Roger Federer's hopes for an 8th Swiss Indoors title are still alive as he survived a tough three-setter with Adrian Mannarino to come through his Quarter Final match 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, in one hour, 43 minutes.
The Swiss went into his 15th Basel Quarter Final as firm favourite, having never dropped a set against Mannarino in their previous four meetings; but it was the left-hander who made all the early running as he nabbed the first set and forced Roger to hit a stunning backhand half-volley winner from the baseline deep in the third set to save a crucial break point. That proved to the be the difference though as Roger reeled off the next 3 games to move into the Semi-Finals where he'll face David Goffin.
Quick Match Recap
Federer kicked things off with a hold after being taken to deuce. Mannarino then levelled to 15 and he had the better of the opening exchanges as Roger found himself overhitting and making uncharacteristic unforced errors. Fortunately, his serve was clicking to keep it close but in game nine Mannarino played two great points for 0-30 and then broke to lead 5-4. The Frenchman then served out the set comfortably.
Into set two and Federer needed to find his base level. After holding for 1-0 he broke to lead 2-0 and momentum had shifted. Roger consolidated for 3-0 and then secured the double break for a 4-0 lead which put the set to bed as he cruised through his next two service games to take the set 6-1.
A decider looked to have Roger's name on it after he dominated the second but it wasn't that simple. In Mannarino's first service game the Swiss fashioned two break points but Mannarino showed his mettle to hold for 1-0. The Frenchman then missed a routine half-court ball which would have given him a break point for 2-0, instead, Roger held to level.
The pair then traded holds and in game six it was Mannarino who held two break points, Roger saved the first with a smart serve but had to come up with a genius half volley pickup backhand to save the second. Had that missed it could well have been goodnight but Roger held from deuce and reeled off the next three games as no doubt Mannarino couldn't believe he didn't break when he was able to hit a return that well.
|Roger Federer||Adrian Mannarino|
|1st Serve Points Won||84%(32/38)||62%(26/42)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||56%(19/34)||59%(24/41)|
|Break Points Saved||67%(2/3)||50%(4/8)|
|Service Games Played||13||13|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||38%(16/42)||16%(6/38)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||41%(17/41)||44%(15/34)|
|Break Points Converted||50%(4/8)||33%(1/3)|
|Net Points Won||62% (8/13)||56% (5/9)|
|Return Games Played||13||13|
|Service Points Won||71%(51/72)||60%(50/83)|
|Return Points Won||40%(33/83)||29%(21/72)|
|Return Points Won||54%(84/155)||46%(71/155)|
Thoughts on the Match
Today was a battle. I had to somehow dig and fight and sometimes these wins are more rewarding than just leading from the get-go and dominating throughout and bringing it home. These are better matches to win sometimes, actually. I just had a tough time really getting into it and he was rock solid, so he deserved that first set, but the reaction from me was really important.
An important win here for Fed and he had to dig pretty deep to defeat an in-form Mannarino. Going in I thought the sets would be close but just couldn't see Mannarino getting a set, however he played such a solid game that caused Roger all sorts of problems.
The Frenchman has an unorthodox style; a very open stance with his hip doing most of the work on the forehand but he is able to move the ball around the court brilliantly and put his opposition in tricky spots. Couple that with his tricky serve that looks hard to read and he's able to hang with the best. I mean those two points he played at 4-4 in the first set to get 0-30 were top class and he's comfortable in every area of the court.
I think Roger actually made the mistake of getting drawn into Mannarino's game in the first set where he was content to let the Frenchman play from the back of the court, figuring he can't really hurt him with his groundstrokes. However, he ended up out of position and tried to hit winners from balls that just weren't there hence the unforced errors racking up. The second set was obviously much better where he got back on the front foot and the third was close with that bit of magic making the difference in the end.
Predictions vs. Goffin
Next up is David Goffin who defeated Jack Sock in straight sets coming from a break down the second to win through. Goffin's had a tough year with an injury but has found some great form in recent weeks winning his first title in three years during the Asian swing. As a result, he's played a tonne of tennis and looked to be flagging in Antwerp but he's played well in Basel and could give Roger a tough match later today. Fed leads the H2H 5-0 and all the signs point to a 13th final but Goffin is a great ball striker/mover so Roger will need to be the guy forcing the issue.
I'll do a post on the Bercy draw should Roger decide to play but you can see his projected opponents below:
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Feliciano Lopez
- Round 3: Jack Sock
- Quarter Final: Dominic Thiem
- Semi Final: Marin Cilic
- Final: Rafael Nadal