More routine stuff for the GOAT in New York as he comprehensively defeated Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 on a packed Arthur Ashe. Playing his first night session of the tournament Roger required just 80 minutes to get the job done and is now a seven match winning streak on the North American hard courts.
The Swiss hit 46 winners, 11 aces and won 86% behind his first serve en route to victory, which now puts him out in front as the player with the most night match victories at the US Open ahead of Agassi and level with Silliams.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Darcis held to 15 but in game 3 lost his serve and Federer streaked away, holding easily and breaking the Belgian twice more to take the opener 6-1. We even got a sabr albeit a losing one in the final game 🙂
Set 2 went almost exactly the same way, Fed breaking to lead 2-0 and holding to love. Darcis managed to go one better and hold 2 service games but at 4-2, Federer hit a ridiculous forehand on the run at 40-0 then broke to take a two set lead.
With Darcis looking completely out of ideas he was again broken at the start of set 3. The Belgian did fashion his first break point of the match but Federer came up with the goods to snuff it out and hold. 2-0 quickly became 5-0 and although Darcis avoided the bagel Roger served things out to love to book his spot in the third round.
|Stats||Steve Darcis||Roger Federer|
|1st serves in||43/80 (54%)||43/61 (70%)|
|1st serve points won||23/43 (53%)||37/43 (86%)|
|2nd serve points won||15/37 (41%)||10/18 (56%)|
|Fastest serve||120 MPH||129 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||112 MPH||116 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||88 MPH||93 MPH|
|Net points won||9/14 (64%)||19/29 (66%)|
|Break points won||0/1 (0%)||7/19 (37%)|
|Receiving points won||14/61 (23%)||42/80 (53%)|
|Total points won||52||89|
|Distance Covered (Feet)||4282.8||4410.3|
|Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet)||30.4||31.3|
Thoughts on the Match
I was able to mix it up, was attacking, was also staying back some. I was pretty much all-out attack as much as I could. Obviously I have to manage that against different players when the scoreline isn't maybe so one-sided.
Not a whole lot to say about this one really as it was a complete schooling. Almost a bit of a mis-match as Darcis just got overpowered and outplayed by Fed's attacking intent. The Belgian strikes a sweet ball off both wings but when you have Fed on the other side well inside the court hammering it back there is very little he could do. He's not a grinder or a supreme defender so if he can't push Federer back with his own offense then it's curtains for him.
Like Fed said in press he played all out attack and Darcis had no answers. Forehand was supreme and the stats again make decent reading with plenty of net play and variety in there which Darcis seemed to struggle with when put under pressure. I counted 5 sabr returns too, although I completely forgot to make a prediction before hand 🙁
So 4 games dropped, little energy expended and into round 3. peRFect start so far. Almost reminded me a bit of the Monaco match a few years ago but hopefully this tournament has a better ending 😉
Predictions vs. Kohlschreiber
Next up is Kohli who defeated Lukas Rosol in straight sets. An impressive win considering he had a tough 5 setter vs. Zverev in the first round. If he'd gone 4 or 5 again then you'd give him zero chance against Fed but he's in a slightly better position now. Still a massive underdog but he has played well at the US Open previously, pushing Nadal in 2013 and his game can be dangerous when things click into place.
Fed leads the H2H 9-0 but it could quite easily be 8-1 after their encounter at Halle earlier this year; if Kohli had had a bit more luck or played that bit more clutch in the tie break he'd have come out on top. With all that in mind I'll pick Fed to come through in 3 sets based on how he's playing so far. If he keeps up the attacking intent, mixes it up nicely with slice etc. which is harder for Kohlschreiber to handle with his backhand grip, I go 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4.
Interestingly I heard that Kohli was the first player Federer brought out sabr on too over in Cincy when they practised. Not sure how many times we'll see it on Saturday mind, the German has a really high quality second serve as he goes big on it most times. I'll go 4 Sabr returns, let me know your predictions in the comments.
Finally Federer has confirmed he'll be playing Rotterdam next year. Looks like Kraijeck has got his wallet out again 😆