Hey all, another straight sets affair for Roger as he defeated Argentinian Qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 6-4 to move into the third round.
A comfortable scoreline but certainly not a one sided affair and I don't think Federer bossed this one by any means. If anything his defensive ability was the difference as the Argentine played extremely aggressive when he had the chance.
Conditions didn't help here as it was yet again drizzling and overcast which makes the ball heavy. I don't know about you but I haven't got into this French Open yet, the weather, some of the matches and just the general vibe of things hasn't got me excited. Hopefully things pick up in the second week, assuming Federer is there 🙂
Quick Match Recap
Into the match and Fed started with a 1 minute special making 3 first serves en route to a love hold.
Schwartzman didn't hang about either as he held easily thanks to some sweet ball striking. The Qualifier, playing his first ever Grand Slam Main Draw then drew first blood breaking the Federer serve to lead 2-1.
It was a bit of a surprise to see Roger drop serve rather easily. He got bossed from the back of the court, hit about 3 backhands into the base of the net and that was that.
Fortunately Schwartzman's inexperience told as he failed to consolidate. With the break back Federer started to string some better points together as he broke to lead 4-2 then served out the set at 5-3 to take what was always going to be an unassailable lead.
Any notion that Roger's 5 feet 7 inch opponent would fade after showing early resistance soon disappeared as he had an immediate chance to break at the start of the second.
Although he failed to convert Schwartzman kept Fed honest throughout, hitting with authority and it was only his lack of consistency that meant he wasn't winning more points.
At 4 all Fed then had 2 break points from deuce but played quite timidly and failed to capitalise. Luckily though on his 3rd attempt Schwartzman missed a makeable shot to drop serve. The set was soon over 6-4.
The third set was a similar story, Roger improved a touch and things looked a little easier for him as he broke for 3-1. That 1 break again proved the difference and Schwartzman didn't have another look in as he bowed out 6-3 6-4 6-4. A decent ever but Roger was the better player over all.
|Stats||Diego Sebastian Schwartzman||Roger Federer|
|1st Serves In||51/95 (54 %)||51/81 (63 %)|
|1st Serve Points Won||30/51 (59 %)||42/51 (82 %)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||24/44 (55 %)||17/30 (57 %)|
|Fastest Serve||192 Kmh||199 Kmh|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||159 Kmh||183 Kmh|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||135 Kmh||147 Kmh|
|Net Points Won||8/13 (62 %)||13/18 (72 %)|
|Break Points Won||1/2 (50 %)||4/10 (40 %)|
|Receiving Points Won||22/81 (27 %)||41/95 (43 %)|
|Total Points Won||76||100|
Thoughts on the Match
They say your mood often reflects the weather and the French Open so for me has been pretty dull. No matches have had much excitement, even Stan crashing out had a feeling of inevitability about it with the way he was playing. The match today was a little dreary too. Fun in parts but no real impetus other than some pacey rallies thanks to Schwartzman.
I don't think Fed looked that enthralled either today playing in light rain and quite chilly conditions. The conditions aren't ideal for top quality tennis and it's more about the guy who's game is best suited or who handles them better on the day. Like I said above hopefully the weather can pick up a bit in the next few days.
As for the match I think Fed just played solidly enough, nothing spectacular, a little ropey and spent a lot of time on the back foot but won in straight sets.
Schwartzman gave a good showing and he reminds me a little of Nishikori, who also troubles Roger, as he has great foot speed and takes the ball early. At 5ft 7″ he's probably too small to ever be a contender but he's got hustle and played fearlessly. Fed gave him some praise too:
I didn’t feel relaxed for the entire match, I always felt he had a little bit of an upper hand from the baseline. He was doing a really good job being aggressive and making good plays. He managed to put pressure on me and keep it on. Clearly because of his height he doesn’t have the biggest serve, and that kept me sometimes in two minds. But he handled the conditions really well. He’s probably going to move up the rankings. He’s very steady, very fast, got some good qualities.
Anyway, no complaints from me as it's another well managed match completed in straight sets. Some good plays, nice volleys mixed in with some weak returns and tame backhands. So there's definitely positives but plenty things to improve on too, which maybe isn't a bad place to be early in a slam. We'll soon see where his game is at when he faces some tougher opposition.
Predictions vs. Tursunov
Next up is Tursunov who easily disposed of Sam Querrey in straight sets. This guy is a tricky customer and if you go toe to toe with him he can definitely get the upper hand.
Fed beat him in 2 tie breaks earlier in the year at Indian Wells so we know he's not going to be a complete pushover.
Heavy conditions will suit his game too as he's a bit of a heavy hitter on both wings. Fed got bullied a fair bit by Schwartzman who is nowhere near as physically imposing as Tursunov so I think Roger will need to be sharp here and mix things up to avoid giving Tursunov too much rhythm.
I'll pick Fed in 3 but it could go 4 based on what I saw today. Conditions will play a part I think and if it's blue skies and sunny I can see Federer comfortably winning. If it's overcast and heavy we could be in for a tricky one. Allez!