Imperious tennis again from the GOAT here as he cruised past Thiemo De Bakker 6-3 6-3 in just over an hour.
As I predicted De Bakker didn't have the credentials to make a challenge but what was more surprising was how easy Fed made it look. He was on cruise control out there and only lost 7 points on his serve in the entire match.
It wasn't as though De Bakker played a horrific match either, he served huge in patches but Roger never looked troubled and saw him off with zero fuss.
Fed is always at his best when the match is played on his terms and the 2 in Miami so far have well and truly fallen into that category. Everything just runs smoothly and there's never a hint of danger. Granted Karlovic and De Bakker aren't world beaters but it's just good work to get matches finished sharpish in 30 degree humid conditions. Impressive tournament so far from Herr Federer.
Quick Match Recap
Roger laid down some markers early in this one as he held serve comfortably to kick things off.
He could / should have broken De Bakker in his first game at 30-40 but it didn't make much difference as in his next service game De Bakker chose to incorrectly stop play at deuce en route to falling 3-1 behind.
One break proved to be enough to decide the first set and Roger served it out to love 6-3. He only managed to convert 1 of 5 break points but he was exceptionally clean on serve and barely had to get out of 2nd gear. 15 unforced errors from the De Bakker racquet compared to 5 from the Wilson Wand tell they story here and those numbers are never going to get it done for the 2006 Wimbledon Junior Champion.
The second set saw De Bakker drop serve immediately which pretty much sealed the Dutchman's fate. And from there on in it was all about Roger coasting over the line. In fact he only dropped 1 point on serve in the entire set whilst creating multiple 30 all chances on De Bakker's delivery.
I was hoping for bakery products but De Bakker found big serves when he needed them to keep the scoreboard close. That all changed at 5-3 though when Fed broke serve for the second time taking his 3rd match point to seal the deal 6-3 6-3. Never in doubt.
|R. Federer||T. De Bakker|
|1st Serve %||60%||60%|
|1st Serve Points Won||22/26 (85%)||27/41 (66%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||14/17 (82%)||11/27 (41%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/0 (0%)||6/9 (67%)|
|Service Games Played||9||9|
|1st Return Points Won||14/41 (34%)||4/26 (15%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||16/27 (59%)||3/17 (18%)|
|Break Points Won||3/9 (33%)||0/0 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||9||9|
|Net Points Won||9/14||6/15|
|Total Service Points Won||9 of 14||6 of 15|
|Total Return Points Won||30/68 (44%)||7/43 (16%)|
|Total Points Won||66/111 (59%)||45/111 (41%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Again not a whole lot to say other than playing at a high level throughout and looking solid on serve.
No dramas or difficulties so far he's just gone out there and got the job done. Looks to be moving well and has hit some quality passing shots over the course of his last 2 matches.
I think you just have to be impressed by Fed's all round level, he is looking strong in all areas whether it's serving, returning, behind the baseline or in the forecourt. He just has a lot of time and is choosing the right shots and generally making it look easy.
He's only dropped 10 points in 2 matches on his own serve which is a ridiculous stat especially when the ball doesn't fly through the court here for cheap points. In some respects I can see how that helps too as it makes your opponent less likely to flash some return winners but those numbers are pretty insane on any surface.
Only concern I have is that the court is wayyy slow which is going to be interesting when / if he plays a good returner. Neither opponents so far are great returners so in that respect he hasn't faced any sort of challenge. It's not so much the fact a good returner will be able to hit clean winners but players like Djokovic can recover fast and track down the follow up forehand to then start a rally. Once they get extended the odds of Fed winning decrease.
That's not going to be a factor yet though as Gasquet is next and his return is weak too as he stands so far back but can't track down balls like the top guys. I expect a similar outcome to his 2 matches so far.
Predictions vs. Gasquet
Decent win for Gasquet over on the Grandstand court today as he brushed aside Kevin Anderson in straight sets. I always thought the South African would have trouble here after a decent showing in Indian Wells as the courts don't help him at all here.
Gasquet enjoys playing in Miami too so no surprises on the result but I thought it might have gone three.
Roger has an 11-2 H2H record against the Frenchman and I can't see that changing here. He leads 6-0 on hard courts and I'm not sure where Gasquet can hurt his game. Fed's only two losses have been when he's played absolute stinkers and I think that's the only way he will lose here.
Gasquet has a slightly improved chance because the surface is so slow but is it enough? It is slow like clay where both his wins come from but I think Fed can still put the ball past him here as his defense isn't great.
Could go 3 but I will pick Fed in 2. Should be able to get a enough chances on the return to break once each set. 6-4 7-5.