Welcome back Roger Federer 🙂
A pleasing start to 2017 and a peRFect return to the court for Roger Federer as he defeated Dan Evans 6-3 6-4 in his first match since Wimbledon at the Hopman Cup.
We knew from this years SW19 that Roger would outclass Evans if he were on song and it was a comfortable performance from the Swiss who came through in 1 hour and 1 minute.
As fans, we've had absolutely nothing to go on other than a Periscope practice and some short Instagram videos, but Fed looked impressive in his movement and retrieving from the corners on the run. The forehand was in great shape too, and Evans was never really in it.
Quick Match Recap
Both players traded early holds but at 3-2 Roger pieced together a string of solid points, including a deft volley at 30-30 to break for 4-2.
Evans immediately had two chances to break back, but a ridiculous drive volley from the baseline and a well-placed serve from the Swiss helped him hold for 5-2 before serving out the set to take it 6-3.
Momentum was now firmly on Federer's side, and he was able to break to lead 1-0 at the start of the second.
Fed consolidated that to 15, missed another break point chance to lead 3-0 and then hit a slam dunk smash en route to holding for 3-1.
At 4-2 the 2002 Hopman Champion held another break point, but Evans fought it off, coming up with a great get on game point. It made little difference though as Roger moved up 5-3, hit his first winning SABR of the year in game nine before serving out the tie to live to take it 6-3, 6-4.
|Roger Federer||Dan Evans|
|First serve||30/52 (58%)||38/58 (66%)|
|Second serve||20/22 (91%)||18/20 (90%)|
|Net Points Won||14/16 (88%)||11/14 (78%)|
|Break points||2/8 (25%)||0/2 (0%)|
|First serve points||24/30 (80%)||27/38 (71%)|
|Second serve points||17/22 (77%)||10/20 (50%)|
Thoughts on the Match
peRFect start really for Fed who looked in great shape. Evans is a tailor made as an opponent of course, and it's a very chilled out vibe in Perth with no points at stake, but it's just the kind of match he needed.
I thought his movement was spot on throughout, hitting the forehand on the run cleanly and getting about the court very efficiently. Serve wasn't firing, but as he mentioned in his Periscope, the serve goes so quickly when you don't hit them day in and day out.
Predictions vs. Zverev
Next up is more of a test against Alexander Zverev who has a lot more power than Evans on his serve and groundstrokes. In Halle, we saw he can take Fed out of his comfort zone so it could be an exciting encounter.
I think if Fed moves like he did today and returns well then he has too much in his arsenal and should come through in three. Gasquet defeated the German easily in today's earlier match as well which also bodes well for the Swiss.
What did you think of Fed's comeback? Let me know in the comments.