A tough battle here for Roger in the Indian Wells sun as he saw off Dmitry Turusnov 7-6(7) 7-6(2) to move into the fourth round where he'll face Tommy Haas.
It was another tricky match where Fed had to use his experience and focus to cross the line. Couple of blips when he could have been home and dry but he served solidly in both tie breakers to come away worthy winner.
Only blemish again was failing to serve out the first set, becoming a regular occurence and I would guess that it is playing on Roger's mind. Feels like he goes into these games expecting to get broken. The good thing is he always bounces back straight after, but against top tier it may come back to haunt him so I'd rather he cuts it out.
Quick Match Recap
Another flying start for Fed here as he broke first game thanks to Tursunov chosing to red line his game from the first point. Suicide move from the Russian as he went for way too much making 3 errors to donate the break.
A love hold followed from the Swiss and he had a chance to get the double break in Tursunov's next service game but couldn't capitalise.
2-1 soon became 4-2 and we'd already witnessed some exquisite shotmaking from Roger. He was hitting the ball cleanly off both wings and constructing points peRFectly. In fact he hit more winners in 5 games than Murray hit in 2 hours 😀
To his credit though Tursunov was keeping in touch with some decent play of his own. Fed had all the chances but Tursunov just kept holding onto his serve. That refusal to go away got him back into the first set when he broke Federer to level at 5 all.
It was another sloppy service game from Roger who went from constructing points nicely to losing all sense of direction. Happened a few times in his last few matches unfortunately but hasn't yet cost him.
A quick hold then saw Roger force the tie break and he got his nose in front when Tursunov made a mess of a relatively easy volley at 2 all. At 5-4 Fed had 2 serves to close it out but rifled a forehand long before taking the next to get set point on Turusnov's own serve.
The Russian saved the first but then double faulted to give Fed his 2nd set point this time on his own serve. Again it went begging with more sweet ball striking from the Russian.
At 7 all Roger played a ridiculous drop shot that just creeped over the net. It was a terrible shot to play under the circumstances, but turned out to be a great decision as it was a clean winner. Luck/genius/desperation who knows :D. That gave him another set point on Tursunov's serve which he sealed with a forehand passing shot.
Second set and Tursunov had started to find his range, hitting with consistent depth on his groundstrokes which earned him an early break. As we've seen in recent weeks Roger responded instantly breaking back to love to level at 2 all which is always a good sign.
Both players traded comfortable holds and the only real testing moment was at 30 all, 5 all on Roger's serve but he came through it with flying colours. Tursunov then held to force another tie break.
This one was one sided and thanks to a Tursunov double fault Roger was able to put daylight between himself and his opponent. An ace followed by a sick run-around forehand return winner gave Roger a 5-1 lead and he closed it out with an ace to take it 7-2. Nice!
|D. Tursunov||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||46%||68%|
|1st Serve Points Won||27/37 (73%)||38/53 (72%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||23/43 (53%)||17/25 (68%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/3 (33%)||1/3 (33%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|1st Return Points Won||15/53 (28%)||10/37 (27%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||8/25 (32%)||20/43 (47%)|
|Break Points Won||2/3 (67%)||2/3 (67%)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Total Service Points Won||50/80 (63%)||55/78 (71%)|
|Total Return Points Won||23/78 (29%)||30/80 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||73/158 (46%)||85/158 (54%)|
Point of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
I know what my solid level is. Even if I won 6 and 6 today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set. Okay, got broken. Still managed to stay calm. Down a set in the second; stayed calm and came back. So those are the moments where you feel there is confidence around somewhere.
Not a whole lot to say other than just another solid match from Fed. Played well in patches and never looked like he was going to lose.
Again I thought he served well when he needed to and was able to get the job done in straights when it could quite easily have gone to three.
I thought Tursunov gave a good account of himself which is what I expected, he keeps you honest and won't hold back on his ground strokes. Some good play from Fed and a few too many double faults / errors made the difference in the end.
It's a little frustrating Roger keeps failing to serve out sets though. It feels like it's almost a mental block at the minute that he's conscious of, looks like he half expects to get broken as though it's the “norm”. Good news is that he has managed to play point for point immediately after and not let it play on his mind.
Stats wise it was a clean kill, winners outnumbered the errors which is the one I always look for in Fed matches. Served a high % of first serves and won 85/158 (54%) to 73/158 (46%).
Looks like he's still getting fully used to the surface / conditions (which happen to look pretty slow) so any win is a good win. Realistically he needs to save his best form for the later rounds anyway so I can't complain. Main thing is he's not getting flustered and just keeping calm after minor mid match setbacks.
Predictions vs. Haas
So next up is Roger's old mate Tommy Haas who defeated Kei Nishikori in straight sets.
Usually an interesting matchup this one with Roger winning 12 of their 15 encounters and it's 6-2 on hard courts. They've never played in Indian Wells though as in 2008 Haas withdrew from their Quarter Final meeting.
Last time they played was in Cincinnati where Roger came back from a first set breadstick to win in 3. That was an important win back then as he'd been seriously slumping post Halle.
Haas has had a couple of injury niggles this year so looks lik Fed needs to make it slightly physical and move the German around the court whenever he gets chance.
I think Fed is better in all areas and although Haas is capable of producing inspired performances like the one against Djoker in Miami last year it should be straight sets for the GOAT.
Slow-ish court favours Haas somewhat I think but if Fed serves 65%+ and hits the backhand well I think he crosses the line comfortably. 6-4 6-4.