We're underway at the Swiss Indoors and Roger made light work of Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-2 to start his title defence in the best possible fashion. It was a pretty routine nights work for the Basel native as he swiftly went up 5-0 in the first set before taking it 6-1 in just 22 minutes. Kukushkin offered some sterner resistance at the start of set 2 but was broken in game five and seven as Roger sealed it 6-2 and moved to 57-9 lifetime in Basel.
Quick Match Recap
Kukushkin won the toss and elected to receive; Federer held to love to kick things off. Kukushkin instantly found himself under pressure at 0-40 before making it to deuce only to falter and get broken for 2-0.
The break was swiftly consolidated and Federer moved up a double break to lead 4-0. That was soon 5-0 and the Swiss closed out the set 6-1.
During the changeover Kukushkin had the trainer out which provided him with a mini rally as he dug himself out of trouble saving 3 break points to hold at the start of set 2. The man from the number one exporter of potassium then had to save 2 more break in game three but again held to lead 2-1.
At 2-2 though Roger finally got the key breakthrough to lead 3-2, held for 4-2. Reeled off a SABR on break point of game 7 to lead 5-2 and then served it out to love to setup a tie with Kohlscrheiber in the Round of 16.
|R. Federer||M. Kukushkin|
|1st Serve %||55%||53%|
|1st Serve Points Won||20/22 (91%)||11/28 (39%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||13/18 (72%)||14/25 (56%)|
|Break Points Saved||2/2 (100%)||9/13 (69%)|
|Service Games Played||8||7|
|1st Return Points Won||17/28 (61%)||2/22 (9%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||11/25 (44%)||5/18 (28%)|
|Break Points Won||4/13 (31%)||0/2 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||7||8|
|Net Points Won||17/20||2/4|
|Total Service Points Won||33/40 (83%)||25/53 (47%)|
|Total Return Points Won||28/53 (53%)||7/40 (18%)|
|Total Points Won||61/93 (66%)||32/93 (34%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Routine start here against a decent quality opponent but one you'd always fancy Fed to get the better of. Kukushkin has a good record indoors but didn't really get into the match; slipping to a 5-0 deficit is never a great idea against the best front runner ever and Roger just rushed him with his style of play. The Kazakh also didn't look to be at 100% taking a visit from the trainer at the end of set 1 and if you're not at least close to 100% then you're not getting it done vs. Fed, regardless of how many break points he might waste 😆
As for Fed, just a solid start, served well and I thought his footwork was pretty awesome from start to finish; again not ruthless on the break points but that's just how things go. Winning was the most important thing here after losing early in Shanghai so now it's just about building on that and trying to stick around for some Pizza on Sunday 🙂
Predictions vs. Kohlschreiber
Next up is Philipp Kohlschreiber who saw off Qualifier Jerzy Janowicz in three sets. Fed owns this guy in the H2H and I'm expecting the trend to continue on Thursday. Kohli is great to watch too so it should be a good match but I think Fed just has too much for him; better in all areas and the gap is even wider indoors. The German might offer some resistance, or even bag a set if he's playing at his best but I'll pick Fed in two as he's better equipped to force the issue and should be able to use his variety to keep Kohlschreiber off balance. 6-4 6-2. Allez!