ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Federer Makes Winning Start in Cincinnati

Roger's Cincinnati campaign is underway thanks to a routine 6-4 6-4 win against Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Swiss didn't face a single break point and broke Agut once in each set to book his spot in the last 16 against either Kevin Anderson or Jack Sock.

The wins sees Fed improve to 4-0 lifetime against the Spaniard who is yet to win more than 4 games in a set and struggles to handle Federer's offensive style of play.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Cincinnati 2nd Round 2015

Bautista-Agut won the toss and elected to serve holding to 30 before Federer levelled. In game 3 the Swiss struck first blood; breaking to 15 with a nice forehand + overhead combo. The break was consolidated with a 76 second hold.

Agut came under increased pressure on his serve from thereafter, especially on his second delivery which Roger returned from the service line.

Fed had more break points at 4-2 and 5-3 but couldn't convert. One break was ample though as he served out the set 6-4. Making just 27% of first serves ๐Ÿ˜†

Set 2 was more of the same, Agut again struggling to make much impact in any area. After saving 4 break points in his opening service game he dropped serve at 1-1. Just like the first set one break proved decisive and the FedExpress coasted across the line in 79 minutes.

Match Stats

  R. Bautista Agut R. Federer
Aces 4 6
Double Faults 0 2
1st Serve % 69% 43%
1st Serve Points Won 30/50 (60%) 20/21 (95%)
2nd Serve Points Won 13/22 (59%) 20/28 (71%)
Break Points Saved 8/10 (80%) 0/0 (0%)
Service Games Played 10 10
1st Return Points Won 1/21 (5%) 20/50 (40%)
2nd Return Points Won 8/28 (29%) 9/22 (41%)
Break Points Won 0/0 (0%) 2/10 (20%)
Return Games Played 10 10
Winners 13 24
Unforced Errors 25 28
Net Points Won 5 20/27
Total Service Points Won 43/72 (60%) 40/49 (82%)
Total Return Points Won 9/49 (18%) 29/72 (40%)
Total Points Won 52/121 (43%) 69/121 (57%)



Thoughts on the Match

Federer Cincy 2015 Agut

It's the first round of the hard court season for the next six plus months or so. I have things in mind to work on for the hard-court season. No. 1, you have to be fit and tough, because you can stop on a dime and move the other direction, which on other surfaces is not so easy to do. Here in Cincy it plays pretty quick, so why not move forward a bit. You have to just pick the right times and keep your opponent off balance. I think it is a good play for me.

Not the highest quality stuff match but a routine win and the only questionmark for me is ‘how did Agut get 8 games?' ๐Ÿ˜€

Federer stamped his mark early with aggressive ball striking + move forward tactic and Agut just doesn't have any weapons to counter it.

The Spaniard is quick and hits a good ball but with no power it's not a recipe for success against Fed. Roger can just play the match on his terms and take charge without worrying about what comes back over the net.

The only real red flag on the stats is the first serve percentage which was down at 27% in set 1 and 43% for the match. Not ideal but first match back means it's no cause for concern; zero break points faced either. All in all an impressive first outing since Wimbledon and Fed looks to be in decent shape / light on his feet which is key for his success on the hard courts.

Predictions vs. Anderson

Federer Anderson

Next up is Kevin Anderson who won his 2nd match of the US Open Series by defeating Jack Sock in straight sets. Anderson has been on a losing streak since Wimbledon but he toughed out a 3 setter vs Mayer in the first round and then came through against the American.

I caught the highlights of yesterdays match and Sock had a 5-3 lead in the 2nd set tie breaker but couldn't take it 3. Anderson looked to be playing ok but I think Fed will handle him comfortably. Anderson is dangerous with a big serve and ground game but anyone who gets his serve back and can move him around usually gets the job done.

We're now also only 1 round away from a potential Fedal encounter. If Nadal beats Lopez and Fed takes out Anderchoke then its on. Nadal plays first – will we see a Federer lapse match as he thinks ahead to the Quarters? ๐Ÿ˜€

I'll pick Fed in straights. 6-4 6-2.


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. God to see him back on court, sure the serve will click in on the next match, very aggressive play from Roger which is lovely to see. Hopefully will do more of the same with his next opponent. Love the Shirt hate the shorts with the pink stripe. And managed to get a 2nd – all is good

  2. Missed his opening match, still too early to gauge form as I suspect Roger is trying to shake off weeks of rust. A win is win, hopefully he will improve in his next match.

  3. 1st serve must have improved quite a bit in set 2 to raise the match average to 43 from 27, so that’s encouraging. Seems to be moving well; a little rusty, some unexpected UFEs, but not really surprising after his time off.

    Kind of like the kit, though I’d be happier with a collar on the shirt.

    As others have said, it’s just good to see him back on court.

  4. Yes, first serve % not great – lucky that Agut couldn’t get a read on either 1st or 2nd! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But of course 5 weeks off is a long time, and I’m sure that will sharpen up – next match would be good. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Other than that, I thought Rog looked fresh and sharp – plenty of variety, and kept Agut on the back foot for most of the match, so all in all a pretty good first match. Allez the Maestro! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ian just posted that on my previous post. My take:

      “Talk about hyping up the victory. Agut is a weaponless player who has never won more than 4 games in a set against Fed. It was just a routine win.”

      1. However… I thought that especially the utterly agressive takes on RBA’s second services could be something he’s planning on using against Nadal. No need to say that Nadal’s second services these days are horrible too, so that would be an interesting tactic.

      2. Yeah if he does that against Nadal it would be a great idea. Why not step in and hit a few?

        He lost many matches against Nadal by starting rallies at neutral on the return. Maybe he’ll make more errors but its going to be a profitable play.

  5. Solid first match to get going…..

    And have to say here, refreshing to see how one can manage play in net compare to what seen on Montreal final…

    1. Yes agree – made the whole Montreal tournament look so ordinary.

      Having said that I also watched the excruciatingly dull Lopez/Raonic match and Cilic earlier in the day and was thinking that this is the future of tennis when ‘the big four’ eventually bow out. Boring boring boring

      1. You are right. I find myself more often than not asking: “Why do I really cheer for my fellow countryman Sousa? There is nothing appealing in his game, just baseline grinding/defending.”. And the same is more or less true for the remaining field… most of it, anyway.

    2. Some of the Djoker Murray match was more entertaining than usual, Djoker serve volley on some big points, Murray net rushing and pulling out some impressive lobs. Better than the usual pong. Although I only saw highlights.

      Raonic not finding form post injury yet.

      And Sousa ain’t bad Rui, he can make some good shots, his match vs. Fed at Halle last year was good…

      1. Well, yes, Sousa is OK (in fact we never had such a highly ranked player), but my point is that he, just like many others, plays a pretty “standard”, venture-less baseline game. Besides the outrageous variety in Roger’s game, the occasional similar attempts in mixing this and that by Novak, Andy and Stan, a few kamikaze (as Sid put it) like Dustin Brown or plain circus entertainers like Fognini and Monfils, the rest merges in an undifferentiated porridge. Maybe by watching more games I could discriminate finer characteristics, but that would be hard.

  6. Surprised I’m about to say this, but….. I find I’m actually missing the comments on the new ATP site. I never commented myself, and yes, there were some trolls – but there were also a rather large handful of thoughtful regular posters whose comments would clarify an article, or correct errors (sometimes real howlers), or put forth a perspective or detail I hadn’t considered.

    Eliminating comments seems to continue a trend of disengaging fans, which is (to me) so obviously counter-productive, it’s mind-blowing.

  7. Hi all…. After a pretty long time Federer is back. To me it felt like a lifetime tbh. And during that break the tournaments without Federer seamed really crap. I am dreading the day when federer retires with the likes of Djokovic and Murray. What a crappy prospect!!!
    Anyway regarding the match I expected Federer to be rusty, but as long as he can win and improve round by round then I will be happy. If a potential Fedal match happens I really hope Federer wins as he is due a win against him long overdue.
    Ps. I like the picture of Federer above and his Tennis clothing and colour. When I first
    looked at the photo with the Western and
    Southern logo behind him. I read the next bit as ” Talk to a financial TRAITOR today” as Federers head was in the way. Lol. Especially with todays financial crash by the bankers that would of been a more appropriate and accurate slogan and logo for them.
    Anyway 1 down 4 to go. Allez Roger! !!!

    1. Haha I dunno Western and Southerns business or reputation but assuming they are like most other financial institutions then traitor isn’t far wrong. Terrorist might be more apt ๐Ÿ˜†

    2. I’ll play the cynical guy for a bit: I suspect that Roger, once he is sure that the game is in his hand, deliberately uses the first round as practicing and tries this and that to loosen the rust, inevitably losing some easy points. This jumped to my mind as he only got 27% of first serves right in the first set (damn, that’s even worse than me and I never took lessons, ever! A grotesque comparison ends here.), nevertheless Roberto didn’t get a chance. Granted, he is not the strongest competitor out there, but truth must be told: nowadays most top 50 players are way way above what us mere mortals could ever even dream to achieve. I don’t think I could even scratch the ball with the racquet frame after a decent serve of one of these guys, let alone get the ball back in play…

      1. I couldn’t explain such a poor FS%. My only conclusion (not having seen it, of course) was that he wanted to practise his second serve! Actually, I was starting to wonder if there was some problem, given that he actually let RBA get 8 games!

  8. Yes, Thinker, I’m going to the VanOpen tomorrow. I can’t believe it….there is no one left in the draw! Gulbis, Berankis, Falla, Soeda, Ebden, Stepanek, Gonzalez, Tipsarevic, Millman all gone. And Melzer just lost too.

    To top it off, showers in the forecast.

    1. Think you’ll recognize a “star of tomorrow” if you should happen to see him? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      (Actually I think a couple of them have been at Cincy!)

    1. Its so bad I dont even bother looking at it anymore. it was one of the first things I turned to every morning and I prob spent hours reading the comments – many of them garbage – when bored at work. I cant believe how they have shot themselves in the foot. And I know that people will say they like it coz its modern and brighter….. Usually new things do grow on you but this just doesnt work

    2. It’s garbage. I keep reading the Spanish one at the moment, which has its own problems, but at least it works, even if it’s STILL got the Fish/Troicki result up there! I keep getting “Error on page” for the new one, and can’t even call up the scores. Plus, have you tried looking at the rankings recently?

  9. Down with summer flu, but clawed out from the bed to watch the last 20 minutes of the match live. Good to see his quick attacking play. Glad it seem no โ€˜HOLDโ€™ mantra needed. Sorry Dippy, I left all the job to you, the schedule is killing Europeanโ€™s beauty sleep. Hope Jonathan wouldnโ€™t get spotty face after US hard court series.

    His outfit looked magenta on the screen. A bit too pinky for my liking but he looked great as usual. Yes, Jonathan, I would prefer lavender (or blue side of purple) anytime (I have just read your previous comment). Omg, is he leaner? Pecks and packsโ€ฆanyone?

  10. Am staying up for the Anderson match – should be 2am our time. Not sure of my prep for USO as have done both Montreal and Cinci – may have nothing left in tank for US…..

    Good luck Roger!

    1. During the warm-up?! And there I was speculating that all those first-set bathroom breaks at Wimby last year were tactical …

  11. No Fedal encounter again it seems. Indian Wells, Rome and now Cincinnati.

    Federer has a good chance of making the final now imo.

    1. Not convinced his chances are any better or any worse for the absence of Nadal, myself, given the way I understand he was playing. I should have had money on Fedal not happening.

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