ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRome Masters

Federer Routines Wawrinka to Make Final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia

Easy work for the GOAT here as he routined Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-2 to make the final in Rome for the fourth time where he'll face off against Novak Djokovic in tomorrow's blockbuster.

I predicted Fed to win this one in two sets and he made very light work of it, coming back from 0-3 down in the first set to win 6 of the last 7 games and then streaking away with the second set losing just 10 points to get the job done in just 54 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Makes Rome Final 2015

Federer won the toss and elected to receive to which Stan responded with a lightening quick hold to love. Roger then moved up 40-30 on his own serve but missed 2 routine forehands in a row to give Stan break point, Fed saved it but committed another error on the next point and this time Wawrinka converted for a 2-0 lead.

Wawrinka then quickly consolidated to lead 3-0 and looked like he was going to run away with the first set. However in game 5 he played an awful service game, committing 2 errors and then firing down a double fault en route to dropping service.

That break back completely changed the context of the match and Roger held for 3-3 before breaking at 4-4 with a sweet backhand return that clipped the line. Fed then served it out to 30 to take it 6-4.

Into the second and Stan regrouped to hold to love in his opening game but after Roger levelled for 1-1 Stan went AWOL, only winning 1 point in 4 games to fall 5-1 behind. He just had no answers and the mistakes flew from his racquet as Roger applied the pressure. Stan did finally hold for 2-5 but it was far too late to mount a comeback and Fed served it out to love, finishing with a slam dunk of sorts on match point to take it 6-2.

Match Stats

S.Β Wawrinka R.Β Federer
Aces 4 6
Double Faults 2 1
1st Serve % 60% 73%
1st Serve Points Won 19/27 (70%) 28/35 (80%)
2nd Serve Points Won 6/18 (33%) 8/13 (62%)
Break Points Saved 2/6 (33%) 1/2 (50%)
Service Games Played 9 9
1st Return Points Won 7/35 (20%) 8/27 (30%)
2nd Return Points Won 5/13 (38%) 12/18 (67%)
Break Points Won 1/2 (50%) 4/6 (67%)
Return Games Played 9 9
Winners 14 18
Unforced Errors 21 12
Net Points Won 5/10 12/14
Total Service Points Won 25/45 (56%) 36/48 (75%)
Total Return Points Won 12/48 (25%) 20/45 (44%)
Total Points Won 37/93 (40%) 56/93 (60%)


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wawrinka Rome Semi Final

Bit of a weird match this one as Stan came out hitting the ball sweetly and stepping into the court to race into a 3-0 lead but after playing a poor service game he went completely off the boil and checked out of the match. Some credit has to go to Federer for it as he did come up with some very intelligent shots that Stan couldn't really handle and put him out of position but he made things very easy for him.

Not much else to say on this one as it lasted well under an hour and there weren't many rallies of note. I thought Roger served well yet again which will be important tomorrow and he hit some pretty decent groundstrokes off both wings without leaking many errors. Basically he just did what he had to do and things turned out way easier than he expected. That return game at 3-1 in the second set was pretty special too:

The only other talking point is the court which looks to be falling to bits with potholes scattered around the baseline. I didn't see the earlier semi final but Djokovic was apparently complaining about the court at every changeover and Roger also had Lahyani down off the chair to show him it was dangerous. According to some at the venue the court staff only had 3 weeks to prepare the court so it's not finished to the highest quality.

Predictions vs. Djokovic

Federer Djokovic Clay

No surprises on who awaits Roger in the final as Djokovic defeated Ferrer 6-4 6-4 in the earlier semi final. I didn't watch it but Djokovic didn't drop serve once and saved all 3 of the break points he faced. Impressive stuff from the man bidding to win his 4th Rome title and 4th Masters 1000th of the year to date.

This matchup has been the best rivalry of the last 18 months really as both guys seem to bring out the best in each other so hopefully tomorrow is more of the same. Roger actually leads the H2H on clay 4-3 and as we've seen in all their recent matches he is definitely capable of causing Djokovic trouble by taking his time away and looking to force the issue.

I think the match is less on Roger's racquet on this surface compared with others but it's all going to be about who can take charge of the points when it matters most. If Federer has a good serving day and doesn't break down from the back of the court under Djokovic's relentlessness then I actually like his chances. It looks like there is just enough in the court to reward his attacking style of play and there are a few question marks of Djokovic's form this week. Of course he usually turns up the heat for the finals but he's dropped a few sets this week so far and doesn't look to be returning serve as well as he can.

As usual the key stat for Fed in this one is how well he can defend his second serve, anything higher than ~50% is usually enough to get the job done. He didn't return well enough when they met in the Indian Wells final earlier this year either so if Fed can get into more return games whilst holding his own service games without too much pressure things can happen for him.

On balance I'll pick Djokovic in three as he seems to find that extra gear this year when he needs it. Hopefully it's a decent final and both guys can play some of their best stuff. What do you guys think?


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.

Related Articles


    1. Yay mi second title finally and on a wonderful win :D. I think Fed was great i hope he keep the same focus tomorrow

    2. Oooh! Finally πŸ˜‰ So proud of you πŸ™‚ Let’s hope Roger follows your example and wins his first Rome trophy πŸ˜‰

  1. I just saw the second set, but that was really weird. Some great stuff from Roger of course, but what happened to Stan in the middle of the set (if a 21 minute set can have a middle..)? Too bad the Stan of yesterday didn’t show up.

  2. Well done Anna!! Congrats to Fed! Solid game! Hard for Stan after the mental fight late last night with Nadal, but Fed was on fire. Groundies, returns, depth all good! May he bring it to Novak tomorrow! Fed in 2. Yes, he is finally going to get that Rome crown!! You know what, this clay season turning out ok…

  3. Any one else wondering how Federer racks up such a high Winners column (I think it was around 18 or 24 for this particular match), only for the break up to show numbers like 3 Forehand and 2 backhand winners!!? Surely it’s WAY more than that. Not like he served up 13-18 aces. Weird. It’s been bothering me for the last few matches- I can’t seem to understand the breakup.

    1. Gaurav, this is the case in ALL matches. They count unreturned serves as winners. Inflates the winners tally normally. No idea why this is done however !

    2. Gaurav, Daya,
      You guys missed the net play.
      These days, Volley and Smash winners contribute more to the winners count than Aces and Groundstrokes.
      Unreturned serves are NOT winners.
      If the opponent touches the ball, its NOT a winner.

  4. Thanks Jonathan for all your hard work….just unbelievable. Hoping for Fed in 2. Maybe Djokers forehand will go awol.
    When you think about it, Roger wasn’t planning to play Rome for sure. Now he`s in the final. Good for some more ranking points as well.

  5. Returning game to go down as one of the classics. I think Djokovic in 3 tomorrow as well. It’s hard to guess these two, because they’re so close on all surfaces, and they seem to take turns pounding each other. One thing that has been prevalent recently though is that fed beats Djokovic in straights, but loses always in maximum sets. So I think if tomorrow goes three, Djokovic has it. In other words, fed needs to clinically dispatch him in straights.

    Tough to call because the Roger backhand is functioning brilliantly, but this, like Indian wells, even though conditions are fast, makes Djokovic look like the human wall. I think fed will need his drop shots tomorrow.

  6. Hey Jon and all, good post. Congrats to Roger for winning, but… wasn’t it also that Stan was mentally completely tired (and maybe also physically) after beating Dull?? That does take all the energy out of a player right?? But some of Roger’s shots….. OMG

    The Final…… predictions:

    1) Roger will win the 1st or the 2nd set, Novak will win the 3rd set. Surprise surpise.

    2) Boris having little mini attacks by acting not like he is the coach of the nr 1 player unbeatable in the whole Milky Way, but acting like he is the coach of a player ranked 361 who never won a title.

    3)….. Roger winning the Rome title πŸ™‚ Go Goat πŸ™‚

    1. I think like you if this one goes to three, Djoker will run away with it. For Fed to win he needs to get out of the blocks fast and wrap it up in two.

    2. Yeah I think Stan looked mentally fatigued out there, once he lost the break he faded badly.

      So Djokovic win’s the third set, but Roger wins Rome? πŸ˜† I think M1000 should go back to best of 5 too.

  7. Well, I was kind of hoping it would not come down to a Fed vs Djo final because Djokovic is looking so good. I predict a 7-5 6-3 win for the Djoker. Anyone else with me on this ?

    1. Unfortunately I agree. Too hard to see Fed on this surface surviving this Djoko machine. He is fine losing sets on clay here but not matches.

      But we can always hope.

    2. Djoker is strong favourite of course, but don’t count Roger out- he’s the only guy who has beaten him in the past 6 months really. Hoping for a competitive match and that Fed can will his way to the title.

  8. Djokovic in 3 for me too πŸ™

    From what everyone was saying yesterday about Stan’s playing I was expecting this to be a lot tougher, but it seems to have come out like one of those early Williams sisters Wimbledon finals? (I’ve been out at the theatre all evening, so just left Roger to it. Interestingly, I’m out at a concert tomorrow afternoon, but he seems to have been doing fine with me paying him no attention at all, so I’m hoping that will continue)

    Liking Roger’s FS % tonight – that was a lot better. He has a much shorter recovery time than Djokovic, but it doesn’t sound as though this match was much of a challenge, so I’m hoping that will compensate for it somewhat. He *will* need to avoid “sort of breakdowns”, though – he can’t afford that against Novak.

    1. He was only on court 50 minutes, I can’t even remember one extended rally so physically he should be fine. Djokovic has spent about 7 hours on court this week whereas Fed only had 4.

  9. Can’t see Fed doing this.
    What happened today? Was Fed amazing or was Stan just a mess? Did not see it.

    1. It was a little of both. Stan completely collapsed in the second set. He could hardly move it seemed. Fed broke him to love a couple if times as I recall. If you have tennistTV it’s brilliant especially for watching Fed matches later that you can’t bear to watch live.

  10. WRT your comments about potholes, Jonathan, did I understand from something Fed said this week that they’re using a new court?

    1. I don’t think so, he said in an interview he preferred the old stadium in Rome compared to this new one.

      The problem with the court stems from the fact they only had 3 weeks to lay it and fully prepare it. Not enough time to get it fully bedded down and in good condition.

  11. I wonder if Stan got hurt. No slight to Roger, but what I saw from Stan yesterday was other worldly against Rafa. Couldn’t imagine anyone beating that version of Stan.

  12. Weirdest match, Stan sort of went away after being broken in the 1st set. Its tough for Roger to pull a W here but then again he has a knack of bring djoker down to earth case point RG 2011 and Shanghai 2014. Roger has to serve well and capitalized when Djoker goes on mental walkabout. Throughout this week it has very evident. Another thing is his movement a little weak on clay and roger has to expose that.

  13. Clinic from Fed there, great week for him and excited to see him this kind of tennis on clay again, it’s been a while. Not sure what happened to Stan mentally after Roger broke in the first set but credit to Roger as you said, just an example of what some extra grit and confidence does for your game.

    Onto the final. Tough to see how Fed can take out Djoker who has had a pretty incredible 6 months. Rome as always been the one that’s gotten away so a lot on the line here for Rog. Novak can continue his streak into Roland Garros also and really cement his favourite position- but does that mean he enters with more pressure? Serve is gonna be key here for Fed, couldn’t quite hide it from Novak’s returning in Indian Wells. Haven’t seen any of his matches this week but he seemed to be slightly struggling. I’ll also take Djoker as the champ but another match between these two is a win either way. Forza Roger.

    1. I’ve not seen much of Djoker either but reading he hasn’t been in the greatest form. All about on the day though, he didn’t look that good at Wimbledon last year but turned up in the final when it mattered…

  14. THESE are the numbers I’ve been wanting to see all week. Great match from Roger, great that he was able to pull it back together – almost looked like he just hadn’t found his range in the first few games, then he found his & Stan lost his. Agree w/ what somebody said about Stan just looking lead-footed from about 3-1 in set 2. Maybe yesterday just took too much out of him.

    For tomorrow, it’s hard to say. Yes, Djokovic has been looking scary good for most of the year – but maybe a smidgen less this week. There’s the past history with Roger being the one to end Djoko’s run in 2011. There’s court conditions – wind & potholes both seem to have played their part this week, and I’m not sure if either of those, if they are a factor, affects one of these guys more than the other.

    And of course they both have to bring their best game – and we haven’t really been able to be sure of that in advance from either of these guys this week. It’s probably Fed’s best chance at this title in a while. I hope he can do it. John had an interesting point about a potential 3rd set, if they go that far, perhaps favoring Djokovic – but I’m not sure. Normally I would agree completely with that, but this week he hasn’t seemed to have the limitless reserves we’ve seen in the past – not quite – while our guy has had fantastic energy all week. Not that he’s been pushed to 3 yet. I say…. hm…. tiebreak first set, and however the tiebreak goes, goes the match, whether in 2 sets or 3.

    I confess it was a little weird watching the highlights, and every time the Italian announcer said “gioco xxxx”, it sounded like “Djoko”!

    1. Thanks Jonathan for all your fast write ups and efforts quite Federesque!! Totally with you Thinker in your summations and the Gioco Djoko is quite unnerving. It’s been outstanding tennis from Fed but I think Djoko could succumb especially if the crowd adulation is not as forthcoming as he craves . Remember the shaking hand at Indian Wells, he has a lot at stake and Fed is frequently the one to end his runs . Also the weather is tipped to be 31 degrees, breezes and a fast court as in the Anderson match. Hope it’s like Shanghai and Djoko says. “Fed played peRFect” and this tormenting Novak today, as Fed has been showing good form and some brilliance out there this week.

      I just hope we see a Classic, as this beautifully aspected court deserves a Fed Title . Clay needs some new interest aside of the Rafa Ten Decima or whatever it is and now we have a few hotted up players like Fabbio, Stan even Andy to enjoy at RG. On a side note it’s a pity the Rome court does not play as well as it looks – and it’s strange how the two Titles eluding Fed are played on the prettiest settings on the Tour – hopefully today Fed rectifies one anomaly. It’s not all bad for Stan either, now he can give his all to the Zurich event after a nice tune up in Rome and doing the gladiator thing with Rafa! This Rome event has turned out pretty nicely for the organisers, Fed’s participation added some intrigue at the outset when he was undecided and now they have the excitement of world number one and two in their final. Bellissimo
      Allez, Chum Jetz , Cmon Fed it is a joy to watch your spankingly sharp aesthetic athleticism on the clay too.

    2. @Katie Thanks for the info on the weather, I hadn’t seen the forecast. Didn’t know Stan was playing Geneva either, I thought he would rest up for the French Open but guess his ranking has slipped a bit.

      @Thinker – I can see the court being a factor if Djokovic isn’t playing well, seen external factors annoy him before but of late he’s done a good job of moving on from it pretty quickly.

      1. I haven’t confirmed the forecast for today but our commies mentioned those details at the end of the match. We don’t get the interviews but got this at least, anyway they are better conditions for Fed and I think I read something where Fed mentioned the conditions could be like his other daytime matches with Berdych and Anderson whatever I’m excited . Hope no one needs any MTO’s to break “riddum” for RF, given those rough court surfaces too!

      2. Stan’s been in at Geneva since the event was unveiled, he’s got a three year contract there. I think he just wants to play for his home fans, he doesn’t get to that often. He’s also in at Gstaad later this year.

  15. Jonathan, you are getting better and better as our GOAT on clay. Thanks for the reports day in day out.
    Disappointing meltdown of Stan after strong start of the match but no complaint from me. Glad Fed didn’t use too much stamina and he is in the final! Italian crowds are going to be his side for sure so there will be a great atmosphere. Just hope for a competitive match.

  16. Rather anticlimactic in the end. A fast start from him, and a rather nervy one from Federer, but once Federer got the break it was all downhill for Stan. Possibly the emotional energy expended in match with Nadal was one reason, but Federer plays a clever match. Stan is happy running from side to side swinging freely, but I like how Feds draws him forward with clever little slices – nothing on them at all – and often gets the error, or a weak shot which Feds can demolish.

    Obviously ‘the machine’ is a much tougher proposition. If he can keep first serve % high; try and discombobulate Djokovic with variety, he’s definitely in with a chance. Allez champ! πŸ™‚

      1. Well his “oil painting of a backhand” reference is getting a tad cliched. He could do worse than update his repertoire with some of the offerings from the passionate wordsmiths that follow Fed and dwell here, don’t you think?!

  17. Two gladiators, at each other raging
    One at his peak, the other one aging
    Of course youth must have its fling
    But experience always has a sting

    Go Fed

  18. Ok so this is an interesting stat. For the last 5 times, Seed 1 and 2 have played the finals at Rome, Seed 2 has beaten Seed 1… Hmmmn

    2015 – [1] Djokovic vs. [2] Federer
    2014 – [2] Djokovic d. [1] Nadal
    2012 – [2] Nadal d. [1] Djokovic
    2011 – [2] Djokovic d. [1] Nadal
    2006 – [2] Nadal d. [1] Federer

  19. Hard to see Fed coming back from 5-4, was so close to breaking but Djoker is just so freaking clutch! Turning out to be another high quality affair. Can Fed take this to 3 at least?

  20. Some real beauties still, as have been during the whole of Rome-tournament, but Djoko was too strong – and luck failed our man. Well hope he just dusts it off as usual, plays with his kids, laughs it all off, and comes back extraordinary to RG.

  21. This one hurts, but not that much. Roger played great, unfortunately made some mistakes at the crucial points and with Novak in beast mode, well…. what can you do?? Rome will be there next year and next year we will try.

    Like we all were waiting for “Rafa 2013” to finally fall…. I guess now we will have to wait for this Novak beast to fall…..

    Good positives are that he played great all week long and this is yet another tour where he made the final and he was not sure he would play it….

  22. This did hurt Katyani: I’d hoped for a bit more, but he did well getting to the final: Rage Against the Machine! Feds had a chance at 4 all, almost made it, but in the end one has to admit that Djokovic was far too good this time. Apart from that one game, Federer just couldn’t seem to get a handle on those first serves at all, and didn’t do a lot better on the second. No question Djokovic has improved in this area. At one time, they were very attackable. At the moment, no one has an answer against Djokovic and it’s worrying that there’s only our Feds putting up any sort of challenge. For me, Djokovic’s game is excellence without the magic.

    1. Hey Slamdunk, Novak played a fair and great match and deserved the win. Trust me… this truth hurts me more than the loss, so I won’t say anything more about it πŸ™‚
      I agree with you, some points Roger should and could have played better…. but it is easy saying that sitting on a couch watching it on my laptop. He is the one playing out there against that beast πŸ™‚
      But to be honest, Roger played that BP on 4-4 AMAZINGLY…. Novak just finished it better. And honestly… Roger could have gotten a 3rd set out of it, but it didn’t happen. I don’t believe this is the last final he will make at Rome or MC. So… there is always next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button