ATP 500HalleRoger Federer

Federer Routines Hugues Herbert to Make 13th Halle Final

The Swiss cruised through 6-3 6-3 losing just five points on serve

A chance for title number ten in Halle awaits Roger Federer as the Swiss cruised past Pierre-Hugues Herbert in 1 hour and 2 minutes at the 2019 Noventi Open.

Playing his fifteenth semi-finals in Halle, Federer was on top throughout, dropping just five points on serve and only committing eight unforced errors which meant the Frenchman was never even close to making it in a match.

The win means Roger will face David Goffin in his 13th Halle final after the Belgian defeated Matteo Berrettini in straight sets in the first semi-final of the day.

Quick Match Recap

federer halle semi final 19

Herbert won the toss and elected to receive Roger kicked things off with a hold to 30 and like his two previous matches was able to get on the front foot early, converting his second break point of Herber'ts first service game for a 2-0 lead.

A love hold consolidated the break and the Swiss dropped just one more point on serve in the set, firing love holds for 4-1, 5-3 and serving it out to fifteen to take the first set.

The Frenchman will have been hoping to replicate what Roger's last two opponents were able to after a second set lapse from Federer but he was instantly in trouble having to save two break points in his first service game.

A love hold put Roger level at 1-1, and he fired down yet another love hold to level at 2-2 before finally breaking in game seven, hitting a big inside in forehand winner to break.

The break was again consolidated to love for 5-3 and with Herbert serving to stay in it Roger took full control, ripping an aggressive backhand to make 30-30 then running around a backhand on match point to seal it with a forehand winner.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Aces 6 10
Double Faults 0 3
1st Serve 68% (28/41) 64% (39/61)
1st Serve Points Won 86% (24/28) 69% (27/39)
2nd Serve Points Won 92% (12/13) 41% (9/22)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/0) 63% (5/8)
Service Games Played 9 9
1st Serve Return Points Won 31% (12/39) 14% (4/28)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 59% (13/22) 8% (1/13)
Break Points Converted 38% (3/8) 0% (0/0)
Return Games Played 9 9
Winners 20 21
Unforced Errors 8 20
Net Points Won 88% (7/8) 52% (10/19)
Service Points Won 88% (36/41) 59% (36/61)
Return Points Won 41% (25/61) 12% (5/41)
Total Points Won 60% (61/102) 40% (41/102)


Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

federer halle sf 19

I always knew going into the match that it was not going to be the same as yesterday in terms of points constructed and played. I knew it would more like Tsonga, where there is more first strike tennis. Maybe tomorrow I can expect more like the Bausista Agut match. Tough baseline moves super fast, that's where his qualities lie. Today was good, I was better at first strike tennis, able to stay out of trouble on my serve and utilise my chances on the return I was very happy. Federer thoughts on his win against Herbert

A routine win for Federer here and he was just too strong for Herbert who wasn't able to make any meaningful returns to apply pressure. The Frenchman won just 5 return points in the whole match and 2 of them came in the first game so he was never in it.

I thought today Fed was sharp but Herbert relatively week. There weren't so many rallies of note and Herbert didn't really have many options to win points from the baseline. Fed was able to get on top quickly and Herbert doesn't defend that well to stay in the points. Easy peasy.

Predictions vs. Goffin

Next up is David Goffin who defeated Matteo Berrettini in straight sets. The Belgian has had a great week in Halle defeating Zverev in a match the German probably should have won and he's now in the final.

Federer leads the H2H 7-1 but barring the retirement in Cincinnati, it was Goffin who won their last encounter at the ATP finals in London. Whilst lopsided, Goffin has troubled Federer before and he's a rock solid baseliner who moves extremely well to make a lot of balls. 

I've watched two of Goffin's matches this week and he looks to be moving nicely and hitting with decent pace and depth. Just like Roger said in press it's going to be like the Bautista Agut match in terms of matchplay so he'll need to have a solid serving day and look to put pressure on Goffin who doesn't have the biggest of serves. 

What did you guys think of the win? Prediction vs Goffin? Let me know in the comments.


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. Goffin could be tricky. Hope Roger keeps the focus and win his 10th here and be in the winning mood for the rest of the year. Wimbledon title awaits :). One match at a time.

    1. Yeah Goffin has been playing well, striking the ball very nicely all week from when I’ve seen him. Had the beating of Berrettini quite easily which was a surprise.

  2. It’s nice to see a young player coming often to the net but Fed responded well with heavy shots to the center or passing shots.
    Even if Fed had “decided” to lose focus on the second set, I don’t think Pierre has the proper weapons to exploit that.
    As for tomorrow, I hope for a good match and may Fed be the winner. Oops, wrong order!

    1. 28 is a young player??? And it’s a singles player coming from quite long and successful doubles career. He uses tools accumulated in the doubles career. I have not seen yet doubles teams playing from the baseline 😉
      Herbert was the weakest opponent so far in Halle.
      Goffin is the same age but has all weapons of a classy singles player – every kind of shots, very good placement a.s.o.. What he misses is a big serve and hard baseline shots (but his shots are placed well and deep if needed).
      Federer will need a “gift” to win.

      1. Lol so all of Fed’s wins in his career have been “gifts”? All the 7 times when he beat Goffin before were “gifts”.

      2. @Of course not. But Fed’s wins in Halle vs. Tsonga and Agut were “gifts”, which does not mean, Fed did play poor, but somehow both Tsonga and Agut lost their last service games without any fight. Didn’t you watch this matches?

      3. You’re right. He’s not young anymore . I should have checked his age first… Wrong assumption.

  3. Looking at the stats, I really expected to see both of these guys at the net more often – maybe both were wary of the other’s passing game.

    Always surprising to see how fast Goffin CAN move. Guess it depends which Fed – & which David – show up tomorrow. Fed sounded less congested in today’s interview so I’m hoping that’s a good sign. Wonder if the family will travel over for the final? Seems like a reasonable chance for another title… hope it’s a good match.

    1. Seems net play on grass is dead, barely any at Queens, Simon vs Medvedev just pushing 😆

      Yeah, he sounded fine the press conference. He said he wasn’t sure if clay helped him hit through the ball on grass more. “Let’s talk at Wimbledon” Hope so!

  4. I remember that ATP Final and Goffin was opening up the court and hitting a tremendous number of deep pinpoint backhands down the line. Roger will have to watch for that if Goffin is dialed in. However, Goffin’s Game overall has been off since that ATP Finals loss to Dimitrov for the past year and a half.

    1. Roger was very tired at year end I suspect so this should be more competitive & entertaining as both are good to watch and on grass it’s a nice change!
      Why is the grass so poor? If temperatures soar in Europe next week I hope Wimbledon grass fares better this year! Go Fed!

    2. Goffin hat a lot of problems since then, injuries, but also private. He may be just coming out from the hole and getting confidence. If Goffin is confident, Fed will need to hope for another “gift” (like those he got from Tsonga and Agut.
      This depeneds on the scenario. Goffin needs badly the title from mental reasons. Federer needs badly the title for Wimbledon seeding.
      Should be a big battle. Maybe Tsonga was tougher but produced the needed gift on the end. Goffin will be tougher and if not bound to the gift-scenario, Goffin wins in 3.

      1. I don’t know details. One of readers on my blog, being Goffin fan from Belgium told me, being probably somehow close to David in private.
        Not sure, maybe only gossips.

    3. Well, tbf he had 2 nadty injuries that took a long time to heal so that took its toll on his overall game but he is now back. Clearly as he was peaking -twice- when those injuries felled him.
      Roger will indeed need to watch out. Im expecting a stellar performance from David

  5. In the arena, with Gerry Berry
    A Swiss-Belgian party
    deserves a poetry !

    “The scuffle of truffles”

    A match may be like a box of chocolates.
    You never know what you gonna get.
    Roger, you need your game to be gourmet.
    And Sunday’ll be filled with sweetness.

    Crunchy lobs, crispy dropshots ?
    You choose in your magic pot.
    Roger : don’t drive your fans nuts…
    Today you’ll be a warrior, a rajput.

    Don’t let David grind you down.
    He’ll make you run on the lawn.
    Today, your outfit,  hazelnut brown
    needs a nice wrap – golden ball-gown.

    The rich taste of your tennis harmony,
    The sugary flavor of victory,
    A tenth Halle pistachio pottery
    would make Milka and your fans merry !

    #Be102ve !

    1. Lovely! Im salivating already!
      Agreed, this should be a chocolate box match the way David is playing.

  6. I’m quite optimistic when I see Roger’s level.
    He tends to raise his level in the final match of tournament as well.
    Last year he had some bad finals (Halle & Cincy), but he had a bad tournament in each of them. Enjoyed a lot of luck to get all the way through the draw.
    This time it wasn’t luck. Had some tough opposition and just played better.

    La goff can cause problems and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the Federer serve.
    The key to this match is second serves. Goffin abused most of his opponents second serves this week. If Roger can win 55%> of his second serves, I like his chances.

  7. 13 finals and he’s never faced the same opponent twice in a final!
    If Federer can serve well and not have a lapse (as he tends to these days) he should be favourite, especially on a grass court.
    He lost the final last year and had a disappointing Wimbledon so hopeful a win this year can send him into next week with a winning mentality and lots of confidence.

    1. Ah ye interesting stat!

      I agree, has to have a good serving day for sure. Luckily semi-final was fairly easy so he should be feeling fresher.

  8. I was surprised how many aces Pierre got- despite noting he has improved alot in that dept.
    I felt it was a bit of a serve fest really when Id looked forward to some all court tennis in this match with Pierre’s proficiency at net but rallies were so few. And even net play was finished in a shot or two. But Pierre I think played relatively poorly. Shame.
    Im still surprised by how few aces Roger is posting tho.
    David is going to be very tough I think.
    Or Roger is going to come out on top form .

  9. Coffin certainly is a tricky opponent. When he beat Roger at the ATP finals Roger was very tired. He looks fresher now but I still think his game is not at the lever where it can be. I think he will lift the trophy in Halle, but will he lift it at Wimbledon this year? I doubt it 🙁

  10. @Jon
    About your prediction. Yes, Goffin has not a big serve, but he is still hard to break. And even broken he is not yet done.
    He will read Fed’s game better than Agut and ask more questions with return, fast and good movement, ability to open the court.
    As in every match, Federer will try to attack strongly his first service game because once being up a break, Federer himself is very hard to break.
    Fed must try to keep rallies and the match short.
    The key will be the second set (assuming Fed wins the first). If it’s quite long and won by Goffin, Goffin’s chances to win the title are big.
    Fed must try to win in 2 short sets, which will be tough against such a good mover and returener like Goffin.

  11. What a strange service motion Herbart has,but pretty effective when it goes in.
    As for Goffin,think Fed has this.
    I am pretty sure he will win the first set with super aggressive ,first strike tennis.
    However the second set could be a problem.If he goes on that strange mental walkabout we have seen so often
    recently,then he will have to grind it out in the third.
    I still think he will win though,whether ‘gifts’ luck or just being the better player and clutch on the big points!

    1. It’s as strange as Delbonis’. Both look to be about to be broken in two before swinging. Or fall back.
      If it works for them…

  12. PHZh was pretty ropey and serve was poor. Not much to say except that please can Fed play with those numbers today and more!
    Goffin v clean early striker so Fed has to serve v well and go all out on his return games.
    Tough match up and may be a long one.
    Let’s get 102 and 10 Halle titles!

    Meanwhile Simon v Feli at Queens is just bizarre!
    Mind you, it’s all been about Murray this week.
    Brit journos can’t believe their luck


    1. Lopez not so bizaarre. Title in 2017 there. Good one on grass. Too old? Well, not the only one 37-er on tour 😉

      1. Watching Lopez at age 37 with no more skills than a great serve and a decent slice being able to win again Queen’s tells a lot about the surface. It is the less demanding surface by far and that’s why I hated Wimbledon during the 90’s and beginning of the 00’s, service bots with no skills facing each other. Absolutely boring.

      2. @Pablo,
        Do you hate Lopez’ serve and slice? I think, his slice is unique and fur sure a big skill, not only good for grass.
        But there is something in your comparison. Grass does not allow for long rallies, But did you see 40+ rallies in Simon vs. Medvedev yesterday? – yes it was boring but there was) a big server on one side of the court and lost to a tactical grinder .
        I agree, grass is boring, when big servers play, but what about Federer-Nadal epics on grass? This was not a grinding at all.
        Simply start watching Wimbledon since semis 😉

      3. Different strokes for different folks. If Pablo was a cricket fan, he’d love watching the flat decks in India where the ball does absolutely zero and it’s just a steady grind for the batsmen. Whereas most of us would prefer English conditions where the ball is swinging.

        The grass is my favourite surface to watch and to play on. But purest surface for tennis where skill is the biggest factor is indoor tennis. There are no conditions at play.

  13. Good to have a almost stress-free match without 2nd set walkabout from time to time, thanks Roger. Agree Fed was focused and sharp, played on purpose while Pierre had no answer to his serve!
    As for the final, hope he will erase my painful memory of WTF ’17. I had to witness BabyFed lifting the trophy live instead of PapaFed 🙁
    Enjoy the final, Jonathan!

  14. I could not watch the second set. Can somebody tell me, what happened to Goffin? First set was quite a close fight. In the second Goffin lost suddenly everything. First serve, second serve, return. : Injury or loser’s mentality?

    1. At a point he made a bad face while touching the thigh. This was close to the end of set, if I recall. On another deep ball that Fed sent to his left, I thought “he is going to send it back cross court with interest”. However he didn’t run towards it and just tried to block it back with one hand in spite of having enough time place himself to arm a proper backhand. That’s when it struck me that he might have some physical issue. He lost that point, just for the record.

  15. That was good!! But kind of felt sorry for Goffin’s collapse in Set 2. So many double faults at crucial times! Anyway, 102 is something to be cherished. Those ballkids were just so thrilled to receive their medals from Roger.

    1. It’s never good. if after a close first set, one of the players gets injured and collapses. That would be good if the match did go over 2 or 3 sets.
      Cannot blame Roger of course, he has done what he needed to. I thought, Roger would win in 3 and after big show of tennis.

      But big show of tennis today was Lopez vs. Simon (if you like this kind of play on grass or mot).

      1. I just meant that it was good to see Federer win a tournament. I like watching good tennis, but more than that I like Federer winning. 🙂

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