ATP 250Istanbul OpenRoger Federer

Federer Routines Nieminen in Istanbul

Roger's up and running in Istanbul after he defeated Jarkko Nieminen for the 15th time in a row to make swift progress into the Quarter Finals.

The 6-2 7-5 scoreline represents another routine win against the Finn and this was Roger's 200th career victory on clay. All in a day's work huh ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick Match Recap

Federer Istanbul 2015

Nieminen won the toss and elected to serve. He was broken instantly to 15 as Fed came out the blocks at lightspeed. The break was quickly consolidated and in game 5 Roger took full advantage; securing the double break by using his variety to great effect to take a 3-1 lead. At 5-1 Nieminen held for only the second time in the set but Roger served it out to love to take it 6-2. Easy peasy.

Into set two and Nieminen held his opening service to get the scoreboard working in his favour. Both players then exchanged comfortable holds and the score stood at 3 games all.

No real chances for either but in game 7 Roger had two break point opportunities but couldn't find the killer return to get it done.

Nieminen has a poor record against Fed but he has at least pushed him to tie breaks in some of their previous encounters and at 5-5 that looked likely. However the Swiss had other ideas, finally converting on his fifth break point to lead 6-5 before serving it out to love. Routine.

Match Stats

  R. Federer J. Nieminen
Aces 9 0
Double Faults 2 0
1st Serve % 63% 67%
1st Serve Points Won 29/31 (94%) 27/43 (63%)
2nd Serve Points Won 11/18 (61%) 12/21 (57%)
Break Points Saved 0/0 (0%) 4/7 (57%)
Service Games Played 10 10
1st Return Points Won 16/43 (37%) 2/31 (6%)
2nd Return Points Won 9/21 (43%) 7/18 (39%)
Break Points Won 3/7 (43%) 0/0 (0%)
Return Games Played 10 10
Total Service Points Won 40/49 (82%) 39/64 (61%)
Total Return Points Won 25/64 (39%) 9/49 (18%)
Total Points Won 65/113 (58%) 48/113 (42%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Serving Istanbul 2015

Simple match that went exactly how the Istanbul tournament directors would have been hoping for. Nieminen is solid but has no big weapons and because of that he doesn't have any chance of beating Federer regardless of the surface.

As far as first matches in tournaments go I thought this was pretty decent from Roger, he won the first set in 20 minutes with some really stylish play and although the second was closer the result was never in doubt. He didn't return that well in the second set for some reason but his own serve was on the money so he was never under any pressure and that made it all look very easy.

9 aces and 63% of first serves in play are good numbers too and it's hard to ask for more from the first outing at this new tournament. Other positives are the court looks to be pretty quick and relatively low bouncing which should aid his game.

Predictions vs. Gimeno Traver

Gimeno Traver

Next up is seasoned clay courter Daniel Gimeno Traver who defeated Mikhail Kukushkin earlier in the day. A pretty good win for the Spaniard and he's been in good form this year, making his first ever final on the ATP tour in Casablanca where he lost to Martin Klizan.

Federer has never played this guy but I'm expecting a routine straight sets win. I don't know a lot about Gimeno-Traver but he's never been past the third round of a slam and from the clips I've seen he's exactly what you'd expect from a Spanish clay courter which doesn't often trouble Roger. Gimeno-Traver might be playing well but I'll pick Fed in 2. 6-2 6-4.

Let me know your thoughts on this match and your predictions for the Quarters in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚


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. I was there for the Casablanca final match and saw Gimeno Traver play live. He’s not that bad but he didn’t bother Klizan that much either so I guess this one should be okay for Roger too ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I’ll probably finally be watching on Friday, so we’ll discuss it during live chat ๐Ÿ˜‰
      No jinxing though!

  1. Can’t believe how quick you were posting on this first match Jonathan. Took the dog out for a walk, came back and it was already done. Thought for a minute I might get first post, but Alex was there again: he most ‘hover’ over the site surely. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Decent first match – excellent serving: 9 aces on a clay court – that’s great. Niemenen started slow but got a bit more into his stride in 2nd set, but like you say, nothing to trouble Federer.

      1. Oh sorry about that Alex – actually I should have remembered as you’ve been first on the board a few times I think? Coincidence? Yes of course, that’s how I got my two in a row – and probably my last! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. First calling Nath, Nathan and now calling Alex a he ๐Ÿ˜† good job I haven’t implemented peRFia Law on the blog comments. Those offences are punishable.

      I had to rush this one, had stuff to do, so was either crack it out in about 30 minutes or leave it for 24 hours!

  2. I wish I could have seen it. It wasn’t being shown in the states unless you pay extra for Tennis TV. Thanks for the quick write up and highlights!

  3. Late again, this post is fast Jonathan, well done.
    Only watch the second set when Jarkko gave a fight, even it was not good enough against Fed.

  4. Wow! Quick write up! Only saw 2nd set as stuck in traffic for 1st and the risks of watching on yr phone whilst driving are too great even for Rog!!
    Yes, looked pretty stress free and Jarkko hits a nice flat ball for Rog to latch onto. Plsed with the serving!! Now only needs another 15 aces to pass Roddick on all time ace list and move into 3rd place which would be a huge achievement given he is never really thought of as a big server! G-T will be steady but hasn’t huge power so hoping Fed gets it done in 2.
    As a 1st time tourney, Istanbul needs a Fed/Dimi final otherwise might be last time Tourney… So fingers crossed! Allez!!

  5. Roger played well in the first set and in the 2nd a few more UFEs crept in. Roger played the match as if it were on a HC. I am under the impression that this Istanbul clay court is pretty fast, a bit similar to Hamburg. What do you think, Jonathan?
    Allez Rog!

  6. Wow, Susie, you are really tracking the aces record , well done Alex, I just may have a chance at the French to build my ‘firsts’ record
    I would like to thank everyone for your msgs of comfort on losing my dad. You have shown me that nobody deserves to be alone or be unhappy.
    Thank you all and thank you Jonathan, you all are a breath of fresh air, a sip of good wine. And I really recommend this group to anyone feeling blue . Fed Fans are one big family.
    And thanks to Fed too for the win ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks again…

    1. Just read this sad news now on Wanda’s story… Really feeling for you Utch, stay strong, same for the rest of your family!

    2. Sorry about your loss, Utch. May the soul of your dear departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen!

    3. I’m so sorry to see hear it – hope you are feeling better already! When Roger wins this tournament, it will be dedicated to you and your family!

  7. Nice quick recap as Roger’s match. Do you think Roger had a say in what type of clay they would use? Who knows… But it’s a bit fast and low to be a good preparation I think. Roger needs to work on his patience and slow high bouncing courts…Let’s hope this helps with Madrid… And I hope I’ll play Rome too!

    Gimeno Traver can have some good strips in a match though might lack of consistency. Beat Djoko in 2006 Barcelona and took a set in Madrid 2012…
    I can’t remember which match he played last year that was quite good though he lost, against a top player…?
    Anyways, this one could be a good clay court test for Roger… even if it’s hard to imagine Roger loosing that one!

    1. I don’t think there are many different variants of red clay? It’s just crushed particles… some finer than others on the top dressing…

      DGT played Nadal last year in Rio, was close in the second set but just a typical Nadal clay court match. Looks close but never in doubt.

      And I hope you play Rome too. Are you in Qualifying?

  8. Glad to see Roger got it done in two; not sure if I should be concerned about poorer 1st serve % in 2nd set or not. Also have seen some comments that Rog had a lot of UFEs, but no stats on that. Always good to see him smiling.

    I was surprised to see that he had never played Gimeno given that they’ve both been on tour for quite a while – I supposed they’re often not even playing the same tournaments. Good practice for Rog though to figure out someone new. Yes, I guess I am expecting him to win it!

    I think it’s possible the Turkish organizers chose a surface they felt would favor Fed even without any input from him – more Federer, more attendance, more success for the tournament.

    1. It’s just red clay though, I don’t think you can really alter the composition that much? Other than compacting it / rolling it.

      I think the big factor will be what is under the clay itself. The stadium is usually a hard court and it looks low bouncing and I think that provides more speed as it takes less spin.

      1. Do they actually lay the clay right on the hard court? Not like a wooden substrate like they did at Lille? Point taken, the variables at their disposal are probably limited since it’s not a permanent court (though I still think they probably used the ones they had! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

        I did read…. was it in one of the comments here? …. that the court installation was supervised by the same guy who does the courts at one of the European tourneys… I have 500 or higher in my mind, but could have invented that after the fact. It was something I read in passing… hm. Really can’t remember where.

  9. Well said Thinker – the point you make in your last paragraph is probably spot on.

    And my deepest sympathies on loss of your Dad Utch – hopefully Roger will be able to put a smile on
    your face at the Final!

  10. I was thinking the same thing Thinker. When I was watching the highlights, I thought this is a fast clay court. Then read all the comments. I’m not imagining things.
    Hope Roger goes all the way. No more bad hair cuts please.
    Thanks for the highlights Jonathan. I won`t be able to watch this tournament.

  11. You did a good job at Fedesque speed, Jonathan. Thanks for the highlights. Itโ€™s handy as the stream was cut off when he was about to serve for the match! Any interview afterwards?

  12. A good start but still need more work, this surface is a lot faster than Monte Carlo. Not sure if this works for Roger when he goes to Paris.

    1. Yeah I was thinking about it too, a faster surface suits him better, but I think it is not good in terms of preparation.

  13. Roger playing 1.30 tomorrow, followed immediately by the other half of the draw?! Strange.

    Jon, are you sure you don’t want to reverse those set scores, given he hasn’t played G-T before?

    1. Fed loses early in Monte Carlo and suddenly he can’t play on clay anymore? ๐Ÿ˜†

      No way second best clay court player of the last 10 years should lose DGT.

  14. As I thought it could be, it happened to be a great training and confidence boost for Roger. 3 sets, 2 tie breaks, 2h and 30 plus, though games with deuces and advantages (too many lost break points though), good rallies (Traver showed great variety and tactics). That was a good fight to win for Roger.
    I thought DGT was going to be tough because he has potentially many things to show with his racket (and he did) and he’s in good form with some good results lately. So Roger might not be at his best but it’s a good win for him, He got the job done !

    Oh, don’t tell anyone yet but I might get a WC for Rome which will be the first ever MC 1000 men and women competition!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ! Hope Roger plays too ๐Ÿ˜‰ !

      1. Not Sure if I need to say it: Nath stands for Nathalie and i was joking of course! Sorry!!! I wish it was true though ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!

    1. is that out already? couldn’t see on the site yet….Probably first clay tournament as No.1 seed after few years…

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