Another routine win for the GOAT here as he dismissed Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 to book his spot in the Brisbane final for the second consecutive year. This time around he will be hoping to go one better and the man in his way is Milos Raonic who overcame Kei Nishikori in 3 tie break sets that lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes.
Roger on the other hand made short work of his 4th seeded opponent, breaking twice in each set and never looking troubled en route to his victory in just 53 minutes; that should mean he's feeling incredibly fresh for the final tomorrow which has now moved to 7:00pm local time.
Quick Match Recap
Roger won the toss and elected to receive, interesting call from him and it worked as he delivered the perfect game to break to 15 before consolidating to love for a 2-0 lead. The way he struck the ball in that first game was just incredible really and set the tone for the whole encounter.
At 3-1 Fed had a taste of a second break point and again converted when Dimitrov didn't really do enough with his groundstrokes before making a tame error. Minutes later it was 5-1 and although Dimitrov held to 15 to avoid the breadstick; Roger served it out to take the set 6-2.
I was fully expecting the second set to be closer, much like the first set of their Basel encounter but Dimitrov couldn't muster any resistance. After saving 1 break point at 1-1 he double faulted on the next to fall 2-1 behind.
One break is always recoverable for a shotmaker like Dimitrov but he again lost serve at 2-4 down to give Roger the insurance break and the Swiss saved 2 break points before sealing the deal on his second match point to move swiftly into the final.
|R. Federer||G. Dimitrov|
|1st Serve %||69%||63%|
|1st Serve Points Won||27/33 (82%)||19/30 (63%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||9/15 (60%)||6/18 (33%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/4 (100%)||3/7 (43%)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|1st Return Points Won||11/30 (37%)||6/33 (18%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||12/18 (67%)||6/15 (40%)|
|Break Points Won||4/7 (57%)||0/4 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Net Points Won||15/19||8/11|
|Total Service Points Won||36/48 (75%)||25/48 (52%)|
|Total Return Points Won||23/48 (48%)||12/48 (25%)|
|Total Points Won||59/96 (61%)||37/96 (39%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Another day, another masterclass from the GOAT against an opponent many are touting as the future of the sport. Roger showed today he's just a better player in all areas; forehand has way more power, serve is more effective and he just has a better understanding of the court. Fed is all business in matches like this and he pretty much took apart Dimitrov's game like a knife through butter.
One area Fed was ultra effective today and yesterday come to think of it is the return. He has been seeing the ball huge this week and his return game has been spot on. Dimitrov's second serve was under a constant barrage of pressure and he never had any sort of breathing room winning only 33% of points behind it.
His net game has been pretty special too with some top quality volleys in the forecourt on the stretch and from well timed approaches. Really looks like Edberg has added something extra to what was already a pretty good net game; Fed seems to be closing it off quicker, anticipating better and putting the odds in his favour by reducing the angles the opponent can work with. All very pleasing on the eye and the results are the right ones too. 2015 is young but it's been decent stuff so far from the FedExpress.
Predictions vs. Raonic
Next up is Raonic who was the slight underdog in his match vs. Nishikori but came through in three tie break sets. Nishikori looked dangerous this week but a double fault in the third set breaker looks to have cost him a spot in the final. When you're playing someone like Raonic one sloppy error can be the difference and the Canadian took advantage using his serve and forehand to get the job done. Zero breaks of serve in this match so although I didn't watch I'm guessing both guys played well, just one guy handled the breakers better and it turned out to be the guy with the big serve.
I actually think Raonic is the much better opponent for Roger so I'm glad he's in the final. Nishikori can do a lot of damage with how he plays and his ball striking and refusal to give up the baseline has undone Fed twice previously. Raonic can only really win by serving lights out and being able to get his forehand into play; Fed neutralises that pattern of play better than anyone on tour and that's why he leads the H2H 7-1. His sole loss coming in Paris last year where he had an off day and Raonic played at a very high level. That could of course happen tomorrow but I think Fed will be far fresher and enjoys the conditions here so I think he'll get the win.
If he were to take down the title it would also be his 1000th career win which is a huge achievement and means only Connors and Lendl are above him in that regard. It would also mean he's won a title in 30 different cities across the world. I'll pick Fed in straights 6-4 6-4. See you guys tomorrow in Live Chat 7pm local / 9am GMT sharp 🙂