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
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.
|R. Federer||J. Struff|
|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%)|
|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%)|
Thoughts on the Match
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
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.