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
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.
|R. Federer||D. Thiem|
|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|
|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
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
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.