ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Federer Sees Off Agut Challenge to Make Miami Quarter Finals

Roger Federer is into the Quarter Finals at the Itau Miami Open after coming through an up and down encounter 7-6(5), 7-6(4) against Roberto Bautista Agut.

Not the cleanest performance from the Swiss who looked sluggish for some periods of the match but he was up against a gritty opponent who will make shot after shot.

The win sees him set up an encounter with Tomas Berdych who he defeated en route to his 18th Grand Slam title at this year's Australian Open.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Agut Miami Open 2017

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. He held to love to kick things off before Agut saved three break points from 0-40 to level.

In the six the Swiss created 0-30 but Agut held, and at 4-4 it was he who broke to lead 5-4, converting his second break point to serve for the set.

Agut had never won more than four games in a set against Federer so he was in uncharted territory here and it showed; he was broken to love as Roger broke back and two quick games later the set moved into a tie-break.

Into the breaker and it was Federer who was able to play offensive, moving up a mini break at 3-3 and another to lead 6-3 before taking it 7-5.

At the changeover ahead of set two Bautista Agut required treatment on a blister and he got off to a terrible start, dropping his serve with a double fault and missed overhead after holding three game points.

Fortunately for him, Federer wasn't quite dialled in, and he relinquished the break instantly. Agut then saved three break points in his next service game and looked somewhat rejuvenated after that, keeping pace with Federer throughout the remainder of the set as it went into another tiebreak.

Like the first breaker, it was Federer again looking to the force the issue as he moved up a mini break and forged a 3-0 lead. Another mini-break came his way for 6-2, and although Agut saved two match points, the Swiss sealed it 7-4.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Roberto Bautista Agut
Aces 8 1
Double Faults 1 3
First Serve Percent 49% (35/72) 62% (61/98)
1st Serve Points Won 89% (31/35) 69% (42/61)
2nd Serve Points Won 65% (24/37) 49% (18/37)
Break Points Saved 33% (1/3) 80% (8/10)
Service Games Played 12 12
1st Serve Return Points Won 31% (19/61) 11% (4/35)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 51% (19/37) 35% (13/37)
Break Points Converted 20% (2/10) 67% (2/3)
Return Games Played 12 12
Winners 30 12
Unforced Errors 32 26
Total Service Points Won 76% (55/72) 61% (60/98)
Total Return Points Won 39% (38/98) 24% (17/72)
Total Points Won 55% (93/170) 45% (77/170)
SABR 0 0

Point of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Beat Agut Miami

I felt good overall. It was a different kind of match. It wasn't the big-serving match where you're only going to see so many looks, so when you miss chances, you always feel a bit frustrated sometimes. That's where you got to keep a positive mindset and make the right plays. I thought Roberto did a good job of making shots, staying offensive when he could, fending off a lot of good shots that I hit. Then it was tough. The sun was coming from the side in the beginning so it's hard to chase the lines. At the end, I'm very happy and pleased that I got it done in straight sets.

A bit of a laboured match this one as Federer, despite being the better player throughout, wasn't able to dominate proceedings. I thought he looked a little bit tired in patches and got a bit frustrated when the unforced errors started mounting. Perhaps he wasn't feeling as good in the legs after playing yesterday vs. Del Potro which he did allude to slightly with some comments in press.

Conditions were also windy, and the sun was in the player's eye line too which didn't help the quality of tennis and his timing wasn't as precise as usual. But that's part and parcel of the sport, not every day is going to go swimmingly so to come through in straight sets is a good day at the office.

Like I said in my preview Agut will naturally make a lot of balls and that's exactly what he did, he played his usual solid baseline game and refused to break down in the face of some offensive Federer groundstrokes. Fortunately, he's not got a good backhand, and his serve isn't a weapon so Roger was able to move up a gear when it mattered in the tiebreaks to come through.

Predictions vs. Berdych

Federer Berdcyh IW 2015

Next up is Berdych who defeated Adrian Mannarino in straight sets. Berdych has looked impressive so far in Miami, and the courts suit his game at Crandon Park having made the final here in 2010 when he beat Federer in the fourth round.

The Czech has had a bit of a shaky start to the year, and his game is very up and down of late so I'm not sure what to expect. He's probably due a good performance at some point but then his record against the best isn't that impressive; and even though he's looked good this week, his forehand looked out of sorts towards the end of the second set against Mannarino.

Roger has schooled him in their last several encounters, so I think he's the favourite going in but it will be a tighter than Melbourne as Berdych likes the slower court and has the power to still hit through it.

If it's a day match, it will be an advantage to Federer. A night match will be a more of a leveller. I would say if Roger plays scrappy like he did against RBA, then Berdych will be good enough to make him pay, but I'll pick Fed to come through as long as he's moving well on the defence.


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. Could be, what operating system and browser do you use again?

      I’ve deactivated it again, I use it to track traffic, I thought they’d fixed it and seemed ok when I tested in FF, Chrome and IE.

      1. I was using Firefox at the time. A reasonably up-to-date version, but not the latest.

    1. haha i shouldn’t have read the article first
      It’s been a long time since I’ve been so relaxed watching Federer play. I feel like at the moment he always finds a way to get the job done. So far Roger mostly managed to step it up a notch against higher seeded players. So my pick is Fed in 2 against Berdych.

  1. Great post! First match in living memory (2017(excluding Dubai)) where winners are outnumbered by errors. I know Miamis a bit of a bonus but would love to see Fed grab the sunshine duuuuubleeeyy

    1. Yeah it’s been a while since that happened from memory. Sunshine Double would be epic but I’m not putting any importance on it. Quarters has been a good showing I think.

      1. Fed’s emotions showed in the match. He was rattled which means he himself expected or expects to do much better.

        I think the old mentality came back for a little bit when he couldn’t get the break after having so many break points and more importantly committing very unusual errors.

        Driver returns were going into the net and chip returns were going long.

        I am happy already even if he doesn’t win nothing else for the year but I hope this was a one off wobble.

        Match against Berdych will tell us if it was one off.

      2. Clearly it was a two-off ๐Ÿ™

        What on EARTH was that?! Roger doing his best to lose, but Tomas not quite letting him? Where’s that “spit” emoticon when you want it?

        I looked in at the end of the first set, decided it was all too easy for words, and then forgot about it for the next hour or so. You can imagine my amazement to find they were in a third set. Shall be interested to read Jonathan’s write-up, but, don’t tell me, let me guess: Roger wins first set and immediately loses serve at the beginning of the second? Decides he hasn’t had enough tiebreak practice yet this year? Gah!!!

  2. Very good stat on first service points won for Roger – just a shame there were so few of them. What *is* wrong with his first serve? Or was he just serving into the light a lot?

    1. I was wondering if the wind was affecting it – he’s not usually out of the service box when he’s missing, he’s into the net…

      1. Ah good point, he kind of jumps on top of it when he’s on, might hit it at a slightly different angle…

      2. Probably part of the reason, he was down at 44% in the second set (although I think the sun was very low then too). Most players will serve poorly when their legs are tired as a good chunk of speed comes from it. Stan only one I can think of who doesn’t really use his legs as much as others.

      3. RBA didn’t look too good on service during set #2, either: I wouldn’t get rich buy collecting 1000 โ‚ฌ for each 1st service falling in from the ad side…
        Now, seriously: what’s this crap of scheduling two masters 1000 tournaments in consecutive weeks??? Can’t somebody tame those tax-evader sponsors?

  3. Yes, agree with of all your comments, but hard to see how anyone can get 4* for serving when their first serve % is below 50. Clearly Federer backed it up well with accurate deliveries on the second serve, but this won’t be good enough against the very best. Still, if this is the ‘letdown’ match in this tournament then it augurs very well, as Berdych lacks the belief and form to challenge if Federer can play like he did against DP and for 90% of the season. What does look exciting is next generation opposition in the SF between Fed and either Zverev or the Rat. I expect we will see a lot more of these matches this season, hopefully in the GSs too.

    1. True but he didn’t serve that poorly. Was fairly reliable when it mattered.

      I picked Zverev to win the title, even though I’m not really a fan of him having watched him against Isner.

      1. Find it interesting that you picked Zverev to win the title. I am a big Sascha fan but would be surprised if he won a Masters 1000 so early in his career. Any particular reasons you picked him?

      2. @Hartt dunno just thought I’d go left field and pick him. I picked Dimitrov as well but he’s playing not to lose and not to win since losing to Nadal by looks of it.

        @Mark – Nothing much, I was just watching him in between points and some of his reactions I thought were weird and kinda annoying. Way too many fist pumps as well on nothing points.

        Even just his expressions etc waiting to receive serve were a bit weird? Reminded me of the sort of talking to yourself and expressions you’d see a bloke doing in Manchester town centre after having 10 pints and three E’s on a Saturday night. Who knows maybe he was just in an odd mood and it was exaggerated.

  4. Roger looked a bit tired, having not fully recovered from the Del Potro match. That could be the reason for his 1st serve % being so low. I always sensed that having not converted any one of the first three BPs could trouble him; it almost did. A bit anxious, pleased that he maintains his 17-1 record. Hope that Roger will feel better tomorrow against Berdych.
    Allez Rog!

  5. Similar score line like the match between Fed & Steve Johnson in Indian Wells 7-6, 7-6, though in that match there were no breaks of serve unlike the match with Agut.

    in the next match at Indian Wells – Fed schooled Rafa.

    Following the same trend, I guess a second schooling is waiting for Berdych, who laboured against Mannarino. Have seen Berdych play way better a few years ago.

    With a day’s rest, Fed in straights.

    1. True, similar type match.

      Berdych is obviously declining slightly, definitely going to suffer as his movement was never his strength so I think Fed is fave, but in Slowami anything can happen. Even Roddick has wins vs. Federer there ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I thought Roger’s comment summed it up really well:
    “I thought Roberto did a good job of making shots, staying offensive when he could, fending off a lot of good shots that I hit.”
    Some awesome highlight reel shots there, though waiting for them got a bit tedious sometimes. I got sick of the constant groaning within about 2 shots though.

    QF is a good result really, though I agree I’d like to see him make it past Berdych so as to face either Kyrgios or Zverev. Tomas shouldn’t have lost a 2-6 set to Mannarino, so seems like he could be vulnerable. Depends whether each is able to bring his best, I suppose; if each DOES, I’d give the edge to Roger even on this court, since he knows Tomas’ game so well & has so much experience breaking it down. Glad he’s got a day off again.

      1. Urk! How embarrassing. I have NO idea what I was looking at because of course now I can’t find it again.

      2. Kohlschreiber! Kohl = cabbage; schreiber=writer.
        Last year we had some funny exchanges of linguistic views on name building.
        In this case it appears to be a misnomer due to the loss of a vowel, because Kohle=coal, so “coal writer” makes a lot more sense: someone we writes with a coal pencil, like an accountant or similar.
        Anyway, “cabbage writer” is so much funnier in a Monty-Python-esque way!…

  7. Loved the point of the match. I think Fed is tired and the legs being heavy was affecting his game esp serve. If he is rested, he should win against Berdych.
    I’m interested in the match of Nick and Alex. Should be a cracker.

    Any word on the gear of the clay court season, Jonathan?

      1. The photos I’ve seen are a polo, but not what I’d call a “classic polo” as the collar is a bit narrower – kind of like USO night from 2015, but in…. blue? With darker blue collar?

  8. Just one of those days in office, good thing even with B game Roger still manage a W. Honestly its a poor quality match both players leaking errors. Thankfully he has one day rest. I hate to whine about Miami, the whole tournament is bad to begin with slow court conditions, wind, tired from IW, humid…its just prime place for upset and weird happenings. Roger please skip this tourney next year.

  9. Yeah, Fed should have skipped this event and let Rafa get on with it, now that each is looking out for the other.

    Its funny that Fed mentions Rafa alongside during certain press questions and vice versa. Fed is actually according Rafa senior statesman status.

    The young upstarts Djokovic & Murray have along way to go.

  10. There really was very much of breath-taking brilliance – enough to make the match interesting and trust keeping. I was so surprised that Fed didn’t get more points – he obviously pressed Agut a lot more than opposite – but the amount of errors did the spoiling, surely. Tiredness, sun, wind – good explanation of that. But our hero showed his colors, and he more than deserved the win, I think. Interesting what gets up vs Berdych.

  11. Looked difficult for the guys to play in the low lights but love the silhouette Fed in those photos, Jonathan ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Silhouette nice eh. Wanda, lilac and black maybe with black shorts and bandanna? Tired of the crazy print. Bring on a new look.

    Where did you pick Zverev, Jonathan. Tiger mobile up and running?

    1. Like the idea of a theme for the (half?)year, in different color versions. Even more as it seems to correspond with dynamic rejuvenated Fed, on a hopefully long tour of mighty performing –

  13. Am I correct thinking that Roger will be in the top 4 after Miami no matter what result against Berdych? (since Nishikori lost yesterday)

  14. Nadal can still overtake Fed. Typical match after the day before. Gave a lot of mental energy to the Delpo match and it showed here. A days rest will help and an earlier start today. Not expecting Tomas to fold like on OZ but still expect Fed to come thru in straights, to face NK who is my pick. Playing some really controlled tennis. Just hoping Fabulous Fabio can take out Rafa altho doubt it. Rafa not playing great but good enough…..
    Rog needs an easy time v Tomas as will hv to play Fri as well…..

    1. Fognini is a bit of a mistery. The guy seems to ramble around the court and suddenly, out of nowhere, bang, he fires blazing winners. Do you recall what he did last year in AO to Nadal?
      On the other hand, he is the paradigm of a talented player who doesn’t go further because of his mind. When he is not acting, the results appear immediately. Same holds 100% true for Kyrgios. If these chaps learn how to behave and focus on the game, we’re in for some big surprises.

    2. Yeah Susie, and that walkover at IW would have helped him win the tournament. If NK keeps his head screwed on straight, #1 one day.

      1. I’m getting excited for a SF NK/RF – see what happens. Our hero to do well – or getting smashed by NK’s smash serves? I don’t think so!

      2. Roger should just go out and see how it goes without over-exerting himself. Heard he tweaked his back in this match…Wimby should be his only real goal at this point, shouldn’t mess up his body before that….

      3. Oh. That would explain a lot ๐Ÿ™

        Tell you what, if it comes to it he can give Nick a W/O then we’re all square.

  15. As things stand right now, Rafa is 10 points above Fed on a realtime basis having won his quarter final match.

    Rafa now is 4495 as against Fed at 4485.

    If Fed beats Berdych he will get to 4665.

    If Rafa beats Fognini he gets to 4735

    If Fed beats Kyrgios / Zverev he will get to 4905.

    If Fed has to be World no 4…

    Then he has to beat Rafa in the finals and get to 5305, or else Rafa gets to 5105

    Or else Rafa has to lose to Fognini and Fed has to beat Berdych.

    If Fed loses to Kyrgios / Zverev and Rafa also loses to one of them in the final, he will still be No. 4 and Fed 5. In effect Rafa has to lose to Fognini ( remote ) and Fed has to reach the semi ( not remote )

    Confusing right. So lets go match by match and enjoy Fed rather than hankering after the rankings.

    But i think soon enough, the Big Four will be in their rightful places

    1. Yeah, screw the rankings. They mean next to nothing now, except for setting up the draws. It’s the match play that counts. Not the match previews, not the match post-views, not the ranting because of this point or that player, not the fan-boy arguing, not the haters, not the ATP, not the bet brokers, not the statistics, not “who’s the goat/sheep/chicken/rabbit/aardvark” never-ending discussions; we’re way above that crap now. Nihilist, me? Nah…

      1. “Yeah, screw the rankings. They mean next to nothing now, except for setting up the draws.” – I couldn’t agree more, also rest of your post, Rui. Time for JUST enjoying Federer’s unique performings, long time may they still come on court. Vanity is tickled by all the rest. And oh, we like it though! So it IS still my surface wish all possible wins, long time again no. one – and 10 more GS’s at least, and 10 more pairs of twins and so on and so on…..never any end to that!

  16. Muser, that is one hell of a wish list. Not the 10 GS, but the 10 pairs of twins…

    If Fed were to heat that, he would tell you ” look I am the GOAT, not a RABBIT “

    1. Hehehehe, Murli – as usual you know better ๐Ÿ™‚
      (But wouldn’t it be nice with a little small flock of goatlings?)

  17. Too close… Berdych caught fire, and Roger’s level dipped quite a bit imo… Got it done in the end, all that counts!

  18. What a big pile of stinky gooey dog crap! Fedsey should have lost, gone home, get spanked big time on the butt by the kids and go to bed without dinner. I’m a sick fan so I’m entitled to talk nastily about my heroes. But I will kill any non fan who dares doing the same. Toodle pip.

  19. He is tired and he deserves to be.

    I think he will still make the final.

    And I think he will lose the final.

    And it will still be worth it.

    And I hope he rests for a while after this.

      1. Excited to be wrong Vik!

        What I really want it is Wimby!

        But who could not be satisfied already w 2017?

      2. Agree with you. Somehow, I really want Fed to win RG. Yes, it will be nice if he wins Wimbledon… The interesting bonus here is that if Fed wins RG he will be the first player to win all GS at least twice…

  20. OOOh, Jonathan – some of us are clicking your site all spare time in order to see (and to be first!!!:-) )what you write this time – cannot be very easy…

  21. It’s amazing guys that me/we are so calm and not being obsessed to his win. not that we dont want him to win. ๐Ÿ™‚ its kinda new after winning AO… ๐Ÿ™‚ coz for the past 4 1/2 years. Im so obsessed rooting for him to win in every tournament that he plays.. ๐Ÿ™‚

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