ATP Masters 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Federer into Dubai Semi Finals After Gasquet Retires

Well guys Roger's one step closer to defending his Dubai crown after a 6-1 victory against Richard Gasquet who had to retire with back troubles immediately after dropping the first set.

Not much else to say to be honest as it was a blink and you'll miss it type affair. Roger dominated the early exchanges breaking serve easily and with Gasquet looking hobbled towards the end of the set it was over in a flash. Not much to lean or assess but the Swiss came out and did what he had to do – served well and played aggressive whenever the moment presented itself. He's also now only 8 aces shy of the 9,000 club which I think he has a shot of reaching tomorrow, hopefully the crowd are keeping count and give a standing ovation if it does happen 🙂

Quick Match Recap

Federer Volley Dubai QF 2015

Roger won the toss and like yesterday's match chose to receive. This time the decision paid off nicely as Gasquet dropped serve tamely, barely putting a ball in play before Roger consolidated to love.

A quick hold for the Frenchman followed in the next game to get his side of the scoreboard working but after another lightning service game from Fed he was again broken to fall 1-4 behind. Some real sweet volleys and inside out forehands to get the job done and Gasquet already look resigned to an inevitable defeat.

The double break was quickly consolidated for 5-1 and in what was to be Gasquet's final service game he appeared to tweak some form of back injury. Not sure if it was something he was carrying that he aggravated or it just happened when he got into a bit of an awkward position when hitting a backhand. Either way his serve lost all pace and he basically checked out the match, serving a double fault at deuce before Fed took his second set point and then came the handshake at the net. Game over in just 20 minutes.

Match Stats

  R. Gasquet R. Federer
Aces 0 3
Double Faults 2 0
1st Serve % 64% 67%
1st Serve Points Won 9/16 (56%) 8/8 (100%)
2nd Serve Points Won 2/9 (22%) 4/4 (100%)
Break Points Saved 1/4 (25%) 0/0 (0%)
Service Games Played 4 3
1st Return Points Won 0/8 (0%) 7/16 (44%)
2nd Return Points Won 0/4 (0%) 7/9 (78%)
Break Points Won 0/0 (0%) 3/4 (75%)
Return Games Played 3 4
Total Service Points Won 11/25 (44%) 12/12 (100%)
Total Return Points Won 0/12 (0%) 14/25 (56%)
Total Points Won 11/37 (30%) 26/37 (70%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Gasquet Dubai 2015

Not much at all to garner from this match as it was done in just 20 minutes. For the short period of time Fed was on court I thought he looked pretty sharp and bossed every point from start to finish. Gasquet looked a-ok for the first few games physically but got completely outplayed as Fed held all the aces; keeping up to the baseline and taking the ball early to hit clean winners or force Gasquet into error.

He also put in some really nice net forays where one, two or three volleys were sometimes needed to win the point. Always a good sign when you can back up the first volley with another one if required without panicking or failing to position yourself right.

As for Gasquet well he was probably tired after a long-ish 3 setter against Bautista-Agut and it looked like he didn't have much of a plan to get the job done. Obviously the injury halted things prematurely but I think Roger was eyeing up more bakery products had it gone into a 2nd set. Like I said above I'm not sure if Gasquet was carrying a niggle coming into it which could have hampered him from the off or he just tweaked something at the end of the set. He didn't look to be struggling physically in the first few games but then just all of a sudden stiffened up and knew he had to call it a day. No request for the trainer either so I'm guessing he knew the issue wasn't fixable.

Predictions vs. Coric

Bjorna Coric

Next up is 18 year old lucky loser Bjorna Coric who scored another big win, following his defeat of Nadal last year in Basel, taking out Murray in straight sets. A very impressive performance that belies his age and experience but for Murray to only win 5 points on the return against an opponent who made just 49% of first serve points is ridiculous. I didn't see any of the match but clearly Murray summoned his Simon-Rotterdam level to make things all the more easier for the Croatian. 55 unforced errors in a match that ended 6-3 6-1. It's not good reading at all. Anyone got Lendl's number?

The match tomorrow will be a first time meeting between the pair and I think Fed will handle it pretty easily. I'll be surprised if Coric makes it competitive to be honest but we'll see, he's not got much to lose and should have confidence in his game but if Fed uses his variety and stays on the top of the baseline there can only be one winner for me.

I'm personally hoping for a close-ish match where Fed gets some nice rhythm at the back of the court and if sufficiently tested. Coric can certainly put a lot of balls into play and goes for his shots so it should be quite fast paced. So hopefully we get some exciting stuff but we'll see.

The schedule is for 5pm local which is a bit earlier than Fed has played this week so conditions could be slightly different than he's used to but surely he's played enough in Dubai to know what to expect. I'll pick Fed in straights. 6-2 6-4. See you guys in live chat.

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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54 Comments

      1. Early in my career, I struggled with consistency, but I couldn’t get more consistent than now. 😆

    1. Go on Guilherme Fed!!!!! Give us mere mortals a chance!!! Lol I suppose a 3 peat is your next goal. I am off to the bookies now to place the bet on you to achieve it. As the odds are going good as Eldrin and myself are too busy making sandwiches. Tbh I am rooting for you as I don’t think if many have done a 3 peat or 4 in a row. Don’t let me down “Han old buddy”. Lol

      1. Haha! Maybe tomorrow I’ll give you guys a chance, will have a tennis match in the evening so the draw is open now, so stop making sandwiches for a while and go for it. 😆

      1. Don’t worry about Emerson , G Fed as once upon a time Mr R Emerson won 6 Oz titles and a total of 12 GS. He will soon be back to winning ways. Lol.

  1. Nothing to say really, now I’m just hoping Coric make it a challenge tomorrow because Federer needs to be more tested if he is to face Novak.

    1. Careful what you wish for. Let me tell you a story.

      I was watching the US Open 2009 final. Roger was serving at 5-3 I think in the second set. A thought crossed my mind, “This is no fun at all. Again, we will see Roger take a two sets lead, and run away in the final set. What a lop sided Slam final this will be.”

      We all know what happened next. Never, ever, will I wish for a tough match.

      1. I had the exact same thought process!! Was so content with life I WENT TO BED. Woke up, absolutely mortified.
        Never again I say, never again. I like my wins pain-free and simple.

    2. Hey Guilherme, nah…. it is not bad if Roger hasn’t got tested. It is not like he has not been tested and Novak has, right?? I mean his draw was easier I think. And eventhough I hope my Berdy can cause an upset… I don’t think so…. So, Roger vs Novak again or hopefully Roger vs Berdy 🙂

      Ps: Congrats with your 2nd title. Second or do you have more??

      1. Ok ok, just changed my mind now xD A cakewalk victory please?
        2nd in the year Kat, but I think I have more 2 or 3 other titles.

      2. It’s important he actually has rhythm going into the final though and you’re only going to get that by hitting a few balls in some long-er rallies…

  2. Hi actually more excited that Fed facing Coric rather than Muzza who yet again has become indecisive on court. No more to say than go Rog, let’s get to that final!

    1. Hey Susie, I hope Roger won’t underestimate Coric. Even if they both had “an off day”, you have to be pretty “special” to beat both Rafa and Muzza.

      I read that Coric plays like Andy or Novak or a bit like both. But when I saw him play at Basel, all I could think about was that he is the “Baby Rafa”. Oh oh…. not good for our Goat, but he will find a way. Come on Roger 🙂

      Oh and speaking about Rafa… if he doesn’t win BA, then I don’t know. There is nobody there and now Fognini is out too. Only one left who can beat him is Almagro. So, if Rafa doesn’t win BA….

    1. Have to say the shirt has really grown on me (as it were) – it’s rather delicious.

      In think it will be a fun match tomorrow – OK, 55 UFEs, Murray was pretty hopeless, but he’s pretty good, that Coric.

  3. Pretty much everything you said, Jonathan. Richie seemed to be putting in the net an awful lot from the beginning, even while he was moving well. At 1-5 he got to 40-0 on his own serve and then it seemed like his body just wasn’t following through – missing 1st serves, into the net some more.

    Meanwhile Fed had a shot into the corner that reminded me of 2007, and as you say some nice-looking volleys.

    Guess I should have bet against a top-4 semis after all. It does sound as though Murray totally lost it, but Coric seems to be very very good, & not suffer much from big-stage-itis. I seem to remember he trained with Djokovic in Dubai before the beginning of the season? Some – including Coric & Djokovic themselves – are saying they are similar.

    Should be a good match. Hope Coric brings out even more of the best in our man. Allez Roger!

  4. Didn’t watch the match but I will try to watch it at the office tomorrow

    Stat looking good, and based on the highlight Federer played well. Really hope these short 3 matches bring a good impact rather than bad one. I am a bit worried he didn’t have enough hours on court.

    Anyway while looking for a Federer match replay, I got into Acapulco QF Anderson vs Troicki. Completely empty seat. And this is ATP 500. Maybe the weather is too hot? A bit sad to see it, no cheer, almost no clap

  5. Three things you need to know about Borna Coric (courtesy ATPWorldTour.com): –

    1 – His favorite player: Rafael Nadal
    2 – His favorite sport: Boxing. Ha! Didn’t see that coming!
    3 – His favorite boxer, Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson? Mike Tyson?? Mike Tyson???

    So, his favorite players are those who bump into opponents, or even worse, bite a piece out of their ear.

    Sounds like an asshole to me.

    1. He’s 18, Sid. When did you last encounter a mature opinion from an 18 year-old?

      Roger is looking pretty damn amazing out there, from what I have seen. 33 and moving like a cheetah. I also have the impression he is really caning his backhand when he has the chance – taking it high and early, and ripping it. The 20-point run against V-iasco was incredible tennis.

      Murray is hard to figure. Where does so much inconsistency come from, with a player who builds his game on consistency? This would drive Lendl nuts.

      And Nadal? He is apparently smaller again. Shades of late 2009. Looks like appendicitis and ped’s don’t mix. If he wins the French from here then tennis’s anti-doping will have become more hilarious than we could imagine. Poor Lance. To be caught.

    2. Richard, I agree he is just 18. However, from what he likes, you can paint a clear picture of what kind of player, and/or human being he is. If you are 18, and still not mature enough to understand that people who bump other players, or bite off their ear, are not good people, then you are well on your way to being an asshole.

      I read that he practices with Nadal. Good for him. Easy access to his idols doping doctors. Watch out for the next Dopal, folks!

    3. Good taste from Coric on the boxing front, Mike Tyson is one of my favourite boxer’s too. If he didn’t go off the rails then he’d probably be the best heavyweight of all time.

      He would make mince meat of any fighter in the heavyweight division today, Klitschko’s wouldn’t stand a chance.

  6. Well, I hope Coric stops his giant(?)-killing right here. Roger, just back from holiday, very short on match play (only 2 1/4 hours so far), and we know he tends to struggle against people he hasn’t played before until he figures them out, so I don’t think this is going to be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. He does need a bit of testing (but not too much, please) – he doesn’t get to meet a seed before the final, assuming he makes it there. Really weird tournament.

    1. Which players has he struggled against when playing them for the first time? Dimitrov, Tomic, Janowicz, Pospisil, Paire ones I can think of off top of my head all beaten handily.

      The only I can think of is Goffin at the French and perhaps Nishikori, but you can’t really count Kei as he’s beaten Fed more than once and has the game to trouble him.

      1. Well, okay, perhaps “struggle” was the wrong word, but he has had a bit of trouble against people who, on the basis of their ranking, you wouldn’t expect to trouble him until he’s figured them out. You know, the 6-4 (or 7-5), 6-1 type of matches.

        Clearly not in this case, though. I haven’t seen Coric play at all yet, so am only going on what I hear from others.

        Oh well, he should get a good workout in the final, anyway.

  7. I agree with Jonathan’s prediction. Coric may have beaten Nadal (Basel), and Murray (who was out-pushed), on faster hard courts, but their opponents propensity to play a defensive game was their undoing. Federer is a vastly different player. This match, just like any other match that’s not against Nadal, will be on his racquet. Fast court, aggressive play, lot of net forays. Coric might make Roger play a lot of balls in the upper register. I just don’t see Roger losing unless he has and off day, like against Seppi.

    I’ll be able to watch this one as it starts 7 am my time. So, y’all on chat. And Yalla! 🙂

  8. Fed is moving well and looking sharp.
    Don’t anticipate any problems against the teen tomorrow tbh, though i did finallly see shades of Djokovic in Coric that most people (not necessarily on here) have been harping on about.
    Quick word on murray – he needs to consult a sports psychologist for reals, always seems to flounder after ozzie open, and for some reason just can’t get the job done without the presence of a coach. Really makes me admire Fed all the more, esp when you look back on that fruitful period, where he thrived WITHOUT one.

    1. I would be interested to see what a Sports Psychologist can offer. I can’t really weigh up what they do – it is really a profession? 😆

      Not trying to sham them but it does seem a bit wishy washy – can they really help? I view them in the same sort of mould as motivational speakers etc – they might give you something to think about for about 5 minutes after hearing them waffle on but in terms of making some sort of positive change it’s unlikely.

  9. Fed says he enjoys playing the up and coming stars. He’s probably looking forward to the challenge.
    Didn’t Coric say he was the best younger player on tour? Ego much or misquoted.

    I like Roger’s shirt. Shows off his broad shoulders….right girls?

    1. It was misquoted I think, he put out a Facebook post not long after saying what he meant was that he’s currently the best of his generation by ranking. Media always looking for a story.

    2. Coric is the youngest in the top 100, which I think is what he was saying. It’s been made much of in the media (surprise surprise), so it’s hardly surprising he mentioned it himself in a similar context. Kyrgios is ranked 37 this week to Coric’s 84, but he’s 18 months older (he’ll turn 20 at the end of April). Coric and Kyrgios are the only two teens in the top 100.

      There are a few others in the top 200 – Zverev (#136 this week) is the youngest, & the only one younger than Coric. Chung, Kokkinakis, Donaldson, Ymer, Nishioka, Jarry are the others:

      http://tennisabstract.com/reports/rankingsByAge.html

  10. The match was short but fan! He’s moving fast and light, as 33 just incredible. Don’t you just love the fast court?

    Yeah Sue right, the shirts look great on him. But can’t believe Fed said he liked the tacky side strip on the shorts!

  11. match over before it even began! Fed just showed off and put him in his place :d
    Coric had better change who he thinks his idol should be, smh!

  12. As predicted, the match was exactly that, Jonathan. The youngster has got plenty of talent, hitting shorts pretty well. Nevertheless, the maestro showed him where he could improve 🙂 . Coric has got lots of confidence and returned very well but Roger was relentless and a bit brutal. Here comes the final.
    Allez Rog!

  13. Anyone watching Novak vs Berdych?? After Berdy got bageled in the 1st set, he won the 2nd one. Go Berdy 🙂 You may end up losing (or winning !!), but respect for you 🙂

    1. Ahh too bad, Tomas lost, but he tried. Lost 15 or 17 times to Novak, got bageled and still believed. Taking my hat off for you Berdy. Come on Roger, now it is our time 🙂

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