The semi-finals in Stuttgart await as Roger Federer defeated Guido Pella 6-4, 6-4 at the Mercedes Cup to move within just one win of reclaiming the number one spot from Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss started his campaign positively against the tricky Mischa Zverev on Wednesday and took things up a notch today, showing off his grass savvy game to cruise through against the Argentine Pella who recorded his first ever wins on the surface this week.
Quick Match Recap
Pella won the toss and elected to serve. The Argentine was forced to deuce but held for 1-0. Roger responded with a love hold. Two break points came the way of the Swiss in game five but Pella held on to lead 3-2. Roger was yet to drop a point on serve as he levelled for 3 all and he broke through in game seven, to lead 4-3 before consolidating for 5-3. Pella then held for 4-5 but Roger served it out with ease to take a troublefree set 6-4 with four love games and just one point dropped on serve.
Into set two and Pella got off to the worst possible start, dropping serve immediately as Roger produced some slick footwork to thread an inside in forehand up the line for 1-0. The break was consolidated to 15 and from there Federer was in complete control, overcoming 15-30 in game eight and 15-40 in game ten to progress through blemish free into Saturday's semi-final.
|Roger Federer||Guido Pella|
|1st Serve Points Won||83%(29/35)||65%(24/37)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||71%(15/21)||70%(14/20)|
|Break Points Saved||100%(2/2)||67%(4/6)|
|Service Games Played||10||10|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||35%(13/37)||17%(6/35)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||30%(6/20)||29%(6/21)|
|Break Points Converted||33%(2/6)||0%(0/2)|
|Return Games Played||10||10|
|Service Points Won||79%(44/56)||67%(38/57)|
|Return Points Won||33%(19/57)||21%(12/56)|
|Total Points Won||56%(63/113)||44%(50/113)|
Top 5 Shots
Thoughts on the Match
A super slick performance here from Roger who looks very sharp in only his second match. Pella is obviously a lightweight opponent on grass as he can't really do much damage but Fed played some quality points, moved great and looked very comfortable out there. Some of his volleying was top notch and he's just a breath of fresh air to watch with his style, coming forward and stepping into balls that you know 99% of the tour are moving back to play.
He's also looking physically in great shape too, strong in the legs and the footwork has been precise, shuffling quickly into position to turn some backhands into forehands today with the one on break point being especially easy on the eye.
Predictions vs. Kyrgios
Next up is the mercurial Nick Kyrgios who saw off Lopez in three sets. Kyrgios is on the comeback trail after an elbow problem and from the stats looks to be serving well. He's beaten Roger before and aside from being schooled by Murray multiple times, whenever he plays the top guys he at the very least runs them close, last years match in Miami vs. Fed springs to mind that went to the wire.
With that in mind, I expect a close one here that probably boils down to who can just find the right shot at the right time; a passing shot here or a pickup volley there can make all the difference. I expect Fed to be the more disciplined of the two and that should be enough to see him through but if Kyrgios has a good serving day and doesn't start trying to get too cute with tweeners and whatnot then it could be a third set tie-break job. But it's Fed in 2 for me.
What did you guys think of today's match? Predictions vs Kyrgios? Let me know in the comments.