ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRogers Cup

Federer Overcomes Cilic Test at Roger’s Cup

Hey all, a marathon three setter here for Federer as he overcame Maran Cilic 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4 to book his spot in the Quarter Finals against David Ferrer.

It could have been a much smoother ride had the Swiss converted one of his 6 match points in the second set but Cilic hung tough to force the decider. Pushing Fed extremely close before the Swiss finally got the breakthrough at 4-4 in the third before closing it out in style after 2 hours and 39 minutes.

Tough match and a very pleasing win considering Cilic had the momentum heading into the decider. From my money though, which isn't always well spent at 3.30am I thought Fed played the better tennis throughout before eventually getting his reward in the 9th game of the 3rd set just 40 minutes away from his 33rd birthday.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Rogers Cup 2014 3rd Round

The first set was largely dominated by Federer's serving and Cilic's hard hitting from the baseline. Both players had a chances to break, Roger in the 1st and 9th game; Cilic the 6th. Neither player could convert however and the set resulted in a tie break.

Here Roger was the more composed player, getting off to a good start and shaking off a shank on set point to take the breaker 7-5 after dominating a return point off the Cilic second serve.

The second set was another tightly contested affair with both players holding comfortably until the 10th game. At 4-5 down Cilic managed to fend off 6 match points and come through 12 deuces in a game that lasted 19 minutes. It was a mixture of big serving, a little luck and some poor shot choices from Roger when he could have easily put things to bed with some smarter play.

With 6 match points evaporated, Cilic pulled off the hold before holding again to force another tie break. Here the Croat got off to a great start and never looked back taking it 7 points to 3.

Momentum had switched firmly onto the Croat's racquet heading into the decider but we got to see some good fight from Fed has he hung in there when it mattered. There were a couple of hairy moments on serve but he always manages to find the Ace when it counts. After digging himself out of a couple of potential holes being down 0-15 in a number of service games he finally strung enough return points together and broke Cilic to lead 5-4.

With the match now on the Federer's serve he wasn't going to be denied, serving it out with ease to 15 condemning Cilic to his 5th straight defeat against the Swiss. Allez!

Match Stats

M. Cilic R. Federer
Aces 12 11
Double Faults 1 4
1st Serve % 57% 63%
1st Serve Points Won 60/83 (72%) 55/67 (82%)
2nd Serve Points Won 36/62 (58%) 23/39 (59%)
Break Points Saved 9/10 (90%) 2/2 (100%)
Service Games Played 17 17
1st Return Points Won 12/67 (18%) 23/83 (28%)
2nd Return Points Won 16/39 (41%) 26/62 (42%)
Break Points Won 0/2 (0%) 1/10 (10%)
Winners 42 40
Unforced Errors 45 40
Net Points 19/24 21/28
Return Games Played 17 17
Total Service Points Won 96/145 (66%) 78/106 (74%)
Total Return Points Won 28/106 (26%) 49/145 (34%)
Total Points Won 124/251 (49%) 127/251 (51%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer 33rd Birthday

It's nice winning those kind of matches, because I also lost a bunch in my career. Especially this season I have lost some closer ones, especially in the stretch from Indian Wells, Miami, Monaco, Rome, Paris. So from that standpoint I'm very happy I came through tonight

A tough match that will have been a big confidence booster for Roger after bunch of missed opportunities in the 2nd set. Like Fed said in his presser, he's lost a bunch of close ones lately so it's great news to finally come out on the good side of one especially when his opponent was playing at a high level throughout the match.

I thought overall Roger played another solid match and served extremely well from start to finish, only facing 2 break points which were both saved. The only real let down was the return where he didn't put as many balls in play and the wasted match points. One of them was a very makeable volley he dumped in the net after setting it up perfectly and at least 2 more were wasted when he was the one on top in the rally. But on the flip, it's not like any of the match points came on his own serve; if you waste 6 on your own serve, then it's cause for concern but when returning it's a completely different ball game.

You can't not give Cilic some credit either, he has a reputation for blinking when it matters but he played some good stuff under pressure last night. He hits a mean ball and he did a great job of taking time away from Roger by stepping into the court whenever possible and hitting with great depth. Roger was just able to stick around and finally take an opportunity to get the key break and then serve it out. Big win on a day full of upsets where Wawrinka and Djokovic both crashed out.

Predictions vs. Ferrer

Federer Ferrer WTF 2012

Next up is David Ferrer whom Roger holds a 14-0 H2H record against with their last meeting coming at the World Tour Finals in 2012. I saw that match live and it was a schooling, pretty much like all their other meetings.

Ferrer doesn't really have the weapons required to dismantle the Federer game so I think Roger will get this one in straights. He wins hands down in all areas, aside from maybe the return. We know Ferrer can hustle but Fed is just able to overpower and out manoeuvre him from the back of the court. I think the Edberg effect could help him get it done even easier if he's willing to come forward when Ferrer is scrambling.

Aside from the time difference, which is making it difficult to keep up with posts I'm looking forward to this match, as an opponent like Ferrer is a great barometer of Fed's overall level. They have been playing each other since 2003 and are both in the same generation of players. Fed's never had many problems with him before so will the trend to continue tonight? I think so. Fed in 2: 6-2 6-4. Allez!


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. First title for me !!

      A good match.
      Clutch play from Roger when it really mattered most

      I think the RF97 racquet is the most significant factor for Roger’s recent success.

      If a healthy 33 year old Roger had played with the 90sq inch pro staff, he would have definitely lost this match and many more this year.

      I can only see Roger losing when he is exhausted.

      I cannot see him losing against anybody this year (including Novak, Rafa) if he is healthy, energized and playing with the new RF97.

    2. Good win 🙂

      Yeah the racquet has definitely helped. But don’t underestimate the back injury he was carrying last year. The new racquet hasn’t made him move better.

      Not sure about him not losing to Djoker or Nadal though this year. I mean he lost Wimbledon to one of them last month.. I think he is underdog against both those guys right now – they are younger and closer to their prime.

    1. Yes Carlos,
      The losses Vs Hewitt at Brisbane, Novak at Indian Wells, Nishikori at Miami, Wawrinka at Monte Carlo, Chardy at Rome, Gulbis at French Open, Novak at Wimby ALL WENT THE DISTANCE (3 OR 5 SETS)
      Only the defeat to Rafa at Australian Open this year was in straights.
      So Roger has really played well this year.
      Surely only good things can happen from now on especially now that he is fully used to his new RF97 racquet.

  1. Fed beats another known doper. Interesting to see how well Cilic is playing now that he is ‘clean’. I think.

  2. Winning gets harder. I remember 2012 and when I won a lot of titles lol :p

    Clutch Roger! That took a mammoth effort to pull that off. Even if Roger was in the lead, the weight of wasting 6 MP was visible and it must have been a mental blow. But Roger saved that BP in the 3rd set and somehow pulled it off. Last year, Roger would have crumbled, but this is a Roger that has belief in his game!

    Interestingly. Federer won the 1st set in 6 of his 8 loses this year, but each time he could have won(and Djokovic really played clutch as a Number 1 does in IW and Wimby, credit to him). But this Roger looks like he can win this M1000. I always knew Cilic would be a challenge and he almost beat Novak 2 times this year, so obviously happy Roger came through.

    Obviously the draw has opened for Roger(and Andy), really hope he can win this….

    A few facts:
    •Roger has made the QF or better his past 9 HC tournaments( F in Basel, SF in Bercy, SF at WTF, F at Brisbane, SF at Aussi Open, W at Dubai, F at Indian Wells, QF at Miami, QF+ here)

    •Last year, Roger won 26 matches on Hardcourts this year, an ATP best

    •Roger has already won 42 matches this year, he won 44 all of last year

    • a fun one: Every tournament since 2011 that Roger had gone to when Rafa was injured, he’s made the QF or better.

    Here is to a great 33rd Birthday and another GOAT performance vs. Ferrer

  3. Those wasted match points were a bit hairy, weren’t they? One in particular I didn’t think anyone could miss, but Roger managed to! But there you go. I was happy to see him so obviously chuffed with himself at the end. He was very, very pleased to make it through, and so he should be. Cilic played good, accurate tennis. He really didn’t make many mistakes and that makes him a tough opponent. As you say though, Jonathan, Roger played the better tennis throughout, and better tennis deserves victory. I think he’s looking really good at the moment and long may it continue.

    Allez Roger, and happy 33rd!!

    1. The volley? Yeah can’t believe he missed that, was just not quite in position with his feet and somehow nets it. He set it up perfect too with that forehand right in the corner. Would have been a peRFect match point.

  4. Hi all! Well done Fed for fighting thru! After all he has achieved the fire still burns bright! There are no easy wins these days! Hard courts favour those with a big flat game like Cilic and we can see the struggles from Novak/Stan and Berdych! Agree with yr words Jonathan re MP’s on the return game! Always on the servers racquet and so Cilic showed! Ferrer? Hoping Fed has reenergised after such a long game and gets thru in straights! Taking Lopez to down Raonic! Allez Fed33!!

  5. Ferrer is actually just about the only Spanish player I like. Not so much for his game as for his heart (guess Fuentes ruined them all for me. Probably not fair to many of them but the damage is done). Gamewise, he is the equally boring kusin of Nadal, without the tools. It is difficult to see how Roger could drop this one.

    1. I’m not a Ferrer fan really. He is ok, gotta appreciate how he gives it all on court. But really, that should be the minimum for any tennis player.

  6. Great match. Too tense for me to watch after he lost the second set TB. I think he should have an easy one tonight. It will be tough matches in Semis and Final. Hope Fed can add to his Masters collection on Sunday. Allez!

  7. Murray is out too… I sooo hope Roger lifts his cup rhis time 🙂 🙂
    Couldn’t watch the match yesterday but I’ll try tonight. Hopefully he gets it done quickly and preserve his energy and let me get some sleep lol 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. woof. I did say I wanted him to have a sterner test. Glad I went to bed after set 1, I would have been a complete basket case. As Fed said, it’s positive that one of these close matches went his way; hopefully that’s an indication of an improvement in some mysterious ‘factor x’, and not just dumb luck. As some of you have already said, last year, there’s no way he pulled this one out. Either way, he’s through to the next round, & hopefully just the fact of progressing will help him improve his mindset, his “being present”, his ability to respond to circumstances quickly & appropriately.

    Jo/Fed final, anyone? Ok, ok, let’s not get ahead of myself… but what a crazy way the draw has played out so far!

  9. Was pretty happy with that match, a little annoyed at the BP/ MPs wasted but as Jonathan said, it’s on the return so he will be forgiven 🙂 Good match from Cilic though!

    Has anyone watched the tsonga matches? Was he just too good for muzza/ Djoker, or did they play bad?

    1. Apparently Nole barely showed, I didn’t see it, but from bits of the Murray match, it was a good one.

  10. Hi Jonathan

    Thought it would be a stern test for Roger just not that stern, really thought when he lost the 2nd set – oh no here we go again – but his goat fighting spirit came through. Have noticed a trend with Fed that as soon as the opposition (nadal/Djoker/etc) are knocked out he always seems to have a battle to get through to the next round. Anyway another late one but hell it is saturday tomorrow Come on Roger how about a bagel or two on your birthday!!!

    1. Yeah that does seem to happen. Usually when Nadal loses early he has a shocker in the next match and has to dig deep.

      Have you been staying up for all matches?

    1. He’s schooled Raonic a couple of times now, so maybe Rao was due a win. Lopez isn’t a walkover and taken sets off Fed before so all in all probably quite close. I prefer he plays Lopez though, should be better viewing.

  11. Was not able to watch the match last night. Thanks for the recap Jonathan. Another long one tonight. Happy he got through so now Lopez. So hoping he lifts the cup. Congrats on your win Fed. After all it is your birthday. It was nice that the fans were singing Happy Birthday on one of the changeovers.

  12. Yay for birthday win against a dogged fighter. (Thought Jonathan did not give Little Beast Ferrer enough
    credit in his preview btw). Great returning from David. (Great returning from Fed, but expected it from him though.)

    Boo for 47 unforced errors. Wow. A lot of net time tonight.

    Dear tennixperts ….Did David “force” a lot those?

    Fed the Fighter continues his tour.

    1. I gave Ferrer plenty credit I thought, he was 14-0 vs Fed, now 15-0 🙂

      He played better than I expected though, tried to enforce a little more and take some more risks.

      Not sure on Fed’s returning being good, was ok but Ferrer’s serve is very attackable.

  13. Just rewatched the 3rd set against Ferrer. Some amazing hitting from both guys.

    That was a war.

    But don’t miss:
    This Fed has some serious steel.

    1. Not so clutch. A win, yes – against someone he has never lost to – but the end of the second set (which should have been the decider) was not pretty. He lost seven of eight points in a slew of unforced errors. Although Roger’s attacking game – no doubt helped by Edberg – is still one of the best his defensive game is not as good as it used to be, and quite a way below the other top guys. If the ball comes back to anywhere near his baseline he typically loses the point. With a shank thrown in for good measure.

      1. Yeah – agree end of second was a bit of a miss, but I was saying the THIRD was all clutch.

    2. I disagree, Fed was very clutch. Ferrer could have easily broken 1st game of third set but he came up with the goods.

      And his defensive game isn’t as good? Disagree again. His defensive game has been brilliant all year and he’s moving 100 times better than last year. No way he makes that squash shot pass in 2013.

      Also disagree about the ball coming back to his baseline he loses the point. Fed hugs the baseline to not give up ground, it’s high risk, high reward. Half volleying balls is infinitely more difficult than standing back moonballing them into play. I think he did a great job of keeping Ferrer on the back foot even when he was trying to hit deep off both wings.

  14. I’m struggling to stay with the schedule so hey you are doing a great job, Jonathan, thanks! Hope you’re having a nice sleep in this morning 🙂

    Couldn’t watch and haven’t seen any highlights yet but gosh it sounds like another tight match brought the Fighterer out…on his birthday.

    Good thing about ‘catching-ups’ (TennisTV) is watching matches with ease and peace knowing the result. No damage to the nail polish, just sit and enjoy Fed’s artistry 🙂

    1. Yeah it’s difficult, non stop either with Cincy next week, I forgot they were back to back. Same time difference for both Cincy and NY. Hopefully get a few day session matches!

  15. Isn’t he so genuine?

    Q.  I was going to ask the birthday question.  Of all your records and achievements over…
    ROGER FEDERER:  Becoming 33 has been my biggest one (laughter).

    Q.  What’s the one you’re most proud of?
    ROGER FEDERER:  I don’t know.  I mean, for me maybe becoming world No. 1, you know, or winning Wimbledon probably, something like that.  Just making it on the tour overall.
    It was not like a goal for me.  It was more like a dream, you know.  So, anyway, so much more than I ever thought it would be.  I always say that.  I know it’s a boring answer but it really is the case.
    Just want you people to understand that, that one tournament more or less at this point doesn’t change much, but it’s in the emotions and in the grind or in the enjoyment or in the way that I play that I really can actually enjoy it out there.
    So for me probably becoming world No. 1 in 2004 or winning Wimbledon 2003 was one of my biggest moments.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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