ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRome Masters

Federer Outclasses Sousa to Progress in Rome

The Swiss will face Borna Coric Later Today at the Foro Italico

Roger Federer is up and running at Internazionali BNL d'Italia the after outclassing Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Playing in Rome for the first time since 2016, the Swiss broke Sousa three times en route to victory in their delayed match that was pushed back Thursday after Wednesday's play was a complete washout.

The third seed will next face Borna Coric later today over on the Grandstand Court after the Croatian defeated Cameron Norrie in his second round match on Tuesday.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Sousa Rome

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Sousa stepped up and held to fifteen for a comfortable start. A double fault at fifteen all put Roger in some danger but he reeled off three points in a row to level at 1-1.

Serving at 1-2 Roger found himself in more trouble, having to save two break points before holding for 2-2. The Swiss then made deuce in game five and from there began to raise his level, holding to love and breaking to fifteen, showing some great foot speed in the process, to lead 4-3.

With the prospect of a second match just a couple of hours away, consolidating the break was the order of the day but Roger made it tricky slipping to love forty. Fortunately, in a true clutch style, he erased all three of them en route to holding for 5-3. Check out the full stretch pass on game point, sweet!

Serving to the stay in the set the Portuguese had to save two set points at 15-40 but despite holding the set was soon Roger's as he served it out to love, hitting 17 winners to 12 unforced errors and winning 7 of 8 points at the net.

Into set two and Roger got off to the peRFect start breaking and holding for a 2-0 lead. Back to back love holds saw Roger move up 4-2 to put himself firmly in control. 

It's rare for a set on clay to go completely trouble free on serve and Roger had to recover from 15-40 in game eight to hold for 5-3. That hold put the match to bed and the Swiss was able to take it 6-3, converting his 5th match point to move into the last 16.

Match Stats

 Joao SousaRoger Federer
Aces23
Double Faults11
1st Serve55% (37/67)56% (31/55)
1st Serve Points Won70% (26/37)77% (24/31)
2nd Serve Points Won40% (12/30)71% (17/24)
Break Points Saved70% (7/10)100% (7/7)
Service Games Played109
1st Serve Return Points Won23% (7/31)30% (11/37)
2nd Serve Return Points Won29% (7/24)60% (18/30)
Break Points Converted0% (0/7)30% (3/10)
Return Games Played910
Winners825
Unforced Errors1818
Net Points Won64% (7/11)87% (13/15)
Service Points Won57% (38/67)75% (41/55)
Return Points Won25% (14/55)43% (29/67)
Total Points Won43% (52/122)57% (70/122)

Shots of the Match

Post Match Interview

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Rome 2R 2019

I'm happy we got to play a good match. I think it's a slippery court here, I must say. It's tough to play I think for all the players. Every clay court plays slightly different: Monaco, Madrid, Barcelona, here, Paris. I think when it's a bit nicer weather here, it slides a lot. I came out of the blocks well, had a good feeling. Didn't get broken. That on clay in a first round is a good sign
Federer on his win

A slick performance here from Roger and after a few errors in the opening couple of games he outclassed Sousa from the baseline to come through unscathed.

I thought Roger's shot selection was spot on for the whole match and he looked like he knew exactly how he wanted to play out there. 

The Swiss went big on his forehand, played up the court and did his absolute level best to not let Sousa have the upper hand in the rallies.

The fact he won 27 to Sousa's 9 points that were between 5 and 9 shots is a testament to that as it shows once he got on that front foot he never backed off to give the Portuguese a way back into the rally.

As an added bonus, on the few occasions Federer did have to defend he looked strong in the legs coming up with those quality points in the video and proving that he can still remember how to slide on a clay court 🙂

Predictions vs. Coric

federer-coric

I think, like any other practice day when you play twice a day, you finish the first session, take a shower, eat something, relax, get ready for the next one. The good thing is that this one was not very physical. I think it gives me some good information. I believe it's going to be similar conditions in the match this afternoon. The interesting thing is I played today, he didn't. Is that an advantage? Is that a disadvantage? I don't know. Borna is tough. I lost to him a couple of times last year. He played really good against me in Halle, Shanghai. Regardless of the surface, I know it's going to be tough. Federer on his upcoming match with Coric

Next up is Coric who has the luxury of only playing the one match today after he defeated Cameron Norrie in the second round on Tuesday.

The Croat had a tricky opener against Felix Auger Aliassime coming through in three sets and he'll be looking to finish on a high before the French Open after an average result in Madrid. 

Roger leads the H2H 3-2 but the two have never met on clay. Much like Sousa, Coric can make a lot of balls but he does a better job at staying offensive even in defensive positions so it's going to be a tough match for Federer.

The Swiss basically needs to play like he did this morning and try to get on the front foot wherever possible to control the rallies. Coric can be a wall and has an improved serve compared to a couple of years back but he's no world beater so if Fed can stop Coric from getting into a nice metronomic rhythm from the baseline I like his chances.

What did you guys think of the match against Sousa? Predictions against Coric? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs Sousa Rome 2019 Rating

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

SLICK

Great movement and shot selection from Federer throughout. Looked like he had a clear gameplan against an opponent who can make a lot of balls. 🔥

User Rating: 4.25 ( 2 votes)

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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40 Comments

  1. Quick turnaround, Roger was a bit rusty in the first few games but once he got his range…he was on a roll. Movement has been excellent, good start. Hope he will continue this form against Coric

  2. Good match, sounds like. Tough to play again. Bring on the pasta!
    NK get thrown out? I saw a chair on the court and him leaving.
    This is a strange day of tennis. I feel for the people who paid double yesterday. 😪

    1. It was a court without commentary,but I think he got a game penalty,then threw his racket,kicked the water bottles(good job they weren’t Nadals)threw the chair,packed his bag,then exit stage right.
      He did shake hands with the umpire though which makes it even more bizarre.
      The Djoker also loses a potentially tricky quarter final opponent.

  3. Nice dropshot from Sousa in that first point: it would probably have done the job against most players. Glad to see Roger can still slide – that last one was almost Djokovic-like (hope he doesn’t overdo it and strain something!)

    Still a bit concerned about his ability to get past Coric in a second match on one day, but we’ll see.

  4. great performance from Rog. Thanks for the quick and as always excellent recap of the match. I am a bit worried though on the Coric match.

  5. I think the key here is as Jonathan says ,not letting him get into a rhythm.
    Easier said than done of course.
    Just watching the fabulous one ,looking the epitome of Italian style in black and white.
    Having a bit of hassle with Albot though,

  6. Wow this was the quickest recap! Thanks Jonathan.
    Coric not easy but Roger is beaming… and enjoying his play, so that’s what counts.
    Go Roger!

  7. Nice win. Will be a tough one against Coric, but I think Roger will figure out a way to win that and move on. Good to see Roger stand well behind the baseline on this surface.

  8. Two matches in one day are too tough for this old lion. Gets the break, holds a tough game, then loses it when serving for the set. These kinds of matches are par for the course for Roger, and it’s just damn frustrating to watch. He beats himself so much of the time
    now, though his age and condition obviously contribute.

    1. Finally, some fight! What a messy match, but he’s battling. Let’s hope this closing break gives him big initiative in the third.

  9. Roger can’t hack it anymore in these decisive sets, on pretty much any surface, it seems. Legs, desire, consistency, all fade away as a match wears on and as the opponent’s resistance stiffens. I don’t think Roger deserved to win this one, like I think he probably should’ve edged Thiem in the last, but he again folds in the clutch to a competent opponent. Wouldn’t it have been nice to go deep in Rome. I hope that in one of the few slams he has left, he’ll be clutch again.

    1. Wow. Well, that’s what happens when you step away from the TV and miss it. That’s gotta feel good for Roger, saving MPs and winning a close one.

      1. This is literally the first time I’ve ever jumped the gun. Every other time when he was headed for a loss and I said so on here, he lost, since the direction was obvious. The commentators were very surprised that he pulled it out,, and I’m certainly happy to be wrong.

  10. Amazing comeback from Federer there, obviously playing on just fumes, and saves 2 match points. Very clutch, Coric didn’t give it to him. No timing on the backhand whatsoever, so he just had to slice everything…

  11. ??? Am I on moderation, or something? Where’s my comment about needing a raindance? 🙂

    Anyway, I was coming on to say possibly not needed anyway: looking at the schedule, if I’ve read it correctly Roger’s potential opponents still have some way to go before they play.

      1. Weird. If it hadn’t gone through the first time, I’d have expected it still to be in the Reply box when I tried a second time. I was only saying that if Roger was running on fumes what’ll he be like tomorrow – maybe we might need to start a raindance. Then I realised that Fog and Tsitsi were seemingly about 2 matches away from playing, and thought by the time they’d finished and recovered Roger might have done too.

  12. The scheduling absolute rubbish expecting people to play twice whilst their opponent has had a day off and is well
    rested.
    Very well done to Fed for hanging on in there.
    That court was rubbish too with those shadows and a surface Fed was very unhappy about playing on.
    Still,he gains another 180 points,which is all to the good.

    1. There are lots of things to complain about in Rome with tickets etc, but how do they fit the matches in better when they have a day washed out with rain?

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