ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Federer Foils Tiafoe in Miami Opener

A successful start in Miami for Roger Federer as he defeated American Qualifier Frances Tiafoe 7-6(2) 6-3 to move into the third round at Crandon Park.

In his first outing in Miami since 2014, the Swiss was able to reel off 20 consecutive service points in the first set en route to the win that sees him move to 14-1 for the season so far.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Miami Tiafoe 2017

Federer won the toss and elected to receive in what looked like a bid to put pressure on Tiafoe's shoulders. The American had other ideas though as he held nicely for 1-0.

Roger lost the opening point of his service game but responded to hold, and serve dominated the set after that. In fact, Roger didn't lose another point until the 12th game where he held to force the tie-break, and neither player faced a break point in the opener.

Into the breaker and Roger went up a mini-break instantly with a sweet backhand and volley finish. Two more mini breaks followed at 5-2 as he took the set 7-2 with his level rising at just the right time.

With Roger looking dominant in the tie-break it looked like set two would go all his way but a lapse of concentration saw him lose serve in the opening game.

Fortunately, he was able to hit straight back with Tiafoe likely not believing his luck to find himself up 1-0. At 3-2 Roger broke again for 4-2 with Tiafoe throwing in a horror volley miss on break point. That was enough for all she wrote and Federer went on to serve out the match 6-3 with zero fuss.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Frances Tiafoe
Aces 8 6
Double Faults 0 1
First Serve Percent 57% (32/56) 58% (36/62)
1st Serve Points Won 84% (27/32) 64% (23/36)
2nd Serve Points Won 75% (18/24) 58% (15/26)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/1) 67% (4/6)
Service Games Played 11 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 36% (13/36) 16% (5/32)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 42% (11/26) 25% (6/24)
Break Points Converted 33% (2/6) 100% (1/1)
Return Games Played 10 11
Winners 23 21
Unforced Errors 11 20
Total Service Points Won 80% (45/56) 61% (38/62)
Total Return Points Won 39% (24/62) 20% (11/56)
Total Points Won 58% (69/118) 42% (49/118)
SABR 100% (1/1) 0

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Tiafoe Miami

Nice start here from Roger who played a relatively decent match. He looked very relaxed in the first set, with an almost languid demeanour in the return games but he held serve so quickly and came good when it mattered in the breaker.

A slight lapse in set 2 when he was broken, but going on a crazy run as we saw in Indian Wells without dropping serve was never on the cards in Miami, and he hit back immediately which was good to see.

Other than that not much to discuss, some slick ghosting into the net, a point winning SABR late in the day thanks to a net cord and he looked to be moving well when having to defend so no signs yet of any fatigue creeping in from Indian Wells.

As for Tiafoe, he's a big hope for American tennis, and he has a powerful serve/forehand and an athletic game to boot. I can't get excited about his playing style at all as a viewer but like Fed said at the net ‘keep working hard', and we'll probably see a lot more of him in the next year or two.

Predictions vs. Del Potro / Haase

Next up is Del Potro who defeated Robin Haase in straight sets. I didn't see any of the match but from the stats it looked like Del Potro had a very good serving day dropping very few points. Federer leads the H2H 15-5 and he's not played Del Potro since he came back from injury so it should be interesting. The Argentine still has his rocket powered forehand but his backhand is now primarily a slice used to keep himself in points rather than do much damage. If he has a ridiculous serving day then Del Potro can probably win but I'll pick Fed in three sets with 1 tie break.

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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53 Comments

      1. Thanks Nambi πŸ™‚ . It was a good match but not extraordinary. I hope he we will face Del Potro and give us and interesting match .

      1. Well, I said “He’s won the tiebreak, now watch him drop serve”, so *I* thought it was predictable πŸ™‚

  1. He played merrily around in 2. – Roger playing freely and for fun – more and more evidence of that – so very very nice!

  2. Nice writing Jonathan.

    I always have a question about Roger’s first serve in percentage. Since this year, his average level stuck in 50_60%. From my short memory, I think it dropped a lot from the previous years. Is it true and what you thought?

    Insterestingly, Roger’s second serve winning percentage is improving and both 1sr and 2nd serve winning percentage seems pretty good though. What do you think of his overall serve level this year? The reason I care about his first serve in percentage is that Brad gilbert paid a lot attention to it. I still remember in 2014-2016 Wimbledon match with Novak and matches with Rafa, Brad always made prediction for the match where he insisted that Roger had to keep his first-serve in no less than 70% and got lots of free points to win Novak/Nadal. What do you think of it?

    Apart from serving, I quite like this year Roger’s returning game which looked offensive and dangerous. In the past few years, I had a strange feeling that Roger cannot break the serve and converted the BP especially facing top guys. He cannot afford to lose his serve because he hardly broke back. Thank goddness, Roger 2017 looks different and I have high hopes for his returning game again against top guys.

    1. I don’t think it’s dropped? Have you seen a stat? I’ve not looked but over a year I would imagine it’s between 50-60% every year. There is no way a guy of 6ft 1″ serving as big and as close to the lines as Federer does can sustain over 70%, it’s impossible.

  3. I missed the match, but looks like Frances made it competitive enough. Good for the Goat to win it. Up next is Delpo or Dutch Haasse. Who to root for??

  4. Ahhh, slept like a baby and missed the match! When it happened? Totally confused about the time difference, silly me. ‘Slick ghosting into the net’ – aha, I love the phrase, Jonathan πŸ™‚

  5. Miami surface is so slow, it makes the match boring as well. Roger did just enough to get a W, almost he himself was in a lull. Next match should be good to watch.

  6. Federer played very well. Could easily do well far into next week. I really hope he gets another go at evening the H2H with Nadal. Long way to go for both.

  7. I wasn’t too interested in this match for some reason. Slowness of the court, opposition? Didn’t miss much guys.
    Live chat was interesting though…I learned a new phrase.

  8. Whether it is Frances Tiafoe
    Or next, Juan Martin Delpo
    Federer is not gonna let go
    You will see that tomorrow

    Fedelpo matches are electrifying. Once in Dubai, Fed came back from a 6-1 deficit in the 2nd set tie-breaker to win the match. Delpo somehow I feel has a guilt complex about beating Fed in the US Open and plays more bottled up than freely.

    Of course I am kidding, but I somehow get that feeling when I see a Fedelpo match because I always end up feeling sorry for Delpo after the match.

    1. What about that one at the WTF a few years ago, when Roger was I think 1-5 down in the first set? Although if I recall rightly I don’t think he took that set, but he certainly pulled back mighty effectively.

  9. Dear John it happens that I am in Miami and I was able to watch Roger yesterday, this was my first time seeing hin live, so you can imagine the emotions, what can I say, religious experience? Neee, some one else already use this to describe Rogers Federes game, and it was short; what I can say is that this guy is an inspiration, the stadium was crowded not a single seat left, then the people went crazy when he took the court and the standing ovation was amazing, Roger Federer is indeed the best man or woman who has play this beutiful sport of tennis; tomorrow I will be living this unexplainable experience again when I watch him play against Del Potro.

    Roger Federer, watching you play yesterday was one of my more wanted wishes that now I have accomplished.

    Thank you for making me so happy.

  10. Kohlschreiber should watch recent Fed-Rafa videos and execute accordingly. He too has a good single-handed backhand, so there’s no reason why he can’t put one over Rafa. Also unsettle him with pure serve & volley.

    Of course the courts are as slow as a zombie walking in the desert, so advantage Rafa to an extent.

  11. Ok, people, can we please calm down with the “court is so slow” whining? Did we not get fast Australian Open courts out of the blue? We went from no hope to a slam. Didn’t we just get a title at Indian Wells? That counts as a mini-slam by the way.

    So, let go of this Miami thing. It’s only fair that the so called “Sunshine double” has one court that is like sandpaper. If Roger wins, fine, if not, save your whining for the clay court season when you can scream at the top of your lungs.

    jesus!

  12. Morning! How cool and astonishing is he?! To do what he’s been able to do, after not even being to compete in Rio which he made clear he was so looking forward to, is wonderful. It makes me so happy to see him so happy. Best of all, he’s all of a sudden found a way which suites him at playing Nadal and taking on his huge forehand.

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