ATP 250Stuttgart OpenRoger Federer

Federer Overcomes Fritz For Maiden Mercedes Cup Win

Roger Federer's finally back on a tennis court and he got off to a winning start defeating Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in their rain effected 2nd Round encounter at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. It's the first time we've seen Roger since his brief spell in Rome and he was made to work to get the win; with the 18 year old American pushing him all the way before faltering at 4-4 in the decider.

The win sees Roger draw level with Ivan Lendl on 1,071 match wins and he can move ahead of the Czech when he takes on Florian Mayer in tomorrow's quarter final. Should be a good one.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Stuttgart Fritz

Fritz won the toss and elected to serve holding to 30 for a 1-0 lead. Roger levelled to 15 but Fritz was red lining both his first and second serves as he held comfortably for 2-1. In game 7 Roger finally made some inroads on the return fashioning the first break point which saw Fritz double fault to drop serve. At this point the heavens opened and heavy rain suspended play for the day.

Upon resumption Roger held to love to consolidate the break, the Swiss then had 2 set points on the Fritz serve but couldn't convert. He then had to save a break point on his own serve en route to serving out the set 6-4.

Into set 2 and Fritz began to find his range on serve, holding to love in the first game and to 15 for a 2-1 lead. In game 3 Roger had to save 2 break points at 15-40 before digging out the hold. Both players then exchanged back to back holds. At 4-5 the Swiss held to love to apply some pressure but despite winning the first point on return Fritz held to guarantee at least a tie break. Roger then slipped to 0-40, slipping and falling at 0-30; he saved all 3 set points but couldn't see off a fourth as Fritz took it into a decider.

The decider saw Fritz continue to keep the momentum creating another break point in Roger's opening service game. The Swiss held but found himself in more trouble at 2-3 when he double faulted at 30-30. Again it was saved and he held firm. At 3-4 Roger found some extra energy to hold to love and then make deuce on the Fritz serve from 15-40, correctly challenging a call when he stopped play. The American held another game point but Roger forced a second deuce, fashioned his first break point of the set and converted when Fritz went long with a forehand. No trouble serving it out either as he did so to 15.

Match Stats

  R. Federer T. Fritz
Aces 8 9
Double Faults 2 3
1st Serve % 64% 55%
1st Serve Points Won 51/61 (84%) 42/52 (81%)
2nd Serve Points Won 17/34 (50%) 22/43 (51%)
Break Points Saved 8/9 (89%) 2/4 (50%)
Service Games Played 16 16
1st Return Points Won 10/52 (19%) 10/61 (16%)
2nd Return Points Won 21/43 (49%) 17/34 (50%)
Break Points Won 2/4 (50%) 1/9 (11%)
Return Games Played 16 16
Total Service Points Won 68/95 (72%) 64/95 (67%)
Total Return Points Won 31/95 (33%) 27/95 (28%)
Total Points Won 99/190 (52%) 91/190 (48%)

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer 2nd Round Stuttgart 2016

So first match back after several injury setbacks and it went pretty well. I said in my prediction Fritz wouldn't be able to handle Fed on grass but he had the upper hand from the baseline during the second and third sets. He went for pretty much all his shots, didn't hold back on 2nd serves and looked like he might run away with it in the third. Luckily though he blinked at 4-4 in the decider and that made the difference so Fed can't count himself a little lucky to come through.

Overall though I think he played some good stuff, the conditions weren't exactly conducive to great tennis as it's still pretty damp which resulted in both guys slipping and falling. Never good to watch when all the latest news we've read about Federer talks about knee surgery and a bad back 😉

The only other thing you can say is Fed understandably looks a little bit rusty so it's going to take a few matches to piece together this game and get everything flowing. Timing was off, the return not great but he managed to do the all important: win and that guarantees him at least another 2 sets of competitive play tomorrow.

Predictions vs. Florian Mayer

Federer Florian Mayer

Next up is Florian Mayer who has defeated Viktor Troicki and Michael Berrer so far this week. The German is a very tricky opponent thanks to his unorthodox style but Roger leads the H2H with him 6-0, 3 wins coming on grass all in straight sets. Mayer is going to be a little bit more accustomed the surface though having played 2 singles matches on it along with playing doubles so it could be a close one. I'd go with another 3 setter but I think Fed can come through, Fritz was a tough opponent as he redlined on serve and from the ground but Mayer won't really do that.

What did you guys think of his comeback? Predictions vs. Mayer? 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. Seems like a good match to comeback, i think he was a little bit rusty and was tested a few time (saved a lot of BP) but a wins is great news nonetheless. I was not able to watch it but hope to find some nice highlights later.


  1. I think the match against Mayer will be very trick. We all know how dangerous the Germans are on grass 😉
    Wasn’t their last encounter back in Hamburg 2013 when Fed had his back tweaked and even wore a vest in the second set haha?

    Should expect a similar scoreline to that last match 🙂

    1. They played last year in the Halle QF where Fed won 6-0 7-6(1).
      Fed has lost only 1 set out of 14 against Mayer – in that clay match in Hamburg, with a bad back.

      I expect a straight set win tomorrow!

    2. Yeah Halle. Easy first set but Mayer made it close in the second. You can’t count Hamburg as Fed was the walking wounded that match, could hardly move and Mayer still lost it.

      I think tomorrow could go three though but prob say Fed in 2 sets, one of them close.

  2. Thanks for the quick turnaround Jonathan it’s great he is back and survived . We are not getting televised until the quarters so very pleased he is still there, Twitter gifs and your info reveal the outfit looks great too and even his fall was quite elegant but hope he can just get the game flowing and do the athletic aesthetic trademark stuff from now on. Fed on grass is really a very welcome and refreshing change. Chum jetze!

  3. What a treat to see a Fed match on the grass. Enough already with the clay. Yes, he looked rusty BUT his “swagger” when he walks was there. Back must be ok then. When the swagger is gone, so is the back.

    Taylor Fritz only 18 and did the announcer say that was his fiance is in the crowd? What?

    The family is at home I assume with just his dad making the trip. Guessing they will be there in Halle.

    Got lucky to find the match on utube. Fed in 2 tomorrow.

    1. Yes, kid’s got a bride. He should be playing videogames, chasing chicks, being chased by chicks and squeezing his pimples! Instead he’s making a living and getting a family. No time for childhood and teenagehood and all that jazz? No time left to do dumb things? (oh, yes, there is: he’s getting married at 18… wish him all the luck)
      And that’s as far as my pudency allows me to go about commenting on other people’s personal lives!

      1. Not yet, he hasn’t. They only got engaged a few weeks ago.

        Glad to see Roger back – along with the match reports. Thanks, Jonathan.

  4. Nadal just announced he is out of Wimbledon this year.

    Feel bad for him.

    But not bad enough to hope Novak has a temporary injury as well.

    1. Nadal is waiting for Djokovic’s level to fall. When that happens, he will have a full tank and vulture a couple of slams. Typical Nadal strategy.

    2. No real surprise, Nadal hasn’t factored on grass since 2011 so makes sense to skip it. Just like Fed skipping the French. Could play but would never have won it.

  5. Yes, Jonathan says it all… But he played, he saved BP’s and he won. No way Florian rallies like Fritz from the baseline and he doesn’t Hv the huge serve either. Fed will either come out smoother or Hv a reaction and mistime a lot. Either way, I expect him to grit his way to SF to face Thiem and hopefully get his revenge… Allez! Ps loved the irony of Fed being interviewed in English by a German (Schett) in Germany…..??.
    Yes, sad about Rafa from a spectator point of view, but he was never going to make it, and hasn’t made it past R4 in past 3/4 yrs.. Not a contender at Wimbledon anymore…

    Final word? Byee Maria…???

    1. Don’t you think Youzhny can challenge Thiem? If Groth could volley he would have won at least a set today, missed some real sitters. I think he might win.

    1. I think Nadal looked in much better form ahead of the French, would have been tough to beat there had he not had the wrist problem. Probably next stop Olympics for him.

  6. Didn’t see the match either today or yesterday, but happy to hear Fed came through unscathed. Fritz is going to be a good player soon and has the kind of game that could translate well to the top in 5 years time. Hopefully the match against Mayer will be easier – facing an opponent he’s very familiar with should help.

    1. Yeah Mayer is a nice matchup. Tricky to play though a I guess you’d call him a junkballer, 2 handed slice, wacky shots, kinda weird technique so might not be routine as it would be if Fed had played more this year.

  7. I was impressed with Fritz. His groundies, serve, and demeanor all excellent. He has a future. Not terribly exciting, but who is? (And his GF looks exactly like most of the others…)
    It was great to see our boy back on the court. He needs to come in a LOT more–if he is allowed to…but his service was much less labored than in Rome. He was doing the balletic toe point right before bouncing the ball–that’s the old, uninjured Fed!
    A bit worried about Thiem, but one match at a time.

  8. 🙂

    Just watched highlights – some rust, as you say, but overall moving well which I thought was the major concern. He was really starting to loosen up right when the rain came I thought, so that was unfortunate timing – though really Fritz broke himself there. They both seemed to have issues with the ball going a bit long at times; wonder if something about the conditions affected that. Fritz did well to hang with him throughout. From Fed, was glad to see some beautiful points mixed in with the expected rustiness of being long or wide, & I do believe I saw a couple of Djokosmashes.

    Not wild about the outfit. Also it’s too close to Fritzy’s – had to look at the socks a couple of times to see who was who. Actually like the shade of Fritz’ top better, & the contrast with his shorts too.

    Still, a positive start I think, and unless he has a real letdown should hopefully win tomorrow as well – and that’s as far as he was willing to target himself, calling potential semis “great” and potentially winning “a dream”.

    I think I saw someone mention that his comment about the family was something like, no, they’re not here, so I can concentrate on the tennis!

    1. Oh yes, meant to say – if you had told me 2 qualifiers would make qfs, I would not have guessed Mayer!

  9. I’m surprised that Nadal made an announcement about Wimbledon so soon. It’s way more fun to hate Rafa than Djokovic. Kinda boring hating Djoker.
    And then there is Maria. Shall we debate for a few days whether she is guilty of intentionally taking a ped.
    Seems a bit harsh considering Cilic, Gasquet, Toicki, etc. But the panel must have spent time with her in the locker room.

    1. Agreed, Sue, this two year ban seems very harsh and I am not her fan. If her appeal fails, this could effectively finish off her career, which is not necessarily good to WTA.

  10. Thanks Jonathan, a very good win and Roger had to work hard. From highlights, I thought that both played very well. Roger did not get many chances and did well to have grab those few. As a first match after along break, this was a good preparation. Taylor Fritz will be future GS champion, this younger is hugely impressive.
    Next match, Roger should win in straight.

  11. Good to see he’s back in form. Mayer hits a clean ball and has some tricky shots but not really enough firepower to bother Federer, it was a far more straightforward match. After he got by Fritz his level was only going to improve. Just had to tough out that first round.

    At the beginning of the tournament, he said he’d be happy to be in the semis, but now that that’s been achieved, the title’s a reasonable prospect. Thiem managed to down a hobbled Federer on clay but a healthy Federer on grass is a whole different kettle of fish. I expect Federer to do what’s necessary to make the final. Simon and Del Potro are both top players, and Kohlschreiber and Stepanek are also very dangerous. So he’ll have his hands full if (when) he steps out on court Sunday.

  12. Federer is still rusty as ever. In his good days, he would have schooled this Mayer 6-4, 6-2. Hope this rust is not permanent and he can go one up in his H2H against Thiem tomorrow 🙂

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