Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Struts Past Struff into Round 3 at Australian Open

Roger Federer is through to the Third Round in Melbourne after he dispatched Jan-Lennard Struff  6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/4) under the lights on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss, playing his 350th night match in a row in Melbourne, broke once in each of the first two sets to look untroubled to take a two set let. However, a late rally from the 55th Ranked German saw him come within a whisker of a 4-1 lead in the third, only for Roger to regain the initiative to break back and take the tie-break, winning through in one hour and 55 minutes. He will face Richard Gasquet in the last 32 who defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Struff 2nd Round AO 2018

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Struff started confidently with some 200km/h+ serves which saw him hold for 1-0. Roger levelled to 15 and in game five he produced a sweet forehand pass at 30-40 to break for 3-2. That was consolidated to love and Roger took the set 6-4 without facing breakpoint.

Into set two and Struff again started confidently to hold for 1-0. In game three the German then produced some quality shots to hold for 2-1 from 15-40 down, playing one of the rallies of the tournament so far to make deuce and leave Roger with a wry smile on his face.  Roger's next chance to break came in game seven and this time he was up to the task, threading a backhand pass up the line to break for 4-3 and rolling through his next two service games to take it 6-4.

A sixty-three-second hold in his opening service game gave the impression Fed would be soon off the court but Struff had other ideas; saving three break points at 1-1 and then breaking Roger's serve for the first time in the match to lead 3-1. The German came within a whisker of consolidating for 4-1 holding a game point but Fed was able to hit straight back and save another break point on his own serve to level at three games all.

After a ragged couple of games, Fed got back to business in game eleven to hold two break points but couldn't convert as Struff held for 6-5. Three aces in a row then helped Roger level in 54 seconds the set went into a tie-break.

The Swiss had won their only previous breaker back in Halle two years ago and it started poorly for Struff who double-faulted on the opening point. A poor forehand miss from Fed handed it straight back but Struff wasn't able to capitalise, dumping a routine volley into the net for 1-3 and after he sent a forehand wide at 3-5 Roger converted his second match point to take it 7-4.

Match Stats

Aces 7 17
Double Faults 5 1
First Serve % in 50% 58%
Win % on 1st Serve 76% (41/54) 83% (44/53)
Win % on 2nd Serve 51% (27/53) 67% (26/39)
Break Points Won % 33% (1/3) 27% (3/11)
Winners 35 36
Unforced Errors 30 22
Net Points Won % 58% (30/52) 80% (16/20)
Total Points Won 90 109
SABR 0 1/1*

*Successful SABR attempt at 0-40 game nine, set two but made off a let serve.



Thoughts on the Match


I’ve practiced with him, played doubles against him and singles too … you know he can serve 215, 220 (kilometres an hour) no problem for five hours, I guess. So that’s what you are ready for. I knew he was going to go for his shots, so it’s a question of me focusing on my own serve, protecting that as well as I can, and try to somehow get a break by good defence, or maybe he helps me out a little bit. And I think it was a little bit of both.

A decent performance here from Fed and he was solid enough for the most part. The first two sets were pretty much flawless as he broke decisively in each of them and was never in any trouble behind his own serve. The third got a little ragged in parts and he was fortunate that Struff missed a few first serves and gave away some key points that would have seen it go to a fourth set. But to his credit Fed made enough balls, soaked up plenty pressure from the baseline and took care of his own service games after getting back on level terms midway through the set.

Overall I'd say he's playing pretty well. Movement wise not quite tip-top and I get the feeling he hasn't figured out quite how he wants to play yet but he's faced two guys with not much to lose and has come through unscathed.

As for Struff he played some big hitting tennis, he's got a huge first serve when it lands and he showed a lot of attacking intent which forced Fed into more of a defensive gameplan. Plenty serving and volleying which was good to see and his go for broke gameplan nearly bagged him a set. Top 50 awaits for him if he keeps up his recent form.

Predictions vs. Gasquet

Next up is Gasquet who had a very comfortable win against Lorenzo Songego in straight sets. I only caught the highlights but Gasquet looked to be in form, playing aggressively and mixing it up nicely with some drop shots. His opponent is only 204 the world so you expect things to be routine but he didn't drop serve in the match which is unusual for him and should be a confidence boost ahead of the third round.

Roger obviously dominates the H2H 16-2 but Gasquet played well against him in Shanghai and I think he will get a set on Saturday if he plays the attacking style we saw during that Asian swing.

What are your predictions? 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. Finally Caught of match today, but i only started at beginning of third set which is bit up and down as you wrote…Was wondering the same when i was watching as this seems closed that scores in first two sets….Struff seems to have good intent but often came up short in net..Glad Roger get it done in straight…

    With all the questions, likely day match next I assume…Hope he gets it done quickly….

  2. Much as I would prefer Fed to win all games 6-0 etc., I did enjoy this match as Struff had a good variety of shots and didn’t make a fuss of serving or of anything else. Fed had his regular little snooze in the third set but it didn’t last too long. I think he is playing very well although I didn’t see too many volleys or shots out of the air, but we did get one SABR, hoorah! We had Jim Courier interviewing on court, thank goodness, and I think he was commenting on Eurosport as well.

  3. What a tongue-twister this post’s title is!
    Yeah, Jan’s a big hitter and has a sound game that is not far from being able to cope with Fed’s shot variety. It was a good battle.
    I only saw a few glimpses of Gasquet’s match this morning during breakfast, I noted that he was moving quite well, but that was all until my wife said What, tennis, again??? (anyway, it was time to leave to work. Ha!)
    As for other matches, too bad for Stanislas, but I fear he’s facing difficult times ahead. Knee injuries are no joke and more often than not they end up in an irreversible handicap.

    1. Should I have put less struff in it?

      Yeah Stan not looking great, looked like he still had some pain. I’d like to know what the injury actually was…

  4. Struff was a very good practice for the forthcoming matches. Roger is solid but most of all he looked relaxed and enjoying the game. Such a treat to watch his smooth backhand and precise drive.

    1. I think he got a bit tighter in the third set as looked like he wanted to get off court, lucky to get the break back as Struff had the game in the bag virtually…

  5. Well Feds backhand certainly got tested as Struff almost invariably served to it,but on the whole it stood up well.I am puzzled by those first serve stats as it looked to me that Struff was missing his first serve a lot and Fed making his,but still they are obviously correct.I feel that these big servers with huge forehands get under Feds skin a bit.
    However good practice for DP who is of course still in it.He played Possum in the fourth set and had to have a little
    lie down on the court,let’s hope Berdy gets rid of him.
    I don’t think Fed will have too much trouble with Gasquet,certainly hope not as it will probably be a day match.More
    rallies I would think,more pleasant to watch and Fed able to use his all court skills to greater effect.
    Sad for Warwinka,how ironical that his knees have given out and yet Nadal has never had an operation on his yet!

    1. Well 50% isn’t really high, so he certainly missed a lot. Tended to make a few, then miss a few, game by game..

      Stan tried to come back too early, like Fed at Wimbledon in 16…

      1. I am a Fed fan. I always sweat on the small struff, like draws, and which court Fed plays on, and why day session and not night, and why Djokovic was put in the same half, and why he will get a full days less rest as he plays second.

      1. I did. I even quickly made a mental calculation how many matches Fed has played in AO and realised it’s a joke!

  6. Always good to see Roger saving some energy for later stages, while at the same time gradually finding his rythm in this tournament.

  7. I’ve never seen Struff’ games before. He looked pretty good to me; he is good at both wings, hits hard with power and he could even volley. Indeed this is a quality match. There were a couple of points, with which Rog was a bit casual, Rog appeared annoyed, when Struff sent winners back.
    I hope that the familiarity with Richard’s game in his next match will be slightly easier.
    Allez Rog!

  8. Yes ,I feel that Struff was far more competition and dangerous than any other top layer has faced so far.Fed did well to dismiss him in three sets.Upwards and onwards.

    1. More than Dzhumur? 🙂

      I’ve not got into the Aus Open much yet for some reason, maybe it’s because last year had all the uncertainty and drama. This year not feeling as invested. Oh well, still early days.

  9. So now with Querrey and Goffin out, Fed is an even bigger favourite to make the semis than he already was. If he’s in-form throughout he may not lose a set until the semis against Djokovic/Zverev/Thiem.

  10. Flying Federer was not in the court today. slow movement, many errors, not in the rhythm.. but well he finished the job well and im not gonna complain. hats off to struff, his serve and variety of shots was high level. its just that Fed has enough experience to deal with that. even though he broke federer’s game, it didn’t bother me.. I just know that he can break again.

    Don’t want to go to twitter right now because of many complains. well, there are some biased going on but what can we say HE IS FEDERER.. 🙂 they cannot take the business part of this.. actually I want him to play at day coz its also a disadvantage of sleeping late..

    1. I don’t think he was slow. He defended very well. I just thought footwork not as precise as it we often see when he is really on the balls of his feet and smothering the opponent. But Struff had a hand in things too, he was hitting big.

      1. I agree rather with Beansprout. Fed was slow on feet for some reason. Maybe saving energy and knowing, he can deal with Struff without running after every ball. Struff is not a great player, but maybe learned from Goffin, the key to have a chance against Fed is to surprise him. Not to try to play his best but predictable.

  11. 5 more matches to go, good workout for Roger. Not really on full flight based on highlights, guess Roger is trying to pace himself. Hope he will be sharper against Gasquet. After the cringing on court interview with JMac and Ferrell, so happy to see Courier. He really put Roger on the spot with the scheduling question. Nolefam and a host of other people are giving Roger a lot of flank for getting night schedules at RLA. I think it work both ways, organisers and player’s request – cant please everyone tbh.

    1. Apparently Djoker requested day match vs Monfils. That worked according to plan.

      Have to get it off my chest. Who do I hate more….Djoker…what an ass. Delpo…always pretending to be someone he isn’t and injured when he isn’t . And Nadal, nuff said. I’m sure I’ll think of more.

      Come on, Roga!

      1. Sorry, you are wrong. The requesting one is here another guy – guess who 😉 No, Djokovic expected to play Monf in the night session.
        Goffin twice on worst courts for his ranking and worst time of the day – happily gone.
        Thiem twice worst time of the day.
        Nadal never played last match of the night session.
        All the world assholes – and the exceptional one – hero of sportsmanship.
        Not very funny for me.

      2. Is it certain he didn’t request it though? I read Agassi said he did, Djoker then says no he didn’t. So who knows. Djoker is fairly gun shy with the press so I don’t think we will ever know.

  12. Really glad to see Roger live at AO the first 2 rounds. Leaving Melbourne today so have to watch the remaining
    matches on tv. I think he is moving pretty well and he is serving better when needed. Gasquet match could go 4 sets but has an easy 4th round after that. Delpo in quarters would be the first real test. Hope he gets to 20 next weekend. 🙂

      1. Nights were okay, but had to keep moving during the day in the outer courts (had day pass for 3 days) to find a seat in the shade or get a beer to cool off :). Since we did the day pass for the first 3 days, the heat was bad only on Wednesday.

  13. Sue agree with you 100%.Watching him lying on the court when he had just broken opponents serve made me fume.
    Commentators said he was cramping but you are not allowed treatment for that.Then he gets up and runs like a rabbit,or in his case a warthog,to reach a drop shot.However it paid off to target his backhand,it was his serve that kept him in it.If it had gone to five I reckon he would have lost.

    1. Yeah Del Potro has got a habit of looking dead to the world then suddenly being ok. Happened to him vs Nadal at Wimbledon in 2011 so perhaps he learnt from that.

  14. Go Roger if you play morning noon or night…just shut them all up! I was so looking forward to the AO, but now am so fed up with all fuss about who plays when. Can’t make up my mind if the organisers of the AO are throwing Fed under a bus so that everyone will be talking about it. See that Roger’s ‘pal’ Rafa latest to get in on the act, and to think I always blamed Uncle Tony !!!!

    1. Guess, when he will play Saturday – noon or night?
      It’s not coming (from but welcome by) organizers. It’s fulfilling explicite Federer’s wish.
      If he would say – no it’s unfair, I play now at noon, so we all have fair chances ro survive, no organizer would say NO. And fans would be of course ready ro melt down together with the hero, right?

      1. Fed draws the biggest interest so he gets the slot where TV works best. Simple capitalism and profitable too. What part of Western society do you not understand?

      1. Yep. If peak viewing is 7-9 pm in Oz, then putting someone like Roger on last match is more likely to retain viewers than an less-enticing one. Presumably still means he doesn’t get to read the kids a bedtime story, though.

      2. Also, late nights in Oz means a reasonable time of the morning for the European market, I suppose.

  15. just watched a really great match between Tsonga and Kyrios.Tsongas serve,volleys and movement were amazing and he
    still didn’t win!Furthermore it was played in a spirit of great sportsmanship,lovely embrace at the net.Tennis desperately
    needs new blood and Kygios seems to me the only one with a game big enough to do it at present.Hopefully he is maturing
    and the next round with Dimitrov will be very interesting.Whoever wins I hope that it is in less than five sets or there won’t be much left in the tank to face Nadal who as we all know has a very rigorous and testing draw.Not.

  16. What do you think about Fed “cruising” over rounds, always playing last match of night session, while others are melting down in the heat of the day, some even collapsing (like Monfils – not that good for Fed, because in other case he will maybe defeat Djoker or Cornet), getting bloody blisters on feet because of temperature of the surface reaching 60°C or “simply” wearing down their body and risking the health? Again Sportsmanship Award this year?
    I believe to know, what do you think – these privileges are WELL DESERVED. I have some doubts and I’m curious if you have some too.

    1. PRF….having watched the AO for years I can remember many a time when Federer played
      in the heat of the day. I don’t know if bringing Djo and Monfis into the conversation makes
      things any clearer however if Federer had said ‘ oh no not again,let someone else play at
      night’ you my friend would have been the first to say he was thinking of the Sportsmanship

      1. You are suggesting my bad will. Why?
        Fact is (according to media), (for instance Swiss BLICK), to play last match of night session on the hot day was Roger’s wish. It was also told many others to have expressed the same will, but well – nobody has Fed’s position in the game (which is of course true).
        I’m maybe naive, but I don’t think Fed would make such a theater only to have one Sportsmanship Award more.
        Let’s imagine it like this. Many players (including Fed) express wish to play late night. But there are only two courts with night session. Then organizers choose the happy man or woman to have this privilege and for some reason it’s all the time Fed. And there are also (in first rounds for sure) locals, so last match on RL is reserved for Fed, another one for a local player. Don’t like to hear about Djokovic and Monf? It’s only an example, known because Djokovic is another big name. We are not informed if say Seppi or Karlovic wishes to play late night. And Djokovic was only claiming about unfairness, while Monfils lost the match to him – strange, but one would expect from someone like him to be more heat-resistant. Looks indeed like he was.
        I believe you (and I recall Fed playing (and being exited by Seppi in second round), maybe just because of the heat (but it could have been a bee sting), in the heat. I’m only speaking about this year and – as you know – this is controversial not only for me.
        But first of all I think, some more fair rules should exist and I’m aware (because of ATP being a big business., not a sports organization), they will never come.

    2. If you look at the breakdown of night vs day between the top guys over the last 4 years, there is nothing in it. It’s been very even.

      But even if Fed had played only night sessions at the AO for the last 5 years. You can’t really complain. Whether you, or I, or anyone else likes it or not – tennis is a business and all decisions are based on revenue. Fed is the biggest draw in Tennis. So is there even a debate?

      If tennis starts being not for profit, then, by all means, lets give everyone a fair crack on Rod Laver whilst Fed plays on Court 13 🙂

      1. No Jono not even for charity reasons coz court 13 wouldn’t have enough seats for all the fans. It’d present a huge a WHS issue

  17. Well,Jim Courier asked Fed if he had requested a night match and he said yes, along with most of the other players.
    However he also added that if you want to get to the top in tennis you have to be prepared to play in any conditions and over his long and distinguished career he has done just that.But in the end it comes down to money.Fed fills stadiums and people are happy to pay to see him,especially now when his career could be ended at any time by injury.Federer is the most popular tennis player in the world,most people want to see him and most people want to watch tennis in the relative cool of the evening(actually it was still 30 degrees when Fed played last).However the
    temperatures are set to cool next week with rain forecast as well.

    1. I agree this is all about money and it’s sad. And I agree with Fed about being prepared to play in any conditions, But there must be some limits in putting health on risk and it’s the place, when the Players Council should undertake something.
      Roger must be of course aware of the fact, that if he (and everyone else) requests the best time of the days, he gets it.
      Still I’m sure, if Roger would play the first match of the night session, he would still have full house, so no financial loss for the owner of the tournament. And requesting this, not the best time all the way would suit his own statement about “be prepared …”. If he still plays in the normal tour, not the tour for oldies (there are still older players than him, like Dr. Ivo), he should be prepared and not request each time.
      And there is also another hierarchy, which is sully acceptable in terms of fairness. Less popular, but high ranked players can play the best time, but not on the main arena.
      As for now, tomorrow the third round end and not everyone from big names has played on RL at the best time.
      I don’t know but believe to understand it, the only one from privileged Aussies, who obviously did not request to play on one of the biggest arenas, but chose to play on Hisense, is Nick Kyrgios. And I think, he would like to continue to play on Hisense, but maybe organizers were who requested him to play on Margaret, being last Aussie left in the draw.

  18. Well,there has to be some reward for being the greatest player of all time,holding more grand slams than anyone else including ALL surfaces and embodying grace and beauty in his game at the same time.If that makes me a shameless sycophant I am and proud to be so.If Fed gets to play at night,good.Long may it continue.When the others have achieved what he has at the age of 36 they too will be put on courts in the evening.

    1. Ha, ha, ha … genuine FedFan are you 🙂
      I’m not.
      I would like to see Fed, just because of having collected everything on can in tennis, to show sume humbleness in his requests. But … I love to watch him playing too, whatever the time of the day and whatever the opponent. And I want to see him playing and winning the final.
      But … the thing with deserved privileges let’s me think about not very good times of my country’s history, when “deserved privileges” were ruling everything.
      I thought somehow, this is still sport, not ideology+business. Maybe I was wrong.
      Well, at the end, whatever the court and time, he will need to meet Delpo and this will be the hour of truth. Maybe he will request then to play at noon, for not to play at 10°C 😉

  19. And the irony is that pale skinned Brit Kyle was ok with the heat, saying it was tough but he’s young and it shld hurt… ????

    Fed was fine, early rounds is all about conserving energy, and getting off court quicky. Reviving up nicely.
    Court requests go on at every level. Ofc you wld ask, Ofc you wld try to get things to yr advantage. Ppl are naive.
    As Andy Roddick said last might, biggest scheduling factor is TV companies with broadcast rights. Surprise, surprise! Wanting a return on investment, well fancy that…..even Nadal recognised that in his statement today. Btw is Nadal playing a Challemger tournament up to the SF’s?? ???
    I can see Fed coming thru v Richie in 3/4 sets as Jonathan said and then playing a day match on MCA… just to annoy everyone..:)) Go strut yr stuff Rog.. ?

  20. I don’t know whether language is a barrier here and things are getting lost in translation,but to be clear,I am a Federer fan and have paid a great deal of money and travelled a great distance to see to see him play in person.
    I hope that you can understand that and if you find it a source of amusement feel free.

  21. If you’re not a fed fan, why come to this blog?

    So as a true sportsman he should request a time that would put him in a disadvantage position in a slam?? I’m sure even if he requested day he wouldn’t get it as the tournament depends on him to sell tickets for night sessions and tv depends on him for ratings.

    I feel sorry for the like of Thiem and Goffin too but unfortunately you have to work your way up until you are in a position to get those favourable treatment if you can call it that way. Fed has had his fair share of hot days in AO.

    Finally Kygrios requests Hisense not because he’s altruistic alright, it’s because he’s very comfortable on that court and he knows his fans can’t afford higher courts. He was put on RLA last night in case you didn’t know.

  22. @PVR if you are not a genuine fedfan then why are you here? You keep promising to leave but you never do. I believe you would try and pick a fight with the Easter Bunny!

  23. I suggest we create a new union : let’s call it Geniu(s)ine Fedfan United – GFU.
    Who wants to join ?

    Go Roger for today’s match … even if the opponent is French. We’re going to see some of the best backhands…

  24. Well I will certaintly join!Good news, Berdy demolishes DP in straight sets.Thomas was my pick for the AO this year,
    along with BAgut,though that didn’t turn out so well?So Feds draw has opened up somewhat,no Goffin,DP or Warwinka.

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