Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Sees Off Pella to Make Winning Start at Wimbledon

A winning start on the grass of SW19 for the Fed-meister as he defeated Guido Pello 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 to move into the second round. Not as routine a win as many predicted but the Swiss didn't face a single break point and found the right plays when he needed them in the tie breaks to come through unscathed.

The win sees him setup a tie with British qualifier Marcus Willis, who won his first ever tour level match in defeating Ricardis Bernakis in straight sets earlier in the day.

Quick Match Recap

Federer defeats Pella Wimbledon

Federer won the toss and elected to serve holding to 15 for a 1-0 lead. Pella matched it to level and both players rolled through their next few service games with neither winning more than a single point on the return. At 4-3 Roger fashioned the first 2 break points of the encounter but Pella held and the set soon resulted in a tie break.

Roger didn't play great tie breaks in Halle but here he moved up an early mini break to open up a 6-2 lead. Pella won 3 straight points to get back to 6-5 but a forehand winner closed out the first set for the Swiss.

The start of set 2 saw Pella under immediate pressure, having to save 4 break points in a mammoth opening service game which he went onto hold. Roger held to love and was completely untroubled on serve as he rolled through his service games. In game 9 Fed had two more break points which went begging and 3 games later the sent went to another tie break. Like the first set breaker Pella slipped down an early mini break and Roger hit a stunning backhand pass to move up 4-0 before taking it 7-3.

With the light fading it was important Roger made short work of the third and his serve continued to work well for him firing down a love holds in game 5 and 7 before finally breaking serve to lead 5-3. No issues serving it out either as he did so in style to love with an Ace down the T on match point.

Match Stats

Match Statistics R. Federer G. Pella
Aces 12 5
Double Faults 0 1
First Serve % In 60/94 75/119
Win % On 1st Serve 53/60 50/75
Win % On 2nd Serve 23/34 27/44
Net Points Won 34/42 13/22
Break Points Won 1/9 0/0
Receiving Points Won 42/119 18/94
Winners 51 23
Unforced Errors 18 10
Total Points Won 118 95
Distance Covered (M) 1974.3 1809.8
Distance Covered/pt. (M) 9.3 8.5
Sabr 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Wimbledon 1st Round 2016

Decent enough performance here from Roger to get his tournament underway. I was surprised at how close a match it was but that was down to Roger looking short of confidence early on and Pella playing solidly from the back of the court. The Argentine's forehand proved a dangerous shot which helped him force 2 tie breaks and keep the match close for 2 and a half sets. In fact there were no breaks of serve until the 8th game of set 3 which was disappointing from Federer's point of view. Pella has a relatively weak serve but the Swiss returned at a similar level to his last few outings on grass i.e. poorly and was a bit passive during the baseline exchanges when he had half chances. I think it probably boils down to confidence and an air of uncertainty as to where his game is at. Coupled with the fact he's probably putting more pressure on the return / breaks points as it's clearly been an issue in recent matches which he's aware of.

The one pleasing aspect and highlight of the match were the run of games from 3-3 in the third set. Fed put in 3 really high quality games and looked like he was back in the flow of things. So all in all a good day at the office and perhaps 2 hours of court time was just what he needed to get a feel for his game, body and mindset ahead of what is hopefully a run into the second week. Still question marks over his physical condition of course but the foot speeds looked good today and his serve was fairly potent so you can't ask for too much more.

Predictions vs. Willis

Marcus Willis

Next up is qualifier Marcus Willis who pulled off a big upset to defeat Berankis in straight sets. Willis is 772 odd in the world and was on the verge of giving up tennis but his girlfriend gave him a pep talk which seems to have worked. I watched most of the match and Willis was impressive, he has a wide range of shot and plays a little out of the ordinary which Berankis struggled to deal with. The Partisan crowd certainly helped too but it's good to see a Brit come through pre qualifying and qualifying then win a main draw match rather than rely on a wildcard and bomb out in round 1 like most of them do.

Naturally Fed is the big favourite and I'll pick him to come through in straights, the Swiss usually handles junk baller type players pretty well and as long as he can return the lefty serve well enough it should be routine.

What did you guys make of the match? Let me know in the comments.


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. Thank you for match report… Close match to follow though stats now seems decent in the end…And as usual lots of missed BP opportunities…

      Another lefty in 2R? Fascinating story for sure…Fingers crossed for Roger to up his level bit and get Straight set Win…

    2. Yeah Willis story is a cool one. I like the fact he won 6 qualies to get there.

      Meanwhile Laura Robson has barely won a match this year and got gifted a wild card. She got booted in straights.

      1. She *was* playing the 4th seed, of course. Would you have complained if one of the male WCs had been drawn against Stan and lost in straights?

      2. Yup, I wouldn’t have given James Ward one as he’s not done anything all year. So he’s in the same boat to a degree, but Robson doesn’t play enough smaller tournaments to justify a wild card in a million years. Hasn’t won more than 2 matches in a row for like 3 years or something.

  1. Really entertaining match.

    Pretty nerve wracking 1st two sets, but the TB’s were smooth and convincing. 3rd set was shades of the Fed we know, rust coming off, and some beautiful play.

    He did not play bad.

    Pella played inspired and was just going for it with a powerful forehand.

    Winners well out number errors for both – great for Fed – good match for both.

    1. Yeah Pella impressed. He was 0-2 on grass lifetime. I guess it kinda shows that there really is very little difference between all 4 surfaces now though, he was able to play his natural type game and have some success.

  2. Jonathan, I love following this blog and reading all your great write ups about Roger even if I don’t comment very often. You do a great job! I’m happy that Roger got through the first round although it was less comfortable then I hoped. He doesn’t often play tiebreaks in the first round of Wimbledon. : (

    Here’s to keeping my fingers crossed that he picks up his game in the next round and stays healthy. I’m trying to keep my expectations low for the tournament, but Roger makes it hard.

    Hello to all the other lovely people on this blog as well.

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚

      I just looked at that stat – last time Fed played a tie break in the first round – 2001 vs Kukushkin… Quarter Finals that year…

  3. Quite a guy this Argentine Pella
    He was here there & everywhere
    Couldn’t help admire the fella
    Forget Fed, he gave me a scare

    Good workout for Fed. One way it was good to get through a spirited competitor. Also it was good to have not won in three tie-breakers and having broken through in the third..

    One match at a time.

  4. Game at 4-3 3rd set.. is the best game fed played in a long time.. I think he is back.. 2nd round will be better

  5. It was an enjoyable match with both players above their expected level (but for different reasons of course). I got the sensation that Fedsey was playing with the gearbox, coming up with the goods when it mattered. Service has been a valuable asset the last weeks and so it was today. Return so-so. Top spin forehand is ok. Volleys, fine thank you but none was very hard actually. Backhand… Well, brilliant here and there. Slice ok but the drive still gives me the creeps… Footwork much better but no way he can dislodge Travolta from a disco-sound dance floor.
    Toodle pip.

    1. I’m not sure he is in a position to really mess around and go through the gears given current form though? Not exactly full of confidence to do it.

      Fed needs to use slice way more. Dunno why he doesn’t, it was one of his key shots in prime.

  6. That was a bit of a struggle. Never easy against a lefty though. I think that given how underprepared he has been this grass season, he will find his range and feel after a couple of more matches. That will tell us if a semi final is a possibility, after which anything can happen.

  7. Wow . Typical England can’t even beat Iceland. Congratulations to Iceland and Federer.
    A close and tense match by federer but happy that Roger got through. Can someone please beat that Serbian Robot Not a joke anymore . Novak is really annoying. Lol just like England losing in major competitions. Omg . Lol. Over payed spoilt players that have no passion or desire to win. No skills , no ideas all they were thinking is yep thats one touch by me thats a grand in the bank, another touch yep another grand in the pocket. A teamtthat is probably richer than Iceland itself but couldn’t beat a team of part timers with nopprofessional football league. Lol . England football team should be ashamed. Damn sorry all I keep going from England to federer. Lol. Today I am confused. Lol. My bad.
    Come on Roger. And come on Wales.

      1. “England team now feel they were misled about consequences of letting goals in, didn’t think other team would actually win”

    1. Ha. I’m with you. Someone needs to take Djoker down. I’d prefer it to be Roger, but at this point anyone will do.

    2. Haha England football is a joke. Not sure it will ever change too much cash around the top of the game. The team selection leaves a lot to be desired though, I mean if for example Federer played 50 minutes of competitive in a season, he couldn’t enter a Grand Slam and win it could he? So why can a footballer do the same?

  8. Mmm – as I thought, not quite such “easy pickings”. I was still stuck at work when it started, so was relying on the live scores and the radio, and have only seen a little bit of it (what did the Beeb do, put some of it on the Red Button? I assumed they’d be showing it on BBC2, but looks as though they only came in during the first-set TB, so I won’t get to see it all :(). Surprised to see the roof on so early.

    I was never really worried as such, although the last time I was in that situation it was the Stakhovsky match, so that was slightly coming back to haunt me. It was more that I was annoyed because I could see Roger was by and large getting break points, and then appeared to be getting hauled back each time. BH looks good from what I’ve seen, FH rather less so, and maybe reactions and suchlike just a touch slow.

    Will be interested to see the match against Willis, who has some good shots. Just as long as he doesn’t do anything ridiculous …

      1. I’ll hold you to that one, Jonathan. I think I’m prepared for more or less anything with this match – and that includes Fed losing.

  9. Oh, and dear Mr. Wimbledon, I hate to be a pedant, but you know that thing you have on your stats that says “Service percentage”? As its name suggests, it means something out of one hundred, so it would be so much easier if you would do the maths so we didn’t all have to do it separately to try and work out what 67/94 is in percent πŸ™‚
    (All the slams have the same IBM Slamtracker, don’t they? I don’t know why it’s different for Wimbledon)

    1. Ha, ha! That says a lot about that modern times’ desease that is innumeracy: a scaring inability to deal with numbers and think quantitatively. It’s spread like a virus on par with illiteracy.

      1. It’s a reasonably difficult calculation, though. Not like that shop assistant recently who couldn’t work out the change from Β£1 when the till wasn’t working to do it for her πŸ™

      1. It’s not the first time, so I guess – did you know you blog was *that* influential?!

  10. Its crazy but I am very optimistic about Roger playing himself into form and making a QF/SF run , from then anything can happen (like Sid quoted)
    2 hrs on-court definitely gave him more information about his game and physical self, as we could clearly see a low-in-confidence Fed from set 1 to a Taking-chances+tentative Fed in set 2 to a much-more-confident Fed in set 3 and the last 3 games were a treat really.
    Wish him all the very best for this important first week.
    R2 and R3 very crucial for him.
    Allez Roger!

    On the Other hand I so try to enjoy Novak 1R match but it cant happen (one universal truth) no offence to his achievements, but even Rafas topspin forehands were nice to watch on grass for that mattef. Novak’s robotic game is super boring. The guy is a machine anyway :/ plus an easy draw does him all good. Enjoy Novak!

      1. Was doing some damage at 4-4 when I left home, but the match looks to have gone downhill since then.

  11. Serve has been great and the movement is pretty good. Timing and confidence lacking as of now. Hope they get better and it should be second week and QF at least. Hope he can get 3 more wins after that.

  12. Djokovic doing this love fest thing to the crowd. Give me a break. Hiring the mafia might not be a bad idea after all.

    I guess we can thank our lucky stars we have a 1st round match to talk about. The next one could be interesting.

  13. Still the same old same old problem of breaking serve. Roger needs to work more on his returns, especially the backhand side. That has been a weakness for him for many many years now. Also, the court seems to play slow, at least slower than previous years. Maybe it’s because of the weather? Either way, this type of playing condition doesn’t help Roger at all…

      1. The roof was never on during Federer’s match. First time closed was yesterday for the Woz match, hadn’t been used prior.

      1. “It will get faster as the grass gets worn”

        I am not so sure about this. I think the reverse might be the case as Wimbledon plays faster and the ball also bounces lower in the first week than the second week. This is probably why Nadal struggled in the first few rounds in the last couple of years, including 2010 when he won the championship.

      2. Did not know that. Mac did say on his BBC Live show play would get faster. But you’re right about higher bounce. Interesting.

      3. It will get faster if temperatures rise as it’s pretty cold currently and heavy. But like David said – once the grass wears it takes more spin.

  14. Ugh. Uuuuugh.

    Novak’s weird crowd wave thing. Just tries so hard and it is so odd to me.

    I wish him well as a human being, he’s come very far in life and is obviously dedicated and gifted, but I just find his affect really unappealing and I wish he would just do tennis and not run for public office. Ironically I think he would get more respect.

    Also – what Addey said about his dominating tennis – Bor-vac Djoko-bot.

    Really makes me miss Rafa.

    1. “I wish he would just do tennis and not run for public office.”

      LOL – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, Alb!

    2. I notice more people whose surname don’t have a ‘vic’ at the end are supporting ND on social media since RG. Obviously this PR tactics is working. Ohh well…it’s his dominance that’s troubling me more. It’s been over a year since anyone beats him in a slam. Unreal. To me it says more about the rest of the field than him

      1. He will get some as fans are fickle. But doubt it will get him support of the masses. Look at last years final where camera’s were zooming in on ppl crossing their fingers for Fed.

    3. Novak bores me to death really, not taking away anything from what he has achieved thus far. But Roger s domination in 05-06 was far more superior and alluring, tbh I even enjoyed Rafa’s 08,’13 calendar years for that matter.
      Hoping for a new wimbledon champion if not Roger.

    4. I agree. Back in the day, I thought I’d never miss Rafa, but Djoker and his antics make me miss him. No one is doubting Djoker’s amazing tennis ability, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who sees him as fake. Stick to the tennis and people will probably like him better. Maybe.

      1. Me too. At least Nadal is human. He has human qualities and human defects. He persona has features that some love and others hate. Novak has no features. In the words of Top Gear guys before setting fire on a dull Nissan Sunny, it’s just like walking out in the morning and noticing that the weather is neither good or bad bacause there is just no weather to talk about…
        I don’t even think Novak is worthy of someone’s hate. Who hates a stone slab?

  15. Enjoyable tennis, after such a long time, and Fed moves on. Don’t care about anything else tbh.

  16. I’m quite happy he had this type of match. He’s going to have to battle through for a lot of them given his form going into the tournament so a real solid, good workout might be what he needs to play himself into form. As long as his fitness levels can hold up and he refines his game match by match I think he’ll probably make the second week, and from there who knows.

    Also congrats to Willis as well, not half bad is it, going from almost out of the tour to getting a (presumably) centre court match against Federer at Wimby. I imagine he will enjoy the occasion, should be a fun match.

  17. Nobody’s mentioned it, but this was Roger’s 80th win at Wimbledon. Here’s to the next half-dozen or so …

  18. Upto the penultimate game I was shouting: GIVE ME A BREAK! He was 0/8.
    I think Fed needs work on his mental stance on BPs. He is choking. Needs a clear mindset. Otherwise it’s going to kill him again. BP conversion is crucial in grass.

    He is earning BPs and then getting nervous. Many of us (including me) thought that he should continue to attack on BPs just the way he is earning those. But that’s clearly not happening. When you are nervous, it’s tougher to play offensive. What about playing a no-miss tennis on BPs? “Unless a very easy opportunity comes, I will not go for winners. Let him finish the point”. And that’s not easy either because the opponent is also under pressure…

    1. I think he just needs to pull the trigger on them, plays with mindset that wasting them is bad so plays passive waiting for his opponent to miss. Works against low end stuff but not against better players.

      So no way no miss tennis is getting it done for Fed. As for how he would change mindset, no idea, it’s tough in heat of moment to think about tactics etc. Always revert to type.

  19. Hi guys! I was there court side and actually Rog played pretty well. Heaps better than Halle already! He lives for Wimbledon which is a huge factor in raising his game! Got to give Pella credit. He is v consistent from baseline, and v fast; the ball doesn’t go thru sluggish court, but bounces up, suiting Pella’s top spin hit zone! Created a lot of rallies and pretty tennis to watch!
    The serve was v good, only 0-30 twice and he got out of those! Yes he over hit the FH at crucial moments, on an easy BP chance as we know but he was creating BP’s!! First match guys!!
    BH was much better, and he finally started using the slice more which ultimately undid Pella!!
    The stats are pretty good, and his lateral movement better!
    As J said, a 2 hr workout with a day’s rest prob a good thing! Steady in the TB’s and gaining more and more rhythm as match ended! Thank god! I was sky watching at 8pm thinking, hey this done and in 3 now!!
    Willis also a Leftie but no way as consisten or as quick as Pella. Probably a tight first set as Fed works him out and but agree, straight sets! Onwards!

    1. You got any more days planned for Fed matches?

      I was there yesterday. I have to say the lineup was absolute dog shit on Centre and Court 1. It also seemed a bit quieter than usual I thought, interested to see the attendance figures.

      I walked past Zverev when he was going for a toilet break after winning set against Mathieu, guy is crazily tall. Surprised he moves so well at his height.

      1. Quieter in morning and lunch time due to queue control getting in, and staggered security checks. Much busier Tuesday! Line ups on main 2 show courts hv been crap except for Rog, most entertaining match and Thurs not much better… Why is Kei getting all this love?? Going Sat but only ground pass, and Monday CC so Fed better get thru and not be on court 1…. ?

  20. Ok – Novak does his weird ritual thing again. To me he looks like he is Scooping from his imagined stomach bowels and heaving said bowel contents onto crowd who yell in appreciation of scooping material being poured upon them.

    I think it’s weird and a bit controlling actually.

    I hope Novak grows out of wanting acclaim so bad. This manifestation is just plain odd. But One way or another it’s been a fixture of his career all the years I’ve seen him.

    Now with the bowel scooping it is particularly unpleasant and in the way.

    His game and achievements should be enough – they are quite worthy, but his pursuit of adulation so obscures that to me.

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