ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Federer Makes Winning Return in Cincinnati

Roger Federer’s US Open Series is finally underway after the Swiss saw off Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

It was his first competitive outing since the loss to Anderson at Wimbledon and the recently turned 37 year old needed 72 minutes to defeat the German and setup up a tie with Leonardo Mayer in Round 3.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Gojo Cincy 2R

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Gojowczyk held to fifteen before the Swiss came through a ropey opening service game, saving two break points after throwing in two double faults.

Gojowczyk was then pegged to deuce en route to holding for 2-1 but in game five he relinquished his serve. Roger then held to love for 4-2 but had to save two more break point in game eight for 5-3. He went onto secure the set 6-4.

Into set two and Gojowczyk got off to a poor start, double-faulting to give Roger a break point which he converted for 1-0.  The break was consolidated despite another double fault at 40-30 and from there Roger settled holding his next four service games without any trouble to take it 6-4 in the second.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Peter Gojowczyk
Aces 12 11
Double Faults 4 3
1st Serve 64% (39/61) 55% (35/64)
1st Serve Points Won 79% (31/39) 83% (29/35)
2nd Serve Points Won 68% (15/22) 38% (11/29)
Break Points Saved 100% (5/5) 50% (2/4)
Service Games Played 10 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 17% (6/35) 21% (8/39)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 62% (18/29) 32% (7/22)
Break Points Converted 50% (2/4) 0% (0/5)
Return Games Played 10 10
Service Points Won 75% (46/61) 63% (40/64)
Return Points Won 38% (24/64) 25% (15/61)
Winners 24 18
Unforced Errors 20 29
Net Points Won 64% (7/11) 60% (3/5)
Total Points Won 56% (70/125) 44% (55/125)

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Cincinnati 2018 2R

A reasonable start here from Roger who played well enough when required; a bit rusty as you’d expect especially on serve but by the second set he found his feet and was the better player. He certainly looks fit and lean, moved pretty well and came up with the goods when down break points to save all five of them.

I’ve not seen much of Gojowczyk before but he hits a very flat ball and goes for his shots. From the camera angle, the court looks to be playing quickly which aids his game style and it wasn’t the sort of match where Roger could settle in on the baseline to find a rhythm. Had the German had a bit more about him and didn’t have the added pressure of playing the GOAT in front of a full house of Federer fans he could have probably sneaked the first set; he did have chances but his game is fairly low margin and once Roger got the lead he was able to front run nicely in the second set to come through untroubled.

Predictions vs. L. Mayer

Next up is Leonardo Mayer who defeated Lucas Pouille in straight sets. The Frenchman had seen off Andy Murray in a topsy-turvy match on Monday and doesn’t seem to have much consistency of late. Mayer, on the other hand, is on a bit of a run at the moment, making the final in Hamburg recently where he lost to Berrettini.

Roger leads the H2H 2-0, the most recent meeting being at the US Open in 2015 which was a routine win. However, the more interesting math was the one in Shanghai a year earlier where Mayer had match points and ran Roger very close. The Argentine has a big game so if he’s got a hot hand he can be a danger to anyone; he played well against Nadal last year at the US Open, for example, winning the opening set but consistency isn’t really his strength. He seems to like quicker courts though but I think Fed wins in two tight sets, maybe a tie break.

What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments.


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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  1. The court is really fast. Either the players can the ball on the rise time and again or they’re toast. Roger sure can.

  2. Thanks for the write-up and highlights Jon. Yeah he looked a bit rusty but good enough to win. Hopefully he will play into form as Mayer could definitely be tricky.

    I can’t help but notice he’s wearing his Wimbledon shoes?? Nike can’t even bother to give him new shoes to wear? It’s be quite shocking if this is because as a team they haven’t been able to secure a sponsor for the shoes for him?? How long has it been? Almost 6 months!

    1. ?? He can’t be wearing his Wimbledon shoes – the soles would be wrong. I guess abandoning your tried and tested shoes for a new manufacturer is more risky than doing it for clothing.

      Watching the live scores, it seemed to me Roger had more trouble winning this match than I might have expected, so I guess that was rust. I hope he’s worked it off before he faces Mayer, who can indeed be tricky.

    2. Yeah same shoes as Wimbledon, obviously the sole is different, herringbone rather than pimple but otherwise identical. He said before Nike were interested in a shoe deal but seems nothing happening on that front for now.

  3. Thanks for quick report and very nice and long highlight-show – showing Fed’s elegance still going strong. Appreciate this as I haven’t possibility this week for TT.

  4. Thanks for the write up as not able to watch.Glad you think Fed is looking fit and lean as there seems to be some silly gossip that he is getting fat!! I expect there will be a tussle with Mayer,I have probably seen him play but don’t remember him.Does Theim withdrawing help Fed?To be honest I would have preferred it to be Delpo?

    1. I think Leonard mayer was the one in Shanghai that suffered gravely under Fed’s luck in first or second round in Shanghai a couple of years ago. AND he was unlucky too. And of course very unhappy. Fed went on to win the whole tournament I think for the first time. Leonard has something to revenge. I hope he won’t succeed this time, and Fed has his good luck grounded on his huge competance.

    2. Yes – Yaca Mayer is the one who had match point vs Fed in Shanghai, they were both (?) at the net, Mayer hit the ball & Roger went the other way but the ball caught the top edge of the net, so the ball slowed & popped up just enough for Roger to change direction & make the return after all. If it hadn’t clipped the net, Roger didn’t have time to recover. I was glad Roger won of course but simultaneously so sad for Mayer – his eyes were filled with tears as they shook hands.

      That was a faster surface too… Roger will certainly have to step it up to come through this next match. Hoping for some good tennis.

      1. Thanks Thinker, for updating our memory – yes, that was REALLY bad luck for poor Leonard. Is to understand his grudge (is this the right word?) I think I have feared his meeting Fed ever since, I do think this is first time since then? Well Roger can beat him of course.

      2. Fed was 15-40 down in the third, he then made a full stretch volley, Mayer had a play on it, but he hit it into the tape. It popped up but it didn’t go over.

      3. Right Jon, that’s how I remember it too. And Leonard put it over manually, on the brink of sobbing, didn’t he? Oh I understand him. Still Roger to win everything, please.

      4. & you are right, Jonathan – I always remember Roger spinning back around as part of this, but in fact he didn’t get the return because there wasn’t a return to get, the ball just popped up – not far, – & came straight back down again on Mayer’s side.

        I also hadn’t remembered he actually saved multiple match points; that was just the one that would have finished it if it hadn’t hit the tape:

    1. Yeah the kit is the same as the one a guy leaked. It has just different colors. Pretty horrible design. Looked like Nike wanted to drop the quality for Fed’s designs? Anyways, good that he switched to UNIQLO. Pretty sure they won’t make such an atrocity!

  5. Mayer is ranked 50 and has played Fed twice and been beaten twice,so hopefully Fed should be okay.Hopefully.?

  6. Hi Jonathan and fellow Fed Fans
    Haven’t posted anything for quite a while but have been following you diligently (getting lazy in my old age). I was a bit nervous watching Roger’s match last night as he really did look rusty at the start but got better as the match went on, whewww!! Is it just me or is anyone else a little bit more nervous than usual watching him this year? I remember the Mayer match in Shanghai and am sure he will be out for revenge. I agree with you Jonathan about Roger looking lean and fit and I loved his look in the navy kit. Fit him beautifully and I like that he wore white shoes, even if they are Nikes. Any word on his logo? Good Luck tomorrow Roger!

  7. Good post break win. Jon says it all!
    Nice outfit! Loved the shorts.
    Mayer is a threat but hopefully Rog to come thru
    Good to hv him and you back Jon!

    1. Cheers. Yeah you’d think Mayer would be poor on fast courts as he has pretty big swings but 4R at Wimbledon one time, ran Fed close in Shanghai. Maybe he likes them.

  8. Really liked Roger’s dark blue outfit and white shoes, he looked great. As Miss Elly mentioned above I also felt a bit nervous all along the match though he certainly seemed to be enjoying it. Mayer can be tricky and he’s a fighter but I think Roger will win in three sets. So good to have RF playing, filling up courts and lighting it all up with his smile!

    1. Yeah I like the outfit. I saw some fans saying it is too plain but I thought it was good.

      Also if you post a comment and it doesn’t show – no need to repost it. It’s because when comments contain multiple links it goes into my moderation queue. So I have to approve 🙂

      1. Yes plain is good, signals that to look at moving and shooting is more important than fancy dressing on court. Well I loved the AO 2017 shirt too… never to forget! And agree on those yooks about nike’s new V shirt. But that with the line down I still might like a bit.

  9. Great to see the Fed back on court. Yes Susie, love the shorts too. I have visions of truckloads of RF Nike gear sitting in a warehouse somewhere in Timbuktu. Fun match, rust, but in control.
    Went to the VanOpen (challenger event) yesterday. Saw Bouchard playing a practice match. Nice backhand and moving well. Maybe she’ll claw her way somewhat up the rankings again. I missed Felix but saw Kokkinakis play Jordan Thompson. Also Peliwu (Canadian) who won 2 junior slams I believe.
    Wheelchair tennis demo. Harder than you think! Evening match was Pospisil. He played a Canadian 19yo. Sigouin who played with no fear. Anyway, had a chance to bump into Vasek after the match. These guys are so much bigger and sweatier in person.
    Tennis Canada announced they would be creating a new tennis academy in the Vancouver area with lots of indoor and outdoor courts. Great for the future of the game. We are surrounded by ice rinks in this part of the world.
    Will miss the match tomorrow..grrr.

    1. That’s the first time I heard a Bouchard shot called nice 😀 her game is agricultural.

      Are you there for one day or more?

      Did you see any of Dan Evans?

  10. No, just one day there. Didn’t see Evans. Wasn’t he banned for a bit? We were standing right behind Bouchard. Her bh seemed the best part of her game. Not saying she will be top 10. I finally watched Roger’s match last night. Was comparing to Pospisil. Pospisil needs more variety, coming in and spin. Anyway, no one has the style of Fed.
    The air here sucks. I’m moving to Beijing.

  11. Thanks for the post Jonathan. I finally watched the reply. Oh yeah loved the outfit! Haha actually I’m okay with anything so long as it’s on him 😆 Somehow looked much better fit than the ones Novak wore before, especially the shorts. Thought it was good match as the first one after the break. He looked in great shape. Such a joy to watch!

  12. What do you guys think of the new reforms in Davis Cup?
    I feel there is a need to revamp it but the way they are doing it will kill it. Do they really think top players at the end of a really gruelling season will show keenness to play one week full of tennis? I don’t think so. Instead they could have negotiated a two week period with ATP as they are already sacrificing two Davis Cup weekends. Those two weeks should be in the middle of the calendar may be in April. This way we It’ll make it better participation from top guys. I doubt Roger will ever play in it.

  13. Uh-oh, it’s raining in Cincy, and Grigor and Novak still have a set to go 🙁
    Anyone pulling an all-nighter?

    1. They’ve canceled play for tonight.

      If Federer wants to win this one, he’s going to have to do it the hard way: playing three straight days, including two matches on Friday.

      Then, too, the weather might continue to be uncooperative through the weekend, so he might have to play even longer than that.

      1. Yes but this will effect opponents too.If he is a bit rusty how better to get into the groove.
        Glass half full etc.

      2. True, Annie, he does need to face top-notch opposition in order to get match tough and play himself into form for New York. I’m glad he’s up against Wawrinka next.

        If the court were slower I might put Wawrinka as a slight favorite, given Federer’s struggles this year…however, this court is lightning-fast and hopefully Federer will be able to use that to his advantage and play first-strike tennis. Wawrinka needs time to wind up his big groundstrokes. If Federer takes away that time, he wins.

        IMO, Djokovic tanked Toronto in order to conserve his energy for capturing the only Masters title he’s never won. He’s shown a lot of mental strength in his matches here, coming through several tough three-setters.

        Only Federer could possibly stop him, I feel. Djokovic is just too good at grinding down and outlasting his opponents from the baseline. Federer’s all-court skills and lightning attack are the only thing that could beat the machine.

  14. The rain is certainly making a mess of the scheduling but one good thing was a replay of the Federer match at a
    reasonable time for viewing here.I thought he looked great ,like a panther prowling and leaping round the court,in the very dark blue outfit.Played very well I thought,a very businesslike performance.The weather forecast for today is terrible also.☹️

  15. Here’s to hoping Jonathan’s busy time is made brighter with two wins to write up and not a win and a loss!

    Well done Roger, go go go

  16. Yes a straightforward win.But what has happened to Mayer?Some sort of extreme diet?He looked terrible.
    Not to detract from Feds win of course.

  17. Well done against Mayer… some great shots and the legs are knitting well. In French, we say : “les jambes tricotent bien”.
    Go for another Fedrinka as scintillating as the one in Indian Wells 2017 !!!
    Let’s go fore some sleep first…

  18. omg, how’d he pull that one off. Had to leave after the 1st set and thought too many errors, he’s done. What a surprise!

  19. Yes a good start of the day’s messages. And now nice Goffin to beat! Well if ever to lose to any, he’s the one I like most. But of course – go Roger, please do it again (win!)

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