Roger Federer is into the semi-finals for the 14th time at the ATP World Finals with a 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-1 win against Alexander Zverev in 2 hours at 12 minutes.
Not the prettiest encounter but Roger showed off his variety to keep Zverev off balance and overcame a second set wobble to ensure he'll be part of proceedings on Saturday whatever happens in the remaining Group B matches.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss, elected to serve and promptly had to save three break points to hold for 1-0. The Swiss then had a break point of his own but Zverev held and both players began to rattle through their service games. With return points at a premium the score moved to 5-5 in just over half an hour, from there a solid hold to 30 put Roger 6-5 up and he was unlucky not to take the set, holding two set points, one of which Zverev saved with a lucky net cord en route to holding.
Into the breaker and after being on the verge of winning the opener, Roger got off to the worst possible start, slipping to 0-4 down. However, he managed to claw his way back, taking advantage of a net cord of his own to level at 4-4 and he took the breaker 8-6 after saving a set point at 5-6
With Zverev looking demoralised after dropping the opener he played a terrible game to drop serve at the start of set two. Roger consolidated to love but in game four he fired down two double faults to help Zverev recover the break. That loss of concenration affected Roger's level for the remainder of the set and despite hanging in there he dropped serve at 5-6 having saved two of three break points.
Set three was anyone's for the taking and it was Roger who made the first move, breaking when Zverev sent a backhand wide in game three. After consolidating for 3-1 Roger then secured the double break, aided by Zverev's forehand going AWOL. The Swiss saved a break point to hold for 5-1 and he was able to break for the third game in a row with Zverev double faulting on match point.
|Roger Federer||Alexander Zverev|
|1st Serve Points Won||83%(43/52)||73%(49/67)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||54%(25/46)||43%(17/40)|
|Break Points Saved||82%(9/11)||50%(4/8)|
|Service Games Played||15||16|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||27%(18/67)||17%(9/52)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||58%(23/40)||46%(21/46)|
|Break Points Converted||50%(4/8)||18%(2/11)|
|Return Games Played||16||15|
|Return Points Won||38%(41/107)||31%(30/98)|
|Net Points Won||69% (20/29)||47% (8/17)|
|Service Points Won||69%(68/98)||62%(66/107)|
|Total Points Won||53%(109/205)||47%(96/205)|
Thoughts on the Match
From Fed's side we saw plenty variety that caused Zverev a lot of problems which was good to see, but overall his first serve wasn't firing and there were just too many errors from him in the second set. He seemed to have no real rhythm from the baseline and he relied more on his defence than offence for the most part which isn't really how he would want to play. But viewing pleasure aside, Fed did enough things rights to bag the victory and secure his semi final spot so there can't be too many complaints. Two matches in, two victories and you have to think his level of tennis will pick up from here onwards.
Next up Cilic who's already out of the tournament. Cilic has a woeful record in London and on Thursday he has nothing to play for. I'm not sure if that makes him more dangerous as there's zero pressure but I can't see it being much of a match. Federer is already in the semi finals as well so there is no poinit for either guy to flog themselves out there so I'll pick Fed to come through in straights.
As always let me know what you guys thought of the match in the comments 🙂