Another Swiss beatdown here as Roger brushed aside Richard Gasquet 6-1 6-2 in 49 minutes to move into the Quarter Finals.
I thought pre match Gasquet was going to put up a fight on a court that suits his game but after looking good in his opening game Roger completely dominated things. After getting the early break the Frenchman went missing behind the baseline and allowed Roger to dictate from all areas of the court.
We got to see the full repertoire of shots and Gasquet just had no answers. Even when he was able to make an offensive play Federer was moving well enough to defend and keep himself in the points. A vintage Federer performance from start to finish with style and efficiency, flawless basically :).
Quick Match Recap
A solid start from Gasquet in this one as he held to 15 but as usual he was flattering to deceive as Roger took control in his next service game breaking to lead 2-1.
The Swiss then consolidated from deuce and broke again to lead 4-1. Gasquet had no answers and already had the look of resignation on his face. Things got even worse for the Frenchman as at 5-1 30-40 he double faulted to drop the set 6-1.
With Roger serving first in the second it was obvious he was running away with this one and he was able to play freely throughout. Hitting some sweet backhands down the line and mixing up spins on his forehand to dictate play. I can hardly remember a rally he lost and the ball looked like it was on a piece of string.
At 3-2 he got the all important breakthrough and that was that. A quick hold put him 5-2 up and he broke Gasquet for the 5th time with a sweet dropshot to close the match out 6-1 6-2.
|R. Federer||R. Gasquet|
|1st Serve %||68%||60%|
|1st Serve Points Won||22/25 (88%)||14/26 (54%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||7/12 (58%)||6/17 (35%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/1 (100%)||1/6 (17%)|
|Service Games Played||7||8|
|1st Return Points Won||12/26 (46%)||3/25 (12%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||11/17 (65%)||5/12 (42%)|
|Break Points Won||5/6 (83%)||0/1 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||8||7|
|Net Points Won||6/8 (75%)||2/8 (25%)|
|Total Service Points Won||29/37 (78%)||20/43 (47%)|
|Total Return Points Won||23/43 (53%)||8/37 (22%)|
|Total Points Won||52/80 (65%)||28/80 (35%)|
18 points dropped on serve in 3 matches. Impeccable.
Thoughts on the Match
Another dominant performance where the opponent had no answers. Roger has only faced 1 break point all week and Gasquet had no idea how to make this one competitive. Looked like a combination of lack of self belief from his side of the net but also really smart play from Fed.
I feel like he is serving intelligently and has a real rhythm to his serve. He took pace off a lot of first serves that kicked up high on Gasquet who could only loop the ball into play. With the Frenchman's return point so far behind the baseline the follow up forehand from Fed put him fully in the driving seat to finish off the point. It was just smart tennis and he is finding the right combinations this week so far. His game is balanced and he is moving well, the more tennis he plays, the better he gets which is a good place to be for him mentally.
Stats wise it's a clinic with 5 out 6 break points converted and 6 out of 8 points won at the net. You can't really pick out areas of improvement as he has been solid in all areas. Fed is looking confident and is moving well and those are 2 big areas of his game. For him now it's just about keeping his momentum going for the rest of the season and to keep trying to improve bit by bit.
Elsewhere Dolgopolov took out Stan in 3 sets who appears to be slumping a little after Australia so it will be interesting how he performs on the clay. Nadal is looking like he's on a real tear up right now so I think he probably wins Miami with what I've seen so far. He has been playing aggressively and there's just no way Fed can take him out here. The court is too slow and takes spin too much, Djoker is the only one with a chance I think so I'll be surprised if it's not Nadal holding the trophy come Sunday.
Predictions vs. Nishikori
Next up is my pre tournament dark horse Kei Nishikori who defeated David Ferrer in a 3rd set tie break.
I didn't watch the match but Ferrer had 4 match points in the breaker but Nishikori saved them before converting his at the first roll of the dice. Decent win for him and also great for Fed as it means he is now back at #4 in the rankings. Rightfully so in my opinion too as he's a far better player than Ferrer and the hard work has paid off here.
Onto the match with Nishikori and based on form this week I'm picking Fed to get this done. Nishikori is mega talented but he has zero weapons which is why he is never going to factor at slam level or win big tournaments. He can grind on these slow courts so I don't think he will fold cheaply like Gasquet but Fed has too much in the locker to falter here. This is scheduled for a night match so it will play slower and will take a minor adjustment from Fed but with Nihikori spending 3 hours on court against Ferrer I can see Roger making it physical and making Nishikori work and work to win points. Should be a good one.
It's 1-1 in the H2H, Fed winning the Basel final in 2011 and Nishikori winning in Madrid last year which was an anomalous result in my opinion so you can't read into that a whole lot.
Like I said before Roger has only lost 18 points on serve this week his andn game has been impeccable, I predict similar here and I go Fed in straights 7-5 6-4. Allez!