ATP 500HalleRoger Federer

Federer Moves Into Halle Semi Finals; Defeats Goffin 6-1 7-6(10)

Roger Federer's into yet another Halle Semi Final after defeating David Goffin 6-1, 7-6(10) in 81 minutes at the Gerry Weber Open. The win sees him set up a tie against Alexender Zverev in Saturday's semi final where the Swiss will be aiming to make an 11th final in North Rhine Westalphia.

Federer hasn't looked his fluent best so far this week on the grass but he raced through the first set in just 21 minutes and saved 4 sets points in the second set to win through in a close tie break which to record his 29th win in a row against Belgian opposition.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Goffin Halle Quarter Final

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. The decision paid off as Goffin was broken to 15 and after consolidating to love Roger broke again for 3-0. The Belgian recovered one of the breaks after a loose Federer service game but Roger soon restored his advantage sweeping the set 6-1 in just 20 minutes.

After being blown off court in set one Goffin dug in to hold his first service game at the start of the second. At 2-2 Goffin broke to lead 3-2 but couldn't consolidate as Federer levelled for 3-3. The Belgian however broke again to lead 5-4 but after holding a game point fired down back to back double faults when serving for the set to drop serve. Roger then held serve for 6-5 and held 2 match points which Goffin saved to force a tie break.

Into the breaker and it was Goffin who got off to the better start, moving up a mini break and establishing a 5-2 lead. Roger hit back though, saving set points at 4-6, 5-6, and 6-7. The Swiss then held match point at 8-7 but Goffin came up with a pass to level and saved a second when behind 8-9. Roger saved a third set point at 10-9 winning both his service points for an 11-10 lead and when Goffin went long off a backhand he sealed it 12-10.

Match Stats

R.Β Federer D.Β Goffin
Aces 6 2
Double Faults 2 2
1st Serve % 68% 59%
1st Serve Points Won 28/36 (78%) 26/46 (57%)
2nd Serve Points Won 7/17 (41%) 12/32 (38%)
Break Points Saved 0/3 (0%) 8/14 (57%)
Service Games Played 9 10
1st Return Points Won 20/46 (43%) 8/36 (22%)
2nd Return Points Won 20/32 (63%) 10/17 (59%)
Break Points Won 6/14 (43%) 3/3 (100%)
Return Games Played 10 9
Winners 23 17
Unforced Errors 26 27
Net Points Won 7/12 5/12
Total Service Points Won 35/53 (66%) 38/78 (49%)
Total Return Points Won 40/78 (51%) 18/53 (34%)
Total Points Won 75/131 (57%) 56/131 (43%)
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Goffin Halle 2016

Decent win here for Roger and he looked to be in much better form than his first 2 rounds in Halle. His movement was noticably better and he won quite a lot of points thanks to his defence which is good to see. Still not what you would call sharp in terms of point construction and anticipation but he covered the court well throughout. Goffin's ball doesn't have much weight on it either so Roger was able to force the issue at will and that certainly helped when things got close in the second set. We haven't seen Federer come to the net much this week but I'm guessing that's primarily because of the back; serving and volleying is tough on the body (just look at Becker) and on the volleys he has hit he's looked a little bit upright. But 3 wins so far this week and all steps in the right direction ahead of Wimbledon and the latter part of the season.

As for Goffin, he didn't have chance to settle in the first set but in the second he found some rhythm and had multiple chances to win it; but he wobbled and his first serve deserted him when he needed it most. Not a bad result for him making the Quarters though in his first grass outing after playing a long clay stretch. He slips to 5-0 in the H2H against Fed

Predictions vs. Zverev

Federer Zverev

Next up is the highest ranked teenager in the world Alexander Zverev who defeated Bagdhatis in 2 sets. Impressive win for the German as Bagdhatis has shown some good form this week. Roger leads the H2H 1-0 after winning in Rome last month in fairly comfortable fashion. If a sub par Roger can handle Zverev on clay then I like his chances on grass. Zverev has some good firepower so he won't have it all his own way from the baseline as he did against Goffin but I'll pick Fed to get it done in 2 tight sets.

What did you guys make of today's win? Let me know in the comments.


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. Better performance, still room for improvement. He should be able to win tomorrow and reach the final.


      1. ???
        I am a little behind in the race this year, hopefully Roger will catch up on the winning ways as well ??????

  1. 40/78 on return point tells clearly he won lost of points, though strange to see he haven’t saved any breakpoints at all….still up and down game wise it seems…Hopefully he ups the ante now…He should have more than fair chance if back is good….let’s see…two more hopefully..

      1. It came back a few hours later. I thought his play MUCH improved over yesterday’s. Still lots of room to get better, though.

    1. It’s gone again πŸ™ That must have been one of the shortest video lives ever – I assume it was from the usual supplier?

  2. Alb: you were right! Good call. Things change very quickly. After the last two matches, I was thinking that was maybe it, as did Jonathan. Oh Ye of Little Faith. πŸ˜‰ But Feds came out all guns blazing, certainly in 1st set. Granted Goffin made a lot of errors, but still. I didn’t like the way he got broken in 2nd set (particularly first service game), but liked the way he broke back. OK, he could have finished it off earlier and avoided the TB but, it’s all good practice in the end.

    Zverev played very well against Baghdatis who can be tricky. I actually rate Zverev and think he’s got a great future, but with the way Feds played today, looking much more confident/sharper, I believe this will be his. Allez! Feel a lot happier today πŸ™‚

      1. A bit up and down, sort of getting used to it: Feds always make us squirm for it! But *much* better than the last two matches. πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah I wasn’t confident but my reverse jinx worked πŸ˜†

      Didn’t see Zverev but Baggy looked like he was up in the first set but lost it in a long breaker. Smashed some racquets too apparently so guessing he thought he should have won.

      1. He really *should* have won. Broke Zverev and was serving for match, lost that and was pushed to a TB, was up a break in TB… Have to say Zverev has a mature head on his shoulders (only just 19 after all). He never gives up and can rustle up an ace/1st serve when he needs it. Poor Bags went off court and smashed the racquet, brought it back and placed it behind his chair, and was promptly penalised. πŸ˜† I did feel that was a bit harsh though.

  3. thanks a lot for such a complete information, specially because in my country this tournament was no covered, that’s why your info brings me real happiness

  4. Nice to be more optimistic! Thanks from me also for all good reports, nice to share – but argh – the video from today taken away – isn’t it possible to bring it back somehow, Jonathan?

  5. Saw highlights. Fed’s movement look really good through a lot of them. Some great hitting from both of them.

    Fed really kept his nerve and went for his shots on the TB.

  6. Missed the match except for the last few points. Hoping he keeps improving and his back is stable. All this cold weather in Europe not good for the muscles.

    I like Zverev, kinda cute too. BUT hoping for Fed in 2. And hoping he doesn’t meet Thiem in the final.

    1. I’ve been having a niggling feeling, don’t know where it’s been coming from, that Zverev might win the whole thing. Hoping I’m wrong since it means he’d have to go through Fed to do it, but I wouldn’t necessarily mind it otherwise. Who’s Thiem got to play? I can’t remember.

  7. Even playing at 80% of his peak level Federer hasn’t dropped a set this week! That’s got to be an encouraging sign. Again he hit back strongly when he was broken. From 0-5 down to match point against Thiem, from 1-4 down against Jaziri, and now breaking back twice (including when Goffin was serving for the second set) when he was down. It’s unusual for Federer to be broken so many times on grass, and even more unusual for him to come back the way he has.

    This was just the kind of match he needed, a really tight tiebreak where he was under tremendous pressure to save multiple set points. If Goffin had managed to win the second set, he’d almost surely have run away with the third so it was very important for Federer to close it out in straights. It would have been too much for Federer to lose two matches on grass after holding match point in both. But this time he held his nerve (although it must be said that Goffin’s lack of a serve made it easier for Federer to come back each time the Belgian moved ahead). This’ll definitely stand him in good stead for Wimbledon and help him become mentally accustomed to making the right decisions on the key points.

    Some pluses: finally the return game made an appearance, esp. in the first set, and he defended superbly and his timing was better. I’d like to see more volleying but of course this depends on whether his body will allow it.

    It’s important for Federer to get to the final so he can have as many matches as possible before Wimbledon. I think he gets past Zverev to have a rematch with Thiem. The young hotshot might be tiring but he got lucky to have an extra day of rest. Don’t see Mayer being able to offer any resistance to Thiem’s serve, firepower, and movement. A rematch would be good for Federer, he needs to be pushed by tough opponents so he can get used to playing on the big stages again.

    1. Yeah it’s a good win. Goffin definitely help as he got very tight. Serve was over the shop. Not sure Feds return is there yet, Goffin serve is easy to get hold of. Will be interesting to see how he handles Zverev’s.

  8. It was good that Fed got the win in straights. I feel like that will help him mentally, which seems to me to be his biggest issue at the moment in his game. At this point, any win is a good win, and if he can manage to get a win in Halle this week I have to feel like that will help him massively for Wimby. If he can get another couple of matches under his belt, preferably wins, and get close to his top game, he can use the next week to help his physical state which seems a bit off-peak and then iron out the rest of his issues with his game (mainly timing) at the start of Wimby. I feel like if he can play his way into form and grow into Wimby he’ll always have a chance, funnily enough he may be more likely to win it like this playing with nothing to lose than if he was in great form expecting himself to sweep away everyone.

    1. Yeah same here, saving set points and not dropping the breaker after match points passed him by. Not confident for Wimbledon tbh but still some time.

  9. Perfect match for Rog! Goff hits a nice clean ball and gave Fed plenty of nice groundies, rallies, court patterns and rhythm! No wonder Fed likes laying him! Never seen anyone wear their nerves on their face as much as Goff! Sooo tight at big moments! Gifted the break at 5-4!
    I think it was a FH that he hit long at the end by the way…
    I take him to beat Sascha in straights but the final may be one match too far! However, given where he was, this has been a great week for building up to Wimby…

    1. Jonathan really ought to give us an edit button eh Susie? But that was funny. πŸ˜†

      Agree with you – Feds did say he liked playing him – certainly I felt (at least in 2nd set) he gave Feds a lot of useful practice. But what a difference from yesterday when I felt very gloomy. I noticed he said that he thought he’d been moving better at Stuttgart, which is what I’d thought also. But this match was a huge improvement, thank gawd.

      1. Sascha is the common nickname for Alexander. Just like we wouldn’t think twice about calling somebody ‘Billy’ when their name is William.

      2. It’s not common like William being called Bill. It’s the Russian nickname for Aleksandr. Zverev has Russian parents or something which is why.

        His brother has the same Mischa – Michael or Mikhail

        We’d never use it in the UK and you wouldn’t hear it many other places.

      3. I meant, common in Russia (where it IS as common as Bill for William)- guess I neglected to mention that part.

      4. Thinker, I did figure that part out. I knew he was from Russian heritage. I believe his older brother was born in Russia.

  10. Thanks, Jonathan; you summarised well as usual. I thought that this was much better match for Roger, especially in the 2nd set for the exercise of metal toughness. Roger broke straight back after being broken twice. At 2-5 down in the TB, Roger hanged really tough. I thought that Goffan’s play was superb, so a much better win for Roger.

  11. Fed’s serve is really improving in the last couple of weeks. I note he landed a couple of huge ones (by his standards) at 210kph and 213kph.

  12. One of the things that got to me yesterday was that photos of Fed’s box showed them fairly tight-lipped…. Today they’re doing fist pumps. A very good sign I think. I hope. As we were reminded last week, the only way he can get this kind of practice is by playing these kinds of tight matches. So it was good, I think, for him to have both the experience of a domonant set, and then of a tighter set – and while he probably ‘should’ have got out of it earlier, the fact that he managed it even after missing those opportunities is huge.

    Zverev I think is still inexperienced enough that Fed will come through, yet good enough to give Roger another tough test and another opportunity to improve – which he’ll need if he does get through & faces Thiem in the final.

  13. I watched the highlights and one encouraging sign was that Fed played some superb defensive points and he surely looked better than the previous day.Another good thing is that he is going to play for fourth consecutive day,this means that his body is actually fit to play regularly and I feel like today Fed may produce some vintage performance.
    A final here would be a great result!

    1. Yeah first back to back tournaments in a while and first time he’s played 4 matches in a row since Aus. Or Basel if you want to say day after day.

  14. Almost as long as the 1st set, what a Tb! Some superb points from both of guys. Does David still get nervous when he plays his idol, huh? Thought the 2nd set syndrome happened again but it was due to David’s woke-up, rather than Fed’s mental walkabout, was a great test for him. Rollercoaster but very encouraging match to watch. Loved that he roared at the end and ever-unimpressed Sev was unusually animated πŸ˜†

    Prediction Fed to lose is a good jinx from you. Are you sure Fed in 2 today, Jonathan?

    1. Goffin doesn’t really have like a set play he can go to to win the point like most of the top guys so probably makes him look more nervous than he is. Fed, Djoker, Murray, Nadal they all know how to try set up a point that they need to win it. Goffin – no big serve, no big forehand so not as easy for him or be as clear in his mind.

  15. Fed’s concentration level in the second set is a worry actually. After winning the first set comfortably, he is losing intensity in the second. It happened against Thiem in Stuttgart and against Goffin yesterday.

    He pulled it off almost against Thiem and yesterday against Goffin, but not gonna work for him in Wimbledon and for that matter here in Halle itself.

    I guess Ljubicic has to work on that. As such he has not been doing much work this year.

    1. I don’t think it’s a worry. He won the match. Both Thiem and Goffin are in the Top 15, they’re not mugs who just roll over after dropping the first set.

  16. As I feared πŸ™ Oh well, I suspect the final might have been one match too far for him, after 2 hours+ today πŸ™

  17. Passing of the torch, I must say. Saschas serve was on the money. And we have seen this script numerous times: Federer squandering multiple bps and then getting broken in the next game. As an honest RF and tennis fan, it would be an achievement if Federer makes it to second week at Wimbledon.

  18. Done. No titles for this season. No more seasons for this player.
    Let’s call it the end of an era, the Era.
    Sorry but that’s how I feel.

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