Whoopa! Big win here for the GOAT as he defeated fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour and 32 minutes to make his first US Open Final since 2009.
The win means he's now the oldest man to make an Open Era Grand Slam final since Andre Agassi's US Open run in 2005, where Federer beat him in the final. Next of course is Djokovic who crushed an injured Marin Cilic for the loss of just 3 games and has made all four Grand Slam finals this calendar year. A fitting final with the two best players of the year so far going head to head for the 42nd time.
Quick Match Recap
Stan won the toss and elected to serve, holding to 15 to kick things off. Rogers serve has been firing all week but he was under pressure in his opening game, having to save a break point and multiple deuces before holding.
Stan looked like he had come out all guns blazing but in game 3 Federer pulled out two SABR returns, losing the first but winning the second before breaking to lead 2-1. Just those two mix ups seemed to throw Stan off and changed the dynamic of the match instantly.
Roger then held to lead 3-1 but at 3-2 he drifted from the committed tennis we'd seen in the match so far and slipped to 0-40. Roger had to refocus fast and fortunately did so, hitting an ace to save the first and then coming up with a clutch serve and volley behind a second serve to make deuce. 4-2. Both players then traded holds as Federer held a 5-4 lead before going on to serve out the set 6-4.
Into set 2 and Stan immediately had to save break point, doing so with a smart body serve. The French Open champion then found himself in more trouble at 2 games all; slipping to love 40 but hitting back to back aces en route to deuce. Stan then had to save a further 2 break points which he managed before holding for a 3-2 lead.
Roger responded in just the right manner though, holding in about 1 minute and then breaking Wawrinka to love. He then held to love to lead 5-3 before breaking Stan again to love to take the set 6-3.
2 sets to the good meant Federer firmly in the driving seat, holding serve comfortably at the start of set 3 to lead 2-1 before breaking Wawrinka, winning the longest rally of the match courtesy of some sublime movement. 4-1 soon became 5-1, again with more transition game brilliance and Roger then served it out, converting his second match to book his spot in the final.
|Stats||Stan Wawrinka||Roger Federer|
|1st serves in||38/78 (49%)||50/77 (65%)|
|1st serve points won||22/38 (58%)||40/50 (80%)|
|2nd serve points won||20/40 (50%)||17/27 (63%)|
|Fastest serve||133 MPH||125 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||118 MPH||112 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||95 MPH||95 MPH|
|Net points won||9/18 (50%)||22/28 (79%)|
|Break points won||0/4 (0%)||5/11 (45%)|
|Receiving points won||20/77 (26%)||36/78 (46%)|
|Total points won||62||93|
|Distance Covered (Feet)||4442.3||4448.1|
|Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet)||28.7||28.7|
Thoughts on the Match
I’m very happy, it’s been a great tournament so far, I tried very hard in the last six years to get to another final, I came close a few times and tonight it worked against Stan, who also played a good tournament. Definitely very good, maybe my best. I’m serving very well, playing positive tennis. I am going for my shots and I’d love [everything] to work just one more time this year.
Hugely impressive win for Roger here and he played yet another top quality match. I had a feeling he would get this one done in straights simply because of how he's got about the court since Cincinnati. Lopez was bang on the money when he said “fucking flying all over the court” because that's exactly what he's been doing in his 6 matches so far.
Stan actually started the match pretty will with some lusty blows but once Fed settled, took up his aggressive court position, threw in some SABR returns and looked to get forward wherever possible it was one way traffic. Just like in Rome Fed got after the second serve, hitting it well inside the baseline and mixing it up with some short angled slices and hitting through the ball; that put quite a lot of pressure on Stan's first serve and he only made 49% for the match which isn't a great number for him.
What more can you say? Simply too good and all the numbers are top drawer, winning 80% behind his first serve and 78% of points at the net. But has he peaked too early? 😆 I would say no, this match had a much different feel to the Wimbledon Semi Final. The win against Murray felt more like defying the ages and just a ridiculous level of serving. This one felt more like a return to Prime Fed hard court level where his movement is just spot on. Obviously it's not physically possible to be as good as 2004-07 level but when you add in that higher level of attacking intent, spot serving, SABR and better volleys it gets mightily close.
Predictions vs. Djokovic
It's just a straight shootout, and I think that's the cool thing about our rivalry. It's very athletic, we both can handle whatever we present to one another and I think our matches [are] very even.
So next up is Djokovic who has made serene progress to the final without ever really being tested. He comprehensively beat Cilic for the loss of just 3 games in the first semi final and heads into Sunday's final as the favourite.
Roger won their last meeting just a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati but Slams are a whole different kettle of fish. Djokovic has come out on top in all their recent meetings over 5 sets, notably in this years Wimbledon final where he was the better player throughout.
Based on Fed's tournament so far and well put together hard court schedule then you have to give him a shot at winning. It definitely won't be easy as Djokovic moves an order of magnitude better than anyone Roger has faced so far and as a result poses a much sterner test. Can Fed find a way through his defenses? Can he do more damage on the return than he managed at Wimbledon? Will Djokovic be just too solid and make zero errors from the baseline? All unknowns as it stands but I hope it's a good match and Fed can bring his A game.
I am also interested to see what happens when Roger uses SABR 🙂 Becker has been playing the media game very well with his ‘disrespectful' comments which of course leak into the Press Room questions. But will Djoker try something different to counteract it? I'm not sure. Maybe he'll opt to try tee off at Fed. But will he do it on an important point? Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Should be interesting.