Another routine match for Roger has he swept aside Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-0 6-2 in just 81 minutes to book his place in the 4th round against Tommy Robredo who defeated Dan Evans in 4 sets.
As I predicted Mannarino had little to offer and after a fairly competitive first set he folded completely as Roger piled on the pressure with his forehand and some aggressive returning.
It wasn't quite a Swiss Masterclass from Fed but he showed a lot of variation, served well and took his chances when he had them.
Mannarino has a weird style of play and hits very flat but he could never really dictate play and Federer just imposed his game on him from the get go.
Mannarino might have been a little overwhelmed by the atmosphere as Ashe always has a sort of carnival like atmosphere on night sessions bu as soon as he dropped the first set 6-3 there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Quick Match Report
The first set started well for both players as they traded love holds as Federer moved into a 2-1 lead. Roger then made a sweet backhand pass to setup his first break point which he took first time with a big forehand return which was good to see.
Of course he faced a break point himself when trying to consolidate but ground out a rally to get back to deuce before holding to lead 4-1. Once Roger had the lead it was just a matter of maintaining it and he did so easily taking the set 6-3.
In my scoreline prediction section of the Berlocq post I predicted that Mannarino would test Roger in the second set but it was the complete opposite as his game completely went off the boil.
I mean it wasn't as though he was playing well in the first set either, but he at least kept himself in touch yet in the 2nd set he made a string of poor decisions including a ridiculous drop shot to hand over the double break. Looks to me like he just lost all self belief after dropping the first set and just went through the motions. The set ended 6-0.
By the third set the match was getting that exho feel and at at 4:00am I was more than ready for bed and the only interesting part of the set was Roger wasting a couple of match points at 5-2 when Mannarino was serving.
I really wanted him to take the match points because he set them both up with great shots only to make errors when he could have crossed the finish line.
Obviously this wasn't the end of the world as he served it out routinely but it would have been a fitting end to the match had be able to hammer down a forehand winner to break serve again and close it out.
Today? Yeah, I mean, I was very happy. I think I was able, like you said, to impose my game and at times overpower him, at times mix it up, and then serve well when I had to focus. He plays quite unusual, you know. The way he takes his backhand early, he's got a very short takeback and he hits extremely flat, as flat as anybody out there, especially on the backhand side. Then because he's lefty, sometimes that takes some getting used to, you know. Then there was a breeze. You always have to fight that, as well, and play with that, too. Really tried to hit through the ball and through the wind as much as I could. It worked well. Then I think once up a break, once up a set, playing with the lead is always easier. You can play more freely and even try a few things out. If they don't work, you go back to solid. It was important to obviously get the good start in the second set, and from then on it was always going to be difficult for Adrian tonight.
|Stats||Roger Federer||Adrian Mannarino|
|1st serves in||39/69 (57 %)||49/75 (65 %)|
|1st serve points won||36/39 (92 %)||27/49 (55 %)|
|2nd serve points won||15/30 (50 %)||9/26 (35 %)|
|Fastest serve||127 MPH||127 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||111 MPH||114 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||96 MPH||91 MPH|
|Net points won||19/24 (79 %)||9/18 (50 %)|
|Break points won||6/14 (43 %)||0/1 (0 %)|
|Receiving points won||39/75 (52 %)||18/69 (26 %)|
|Total points won||90||54|
Thoughts on the Match
Another match where you can't really read into too much as it's just the type of Federer 3rd Round we've come to expect i.e. routine. My main takeaways were that Roger is looking more confident and seems to know where his game is at right now.
I don't think he's looking infallible however, whereas you'd probably say Nadal is, winning 56 of 59 matches this year to date so that's of course a concern come Quarter Finals.
I'm glad however Roger has made light work of all his opponents so far and not expended much energy in doing so. I know some fans have been saying he hasn't been tested yet which is a bad thing as far as they are concerned but I'm not really worried about that as I think he has to head into the Nadal match feeling fresh and confident.
You only have to look at the Simon match at the French Open where I thought Roger would get a crazy amount of confidence after winning in 5 sets but he came out and looked flat against Tsonga. So that pretty much puts to bed the theory of needing to be tested to play well in the Quarters.
Specifically in the Mannarino match I was impressed with Roger's returning; Mannarino's serve is by no means lightweight but Roger often stepped into the court to take the ball on the rise which was good to see and he will need to do that more often later in the tournament. Even if he makes errors in doing so, if he can string 3 or 4 together in 1 game the rewards are potentially huge.
By the end of the match I also thought Fed looked really confident, like he had no hesitation in going for any sort of shot which meant his arm was from free of tension and he could swing very freely. He always plays much better when that happens and pretty much any shot you can imagine becomes a possibility.
Predictions vs. Robredo
Next up for Federer is a player from his generation; Tommy Robredo who beat Dan Evans in 4 sets despite looking injured and cramping up in the 4th set. Evans actually served to take the match into a decider but Robredo just had too much experience in those types of situations and that proved the difference.
Robredo has had a good year after a lengthy spell on the sidelines winning 2 titles so he's actually ahead of Federer in that regard, however one thing he's not ahead in is the H2H with Roger leading 10-0.
Robredo is a wily opponent, he's won 12 career titles and has been as high as 5 in the world so against anyone else I'd be saying he could be test however I think he's just one of those tailor made opponents for Roger.
I think he's a very good player. Mentally and physically really tough. I think he showed that in Paris this year. I think he won three five setters in a row. He's done very well for many, many years until he got some injuries and stuff. He's also a player I've known since a long time. He came through the juniors with me. He's only a year younger than I am. I know his game well. He knows mine really well. We have played I think over 10 times on the tour. I think he's got a great forehand, so I have to be wary of that always against him.
They both have great single handed backhands but I don't think Robredo has that overall power level to trouble Roger. As I alluded to in my last post you only beat Fed by overpowering him, grinding down his backhand or hope he beats himself. Can a seemingly injured Robredo do any of the first 2? I don't think so.
I see Roger winning this one in straight sets and it being fairly comfortable. Robredo might be able to compete for a set but he's going to have to do an awful lot of running and if he has a leg injury I can't see him sustaining that.
Fed in 3; 6-4 6-2 6-2. Allez!