Roger Federer is into the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament Final after seeing off Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6(3). The Swiss, fresh off the back of returning to the top of the ATP Rankings saw off the lucky loser in 1 hour and 24 minutes and will look to become a three-time champion when he faces Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Seppi got things underway with a hold to 30 and then forced Fed to save two break points before the Swiss held for one all. In game three Federer took his first chance to break for 2-1 but couldn't consolidate as Seppi hit back with some clean hitting to level. The pair then exchanged holds but at 3-4 Roger broke again, before securing the double break to take the set 6-3.
Into set two and with Fed serving ahead he held to 15 to kick things off. Seppi was not about to roll over though and his languid style of effortless ball striking proved more than a match for Roger from the back of the court. As a result, neither player was able to fashion a break point and the set resulted in a tie-break.
The tie-break started with an immediate mini-break for Seppi but Roger won both return points to lead 2-1. That was quickly 4-1 and a further mini break put Roger up 5-2 and although Seppi recovered one of them a big serve put Roger 6-3 up and he took the match 7-3 in the breaker.
|Roger Federer||Andreas Seppi|
|1st Serve||63% (42/67)||62% (43/69)|
|1st Serve Points Won||76% (32/42)||67% (29/43)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||56% (14/25)||42% (11/26)|
|Break Points Saved||67% (2/3)||40% (2/5)|
|Service Games Played||10||11|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||33% (14/43)||24% (10/42)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||58% (15/26)||44% (11/25)|
|Break Points Converted||60% (3/5)||33% (1/3)|
|Net Points Won||63% (17/27)||62% (8/13)|
|Return Games Played||11||10|
|Service Points Won||69% (46/67)||58% (40/69)|
|Return Points Won||42% (29/69)||31% (21/67)|
|Total Points Won||55% (75/136)||45% (61/136)|
Thoughts on the Match
Another very solid win for Roger here and he's passed a variety of different tests this week. First up was Kohlschreiber who played with a lot of spin and went for his shots to keep Fed off the baseline, then Haase who played some nice 1 + 2 combos behind his first serve and now Seppi who's ball striking and change of direction looks almost effortless.
Each time though Federer has come through and now finds himself in the final. I don't think he's struck the ball brilliantly this week (TennisTV stats showed Seppi was hitting bigger off the ground which was a surprise) but he's serving well, moving great and coming up with some decent volleys at the net and I think it's been a good mix of opposition so far in the tournament.
As for Seppi, a very decent week for him to say he only got in as a lucky loser after losing to Klizan in qualifying. The Italian has no stand out shot but is capable of sweet ball striking off both wings and he almost looks like he's not even trying so he's pretty good to watch.
Predictions vs. Dimitrov
Next up is Dimitrov who defeated Goffin after he was forced to retire after framing a ball into his eye early in the second set. Dimitrov is playing his first tournament since Australia where he lost to Edmund and picked up a shoulder problem. Unfortunately, I've not seen him play this week to really know his level but I think he will give Fed a game as he was one of the form players at the back end of last year.
His second serve and backhand can sometimes be a suspect so a lot will depend on which version of Grigor turns up and I make Fed the favourite but it could be a tight three-setter. Fed said in his post-match interview that he didn't go to bed until 4 am last night so hopefully, he gets more of a rest tonight and comes out fresh tomorrow, if he doesn't give Dimitrov any time on the ball (he needs it) then I like his chances to lift the title.
What are your predictions for the final? Let me know in the comments.