ATP Masters 250Brisbane InternationalRoger Federer

Federer Records 999th Career Win vs Dimitrov in Brisbane

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

Federer Serving Dimitrov Brisbane

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.

Match Stats

  R. Federer G. Dimitrov
Aces 1 4
Double Faults 1 1
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
Winners 14 11
Unforced Errors 9 23
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

Federer Routines Dimitrov Brisbane

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

Fed Schools Raonic Aussie Open 2013

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 πŸ™‚

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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49 Comments

      1. Well i guess it pays off to be up at 2:30 am to watch a match; I totally deserve this win :p

        Anyways, well played by Roger from the net and baseline…. His Fearhand is looking pretty impressive. Hoping for win 1000 tomorrow(4 in the morning this time…. Zzz)

        David won in Doha, he deserves it. Nadal fans boasting that doubles title up and stating it more impressive than Fed blahblah……..

        2015 looks like its gonna be a titleful year….. Stefan will be in AO and with no Davis Cup pressure, he doesnt HAVE to play and can schedule well. Good post as always Jonathan and thanks!

  1. Did anyone see how Raonic actually played? I always worry for Fed on a fast court w this huge server, but agreed, his return is extra sharp right now. And if he can keep R moving he will win.

    1. Yes, I saw the last 2 sets of the match. Here in Canada of course they had to show hockey instead of the first set. It was an incredibly close match, with Raonic playing a bit better than Nishikori in the last 2 TBs. Along with 34 aces, Raonic had an additional 30 winners, so he was very aggressive during the match. One thing Kei does well against Milos is keep him away from the net, because Raonic has a decent net game. But in that match think he just had something like 7 of 12 points at the net.
      Of course Fed is amazing at the net now, so he has a definite advantage there as well as in other areas. I hate it when Fed and Milos play, because they are my 2 favourite players – Fed as the Master and Milos as a player still on the way up.

    2. I didn’t see but caught some highlights, very close but Raonic was just clutch in the breakers. Kei made a couple of errors and they cost him.

      I disagree on keeping Milos away from the net being a good tactic, if anything bringing him to the net is a great tactic, as used by Federer at Wimbledon with the short slice which brought Raonic in and was followed up by a nice makeable pass due to Raonic not having the technique or the hands to do much with the ball other than keep it in play. Short slice return will be an important shot tomorrow for Fed.

    3. Combination of Milos being too clutch and Kei making some silly errors when it came down to the breakers. Fed has more variety and has the edge in leading the H2H and spending less time on court. Milos has a win under his belt though and seems to be serving great though so could be a close encounter that’s for sure.

  2. Better!! Lovely lovely match by Frd altho Grigor was v off! Cldnt play Feds serve at all, cldnt stay with the pace and no imagination off the chip approach from Fed. The UFE tell that story. Feds serve was awesome as was his read on the volley. Loved the curling FHDTL shot of the match ( thx)

    Raonic? Tough as he has beaten Fed but think the length of his SF, the court speed and Feds confidence will be too much. Tight but Fed thru in 2 with at least I TB!!

    1. Indeed, Dimitrov looked pretty clueless out there really. His forehand isn’t really a punishing shot, very flashy and good at half volley pick ups but in terms of a forcing shot nowhere near Feds.

      Raonic always a tough proposition but 7-1, fresher legs and a history of whooping big servers makes me feel pretty confident.

      1. OTOH, we all assumed that he’d beat Hewitt a year ago, so I’m trying not to get too overconfident here.

    1. Not late where I’m concerned, Susie, thanks! What I *would* like, though, is a belated birthday present from Fed tomorrow πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks Susie!
        However, I will be attending the exho match Roger plays with Hewitt on Monday night at Sydney!

  3. I just could see the highlights… No coverage in India. Last year we could only see the final of this tournament. Don’t know whether we would be able to see even that. Anyway, Fed looks to be in great shape and the surface looks pretty fast, just as Fed wants it to be. I don’t think anybod can beat Roger in this court and in this form unless he has a terrible day. As for Raonic, he always takes the sets to the business end due to his serve. In Paris, I was sure of a Fed win and told everyone that Raonic is still a kid to Roger, but… So this time I will say that Raonic is a matured player now. He is serving lights out, didn’t drop his serve in SF against a player like Kei. He has a good chance of winning tomorrow if Fed’s level drop a little bit etc etc… πŸ˜‰

  4. Great match for Roger. You cannot underestimate Raonic. He is very determined to get to the top and will keep working for it. His match against Nishikori showed his improvements in other areas of his game.
    Having said that (sound like a lawyer), I think Roger will win.
    Roger has said a few jabs in pc, something about him being fresh. Raonic not so much.

    Disappointed! The match will start 1am for me. Go Roger….1000!

    1. I think he was just being honest, Raonic spend 2 hours and 33 on court for the semi final. That’s a long time. Fed just said he will be fresher and has a slight advantage in that regard.

  5. 999! What a number! (But I hope it doesn’t stay there long! πŸ˜‰ )

    Only saw highlights, but looked like Rog was creating amazing angles; & as someone else said, seemed that Dimitrov was perhaps not moving at his best. Or maybe it was just that Roger was disguising his shots really well & that robbed Dimitrov of a few seconds.

    Really glad to see how quickly and convincingly our man seems to have played himself into form. I really expected it to be Kei in the final, but don’t want to underestimate Milos and his sleeve either. Would be amazing to have Roger’s 1000 th match win be a title!

    1. Dimitrov was moving fine I think, he just wasn’t anticipating well and didn’t expect Fed to hit his groundstrokes with such pace. Fed has really been leathering the forehand this week. I think these courts bounce nicely for him.

      1. Agree J, Fed’s FH been exquisite this week, hitting it deep, huge turnaround from last year when he was struggling a little bit, especially in that Wimby final. Melbourne will be slower than Brisbane so his shots will be more neutralised there.

  6. Tuned into Tennis Channel in NYC at 12 which was when Fed’s match was supposed to happen, so had to endure two TBs with Kei and Milos. It seems like they will play TBs all the time, which is a big reason to me why Milos will never be a top guy. He just cannot break the serve of the top guys. Plus, despite making some amazing shots for him, his footspeed isn’t that great and his backhand still is his weakest shot. And if he’s forced to come to net, particularly on a low-dropping ball, he just can’t handle bend enough to handle it. Roger can and will exploit that. Kei had two incredible brain farts that lost him the last two breakers. That was the difference.

    On to Roger: Match vs Duckworth was sublime, but the opponent’s game took some luster off the quick win. He doesn’t have the tools to be on the court with Roger. But Grigor? He has the tools, and finally played some really free tennis when he was down 2-5 in the 2nd and got some BPs vs Roger serving for the set. But that was his high point of the match. Roger annihilated him. The pop off his forehand was exceptional, hitting the ball deeper than I’ve seen in a long time. Also fastest court I’ve seen in a while and nothing is better suited to Roger’s game. Backhand was sublime all night. He used more body serves also than I can remember. He pretty much played a peRFect match against his protege. Funny that Grigor with Roger’s ex-physio, being part of his mgmt team, it’s gonna be even tougher for Grigor to get people to drop the baby Fed moniker as he seems more intent than ever on emulating the master, the greatest of all time. Which, in the end, probably isn’t a bad thing for him. Went to bed at 3:30 a.m. which is why I’m a basket case today. And the finals Sunday at 4am in NY is a killer, but I’ll be watching. It’s like training to get in shape to watch the AO, which for me in NY means no sleep for a few weeks.

    Hope for win #1,000 tonight!

  7. I’m sure they will put on a good show there Emerson.
    Just thinking how happy I am that Roger is playing so well with a bigger racket. His forehand is a joy to watch.
    Hey, where is Sid?

    1. Je suis ici! πŸ™‚ Et, je suis Charlie aussi.

      Good result. Incredible result, in fact. Didn’t watch it though. Don’t want to miss the final but ESPN3 isn’t broadcasting.

      Too bad the Melbourne surface won’t be anywhere near Brisbane. They just want to create a five time champ out of that joke of a No.1.

  8. What can I say…just incredible tennis this Fed of late is playing. PeRFect tennis almost! Ditto Sue, great to see the new flame has established as a magic power wand. Such a joy!

    Thanks for the tip for the chat login, Jonathan. My poor old Mac desperately needs TLC. The chat is always fun, even though I can’t type comments with the tiny keyboard on mobile while watching Fed (too focused!).

    By the way, late to point out but wondering why he didn’t start with a new outfit this year? I thought we would see him in bright yellow…guess will happen at AO then.

    1. Yes I was also surprised Fed didn’t opt to bring the new outfit in Brisbane, can’t say I’m a fan though, no polo shirt for a slam? Not cool Nike. Not cool.

      1. Agree. He needs to stick with the polo. Not sure what he and Nike are thinking. Probably a business decision.

      2. Maybe it’s history, a retro look harking back to his youth and successes down under and I did once read RF prefers playing in no collars so anything that helps him feel good, just like this current outfit has been “lucky” so far. He is playing like ten years ago why not evoke the vibe totally? He can pull off most looks but Nike should review some of their ideas eg. Grigor’s shirt in maroon was very hot and ordinary looking. Looking forward to tonight but am not seeing it live despite being in the time zone…visitors!!
        May he keep denying those next generation kids even longer, especially the one who tries to ruin the 1000 party tonight. Enjoy

  9. Oooo so close now to the big 1000! That was quite the masterclass from Roger and emphasised even more why these two are so different despite all those comparisons. I think Fed took away Grigor’s time and was just too strong on the baseline. Immense serving as well, will be key in the final. I watched the Raonic/Nishi match and you summed it up in that it came down to the errors Kei made in the tiebreaks. Raonic was all too clutch when it mattered and had a decent baseline game and the mental toughness to back it up. However, it doesn’t mean that the Canadian is an interesting player to watch, he’s definitely not and doesn’t really bring anything to the table. On the other hand, Nishikori is very promising and I’m so excited for how his game is coming together, got a sweet BH and a game quite similar to Djoker. Good things on the horizon for him hopefully.

    Let’s bring home win 1000 Roger!

  10. Don’t know what happened with Dimi; he just couldn’t read Fed’s serve it seems, and Feds was certainly blasting those forehands! I think Dimi is still pretty intimidated when he meets Feds; seems to go to pieces and makes a lot of UFEs.

    I’m going for Federer in two against Raonic – I just can’t see him serving as well after the monster match against Kei. He’s improved massively – even his movement around the court is much better, but it’s still not that great, and Federer can exploit this. Also Feds is returning so much better – a joy to watch, and this court suits him very well.

  11. Roger was very aggressive in this match – very impressive and Grigor just could not handle the pace. Everything worked – FH popping and serve raining down giving Grigor no chance until the very last game.
    Agree with you, Jonathan, it should be in two straight sets tomorrow against Milos.
    Allez Roger!

  12. What a match, Roger imposes himself right from the start. Dimitrov was clueless and made to look amateurish. 1 more than to go, lets do this Roger #1000

  13. Ignored my incoming emails yesterday until after the delayed coverage of Roger’s match on British Eurosport. Pre-empted that one of those emails would be from Jonathan about the semi report against Dimitrov so rightly ignored it, and enjoyed Roger’s facile victory on the box. Don’t worry Jonathan, I equally enjoy reading your posts but did not want to ruin my enjoyment of the match as unable to watch it live on British Eurosport. And for those of you who are able to watch delayed coverage of Roger’s matches on TV a number of hours after his live matches have concluded, try a little self-discipline and keep away from the internent, and TV news and sports results until you have the pleasure of seeing Roger play his match. And if that means ‘ignoring’ emails from Jonathan for a few hours, well so be it, ha,ha!
    One other little stat to point out – but an important one – should Roger win the final later, he will set an Open-Era Record of having won at least one title consecutively for the most years – which will put him outright at 15 years – thus no longer equaling Lendl’s record of 14 consecutive years.
    Enjoy All!!

  14. Congratulations to the GOAT for joining the No1000 club! What a victory! Now the 2015 season is truly on the way – one done with 17 to go πŸ™‚ .
    Allez Roger!!

  15. First of all, big kudos to Raonic. He played (unfortunately) great. Roger does bring out the best in his opponents πŸ™‚
    Second of all big big big kudos to ofcourse the one and only Goat πŸ™‚ Love you soooooooooooooo much.
    Third of all, keeping it one match at the time, but still… lets destroy Lendl’s records of 1071 and 94, by winning 72 more matches and 12 titles πŸ™‚ No pressure on Roger, but I am sorry, I BELIEVE in THIS Roger. Love you Roger forever and beyond πŸ™‚

      1. Lol Federer should do a Roddick if anyone asks him that:

        Interviewer: If you drop to a specific place in the rankings you said you would retire……
        Roddick: I think that, you should retire. *walks out of press conference*

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