ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Federer Dispatches Coric to Make Dubai Final

Another Dubai final for the GOAT awaits as he saw off Lucky Loser Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in 57 minutes. This will be his 9th final at the Aviation Club and he'll be bidding for a 7th title. In his way stands Novak Djokovic who took down Berdych in 3 sets.

Coric had scored some impressive wins this week beating Murray in the Quarters but this one proved a bridge too far for him and he got outplayed to be honest; his only real success coming when Roger pushed a bit too hard or swung wildly on the forehand. In fact Coric could only manage 3 winners in the entire match, 2 of those coming late on in the second set so he was never close to doing any damage. Roger on the other hand blasted 20 of them, including probably the best backhand down the line you'll see all week.

Fast court + Fed not backing off gives you very little time to play how you want, you're reacting all the time and all you can really do is try get the ball back in play. That doesn't get the job done against Roger when hitting through the court isn't an issue.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Defeats Coric Dubai Semi Final

Coric won the toss, elected to receive and fashioned two break points in Roger's first service game but couldn't take advantage. The Swiss then broke for a 2-0 lead which was quickly consolidated for 3-0.

It look set to be one way traffic but after Coric got his first game on the board he broke back for 3-2 and was suddenly right back in the set. However his good work was instantly undone as Federer ramped up the intensity just a touch to break again to lead 4-2 aided by a key Coric double fault. This time there was no comeback mounted as Roger held then broke again to take the set 6-2.

Into the second and Coric was becoming even more animated, talking to his box, fist pumping any point he could win and generally looking pretty fired up. Unfortunately for him it didn't work in his favour as Fed made sure he was the one forcing the issue; holding and then breaking to lead 2-0 to put the match virtually to bed.

Coric eventually got a game on the board for 1-3 but he was broken in his next service game for 1-5 before Roger closed it out, hitting back from 0-30 down to take it it 6-1. Can't forget to mention the genius stop volley at 15-30 either πŸ˜‰

Match Stats

  B. Coric R. Federer
Aces 2 3
Double Faults 3 3
1st Serve % 63% 65%
1st Serve Points Won 12/25 (48%) 23/32 (72%)
2nd Serve Points Won 3/15 (20%) 7/17 (41%)
Break Points Saved 2/7 (29%) 2/3 (67%)
Service Games Played 7 8
1st Return Points Won 9/32 (28%) 13/25 (52%)
2nd Return Points Won 10/17 (59%) 12/15 (80%)
Break Points Won 1/3 (33%) 5/7 (71%)
Return Games Played 8 7
Winners 3 20
Unforced Errors 22 25
Net Points Won 0/0 9
Total Service Points Won 15/40 (38%) 30/49 (61%)
Total Return Points Won 19/49 (39%) 25/40 (63%)
Total Points Won 34/89 (38%) 55/89 (62%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Dubai Semi Final 2015

Always good to see Federer put the young guns in their place and I don't think he has lost to a player under the age of 21 since Del Potro at the US Open in 2009. Today wasn't really a schooling like we've seen against Tomic or Dimitrov but was still very one sided affair and Coric never had much of a foothold in the match. He was rushed at the back of the court and had no answers; clearly he's a good defender and makes a lot of balls but he had no shot to attack Roger with and the Swiss had the measure of him.

In terms of what Roger produced on the court I thought he had a pretty good gameplan; attacking whenever he had a chance, hugging the baseline and definitely going for his shots when he had chance. There were certainly a few wild forehands and a few too many double faults thrown in to ramp up the error count but it was clean enough to only drop 4 games and record a comprehensive victory.

Predictions vs. Djokovic

Federer Djokovic Dubai

In the final Djokovic will be the opponent after he defeated Berdych in 3 sets. I didn't see the match but Djoker obliterated the Czech in the first set 6-0. Berdych hit back in the second to take it 7-5 (he got broken serving for it at 5-4 too) but Djokovic proved too strong taking the decider 6-4.

Always a coin flip between these two players so really hard to call and I'm not really sure who has the advantage coming in. Fed hasn't been tested really or spent much time on court whereas Djoker had a 2 hour match against Berdych. So whilst Fed is probably fresher of the two both physically and mentally, Novak will have a bit more rhythm and more match hardened.

I think the match as usual will hinge on how well Roger can defend his second serve and just how well he moves from the corners of the court. If he's explosive and constantly forcing the issue I like his chances but if it's Djokovic doing the damage from the back of the court his odds of winning drop dramatically.

Should be a fun match as it usually is between the two and if it's anything like last years encounter we'll no doubt have some high quality rallies and perhaps even more chip charging from Fed to see what Djoker can produce on the pass. I think Djokovic might just edge it in 3 but of course hoping for a Fed win πŸ™‚

Remember it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how many times you can get passed at the net but keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! 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. That Stop Drop Volley on last game, just Brilliant…he simply absorbed all the pace in that passing shot and made ball dead drop… Job Well done…

      Coric definitely seems top material on next gen though he can work on attacking..let see how he turns out…

      Should be good match tomorrow…Hope Fed dictate though Novak isn’t going to be easy..

      Damn, close miss for first comment title…#secondtime this year i guess..

      Jonathan, may be you change shot of the match as “Highlights” πŸ™‚

  1. Nooooooooo
    Come on guys, you are too fast..

    Anyway nice win from Roger and good review from Jonathan
    Come on Roger you can do it (and 9000th ace too)

  2. Yes, a few loose forehands, needs to reduce error count if possible. But then, if you’re on the offensive…some sharp volleying though, and a beautiful backhand down the line. It’s a toss-up who wins as you say. Feds for the seventh and the ace count. πŸ™‚

    I watched Djoko/Berdy. Djoko was matchless in first set; couldn’t put a foot wrong and everything was hitting the mark; I think he only made 2 errors in that first set. He unravelled somewhat in the second, a lot more UFEs, and it was close in the third – Berdy had chances, but couldn’t capitalise.

  3. nice lesson in all court tennis from Fed. Too many of these guys are undone by slice and low forecourt balls which Fed is genius at. Coric himself said he was rushed which makes you realise just how fast Fed plays, and his depth was great today as well. Murray plays at a much slower pace, and gave Coric (who does make a lot of balls as u say) too much time!
    Bugger BΓ¨rdych who really had his chances but actually think Fed prefers Novak in a way… 50:50 tomorrow but hoping Fed so mentally fresh he can ping it in 2! Loved that BHDTL!!!

    On another note, the SF between Vika and Venus in Doha was match of the day today! Huge quality!

    Ps sad about Spock…

    1. Yeah Fed definitely keeps you no time, relentless pressure. Coric getting a fair chunk of hype now, 2 big wins definitely impressive but consistency will be key for him.

      Didn’t see Berdych – how close actually was it?

  4. well, didn’t we all expect Djoko to win in Shanghai just giving Roger a small chance? And what happened?
    I choose to be optimistic this time!

    1. Of course but Djoker is high on confidence here after winning AO. Not saying he wasn’t in Shanghai either of course as he was undefeated in Asia for ages so we’ll see πŸ™‚

  5. Cautiously optimistic here πŸ™‚

    Glad to see Roger accessing his Maestro Mode. Moving well, thinking well on the fly, consciously trying out different stuff – I love it.

    He did say it was kind of windy again today which meant you couldn’t play as close to the lines – & I wonder if it made a difference too in his net approaches? Could be part of the reason for the UEs. Maybe the wind dies down later, didn’t hear it was an issue for Djokovic/Berdych. Their match tomorrow is at the later time, if that means anything. If it IS windy, I expect the result could come down to who handles that best. Both of them seem to be in phenomenal form. Hope it’s a great match – agree it seems a bit 50/50, but fingers crossed for our guy!

  6. Master gave apprentice some lesson in tennis. Showed variety and finesse there. If Roger wants to win Dubai, he has to serve well and it not going to be easy. Djoker didn’t play well in the semis against Berdych yet he was clutch when he need it. Head say Djoker but heart is always Roger….let’s do this Roger!!!!

  7. Hey guys, I saw the match between Novak and Berdych. The 1st set Novak bageled Berdych. Novak played AMAZING. But… he did play like Roger in my opinion. Very attacking and coming all the time to the net. Made no mistakes and returned perfectly. I think Boris and Novak have studied the Shanghai match over and over again (about aggressive playing and coming to the net more) πŸ™‚ Which is why I think it will be difficult for Roger to win, because Novak is kind of playing like him. But I really believe Roger will find a way and win.
    And Novak beeing mentally tired after the Berdych match is nonsense. Ofcourse he will come out perfectly fine…

    And can Boris Becker please lighten up?? Wow, is he serious?? Can anybody PLEASE tell him that he is the coach of the world nr 1 and not the coach of the world nr 250 or 500?? The way he is soooo nervous for Novak’s matches all throughout, I am thinking, get real man, you will give yourself a heartattack. Have faith in the “so called unplayable”. Even the Great Uncle Toni doesn’t act so nervous during Rafa’s matches.

    Come on Roger, you can do this. Dubai is yours !!!

    By the way, I am loving the way Roger is running around on the court. You go Goat πŸ™‚

    1. Quite surprised Berdych won a set really but Djoker just too good in the end. Didn’t see it so not seen him playing aggressive, wonder if he will try to come in vs. Fed… not a bad idea if he can do it from the right position.

      1. Hey Jon, I have to be honest, Berdych got the 2nd set, because Novak did let a little bit go and Berdych took advantage. But Berdych was still better in the 2nd set, so he did deserve to win.
        The 3rd set, is how you all know. Berdy having a lot of chances and Novak playing clutch when it mattered. Too bad, because honestly in the 3rd Berdych could have won.

        And Novak came in the 1st set A LOT to the net. More or almost as much as Roger. So it will be very surprising to see which one of the 2 will play more aggressively and will have the chance to come more to the net. HOPE IT WILL BE ROGER !!! I want him to win sooooo badly. But… Roger has not been really tested and Novak has been I guess.

        Jon, the 1st set of Novak vs Berdych is on YT. Maybe you could see it and give your opinion about it….. Novak destroyed… but he played an awful lot like Roger….

      2. Just watched the highlights now, didn’t see much different from Djoker tbh, he made a few vollies but they were all approaches where he was basically invited in. He won 4 of 11 at net all game. Not many over 3 sets. Serve and volley at 40-0 kinda stuff too.

        Berdych played alright but he is just too one dimensional. He had some chances but just doesn’t ever change up from ball bashing. It’s too easy for Djoker to play against as he knows exactly what to expect.

      3. Hey Jon, thanks for explaining it to me. You all know the terms, so I only see it from the “outside”. To me, it looked like he played like Roger, but you all know much and much better that that is not the case.
        Like when I saw Coric play at Basel, I saw that he plays like Rafa, but everyone else says he plays like Novak…

        So it is nice that I can rely on your explanation. And a lot of people say Berdych is too one dimensional. I do hope (personally) that he fixes that (but not against Roger ofcourse πŸ™‚ )

  8. Not watched a single match of this tournament this whole week, the time difference is such a huge killer πŸ™ Feel like an awful fan but thankyou J once again, really makes a huge difference in weeks like these! So far it seems like Fed missing a bit of rhythm even though he’s come out of his matches with relative ease more or less. It’s great to be in a final again in Dubai and it’s fitting that the top two players in the world can battle it out. Almost never a dull affair between Fed and Djoker so hoping they can put on a show. Doesn’t seem like Dubai has showcased high quality matches from what I’ve been reading which is surprising due to the courts, can the final make up for it? Definitely think Novak holds the edge coming off a slam and being the more tested player but if Roger plays aggressive and can defend the second serve as you said, it’s anyone’s game. Briefly, what happened to Murray? Seems Aus Open ending effecting him more than one would’ve thought.

  9. Poison Roger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Novak is going to have some serious nightmares !!!
    The gods have been more than generous! Beyond any hopes and expectations!!!!
    Merci Roger! Love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! He’s just so so so so good! Can you believe this! He keeps getting better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So now I want him to defend all his points in IW and even get one better…. against ….. Novak….. after beating Nadal in the semis!!!

    1. We love the TANGERINE DREAM – superb from the champ. Almost had heart failure when he was serving for the match – he loves to increase our heartbeat – clutch serving, a couple of superb BHDTLs – wonderful to watch. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  10. SO, WHAT DID I SAY? Was right (this time). I think you guys thinking Djoko to win all the time are overestimating Novak, compared to MAESTRO!

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