ATP 500HalleRoger Federer

Federer Defeats Struff 6-4 7-6(3) in Halle Opener

A 52nd win for Federer in Halle as he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6(3) in his opening match at the 2016 Gerry Weber Open. Not vintage Federer by any stretch but he was rarely tested on serve and got the job done without any hiccups to setup a last 16 tie with Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Halle 1st Round 2016

Struff won the toss and elected to serve, kicking things off with a hold to 30 for 1-0. Roger levelled to 30 and both players struggled to make any impact on the return. After a quick love hold game 7 saw Roger force Sturff to deuce and he converted his 2nd break point for 4-3. It was consolidated to 15 for 5-3 and the Swiss went on to serve the set out 6-4 without too much trouble.

Struff's powerful serve got him off to a confident start in set 2 as he held for 1-0 and at by the time game 4 was finished only 2 points had been lost on serve. That trend continued until 4-4 where Struff had to save 2 break points. Neither player could find a another break point and the set went into a tie breaker. Struff started poorly, serving his first double fault of the set to concede the mini break. Roger took full advantage moving up 3-0. That was quickly 6-2 and although Struff saved the first match point Fed converted the next when the German went long with a forehand.

Match Stats

R. Federer J. Struff
Aces 11 5
Double Faults 2 2
1st Serve % 63% 50%
1st Serve Points Won 33/35 (94%) 28/36 (78%)
2nd Serve Points Won 16/21 (76%) 22/36 (61%)
Break Points Saved 0/0 (0%) 3/4 (75%)
Service Games Played 11 11
1st Return Points Won 8/36 (22%) 2/35 (6%)
2nd Return Points Won 14/36 (39%) 5/21 (24%)
Break Points Won 1/4 (25%) 0/0 (0%)
Winner 22 20
Unforced Errors 17 26
Net Points Won 2/3 7/8
Return Games Played 11 11
Total Service Points Won 49/56 (88%) 50/72 (69%)
Total Return Points Won 22/72 (31%) 7/56 (13%)
Total Points Won 71/128 (55%) 57/128 (45%)
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Struff

A cautious display this one from Roger who didn't look to be moving well and not quite sure of his body. On several shots he was lunging rather than taking short precise steps and his ground strokes lacked penetration for the most part. Fortunately his serve was working well and Struff's weak return game and tendency to make errors at key moments aided him over the line.

I was probably a bit harsh in my Thiem loss assessment as he said in his pre Halle interview he's still not 100% and I think that showed today. So from that comment and what we saw today I'd guess he's hovering around 70-80% fitness. TennisTV showed highlights of last years final and it really was world's apart in terms of movement as Fed was flying all over the court that day. Today not so much. But anyway, today's match wasn't about the scoreline or how he won – it was all about the result and trying to get more matches under his belt after such a stop start year to date. From that perspective it's job done and onto the next match where he'll be bidding to make his 14th Quarter Final in 14 attempts.

Predictions vs. Jaziri

Jaziri Halle

Next up is Malek Jaziri who defeated Ricardis Berankis in straight sets. Jaziri played the Ilkley Challenger last year so he's not particularly known for his grass game and I think Fed can come through this one comfortably. If he serves like he did against Struff then it'll probably be enough but he might need to find something more from the back of the court. I guess the main thing is improving day by day for Roger at the moment so hopefully he can look a bit more confident tomorrow and get the job done in straights.

What did you guys think of the match against Struff? Prediction against Jaziri? 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. And first comments has just made me realise that Winners of last years first comments never got prizes as the t-shirts were never sent from Color13 so that’s Emerson, Nambi and Alex.

      Totally forgot, took me weeks to sort out the issues with paying customers not getting goods that I totally missed prizes.

      What shall I do? Tennis Warehouse Gift Voucher like Tiger Tennis Challenge have done? Or RF hat? Any suggestions?

      1. @Jon: Tennis express or tennis warehouse is were i get all my stuff. I can give you an address in Miami so you don’t get involved in a shipping nightmare.

    1. Hadn’t watched, based on report it seems he get the job done…Hope his fitness and play improves…

    2. Yeah all about getting the win today. Gotta play more matches. Didn’t look like he enjoyed playing that much tbh but seemed to be pleased with the win after.

      1. Yeah when was the last time Fed raised both arms in the air for a 1st round win. Needs every thing he can get right now.

      1. Hahaha! I had no idea what you were talking about. Had to figure it out. 🙂

  1. “A cautious display this one from Roger who didn’t look to be moving well and not quite sure of his body. On several shots he was lunging rather than taking short precise steps”

    That’s what the commentators have been saying about Queen’s as well.

    “I was probably a bit harsh in my Thiem loss assessment as he said in his pre Halle interview he’s still not 100% and I think that showed today. So from that comment and what we saw today I’d guess he’s hovering around 70-80% fitness. ”

    Ah. I must admit I was concerned at reports that he’d only been playing tennis for 5 days before Stuttgart. I’d guess that what kept him out of RG must have been rather more serious than he let on.

    1. Yeah maybe they are not quite sure of the surface. Fed being even more cautious when his back is a liability.

      Stan seemed to struggle on it. Very damp conditions.

      1. Also, did you see the state of the grass behind the baseline ALREADY? I wouldn’t blame anyone for not trusting that 100% – has it always been that bad, or is it down to the change of composition?

  2. I suppose it’s natural to get some stiffening after several days of no matches. There was rather more ball-bashing than I liked to see, but Struff may have been more challenging than anticipated, too – he was hitting some lines and had some nice plays at net. I don’t suppose the weather is helping Fed’s back out much either.

    Didn’t see any press after this which surprised me – maybe it will come out later.

    Wet grass IS an obnoxious surface, so it’s also not surprising to see Fed be cautious anyway. I’m almost glad they’ve changed to the rye grass – it’s apparently what they’re now using at Wimbledon, so maybe better preparation specifically for that. (I mean, I wish they’d go back to moss-under-the-grass at Wimby, but I guess those days are sadly over.)

    1. There’s an interview on Tennis TV. Not presser but one of those he gives before or after the press room stuff.

      Wimbledon has been 100% rye since 2001. Slower, higher bouncing. More like hard court. Although it seems like it has slowed down even more in recent years. They should really take a benchmark test each year and make it public. Hawkeye can do a lot of stuff now, shame it wasn’t around in early 2000’s for comparisons.

      1. And of course it would appear that the grass is completely different from the stuff i Stuttgart? That may not help – although it may help for Wimbledon, and Roger may need all the help he can get this year!

      2. Stuttgart will be a rye mix I think but not sure.

        Even though Halle is now same as Wimbledon, the atmosphere is completely different. Halle very enclosed with the roof and stadia design so damper feeling. Not like Wimbledon where they have all the tech to manage moisture.

  3. Yeah, we said it before the game, at the moment last yr/this yr chalk and cheese.. Still looks stuff lunging to the BH in particular.. As you say, still not sure! Compare that with Thiem ( see his match v Sousa) who is flying around oozing confidence as Rog was last yr!!

    However, the serve is better!! Compared to MC and obviously Rome!! He must be getting more knee and back bend at last!! Hurrah!

    If he can stay focused and get 4/5 matches this week that will give him another 10% match fitness and then he has a week of solid Wimby prep!!

    I think he’ll beat Jaziri and first real test will be either Goffin or Stakhs… ??!!


    Ps From looking like a fun draw, Queens looks duller than dull now! Hand Muzz the trophy now.. Has become his show.. Bit like Halle for Rog tbh..

    1. Bit of a shame Dreddy got out, was really looking forward to a match between him and Roger. Happy he got the WC for Wimby! Although who saw this mini-resurgence from Baghdatis taking him and Berdych out. No Kei as well.

      Speaking of Muzz, Fed not a fan of the stint he’s pulling for the grass season with Lendl. Guess that rules out a surprise appearance from Edberg then 😛

      1. It’s not for the grass season, Alysha – it’s 20 weeks a year. I think Roger’s comments were more directed at the McEnroe/Krajicek idea.

  4. Looks stiff!! Haha! Stuff! Must hv been thinking of Struff who looked like a sulky frat boy for the most part…

  5. Heyy,

    Could anyone please let me know if Tommy Haas is going to play Wimbledon? i dont think he has played in months and he hasnt retired. I miss his glorious single handed backhand

    1. Sadly no, Sahil 🙁 I’ve read he’s out for the rest of year, recovering from injury (I think he had a surgery on a foot?). Can he ever come back? Hope so. I enjoyed Fedaas in Halle a few years ago.

  6. Federer didn’t bring his best Struff today. Let’s just say the way he played isn’t what you would call the Struff of legends. He should’ve knocked the Struffing out of Jan-Lennard.

    *insert Austin Powers picture here*

  7. Man – we’re a wee bit too close to SW19 to be commenting with such ambivalence.

    Overall not a lot to get excited about from all the comments. Hard to imagine he can zap into prime shape in just a few days. So likely is this Roger to go deep at Wimby?

    Please not NOLEBOT AGAIN!?!?

    1. It’s feeling a lot like 2013 right now. Fed coming off injuries, still not 100%, lack of matches, confidence, training and momentum. Not saying Fed won’t make it deep into Wimbledon this year but can’t really be surprised or sad if he didn’t.

      1. It’s feeling a LOT like 2013 – has been since the beginning of the year, somehow, to my mind – and I mean before the injuries. I would mind less if that meant Murray winning Wimbledon again – although of course if there’s any chance of Roger …

      2. But there’s still a long way to go this season, 2013 he played too much early and it affected him till almost the end of year. Managed it better this time around.

      3. mmmm – but didn’t he have to play a bunch of tourneys at the end of the season before we even knew if he was going to make the WTF?

        So this year he’s played LESS – he may run out of time to get points in time.

  8. Well, that was not the most encouraging match, definitely still not confident fitness and movement. I think I read in his pre-tournament presser that he acknowledges the fact that the back problems could be back at any time despite his hard work the past few months. Could be what is affecting his movement, timing and shot selection so this week will tell us a lot as we get closer to Wimbledon.

    Also totally forgot that Halle has a roof. Meanwhile, I hear crickets at Roland Garros.

  9. We are just two weeks away from Wimbledon and the Swiss is still not fully fit.I am now hoping for a vintage Fed performance which would give me hope that he can go deep in Wimbledon.
    Come on roger!

    1. Yeah – gotta feel like this isn’t the best way to roll into the marquee tournament of his (and his fan’s) year.

  10. Yeah, not a spectacular match to watch as he looked tentative the whole time, though the highlights didn’t show much that. But positives are there, especially the serve. He won and still in the tournament. Agreed with Sue, getting there as his hair.

  11. Has anybody read the new Fed biography ‘Fedegraphica’ by Mark Hodgkinson? Looks pretty. Worth a purchase?

  12. Fed in straights! Broke jaziri 3 times including the Revenge break after dropping his 1st service game of the 2nd set. Nice work for the old man.

  13. Ro-ger, you are SO predictable! Take first set, opponent holds serve, lose your own serve. I saw that coming even on the live scores!

    So, is it Goffin next? He only got through because Stakho got injured.

    1. Bah. I didn’t like the match.
      The bad:
      Mediocre return game, bad timing and worse positioning on net approach. Not much care to respond to drop shots. Errors on easy shots.
      The good:
      Service. Forcing adversary errors.
      The vilain:
      The above will not hold against a top 10 player. As of now, RF is a sitting duck. Sorry to say this.

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