ATP 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoors

Federer Through to Quarter Finals in Basel

Another slow start in Basel but it ended with a 17th win in a row for Roger Federer as he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-5 to move into the Quarter Finals at the Swiss Indoors.

It was the third meeting between the pair this season, and Roger is yet to drop a set against the 6'5” German shaking off an early loss of serve here to move through in 1 hour and 7 minutes.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Struff Basel 2018

Federer won the toss, elected to serve and soon found himself down 0-30 after two scratch points. He recovered to hold before Struff fired down an impressive love hold.

The Swiss then got into another 0-30 hole and this time couldn't escape as Struff broken then held for 3-1.

A hold to thirty kept Roger in touch and he was able to get back on level terms after Struff double-faulted on break point.

That gave the Swiss momentum and he held for 4-3 before breaking Struff again who played a wild game, missing a routine put away and blazing his groundstrokes virtually into the advertising hoardings.  Roger then served it out to 30 to take the set 6-3.

Into set two and Struff kicked things off with a hold to 30. Roger matched it and the pair began to exchange comfortable holds with the scoreboard ticking over to 4 games all.

A love hold then put Struff up 5-4 with some scoreboard pressure on the Swiss but he responded with a hold to love of his own.

That put the pressure straight back on Struff and he fluffed his lines, dropping serve from 40-30 and again double-faulting on break point. Roger then served it out in routine fashion to move into the Quarter Finals.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Jan-Lennard Struff
Aces 7 8
Double Faults 5 5
1st Serve 53% (32/60) 63% (37/59)
1st Serve Points Won 78% (25/32) 76% (28/37)
2nd Serve Points Won 64% (18/28) 32% (7/22)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/1) 0% (0/3)
Service Games Played 11 10
1st Serve Return Points Won 24% (9/37) 22% (7/32)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 68% (15/22) 36% (10/28)
Break Points Converted 100% (3/3) 100% (1/1)
Return Games Played 10 11
Winners 22 16
Unforced Errors 17 21
Net Points Won 91% (10/11) 50% (2/4)
Service Points Won 72% (43/60) 59% (35/59)
Return Points Won 41% (24/59) 28% (17/60)
Total Points Won 56% (67/119) 44% (52/119)

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Basel 2R 2018

I don‘t know why I can‘t play a match without being broken anymore, happened to me in Shanghai already, I will have to go through the statistics of this match, maybe I‘ll manage to go through the next match without being broken.

An improved performance from the Fed meister here and once he got going he was able to play some decent tennis. Like his first round match, he started in scratchy form, missing too many first serves and not playing with a positive mindset.

Most of his groundstroke misses were when he was moving backwards or too static and he didn't look at all happy in the first few games.

Slowly but surely he was able to pick it up and by the end of set one, you could see he was more purposeful on the court. That paid off as it made Struff feel like he had to come up with something extra and he went for way too much.

The fact he double-faulted on two of the three break points made things much simpler for Roger and with his own serve not exactly looking in vintage form it was just the sort of help he needed to come through without any real battle scars.

Stats wise it's all fairly average and 5 double faults are again way too high. Only 53% of first serves were landed too which needs to be way higher for when he runs into a decent returner. The forehand looked slightly better and compared to Struff's it was suitably impressive 😀

Predictions vs. Simon

Next up is Gilles Simon who defeated Ernests Gulbis in two tie-break sets. I watched most of the match and Simon was his usual self; making a lot of balls, moving speedily and just generally frustrating his opponent.

Gulbis should have won at least one set though as he was on top in a lot of the points but he never stuck to the task. Not sure if he was fatigued from last weeks run to the finals but one minute he was going big, the next looping it in which played into Simon's hands and some of his dropshot choices were ambitious, to say the least.

Anyway, Simon is through and he's playing some pretty good stuff having won the Moselle Open a few weeks back and making the Quarter Finals in Antwerp last week. Roger leads the H2H 6-2 and he lost the first two meetings between so he's been on a bit of a run against the Frenchman although they haven't all been plain sailing 😀

Simon won their sole indoor hardcourt match back at the 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai and 6 of his 14 titles have come on indoor hard courts so it's probably his best surface. As a result, he will probably give Roger a run for his money here.

When you watch Simon play you think how on earth did he get to #6 in the world with a weak serve and no big shots but he's such a clean ball striker off both wings, a great mover and he always seems to make a solid contact even when on the run.

From Fed's side, he needs to dispatch Simon's second serve as he did to Nishikori in Shangai and to be honest he needs to really hit his straps from the back of the court. Simon ran him close in Shanghai the last time they played on hard courts and actually served for the first set in that match.

I remember that final well and Simon's almost hypnotic style is very good at lulling his opponent into trading nice and easy groundstrokes from the baseline.

Roger got around it that day by throwing in a ton of variety paired with ramping up the aggression off anything short. When Simon had to generate his own pace the effectiveness of his counter punching dropped off big time and Roger was able to step in and spread the court enough to draw errors/hit winners. I think it's the same blueprint for this Basel Quarter Final. What do you think?

What did you guys think of the match? 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. I’ll be up in the air to Basel this evening. So guys, cheer him through one more W, please!

  1. Thanks for the win Fed.

    Wanda you need to do something to make sure he wins the next. Then you can watch him play!

    Jonathan thanks for speedy write up. Although you did put predictions Vs Struff/Gulbis, think it’s meant to be Simon

  2. Simon seems to be playing some decent stuff lately. I think that’s going to be tough, can see it going 3 but hopefully Feds serve holds up a bit better again

  3. Thanks for a quick write up Jonathan. Didn’t get to watch, middle of the night in Tokyo and have a big business meeting today so could not get up. Huge difference on second serve stats with big favor for Fed. Replay looks like there was some good hitting with Fed being more consistent. As he moves forward, improving serve and consistency will be key.

  4. Thank goat, the dream of watching him on his home soil is still alive. Yep, ONE more win please.
    Broken again but 100% BP conversion was a good consolation. Thanks Jonathan for the super quick recap and 1st comenter win for me this year 🙂

  5. Good win against a power player who could trouble Roger on his off day. Nice to see Roger moving well and having cut down on the unforced. Needs better first serves from hereon. Looks like Simon next round who could give anyone trouble. But Gulbis is not going to be easy either. Good to see Roger play much better than Shanghai or the first round. 99 has kept us waiting for almost 6 months. Hope he can keep playing at a high level and get some lucky breaks.

  6. Simon just beat Gulbis, so he will be Fed’s next opponent. Gulbis fought hard, the match went to two TBs, but Simon won the 2nd set TB 7-0.

    1. Fed was much better today than against Krajinovic in everything.

      * More 1st serves,
      * more reliable service games (faced almost no breakpoints).
      * less UE
      * More solid and dangerous on the forehand
      * Better netplay

      Hope he makes another step ahead like this against Simon, which is a tricky player.

      Glad it took him just an hour today…

      The opponent after would be Tsitsipas/Medvedev.

  7. Damn, I didn’t want Simon.
    Good write up Jon. Yes Struffy’s FH was worse than Fed’s thank goodness!
    Serve stats 2nd set better but the serve generally is still off. Another 5
    Wanda, just push him thru Plse! And Enjoy yr day!
    Allez Rog, wld like to see you play Stefanos

  8. I only watched the last half of set 2. Fed looked better, better backhand, less errors, but a bit lucky on the return games. He didn’t get much to grab on Jan’s serve, who was only betrayed by nerves, maybe because he knew that every now and then he would have to deal with a long return shot straight to his feet.
    Betteree but still no cigarer. Let’s hope we can smoke it next. Simon is a real pain in the butt of a pusher. Maybe Fed tunes in the right wavelength to phase him out. Bzzzt. Krak.

  9. Yes much better from Fed,serve and forehand more reliable.A shaky start but held his nerve.The crowd seemed much more proactive than on Tuesday where they seemed stunned into silence.A nice quick win and so lovely to see
    one of his daughters watching with her grandfather.
    So Simon next who has the capacity to bore everyone to death.Really hoping we get a semi with Fed v Tsitsipas?

  10. I’ve stated before if Fed can’t produce in Basel then don’t expect much in 2019. He started off slowly but Fed was amazing Struff served bullets and Fed still handled them. Now if this is the Fed we see throughout the rest of the tournament then 99 will happen on Sunday. GO Roger!!!!

  11. Betterer.

    Apparently one of the guys sitting w/ Seve is the doctor who got his back functional between WTF & Davis Cup final a few years ago. Could be meaningful, could just mean he likes tennis & of course they would invite him to join them. But two matches in a row sounds more like meaningful. Could also explain the upper-body bulk comments – could he be wearing a vest?

    In any case he seems to have found a way to take some steps forward; will need to take some more, but that’s a positive sign. Gilles is a few years younger; he’s beaten Roger, though not since 2008, but they’ve had some tight matches since – Shanghai final in 2 tiebreaks in 2014; a Roland-Garros 5-setter the year before. They haven’t actually played since 2015. Simon had a somewhat tougher match to get here; Roger struggling more in the early rounds.

    He looked SO HAPPY after this win! Here’s hoping the team has more insight on steps to be taken, & hopefully another win tomorrow. Hopp Roger!

    1. Well she looked exactly like his daughter but it was only a quick glimpse so perhaps not.It was odd in a way that only one of them was there as they are usually seen together,but they are growing up and perhaps one is keener on tennis than the other?
      Simon will be tough,the main danger perhaps keeping Fed on court too long in those endless rallies.

  12. A straight sets victory : well done !

    RF seasons through 48 matches :
    46-2: 2005
    44-4: 2004, 2006, 2017
    42-6: 2007, 2009, 2012
    =》41-7: 2015, 2018
    40-8: 2008, 2014
    39-9: 2003, 2011
    38-10: 2010
    36-12: 2001-02, 2013
    26-22: 2000

    Not too bad …

    Fed will play tonight against a Frenchie… but I will cheer on RF :-).

  13. @Wanda,
    I do hope that you get to see Fed,especially if he will be playing the young Greek God!
    Just thought I would say that it gets very hot in that hall.I made the mistake of wearing a very warm jumper as it was cold in Basle and then became increasingly hot and bothered during the course of the day.Layers are probably a good idea as it starts off cool in there but gets very warm with all the energy generated by Rogers Swiss fans.Anyway whatever, have a great day.

  14. Guys,
    Your Swiss Indoors program for the 3 following days :

    Quarter-Final :
    Simon vs Templar (the Saint)

    Semi-final (hopefully) :
    The Greek God vs Mr PeRFect

    Final (hopefully) :
    The German angel vs the next James Bond

    Go Roger !

    1. James Bond? Now that’s an interesting idea…
      Scaramanga would be played by Djoker.
      Dr. No… you guessed it. Nishikori.
      Drax: Jeremy Chardy
      Mr. Big: Tiafoe
      Gustav Graves: Murray
      Jaws: Karlovic
      And so on. Name your Nadal…

      1. NICE! Hope it come true when in 10 years or so…Directors: FBRF and RUI, and Annie for Nadal ?

  15. Better serving from Roger hope it continues as his game flows when serve is consistent
    Next stop Simon, one thing I’ve noticed about him is that now and again he’s coming
    to the net a thing that never happened before, so maybe he too is trying to do away
    with the endless rallying. So C’mon Roger win for all these fans that are coming to see
    you at the weekend x

  16. @To Muser,
    Oh it wouldn’t be type casting,I have not got a hair transplant and a bald patch,nor do I sweat buckets at all times.?

    1. Nono Annie, I suggest you teach Nadal to behave in his part of this Tennis Bond Movie…But I see I didn’t formulate well, sorry, – clearly you interpreted as you did – but this was not at all what I meant.

      1. Yes I see that now.However me coaching Nadal in any way would mean he would lose
        every match in the future.A fiendish plot on behalf of all Fed fans?

  17. Which female tennis player would you be type cast Annie? Oh I know Mirka Federer alias ( Miroslava Vavrincová) you would be perfect Annie.

  18. Roger! Roger! Roger! How did you win this match with 60 unforced errors. The commentator joked about saying Roger isn’t really that good just lucky (he was joking). But I have to say Simon played a great match seemed to be everywhere where the ball was hit. The commentator stated that Roger was serving better than his previous 2 matches but Simon was doing an great job including breaking Roger 3 times in the second set. I enjoyed the match even though my nerves were on edge.

  19. Yes great match despite the unforced errors but I guess to beat these pushers you have to go for your shots.
    What I found hilarious in the build up to the next match was the expression on the faces of those two women holding
    back the curtains before the players went on court.You would have thought their whole lives depended on whisking
    back the curtains at exactly the right moment ?

  20. I will watch the Greek God play for the first time. I know Annie as well as many others including the commentators feel that Tsitsipas is already having a large fan base. They say he has made 2.4 million in his young career and 2.1 million in this year alone. Has Roger played Tsitsipas?

    1. I am not sure Paul.I think most people look forward to a match between Roger and Tsitpas because they are both unusual and unique talents.There are so many pushers and servebots around that it is
      so refreshing to see something different.However the ‘bull sheet Russian’ is formidable.

    2. No, I think they have only trained a bit together. Many are looking forward to the possibility of those two battling, both being wonderful SBH’ers, and Roger being long time Tsitsi’s great idol. Not this time ?

  21. Sorry Annie but the first set went to the Russian. So far in 2 previous matches The Rusky has proven the better player.

    1. Yes,but it is tight and Tsitpas probably tired after winning Stockholm.What I like about him is that he
      goes for his shots,the Russian is a typical pusher,albeit a very good one.Fed will have his work cut out tomorrow.

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