ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Flying Federer Downs Lopez in Cincinnati

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 Lopez Cincy 2015

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.

Match Stats

  F. Lopez R. Federer
Aces 9 8
Double Faults 2 0
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
Winners 16 26
Unforced Errors 23 12
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

Federer Lopez Cincy QF 2015

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 πŸ™‚

Predictions vs. Murray

Federer Murray Wimbledon 2015 Semi

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.


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. Roger played amazing, Murray was kinda tired i guess, but Roger was always in the lead and solid

    1. Yeah word on the street is that no more Gillette on the sponsors list. Someone caught him using a Wilkinson Sword razor in the locker room so they terminated his deal.

  1. Nice match! I like watching those two play πŸ™‚

    On another note, what’s with those second serve returns right on the service line?? o.O Is it just a gimmick he’s doing against “lesser” players, or do you see him using it against the big guns as well??

    1. Yeah Lopez has a unique style for a Spanish player.

      I see no reason why he doesn’t use it against all guys, but not sure its the sort of play he can bust out when in a back to the wall situation.

  2. I’m sure most of you have a better perspective than me here cause I’m relatively new (’12) to being a huge Fed fan.

    But kind of pulling for Fed to cement his number 3 status for the USA. I think Fed’s best chance to bear djokovik in a GS is befor the final when he is not quite as tired, (like in Wimbledon ’12).

    Its all a crap shoot but the most likely scenario is Djokovik makes the following finals. I don’t want Fed to have to meet him there. I think #3 ranking is the only position that gives him a shot at Nole in the semis and that would position him better to get #18. And I think as nice as Cincinnati #7 would be, it would not compare to #18.

    1. “USA” should read “USO.”

      “following finals” should read “USO” finals.

      Swine spell check. Swine typing!

    2. #3 could mean a Djokerer semi, but no guarantee. It could also mean a Murray semi final, Djoker final. But I wouldn’t get so far ahead of things… Fed hasn’t played a US Open final since 2009 and he’s currently 7 matches away from doing so. It’s a long way away.

      I don’t really care about rankings either, they take care of themselves, Fed just gotta win matches and give himself a shot. Cincy is first priority.

    3. So, you want him to lose. Otherwise he overtakes Muzza and goes back to No. 2, as far as I can see. Not sure which is best. But I don’t really want to see Novak win, either.

  3. My favorite point was the one where he broke to go up 4-3 in set 2. The next couple of points were good too, esp the one Feli won featuring amazing court coverage & gets & volleys from both.

    This is feeling very deja vu with Murray in the semis & perhaps, probably, djoko in the final. Don’t know if I’ll be able to bear watching. Bit silly. Guess I’m not over Wimby yet. As you say, Murray’s legs may be gone; but then Nole- heck, we thought he hadn’t been at his best going into the Wimby final. Getting ahead of myself, I know.

    He really was flying. Loved how you put that together into “Flying Federer”. Loved that his response to Feli, who is his age, was “we’ve got a couple of years left”.

    1. Yeah Lopez came up with the shot of the match with that behind the back lob. Other than that not the most exciting match as Fed just let his serve do the talking. No real rallies.

  4. Thanks, Jonathan for the write-ups.
    All you poor Europeans. Having to get up early or stay up late! Ha.

    Djokovic never seems to have difficult road to the finals lately. Not too many top players along the way.

    I went to the VanOpen on Thursday. Not bad, enjoyed the venue. Saw Wickmayer play. Otherwise, watched players I never heard of.

    Fingers crossed for our unshaven man in pink!

    1. Anderson Top 20, Lopez Top 20, Agut Former Top 20. Now Murray number 2. Yeah these routes to the finals are just too damn easy. Maybe he should play everyone twice πŸ˜†

      1. I think she told Djokovic is having an easier path. Hmmm.. Paire, Goffin, Wawrinka, Dolgopolov. (39+14+5+66)/4 = 31, Federer: Agut, Anderson, Lopez, Murray (22+16+21+2)/4 = 15. So Federer clearly had the tougher path and its only getting tougher with Djokovic in the final.

    2. I went through all the semi results yesterday in this year’s MS and slams that Djokovic has played. It was 9. He only had to face four top 10 players in those 9, and one of the four was Ferrer. So he was only sort of challenged 3 times before he went into his finals this year. While all but two of his opponents faced a top 10 in those semis. ND’s luck this year has been simply remarkable. Would be interesting to add up the rankings of all in his route and compare with his final opponent.

  5. Full flight Federer in last two matches. It looks like Federer has been working on a few things – that running return on second serve, plus he seems to be taking returns even closer to the service line than usual. It’s worked very well so far, particularly against Anderson. Of course, he knows Feliciano’s game very well and seemed to be having fun trying out a few new things. But perhaps not so much against Murray!

    Nice exchange at the net. Generous remark from Feli, and he didn’t seem too downhearted; probably happy to have beaten Nadal again.

    Feds is clearly going to be much fresher than either Murray or Djoko. His total time on court almost equals just one of their matches. Incredible. I still like his chances on this fast court. πŸ™‚

      1. I like FL next to Roger! There are quite a lot of “nexts” though, including most SBH’s (plus the Dolgo and Gofin πŸ™‚

  6. good performance from fed today. Nothing perfect like at wimby, but then that didn’t exactly end as planned, did it? πŸ˜‰
    Djokovic unconvincing today, but as usual is better than anyone else at making you beat him.

    1. Cite: “Nadal plays to not lose, Roger for the beautiful wins, – and Djoko, the little jerk, for his opponent to lose…”

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