Another breezy win for the Fed-meister in Melbourne as he took care of Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 to book his spot in the third round. Dolgopolov's current ranking belies his ability but even though the Ukrainian offered some fine shot making he was served off the court by the Swiss, who fired down 25 aces and won 43 of 49 first serve points. The win sees Roger set up a tie with Grigor Dimitrov after the Bulgarian defeated Marco Trungelliti 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and again chose sides. Dolgopolov chose to receive. Federer kicked things off with a hold to 15 before holding a break point thanks to some aggressive run around the backhand returning; Dolgopolov saved it before going on to hold.
A love hold from the Swiss followed and the scoreboard ticked over to 3-2. Game 6 then saw the first break with Federer converting on his first attempt after creating love 40. The break was quickly consolidated and although Dolgopolov made 30-30 at 3-5 Roger reeled off 2 points to take the opener.
After Roger missed a break point chance in the opening game set 2 was a more competitive affair with Dolgopolov starting to hit some flashy winners. Roger however did have his chances, holding another break point in game 4 which he failed to convert. Both players held serve comfortably up to 5-5 before the Swiss made a move, taking his 2nd break point chance of the game with a dipping return off a Dolgopolov serve and volley changeup.
Winning the 2nd set was pretty big for Fed and with that cushion he began to play that bit more freely, breaking in game 3 for 2-1 and then reeling off the next 4 games as Dolgopolov's belief faded rapidly to bow out 6-1.
|Stats||Roger Federer||Alexandr Dolgopolov|
|1st serves in||49/72 (68 %)||55/97 (57 %)|
|1st serve points won||43/49 (88 %)||35/55 (64 %)|
|2nd serve points won||13/23 (57 %)||18/42 (43 %)|
|Fastest serve||207 KMH||213 KMH|
|Average 1st serve speed||191 KMH||191 KMH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||160 KMH||148 KMH|
|Net points won||15/20 (75 %)||2/6 (33 %)|
|Break points won||5/13 (38 %)||0/0 (0 %)|
|Receiving points won||44/97 (45 %)||16/72 (22 %)|
|Total points won||100||69|
|Distance Covered (M)||1375.5||1130.2|
|Dist. Covered/Pt. (M)||8.1||6.7|
Thoughts on the Match
The ultimate serving display from Roger in this one as he won 43 of 49 first serve points and hit 25 aces in just 3 sets. Dolgopolov just couldn't get a read on it, struggling to return both first and second serve which meant he was unable to create a single break point.
Other than the imperious serving I thought Fed played well – neither player had much rhythm as there weren't many long rallies with Roger firing down unreturnables and missing fairly often on the return himself. He does however look to be going for broke on a few returns now, especially in the first set. Almost in the Sampras mould of if 3 big swings come off you have 0-40 without having to ever get into a rally. Of course he still has the option to chip and try to take control of the point thereafter but I quite like to see him running around the backhand and going big.
So in both rounds so far Fed has moved well, not consumed a lot of energy and today saw off a guy that is easily a Top 15 level player without dropping a set or serve in the entire match. You can't really ask for much more.
Also in my last post I said Rusedski was talking about how slow the courts were playing and to take it with a pinch of salt; today Wilander said on Eurosport that an ATP rep told him they were playing fast and Fed did say in his post match interview he was surprised how quick they were playing in the day. So it looks as though the fast theory is the accurate of the two, at least during the day anyway. But who knows 🙂
Predictions vs. Dimitrov
Next up is Dimitrov who defeated Trungelliti in tough 4 setter. I watched some his first round against Lorenzi and he wasn't playing that well; only Lorenzi's abysmal record in Slams prevented the Italian picking up a set as he was up a break in the third.
Roger won their last encounter just a couple of weeks ago in Brisbane when he was under the weather so I like his chances again here. Dimitrov should have won in Brisbane as he played pretty well just didn't win enough of the big points. Fed was way under par too and still got over the line pretty easily so I expect straight sets on Friday. Dolgopolov is a better player than Dimitrov for me so if Roger plays similar to today it should be a good day. Dimitrov would need to serve lights out and Roger to return terribly for the upset to happen. Fed in 3.
What did you guys think of the match? Let me know in the comments.