Hey all, Miami is underway and Roger rolled his way into the third round defeating Ivo Karlovic 6-4 7-6(4) in 1 hour and 14 minutes.
This will be the briefest of posts because the match was of course dominated by serve and had few rallies. Always hard to assess Fed's level in these type of encounters but the fact he only dropped 3 points on serve suggests he's carried on from where he left off in Indian Wells.
Roger has always come out on top against big servers and today was no different as he came up with some sweet passing shots when he needed to and looked imperious on serve.
Quick Match Recap
It was obvious Fed had a gameplan today as he chose to receive when winning the toss which is rare. Karlovic's serve relies heavily on rhythm so Roger clearly fancied his chances early doors as the Croat has no ground game to speak of if his serve misfires.
Opting to receive paid off dividends as he won 4 straight points which meant the first set was a foregone conclusion. Neither player had another look at a break point and Fed only dropped his first point on serve at 40-0 5-4 up. Nearly the peRFect set.
The second set was uneventful until 4 all when Roger had 2 break point chances but Karlovic served big to hold.
5 all meant a tie break was nigh on unavoidable and another Federer love hold special forced it. The Swiss immediately went up a mini break but handed it back when a forehand clipped the net. Parity didn't last long for Karlovic though as he slipped behind yet again and this time Roger closed it out from 5-4 with 2 well played points. Game, set, match Federer 6-4 7-6(4).
|Roger Federer||Ivo Karlovic|
|1st Serve %||75%||65%|
|1st Serve Points Won||37/39 (95%)||36/44 (82%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/13 (92%)||11/24 (46%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/0 (0%)||2/3 (67%)|
|Service Games Played||11||11|
|1st Return Points Won||8/44 (18%)||2/39 (5%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||13/24 (54%)||1/13 (8%)|
|Break Points Won||1/3 (33%)||0/0 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||11||11|
|Total Service Points Won||49/52 (94%)||47/68 (69%)|
|Total Return Points Won||21/68 (31%)||3/52 (6%)|
|Total Points Won||70/120 (58%)||50/120 (42%)|
Thoughts on the Match
No real analysis or thoughts on this one, just a masterclass from Fed. He knows better than anyone how to play big servers and that showed today. Played smart tennis and as a result didn't have to get out of second gear.
In fact he never looked like getting broken and I don't think Karlovic managed to get past 15 on his serve. Return was good too despite only 1 break plus he managed to hit some sweet passing shots which is always good to see.
Stats wise it's a clinic with winners outnumbering errors by 5:1 and only 3 points dropped behind serve. 6 aces and he took the break point when he needed it. Sweet.
Karlovic will be kicking himself to get broken in his opening service game but it looked like a set plan from Fed to me. The Croatian kept it close on the scoreboard from there after but truth is he never had a chance of winning this one. Maybe he could have pulled off the 2nd set breaker but Roger just closed it out.
I don't wanna get too excited as Karlovic is hardly top tier opposition so I see this more as a good way to kick off the tournament, work his way in and get back onto the winning path after losing a close one in Indian Wells.
There's not a whole lot to learn about how he's enjoying the surface or how he fares in extended rallies just yet but I don't think that matters a whole lot. Indian Wells was a hectic tournament so it's definitely better he got this one done quickly and efficiently. Less time on court the better especially with the humidity in Miami.
Predictions vs. De Bakker
Bit of a surprise here as Thiemo De Bakker saw off Verdasco in 3 sets. Looks like another choke job from the Spaniard though as he was 4-1 up in second set yet had to win the tie break to force a decider which he lost 6-2. Beggars belief how weak Verdasco is mentally. Huge talent but just can't put away any sort of opposition.
No complaints from me though as I think De Bakker is probably the easier opponent for Fed although there's not much in it. It's 2-0 in the H2H with their last meeting coming in Rotterdam last year where Fed won in straight sets
De Bakker has nothing to hurt Roger with and really I can't see how he wins this. He just doesn't have the credentials to pull off an upset. He might have been a junior Wimbledon champion but he has made zero impact on the tour. No weapons and probably no real confidence that he can win.
Fed in straights. 6-2 6-2.