The final showdown at the World Tour Finals is set and it's the 2 best players of the year as Federer defeated Wawrinka 7-5 6-3 to join Djokovic in Sundays showpiece.
This match was a repeat of last years Semi Final but it didn't quite reach the height of that one as Federer came through untroubled, recovering from a break down in the first set to take command thereafter hitting 30 winners to 19 errors and winning 24 points out of 32 at net to come through in one hour and ten minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Federer kicked things off with a love hold to lead 1-0. Stan then quickly levelled to love and the serve was so far dominating.
In game 3 Fed got pegged back to deuce from 40-0 but held and Stan held to 30. At 2-2 Roger slipped to 15-30, and although he held a game point a net cord return gave Stan a break point which he converted when a Federer forehand clipped the tape and drifted wide.
Wawrinka then consolidated the break to lead 4-2 and he looked to be gaining control from the baseline but in game 8 he slacked off, hitting a double fault at 15-30 as Roger broke back to level. Roger then held his next two service game for the loss of just 1 point to lead 6-5.
Serving to stay in the set saw Wawrinka capitulate, playing some poor approach shots that saw him picked off by Fed's forehand as he lost serve and with it the set 7-5.
Into set 2 and Roger immediately found himself down 0-30 but he regrouped to win 4 points in a row and held. 30-30 in Stan's service game saw Fed produce a great return to hold break point and he got it thanks to an unforced error to lead 2-0.
A big serve from the RF97 fought off a break point in the next game as Roger held for 3-0. Game 4 saw the Swiss number 1 hold to more break points but Stan held to keep himself in it. 3-1 quickly moved to 5-2 with Stan serving to stay in it; things didn't look good for him at 0-30 but he served 3 aces in a row then saved a match point with a big forehand before holding for 3-5.
Would Stan's big hold put any pressure on Roger to serve it out? Nope 🙂 40-0, Game set match Federer. Allez!
|R. Federer||S. Wawrinka|
|1st Serve %||64%||62%|
|1st Serve Points Won||31/41 (76%)||27/39 (69%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||15/23 (65%)||10/24 (42%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/2 (50%)||3/6 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||11||10|
|1st Return Points Won||12/39 (31%)||10/41 (24%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||14/24 (58%)||8/23 (35%)|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||10||11|
|Net Points Won||24/32||3/8|
|Total Service Points Won||46/64 (72%)||37/63 (59%)|
|Total Return Points Won||26/63 (41%)||18/64 (28%)|
|Total Points Won||72/127 (57%)||55/127 (43%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Comfortable win here for Roger and after he slipped down a break mid way through the first set he seemingly woke up and took full control of things. Using a lot of variety to keep Stan off balance and draw plenty errors from that hefty Yonex Vcore.
We saw Roger come in way more to the net than he's done all week and it worked a treat against Stan – who likes to chip returns and is more comfortable behind the baseline. Fed got the first strike in himself, moved forward and put away some sweet volleys; that keeps the points short and negates Stan's power that can get him on top in a rally. All worked peRFectly really and Roger clearly knows Stan's game very well to put him in positions that he doesn't really like to be in.
As for Stan I thought he played pretty well, not quite as well last year but I think Fed did a good job of keeping him at bay. It was only that disaster game at the end of set 1 which prevented the tie break and after that he never quite found the balance in his game that worked for him against Murray last night. A very good season for him though winning the French Open which was a bit of a spectacular result – the shots he produced that day were just unreal.
Predictions vs. Djokovic
Next up is the Djoker who crushed Nadal in straight sets without facing a single break point. It was a demolition really and I think it makes a big statement ahead of tomorrow's final.
Roger won handily in the Round Robin match but the final is a complete different kettle of fish and I'm not sure how it will pan out. The things in Fed's favour are he plays well indoors, over 3 sets is the only time he's beaten Djokovic this year and he has the confidence from the Round Robin. But is that enough against the World Number 1? Djokovic has had an unbelievable year, won their last match here in 2012 and has taken down the title at the O2 three years straight so I think he has to go in as the favourite.
For Fed to win he'll need to play near peRFect a la Cincy and Dubai where he was clinical and took his chances. Any sort of baseline battles are surely more often than not going to go in Djokovic's favour but if Fed can hang with him from there and mix it up to prevent the Djokovic metronomic rhythm from settling then he has a half decent chance. Long live the SABR! Hopp Suisse!