Boom, emphatic display here as Federer continued his stunning run against huge servers to dismiss Milos Raonic 6-3 6-2 en route to the Cincinnati final. It was another brilliant display of how to return big servers and Roger is now 6-0 vs Raonic, 2-0 vs Anderson, 11-1 vs Karlovic and 4-1 vs Isner. 4 guys with huge serves and they have very rarely even got a look in.
After making the right noises after his Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Swiss (learning experience, better next time etc) he yet again looked completely out of ideas after his very first service game. Roger is just able to render Raonic's main weapon pretty much useless and he has no other way of winning matches. Once you break his serve and you're confident enough to take care of your own service games then there is just no way back for him.
Quick Match Recap
Roger won the toss and elected to serve. 42 seconds after stepping up to the line he was leading 1-0. I'm sure you get the picture of how this one is going already 🙂 Raonic then lost serve from 30-0 up, losing 3 points in a row, firing a double fault at the worst possible moment and then firing a forehand long to get broken.
Another Federer love hold consolidated the break and he was soon into a 5-2 lead without dropping a single point on serve. It was important for Raonic to at the very least made his opponent serve out the set but he again faltered, losing serve from 40-15 up with another double fault to drop the set 6-2.
Dropping no points on serve in the first set was always going to be hard to replicate and Raonic began to create some chances early in the 2nd when Fed's 1st serve % dropped every so slightly. The Canadian had break points in Roger's opening service game and made deuce at 1-1 but still couldn't find a way through.
At 4-3 and Raonic up 40-0, Fed reeled off 3 points in a row to make deuce, a short return worked perfectly to setup break point but Raonic saved it. Roger then looked to have made an insane return from a Raonic first serve bomb but it was rightly called out as hawkeye proved. However despite the challenge working system working in his favour Raonic again faltered and on the third break point Fed took it to lead 5-3 before serving it out to 30. Cruise control.
|M. Raonic||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||44%||63%|
|1st Serve Points Won||17/25 (68%)||29/33 (88%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||16/32 (50%)||10/19 (53%)|
|Break Points Saved||2/5 (40%)||1/1 (100%)|
|Service Games Played||8||9|
|1st Return Points Won||4/33 (12%)||8/25 (32%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||9/19 (47%)||16/32 (50%)|
|Break Points Won||0/1 (0%)||3/5 (60%)|
|Net Points Won||Oct-17||14/16|
|Return Games Played||9||8|
|Total Service Points Won||33/57 (58%)||39/52 (75%)|
|Total Return Points Won||13/52 (25%)||24/57 (42%)|
|Total Points Won||46/109 (42%)||63/109 (58%)|
Thoughts on the Match
I'm playing much better [than] last year. I can move freely again. I'm happy the results show. It's more fun playing this way. Now I am playing the right way.
It's great for the confidence to switch from clay to grass to hard courts and keep on playing well. I've had a very complete season so far. This is my eighth final of the season. I hope I can win another final here.
Another complete schooling for Raonic at the hands of the GOAT, seeing him lose 5 on the bounce it's difficult to see how he will ever beat Roger really unless he plays on till he's 40. Could be just one of those bogey players for him and there's already some mental scars in there I think.
As for Fed he just played a smart match, got it done in quick time which is good news considering he didn't take to the court until 10PM at night. Poor scheduling really considering the final is at 4PM the next day. Quite a tough turnaround time but nothing anyone can really do about, all about the TV rights these days.
After a sort of mini slump in Toronto I think Fed is well back on track here with his game and is hitting the ball way better than a week ago. It's also the first time he has made 4 finals in a row since 2008. Halle, Wimbledon, Toronto and now Cincinnati. Pretty special stuff for a guy that can't play tennis anymore according to some pundits.
No real takeaways from this match and really it was very similar to Wimbledon; an early break set the tone and Roger just cruises on serve thanks to Raonic's limited return game. Raonic just runs out of ideas and he has no way of making an impression, not a smart server really, just a big one and I think Fed reads it pretty good.
Predictions vs. Ferrer
Next up is Ferrer who was my pre tournament dark horse. He's had a poor year really compared to usual but I knew after the way he played against Fed in Toronto he was finding some form. That's the best performance I've seen him put in against Roger in a while and it was a pretty close match. He's transferred that good form over to Cincinnati and he'll probably do pretty well at the USO.
The good news? Despite playing well in Canada he still fell short and he's now 15-0 in the H2H vs Fed, that's surely got to hurt. The match here lies firmly on Fed's racquet and if he's good to go physically then Ferrer will struggle as he doesn't have the firepower to do any damage.
Fed should be pretty sharp on the return after last night and as long as he makes a good number of 1st serves I think he get's this one done in straights. 6-4 6-2. Allez!