More blistering stuff from the Swiss Maestro as he cruised into the Western and Southern Open Semi Finals with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Feliciano Lopez.
Roger maintained the aggressive gameplan that he's utilised all week to break once each set. Hitting 26 winners to just 12 erorrs en route to recording his victory in 62 minutes.
Like the first 2 matches there was little to worry about for Fed as he dominated from the back of the court; maintaining his 100% record of service holds this week but did have to save his first break points of the tournament; doing so in style winning 5 points in a row from 0-40.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and elected to serve; kicking things off with a 1 minute hold to love.
Lopez's serve is one of the best in the business and he matched the Swiss toe to toe in the early exchanges but at 2-3 the Spaniard made 3 tame errors to drop serve.
The one break proved decisive as Roger rolled through his next 2 service games to take the opener 6-3. Check out the backhand on set point!
With Fed holding a 68-2 win loss record against active Spanish players on tour (aside of Nadal) Lopez's chances didn't look great after dropping the openening set.
He did however push Roger on serve, sending a return inches long at 30-30 in game 2 and then holding 3 break points at 3-2 only to see Roger win 5 points in a row to hold.
That important hold effectively ended the Spaniards resistance as Roger broke in game 7 before serving it out 6-4.
|F. Lopez||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||55%||70%|
|1st Serve Points Won||22/30 (73%)||31/37 (84%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/25 (48%)||10/16 (63%)|
|Break Points Saved||2/4 (50%)||3/3 (100%)|
|Service Games Played||9||10|
|1st Return Points Won||6/37 (16%)||8/30 (27%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||6/16 (38%)||13/25 (52%)|
|Break Points Won||0/3 (0%)||2/4 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||10||9|
|Net Points Won||12/17||14/22|
|Total Service Points Won||34/55 (62%)||41/53 (77%)|
|Total Return Points Won||12/53 (23%)||21/55 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||46/108 (43%)||62/108 (57%)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
I did feel good, especially in the first set. In the second set a little less maybe. It was also an important game to hold being down Love-40. That's exactly the kind of match it can become. As an experienced tennis player, I'm aware that matches can turn around extremely quickly. It's good I got out of that game and was able to break right away and then bring it home. Things tend to get away from you super fast against big servers, especially on a surface that's faster like here. I'm very happy with the match.
Another top notch win for Roger at an event that he's won 6 six times in his career. Just like his first 2 matches this week he was just too good for his opponent; sharper around the court and playing with ultra aggression to keep the match on his terms.
It's also impressive at how clinical he's been – spending very little time out there and not dropping serve so far in the tournament. Skipping Montreal has clearly paid off as he has a high intensity and for my money when Federer has the explosiveness in his legs he's still the best player in the world. It's just when he has 4,5,6 matches in his legs by the end of a tournament that his level drops a notch and he can't quite produce his best tennis every time.
As for Lopez, he'd spent 5 hours more on court this week than Roger and looked a little sluggish from the baseline. As he pointed out at the handshake “fuck, you were flying all over the court” which sums it up well; Fed was just a step ahead of him from start to finish 🙂
Predictions vs. Murray
Next up is Murray who followed up his marathon win over Dimitrov with another lengthy encounter against Richard Gasquet. Murray again dropped the first set but preyed on his opponents mental frailties to win 4-6 6-1 6-4 in 2 hours 5 minutes.
The Scot has spent a lifetime on court in both Montreal and Cincy; admitting in press his body feels tired so I think Fed is firm favourite going in. Even if Murray had fresh legs I'd still like Fed's chances because of how he's playing. The match at Wimbledon showed that when Roger is on the front foot it's almost impossible for Murray to match him.
Roger leads the H2H 13-11 and has won their last 5 matches in dominant fashion. It's a closer H2H score than you might expect but in the early days, especially outside slams, he used to view Murray as a young pretender who he couldn't take seriously. This cost him a few matches, and he even threw out some verbal jabs about his grinding pushing style after a couple of losses to him. All looked a bit sour grapes but since Murray started winning slams the respect has grown and Fed doesn't take him lightly.
I'll pick Fed to get in done in 2 sets. 6-4 6-2.