Roger's imperious record at US Open night sessions continues as he defeated big serving John Isner 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 7-5 to book his spot in the Quarter Finals. Isner hadn't dropped serve all tournament and he kept up his record, forcing Roger used all his experience to pull away in the tiebreaks before finally breaking at 6-5 in the third to record victory in 2 hours and 39 minutes.
The first set breaker was trademark Fed vs. big servers as he swept it 7-0, which was the first time in 428 tie breaks that Isner hadn't won a single point! The second then saw the Swiss recover from 3-5 down, which at 3.47am my time isn't the sort of scoreline you want to see 😆 before finally breaking at the 10th time of asking in set 3 to make comfortable progress.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to serve holding to love for a 1-0 lead. Isner quickly levelled but in game 4 the Swiss missed a makeable backhand pass at 30-30 and the American got away. At 3-2 Fed then had his first break points, Isner saving 2 from 15-40 and then a third after deuce with a well dug out volley which span back onto his side of the net. Both players then went onto exchange comfortable holds and the set resulted in a tie break.
Here Roger upped his level, coming up with an insane return then a backhand down the line winner to establish a 3-0 lead. Two quick service holds followed for 5-0 and Isner couldn't land the big blows on serve, losing both points to drop the tie break 7-0. peRFect start.
Into set 2 and at 1-1 the Swiss again 2 more break points, coming from 40-15 behind but Isner held firm. The American then created 0-40 on the Federer serve and all of a sudden it looked like the set could get away pretty quickly; however Roger had other ideas, coming up with 3 timely first serves to make deuce, saving a fourth break point with another big serve before holding for 2-2.
Holds were exchanged and with Isner leading 4-3, he won 3 straight points from 40-15 to hold a fourth break point; which was again saved in style with a clutch serve. The scoreboard quickly moved to 6-6 and we were treated to another tie break 😀
This time Isner got off to a better start, swinging a big serve out wide to lead 1-0 and then establishing a mini break to lead 4-2 and should have gone up a double mini break but failed to put away 2 volleys. At 3-5 Roger came up with one of the best returns you'll see to get back on serve, then winning 3 points in a row to lead 6-5. Isner saved set point but Roger then came up with another epic return in the deuce court before taking set point with a Wawrinka like French Open backhand down the line from way outside the tramlines. 2 sets to love.
With Isner's hopes fading set 3 saw Roger begin to roll on serve, holding serve to love 3 times on the bounce from 3-3. Isner to his credit kept fighting, saving 3 break points at 3-4 before holding and recovering from 0-30 at 4-5. However at 5-6 his resistance came to an end with Federer hitting an epic backhand up the line at 0-30 before finally breaking the Isner serve at 15-40 to move into the Quarters.
|Stats||John Isner||Roger Federer|
|1st serves in||93/133 (70%)||65/111 (59%)|
|1st serve points won||63/93 (68%)||54/65 (83%)|
|2nd serve points won||22/40 (55%)||33/46 (72%)|
|Fastest serve||140 MPH||126 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||126 MPH||114 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||115 MPH||93 MPH|
|Net points won||25/45 (56%)||14/21 (67%)|
|Break points won||0/5 (0%)||1/10 (10%)|
|Receiving points won||24/111 (22%)||48/133 (36%)|
|Total points won||109||135|
|Distance Covered (Feet)||6185.2||5627|
|Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet)||25.4||23.1|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
John is one of the best servers in the game. Especially the pace on his second serve, it’s unreal. You just have to hang around and not drop your own serve. I guess that was the key to the match.
Another typical Fed vs. big server display in this one where he takes care of his own service games and finds that extra bit of something at just the right moments to win the set and ultimately the match. Isner actually played pretty well but Roger has too complete a game to really get troubled by him; as long as he doesn't get broken himself then you back him to make a return when it matters and that's pretty much how he won all three sets.
From Roger's side, he didn't have the best serving day overall in terms of % in play, but he was big time clutch when he needed to be, coming up with 3 peRFect serves in the love 40 game which was pretty special and one of the key moments in the match. Some of the shots he came up with in the second set breaker, especially when he didn't have a ton of rhythm from the baseline, were special too, just timed and placed to perfection.
Overall exactly the sort of match we expected, Fed taking care of his own service games, applying constant pressure to Isner, moving him around with variety and peaking at just the right moments.
Predictions vs. Gasquet
Next up is Gasquet who defeated Berdych in four sets to make the Quarter Finals in New York for the second time in his career. Berdych won the first set 6-2 but Gasquet hit back to win the next 3 pretty comfortably, breaking 5 times and not dropping his own serve after losing in twice in the opener.
Federer leads the H2H 14-2, the last match coming in Dubai where Gasquet retired after dropping the first set 6-1. Previous to that they played in the Davis Cup final where Federer put in a vintage display to seal the tie. Gasquet has been in good form this year, making the semi finals at Wimbledon, but I can't see him being too much of a problem for Federer here. There's just too many factors at play which give the Swiss the edge: H2H, surface, crowd, Davis Cup final and Gasquet's spent way more time on court dropping 4 sets en route to the Quarters.
Unless Gasquet comes out with his swashbuckling shotmaking game on fire I just fail to see how he can beat Federer with how he usually plays; he drops deep behind the baseline and without possessing incredible retrieving skills it's not a good recipe to really get it done against Saberer. Federer's only dropped 1 set on hard courts against him and never dropped a set in 2 slam meetings. Fed in three for me, 6-2 6-4 6-2. 5 x sabr returns 🙂