ATP 250Brisbane InternationalRoger Federer

Federer Into Brisbane Final, Sets Raonic Rematch

Another Brisbane final awaits for Roger Federer as he swept past Dominic Thiem 6-1 6-4 in just one hour to setup a rematch of last years decider with Milos Raonic.

The win sees Roger make his third Brisbane final in three visits to Queensland and it was probably his best match of the tournament so far in terms of consistency – taking control early in the first set to lead 5-0 before comfortably taking the second set overcoming the disappointment of dropping serve after going up an early break.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Thiem Brisbane Semi Final

Thiem won the toss and elected to receive. Roger held to 30 after some big hitting from Thiem and broke the Austrian with some nicely constructed points for 2-0 lead.

The break was consolidated to love and Thiem then went down a double break, double faulting on break point; Roger held to 30 for 5-0. Bakery products were now inevitable but Thiem finally got himself on the board in his next service game, Roger almost looked like he took the game off tbh, and 5-1 was soon 6-1 after Fed held to 15.

Set 2 was more of the same and with Thiem serving first he dropped serve, again double faulting on break point. Roger this time couldn't consolidate though due to Thiem coming up with impressive power hitting to level and both guys traded holds to 3-3. Game 7 saw normal service resume with Roger putting his foot on the gas to break to 15, holding to love, wasting an easy match point at 3-5 with a forehand pass into the tramlines before serving it out to 15 to book his spot in the semi finals.

Match Stats

R. Federer D. Thiem
Aces 6 2
Double Faults 0 4
1st Serve % 55% 56%
1st Serve Points Won 23/27 (85%) 18/31 (58%)
2nd Serve Points Won 12/22 (55%) 9/24 (38%)
Break Points Saved 0/1 (0%) 2/6 (33%)
Service Games Played 9 8
1st Return Points Won 13/31 (42%) 4/27 (15%)
2nd Return Points Won 15/24 (63%) 10/22 (45%)
Break Points Won 4/6 (67%) 1/1 (100%)
Return Games Played 8 9
Winners 12 19
Unforced Errors 10 26
Net Points Won 7/14 6/7
Total Service Points Won 35/49 (71%) 27/55 (49%)
Total Return Points Won 28/55 (51%) 14/49 (29%)
Total Points Won 63/104 (61%) 41/104 (39%)



Thoughts on the Match

Federer Brisbane Semi Final 2016

Easy pickings for Federer this and it appears Thiem is one of those ideal match ups for him. I wasn't sure what to expect as they've never played but having seen Thiem play I knew he likes time on the ball and he doesn't have many ways to win points other than hitting the casing off it. Roger loves that kind of match as he can take it early to put his opponent in all sorts of problems and that's exactly what he did.

Thiem showed some flashes of what he can do when he rips it, playing a pretty good first game choosing to receive but once Roger had a little rhythm he was able to take control of things on both wings. He also returned Thiem's serve easily so he could almost break at will. Like I said it was like he didn't want to break Thiem at 5-0 as he took a few steps back. He did the same in the second set too for a few games, dropping deeper behind the court which allowed Thiem to get into things more from the baseline and get a few games on the board. At 3-3 all though Fed got back on it, rushing Thiem and moving him around to force the errors.

So overall a decent display from Roger, very solid on serve, forehand looking dangerous and the backhand playing it's part too. No signs of fatigue either which is good news. With the match being done in just an hour, it means other than the Dimitrov match which was tough, the other 2 have been plain sailing so hopefully he has a good amount of energy left. That will be important for the final against a big server. He was done by 4pm Brisbane time too so gets just over 24 hours rest before the big one.

Predictions vs. Raonic

Fed Raonic Brisbane 15

Next up is Raonic who after an injury riddled 2015 looks back in form after he took out my final pick Tomic in two tie break sets. I've just watched the highlights and I know Tomic plays in a languid style but he was nowhere near the level of intensity required to pressure someone like Raonic enough into making mistakes on the big points. Raonic however did play well, opting to serve volley a fair bit and when his forehand is booming he's dangerous; although it's not often he will play someone who is a worse mover than himself and he certainly won't have that luxury tomorrow.

Roger got the better of Milos in last years final and leads the H2H 9-1, the sole loss being at the 2014 Paris Masters. Always tough to make a prediction against a big server as if they have one of those brilliant serving days there's not a lot you can do about it. Fed just has to not get broken and look to get the balls in play on the return. It will be interesting if Raonic serves and volleys a lot too, Fed didn't handle that too good against Stakhovsky at SW19 two years ago, but with a new racquet and Ljubicic with a trick or two up his sleeve then I like his chances.

What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments.


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. this is the first time ‘refresh every 10minutes’ trick worked for me, before it was always only by coincidence

      1. Don’t reveal the secret Jon!

        Best of luck for Roger tomorrow, I think he can handle Milos in two close sets, just by getting the job done he’ll make us really happy though


  1. It seems that Fed is coming to the net less than he used to do with Stefan. Is it the match-up or the new coach?

  2. Too difficult breaking into top 5 let alone getting on podium.

    Thanks for keeping eyes on our man while I don’t give up my essential beauty sleep, Jonathan. Though at least I watched a replay before breakfast!

    Glad it was an easy match for Fed. Poor Thiem, looked out of sorts until Fed took his feet off a bit.
    So, he needs higher 1st serve% and ‘hold/break mantra’ for us tomorrow, hope for a title defence and #89, allez!

    1. “while I don’t give up my essential beauty sleep”

      What Wanda?? Very disappointed in you. Are you not willing to lose beautysleep for the Goat?? Bad Wanda, very bad Wanda 🙂

      Well actually I did get up for the match, didn’t help though, so many bad streams, luckily Roger was done soon. Some great shots from Thiem, but Roger being Roger and won. Hope he will do that tomorrow too. I don’t think Raonic will be an easy match. Something tells me he has a POINT to prove to Roger and especially Ljubi. So Roger has to…. show him his place 🙂

      1. Okay, okay my bad…Forgive me Roger! After Friday night fever, I half-woke up like a zombie at 6:20, thought nah the girls in the chat would cheer him for me 😉

  3. Oh another note; agreed about Paul Annacone commentating on TennisTV as you mentioned on the chat, his analysis is informative and spot-on especially when he talks about Fed’s game and I like his calm nature, too. Never screams ‘NO WAY!’ 😆

      1. Yeah Wanda, poor form. Don’t know if I’ll stay up tonight for the big match. No time for a nap 1st.
        Annacone is quite monotone. Very technical like Cahill but I do like the firey commentating of Koenig and Goodall.
        If Roger stays focused and doesn’t get broken, he’ll be in good shape.

      2. Yeah I like Koenig and Goodall too, particularly Robbie. He said some classic lines like “the last time we saw one of those God was a boy” for Fed’s magic shot, was it at WTF?

  4. I hate Rogers matches with big servers as they can be quite frustrating. What’s worse is I can’t watch it which means constantly refreshing the tennis app. If he wins that’s great but if he loses it won’t be the worst thing in the world. Raonic is very dangerous and I wouldn’t put it past him to take the win. If Roger can hold serve well and play well from the baseline then I’m saying Roger in 2 tight sets. Allez Roger lets get number 89. If not in Brisbane then in Melbourne ?

  5. ‘Bakery products were now inevitable…’ 😆 Have to say, I was expecting a slightly tougher match for Feds but it seems, as you said, this is one match-up that (ATM anyway) and with a slightly faster court, is not going to trouble the Feds. Serve return point stats are good which shows that Thiem’s serve was not troubling Feds whereas Thiem was barely getting a read Federer’s 1st serve at all. Hoping since it was short that I get to see the full match this evening. 🙂

    This court clearly suits ‘the sleeve’ and his serve, but, should the 1st serve % slip a little, I think Federer will be able to exploit Raonic’ lack of movement. He’s improved, but still weak in this area: it’s tough to haul 6’5” and 98 kg around the court after all. Go Feds!

    1. Thiem has to wind up his shots, like Fed said he’s a bit like Stan. Although I think I’d take Stan’s flat backhand as he kinda has it all. Thiem more about raw power.

  6. I actually thought Tomic might have been a more dangerous opponent for Fed. I think Raonic is old news for him and he will beat the ‘Sleeve.’ Raonic still suffers from suspect movement, and somehow he never can keep serving bombs or aces. Fed knows the book on this guy too well. Fed for the win. As much as I respect Raonic (seems professional, nice), his style play offends my sensibilities: zero grace, bad posture, lunking movement, and no real instinctive feel for the geometry of the court. NOT pretty to watch. Fed in straights.

    1. I like your description Emily, you must be a writer, lol. In his defense, he does pretty well considering the body he lives it. No choice there. One of his biggest assets is his discipline and focus to reach his goals.

    2. No no. Tomic is a worse mover than Raonic and has no weapons. So no way was he a more dangerous opponent, look at their meetings in Australia Open. Routine. I’d take Tomic all day long if I had to choose.

      I’m not a Raonic fan either, serve bot with a decent forehand, but he’s effective. Fed needs to be sharp.

      1. I heard some comments on Tomics game being ‘creative’, I scratched my head as in what is that creativity? Maybe I’d don’t know tennis enough but to me his game is pretty one-dimensional and his movement is simply terrible. I don’t really follow him other than in Australia though. Wondered how he got to no. 18?

      2. I think Tomic is much improved and Raonic looks worse than last year. But you prolly know better.

      3. Depends how you define creativity, I suppose. For what it’s worth, I personally think tomic is one of the guys who does try to generate angle and use geometry more than most. He certainly varies his spin a ton, and plays shots with a style no one else really does.

        I don’t like him, and I don’t know many who do, but creative is definitely more a word meant for him than most of the guys I watch nowadays.

      4. Raonic was injured last year, so if he was playing worse than last year I’d be worried. He had a good start last year then got injured, this year he is looking back to his best if not better.

        And Tomic is very creative, look at his shots, you don’t need to move well to be creative, he is very good at moving the ball around the court, massages it almost, very good slice. His results on grass prove it. He is 18 because he’s a top player on his day, just not consistent and no out and out weapons except maybe first serve.

  7. Winning was not Dominic’s theme
    Fed had a straightforward scheme
    Demoralize the kid right upfront
    And not let him ever in the hunt

    First test for Ljubicic as Fed plays Raonic.

      1. Avoid handing Milos the inside out FH option too much. He hits that with a lot of power and accuracy! Fed just has to look after his own serve, no lapses like today at 1-0 2nd set… What was that! Lucky this match was short, more rest for Rog! Thiem was nervy and never really settled… Raonic pretty experienced these days. I expect a tough match!

      2. Yes, could be an interesting conflict of interests if you switch from coaching one player to another. Just how much do you give away about your previous charge? I mean, anything that is observational is fair game, obviously, but what if your previous player has – perhaps – in private admitted things which make him uncomfortable? I presume you’d keep mum about that, but perhaps not. Difficult situation.

      3. Yeah depends what the player may have revealed. If he said “I hate that slow slice into my backhand” or whatever, then no issue in revealing that.

  8. Poor Rafa just received another pasting from the machine. Seems like Djokovic absolutely has Rafa’s number now and doesn’t seem like he has any answers at all. We need the Swiss guys to step up to the plate again (or Karlovic 😉 ), otherwise we may be facing another Djokovic year. 🙁

      1. There was a time when Nadal had a winning H2H against the other “three”. Sounds like Djokovic may hold that record. Unless Ljuberer have a plan. 🙂

      2. How do you figure out his strings Jonathan :O .

        But that dismantling of Nadal was other-worldly to say the least. Djokovic has figured out Nadal’s game more than Nadal himself has I think ! Makes you think how on earth he lost the RG 2014 final ! I think even Federer doesn’t stand a chance if Djokovic plays at this level.

      3. Yeah what a turnaround by Djokovic. Quite incredible really.

        Fed always has a shot because of how he plays, but will need a few things in his favour.

        I didn’t figure it out, I knew he’d changed from RPM Blast as you can tell from the pics then just looked on Twitter and his stringer revealed he was using BBO.

        Some articles are reporting his has switched to “Belgian natural gut” to generate more spin 😆 what a joke.

      4. Needs a co coach! Toni clearly has zero ideas! Rafa never changed things up, was ineffective on serve and Novak too good

  9. I may be the only Milos fan on this site, but I think he does not get enough credit for his net game. He has worked hard on that aspect for a couple years now and it has become an important aspect of his game. Milos has been unlucky to meet Fed so many times – Grigor, who is close to Milos in time on the tour, has only faced Fed 4 times. I hate it when my 2 favourite players meet, but my prediction is Fed in 3 sets.

    1. [ Milos has been unlucky to meet Fed so many times]

      Really? I’d say he should feel proud he played Fed so many times. At least he doesn’t avoid Fed like a certain Spaniard, who plays him only when he plays at his best, or when Fed is way below his best. 🙂

      1. In the last couple years, at least it means Milos is going deep in tourneys to be able to play against Fed, but it must get discouraging to only win once in all those matches. Anyway, I hope the Brisbane final is a close, competitive match. That is always more entertaining than the one-sided affairs.

    2. I don’t like Milos’s game but I respect his attitude. I reckon he’s the most mature and hard working amongst those in his generation. I wish him a much better season this year than 2015. But tomorrow Fed will win in 2 tight sets. One tight break at least.

  10. What’s going on with Fed’s 1st serve %age? At one point in set 2 he was apparently running in the 40 %s; so must have improved wildly at the very end to end up at 55.

    Both had some great shots – agree that it’s almost like Fed is doing a bit of a lesson at times – okay, see, here’s what you can do in this situation. Don’t think he’ll be able to do that tomorrow – Milos has improved his movement so much – he used to be so ungainly and I don’t have that feeling with him anymore. Haven’t really seen him this year yet thiugh.

    May our guy be happy joyous and free tomorrow…

  11. Guys, we spoke too soon. Ultimate tennis blog (Ru-an) is actually fast becoming hilarious, and we should read it just for the kicks. Fanaticism at its best, and a shining example to future generations of how to become a parody. 10/10 would follow.

  12. Welcome to the tennisworld Raonic. Unnessacary mto. Wow. Do you guys talk between each other that you will use it against Roger?? He was sick and had the flu, but YOU needed a mto with 200 km serves and running from one place to the other?? Wow. You DID play great, no doubt about that, but with that mto?? Not deserved.

    And Roger… I love you, but you are NOT BLAMELESS either. You had plenty of chances and you screwed up. But then…. I don’t know how it is to play a final when I am sick. So… still love you and lets kick some (and Raonic’s) butt at AO 🙂

    Ps: Forget this one Roger. Last year’s win (1000th match) was wayyyyy more important. Love you always Goat 🙂

    1. You’re being harsh there… Fed was okay, just coughing here and there. And we have no clue what Raonic used that mto for. Raonic was on a roll and might have given Fed time to regroup. So he won fair and square, Roger played bad, and that’s that.

      1. No Simon, Raonic played great, that was obvious. Focused and great points. I just don’t like mto’s for which you don’t know what it is for. Like Gulbis did at RG against Roger. Even Roger had one against Robredo at USO (that he lost).

        And Roger did not play that great. That is the truth. I am not saying he played great. Important thing is he won the final last year….

      2. Besides…. Raonic was not going to lose this one anyway. When you have a point to prove to your former coach who leaves you for the Goat…. 🙂 🙂

      3. But that’s what I’m saying. Mtos happen, and Raonic seemed to need it. So Feds screwed up, and that’s done, can’t blame Milos for that.

      4. Raonic seemed to need it…. For what??

        I don’t blame Raonic for winning. Like I said in the beginning he played GREAT. But personally (my opinion), I do “blame” him for the mto. And Roger was not playing great, so he didn’t lose because of that mto. It just makes the win FOR ME PERSONALLY tainted.

      5. The MTO was for a leg injury. I have no issue with it, it was hardly tactical, he was 1-2 down and served 3 double faults in a game upon return. Great tactics!

      6. There’s no way at all you can “blame” Raonic for being injured (leg problem, as pressers will confirm). Every player has the right to take medical time outs, in pretty much any sport, because it’s dangerous to them if they don’t. If you believe the flu from a few days ago warrants the trainer, then that’s your business. But not every MTO “taints” a victory, especially considering Raonic basically had Fed under his shoe at that point, and then suddenly didn’t.

        For you personally, fine, we can all think whatever we want. But if raonic had a leg injury and didn’t take one, I’d be calling him a fucking idiot right around now.

    2. I wander if some of you are serious. Roger did not win because he did not have energy to play due to being sick. He had to ask tournament organizers to push his first match to Thursday. You could see it in his matches especially against Grigor. I congradulate Roger for his professionalism and not withdrawing from this tournament or tanking then getting to the final for the 3rd straight year. I am sure the tournament organizers and most of all the fans appreciateed it. How you carry yourself professionally is worth more than any trophy. Get well, Roger.

      1. Hey Karen, what you wrote is EXACTLY the reason why I became Roger’s fan, why I am still his fan and why I will ALWAYS be his fan no matter if he wins all the matches from now on or no matter if he doesn’t win any matches at all.

        What you wrote is exactly why I have been defending Roger every workday to more than 30 collegues of mine who think that he is too old to win and that he should retire.
        Roger had the flu and was ill, but he was not injured, so he didn’t had to and didn’t take a mto. Which is why Raonic’s surprises me.
        You don’t win sportmanship awards and fan favourite awards for years for nothing !!!

        But last year the win was more important. And his health is nr1.

      2. I would love to work where you work; colleagues all willing to talk tennis. Where I am, it’s just one guy who loves football (which I love too)

      3. No Jon, sorry, but that is not fair. Don’t make me out to be blind about Roger. I just don’t like gamesmenship. No matter which one, no matter which sport (or real life). I have said many many times before I didn’t like Roger’s mto/bathroombreak against Robredo at USO 2013. He lost that match and for me…. that was deserved, even if it is Roger.
        Some players (male and female) are during a mto in so much pain it shows and then there are others that get massages and then there are others that come more stronger back. What is up with that?? You don’t have to be screaming in pain to have a “correct” mto…. but some are just weird.

        Raonic played great. He won. Roger didn’t play great. He lost. Period.
        Also Roger had the flu and was ill. That is not why he lost. … He didn’t play great. Once you are on the court…. you play. No excuses. And luckily he didn’t make one. It was seriously one of those days that nothing worked….
        Also Raonic is not just a servebot anymore (if he ever was only that). He has worked on some things and that shows…

        And I really had to laugh when Roger himself laughed at his mistakes 🙂

      4. Hey John, I read what you wrote about mto’s. I agree with some of the things you say, not all of it. So… we both have our opinion about that.

        And no John…. it is not as great as it sounds. I work on a big department. Some have watched tennis from Lendle/Connors/JMac times. Some have watched from Sampras/Agassi times and some from Roger/Rafa times. They all respect Roger, but I am not kidding…. they ALL think that he should retire. I have been defending Roger since beginning 2013 when he basically lost every match. Since then, no matter who the opponent is, they are automatically for him. I get atleast 10 messages after every Roger loss.

        In 2013 they all were rooting for Rafa. Ofcourse since 2014 they are all rooting for Novak. I have a very great relationship with all the people from my big department and it has become a “thing” to make me aware of the fact that Roger is old and losing and that Rafa and Novak are the Goats.

        We even use names. I call Roger my hero, Rafa is the Doper and I gave Novak the name Satan. This is no joke, but I am called Mrs Federer 🙂

        Next to that….all they talk about is soccer 🙂

  13. The match looked so bad I stopped watching in the second set. Roger should have stayed in bed – if he wasn’t feeling up to par.

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