ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Federer Overcomes Albot Assessment in Miami

The Swiss prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in 2 hours and 10 minutes

Roger Federer is through to the Miami Open third round, coming from a set down to beat Radu Albot 4-6 7-5 6-3 and set up an encounter with Filip Krajinovic in the third round.

The Swiss was looking to better his performance from last years Miami Open where he lost to Kokkinakis in his opening match and Albot wasn't too far away from causing another upset under the lights at the Hard Rock Stadium.

However, Roger, coming in from his loss in the Indian Wells final managed to find his feet in the second set, protected his serve well throughout with 14 aces before finally prevailing in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Miami 2R 19

Albot won the toss and elected to receive. The Moldovan then got off to the perfect start, keeping the ball in play and Roger dropped serve to 30.

Albot, likely surprised to find himself up a break so early, immediately slipped to 0-40 but he found he recovered, saving all three break points and a fourth to consolidate for 2-0.

From there Roger managed to settle on his own serve, holding comfortably for the remainder of the set but he couldn't really make an impact in the return with half chances all going Albot's way as he took the set 6-4.

The Swiss kicked off set two with a love hold and the trend of both players holding continued. Especially for the Moldovan who was winning 80% behind his second serve after seven service games.

In game seven Roger held game point at 40-30 but then a double fault and a crazily wild forehand gave Albot a breakpoint. A clutch serve saved it and Roger averted the danger to hold for 4-3.

The Swiss then had his first break point of the set but couldn't make a meaningful connection on the return and looked somewhat surprised by how Albot's 93mph first serves were coming through to him.

The pair exchanged holds for 5-5 but in game 12 Roger finally made some returns to snatch the set 7-5 and force a decider.

Albot left the court for 10 minutes during the changeover and upon resumption, Roger laid down the marker with a solid hold for 1-0.

Chances were hard to come by for either player but it was the Delray Beach champion who had the first opportunity to break in game seven after a double fault from Roger at deuce. 

Federer saved it and buoyed from the hold strung together his best return game of the night, finally finding a backhand down the line to create 0-30 and breaking at 30-40 to lead 5-3.

No problems serving it out for the GOAT as he landed an important ace for 30-15 and moved through in the third round.

Match Stats

  Radu Albot Roger Federer
Aces 2 14
Double Faults 0 2
1st Serve 65% (66/101) 62% (56/91)
1st Serve Points Won 70% (46/66) 77% (43/56)
2nd Serve Points Won 51% (18/35) 69% (24/35)
Break Points Saved 75% (6/8) 75% (3/4)
Service Games Played 15 16
Return Rating 85 117
1st Serve Return Points Won 23% (13/56) 30% (20/66)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 31% (11/35) 49% (17/35)
Break Points Converted 25% (1/4) 25% (2/8)
Return Games Played 16 15
Winners 19 38
Unforced Errors 27 41
Net Points Won 69% (11/16) 73% (24/33)
Service Points Won 63% (64/101) 74% (67/91)
Return Points Won 26% (24/91) 37% (37/101)
Total Points Won 46% (88/192) 54% (104/192)

Shot of the Match

After Match Interview

Press Conference

Some good snippets in here about the stadium, surface, conditions and acoustics of the stadium court.

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Albot Miami 2019

I expected a player with a great attitude, which he showed. An aggressive baseliner, who moves well. He's not afraid to come to the net. The problem is I've never practiced with him. I've never really seen him play live matches. I thought it was hard. I have a lot of respect for those types of players who don't have the size, have to find a different way to win. He's a great, great player. I was impressed.

A good win here for Roger and one of those performances that often gets consigned to the poor performances category but I thought it was a good match overall and is an underrated victory.

Sure it wasn't vintage Federer or a total carve up where he blows his opponent of court but he overcame a slow start, worked his way into the match and finally got it done. 

If you look at some of the other results here in Miami the players that are doing well are not the heavy hitters who put a lot on the ball. Thiem, Khachanov and Zverev have all fallen by the wayside and they struggled to really do the damage from the baseline in their matches.

Thiem's match stats, for example, show he had horrific numbers behind his serve, which tallies up perfectly with what Roger said in the press about topspin spin serves not really popping off the court. Kick serves are the crux of Thiem's game but they were less effective and Hurkacz dominated.

The steady baseliners who don't put a lot on it and can stick in there are getting rewarded and that's exactly how Albot plays so it was no real surprise to see him test Federer last night.

The Moldovan won the tournament in Delray Beach which is only a few miles up the coast so obviously likes the conditions in this part of the world and he's an all-around solid player. Great movement, a fairly flat backhand that he can change direction nicely with and a solid forehand.

From Roger's side, I thought the key for him on the night was his serve and after that sloppy opening game, he was solid behind it thereafter.

His problem seemed to be finding a rhythm from the baseline and on the return. He was often searching for the ball as it just doesn't seem to come onto the racquet. He was far too early on some of Albot's serves which barely got above 100mph.

Again not a huge surprise as he's come from Indian Wells which is known for the ball fizzing off the court to Miami which is slower through the air and less reactive off the surface. 

But he managed to figure it out, got plenty time on the new court to get used to conditions and that's the sign of a quality player 🙂

Predictions vs. Krajinovic

Federer Krajinovic

Krajinovic takes the ball early he can play down the line and he is very steady. I think that his talent makes him a dangerous player plus he has just beaten Stan so I’m sure he’s ready.

Next up Filip Krajinovic who ruled out the chance of another all Swiss third round by defeating Wawrinka in three sets. 

I watched some of the match and Stan played well in the first few games but then tailed off, struggling with an ankle problem which required treatment. Not debilitating as he still took it to a third set tie break but his game seemed off for the most part.

Roger leads the H2H 2-0 against the Serb, with their last meeting coming in Basel last year which went three sets and I think tomorrow could be another test.

Krajinovic is another solid baseliner who can make a lot of balls but after Roger's win here I favour him to come through. Hopefully in straights but it could go three.

What did you guys think of the match vs Radu Albot the Fifth Musketeer?  Predictions vs Krajinovic? Let me know in the comments.

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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52 Comments

  1. it was a frustrating match ! i thought we will have another Kokkinakis situation, I hope he will improve for the next matches.

  2. Roger was flat for much of the match but like a hundred times before, he figured out a way to win. I agree this win will be underrated. I had a feeling he would prevail.

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t nervous as he was holding pretty easy. If you remove that poor opening game then he protected it well.

      Could have gone either way I guess but Fed got more weapons, taller, better serve, the crowd on his side, more experience. All helps.

  3. I agree with all you say. Never felt he wld lose but he had to work it out. Court is so sluggish and Albot was full of energy whereas Fed was distracted by his own game!! Serve stats good and again all their errors show how tough it is to hit thru the court.

    Good win tbh
    Filip will bring similar problems and yes I can see another 3 setter in favour of Fed

    Allez

    Ps horrible court I think

    1. From his presser it sounds like he was getting distracted by his own game, conditions and sounds in the arena etc. Pretty good listen.

      I quite like the colour of the court but the stadium not sure. Not a huge fan of the lighting, how the sun comes through, seating, layout etc.

      It seems noisy, but no real atmosphere.

      1. Thanks for sharing the presser, good perspective from Fed. He was clearly satisfied with finding a way to prevail in this match.

  4. Until 4-4 in the second set it looked really bad! It was amazing how Roger consistently failed to deal with 100 mph first serveds and 80-90 mile second serves. I thought he had totally lost confidence in his offensive play on his backhand, and even his forehand was all over the place. Except for the final 2-3 games, it looked like Roger was hoping for Albot to miss. Fortunately, Albot’s level dropped in the third set, especially the first serve percentage. At the end of the day a win is a win, I guess! But it certainly was not pretty, and as the Tennis Channel commentators said, for most of the match it looked like an impostor was on the court!

    1. Yeah looked like he wanted more pace on the ball a lot of the time!

      Albot is good though, had some good results this year and his serve I guess is deceptive. Reminds me a bit of Kohlschreiber’s serve for some reason, that jump to get a bit of extra height.

  5. Some of the seats in the stadium seem like they have a terrible view. I wonder how much of a trek to get something to eat or drink, or washroom. Fed suggested putting the tennis “stadium” more in the corner. Nice court colour.
    Built on a parking lot in an industrial area. AstroTurf. Too bad they don’t have a proper home for the tournament.

    For some reason, I have no expectations of Fed here. Wearing pale green pyjamas. Good luck next round!

  6. Okay, at least a new colour but another pyjamas? C’mon Uniqlo, let him wear practice T for the matches.
    Anyway, feel better reading your match analysis, thanks Jonathan. It was frustrating to watch but glad he fought through struggles and overcame with a good win in the end. On to the next round!
    Agreed with some of you, I like the colour theme of the stadium and the court but not keen on the weird structure.

    1. Practice t will be full cotton though? Not great for a match.

      I’m still undecided on the venue. I saw Stan say Miami is not as a good as the other Masters 1000’s but they try 😆

  7. I only watched sets 2 and 3 because I got distracted by the Wozniacki vs Niculescu-the-forehand slicer.
    I think it was not a bad match. It got shaky in the middle of both last sets. Roger’s forehand looked a bit mis-calibrated especially on returns and he made too many unforced errrors but somehow it always looked like he would find his way through. I also thought that the ball was bouncing a bit weirdly. Something does not look quite right about the court.
    I don’t foresee an easy match against Filip.

      1. To my defense I should say that I had no idea that Fed would play at that time… Next time I should look at the schedule more carefully…Haha.
        Btw, Milos just packed his bags…

      2. Yeah I figured Edmund would win when I saw they were playing. Kedders got way more to offer off the ground and a better forehand. Big servers not as effective here so far.

        I was expecting maybe Isner to lose too or get dragged to a third set breaker but good win for him.

  8. This was a hard match to watch and I’m so glad I didn’t watch it live as we have a house guest for a few days. I watched it later till well after midnight and thought right from that start that he didn’t look well either playing or sitting between games, and in the presser he seemed lethargic. We don’t expect Fed to lose in the first round (or at all) although both Cilic and Zverev are out and Djok did not win the first set against Tomic (!) easily.
    Fingers crossed that he gets a good sleep and recovers for the next match although I am too chicken to watch it live.

  9. Thanks for the diamond post, Jonathan.
    I only could watch end of set 2 + set 3… I loved Roger’s fighting spirit. As each time, every player plays his life’s match against him.
    I hope the Sunday off (going to the beach with the kiddies ?) will allow him to chill out. Hope it will be a early-evening or night session.

    I also appreciate the ideas below :
    ค๓ﻉรɦ 
    @zbrain

    “Annacone is right… that’s a match young people ought to watch. That match was a great example of how you problem solve and win with what works, rather than lose with what doesn’t. Roger’s ability to think on his feet and troubleshoot is underrated”.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/zbrain/status/1109606193058795526

    PS : Did you see RF’s pictures with shades on the blue court ? So aesthetic. I’d like to frame one on my wall… Need HD ones.

    1. Nice words from Annacone, Fed is underrated at fighting quality.

      I saw Kyrgios had an interview on the weaknesses of the big 3, he said Fed gets tired in tight situations. Pretty good analysis.

  10. Although not one of the prettiest matches to watch I somehow
    never expected Fed to lose, I kept thinking after last year he’ll
    find a way. It’s good to see such a successful player
    struggling to find his game and win, keeps us on our toes
    that it’s not all so easy. I really thought Radu Albot played a
    really good match..good player. However I think the court
    looks horrible, they must have got a trainload of metal railings,
    I thought that there was interference with the sound on my tv,
    as for the empty seats in the corner you get vertigo just looking
    at them, rant over! Thanks Jon enjoyed your assessment.
    GOLD STAR x

  11. I thought Fed was pretty poor on some of the big points earlier in the match, but it was nice to see him dig deep and find a way to win. Recently, including the Thiem match, he’s kind of gone passive in those points for me, and the match has ultimately gone away from him by the end (Millman, Anderson, Tsitsipas etc) so it’s was nice to see that not being the case again.

    I’m pretty unconvinced by his level though. I have a hard time seeing him last too much longer here, but we’ll see.

    1. I don’t expect him to go deep at all, the surface doesn’t lend itself to Fed’s style of play that much, will need to really grind it out. Still the draw is quite open though…

  12. I thought his range was way off but as you say, maybe that’s down to the different responsiveness of the court. I like the court color – good tv visibility of the ball – but like others I find it astonishing that for a venue designed specifically for tennis they weren’t more… aware… of things like sun glare & ease of player movement.. I know the main court goes away after the tournament so the big stadium can be used for football again, but doesn’t some of the rest of it stay? Why not put a roof on the Grandstand court so they atleast have a few options if it rains?

    Was impressed with Albot. Interesting take Jonathan on his flat hitting style working well in the venue. And as somebody said, good to see Fed problem-solve & find a way; part of that I think was attributable to Albot’s effectiveness slipping, but I have to wonder if part of that is down to Fed – it’s got to be hard for these guys when they’re doing well against him & then as he figures it out he seems to suddenly be playing better against them – how do you not think, oh well I’m toast now, when that happens?

    1. Isn’t it just a few tennis courts shoehorned into an existing venue? Just an old car park with a few courts on 😆

      Hm I didn’t really mean flat style works well on this surface. Just his backhand is quite flat and he can go dtl with it pretty good. So bit of a different shot Fed will not be used to seeing.

      I think loopy spinny grinder is the best game for this surface.

      1. Yes about the tennis courts in the car park, but I thought at least some of them were going to be permanent – can’t see how it would be economically feasible to rebuild the entire thing every year.

        Sounds like I misurderstood what you were saying about Albot’s flat bh. You mean loopy spinny grinder like … David Ferrer? 😉 incredible to see him winning some matches right now, & he seems to be relishing them.

  13. Thanks Jon, for balancing out the huge number of UEs, never mind it. I really think it was a very good match. Radu smart in throwing Fed into unusual confusion from start, and nice to see the process of Fed’s getting back into himself, by work and stepping through. Quite a good something of treats of brilliance from both players. So, I really agree, a good win, some exciting challenge of quality, and the process under way was interesting. Probably good court-training for Roger. Looking forward.

  14. Grinding his way to a W, his interview sums up his performance. I hope he gets better in his next match otherwise he is going home.

    1. We’ll see. It’s his getting familiar with conditions, the opponent, – his spirit, diet aso, AND perhaps his “getting better” it depends on.

  15. Many thanks Jonathan. I love your write ups. It was not an easy match to watch but I am quite surprised at the stats, because unlike it seemed in the match itself, the stats show Roger didn’t do that badly on the day. ?

  16. Hey,has anyone watched Kyrgios vs Lajovic highlights? I just did and it’s one of the funniest I’ve seen recently.

    1. I watched the whole match, Lajovic at times looked as he was just
      someone to hit the ball through, past under and over, indeed if
      Laj had packed his bags and left the court NK would never have
      noticed at times in the first set. he was too busy with a spectator.
      Could be a great talent but you need to put in the hard yards
      when your not feeling great ,says I watching tennis on TV! But
      I think like a lot of us Nick must watch a lot of Federer on Youtube
      some of his shots are spookily like Roger of old..the no look Gulbis,
      Sabre etc.,but not the 141 serve.

      1. Haha Jon & Dippy, me personally…. I absolutely LOVE Nick. He is not boring. Brings life to the party and calls people for what they are. I liked and loved him ever since he beat Rafa at Wimby.
        I am his biggest fan…. ofcourse…. except when he beats my Roger…. ofcourse… goes without saying 🙂 🙂

        Ps: I like Angie, but I didn’t understand her tweet… Why?? Everyone knows you don’t mean it 🙂
        Dippy, yes Nick can win a GS one day… but NOT when Roger is on the other side of the net 🙂

      2. The WTA took down the Kerber video as well lol. Embarrassing,

        NK is quickly becoming one of my favourite players, fun to watch. And he calling a spade a spade.

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