Best match of the tournament so far for Federer as he swept aside Tommy Haas 6-4 6-4 to move into the Quarter Finals in Indian Wells.
I said in my prediction that if Fed hit 65% of first serves and struck the backhand well he'd win 6-4 6-4. He hit bang on 65% of first serves and won 6-4 6-4 😉 but it was forehand that did the damage.
Easily the most versatile shot in the mens game he was able to make Haas do a lot of running and end up having to hit near impossible winners to win the point.
No problems serving out sets this time either as he closed out the match comfortably to set up a tie against big serving Kevin Anderson who defeated Stan Wawrinka.
Quick Match Recap
Both guys started this one looking solid on serve and hoping to end points quickly. Although not a huge hitter Haas is one of the purest ball strikers out there on both wings and he's right up there with Roger in shotmaking ability.
The one thing that lets Haas down though is his temperament on the big points. He's a double fault merchant on big points and we saw that at 2 all with Roger having several break points before finally converting to lead 3-2.
A slack follow up game from Fed let Haas straight back in but Fed hit back again immediately to break and hold to lead 5-3.
Serving sets out has been an issue recently but Roger closed this one out to 15 to take it 6-4.
The first set was always going to decide this one and with Haas playing with a taped up shoulder it was obvious he wouldn't want to be out there slugging it for 3 sets.
Just like the first set Fed broke to lead 3-2 but this time held to lead 4-2 despite getting taken to deuce.
At 4-3 Haas came up with a crazy get to create 0-15 which could have given him a shot of adrenaline but Fed just shut him out to hold for 5-3. Serving out the match was as easy as 1,2,3 for Fed here as he sealed the deal with an ace. 6-4 6-4.
|T. Haas||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||65%||65%|
|1st Serve Points Won||31/45 (69%)||33/40 (83%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/24 (42%)||10/22 (45%)|
|Break Points Saved||8/11 (73%)||4/5 (80%)|
|Service Games Played||10||10|
|1st Return Points Won||7/40 (18%)||14/45 (31%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||12/22 (55%)||14/24 (58%)|
|Break Points Won||1/5 (20%)||3/11 (27%)|
|Return Games Played||10||10|
|Total Service Points Won||41/69 (59%)||43/62 (69%)|
|Total Return Points Won||19/62 (31%)||28/69 (41%)|
|Total Points Won||60/131 (46%)||71/131 (54%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Best match of the week so far in terms of consistency, movement and serving.
I can't recall one moment of danger for Fed and I think a match like this sums up their respective careers well. Roger has always been able to find the ace when he needs it, and Haas finds the double fault instead.
Both guys are great shotmakers, Haas has the purer backhand but Fed is just more complete and far better in the clutch. It is why one player has 17 slams and the other has none.
I'm not being critical of Haas there either, he's quality to watch and is still playing top drawer tennis at the age of 35 but like he said at the net, Roger was just “too good”. Sums it up well.
I thought the Fed forehand was working well all night and even though he wasn't blasting winner after winner it was making Haas cover a lot of ground.
Haas came up with some flashy shots from time to time but Roger just won the important points when he needed to. Solid.
Stats wise it's a clean kill and yet again winners outnumber errors. I suppose he'd have preferred not to get broken in the first set but it made no difference to the result and it also made my prediction come good 😀
Predictions vs. Anderson
Next up is Kevin Anderson who defeated Wawrinka in 3 sets. Those of you who read my draw post closely will know I tipped Anderson to have a successful tournament and he's so far lived up to my billing.
The courts here in Indian Wells definitely suit his style of game. The South African has weapons and a big serve which works well on slow hard courts. It's just a massive help and makes breaks tough to come by.
Isner is similar and also has a lot of success here so unless you're a clutch tie break player guys like him are hard to beat.
Fortunately Fed has the greatest tie break record of all time and beat Isner 9-7 in the first set breaker en route to winning the final here in 2012; so if anyone can do it will be him 🙂
But it won't be easy, I think Anderson is a more rounded player with a better ground game than Isner so Roger will need to be sharp. Anderson will also be confident after making the finals in Acapulco and defeating the Australian Open Champion yesterday.
The key for Roger will be to take care of his own service games and not get broken. Anderson has a big serve but he isn't a mentally tough player so I think Fed can use his reputation to apply some pressure there to make Anderson crack.
They've played each other once before, in Bercy last year, with Fed winning 6-4 6-4. So I'll pick Fed in 2 again here 7-5, 6-4. Allez!