Masterclass here from the GOAT has he dispatched Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-0 to make swift progress into tomorrow's Semi Final. There's no way of describing it other than a complete demolition job from the Swiss and his game was working like a well oiled machine from the get go; moving well, serve clicking and his ground game on song off both wings.
The numbers don't often lie and Fed reeled off 21 winners, won 88% of his first serve points and didn't face a single break points during the 68-minute encounter. Awesome!
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Tactical decision most likely to try force an early break but Berdych held to 30 to kick things off. Roger then fired down an impressive love hold to level followed by another in game 4 to make it 2 all.
In game 5 Berdych hit 3 double faults but saved one break point to hold. Roger again held comfortably and in the Czech's next service game broke to love to take a 4-3 lead. That was soon 5-3 and after Berdych held his next service game the Swiss served it out to 30 to take the opener 6-4. A clinical set really and Roger barely put a foot wrong on serve dropping only 5 points.
Into set 2 and things went from bad to worse for Berdych as he was broken immediately before Roger consolidated to take a 2-0 lead. One break is always recoverable at this level but when the Czech fired down a double fault at 30-40 in his next service game the match was all but over.
3-0 soon became 4-0 and we even got a genius point at 30-30 in the fifth game as Roger broke for the third time in a row before serving out the match to love. Clinic.
|T. Berdych||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||46%||65%|
|1st Serve Points Won||16/26 (62%)||23/26 (88%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/31 (39%)||9/14 (64%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/8 (50%)||0/0 (0%)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|1st Return Points Won||3/26 (12%)||10/26 (38%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||5/14 (36%)||19/31 (61%)|
|Break Points Won||0/0 (0%)||4/8 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Net Points Won||4/6||13/14|
|Total Service Points Won||28/57 (49%)||32/40 (80%)|
|Total Return Points Won||8/40 (20%)||29/57 (51%)|
|Total Points Won||36/97 (37%)||61/97 (63%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
A peRFect performance from start to finish from Roger here and one of those matches where pretty much everything he touched turned to gold. Berdych has had success against Fed before with big flat hitting from the baseline but Roger just unsettled him by controlling play with his forehand and giving Tomas plenty of variation. Air on the forehand, net approaches, taking pace off, you name it he tried it and Berdych was deprived of the rhythm he needs. That ultimately led to the Czech over hitting, mistiming and looking for shots that weren't there. 21 winners from Fed coupled with 21 errors from Berdych, huge difference.
As a Fed-fan it's been great to see his level elevate round by round after scratchy matches against Schwartzman and Seppi but now we're into the business end of the tournaments things are coming together nicely and he surely has a realistic shot of making the final if the trend continues. I thought he moved great too which is key, he said in an earlier presser he felt like he wasn't quite judging how to get to the ball yet but today he was spot on, the running cross court forehand especially moved him from defence to offence a number of times in the blink of an eye.
As for Berdych he was never at the races in this one, he got off to an ok start in the first 4 games but the error count began to creep up on him and he struggled to really win any of the important points. Looked like he was struggling for timing on quite a lot of the shots either looking rushed or not making the right sort of the connection with the ball. All to do with how Fed was hitting the ball with such confidence or his game not quite on? Probably the former which exacerbated the latter.
Predictions vs. Raonic
Next up is Milos Raonic who was the surprise victor against Rafael Nadal in the Quarter Final. Even though I picked Raonic to take out Nadal in my Indian Wells draw post I wasn't 100% sure it would happen but the Canadian pulled off the biggest win of his career. On a side note my tennis tipping line has been bang in form this week with Tomic to beat Ferrer, Robredo to beat Dimitrov and Raonic to beat Nadal all predicted before a single ball had been struck. Hope you guys got on it and congratulations if I made you a millionaire.
Raonic is streets ahead of his contemporaries like Dimitrov in terms of match & mental toughness and he saved 3 match points in the second set tie break and some break points in the decider to take it 7-5. Nadal actually played at a pretty high level too, winning 10 more points than Raonic in the match but just didn't make the big points like he usually does. Missed a few forehands and seemingly got a bit tight in the breakers. I don't think it's a terrible loss for him though, looks like his game and movement is improving back to a high level and he will no doubt be terrorising people on the clay courts quite soon.
It is however a disappointing loss for fans who wanted a Fedal encounter, I think Roger would have had a good chance to get a win here and he clearly thought so too based on his post match interview where he said he'd rather play Rafa. But instead he'll face Raonic who he leads 8-1 in the H2H and beat recently in the Brisbane final for his 1000th match victory.
I think Roger holds a fairly sizeable advantage against Raonic here and he's always done well against big servers in Indian Wells; beating Karlovic, Isner and Anderson on this surface in years gone by. Raonic is coming in off a gruelling encounter too which lasted 3 hours, quite a short turn around and his style of tennis revolves heavily around running around his backhand to hit inside out forehands. If you're just a step slow then that can really throw your game off as you struggle to get your free out from under the ball.
Perhaps the only negative for Fed is that he might be slightly less motivated as no doubt he'll have expected Rafa to come through if he had to pick. But I think that's probably unlikely, he's been around long enough to know no matches are set in stone and it's happened plenty times before on hard courts where Fed is in form and seeded to meet Rafa but Spaniard doesn't hold his end of the bargain up.
I'll pick Fed in 2, 1 break each set. 6-4 6-4. Allez! Let me know your predictions below…