The Fedberg partnership is off to a winning start as Roger defeated Aussie hope James Duckworth 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to make routine progress into round 2 where he'll meet Blaz Kavcic.
This one was hardly a classic as the blistering heat and the fact it was the first round of a slam made it lack tempo or any sort of rhythm for either player; combine that with the 2am UK start time meant it was tricky to even stay awake.
Regardless of that it was job done for Roger as he beat the 40C midday sun and looked fairly comfortable in doing so; I don't think he looked overly impressive compared with Murray and Tsonga who made strong starts today but the main thing is he didn't get broken the whole match and generally looked to be playing well within himself. He probably should have converted a few more break points as usual but that's by the by.
Quick Match Recap
This will be brief as very little happened over the course of 3 sets other than Roger wasting a fair few break point chances but doing enough to get over the line without breaking too much of a sweat.
3 break points passed him by in the very first game as it happens followed by a 4th one in Duckworths second service game before he finally got the breakthrough at 2 all. That proved to be ample and despite missing another handful of chances to secure a double break he served the set out comfortably to take it 6-4.
The second set was almost identical with Duckworth serving reasonably well under pressure and Roger's cross court backhand pass missing in action when he had chances to pull away. The breakthrough this time came at 3-3 and depsite Duckworth having a chance to break back immediately he fluffed it and the set was soon over 6-4 just like the first.
The third was always going to be a non event due to the heat and Duckworth knew he was going to find it nigh on impossible to find a way back into the match. That made him swing a bit more freely but if anything made him hit lots more errors and give up the game really. Roger broke immediately and then again to lead 5-2 before serving it out to book his spot in the second round.
|Stats||James Duckworth||Roger Federer|
|1st serves in||48/92 (52 %)||45/78 (58 %)|
|1st serve points won||36/48 (75 %)||40/45 (89 %)|
|2nd serve points won||19/44 (43 %)||19/33 (58 %)|
|Fastest serve||216 KMH||207 KMH|
|Average 1st serve speed||176 KMH||185 KMH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||162 KMH||153 KMH|
|Net points won||19/34 (56 %)||18/22 (82 %)|
|Break points won||0/1 (0 %)||4/17 (24 %)|
|Receiving points won||19/78 (24 %)||37/92 (40 %)|
|Total points won||74||96|
Point / Shot of the Match
I have watched extended highlights and I can't find one, if anyone wants to make a nomination in the comments then please do 🙂
Thoughts on the Match
Steady away is the best way to describe this one, not much of a test or excitement but that's what you come to expect in the first round of a slam. Duckworth had no weapons other than mixing it up on his first serve by standing wide so was never going to pose much of a threat. As long as Roger took care of his service games the chances were always going to come for him. Like clockwork he was 4 for 17 on break points which is a tad disappointing considering who he was playing but we'll just have to monitor that on a match by match basis.
In terms of his level I though Roger served very well throughout but other than that there were no real highlights or things to pick up on. The 40C heat definitely didn't help give the match a rhythmical feel so I actually thought it was quite low tempo with no real rallies or court craft, it was more about just doing what was necessary.
Can't ask for more but a 1st round means very little, after all he schooled Hanescu on grass but then got burned by Stakhovsky at Wimbledon. Who by the way lost in 4 sets today so the revenge meeting is on ice for now.
Yeah, it was okay. It was not much rhythm out there. It was a matter of getting the job done and not getting broken. So it was a solid match from start to finish, yeah. Could have maybe won a few more break points here and there, but who cares now?
Elsewhere Nadal cruised into the second round after Tomic retired at the end of the first set with a groin injury; so much for posing a threat :P. Del Potro won in 4, Hewitt, Roger's conqueror in Brisbane lost in 5 sets to Seppi, which I think says it all about that final, Murray crushed Soeda, Isner retired with an injury and Tsonga won comfortably.
With those results Fed's draw has basically stayed the same and Murray's has opened up a little. Simon won 16-14 in the fifth so he'll be tired should he meet Tsonga in the third round. There were also some big wins for Aussie youngsters Kyrgios and Kokkinakis who plays Nadal in the second round.
Predictions vs. Blaž Kavčič
If you look at the H2H you'd think this guy would be a complete unknown as they've never played each before but Kavčič was one of the guys Roger flew out to Dubai during December to practise with so he'll have a firm idea of what to expect.
I've not seen much of Kavčič to be honest but he's just a middle of the road type player, solid in all areas hence the career best ranking of 68 but no real stand out shots to hurt Roger with.
I'd assume Roger knows any of his weaknesses from practise and as long as he serves well then this should be similar to the Duckworth match. I think Kavčič has a little bit more power off the ground compared to Duckie but not by much so I can't see where he can hurt Fed a whole lot.
Kavčič is definitely going to stick on the baseline as that's the foundation of his game so which areas of the matchup does he win? I'm not sure he edges it in any area so I'll pick Fed in straights 6-4 6-2 6-2 and he should be able to school this guy with a lot of variety and make him do all the running. Allez!
And finally a new video from KiLLuCH, well worth a watch: