Quoi de neuf? The answer? Not much as Roger routined Kohlschreiber in straight sets to make swift progress into the Quarter Finals where he'll meet the man who defeated him in Basel, the Tower of Tandil, Juan Martin Del Potro.
As I predicted this one was plain sailing and other than a couple of scrappy service games it was clear why Roger held a 7-0 advantage in H2H prior to today's match. Kohlschreiber is just a great match up for him, basically just a shorter version of himself but with less versatility and more reliant on 1-2 punchy groundstrokes. That never ends well.
Quick Match Recap
The writing was on the wall early with this one as Roger fired down 2 aces in his opening service game to set the tone and from that moment on Kohlschreiber was always playing catchup. There were a couple of moments at 2 all and 3 all where Fed had to save break points due to typical slack service games but he did so with confidence and that was great to see.
With Kohslchreiber failing to take advantage of his 3 break points it was up to Roger to show him how it was done and he did so at 4-3 after 3 forehand errors from the German gifted him the break. I'm not sure what happened to Kohli in that game but he just imploded, perhaps he knew he'd missed his chance and let his mind wander. Either way it was a gift of a break but Roger applied just enough pressure to make it happen.
The second set always had Fed's name on it as he was starting to get into a rhythm on serve and both players traded love holds early. Roger got a break point at 2-2 but couldn't capitalise but at 4 all he took his chance as back to back double faults from Kohli and a rasping forehand winner gave him 15-40 before a wild error from the world number 23 sailed long.
Serving out matches has been an issue lately but not today as Roger got it done comfortably to book his spot in the Quarter Finals.
|Stats||P. Kohlschreiber||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||61%||75%|
|1st Serve Points Won||25/34 (74%)||35/41 (85%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/22 (45%)||7/14 (50%)|
|Break Points Saved||2/4 (50%)||3/3 (100%)|
|Service Games Played||9||10|
|1st Return Points Won||6/41 (15%)||9/34 (26%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||7/14 (50%)||12/22 (55%)|
|Break Points Won||0/3 (0%)||2/4 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||10||9|
|Total Service Points Won||35/56 (63%)||42/55 (76%)|
|Total Return Points Won||13/55 (24%)||21/56 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||48/111 (43%)||63/111 (57%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
A very pleasing match here as it had all the hallmarks of a great Federer performance – good movement, high first serve %, winners outnumbering errors and a decent BP conversion rate. Not sure we can really ask for more at this stage, clinical is perhaps too strong a word but it was certainly very efficient today and he didn't drop serve for the first time in a while.
Kohlschreiber is a flashy player but there's something about Roger's game that prevents him from playing, he can't really hit through his defense and sort of runs out of ideas. I enjoy watching Kohli play especially against grinders like Nadal as he usually does well but against Fed it always seems to be one way traffic, sets can be close but never to the point where you worry about the result.
Aside from the serve and Roger's solid play when facing break points I particularly enjoyed his defense, I think he moved out of the corners really well today to help transition into attack. It all started in Basel and it looks like the more matches he's playing the sharper he's getting. Hopefully he keeps the upward curve going as this only becomes more important against better players.
Predictions vs. Del Potro
Time for revenge on Del Potro? Could be, I have a feeling he will be up for this especially after Basel and Del Potro might just be lacking that edge due to having one eye on the World Tour Finals.
I think Roger has to make this one slightly physical and more importantly he has to serve well throughout, no slip up like Basel that cost him. I've seen a couple of interviews and he's clearly switched on as to what cost him and want's to make sure it doesn't happen again. He said he was disappointed to not close it out vs. Anderson and we saw no signs of that today so looks to me like he's righting some of the wrongs of 2013 so far.
I think on this court if Roger can hustle points on the return to get inroads and then play aggressive / smart when he has chance then he'll win. There's no way that once Del Potro is defending that he can come out on top in the rallies here so if Roger's game clicks it could be a good day in Bercy.
I don't want to get too carried away as Del Potro is perhaps the third best in the world right now, hits with serious depth on his groundstrokes and has beaten Fed the last 3 times they played but it's about time we had a little reversal so I'll pick in 2; 7-6 6-4. Allez!