Evening all, good win for the GOAT here as he took down Djokovic 7-5 6-2 to inflict the Serb's first indoor loss since Bercy in 2012. The win sees Roger top Group Stan Smith and he's now guaranteed a spot in Semi Finals on Saturday.
Both guys started solidly with the serve dominating but Roger got himself in front at the business end of set 1, overcame the disappointment of failing to consolidate a break in set 2 to break twice more and cross the line in 1 hour and 17 minutes. Interestingly it was Djokovic's first loss in London since 2011 and that means he won't break Roger's record of winning 3 slams in a year and going undefeated at the Year End Championships. Well not this year anyway 🙂
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to serve, saving a break point en route to holding for 1-0. Djokovic then levelled and both guys were looking solid on serve. At 3-2 Roger had some inroads getting to 30-30 but the World Number held to level.
At 4-4 the Swiss fired down a love hold and again made inroads on the Djokovic serve but couldn't find a way through. Another love hold saw Fed move into a 6-5 lead and he finally got the breakthrough, converting his second set point with a genius half volley that landed on the tramline.
Serving first in set 2 was ideal and after a brisk hold Fed moved up a break to lead 2-0, drawing Djokovic forward where he dumped a low slice into the net. In typical style Novak hit right back, taking advantage of some loose forehands from the RF97 to break and then level at 2-2.
Federer however didn't let momentum shift, holding from 0-15 with some clutch serving and then breaking to 15 to move 4-2 in front. A love hold followed for 5-2 and the Djokovic serve found itself under more pressure as Roger converted his second match point to get it done 7-5 6-2.
|N. Djokovic||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||72%||67%|
|1st Serve Points Won||24/47 (51%)||27/36 (75%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/18 (67%)||12/18 (67%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/8 (50%)||2/3 (67%)|
|Service Games Played||10||10|
|1st Return Points Won||9/36 (25%)||23/47 (49%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||6/18 (33%)||6/18 (33%)|
|Break Points Won||1/3 (33%)||4/8 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||10||10|
|Net Points Won||6/9||6/9|
|Total Service Points Won||36/65 (55%)||39/54 (72%)|
|Total Return Points Won||15/54 (28%)||29/65 (45%)|
|Total Points Won||51/119 (43%)||68/119 (57%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
Impressive win here for Roger and he was definitely the better player on the night – served better, mixed it up better and just more solid when it mattered. It's always really fine margins between the two and sometimes it just boils down to who can win a couple of points here and there and Fed was the man who chalked them up tonight – those two points at 2-2 0-15 in set 2 making a big difference to really close the door on Djokovic.
Fed also did a really good job of controlling the baseline rallies and he set the tone of how the match was going to be played pretty early – rifling that big 93mph winner and going for a lot of aggressive ball striking whenever he got any sort of short reply.
As for Djokovic he was definitely a little below par, making a few uncharacteristic errors and not looking as dialled in as he often does. He actually started pretty well, but losing that first set knocked his confidence and he never managed to make his presence felt in set 2 or settle into a rhythm from the baseline from which he thrives which resulted in him losing his serve three times.
Other than what can you say? Very few unknowns between the two of them on court so when you combine Fed playing some great stuff with a few wild errors from Djoker there's likely only ever one winner indoors. But you gotta remember it's only a Round Robin match and one swallow doesn't make a summer 🙂
Predictions vs. Nishikori
Next up is Nishikori who saw off Berdych in a long three setter during the afternoon session. Fed leads the H2H 3-2 and I think he handles Nishikori on a court like this quite handily especially if he's hugging the baseline. Last year was one sided and although Nishikori definitely improved from his first match I don't think he has enough matches or confidence in him to play the level of tennis required to beat Fed.
As for qualifications, I'm not sure of the exact permutations but I think Nishikori can still qualify with a win depending on how Berdych / Djoker goes. So should Fed tank it 6-0 6-0? 😆 I'll pick Fed in 2 to go through unbeaten.