A short stay in Stuttgart for the Federer family as Roger crashed out to Tommy Haas 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in his opening match at the Mercedes Cup.
Quite the upset as despite winning more points in the match and holding a match point Roger wasn't clinical enough and paid the price. Allowing Haas to overcome a nervous start to finish with a flourish after 1 hour and 54 minutes. The win sees the 39-year-old set up a tie against Mischa Zverev in Friday's Quarter Final.
Quick Match Recap
Haas won the toss and elected to serve. The veteran got off to the worst possible start as he was broken to 15 not helped by a double fault and a successful Hawkeye challenge from Federer.
Roger held to 15 for 2-0 and soon found himself 3-1 up with his serve landing with precision. In game 6 Haas fashioned a break back point, but Federer saved it before securing the double break for 5-2 and serving out the set to love in just 23 minutes.
Into set 2 and it looked like Haas was heading for an early shower as he was broken to love to fall 1-2 behind. However, Federer was unable to consolidate, and a solitary deuce in game 9 was the closest either player would get to breaking again.
The set went to a tie-break, and it was Haas who got the first advantage to move 6-4 in front. Roger was able to save both set points and hold his own match point at 8-7, but the German reeled off three points in a row to take it 10-8 and force a deciding set.
With Roger serving first in the decider he was able to move 2-1 in front and held three break point in game 4. However he was unable to break, and Haas took full advantage, breaking at the first time of asking for 3-2, saving a further four break points to consolidate and seeing it out to take the decider 6-4.
|First Serve Percent||74%(70/94)||62%(66/107)|
|1st Serve Points Won||76%(53/70)||70%(46/66)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||50%(12/24)||51%(21/41)|
|Break Points Saved||33%(1/3)||75%(9/12)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||30%(20/66)||24%(17/70)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||49%(20/41)||50%(12/24)|
|Break Points Converted||25%(3/12)||67%(2/3)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Total Service Points Won||69%(65/94)||63%(67/107)|
|Total Return Points Won||37%(40/107)||31%(29/94)|
|Total Points Won||52%(105/201)||48%(96/201)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Well, as mentioned quite the surprise loss here. Haas has barely played this year, but he came through his opening match against Herbert and toughed out the third set to beat Federer for the second time on grass in Germany.
Just like in Dubai where Roger recorded his first loss of the season, he held a match point, won more return points and points overall but came out on the wrong side of things.
The Swiss flew out the blocks in set one and looked to have absolutely no rust. He was moving well, serving brilliantly and it looked for all the world he'd be into Friday's Quarter Finals comfortably.
However, he slipped up in set 2 when up a break, lost the lottery that was the tie-break and then didn't play well on the big points from there after. So while he looked sharp for the most part, he wasn't clinical enough on the more significant points, and that allowed Haas who already had a win under his belt to come away with the victory.
Result aside; the tennis from both was top notch. Fast paced, quality serving from both (23 aces from Fed, five double faults from Haas but he found big serves when needed), high-quality movement /anticipation from Fed and some rip-roaring backhands from Haas made for an enjoyable match. I think the way Roger played, for the most part, bodes well for the remainder of the grass season as he moved great, but he won't be able to get away with taking his foot off the gas and giving players mates rates if titles are to be won.
Anyway, next stop North Rhine Westphalia. Early exit or H9lle? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.