ATP Masters 1000Monte-Carlo MastersRoger Federer

Federer Makes Short Work of Garcia Lopez in Monte-Carlo Comeback

Hey all, long time no match report but thankfully it's as if Roger has never been away as he recorded a routine 6-3 6-4 win over Guillermo Garcia Lopez in his first match on the tour since his loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open.

It certainly felt like a lifetime since he last stepped on court (a pre cursor for when he finally hangs up the racket? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) but he showed no real rust on his least favourite surface to win in just 75 minutes and set up a tie with Royal Bank of Agut in the third round.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Garcia Lopez Monte Carlo

Garcia Lopez won the toss and elected to receive. Federer held his first competitive service game in 9 weeks to 30 for a 1-0 lead. The Spaniard then held to love to level. At 2-1 Roger made deuce on the Garcia Lopez serve but couldn't fashion a break point but at 2-3 Garcia Lopez threw in a real gift of a game with 2 double faults to fall 4-2 behind. Roger then saved two break points to hold for 5-2 and served out the set to love 6-3.

Set 2 saw Roger immediately have another break point on the Garcia Lopez serve but it was snuffed out as the current world number 38 held for 1-0. Roger then held to 15 and got the breakthrough he was looking for after Garcia Lopez dropped serve from 30-0 up. The break was consolidated to 15 for 3-1 and Garcia Lopez dropped serve again, this time to love to fall 1-4 behind. A hold to love put Federer 5-1 in front before Garcia Lopez held to force Roger to serve it out.

It was always going to be a big ask to serve it out first time of asking in the comeback match as the nerves would have been there and Roger faltered, dropping serve to love. Fortunately the cushion of the double break was just enough as he finished the job second time of asking, holding to 30 to win through 6-3 6-4.

Match Stats

R.ย Federer G.ย Garcia-Lopez
Aces 4 0
Double Faults 3 3
1st Serve % 64% 46%
1st Serve Points Won 25/34 (74%) 18/27 (67%)
2nd Serve Points Won 12/19 (63%) 15/32 (47%)
Break Points Saved 2/3 (67%) 1/4 (25%)
Service Games Played 10 9
1st Return Points Won 9/27 (33%) 9/34 (26%)
2nd Return Points Won 17/32 (53%) 7/19 (37%)
Break Points Won 3/4 (75%) 1/3 (33%)
Return Games Played 9 10
Winners 23 10
Unforced Errors 25 21
Net Points Won 13/24 3/6
Total Service Points Won 37/53 (70%) 33/59 (56%)
Total Return Points Won 26/59 (44%) 16/53 (30%)
Total Points Won 63/112 (56%) 49/112 (44%)
SABR 0/0 0/0


Thoughts on the Match

Fed Monte Carlo 2nd Round 2016

Good match here from Federer and he looked match sharp to say he hasn't played a competitive set in 12 weeks. He got an even bigger than usual reception from the crowd as they know he's a huge asset to the sport which no doubt helped get the blood pumping and once he settled into the match he was pretty much in full control from the middle of the first set.

A slight falter when serving for it at 5-2 but it's tough to serve out matches even when you're flying high a la Djokovic so there were bound to be a few nerves for him on what is really one of the first ‘comeback' matches of his career as he's rarely been injured. The main thing I was watching out for was his movement around the court and he looked to be in great nick, hustling a number of points courtesy of slick defence and when on the front foot he played with a ton of attacking intent by coming forward and throwing in the odd serve and volley play to good effect just like Henman at the French back in 04.

As for GGL it was an error strewn performance and he dropped his serve tamely in both sets gifting Fed games at key junctures in the match. Fed obviously did a good job of pressuring him by staying on top of the baseline and using his forehand to good effect but I would have thought Garcia Lopez's play should really have been to test out Fed's legs instead he played a lot of low percentage shots which helped Roger get off to what can only be considered the best possible start; winning by hook or by crook was surely the goal but he did so handily and should take confidence into his next match.

Predictions vs. Bautista Agut

Federer Agut US Open

Next up is Royal Bank of Agut who saw off Chardy in a tough 3 setter. I'm glad this match up is on the cards as Agut is a tough guy to put away. No weapons of note but he will chase down a lot of balls and I think he will give Fed a good work out which is what's needed and it'll much tougher than Garcia Lopez today.

I could see it going three actually but I think Fed is going to have so many chances to break serve that it's going leave Agut with a bit too much to do. Chardy broke him 4 times today and had 18 break point chances so I think Roger will be able to fashion something similar, just hopefully convert a little better. Should be a good one.


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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Solid match. Also Fed’s PC was insightful. Talks about how it felt like he was playing with a “different knee” altogether. I bet he’s prefer to play RBA rather than Chardy. RBA is the kind of player who hits consistently from the baseline and causes problems to the likes of Djokovic( their USO match was very high quality last year). Chardy on the other hand is a big hitter. I guess RBA will help Fed to pace himself. Exactly the kind of match which will help him gain momentum imo.

    2. Ye just read that earlier today.

      RBA def best match up, he’s a ball machine so Fed will get plenty rhythm. Fortunately he has a below average serve so always going to fancy the chance of a break…

  1. Good to read match reports after a while, makes its sweeter when you haven’t watched match yet…Nice first picture,court level angle with covering beautiful background….is that from some one watched live?

    Solid comeback win… Agree that likely to be lots and lots of running on next match…Hopefully he plays bit more better too.. Cheers.

    1. Yeah it’s a great backdrop, kinda cool, cliff one side, sea the other. Can’t have a bad view really.

      Shame stands are half empty for a lot of matches. Nobody in for Stan today. Corporates don’t rock up until later in the day or later in the week in some cases.

      1. The corporates are there but they all eat lunch on terrace resto from where u can still watch.. For me first 2 matches hv been perfect! Lots of hitting but not overpowered! Tsonga will be a different test in that sense!

        Interesting tourney! Very international! Loads of Italians as a short drive for them! Yes there are Corp boxes but pretty low key and relaxed! Easy to buy tix from either you know who outside or Stubhub type website! Matches for Rafa/Novak/Fed all full to the rafters. 11am start but early and post 5/6 locals off for their aperitif…?

  2. Good match from Fed I think If he can get through this one I’ll be satisfied with the Monte Carlo run, really if he can get a good number of matches under his belt in this clay court swing I think we can say it is a success all things given.

    1. Yeah me too, he said in press anything was considered a success here so he should be able to play freely now he’s made a winning comeback. Draw has opened up too…

  3. I cannot wait to watch on replay tonight. I need a Fed fix, and badly! I had people texting me about the grand reception Fed received (and deservedly so). Thanks, Jonathan, for your usual fabulous recap.

  4. Loved the match report!
    It feels like a long time since Fed played ,a precursor of how life will be when he hangs up his racket (as you said),I watched the highlights and it really felt like roger never went away from tour .He played wonderful and a lot of come on’s were nice to see .
    A great comeback and i hope Fed gets a couple more wins so that he will end up with more confidence.The kit looked awesome except for those black shoes which were a tribute to kobe .
    Probably everyone has got busy with their lives but today while writing this comment ,I feel like I missed this blog so very much ,missed roger and finally today roger has made his comeback and a part of my life has come back.
    Next match will be electrifying and it will be interesting to see how the match plays out .
    Allez Roger!

    1. Yeah he played like he hadn’t missed too much tennis which was good. I like the shirt but the shorts / socks and shoes are a bad mix.

      And thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Two months off, and it seems like longer to us, but watching him, it hardly seemed as though Feds had been away. I thought he was very sharp indeed for a first match back after a pretty long break. It thought his movement was excellent, so it looks as though rehab on the knee has worked a treat. So good to see him back. I just wish Wanda had bought a Tuesday ticket, but I hope she enjoys herself tomorrow and catches a glimpse of the champ at some point.

    Thanks for the write-up Jonathan – couldn’t see any signs of rust at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Happy he got through. More pop visible on the forehand from the start, then he kinda backed off – hope he worked on it lately, as he has had some time to do it. Also, FH on the deuce side is getting better ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I too was looking at how he was moving around the court, & he looked gooood. Hadn’t heard that quote about being like playing with a new knee – that could be QUITE interesting if that continues: what if he’s been ever-so-slightly favoring it? And now he doesn’t have to? With the tiny margins you keep reminding us of, could that make a difference where it counts? I guess we’ll see.

    Interested to see if he has the same energy in his next match. So glad there IS a next match! Wanda, I hope you decided to modify your plans & get to see him. Even if just on the practice court.

    You know, it didn’t used to be possible to follow this level of tennis at this level of detail. And… I’m not sure I will, once he’s gone. I just didn’t have the same level of interest the last few weeks. Maybe I just need a break. Or maybe it’ll just be another decade or two before someone else comes along to capture the imagination. Your comment on the last thread, Jonathan, really rang true: lots of respect for djokovic; but would I want to follow a blog about him?…. Hm…. Maybe I need to go to Monaco and check out a certain vegan restaurant…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. “Hadnโ€™t heard that quote about being like playing with a new knee โ€“ that could be QUITE interesting if that continues: what if heโ€™s been ever-so-slightly favoring it? And now he doesnโ€™t have to? With the tiny margins you keep reminding us of, could that make a difference where it counts? I guess weโ€™ll see.”

      Well, I *did* wonder – knowing that when I had an arthroscopy the doctors may not actually have done anything much, but they did clean up inside the knee while they were in there, and it definitely felt better afterwards – which is why I suspected there might have been something a bit wrong with it before he actually tore the meniscus. Hope it *is* true.

    2. I hadn’t seen that quote either but it’s in his Presser from yesterday on Mickey Carlo website. From what he said he thinks his minuscus was probably already damaged and he was lucky to finally tear it off court rather than on it and make it worse. Who knows whether it feels better than ever, he gave a sort of vague answer.

  8. Oh yes, Jonathan – 0/1 on SABR = 56% ??? That IS wishful thinking! ( I think you just cut and pasted from the line above.) Can’t honestly I even saw him try one.

    1. He made one attempt in the 2nd set ๐Ÿ™‚

      And yes 0/1 = 56%? Did Jon go to the The Elementerer school or what? ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Back on the blog, feels so so nice
    Fed’s winning not a major surprize
    Didn’t see it, so cant comment much
    Glad to see, Fed hasn’t lost his touch

      1. Thanks Slamdunk,

        Its been ages since Fed played Novak on clay. Lets hope it happens

  10. So, couldn’t Nike just have told us it was West Ham colours? Would have made things a lot simpler ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Glad that’s all over, looked a bit like a kid forced to wear school shoes on the weekend, please just put on those red shoes and glide to glory now the way is clearer. In this playground of the rich and famous, Nike have now had him in two fashion fails, the other being the sweat jacket with tie and jeans look at the players cocktail party….valet parking attendant chic? It is as though he has to wear the brand prominently everywhere just to make up for the off court time.
        All jokes aside hope he is comfortable, he really can wear anything he likes and make it look passable. Allez

  11. My local satellite Indovision did not carry any Masters matches last night grrrr…Luckily I have TennisTV so not only could I watch the match but I will see it in replay…Yay!

    Love having Federer back in dashing action and all the FedFans too!

  12. Not a bad comeback ๐Ÿ™‚ From the highlights he seemed to be returning very aggressively which is always good to see. The backhand was also a shot that stood out – he struck it down-the-line extremely well, you’d think he borrowed Stan’s one hander!

    1. He hit some good backhands but I think the shot is a liability on clay, just not well suited to high bounce. And Garcia Lopez doesn’t really have that pattern of play to exploit it…

  13. Great start and a credit to his resilience and motivation and of course the doctors and team around him. Contrast this with the sluggish Dimitrov post Miami and an out of shape post rehab Fognini booed off the court and you see how easily careers can derail or just what a grind it is to play consistently let alone be elite.
    Awe inspiring and an absolutely stunning backdrop to showcase his return -the welcoming ovation to start was brilliant and lovely to know Susie was there in the stands cheering him on for us all. Allez …..more of that please Fed, and thank you Jonathan once again for this forum.

  14. Couldnt have ask for a better comeback. So happy to watch him back on court, can’t wait for his next match on Thursday.

  15. Stunned. Can’t believe it. Was so sure Vesely was going to wobble I didn’t even bother watching the live scores.

    So, Novak is human after all.

  16. Well hey there! Actually had an eye on the match while studying, Djokvic not the usual machine, but credit to Vesely. Thought he’d screw up serving for the match, apparently not ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Well, Roger phukd up big time when first serving for the match… So, Vesely is better than RF. QED. HaHa.

    2. Yeah impressive win. I’m guessing Djoker was a bit below par but Vesely has a won a few matches on clay lately so bit more match tough on it. Not Djoker’s best surface either.

  17. O man. So glad to see Djoker out. No offense to him. He’s a grown up and usually acts like it now.

    I just feel like he’s had his fill of runs for a while and it just get’s sooooooooo


    so i’m glad not to have to be bored.

  18. Actually it was a disaster ๐Ÿ™ I couldn’t go today (sold the tickets yesterday) and haven’t even seen the replay of his first match yet…Thanks for thinking of me anyway. Great to get back to routine reading the match report, Jonathan.

    1. Oh dear, Wanda….life happens. We should be getting a fan story from Susie though.

      Fed – Nadal final? With Fed the winner in a 3rd set tie-break.

  19. GOAT IS BACK! Phew 75 days!! Federer made a wonderful comeback, looked firm as ever, i reckon a couple of wins here at the principality would have been great to get some rust of his shoulders. And looking at his movrment and an early “come on fist pumps” made me wonder that hr means business here and could well make the semis here, being drawn opposite to Rafa, Muzza, Stan and NO DJOKO now! Hmmmm…well well well.

  20. Jon: you’d better prepare a template and fill in the blanks for the posts, otherwise you won’t be able to keep up with the pace of Roger’s matches!

  21. WISH Paire had been able to knock out Muzzah. Ugh. Had live scoreboard up at work for Fed’s match today but am anxious for the play by play…

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