Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Fluent Federer Flies Past Fritz Into 4th Round at Australian Open

The Swiss Won Through 6-2 7-5 6-2 to Set Up a Tie with Stefanos Tsitsipas

Roger Federer put in his best performance of the Australian Open so far with a straight-set dismissal of Taylor Fritz in 1 hour and 28 minutes.

The Swiss dropped only three first-serve points (93%, 40/43) and broke serve 5 times en route to 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory that puts him into the second week where he'll face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round on Sunday.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Fritz AO

Fritz won the toss and elected to serve. A quick hold put him on the board for 1-0 before Roger quickly levelled to love. 

An ace to start game three made it seem as though the American was starting nicely but Roger quickly dispelled that notion winning four points in a row to break for 2-1.

A double fault at 15-15 gave Fritz a slight sniff off a reprieve but Roger held and broke again for 4-1 before taking the set 6-2, landing 72% of serves and converting both his break points.

Into set two and Fritz again kicked things off with a comfortable hold before Roger once again levelled with a hold to love. A repeat of the first set looked likely when the Swiss fashioned a break point in game three but this time Fritz held for 2-1.

That started a mini-revival for the San Diego native as he began to find some more penetration with his serve and forehand to take care of his service games.

The problem however was he was having little success on the return, his only real inroad coming in game eight where Roger came out on top on a 25 shot rally that would have given Fritz break point. Instead, Roger held for 4-4 and was able to break two games later before serving out the set 7-5.

Coming from two sets down looked to be an impossible task for the American having had a tough four-setter in the round previous and so it proved as Roger moved up an early break in set three to lead 2-1. Another break came in game five for 4-1 and the Swiss soon sealed it 6-2.

Match Stats

  Taylor Fritz Roger Federer
Aces 8 10
Double faults 0 3
1st serve in 58% (45/78) 61% (43/70)
Win 1st serve 62% (28/45) 93% (40/43)
Win 2nd serve 61% (20/33) 63% (17/27)
Breakpoints won 0 56% (5/9)
Net points won 43% (6/14) 83% (15/18)
Receiving points won 14% (10/70) 38% (30/78)
Winners 24 34
Return winners 2 0
Unforced errors 22 14
Return unforced errors 2 1
Total points won 61 87
Fastest serve 224 kmh 203 kmh
1st Serve Average 193 kmh 185 kmh
2nd serve average 161 kmh 161 kmh

Highlights

Press Conference

Thoughts on the Match

Federer AO 3R 2019

I wanted to get out of the blocks quickly because I knew the threat of Taylor, his possibilities on the serve, what he can do on the return, especially the second serve. I think I had extra focus today to make sure I really got off to a quick start and I did.

The second was tight, tough, there were a few chances. He protected his serve well and then it was close it at the end. We had some tough points, it was good and like you said I had a good feeling out here today against someone who can be very dangerous out here.

A super fluent performance here from Roger and he was all over Fritz from the word go, giving him very little time from the baseline and getting off to such a quick start that the American had little time to gather his senses. 

It was a bit like a boxer taking a huge shot in the opening round and Fritz was on wobbly legs thereafter unable to really get on the front foot or do much damage. 

Aside from a brief spell in the second set,  where Fritz found some momentum to win a few return points and miss out on a break point chance by a whisker after losing a 25 shot rally, that was the only chance he had of ever making it into a match.  

Fed just kept moving forward, shrinking the court, landing shots and he never looked in any trouble; facing no break points and winning 93% behind his first serve. Job done 🙂

Predictions vs. Tsitsipas

fed-tsitsi

I'm happy I played against him at the Hopman Cup. I think he played really well there. I actually did too. I thought it was really high-quality tennis. This is obviously a different type of match, it is best of five, it being the fourth round of a slam, you know, where we know now how we feel on this court. I think he had to work extremely hard against Basilashvili again today because he hits hard and I saw him before I went out really defending well and a lot.

I'm happy for him. He's playing so well, and I'm looking forward to the matchup with him. I think it's going to be a good one. I like how he mixes up his game and also comes to the net. So will I. I think we will see some athletic attacking tennis being played.

Next up is Stefanos Tsitsipas who defeated Basilashvili in four sets and will be Roger's toughest opponent yet. The Greek has dropped a set in each of this first three matches spending 9 hours and 56 minutes on court so far, Roger, on the other hand, has spent 6 hours and 11 minutes in winning his first three matches. A bit of a gap but whether it makes a difference I'm not that sure as Stefanos is a young guy who should be able to recover quickly.

Based on what we saw at the Hopman Cup, Tsitsipas can go toe to with Roger and cause problems with his game style.

He has big shots on both wings, moves well and looks to play aggressively. Much like today, I think Roger will need to come out and try to get on top early from the baseline to take his opponents time away.

I'd like to see more of what we got today but some more aggressive returning. I think if he attacks Tsitsipas's second serve he'll get some cheap return points.

The Greek has a fairly high and inconsistent ball toss and under pressure, these things do break down. It used to happen to Berdych a lot as whenever you are hitting the ball when it's dropping, the margin for error is smaller as the ball is travelling faster. I noticed it at the Hopman Cup but Tsitispas had a pretty good serving day then, maybe Best of 5 on Roger's GOAT buddy's court it's not as simple. Hopefully Fed in 3, but could be tougher.

What did you guys think of the Fritz match? Predictions against Tsitsipas? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

Related Articles

110 Comments

      1. Why is that actually awaiting moderation ? Never was in the past did I transgress or something haha? Go Fed and congrats Atlee! The write ups are gold I’ve not been watching but hopeful for Sunday. Thanks everyone for the comments too!

  1. I *know* it’s less than 20 minutes since I last refreshed to see whether you’d posted yet, Jon, so I guess my system definitely isn’t clearing its cookies. (That should probably have gone on the previous post, but never mind)

    1. Still asking for Data Consent stuff on every visit? It does for me too but I’m often browing via VPN, incognito and running C Cleaner all the time. If I accept, then revisit in a normal window, doesn’t ask again.

      Are you logging in to comment? Or just typing name, email and clicking save details for next time?

      1. Hm not sure tbh. The site isn’t cached for logged in users so it will be slower.

        There aren’t many benefits to logging into WordPress to comment. You can just manually type your details in the comment box once, then click the tick box to remember them for future comments.

  2. Third !
    Jonathan, you are as quick as Fed. 🙂

    Very well done. His forehand was excellent today.

    Fed was slick
    And now… A Greek.

    Let’s hope for a Perfect Sunday morning.

  3. Fed’s winners to unforced errors has been superb this week. He is playing well and seems to be pretty free in his hitting. Hope it continues. I think Tsitispas will have to have one of those days where the ball looks like the size of a grapefruit or softball for him to win.

  4. Thanks for the write up Jonathan,very frustrating not being able to watch these matches.An impressive win for Fed who
    seems to be firing on all cylinders.I know some people are not happy with Fed playing daytime matches but wondering
    whether it is slightly better for him as the balls fly quicker.I read somewhere that the court is slow at night and the balls
    heavier.However I haven’t seen the weather forecast for Sunday!
    I think he will beat Tsispy who can seem to lose it a bit at times,as we saw today.Might be a four setter though.There have
    been some pretty bad line calls this tournament and I still think the way forward is to get rid of the lot of them,although I
    know you don’t agree?

      1. Jonathan, I am not lacking in passion, how could I be a Fed fan if I was but 1.30am is going it a bit ?

  5. Nice all, thanks, Jonathan. Except that the highlights already went very off already and without me seeing any of it – rather frustrating! If anybody has any links – maybe even the whole match, like FBRF had for I think the 1. round – it would be much appreciated if typed in your comment …?

  6. Cant believe I missed the entire match 🙁 nothing beats watching it live on telly. YouTube highlights isnt enough for me. Reading from Jon’s report, Roger was firing all cylinders from first point. 3 matches done, 4 more to go… next big test against Tsitsipas. Stay sharp Rog!!!

  7. Great match at the moment between Verdasco and Cilic.Heartbreaking double fault from Verdasco on match point after
    serving aces galore.Will he regroup?

      1. Yes was amazed by the quality of the tennis from both sides .Now Cilic faces BA,I wonder who
        Fed would prefer to play,providing he gets that far of course?

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed that match. Roger played so well even winning long rallies. He seemed so relaxed and made it look easy.
    Day matches work for me time wise. But I think he’ll be night again.
    Love watching his pressers. He has such thoughtful and intelligent answers. And so cute with his sons in attendance.
    Over the moon today. Go Roger!

  9. What stood out to me was how solid he has from the ground. Firing on both wings and very few of the awful errors that we were seeing in the 2nd half of last year. Seems like it hasn’t been discussed in interviews, this forum, etc (or has it?) but the hand issue seems to be behind him. The forehand is back. Oh and the movement was super explosive too. IMO this match was the cleanest and sharpest he’s looked since early last year.

    1. Well, people were speculating about the reason for him apparently grunting in his first match, weren’t they? Suggested it might still be the hand.

    2. Grunting due to a hand injury. I must have missed that in the comments, good job too as you can’t take anyone who writes that seriously 😀

      Yeah he’s looked sharp so far. But much tougher tests to come. Maybe the courts are a touch slower this year which doesn’t help.

  10. It is such a pleasure to see Fed playing so well. My prediction for the Tsitsipas match is that it will be exciting, with aggressive, all-court tennis from both players – my favourite type of tennis. But I think Roger will win in 4.

  11. Great match from Federer, very crisp. It’s not Jan-March 2017 level, but he looks sharp. Shame about Verdasco, I was hoping he could take out Cilic. I am beginning to think that Evans match was good for Federer, a real test and maybe that gave him confidence his game is on.
    I heard Laver is playing slow, but the other courts are faster. Also for some reason they switched to Dunlap balls this year, maybe those are heavier and fluffier after a game or two.

    The Hopamn match vs Tsitsipas was a very high quality affair from the highlights I saw. He’s a great server and plays a positive game, attacking. It’s almost a bit like a young Federer in a way with less variety . And the Greek chorus in the stands will be very loud . For sure they will make this a late night match to milk the drama. It will probably be done at 1am or something annoyingly.

    I am hoping for Federer in 4, with at least 2 tiebrekaers. If Tsitsipas wins the first set then things could get very dangerous.

    In some pre-tournament picks I read , they had De Minaur beating Nadal because of Nadal’s questionable fitness coming in…honestly, why do tennis ‘experts’ play this game year after year? I find the experts play the opposite game with Federer, they keep saying he’s ‘moving as well as ever’ or that a ’21 year old Fritz might not have the legs to last 5 sets’ as if Federer was 25. Just go watch some highlights of Federer in 2005-2007 to see what his peak movement was like. He’s still great now of course but no reason to exaggerate. This constant pitching of Nadal as some kind of underdog can only be a cynical ploy , but for what purpose I don’t know. Maybe it gets casual fans to watch?

    1. I think any sensible commentary would have Nadal as the easy favourite “injured”or not.The Demon was
      coming off a tough five setter and had reached a final somewhere I think in a previous tournament.
      He really came to life in the final game and showed what he may be able to do in the future.
      The underdog thing is of course a useful pre-emptive strike in case he is beaten.We all know a healthy
      Nadal has never been beaten,no?
      i

      1. Demon is “proud of himself though”…always says that anyway he got Sydney it’s a start, he wasn’t put there to win was he? Sorry but the bull just is the luckiest guy out there, no?how he keeps returning to full force in a tourney after not even a warm up tourney everyone else needs! Hope Thiem gets over his illness and is a clay force this year too, but a Winner!

      1. He mentioned his sabr himself, so maybe a bit important to him, – still. But of course – he didn’t use it for a kong time, so…no wonder, we thought it out of significance. The effect of surprise? Part of his strength is unpredictability.

  12. It is interesting how the draw is holding up this year,there have been a lot of five setters but apart from Anderson and
    Thiem no real upsets.

    1. I have my hopes up for Shapavalov tonight vs Djokovic 🙂 But yes upsets have been rare and the draw is holding up, of course Anderson was Nadal’s QF opponent, so I expect a rested Nadal in the semis probably without dropping a set.

      Putting this out there to people, who would you prefer to win , Djokovic or Nadal? Honestly I can’t see Federer beating them both best of 5 in succession, provided he was fortunate enough to get past Tsitispas and Cilic …

      1. yes,I believe he has an awfully difficult draw,but so he had in2017,but of course Djoker wasn’t
        around then.
        I don’t like either of them but if he has to lose,anyone but Nadal.
        ps can’t see Shapavalov even getting a set.!

      2. Also hoping for Shapo to take out Djoker…we can dream. I hate Roger losing to Djoker BUT if Nadal wins, then he is one slam closer to Fed. A lose lose situation. That is why we must pray to the tennis gods.

  13. Another good match by Roger. Good performance all around. Needs to keep this up and have better FS% for the next match. Tsitsi could be a close one. Hope Roger starts off strong and finishes him in 3. Real sad to watch Fiasco commit suicide again after playing so well for 4 sets. Nadal looks pretty strong. Wish Roger could serve his first serves at 75% like Nadal on key matches.

    1. Yeh well ,i don’t feel Fed needs to emulate Nadal as a role model?
      Yes the Fiasco match,two sets up,serving for it and double faults on match point.Awful.But sort of shows
      what an extraordinary game tennis is,that scoring system can take you from the heights to the depths.
      So ,I don’t know,tennis is like that,but Fed hasn’t won 20 grand slams for nothing.

  14. impressive match. good stats, especially winners to UFES. Hopefully the confidence growing match by match. Fritz couldn’t cope with the slice or lower balls at all. Do these youngsters practise enough against slice. fritz gives the impression he just serves and topspins all day. Very dull.

    Yes, Stef his toughest oppo to date but I still take Roger, maybe in 4 if we get a TB, because its a Slam, bof5 and Stef has to be slightly weary and has dropped sets throughout as you say. Slam v different to an exho and Fed clearly playing much better than last year so far. Some parts of the media gunning for an upset but hey some of them thought Alex wld beat Rafa….. 😉
    Roger in 3 or maybe 4.

    PS I like these interviews on court where basically he gives out subtle messages to the press telling them to back off with the pressure on next gen, saying it takes time!!

    1. Yeah Fed made Fritz look slow and old 😆 had no idea where shots were going.

      I don’t get the De Minaru hype, quick as a whippet and plays smart but gonna get manhandled a lot.

  15. @Jonathan,
    I don’t know what I am doing wrong and it is driving me and no doubt everyone else crazy.
    When I type it out it looks fine.
    When I post it ,it comes out jumbled up.
    What am I doing wrong?

  16. Thanks for sharing the presser Jonathan. This was a particularly good one. Fed is so authentic and insightful. I think he acknowledged that in some ways, his best years are behind him but he is still having fun and his family is happy. But he won’t be playing competitive tennis in 10 years time. He also said he remembers something about all of his title matches. Finally he didn’t criticize the tournament for the scheduling and pointed out it is all part of playing tennis at this level. Fed is truly a class act.

    1. Stuart Belt – I wouldn’t take him too seriously when talking of best years behind, not being the favorite, as in AO2017 about only small steps and ditto expectations. We don’t know what is still in store. For sure I believe him when saying age does a slower recovery from pain and fatigue. But at the moment he looks indeed sharp. Would you have expected so in 2013,- 14, -15 – 16? But I agree I don’t think he’ll make an A(ndy)M(urray) either…

      1. As much as I still enjoy watching his play, it goes without saying that he is not what he was. His sheer experience and good tennis make him a good candidate for a slam winner (Go Roger) but he has more off days than he did. 2006 Fed is no longer here. Just watch some past videos.

      2. Yesyes, up and a bit down – slower recovery in periods. But at the moment up ? hopefully stays there throughout AO.

    2. Haha you have to admire the Muser delusion here. Of course his best years are behind him, and he knows that better than anyone. The good thing is, Fed is a realist. Unlike many of his fans 😆

  17. Any day Nadal loses is a great day. If no one can take care of him I know our Fed will do it.

    What I don’t get is, what is it with his luck with draws? It never ever disappoints!

  18. “Fluent Federer flies” – Great title!
    Okay, he’s JUST a tennis player and his tennis is the reason I love him. But when I watch his interviews, love him even more. Thanks for the video, Jonathan.
    Can’t believe I miss all his matches even I am where almost no time difference 🙁 Agreed with Dippy, the highlights is not enough. I also hate the live score! I’m a disgraced Fedfan, I know.

    1. Then bagels Shapo. He often plays his best tennis when his anger level is raised.

      I didn’t watch but sounds like Shapo just went for his usual wild shotmaking approach. This is why I don’t rate his game, fun to watch but that’s not the blueprint for success in this era of court speed. He will pull off amazing wins but over 2 weeks in a slam? No chance.

      1. I so agree. I like him as a person and talent. BUT, why isn’t his coach reeling him in and teaching him the best way to success is not through this crazy play. So many unforced errors. He won points when he waited for the opportunity. And what the hell is Djoker about. Unless he is playing perfect tennis and the crowd loves him, he becomes one angry dude.

      2. That’s exactly what Shapo did. 57 UEs to 21 winners. Can’t beat anyone like this, surely not the Djoker.
        The only reason he got a set is because Novak dumped a couple of service games, the last one with a double fault. Very uncharacteristic. At least he can have bad days. That’s good news.

        I have higher hopes for Medvedev.

  19. Loved Roger’s match and of course all the good facts from Jonathan.
    Rafa’s match… we can’t say the young man didn’t try but pains me to
    say it but doesn’t Nadal recover well from injuries. The match between
    Djo and Shapo., my goodness was awful can’t believe Dennis was so
    bad. So c’mon Roger another good performance I’m getting kind of
    fed up with the young Greek x

  20. This tournament ,littered with terrible line calls and unnecessary fifth sets.
    Why do players use drop shots in tie breaks.
    Such a risky shot at the best of times.

  21. Feds serve totally fell off in second set tb, punctuated by a few nice shanks. That inability to convert on four set points (and earlier break points) is going to cost him. Tiebreaks are a lottery and Feds nerves arent that good anymore. Tsitsipas is playing a great match, in fairness, but fed had the second set on his racquet and blew it. He wont survive a marathon with tsitsipas. Maybe its for the better, nadal looks unstoppable.

  22. What an embarrassing fiasco. This guy is hugely talented but roger had every chance to beat him. Tsitsipas will lose to rba in straights, most likely. Fed had a nice route to the championship, but that second set tb took all his wind out. Tsitsipas played fast and hit his spots, and fed hit some great balls, but he came up small when it mattered most. Shame.

      1. Not true, Sue. I love roger as much as anyone here, and i’ve had many positive posts. It’s easy to stay and bask in his achievements, which we’ll do when he retires. For now, he is playing for results, and I want to see them. If he was outclassed and beaten, so be it. This was winnable with 14 break points, all lost. Thats the shame.

  23. Was planning to make another comment after my comment on the Round 1 post, but was hoping it would be after beating Tsitsipas! Unfortunately I ended up too tired to stay up for Roger’s match and fell asleep (with hindsight I should have gone to bed early and got up, but anyway, hindsight is 20/20 and all that). From what I’ve read, it seems like another case of the second set being absolutely crucial. If he had converted one of those set points, no way Tsitsipas beats him in 5. In that way, the third and fourth sets are basically redundant, because if Roger had won the first two, it probably would have gone the way of the Evans match. Nevertheless, you have to credit Tsitsipas for playing well to take advantage of the situation, and then to win the fourth set tiebreak once Roger started to bring some better game again. Hearing rumours that Roger is going to play the French this year, and it seems like a good decision, as I think that unless he plays unbelievably well he needs more than 12 tournaments to keep himself match fit. Certainly no issue regarding competitiveness, he can definitely still play extremely well and the match itself wasn’t too poor, just failed to convert the BPs. Shame it came after having set points for a two set lead, but the close ones sometimes go against you for a while, as I am well aware being a tennis player myself. Hopefully Roger’s close match luck turns itself around soon enough.

  24. I woke up to being afraid to look at the score. What a bummer. So close but no cigar. Please, someone take out Nadal and Djoker.

  25. Holdco…an embarrassing fiasco is a petty way to even think about this match, I
    like many others would have wished for another winner, could Roger have converted
    one of his many break points, well clearly not or it would have happened. I think
    it’s so sad for a player or players to work so hard on court and if they don’t win it be
    looked upon as an ’embarrassing fiasco’.

    1. At some point, we have to acknowledge that he is constantly letting these close ones slip away. We are all here to see him win, not just play great tennis and lose to an irritating, hyper upstart. Roger is too accomplished to get As for effort.

  26. Here are aome of my thoughts. Now let’s be honest Tsitsipas played well but Roger dropped a bit of his level there. Now what will make me angry is if Tsitsipas loses to RBA. On top of that we are heading for another incredibly boring Djokovic-Nadal final. Fed playing FO might mean his last, IMO.

  27. A few thoughts.
    I know it is just sport and there are more serious things in life… but I am sad too for the great champion Fed is.

    Even if Bautista-Agut plays very well, Fed would have had chances against him as BA played 2 long matches in a row.
    Too bad… But Fed lost his serve only once in 4 matches – at 37 ! Admirable !

    The match was so entertaining (the best since the beginning of this AO from what I’ve seen) though and Tsitsipas was fantastic. We have to admit it.

    A few minutes after Fed’s press conference, an alert came down on my phone  informing Fed will play at Roland Garros, in Paris, my town ! I couldn’t refrain tears. Maybe, I’ll have a chance to watch him play ? He can win easy  points there – sorry guys, Fed is now ranked 6 (ATP live ranking).

    I just went to visit the Roland Garros website showing, on their front page, Roger’s picture and announcing he will come back there in May.  I guess Guy Forget is dancing around the Arc de Triomphe…

    I read a tweet of somebody saying that if Roger plays RG in 2019, it is because he won’t play it in 2020, to keep time/energy to prepare for the Olympics… Maybe ?

    That sport gives us so many emotions…
    Let’s be grateful for that and let’s remember AO 17+18.

    39 celsius degrees are announced on Thursday in Melbourne. I wonder how we’d have felt if Roger would have lost against Nadal or anybody else in another furnace. Let the young ones endure it  and Roger, enjoy your mountains.

    I just hope one of the youngsters will prevent somebody of filling a gap between 20 and the numbers below.

    And thanks to  Roger for constantly  showing us passion for his sport/job. What an inspiration for any of us !

  28. I am 83 and the only thing I have on my bucket list is to see Roger play a match. How do I buy tickets for Miami Open in March?

    1. You can get them from the official Miami Open website, they’re on sale now. I don’t know what availability is like. You can also call 1-305-943-6736.

      Although I guess there is a risk he might not play Miami depending on how Indian Wells goes. But difficult to say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close