ATP Masters 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoors

Federer Sweeps Into 15th Basel Final

The Swiss was in clinical form as he outplayed Tsitsipas to win through 6-4, 6-4 at the Swiss Indoors.

Roger Federer has title number ten in his sights at the Swiss Indoors after a stellar performance in today's semi-final against third seed Stefanos Tsitisipas.

The Basel native put in a rock-solid performance to win through 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 18 minutes and move into Sunday's final where he will face tournament debutant Alex De Minaur.

The Swiss fired 28 winners, won 12 of 13 points at the net and saved the single break point he faced in the last game to move into his fifteenth final much to the delight of a packed St Jakobshalle.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Tsitsipas Basel 2019 1

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Tsitsipas kicked things off with a love hold, firing down some heavy serves for 1-0.

A net cord gave the Greek thirty all in Federer's first service game, but the Swiss sealed the game with an instinctive overhead to level.

In game three, a squash shot forehand kept Federer in the point before he ripped a backhand down the line to set up breakpoint. Tsitsipas saved it with a big serve out wide into the backhand. Two more break points needed to be fended off but Tsitsipsas came up with some solid play to hold for 2-1.

A hold to fifteen put Federer level and in game five he again had a breakpoint chance after coming out on top after a lengthy rally. Tsitipas saved it, and another that soon followed. However, Federer persevered, keeping the pressure on and converting his third chance of the game with a good forehand approach that drew the error from the Tsitsipas backhand.

At 0-30 in game seven, a double break was on the cards, but Tsitsipas recovered to hold for 3-4. More stylish play from the Swiss, including a sick volley saw him hold for 5-3.

Tsitsipas kept some pressure on with a love hold for 4-5, but Federer held to fifteen to seal the set, bringing up set point with a beautifully constructed point and volley finish.

Into set two and a double fault gave Federer 0-30, that was soon 15-40 and despite drilling a forehand long with Tsitsipas at the net on the first chance, a crunching forehand down the line on the second secured the break.

A hold to fifteen consolidated the lead for 2-0, and then an exchange of holds moved the score onto 3-1.

Tsitsipas needed to change strategy to find a way back into the match and a couple of serve and volley plays saw him hold to fifteen for 2-3. However, he couldn't find any success on the return as Federer held to love for 4-2

Another comfortable hold from the Swiss put him 5-3 head, and he was soon at the service line to try to serve it out at 5-4.

A coaching violation was given to Tsitsipas just as the Swiss was about to deliver his first serve. That seemed to disrupt his rhythm slightly as he fell behind in the game and at 30-30, he went wide with a backhand. A good forehand saved the breakpoint, and he steadied the ship, sealing his first match point with a drive volley winner to make his 15th final in Basel.

Match Stats

Roger FedererStefanos Tsitsipas
Aces64
Double Faults23
1st Serve58% (30/52)66% (43/65)
1st Serve Points Won80% (24/30)74% (32/43)
2nd Serve Points Won77% (17/22)50% (11/22)
Break Points Saved100% (1/1)75% (6/8)
Service Games Played1010
1st Serve Return Points Won26% (11/43)20% (6/30)
2nd Serve Return Points Won50% (11/22)23% (5/22)
Break Points Converted25% (2/8)0% (0/1)
Return Games Played1010
Winners2818
Unforced Errors1116
Net Points Won92% (12/13)75% (6/8)
Service Points Won79% (41/52)66% (43/65)
Return Points Won34% (22/65)21% (11/52)
Total Points Won54% (63/117)46% (54/117)

Highlights

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Tsitsi Basel 19

A stellar performance here from Federer and I thought he played a great match.

He got in front early, exploited Tsitsipas's weakness on the backhand and showed excellent movement and serving when the Greek tried to work his way back into it with some big hitting.

The first serve percentage is a little low at 58% so I hope he can up that against a speedy returner like De Minaur but winning 80% and 77% behind the first and second serve respectively is top drawer.

Other points of note for me were Roger's movement to his forehand wing, he looked explosive and was able to get onto balls early and do more with them as a result. That put pressure on Tsitsipas who had to find more in his game and that brought errors. Roger was also far better on the return than his opponent, winning double the amount of return points in the match.

With the win, Federer is now 74-9 at Swiss Indoors and has won his past 23 matches on centre court. Can he make it 24 tomorrow? Hope so!

Predictions vs De Minaur

In the final Federer will face Alex De Minaur after the Aussie saw off big-serving Reilly Opelka in three tie break sets to make the final on his first appearance in Basel.

Federer has never faced De Minaur (I am unsure if they have ever practised together) so he's a bit of an unknown which is never easy.

The Australian doesn't have any huge shots. Still, he's rapid around the court, has a solid tennis IQ and from what I have seen plays a smart brand of tennis to get points on his terms — highlighted today when he made zero unforced errors in the second and third sets to ask Opelka if he could come up with the winners.

The good news for Federer is that De Minaur spent 2 hours and 34 minutes on court today and will rarely, if ever have played someone who produces the tennis Federer does which is fast-paced, suffocating and designed to rush you in all aspects of your game.

Fed is the favourite but he will need to be sharp and expect to play 1 or 2 more balls given how well De Minaur can get around the court. I'm hoping Fed can exploit his backhand by working the angles as it's a bit of a shovel type shot.

What did you guys make of the semi-final win against Tsitsipas? Predictions for the final against De Minaur? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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36 Comments

    1. Quel CHAMPION, quel tennis de rêve merci Monsieur FEDERER de nous donner autant de plaisir à regarder le tennis, je lis souvent que Djokovic va le dépasser, c’est tout à fait possible, les records sont faits pour être battus dit-on, mais jamais il ne pourra développer une élégance de jeu comme celle de notre FEDOUDOU, et, surtout il n’aura jamais l’élégance intellectuelle de cet immense sportif de haut niveau, le public ne s’y trompe pas en soutenant FEDRER;
      Nous luis souhaitons le meilleur pour cette finale, Merci encore à ce grand et gentleman sportif
      France Bensa

  1. Chum jetze Roger !
    I hoped for a 6:4 6:4 without any real drama incredients.
    Despite the 5 wasted breakpoints in the beginning and the first breakpoint against him in the final game Roger delivered what I hoped for with authority !
    Thanks for that as well as for Jonathan’s quick and comprehensive writing right after Feds win….

  2. Of someone returned my services the way Fed did a few times today, I would take that as a personal offense and would demolish his house and burn his crops!

  3. Great match by Fed, great write up by Jon!

    He really did “dismantle” Stef today.
    I hv never thought that indoors and fast surfaces are Stef’s thing; it has showed all week and was completely exposed by Fed. Always said clay his best surface, he has a big swing on each side and his footwork is sometimes clonky. Fed was too fast, too slick and too quick thinking for him today.
    De Minaur is tricky but if Fed brings current form, we hv no 10 😃

  4. I was expecting a big fight from Sitsi but he didn’t produce on the day. On the other hand, Fed turned up and was just better in every way. Go Fed!
    Just saw my sentences makes a nice rhyme.

  5. Fed has been playing extremely well.He loves Basel and Basel loves him.
    Far the better player today.
    Thought it was very wrong of Tsitsy to be receiving coaching and delayed Feds serve in the final game.
    However,alls well that ends well.
    As for tomorrow.I felt the Demon(actually a very nice young man) did very well in battling it out today.
    A real David and Goliath encounter.
    Tomorrow,think Fed in two.😊

  6. Good match by Fed. There is something about Tsitsipas that I don’t like, so glad to see Fed prevail. He should be fine tomorrow if he plays with confidence and serve is reliable. Thanks for the write up Jonathan. I have moved from Japan to San Diego CA so have been a bit derelict in following tennis.

      1. These two articles also endeared Stefanos to me!

        https://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/01/stefanos-tsitsipas-latest-lesson-prepared-him-his-next-federer/79035/

        Quote:

        “Most tennis players, whether out of practicality or incuriosity, see little of the world around them, outside of airports, hotels and tennis facilities. The focus is on winning matches, not expanding horizons. Tsitsipas is the rare young pro who can’t help but try to do both. Like a philosophy-reciting college kid on a backpack tour of the world, he engages with what he sees, and and tweets out the deep thoughts that come to him along the way.”

        https://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/08/tsitsipas-says-he-read-book-federer-following-wimbledon-upset-loss/83959/

        Quote:

        “Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed that he locked himself in his room, reading books for three days following his first-round exit at Wimbledon […] In addition to reflecting on his defeat, the 20-year-old Greek did some reading—a novel and a book on Roger Federer. ‘One really interesting book about him,’ he said.”

  7. Agree, Jonathan, – a great match. Roger did so well in every aspect. Tsitsy played very well too. Just in many rallies, he gave Roger a chance or two and Roger went on offensive 🙂 literally every time. 11 UFE with 28 winners. Impressive.
    On final, if Roger delivers 85% what he did today, he will take the title home.
    Allez!

  8. I watched the highlights of de Minaur’s SF. My guess from this is to expect an extremely entertaining match tomorrow, with 2 very fast and inventive players running the court all over. Expecting Federer to win though, knowing this aspect of tennis so well…

  9. Stellar performance by the GOAT today!!! He was playing with so much determination to win, it was great.

    Hoping for a 10th title tomorrow, if he serves well enough it should be in his racquet #GoRoger

  10. Fed is so much fun to watch when he plays like this. Stefanos did not play badly, but Roger was simply at another level.

    I’ve been impressed with young Alex, especially his incredible speed around the court. But if Roger plays anything like he did today, I think the youngster will be in real trouble.

  11. Thanks for the write-up, Jonathan. I was so impressed with Fed’s movement. He had no trouble keeping up with ST. Like you said, especially running to the fh side which can be problematic. Another enjoyable match!
    The ball kids can start deciding on the toppings very soon!

  12. Hmm. Can’t be often that Roger’s first match against a player is in a final. I hope that doesn’t cause him any problems.

  13. I hope for a sweep tomorrow.
    He needs two more good years to catch the record of titles and matches. If anyone can do it, it’s him.

  14. Featherer  Roger, all week long…
    I was just watching a slow motion replay of yesterday’s match on Tennis TV without the sound. On the radio, there was Mozart’s clarinet concerto : the combination of both is a therapy ! Thank you, geniuses !

    1. Oh wow, what a good idea. Yes, Featherer has the balletic ballon. Must be wonderful in slow motion. With Mozart’s MUSIC as genius companion. A great therapy, I’m convinced.

  15. For those who like the stats:
    MOST SEASONS WITH 50 WINS
    Roger Federer – 16
    Jimmy Connors – 14
    Ivan Lendl – 12
    Novak Djokovic – 11
    Stefan Edberg/Rafael Nadal/Guillermo Vilas – 10
    No slams but a very good, consistent year with a w/l record that is great too.

  16. Awesome, just awesome to watch Fed playing, yes the “explosive” tennis! He was too quick every department for Tsitsi. And been so light-footed this week. A joy.
    Oh you, too Jonathan, so quick and slick just like Fed – “A stellar performance”.

  17. Hey all, hope Roger wins just one more match today and then hopefully skips Paris to concentrate on WTF. But lets get through this one today. Roger never played or practised with him… I don’t know if I can watch it, but hope so, if not lets go Goat !!!

    I agree with your tweet Jon on that guy with that stupid banner. He should be banned for ever not to be around a Roger’s match. I don’t know which one was worst. This one or the one Djoko fans held with “40-15” after you know which match…

    Love you Roger. Lets go Roger, I believe in you 🙂

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