ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRogers Cup

Federer Up and Running in Toronto

Been a while since we saw the GOAT in action but he's straight back to winning ways crushing Peter Polansky 6-2 6-0 to make swift progress into the third round at the Roger's Cup.

Perfect start to the tournament really and although this was a big mismatch it was good to see Fed striking the ball sweetly off both wings and never giving his opponent a look in. Fully expected of course but he still had to get out there and do what he needed to. One match under his belt so now it's time to try put together a run to the business end of things.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Polansky Toronto 2014

Fed kicked this one off with a break to love after Polansky failed to make a single first serve. Not surprising considering this was one of the biggest matches of his career to date and the added home crowd pressure. What was surprising though was that Fed handed the break straight back and allowed the Canadian to level at 1-1.

That was the last time he'd see parity however as Fed broke again en route to taking the first set 6-2; hitting some crunching forehands in the process along with some very sharp volleys. Good to see.

Winning the first set in double quick time pretty much put the match to bed and ended any hopes Polansky had of making it competitive. With no real weapons the World Number 129 had no way of causing Federer any damage and his only real hope was to wait for mistakes, and sadly from his perspective they didn't come.

An immediate break at the start of the second gave Fed license to play ultra aggressive and he was soon up 4-0. Polansky at least put up some resistance in his final service game but it proved futile and Roger broke again for 5-0 before serving it out to 15. 6-2 6-0, done and dusted in just in 52 minutes. Routine.

Match Stats

P.ย Polansky R.ย Federer
Aces 0 5
Double Faults 2 3
1st Serve % 51% 67%
1st Serve Points Won 9/25 (36%) 24/29 (83%)
2nd Serve Points Won 10/24 (42%) 5/14 (36%)
Break Points Saved 0/6 (0%) 1/2 (50%)
Service Games Played 7 7
1st Return Points Won 5/29 (17%) 16/25 (64%)
2nd Return Points Won 9/14 (64%) 14/24 (58%)
Break Points Won 1/2 (50%) 6/6 (100%)
Winners 3 22
Unforced Errors 16 17
Return Games Played 7 7
Total Service Points Won 19/49 (39%) 29/43 (67%)
Total Return Points Won 14/43 (33%) 30/49 (61%)
Total Points Won 33/92 (36%) 59/92 (64%)

Thoughts on the Match

Federer in the Studio

I was happy, I started well and that's always helpful to play more freely. I think I could have served better at times but other than that, already in practice I felt I was moving well.

Didn't feel so good hitting the ball yet. Wasn't quite getting used to the surface and now the last few days have been much better and I'm happy that in the match it kind of all worked really well.

For the start of a tournament it's never clear if that's going to be the case. I'm very relieved and just really pleased.

Nothing much to learn other about Roger here other than a very solid start and he looked to be striking the ball pretty cleanly which is always good to see early in a tournament.

Obviously Polansky isn't really a good barometer for how well Fed is playing but he was able to hit some sweet winners especially off the forehand side that even the likes of Djokovic and Murray would struggle to contain.

There was a lot of aggressive intent from him too, utilising the chip and charge when he saw Polansky out of position which worked pretty well. I'm guessing he will be a little unhappy to miss some pretty easy volleys (9 out of 16 at net) but it's still early days on that front and he has plenty time to fine tune the net game ahead of New York. Pretty much all the stats make good reading, especially the 6 out of 6 on break points, not often we get that luxury ๐Ÿ˜€

Aside from Fed's perforamnce, we also had a first in live chat – a live chatter watching the match courtside. Nambi dropped by during the second set and had courtside seats. Check out the pic below:

Nambi's View
Nambi's View

Predictions vs. Cilic / Jaziri

Federer Cilic USO 2011

Next up is either Marin Cilic or lucky loser Malek Jaziri. They play later today and I expect Cilic to come through that one as Jaziri isn't really quality opposition.

So can the Croat cause Fed problems? I think some, depends if he can hold it together mentally. Cilic has been improving this year under the tutelage of Goran Ivanisevic and he took Djokovic to 5 sets at Wimbledon however he's still a bit of a choker and I'm not sure what areas he can give Fed difficulty.

I think he'd have to play a Del Potro USO 2009 type match to stand a chance and really crunch the ball whenever he gets the opportunity to step into the court. Maybe he can do it, he's had good results on hard courts before but my money is firmly on Fed in 2. 6-4 6-4.

Should Jaziri cause the upset then I expect a similar result but probably more one sided. Jaziri can strike the ball well as we saw when Fed played him in Dubai in 2013 but he couldn't overcome a below par and back pain riddled Fed on a quick hard court back then so I doubt he can manage it on a slower surface against a fully fit one.

See you guys on Thursday.


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. Missed the match so really appreciate the recap. Thinker is so right great start and a first for you too Congrats. Hope the birthday excitement and solo Edberg coaching creates a special result.

    2. I think the 1st serve % ended up almost 10 points higher at the end of the match than it was at the end of the first set; positive indication our guy is dusting out the cobwebs & getting back to tournament form. Hopefully the UFEs (like the volleys you mention) will follow.

      LOTS of positive indications here – the ferocity of the forehand – maybe some better choices about when to use particular shots? – although of course the opponent makes a difference with that. – the ability to shrug off the initial drop of serve – awesome movement and stretch – willingness to put the ball where the opponent isn’t. I’m very encouraged.

      I actually hope Cilic (or Jaziri) will provide a sterner test to give Rog some practice against more accomplished opposition. Based on what we saw in this match, I’m optimistic we’ll see him come through with flying colors. Allez Roger!

    3. Well done Thinker!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      For Jonathan. .. thanks for the last couple of post s. Plus from the Wimbledon ones, as I read them but I didn’t make any comments. So nice one for that. Thumbs up !! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Regarding the match I didn’t watch live but I have just seen highlights on you tube. Like yourself and others who watched I couldn’t believe he lost his serve straight away especially when he just broken him in the first game. But luckily it didn’t matter at all as it was one way traffic. I myself was surprised by his stats in break points conversion, 6/6 100 % is fantastic as normally or recently this has been his worst stat most of the time. As Fed creates umpteen break point chances but for whatever reason hasn’t been able to convert. Anyway I hope he can get through round by round and improve in each match. But watching the highlights Federer seemed to be more focused and hitting the ball much better. Although I didn’t see his mishits or shanks on the clips. I am presuming with this 97″ racquet it’s giving him more hitting zone. All good for now onwards and upwards. Let the king of Tennis regain his crown and reign supreme for as long as possible. Come on Fed. Go go go!!!

    4. Good win Thinker.

      Cheers Katie. Forgot it was his birthday. 33 and still competing. Decent stuff.

      @Serjaul Yeah Fed definitely improved the BH with the new racquet. Still kinda new when you think about it so I bet there’s still room for improvement. FH looks a little less effective, especially at Wimbledon.

  1. I read somewhere that Roger had said he hadn’t been playing too well so far in practice matches so wasn’t sure what to expect really, even from someone like Polansky. Didn’t need to worry though, did it? Brilliant play from Roger. When he plays like this it makes you realise what you are missing (will be missing) from the other top players when he retires. It’s a whole different planet really as far as I’m concerned.

    I like the outfit, and the racquet doesn’t look too garish in comparison. He always looks good in muted, greenish colours.

    Polansky, I read, had a nightmare in 2006 where he thought someone broke into his room. Sleepwalking he crashed through the window, severing a main artery and falling 3 floors, luckily to land in a hedge or something. Poor guy. What an experience!

  2. Blink and you miss Performance by Fed… Hope Cilic wont be too much sterner for Rog though he seems plying better this year…

    It was double delight watching Fed and Stan matches on same session, regardless Roger doesn’t needed A game, and Stan doesn’t looked like in Top Form regardless he was able to Win it…. Nice three setter after Fed’s quick work. Thanks for Sharing Picture Jonathan…

    Green seems little pale in Live, darker seems much better for him…Glad able to watch him live….

  3. We often see Roger give journeymen a lesson early in a tournament. As always, the test is a quality opponent towards the business end.

    1. Very true. And we know it can change from round to round. A good start, though, and although I’ve only seen some minimal highlights on the ATP site, I too was wowed by one or two of his forehands.

  4. We’ll Kyrgios didn’t put up too much of a fight. 6-2 6-2 to Murray. So much for that.

    As I wrote earlier, I only saw the replays, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve seen Fed hit the ball so damn hard shot after shot. The returns, the forehand, the backhand- they seemed lethal. Yes, not a tough opponent but still. This was some pre 2008 level shot making and power. I wonder if this was a one match thing or he can keep up this level of intensity.

    1. Yes, I was disappointed not to see a better effort from Kyrgios – but I didn’t see the match, just scores, so maybe it just means Murray is in a better place than we thought.

      1. How do you mean Jonathan?

        And how do you see that as different from how he matches up w/ Nadal?

      2. Murry absorbs pace well and is very good at knowing the geometry of the court. I don’t think that works well for Kyrgios as Murray can just wait for errors. He also can bore opponents to death whch probably doesn’t help high energy players like Kyrgios.

        The Nadal match was a one off I think but he plays completely different style to Murray.

    2. Federer hit the ball very hard yes. But Polansky shots are very slow and Fed has the time to take a big cut at them. But when the opponents ground strokes have pace will Fed still be ready to have a go ? I just saw the Wimby Final again and I was amazed how reluctant Fed seemed to be to go for it on his forehand side.But the backhand did seem to be better..

      1. I definitely had the feeling he was struggling with the FH throughout the grasscourt season (such as it is).

    3. Yeah, I only saw highlights as well! And those FH’s looked ferocious! Good write up Jonathan as always! Looking forward to the next match and more of him mixing it up!

      1. Another night session, 3.14am as I write this. Guessing your passed out in some form of Sangria / Tapas induced coma ๐Ÿ˜†

    4. Gaurav
      TOTALLY agree. I get it written that polansky is just a journeyman, But I’ve seen Rog play journeymen before and I simply can’t recall seeing this king of fury on the forehand. Not since clips from way back in his prime. It was a light speed bludgeoning out there.

      1. True. Usually he sort of sleepwalks through this kind of match, doing just what is necessary to get through, but this time he looked as though he was out to prove something to himself. Great opportunity to try out all his old (new) moves as well. Even if they won’t work so well with the big guys at least he will have a better knowledge of how well he an hit them.

      2. I dunno about that Alb, he has schooled plenty of opponents in similar fashion before. See how it pans out for the rest of the tournament…

  5. Hi Jonathan

    Lovely to see Roger back on court and hitting his forehands so well – I am sure his serve will get stronger and stronger. Have to say love the shorts and the shoes think the top looks awful. Hopefully he will be able to deal with Cillic with not too much difficulty. Odd not to see Severin in his corner and just having Stefan there – hope they have not fallen out? Other point going slightly off track – Djokovic and Stan playing doubles??? did not see that one coming at all. Lets hope for a good week and we see fed in the winners enclousure

      1. That would make sense. After all, he does have some sort of engagement after the USO, too, so get a holiday in while he can.

    1. Cheers Wanda I didn’t know Luthi was on holiday. Tbh I didn’t even know he was missing ๐Ÿ˜€ shows how much attention I paid during first match.

  6. Hi Jonathan, thanks for the recap.
    Sorry I couldn’t join the live chat, it’s a bad time for me. I know I’m just an hour ahead of you but I need my beauty-sleep ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Now, just watched a poor quality catch-up. Wow, the FHs! Such a joy seeing him in good form despite that I barely saw the balls at times. Hope he will keep it up. Ah, though still not a fan of his outfit…

    1. Yeah awful time for Europeans with the hard court swing.

      I’ve gone off the outfit too, I liked it when I first posted it but shorts look poor and the shirt isn’t great either.

  7. Great match by Roger, other than getting broken by Polansky and not so good second serve stats. If he can keep up his performance against the likes of Cilic, I can see him in the finals playing and hopefully beating Djoker ๐Ÿ™‚ His FH was awesome and so were his returns. Looks like he has watched the Wimby finals again and worked on what cost him the title. Too early to make a call based on a match against an unknown. Tomorrow should give us more info.

  8. Polansky, who has practised with Federer on numerous occasions, explained the difference between hitting sessions and actually facing the Swiss in competition. “Right off the bat, the first ball he’s trying to kill ya,” he admitted.

    “It was good for me to see how he works a point and what to improve on, what I need to do and what I need to do to get better,” Polansky added.

    About says it all.

    The shorts and shoes are nice. The shirt has a different fit than usual. Shorter and baggier. I don’t like the fit but the colours are ok.

    1. 6-2 6-2???!!! What on earth happened? Was Jo on fire? Was the doubles too much to add on? Stan out too I see…. oh my.

      1. Yeah I can’t quite process the 6-2 6-2 either… Jo can be amazing but this is Djokovic… well maybe he’s still in the clouds after the honeymoon or he wants to preserve his energy for Cincinnati and complete his Master 1000 9/9 collection…
        At least Dimitrov is through. Saw the third set and he hit some nice shots. No his path is easier to go deep in the tournament.

      2. Ah… And it was nice hearing the crowd chanting Grigor! Grigor!. Poor Tommy shouldn’t have felt good about that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. What a revolting game. Chokerer at his finest. My money’s on him collapsing. I hope I’m proven wrong. To choke like that against the world’s most seasoned choker. Pathetic.

    1. This kind of bullshit is what costs him matches. Any other player would have been done on match point number 1. He had second serves on all of them.

      1. Players like Djokovic Houdini their way out of trouble. THis dumbass Houdini’s his way INTO trouble.

      2. What is wrong with you man ? I mean its his birthday and he won the match at the end.Why the hell would you talk like this ? If you has got problems you have got a problem of a different kind.

      3. Seriously gaurav what is wrong with you??The man won the match at the end of the day and we don’t know what was the problem with his mind some stress or anything.and STOP with all the swearing.

      4. Hey tough talk Gaurav! Give him a break! Cilic massively improved under Goran, Fed rusty but what a fighterer! Won’t hv such power coming at him from Ferrer!

      5. Hey Gaurav, don’t give up on Roger. He may make mistakes (stupid ones), but as long as he fixes them himself, all is well, all is well ๐Ÿ™‚ I understand your “tough love”, but give our dude a break will you ๐Ÿ™‚ He is also playing for us you know. Do you want to watch “Rogerless tennis”?? I know, I don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ Roger gave his name honor: “Fighterer” ๐Ÿ™‚

      6. In my defence guys, I was only talking with reference to that one game in the 2nd set, which is when I typed that. I’m sure you were doing the same in live chat, so let’s not pretend that I was the only one getting annoyed in that moment.

      7. But yes, my apologies for getting over heated and posting my thoughts for all posterity to read. My bad.

      8. Djokovic houdinied his way out the tournament ๐Ÿ˜€

        I thought Fed played well, poor returns were main downfall but he served really well throughout.

  10. And I will tell all you people one thing , stop with the name calling. According to you half the ATP players are chokers.I mean seriously ??

  11. Happy birthday Roger.Hope you have many more years of great tennis left and even many more years of happiness with your family . ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The ones who love you most can be the hardest on you….I guess.

    Happy B day Rog.
    On a day when it seemed like many faves choked – djoker, stan, berdych – you hung tough.
    Yes you blew match point at 5-4.
    But Cillich – who’s played some great tennis of late – played tough again tonight and you grinded it out anyway. Good mental control to hang in after the horrifyingly botched match winner an hour earlier.
    Glad you made it through.
    Now quit this 1/10 bp crap!!!

    1. Ferrer won’t hv the serve or flat ground stroke power! Just hope Fed rested and not too much birthday cake! Surely won’t come thru such a battle only to lose the next one! Also Ferrer v up and down of late. If Fed gets 1st set, all over!
      Being such a massive draw always gives Fed a scheduling issue. Tough playing so many night sessions! Body clock must be haywire!

  13. And let’s not forget:

    Last year he never comes back from that missed MP at the net at 5-4.

    Remember Berdych at Dubai 2013? That was the beginning of the end for 2013.

    Tonight he wasn’t going back there. Proud of him.

    1. And I know he had a ton of missed mp’s, but there was a gimme at the net that was such a horror of a miss the others pale in comparison.

      1. Oops, misplaced! This was in reply to yr comment re last yr! He clearly recognises he is hanging tougher this season! Great to see him fight after all he has achieved! Pride!

  14. Hey sweet Roger, sometimes it must suck to be you. One half of all the tennisfans don’t seem to like you, the other half who are your fans, well… even there you don’t get the praise you so much deserve. Do your fans really have forgotten “2013”?? If you don’t bagle all your opponents… seems like they punish you for that. And the worse thing is…. if you go on and win the title, these “fans” will be the first to drule over you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy birthday Roger and congrats with the win over Cilic. I saw most of the match and I saw all of the long game. You were terrific. You did NOT let go.

    First of all, kudos to Cilic for hanging on and hanging tough and still winning that game. He tried, didnโ€™t let go and didnโ€™t want to lose that game. Has to be said too, so kudos to him. But oh my Godโ€ฆ. Rogerโ€ฆ. you had Cilic as a prey in your claws and you did NOT let go !!! Unfortunately, yes…. you could have won the last 2 MP of that game, but it was not meant to be.
    I know that people read that Roger wasted 6 MP, but the ones who SAW it, can only have respect for how he did NOT want Cilic to win that game. I didn’t like the fact that you lost the 2nd set, but no worries… as long as you FIX it…. and you did !!! You won the 3rd set !!!

    Next is Ferrer. You will win, but please don’t underestimate him. He is also playing great.

    Happy birthday Roger. Love you forever ๐Ÿ™‚ And always your fan ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. “One half of all the tennisfans donโ€™t seem to like you”. Your dislake to Nadal and the sick hatred and the members of the Fed’s sect cloud your mind. Both Federer and Nadal are loved by most of tennis fans, definitely by all the real tennis fans. What you see from some people from here is just propaganda of the integrist group, The Fed’s Sect.

      1. Relax Pablo, I was talking about Roger fans who go way overboard when Roger makes mistakes or loses. It was not a dig at Rafa, hope you know that. I don’t like it when Roger loses, but the man is trying….

      2. Pablo I’m guessing you don’t read any Nadal fan blogs. Dulltards are rife on all the forums spouting nonsense on a daily basis.

      3. Like here, they do the same with Rafa but you just need to go to a tournament to see the reality. These kind of haters are a short percentage of the total fans. If you like tennis how in the hell are you gonna dislike Federer, Nadal, Djokovic…

    2. Hiya! Ferrer doesn’t hv the same flat power which these courts favour, Fed will hv time to take big FH swings as the top spin will hv less effect! Plus Cilics serve is much underestimated! Goran has really improved it! Credit to Marin and kudos to Roger for hanging tough!

  15. By the way, does anybody watch Suits? Sarah Raffert, the actress who plays Donna, was there watching Federer play. Although I should point out, she looked nothing like she does on the show.

      1. Agreed. She’s a great actor. Probably the best part of a show that has gone consistently downhill, from a smart funny series into an overly dramatic soap. Still a good show though. If you’re into TV shows, you should definitely give it a try Jonathan.

      2. I keep pictures of them on my wall, and when they come on TV, I can quickly cross reference them then I put a sticker on my wall chart for number of sightings out in the wild. ๐Ÿ˜†

        I saw someone called Scarlett who follows Fed round the globe, she always tweeting pics from tournaments, camera was on her all the time as she had a red Swiss jacket on. Easily recognisable, of Oriental descent.

        I better point out that first bit is a joke to some of the sarcastically challenged ๐Ÿ˜›

      3. Haha…

        Thanks for clearing that up. Never in my wildest dreams would I have taken that for sarcasm ๐Ÿ™‚

      4. Jonathan…. even I recognise Scarlett when I see her ๐Ÿ™‚
        She is one Roger fan… Even I am not that… kind of a Roger fan ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Ok Gaurav, will let u off! Haha! Yes a bad game but Cilic held on and made Fed play! Getting over the line always more difficult when receiving than it seems! This win will again raise his confidence although Edberg will be telling to come in on such successfully deep chip returns. Shld hv snuck in at least twice to finish it off!

    1. Man, I hate it when Roger splutters at the finish line. Or what should be the finish line. But I should be getting used to it by now! Djoko has certainly had a letdown. Should be back by the USO. Jonathan, 4-2 is not a very secure lead. I have often seen it slip from my fingers! One break and a hold and it’s 4-4. Damn!

    2. Aside from the joke of a volley on match point when he set the point up perfectly I wasn’t too annoyed. It’s easy to slack off thinking you have won or get caught out by your opponent raising his level on break points. Cilic hit some pretty good forehands to save a couple of them and the rest were either poor misses, too high risk or just a bit unlucky.

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