Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Glides Past Gasquet Into Wimbledon Third Round

The Swiss setups a showdown with British hope Cam Norrie on Saturday.

Roger Federer his through to his eighteenth third round at SW19 thanks to a 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet.

Meeting for the twenty-first time in their careers, Federer played solidly throughout, winning 84% of points behind his first serve and saving all five of the breakpoints he faced to record his nineteenth win against the two-time former semi-finalist.

In the third round, the Swiss will face Cameron Norrie, who backed up his final run at the Queen's Championship two weeks ago with a straight-sets win over wild card Alex Bolt.

Quick Match Recap

fed backhand gasquet

Federer won the toss, elected to receive and fashioned a breakpoint immediately thanks to a forehand return winner. 

A backhand shank allowed Gasquet to save it before another shank offered a game point, and he held for 1-0.

The Frenchman got into Federer's first service game, creating a breakpoint thanks to a slick return and then holding two more, but Federer edged the game thanks to a stylish drop shot followed up with an ace.

The pair then exchanged back to back holds, but Gasquet looked the more likely to create something of the two with some crisp ball striking.

However, Federer got the closest in the tenth game, forcing deuce, but Gasquet held for 6-5, and the set went to a tie break.

Into the tiebreak and Federer moved up the early mini-break, guiding a forehand into the open court when Gasquet had left himself too much ground to cover.

The Swiss won both service points for 3-0 and then secured the double mini-break winning a lengthy rally that dragged both players across the baseline to lead 4-1.

Two quick service points gave Federer five set points, and he converted at the first time of asking thanks to a Gasquet double fault to take the opening set 7-6(1).

Federer needed to save a breakpoint in the opening game of set two, but he did so with some solid serving to hold for 1-0.

Gasquet was quickly up 40-0, firing a backhand winner off a Federer overhead, but Roger pegged him back to deuce and then broke thanks to an injection of pace off both wings.

The Swiss consolidated it for 3-0 and secured the double break, landing a clean winner on the return.

Another speedy love hold moved Fed up 5-0, and he'd soon bagged the second set 6-1, winning 30 points to Gasquet's 16.

The pair exchanged holds at the start of the third, but Federer created a breakpoint in game four. Gasquet saved it with a well-struck forehand and held for 3-2.

However, the former world number seven was immediately back serving after a quickfire Federer hold, and he dropped serve courtesy of an ill-thought-out drop shot.

Federer held to love for 5-3 and then served it out 6-4 to book his spot in the third round.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Richard Gasquet
Aces 9 3
Double Faults 0 2
First Serve % In 61/94 (65%) 55/96 (57%)
Win % On 1st Serve 51/61 (84%) 36/55 (65%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 19/33 (58%) 21/41 (51%)
Net Points Won 16/25 (64%) 10/17 (59%)
Break Points Won 3/6 (50%) 0/5 (0%)
Receiving Points Won 39/96 (41%) 24/94 (26%)
Winners 49 20
Unforced Errors 26 23
Total Points Won 109 81
Distance Covered 3976.4 m 4136.4 m
Distance Covered/pt. 20.9m 21.8m

Highlights

On Court Interview

Thoughts on the Match

federer wimbledon gasquet 2021

I know Richard really well. We’ve played so many times against each other. It’s always a pleasure playing against him. He’s got the most wonderful backhand. It was a wonderful match for me. I was really happy with my performance today. A tough first set and a great second set. I was just a little bit better in the third. I’m very, very happy, of course.

It’s not the most important to feel your absolute best in the first and second rounds. What you don’t want to do is go out. Because then you’ve got to really look at everything and question yourself. I’m not there. I’m in the third round, I’m really happy with my level right now. Today was special, so I’m very happy with that. Federer on his win over Gasquet.

 

The first set was fast-paced, and both guys played well, but Federer took it up a notch in the tie break with more intensity behind his shots.

Rather than a level drop like previous matches, he kept that intensity throughout the second, and his whole game looked sharper with more pop on his groundstrokes.

The third was more of the same, and for the first time in a while, Federer looked comfortable with where his game was and what he needed to do on the court.

No doubt the 18-2 head to head helped in that regard, but everything just felt a bit livelier both in the legs and the arm, so it was good to see.

As for Gasquet, I thought he gave a good showing of himself; he's a ridiculous talent in ball-striking and shot-making but doesn't have that clutchness on the bigger points, which is why Fed got it done in straights.

Final Thoughts

  • He kept his level throughout
  • The entire game flowed more
  • Served well for all three sets

Predictions vs Norrie

fed norrie

Next up is Cam Norrie, who defeated Alex Bolt for the loss of just six games, half of those being the first three games of the match, but he roared back to win in straights.

After a tough opening round against Pouille, who had his chances, Norrie looked solid against the Nottingham Challenger champion, and he has been one of the form players of 2021.

The South African born Brit has a no-frills type game, but he's one of the best competitors going and has a nice mix between a flat as a pancake backhand paired with a heavy topspin forehand.

Federer has played him once before, at the Hopman Cup, which was a routine victory, and he seemed to take a liking for his game that day, so hopefully, that's the case on Saturday.

What did you guys think of Federer's match vs Gasquet? Predictions against Norrie? Let me know in the comments.

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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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67 Comments

  1. Thanks! And no less thanks for the highlights, a wonderful treat by those two, and nice cut by Raz Ols. As I don’t yet subscribe, this makes me grateful. Followed live-score and your live-chat…regretting me not really watching…Those two could make wonderful enjoying exhos, hope they’ll do it some time.
    The next match? hmm.– but the chance is still there. I admired his quick and strong legging around in long jumps to catch the ball from many impossibilities, so.

  2. This match was a pleasure to watch enjoyed every second of it. Gasquet has style and it was a good warm up match for Roger to recover his rhythm and good spirits. Let see what happens with Norris but if Roger keeps this impulse, he can make it to the second week.

  3. Much more straightforward match against a familiar opponent who gave Federer a lot more time to work the ball and boss the points. After he pulled away in the TB, he never really looked back. He gave me a scare when he slipped a couple times, hope he is fine.

    Don’t know much about Norrie, but if he is a grinder type rather than a power player, I think Federer stands a very good chance of coming through. It’s the opponents who can consistently take time away from him that he has to be wary of in his current state.

    Medvedev made short work of his second-round opponent, he’ll take some stopping. As I said, if Federer makes it to the QFs, Medvedev will probably be waiting.

    Every match Federer survives gives him another chance to raise his game. Hope he can get through the next couple rounds without too much trouble. C’mon Roger!

    1. Norrie definitely a grinder type, his forehand has got better but his game is built on running and making ball after ball. Can’t underestimate him though given how many matches he won this year.

  4. Very happy! Nice to see Roger’s confidence coming back. We know he has the skills and since he’s ‘defying age’ there is a huge positive vibe from today.

  5. This was a fun match to watch, even if I had to do it on the big screen rather than from inside Centre Court as I’d hoped (no ticket resale this year, unfortunately). Once Roger got the shanks and his first serve under control, he hit quite a purple patch. There were some lovely moments from Gasquet, too, although overall he was a bit too erratic to have a real chance. My only concern is that Roger was SO happy with himself afterwards that I hope he comes down to earth in time to face Norrie, who is playing quite fearsomely and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    1. I don’t think he over celebrated though or was too emotional?

      I saw a few people on Twitter who managed to get tickets for centre despite not having them beforehand, not sure how they did it, perhaps it was a swap with Nole fans.

  6. I realized that this all reminds me of how it was when he switched racquets – it impacted everything, & he had to – not totally relearn, but rebuild his expertise. Now he’s switched knees, & maybe that whole rebuilding thing is happening again. It’s encouraging that it does seem to be happening; he keeps looking a little more fluid, a little less shanky, a little more consistent on timing. Long may it continue.

    I don’t really know Norrie at all. We can probably expect him to be a bit less starry-eyed than he was at Hopman Cup at playing the great Federer. Hope for a good match, & continued improvement from Roger.

  7. Such a difference from the first match.The second set saw Fed playing sublime tennis.There were too many of those
    shanks in the first set but the tie break was excellent.Is Fed playing himself into form,too early to say.If he beats Norrie in straights then something is really happening.Fingers crossed.So many tough players in Feds half,but it was ever so😎

    1. Hm dunno, he hit some decent ones for sure but in 2017 it was hit like that for multiple tournaments, not just a few in one match so gotta wait and see.

  8. What a special match to watch. I think he has had to work incredibly hard to reach the level he showed here. I thought the way he played the tie break was awesome! Thankful for a match we could just enjoy with the winners stacking up and Fed playing with some confidence and freedom. Go Fed.

  9. Jonathan – do you have a prediction/ genera sense on Fed v. Norrie?

    Do you think Fed is playing himself into form or do you think it’s more the reality of Gasquet’s limitations?

    1. A good point. Gasquet’s game has nothing much in it to trouble Federer. Like Jonathan said, he’s a good player but not confident enough (any more, at least).

      However, I think it fair to say that Federer is still the best (all-court) attacking player in the men’s game – when he’s doing it well. Which means the match is nearly *always* on his racquet, except when he’s playing Rafa on clay. Indeed, despite all the hype about Djokovic, the result of a Fed-Djoker match continues to remain almost wholly on Fed’s racquet – with Djokovic’s success against Federer becoming more and more a case of putting the ball back in play *one more time* and waiting for him to miss or err in judgement or succumb to nerves, very much akin to what Nadal did on (and off) clay when he was a young lad haring around the court. (The difference is that Federer is a lot older now and Djokovic is almost nerveless.) This reliance on “consistency” and durability” when Djokovic plays Federer has become more and more obvious, especially since Federer is far too good to wither under Djokovic’s “new” serve. For instance, if we look at the last three Federer-Djokovic (Wimbledon 2019, WTF 2019, and AO 2020), we see Federer completely outplaying Djokovic in the first two matches (and in the first third of their AO 2020 match in which his movement was hampered)…yet only winning one of the three. The reason: Djokovic’s relentless ability to “put the ball back”.

      My point? *Every* player in men’s tennis has “limitations” in comparison to Federer’s all-court, attacking game. The exception, again, is Nadal on clay. (Also, like Becker was saying yesterday, Federer is the last “natural” SV player in the game.) Which means that when he’s playing like he did through much of 2017 or at Wimbledon 2019 (leave alone his glory years in the early 2000s), it’s *Federer who loses the match rather than the opponent who wins it*.

      So, yes, Gasquet’s limitations played a part in Federer’s victory yesterday, but Federer’s deliberate tactic of “coming over the ball” on his backhand return and his success when doing that is a very very good sign that he is “playing himself into form”. His ability on the return of serve has always outweighed his results…and a lot of that is down to his passive “chip returns”, especially on BPs. Should he continue to come over the ball against Norrie (with this lefty serve), I fully expect he’ll win.

      But tell me – what do YOU think? 🙂

      1. Thanks very much MKA, I think you made excellent points. Hope them proved next matches

      2. Great analysis. I tend to agree 🙂 Wimby 2019 – Djokovic himself said, Federer has played better than him and he won only the clutch points.

      3. Venkat Sankarasetty, yes, not only all fans say so. A bitter 2019 cup of tea, but somehow strengthening also. Beter lose and play better than worse

      4. Great stuff MKA. Appreciate the substance that backs up your conclusions.

        Hope to see Roger keep the confidence into round 3!

  10. Working his way through it. Good to see some confidence and movement flowing. Gasquet is a pale shadow of his former self.
    Cam a tougher challenge. Gets so many balls back, can run forever. Fed has to make him uncomfortable. Hopefully on CC as I hv tix

  11. I am truly happy to see Roger win today.

    And I hope that he can back it up. Should he beat Norrie, his confidence will only grow further. And should he do it in straights, the body and the stamina level will remain intact.

    Match by match, of course. We shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves. But so far – amazing!

  12. Nice for us fans to enjoy a match without tranquilizers by our sides. Just what the doctor ordered for Fed. I thoroughly enjoyed the on court interview. What a cheeky devil!
    Jonathan, we are still in Halle…weather wise.
    When will we know what time on Sat?

  13. Gasquet was an ideal opponent because he isn’t a grinder and goes for his shots, which is ideal for Federer as he is just better in every department. A nice victory and good match to watch.
    Norrie will be very tricky. He is full of confidence and will make a lot of balls. Making Federer play another shot time after time could lead to more dips in Federer’s level. We shall see but I’m 50/50.

  14. Gasquet was all Gasquet. Playing one brilliant point, then 3 disastrous. That’s how he is for his whole career. One of most wasted talents in tennis. His mentality is the one of short-runner. In best of 3 he can sometimes get good wins. Completely not compatible with best of 5 format.
    Not to compare with Mannarino, who has not comparable talent, but has good brain game and can rise his game against great players, while Gasquet drops it.
    Fed was consistent enough but this was still not a real test.
    Norrie will be tougher test because of his consistence and long-distance ability. Can make it 4- or even 5-setter. But first real challenge comes after Norrie. But both Sonego and Duckworth not Fed’s format. So he probably gets through. The question is, how he will recover after longer matches. Maybe he can forget fears and be more confident. Still no hard hitting baseliner on the horizon, which is good news for Fed. But then it’s Medvedev/Cilic or Bublik. No idea about their form, have not watchied their matches, but potentially some real hurdle. Medvedev would be the worst options if he comes through.

    1. Yes Gasquet not the best ‘big match’ player. He has a lot of talent for sure, but I also think his forehand is his biggest limitation. If he had sorted that out when he was younger, then he’d have won a lot more.

      Norrie will be a test, Fed needs to get him down in the score early and keep the pressure on.

  15. Amazing match, especially from the tiebreaker onwards.
    I saw shots that put a smile on my face (e.g that short inside-out forehand with an unreal angle).

    What I am excited about is this piece of an interview in swiss newspaper:
    “«Bei 5:0 im zweiten Satz bekam ich dann unglaubliches Selbstvertrauen. Und nach 2:0 Sätzen läuft dann alles wie von allein. Plötzlich fühlte es sich teilweise wieder an wie früher. Ich konnte im richtigen Moment alles richtig machen und fühlte mich wirklich sehr gut», freut sich der Schweizer nach dem Match”.

    It basically says
    “at 5:0 in set2 I got incredible self-confidence. And after 2 sets to love this began to run automatically.
    It partly began to feel like in the past. I could do everything right in the right moments and I felt really very well”

    Go GOATerer !

    1. Thanks Dr – No wonder he was delighted – and we too. And it relates to Thinker’s point, that Roger needs some time to rebuild his knees – like he did changing racket size some time ago

    2. Yes,that says such a lot about Feds mental state.Let’s hope that essential confidence in his own ability continues to hold and grow.

    3. Cool I had that feeling too like he was able to be a front runner which we have not seen yet. Even if Wimbledon ends with a tough loss, stuff like this bodes well for later in the year.

  16. commentators once said it was uncharacteristic from Federer when there were too many shanks , started saying in the 2nd set that it was uncanny and typical roger’s shot. so federer can come up provided he should not lose his cool in the game against norrie… His UE was reduced from 46 to 26 from the 1st match to this match. hopefully he will continue to lessen and play better. but for both Murray and Federer it is not going to be just walk on the park anymore…

  17. Great win for Roger, but against Gasquet it doesn’t really mean much for matches to come. His movement is good and his service is way better, but he needs to keep it up. Norrie being a lefty, Brit who could get a lot of support and his ability to mix it up and get more balls back could make it tricky. But it all boils down to which Roger shows up. If he serves well and keeps his level up for 3 sets, it will be over in 3 sets. But if he starts spraying his forehands and his level goes up and down, it could be 4 or 5 sets. But I still can’t see Roger losing to Norrie in the 3rd round of Wimbledon.

      1. Not at all. He’s choking away winning positions in the third round now. Pitiful to watch.

    1. Yes I do think it could be tricky, Norrie will make a lot of balls. I think Federer needs to try ‘push it to the limit’ and come forward a lot.

  18. Here we go, Roger playing the worst eight points of the event at the worst time, losing two easy break opportunities and mishitting every shot at 5-6. And he did it all consecutively. Brilliant. What a weak mind, I’m sorry. These crucial chokes are now occuring against freaking Norrie of all people. It’s time to quit, man.

  19. Words can’t describe how shit Roger is now. Gets a break and gives it right back after having game point! And squanders another break point, on a totally makeable backhand! What does he need, Norrie to drop dead on the court before he can make some shots? He’s painfully terrible, unable to demonstrate any conviction. It’s gruesome to watch him shank and launch balls agains this total nobody. Fed is garbage now and endlessly finds the bottom of the net. What a hack he is today, unbelievable.

  20. Lucky break. Shots went away at the end. This is decline. Maybe he will level up with improved opposition.

    1. I didn’t direct my remarks at you, chief. And I’m just like you, a long-time fan frustrated by his up and down level. We know he can do better and Fed isn’t above criticism. This was a fortunate escape, and we have to look at things dispassionately. I want him to win, but his shots were infuriating today.

      1. I agree with @Holdco. One gets a sense that he is struggling to get into any sort of rhythm for extended periods of play. Roger, historically, is an amazing front-runner. But nowadays, I actually get more nervous after he breaks serve – Intuitively anticipating a drop in concentration. He can get away with this against most players because despite a low break-point conversion rate, he creates a ton of them and bagging a few is enough to get over the line. But against players like Djokovic (or even the top players from the younger lot), he’ll struggle big time.

  21. I thought Fed played very well,apart from the loss of concentration in the third.
    He seemed to me to be doing just enough,loved the way he raised his game to get the break in the fourth.
    Just watching the Cilic/Medvedev match.Cilic is in great form,at the moment anyway……

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