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
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 😆
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.
|R. Bautista Agut||R. Federer|
|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|
|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
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?' 😀
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
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? 😀
I'll pick Fed in straights. 6-4 6-2.