Hey guys, Roger's singles campaign got underway today after he crashed out of the doubles on Monday with Haas and he started with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 against German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.
It wasn't exactly a vintage performance from Roger but he got the job done and despite dropping serve in the first set when serving it out there weren't too many other concerns other than a number of, I want to say uncharacteristic, but probably not the case just recently, unforced errors.
Other than that Stebe posed little threat, he was an ok ball striker but had no real weapons or the game to hurt Roger with. 3 & 3 is a comprehensive win and for his first match on grass perfectly acceptable.
Quick Match Analysis
I actually missed the first couple of games of the match but it's fair to say it was a relatively good start from Roger as he got the early break which is nice and at 5-2 up a double break he looked to be cruising before somehow managing to drop serve when serving out the set with some really poor play.
He has a habit of doing this lately against very weak opposition and it's not really a great sign when you're struggling to close out a set when the guy you're facing lacks any sort of ability to trouble you.
Fortunately Roger had the double break and Stebe failed to hold serve anyway handing Roger the set tamely after recovering one of the breaks. Once Roger had the set in the bag you knew the match was over, there was just no way this guy was going to be able to turn around that deficit and I expected Roger to play quite freely in the second set.
That didn't really happen though and the second set was poor from both guys, I lost count of the amount of times Fed shanked a backhand or forehand or just played the wrong shot which made it boring to watch. Stebe was equally poor making a lot of errors so it was never really going to cost Roger anything as he wasn't made to pay for any mistakes.
This time around 1 break of serve proved to be enough, and although the game at 5-3 was scrappy from Roger he did get the job done eventually after missing some easy balls to seal it 6-3 6-3.
Thoughts on the Match
Considering this was Roger's first singles match on grass I thought it was comfortable. There's not really much to talk about and the positive is the fact he won the match in straights, can't really ask for more at this stage.
He didn't look too enamored with his own performance however and looked like he wasn't pleased with the way he was hitting the ball, I can understand that and I probably attribute it to movement. Shanks and mistiming usually stem from poor footwork and it's probably going to take some adjustment for him to get right into the groove after a couple of months on clay which is obviously much different.
The only disappointing aspect from my end is failing to serve out the first set, it might just be me thinking it but it is becoming a habit, pretty sure it happened at the French a couple of times and even though right now he's getting away with it, it is the sort of thing that can cost you at some point just like when he was 4-2 up against Clownga at the French.
I guess because it's the first match on grass I'll cut him some slack, he won in straights afterall and didn't have to do a whole lot to progress so overall it's a good start to the tournament.
Prediction for Federer vs. Mischa Zverev
Next up for Roger in the Quarter Finals on Friday is another German, Mischa Zverev, who defeated Mirza Basic; the man responsible for eliminating Jerzy Janowicz in the 1st round.
Roger has played this guy once before in Rome back in 2009 and won in straights. One of the sets was a breaker so it must have been quite tight but I can't see this guy really causing too many problems. He's ranked at a lowly 156 and hasn't won a career title so it should be plain sailing.
I'd like to see some more consistency in Roger's game for this match and a little bit more composure when closing out sets / important games. I figure he'd have to play a joke match for Zverev to get a set so I'll go for a 6-2 6-4 victory.
P.S. This will be the last post on here until next week as I'm off to Halle. I'll be back blogging on Tuesday where I'll hopefully be doing a recap of the Quarters, Semi Finals and Final :D.
I will still be able to read and answer comments though so let's keep the discussion going. And I will be announcing the winners of my giveaway then too.