ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Federer Routines Granollers 6-3 6-4 in Dubai

Complete opposite of the match against Jaziri on Monday as Roger rolled past Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 to setup a quarter final clash with Nikolay Davydenko.

After struggling for rhythm in the first round this was a much better display from Federer and despite a couple of moments where he almost relinquished his serve he played far more solidly to make fairly effortless progress.

I was particularly impressed with the backhand and I don't think I've seen him strike it as clean as that in a while, it was razor sharp from the get go and won him plenty of points when it mattered. Let's take a look at the match…

Federer Starts in Positive Fashion

Federer Forehand on Song

I felt today it was important for Federer to get a good start so that he could grow into the match, that didn't necessarily require him to break immediately but just to take care of his own service games without too much hassle. Fortunately that's exactly what happened as he came out looking in fine fettle and really hitting cleanly off both wings especially the backhand which he was able to hit with some serious pace.

With Roger striking the ball so well it was only fitting that Granollers matched him early and the Spaniard was serving with real consistency and power that I didn't expect to be honest. He's a clay courter by trade but I guess the fact he plays a lot of doubles has helped him develop his all round game and serve placement on the quicker courts.

At 3-2 Roger fashioned 3 break points and converted at the first time of asking with a sweet forehand passing shot down the line that flew off the middle of the racket.

He held comfortably in the next game and served it out to 15 in his next service game to take the first set 6-3.

Granollers Hangs in There

Federer vs Granollers Dubai

With a 1 set cushion Federer was able to play quite freely and made a clear effort to approach the net as often as possible. Granollers also started playing very aggressively too which made for some entertaining tennis from both guys.

The Spaniard is quite a good volleyer himself so he was also pressing to get the net too and take initiative; it's not often you see two guys both trying to finish points at the net and thats good to see not quite pure net rushing from a bygone era but the closest we're going to get so may as well make the most of it!

I think it was a smart move from Roger to come in as often as possible. Backing himself to end the points with a volley rather than to have to keep coming up with Nadal like passing shots on an ultra quick courts puts the odds in his favour as far as I'm concerned.

At 2-2 Federer had another break point, Granollers saved it with a big serve to make deuce and then saved another but Roger finally capitalised to break at the third time of asking to take what ultimately became a decisive lead.

After that there were a couple of hairy moments on Roger's serve at 3-2 and then again at 4-3 where he had to save break points of his own but he did so with aplomb before eventually serving it out comfortably to take the match 6-3 6-4. Routine.

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Tracking Down a Drop Shot

From my point of view this was a much better match than the Jaziri one, I thought Fed looked a lot more comfortable out there and more assured in his ground strokes. There were a couple of moments where his arm looked a bit tense again today but he didn't drop serve once and was by far the better player throughout both sets.

The Federer serve wasn't firing on all cylinders but it was a definite improvement from Monday's match and he made 60% of his first serves. Off the ground he was very effective though and hit some really nice winners from both wings, the forehand had a couple of wild moments but overall I think this was a much cleaner and more effective performance. If he improves by the same margin for his next match against Davydenko then I think he has a good chance of making the finals here. I like it when he plays aggressively and isn't afraid to come in even when the approach shot isn't peRFect.

I think I was sharper today, I had a clearer plan. I knew what I could and couldn't do. So that automatically carves out sort of the things you might want to attempt. I was a bit more confident overall. I knew what I wanted to do and I was able to do it, so I'm happy.

The peRFect Tennis Point of the Match

Sweet retreival skills and improvisation from the GOAT.

Predictions vs. Davydenko

Next up for Fed is Nikolay Davydenko who I predicted would meet Roger in my Dubai Draw Analysis post earlier in the week.

Roger leads the H2H 18-2 and beat the Russian comfortably just a few weeks ago at the Australian Open Round of 64.

I think Davydenko will be a sterner test than he was in Melbourne especially on the faster surface so Roger will have to serve really well to win as many free points as possible.

If he can serve well and makes sure he gets enough of his own return of serves in play then I think it will pan out like 90% of the matches between these two have – a victory for Roger that featured some highly entertaining tennis.

I'll go for a 7-5 6-2 win which will see Federer through to the semi finals where he'll most likely meet Berdych who's playing Tursunov in the Quarter Finals. That match is a repeat of the Marseilles Semi Final last week where Berdych won easily. Tursunov is on a mini revival but I think the outcome will be the same as last time so the semi final could be very interesting if Fed makes it. It's about time he got one over on Berdshit that's for sure. Allez!


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 writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Much, much better match for Fed. He served better and hit his groundies with a lot more authority.

    The match with Nikolay should be fun. 6-2, 6-4.

    1. Yeah 18-2 H2H makes it sound like it will be routine. I think Denko might be a little trickier on these courts. Predicted straights like you but it could go 3.

  2. Oh yeah, first comment! ๐Ÿ˜€ was pleased with the backhand as well, he was hitting really well off that wing… Hope he can keep it up and improve his serve just a bit. And God do I love these tournament organizers for having Roger play right when I get home ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Haha very close!

        Yeah backhand was on form today. Always good to see.

        4pm the matches start for you right? 3pm for me, not too bad a time.

    1. [And God do I love these tournament organizers for having Roger play right when I get home]

      Amen to that! Hope all his games are 7 pm or later.

      1. They most likely will be. Although if he makes the final that might be earlier? 5pm and 7pm local time for the final. Dunno which is first doubles or singles.

      2. You are in luck, he is last match on tomorrow after Djoko deals with Seppi although Wld like Seppi to give Novak some pressure! Lets hope the Fed of today starts in same mode v Davy tomorrow, as I too want Roger to dump on Berdych big time! Berdych does struggle with the court/ ball speed a bit, and hoping Tursunov (on his mini revival as you say), can push him around a bit!
        Ps picking Delpo to upset Novak and meet Fed in the final!

      3. Hi Sid,

        Wish granted. Our hero is playing the last match of tonight after the 7 PM match featuring Nole. Good luck and have fun!

      4. Won’t be able to watch it ๐Ÿ™ I’ll stay away from this blog, and watch the re-run.

    2. Hi Simon, Fed is playing the last night match tonight. I guess it makes it much more convenient for you to watch the quarterfinal against Koyla. Have fun!

  3. I think Federer should be Ok. Like u said Jonathan if he can improve on each match then Roger can get to the Finals and win. Your last sentence is crucial and definately all Fed fans want. Not only i want him to get one over him but i would like to see a Fed 5.0 give Berdick a lesson so he never gives him trouble again. A proper inaihalation!! with a tennis physical and mental scar for the one hit wonder.

      1. Yep. Turdych gives me the creeps, anytime he plays Roger. He looks a lot quicker this time. Going to be one heck of a test for Roger.

  4. Hi Jonathan… Am having a bit of problem with ur Feedburner as it says temporary unavailable or something like that. So i will try again to subscrbe tommorow. So a big Thanks anyway!!!
    Serajul….. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    1. Ok let me know if works tomorrow. If not I’ll take a look at it.

      Feedburner is kinda dying as Google don’t keep it updated anymore. So I like I said I may switch to a mailing list type thing.

      1. Hi.. I think the feedburner has worked today so you should have my detail. Ok thanks i look forward to ur next post. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This might require a whole new thread on its own, but I have to genuinely ask: What did Thomas Berdych do to deserve so much dislike from the global audience? While I’ve been following ATP tour for the last two years quite closely, I still don’t understand why and how and when it all happened. Could someone please elaborate on the topic? I see so much negativity about him on the web.

    1. For me it’s quite simple: I am not a fan of his on court manners. Proven again two times this week already while he was moaning about tons of things… He does do great things at times (there is reason he’s no 6 in the world), I see all that, but the other thing just makes it very difficult for me to respect him… And for me it alsoo implies little respect for his opponent and I don’t think that’s what sports is about… But all my personal opinion. I’m not a very forgiving person (if it comes to these things!) so maybe he deserves more credit, but I’m not ready yet to give that to him ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Well said about Berdcrap! Plus theres a ton more reasons why he is not liked. Him and Mugrey are like long lost brothers, with that horrible monotone,lifeless,dull voice. I can go on but id rather keep the superlatives till next time.

    2. Agreed, there is just something about him. His whole on court demeanour and attitude towards other players is just not something I appreciate.

  6. Better match from Federer, working through his rust. Koyla will be a tougher opponent for him despite loop sided H2H. Hope for a W here.

  7. Great win from Fed, with some FedMagic on court ๐Ÿ™‚ Thought his backhand was on fire at times and we could see ‘flying Fed’ on serve again even, every now and then. Would be nice, and more reassuring, if the 1st serve % goes up a bit today but if he continues this (progress), I’m sure he’ll be fine…
    It’ll be a tough match today, I’m sure of that. But he knows what to do and hopefully Davy will not know at some point… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not going to predict, cause can’t make up my mind if it’ll be a win for Fed in 2 or 3…

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