t, I love the guy πŸ˜‰
        Anyway, at least we have some common things we cheer for
        And to be honest, the only Grand Slam I watch for men and women is Wimbledon, others I don’t really care! This shows how much I love grass πŸ™‚

  1. Nice win!!! He played really well, now Falla, happy for the Colombian, great opportunity for Roger. ALLEZ!

  2. The fact that he didn’t realise that it was a match point worked in his favour! He would have won many more matches if it happened frequently. Fed is just a poor match point/setpoint/break point player! Just two different players when he is under pressure and when he is not. Every player feels the pressure of a match point, but for Fed (at least in recent times) the difference is huge.

  3. Gee, Jonathan, you sound cautious in your take on the match tomorrow. I do remember that match at Wimbly in 2010. Major stress. If Roger looses here what a bummer. He needs to keep up the pressure.

  4. Hi Jonathan

    How lovely to see him playing this way and his serve his a joy and he is in the doubles as well – Hoping for good matches and it would be lovely if he won both – but am not saying more than that in case I jinx him. I remember the 2010 match with Falla – got to the point where I had to leave the room it was so stressfu – hopefully tomororw will be loess so Allez Roger – also so pleased Netherlands thrashed Spain – what a great weekend this could be

    1. Me too! Seems like yesterday we were all behind our cushions! Didn’t see match but liking the stats !! 100% BP conversion!! Hang out the flags!! He is a different player on grass it seems when the serve is working!
      All gd match practice whoever he plays, and the doubles must help!
      Gd to see Dimitrov beat Stan! He and Maria have been walking round Wimbledon already hand in hand! And nice to see Lopez rewarded on grass for his serve volley! Allez the 30+ players!!

      1. Ps loved the senile moment!! Such a dork!! And yes Trudi the Dutch were outstanding! Fun to watch!

    2. Hey Trudi,

      Yeah chance of 2 titles is cool. Falla is dangerous though, he likes playing Fed for sure.

      Stan flopped today, tweaked his ankle in the 2nd game and then played tentative.

      Lopez has a shot at the title if he can play the big points well. Bit of a choker though.


  5. FORGET-ERER steals match vs Japanese No.1.

    Roger should really breathe a massive “KEI” of relief after that match.
    He stole it without deserving it.

    Two things won it for him:

    1.The lightning start and 2. His first serve.

    He benefited mightily from the last round bye and was much faster out of the blocks than Nishikori.
    This meant he was a break up before Nishikori got warm.
    He still had to save a bp to close out the set.

    All through the second set Kei looked the better player.
    Fed couldn’t win a point once the ball was in play.
    He relied on the first serve exclusively to get him out of trouble.

    Kei was pushing him to 30-40 on every service gamer whereas Fed couldn’t get a point on the Japanese’s serve.

    Into the breaker..

    You felt like if Kei got the second set he’d sail away with the decider.
    Fed trailed 2-4 and cashed in on some untimely Jap UF to close the deal.

    Albeit without realising it.

    Fed’s chances to get past second week at Wimby:
    FORGET-ERER about it.

    1. You can shut the fuck up.Trolls are all over the place nowadays.But with a name like yours, I think you are a professional troller.Like are you payed to troll ?

      1. I think it’s funny that Federer being in the final of a 28 player tournament in Germany makes trolls come out.

    2. I’d advise you block Troy Nguyen from this blog Jonathan, he has been commenting trash about Federer on YouTube for years. I’ve been wasting my time arguing with this brainless bastard. Now he’s gonna start on your blog, so block him!

    3. Hey Troy, like Nole said after he beat Cilic, at the end it is the win that counts, that’s all that matters.
      And at the end….. it IS Roger Federer who is playing 2 finals today. Pretty impressive right? πŸ™‚

      1. Maybe I’ll give him credit once he picks up a REAL title (Masters and above). For now Rog is picking up consolation titles that noone wants.
        Guess that’s why they call him the goat.

        He’ll eat anything.

  6. Absentminderer, much? πŸ™‚ That was hilarious.

    Early Alzheimer’s, I suppose? Or was he thinking, “Did I change that diaper? Mirka’s not going to be happy.”. Perhaps he was bemused there won’t be another third set opportunity for him to display his choking skills, followed by a cry baby interview.

    But I know what the real reason is. He loves grass so much and can’t stand the thought of leaving it. Lu didn’t exactly do him any favors. No worries Roger, there’s plenty of grass for you at Wimbledon. The more you win, the more you see green. And we all know how much GOATs love grass. πŸ™‚

    Hallez, encore une fois!

  7. Great analysis about the Falla matchup. The same headaches Roger has to deal with against Dopal, except slightly doped down. If anything, this should be a great workout for Roger.

    The winner is too close to call. And this one is going three. I just don’t see how either of these can win in two.

    1. Yeah Falla is under rated. He is going to be up for the fight. Fed has to be the one forcing the issue. If he’s scrambling then its going to be a difficult afternoon.

      1. Agreed. Thinking Alejandro is going to be a pushover would be a Fallacy πŸ™‚

      2. SO BAD Sid!

        (Ok, it’s possible I’m just jealous I didn’t think of it first! πŸ˜‰ )

      3. I’ve been to the Gerry Weber Stadion. Pretty sure there is a Falla extinguisher under the umpires chair if Fed needs it.

      4. Don’t need that Jonathan, Roger is a season Falla figther πŸ™‚

  8. Really great to see him – apparently – peaking right NOW (or possibly leading up to a higher peak in a few weeks!! πŸ˜€ ). It’s good that Falla should be a challenge; good practice for Fed to find another gear, which hopefully he’ll be able to do.

    Since he only managed to generate 2 bp all match, it’s fantastic he was able to take them both. Not so many extra opportunities against the better players.

    Agree that at least in this case, playing the doubles as well seems to be giving him some needed match practice.

    Getting to finals is great, and he’s done it several times this year; hoping he’ll be inspired to bring it home this time.

  9. I would give his break pts won, 5 starts, Jonathan. He got 100% so that is a BIG improvement and the stat I have been watching the most.

  10. So enjoyed today match and the humour at the end. Looking forward to a nice Federer win tomorrow in singles and doubles.

  11. Yeah nice win. Very happy for him. If FEDEX does get falla in straights tomorrow it will be close straights. Like maybe 7-6(5), 7-6(4). Or maybe 7-6(5), 7-5/64. You get what I mean. Loved the subtle Federer volleys today and the serves. You’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: EPIC EDBERG INFLUENCE!!! Oh yeah and keep firing those backhands Rog. I’ve just changed my technique on my single hander and I’m a bit like the STANIMAL now: when it goes in it’s extremely powerful and tends to paint the lines however I can often go for too much!!

  12. Hey guys. You might like this. With the WC, the Dutch channel that airs it had 2 former tennisplayers as guests to talk about the WC. They also asked them about tennis. One of them was Raemon Sluiter (never saw him play…). He was asked about how good a tennisplayer he was. He said: “I played a lot for DC and that made me happy and I thought I was a great tennisplayer until a guy was on the other side of the net called Roger Federer” πŸ™‚

    1. Sluiter was pretty good to watch, had 1 reasonable year at Wimbledon. I just looked to see if I could find his match vs. Kafelnikov on YouTube but there are zero highlights.

  13. Hey Jonathan and others from England. Too bad you lost. No worries, plenty more matches to win, you’ll get the next one. Wow that Rooney… great player…almost looked like he was the only one trying….. Was it really that hot? Rooney might prove to be dangerous….

      1. Italy was just the better team but England showed his value, I believe that they will get through the 2nd stage (Uruguay too weak without Luisito). And yes, Amazonas is really hot and wet, which is the worst weather here in Brazil (for football).

    1. Shld hv left him on the bench! Sterling/Sturridge that’s the way forward!
      Ps my husband loves the Dutch, always wants them to win as hv never done it!!

    2. Think you were watching a different game Katyani. Rooney was a non entity, aside from that nicely weighted cross his contribution was non existent, missed a golden chance, ones like RVP take and is too unit for top level. I wouldn’t have him in the squad to start with but looks like his name is on the team sheet regardless.

      Sterling had a decent game, Welbeck played ok too but he’s not going to contribute goals which you need him to. I doubt we get out the group.

      1. Are you kidding me Jonathan? Rooney was all over the place, basically the only one trying…. He is all of yours trump card to win the WC. Have a little faith in your guys dude πŸ™‚ They are there winning the WC for you people and your country. If England succeeds in winning the WC, you will be the first to praise Rooney πŸ™‚

        Holland was, before the start, already giving up on our team. Now that they won the match, they are practically half Gods. Learn from our mistakes….have faith in your guys….

      2. I agree with Jonathan.Rooney did nothing basically except wasting that golden chance. Sturridge was their best player by far.

      3. Yeah Katyani I think you watched a different game either that or you been smoking the Wiet again.

        Rooney was poor throughout, he’s not fit enough for the top level. England aren’t winning the World Cup so having faith doesn’t come into it.

        Rooney is our trump card? πŸ˜• He’s never scored a World Cup Goal.

        Keep it factual. πŸ˜›

  14. After WO for Fed, I was worried that it might be bad for him considering lack of practice on grass. Missed chat session and had to watch replay. He played a solid game with good serves and crisp volleys. 2nd set was a slightly tighter affair but he improved his TB performance. I am a little worried about Falla as he is no pushover and plays well on grass. Hope Roger can defend his title.

  15. I too was worried about the W/O but clearly had no impact on this match. Great stuff by Fed there and learned from his previous losses against Kei, just what you want to see. I’m 50/50 on the match against Falla, this guy gives Fed some problems, I predict it will go to 3. Either way, still not sure what to expect from Fed at Wimbledon, still haven’t seen enough matches I feel to be concrete about his chances of making a deep run but will see what happens when the draw comes out. Would be pretty sweet for him to get the double championships in singles and doubles though and defend a title in what seems like forever! Allez le Suisse

    Also you watched England vs Italy? Italy played a very very good game, such a intelligent thought process and took advantage of the spaces, but I thought Sterling played well, this group kind of wide open now in a way.

    1. It seems every group wide open such is the change in style from 4 yrs ago! Entertaining so far!
      Allez Fed/Dimitrov today and fedinelli in the dubs!

      1. Indeed it has been very entertaining thus far! Makes you wonder what tennis could do if Davis Cup stepped up and changed its format.

  16. Oh yeah I forgot go Fed for the doubles tomorrow. Shame England gave it their all but superb Italy. In my opinion Brazil and Germany will make the final and Brazil will win a thriller. Can’t wait!!

  17. Loved his touch at the net! Great he served solid so that he could dictate the play, approach the net often and finish the points quickly. Considering only a few matches with the bigger flame on grass, it was what I wanted to see from him before Wimby. Such a joy to watch him on grass πŸ™‚ Double trophies would be super cool!

    Excellent write-up Jonathan, especially for the final prediction and Falla analysis. As Trudi and Sue, I nearly died with exhaustion watching Fed against him at Wimbledon 2010. I have to prepare…

  18. Excellent sum-up and prediction, Jonathan. This was much better match. Besides from serving, Roger’s ground strokes were visibly better – deeper with more zip. Like others, I was worried with the lack of match practice for Roger; he came through with flying colours. πŸ™‚ .
    Like your prediction for today’s match. Falla has to fall! Roger will need to take something back to his kids for their ‘Happy Fathers Day’ card – a trophy will be nice. πŸ™‚ Allez!

    1. Oh, an additional brownie point for Roger for the concentration level – not realising that the match was over was hilarious! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ .

    2. Thanks.

      I am a little worried about Falla but we shall see. On paper it’s going to be a one sided contest but this guy can be dangerous for sure.

      1. I need the scoreline to look like this 2010 Halle 16R Federer def. Falla 6-1 6-2.

  19. Gutted that Englang lost. On balance, I thought that we were the better side. It was just that all the pace was in the first half of an hour and lads were a bit exhausted in the last half an hour when injection of some pace could have made difference. Sterling played well, especially in the first half but Roy’s tactic of going up the right flank was well figured out by Italian defenders, who did a good job of slowing down Sterling. Then, the lack of creativity in the midfield was that no one could see where the 2nd goal would come from, though the first goal was absolutely a class. Yet, England was caught napping for the 1st goal conceded.
    Now the back is against wall – must beat Uruguy. If England play similarly or a bit better, we should beat them. If Roy Hodgson watched Uruguy vs Costa Rica match, he should realise that the only thing Costa Ricans did better was their excellent pace. Costa Ricans showed that throughout the whole match, kudo to them.

    1. England were slightly more pleasing to watch than normal but still way way short of troubling the top teams. We don’t really have goals in us, and as we saw, concede all too easily. How do you win matches with those 2 problems? Not sure you can.

  20. Hey guys, I read a nice comment. Don’t know if it is completely true. Roger now only has a losing H2H against Andy and Rafa. With the rest he is ahead or equal. Now… we need to get a positive H2H over Andy and….. well….. Rafa….. that may take some time πŸ™‚

      1. And he NEVER will again πŸ™‚ You hear me Roger??? Do not lose to that guy again πŸ™‚

    1. Yup Ajay is right, Delbonis leads 1-0.

      That’s only current players on tour too. Quite a few retired players got Winning H2H, albeit more due to the generation they played in.

  21. I’ve noticed this tournament that Roger seems to do better, the less I pay attention to his matches :). Wonder what implications that has for Wimbledon …

    Right, well, I’m totally going to ignore the doubles now and carry on watching Queen’s.

  22. Hey Roger, congrats πŸ™‚ 7th Halle and finally 79th title, next will be 80th… will be…. Wimby?? Come on Roger, doable πŸ™‚ So great that you are doing better in TB. Seriously, the only way to make yourself better in TB is by… playing TB πŸ™‚ And you got broken back…. bad, real bad…. but you corrected your mistakes. And now, you are the one holding the trophy. Go Roger πŸ™‚ Bel18ve

  23. Wonder what Roger and Falla were talking about when they were sitting before the presentation πŸ™‚

  24. I have two questions. Where is Edberg and can someone tell me how the net stats of Federer was in this tournament please.

  25. Edberg and Roger decided he would only go to so many tournaments a year. He’ll be there at Wimbly for sure.
    Great win. No broadcasts here for Queens or the doubles, grrr.

  26. Unfortunately Roger lost the doubles final after wasting 5 match points in the super tiebreaker. I didn’t get the chance to watch the match, but I watched the live scoreboard in the super tiebreak and I was not happy…5 MPs and the doubles went away 12-10. Hopefully this won’t affect Roger in any way for Wimby

  27. Smh, I’m so hurt he lost in doubles and they wereso close! Oh well, we’ll take it. MMaybe itz a good thing and he comes out really really hungry for the Wimbledon title. My heart says he will win Wimbledon and for once I don’t care about the draws bcs he will win.

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