Another fine win for Roger Federer here as he comfortably dispatched Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in a rain effected match on Court 1 that lasted 1 hour 34 minutes.
The win sees Roger move into his 37th career Grand Slam semi final where he'll face Andy Murray who saw off a tired Vasek Pospisil in straight sets under the roof on Centre.
Quick Match Recap
Simon won the toss and elected to receive, creating 0-30 on Federer's opening service game before the Swiss reeled off back to back aces from 30 all to hold.
Roger then got to deuce on the Frenchman's serve and converted his second break point to take a 2-0 lead. The break was quickly consolidated to love for 3-0.
It was then the rain began to fall and the players left the court for a 20 minute delay. On resumption Simon held his serve to 15 and both players traded comfortable holds before Roger served it out to 30 to take it 6-3.
Set 2 saw Simon hold for 1-0 before Roger levelled with a love hold. The pair then traded holds but at 3-3 Roger came with up a touch of genius to create 2 break points which were converted when Simon went wide with a risky backhand down the line.
4-3 soon became 5-4 and with Roger serving to take a 2 set to love lead he was broken to love when Simon strung together 4 crisp return points to break.
The break was the first time that Roger had lost his serve since the match against Kohlschreiber in Halle but he responded instantly, breaking Simon in his next service game to lead 6-5.
Serving for the set at 15-0, the rain again began to fall and the play was delayed. 30 minutes later Roger return to the court, firing down 3 huge first serves to take the set 7-5.
Into set 3 and with Simon looking out of ideas he was broken in his opening service game. Fed then consolidated the break and began to roll through his service games before breaking again at 4-2. Even Roger's mishits were landing in that this point and despite double faulting on his first match point he sealed it on the second to book his spot in the Semi Finals on Friday.
|MATCH STATISTICS||Gilles Simon||Roger Federer|
|1ST SERVES IN||48/83 (58 %)||55/75 (73 %)|
|1ST SERVE POINTS WON||29/48 (60 %)||44/55 (80 %)|
|2ND SERVE POINTS WON||19/35 (54 %)||12/20 (60 %)|
|NET POINTS WON||7/14 (50 %)||21/31 (68 %)|
|BREAK POINTS WON||1/1 (100 %)||5/8 (63 %)|
|RECEIVING POINTS WON||19/75 (25 %)||35/83 (42 %)|
|TOTAL POINTS WON||67||91|
|DISTANCE COVERED (METRES)||1716.3||1749.5|
|DIST. COVERED/PT. (METRES)||10.9||11.1|
Thoughts on the Match
Those conditions are never easy for either player; it was quite windy too. The stop and gos are tough, but I used them to my advantage. I either stayed ahead or made a difference. The breaks helped me rather than hindered me. I had a great service game after the second rain delay and reset and took the lead in the third set. The game I got broken he was too good, so I have no problem accepting that.
I gave Simon 10 games in my prediction scoreline and that's exactly what left the court with as Roger played another high level match from the get go. Roger's serve has been awesome all week and so it proved again today, winning him cheap points galore and he again moved well to keep himself on the front foot in the vast majority of rallies.
Fed also mixed it up nicely to deprive Simon of the pace he feeds and the tactic worked a treat with the Frenchman making 21 unforced errors over the course of 3 sets. Roger never really allowed him to settle into his preferred style of play and you got the sense that Fed almost decided to test himself out in a couple of longer rallies once he had the lead before once again reverting to mixing it up and ending the points quickly.
It was also pleasing to see Fed respond immediately after his 116 consecutive service games streak was broken when he was serving for the second set. Fed has cruised through virtually all his service games this week so it was good to see a hiccup not effect him in the slightest.
Predictions vs. Murray
So the first really big test of the tournament comes in the shape of the 2013 Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray. The last time these two met on grass was in 2012 where Murray took down the Olympic Gold a few weeks after Roger defeated him in the Wimbledon final.
I think this one is very tough to call as both guys have looked in great form over the last 10 days at SW19. Murray has spent marginally longer on court and dropped 2 sets compared to Roger's 1 but in terms of the calibre of opponent they have faced it's fairly equal.
Playing Bautista-Agut and Simon back to back gives Roger some good practice against solid baseliners which is ideal going into a tie against Murray. The Scot can of course take it up to a different level compared to those 2 but I like Roger's chances ahead of this one.
No real secrets between the two of them and I think it's ultimately going to boil down to which player forces the issue on a consistent basis; if Fed is the man making Murray scramble he can surely get it done in 4 or even 3 sets.
Murray's chances likely rest on his first serve % and ability to dictate with forehand and I think the big key for Roger is his how well he moves. Serve, groundstokes and volleys are of course going to have to work well for him but that's the case in every single Grand Slam Semi Final he's ever played and I expect them to click into place instinctively.
Historically when Fed has manhandled Murray it's when he's kept a high intensity and explosiveness in the legs; started quickly and kept the lead. London, Dubai, Australia were all matches won by staying aggressive and been the guy who is one move ahead of his opponent.