Routine match for the GOAT here as he defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour 2 minutes to book his spot in the third round. A very simple encounter from start to finish for Roger as Schwartzman doesn't have the artillery required to do any damage; a sub par serve and no dominating shot to force the issue. A poor man's Nishikori if you will.
Next up for the Swiss is Andreas Seppi who defeated Hanescu in straight sets and this gives Roger the chance to set the record straight after his loss at the Australian Open to the Italian earlier this year.
Quick Match Recap
Schwartzman won the toss and elected to serve holding to 30 before Roger levelled things in just 1 minute and 3 seconds. The speedy hold instantly put the pressure back on the Argentinian and he was broken to love before Roger consolidated to lead 3-1.
3 more break points came the way of the Swiss in game 5 but he couldn't convert as Schwartman held for 2-3. Another quick hold (1 min 11 seconds) followed and both players exchanged back to back holds before Roger served out the set 6-4 with little trouble.
Into set 2 and Fed had immediate chances to put the match to bed with 3 more break points but again failed to convert. At 1-1, 3 more break points came his way and this time he took advantage after a heavy hitting rally. That soon became 3-1 and after Schwartzman missed a sitter volley at deuce Fed broke again to lead 4-1. Despite Schwartzman's first serve only averaging 99mph and Roger attacking it at will he did manage to get one more game on the board but Fed closed it out easily, holding to 15 to record a 6-4 6-2 win.
|D. Schwartzman||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||55%||49%|
|1st Serve Points Won||19/32 (59%)||19/23 (83%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/26 (46%)||17/24 (71%)|
|Break Points Saved||6/9 (67%)||0/0 (0%)|
|Service Games Played||9||9|
|1st Return Points Won||4/23 (17%)||13/32 (41%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||7/24 (29%)||14/26 (54%)|
|Break Points Won||0/0 (0%)||3/9 (33%)|
|Return Games Played||9||9|
|Net Points Won||4/6||13/14|
|Total Service Points Won||31/58 (53%)||36/47 (77%)|
|Total Return Points Won||11/47 (23%)||27/58 (47%)|
|Total Points Won||42/105 (40%)||63/105 (60%)|
Thoughts on the Match
I actually thought I was moving well, I always have to adjust my game accordingly. Schwartzman can be tough. He can take time away from you and take charge from the baseline. I was happy I was trying at least. I was successful playing on my terms. There are certain things I can do better, but for a first round it's a good start.
A typical opening match here for Fed where the gulf in class between himself and his opponent is pretty huge. Schwartzman was playing his first ever Master's 1000 event and just doesn't have the weapons to really compete. At only 5ft 7″ he's at a real disadvantage and Roger attacked his serve pretty easily.
The only thing the Argentinian could really do was step into the court and take the ball as early as possible to give Roger no time; he managed it a couple of times with some flashy winners but he was starting 90% of rallies on the defensive and never had a chance to get on the front foot.
As for Roger I thought he played pretty good, hard to really analyse a match when he doesn't have to get out of first gear but he didn't face a break point, bossed most of the points and won 13 of 14 points at the net. We'll learn more once he plays Seppi who offers a bit more from the baseline than Schwartzman and also has a little bit more on the serve.
Predictions vs. Seppi
I'm happy to play him again, I was very disappointed with the performance I had in Australia. I know he can play well and can beat me. That's not the problem. It was the way I was hitting the ball. It was just a tough match overall and the match slipped away from me. I hope this time around it's going to go better for me. I will be prepared. There is no doubt about that. I'm happy I'm getting an opportunity to play him right away again.
Next up is Roger's Australian Open conqueror Andreas Seppi after he defeated Victor Hanescu in straight sets. Roger's match vs. Seppi in Australia was memorable for all the wrong reasons but I think he'll set the record straight in this one.
The loss was clearly an anomaly and Fed lost because he played pretty poorly; just a bit timid on the groundstrokes and Seppi took advantage. It was still pretty close even with Fed not performing and only an insane pass from Seppi got him out the tiebreak in the fourth set. If that sailed long Fed likely got it done in 5 and then who knows how the Australian Open would have panned out.
I'll pick Federer to win in straights, pretty sure he will go on the offensive and just overwhelm Seppi from the back of the court. The only real question is can Fed break the record of never winning a tournament in which he met Seppi in an earlier round? Allez!