ABN AMRO World Tennis TournamentATP 500Roger Federer

Flying Federer Pummels Bemelmans in Rotterdam Opener

Roger Federer made a blistering start to his Rotterdam Open campaign with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory against qualifier Ruben Bemelmans in just 47 minutes.

The win puts World Number One firmly in sight and the Swiss is now just two wins away from overtaking Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings.

Quick Match Recap


Bemelmans won the toss and elected to receive. Roger held to 15 and then broke instantly for a 2-0 lead. A love hold was then followed up with a double break and Bemelmans only had three points to his name with the scoreboard showing 4-0. That was soon 5-0 and although the Belgian held his next service game to avoid a bagel Roger served it out to take the opener 6-1 in just 18 minutes.

With Roger now in full flow he broke at the start of set two for 1-0. A hold to love consolidated the break and despite Bemelmans holding his next two service games he was broken again at 2-4 as Roger served it out  6-2 in the second.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Ruben Bemelmans
Aces 6 3
Double Faults 0 1
1st Serve 64% (23/36) 70% (32/46)
1st Serve Points Won 91% (21/23) 50% (16/32)
2nd Serve Points Won 85% (11/13) 36% (5/14)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/0) 60% (6/10)
Service Games Played 8 7
1st Serve Return Points Won 50% (16/32) 9% (2/23)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 64% (9/14) 15% (2/13)
Break Points Converted 40% (4/10) 0% (0/0)
Winners 27 9
Unforced Errors 7 14
Net Points Won 90% (9/10) 43% (6/14)
Return Games Played 7 8
Service Points Won 89% (32/36) 46% (21/46)
Return Points Won 54% (25/46) 11% (4/36)
Total Points Won 70% (57/82) 30% (25/82)
SABR 0 0

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Rotterdam 1st Round 2018

An absolute beatdown here from Roger and great fun to watch. A look at the scoreboard suggests Bemelmans played poorly but in reality, he wasn't even given the chance to play. Roger just rushed him from the word go giving him zero time on the ball and he never moved off the baseline. Everything happened so quickly the Belgian had no way to respond and I'm assuming he just walked off court wondering what just happened 😆 .

There are very few players who have been able to derail the Fed express once he gets going and Bemelmans isn't one of them. It was a total carve up and once Fed had the early break he was in full flight mode; top class movement, brilliant shotmaking and when the confidence is high basically every shot he plays turns to gold 🙂

So great start to the event, a cool first match post-Australian Open and he looks to be in top form. Obviously, you can't get too excited about a first-round match against the World Number 116 but he is looking in very good shape to make the Semi-Finals.

Predictions vs. Kohslchreiber

Next up is Phillipp Kohlschreiber who defeated Karen Khachanov in a very tight three-setter 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5). I've not seen any of it but by all accounts, it was a thriller and a much-needed confidence booster for the German. I completely wrote him off in my Rotterdam draw post as he was yet to win a match in 2018 and looked poor in Sofia but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Roger leads the H2H 12-0 and I make him a strong favourite to make it 13-0 tomorrow. The Swiss moved like a gazelle tonight and if he plays anything like that then Kohli will struggle. The German plays quite deep in the court and I expect Fed's slice to cause him plenty problems too on what looks like a low bouncing surface which should make things awkward for his extreme grip. Fed in straight sets for me.

As always please let me know what you guys thought of the match in the comments.


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 just has too many weapons, and if the other guy doesn’t have enough firepower to answer, it ends very quickly.

      Tuned in at 20:00 Rotterdam time, thinking “not before 7:30” means a bit after… didn’t expect to miss the first set. 18 minutes?! Damn!
      Can’t watch the game tomorrow, so I hope Roger keeps up the high level. Just two more..!!

  1. 47 minutes ! Either Fed had given an appointment in the locker room to Rafa to watch Real Madrid-PSG with Dutch beers and gouda sandwiches or he wanted to go to the restaurant with Mirka for Valentine  Day… Waouh ! He was on fire tonight.
    It was poor Ruben vs Rubens the artist. We’ve seen the whole color palette tonight ! Wonderful…
    How lucky are we to watch him play !

    PS : Seppi has just won against Zverev 6-4 6-3 !

  2. Didn’t think he’d look that great for his first match post-AO.

    As for Kohli, I think it will either be a tight three-setter or a Federer Masterclass.

  3. When Fed is playing like that I feel sorry for his opponent, There is nothing a mere mortal can do.
    I am a fan of both Kohli and Kahcahanov, so watched their match intently. It was very close and I was pleasantly surprised when Kohli pulled out the win. That said, I don’t imagine Kohli will provide any real resistance to Roger, especially if it is the “Imperial” Fed we saw today. So I agree, Fed in SS.

  4. It would be a huge upset if Fed doesn’t make it to the final now. It’s guaranteed to be a qualifier in the semis…

  5. Fed’s just amazing to watch when he is locked into a match. He usually has good matches with P.K. both
    one handed backhands, so C’mon Roger stay focussed x

  6. Fed was sublime.Eveythng brilliant.No one could ask for more.Kolshreiber will be a stiffer test tomorrow but if Fed plays like he did today there will be only one winner.
    On the other thread I said how glad I as that Fed didn’t draw Seppi as a qualifier.My goodness that was right.He
    completely destroyed Zrevev in straight sets.Memories of that shock Australian Open defeat of Fed still rankle.Very
    dangerous on a slow court but a well deserved victory .Zrevev seems to have lost his way somewhat.

    1. Seppi will be dealt with in a variety of ways. Before that though, Roger has to chow on some lettuce, then break Dutch hearts.

  7. Wowza. Hope he can keep it up. As you say, Jonathan, when I saw the score I thought Bemelmans couldn’t have played too well, but when I saw some points I saw he was running well and making some great angles – it’s just that Fed was getting everything back. Looking imperious right now.

    One match at a time, but it’s certainly looking very positive right now…

    What the heck happened with Seppi and Zverev?

    1. I didn’t watch but he did say last year he doesn’t like Rotterdam conditions due to the height of the bounce? Seppi nice clean ball striker, prob suits his game nicely.

  8. Rog was quick, Rubens was bamboozled. Kohli will be tougher. Has run Rog v close as we know but Rog looks so fresh. Has a different focus to post AO last year. Wants that no 1, for his team, for his records for his tennis history. Ivan there to keep the focus. No fanily there at all. You can tell by the lack of shaving …..??
    Onwards and upwards to numero uno and title no 97

  9. Kohlschreiber showed some great nerve. When the match looked to fall to Khachanov side, bam! He breaks back and fights all the way through until the end. It’s not the most usual thing to watch from Philip so Fedsey should take care.

  10. Haven’t seen the match but it’s obvious the wife isn’t there…bearderer…oo-la-la.
    Hope Roger plays with focus and doesn’t go on a walk-about. Amazing what he can do when on a roll.
    PS A friend of mine saw Bill Gates at IW a few years ago with a towel on his lap and eating cookies on a silver platter. Some how I can picture that.

      1. PPS I sat at a table in a restaurant beside Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell and didn’t know it, (waitress told us after they left) for another random fact of the day??. I like the Bill Gates one better, can definitely picture that.

  11. Best 45 minutes this afternoon watching Roger in full flight. It will be a tougher match tomorrow, but will be straight sets.

  12. JesusFed match, playing like No1. Roger looked relax and focus. He has a good chance to reach finals now Stan and Sasha are out. Cmon Rogaa!!!

  13. I was only nervous for the first 10 minutes of the match, or about when Fed was up 4 0 with a double break. It was glorious to see him in Full Fed Flight and playing with confidence.
    Of course we cant’ take anything for granted, Fed’s back could lock up, he could catch a cold, anything can happen, but if he continues to play healthy like this # 1 ranking looks like it could really happen! Fed is always # 1 for me anyway, the ATP ranking is just icing on the cake.

      1. Bemel: He wasn’t as bad as the numbers show. Actually I liked his way of moving, and he had some good shots and returns –

  14. No one gave Donskoy a chance last year in Dubai, least of all me.

    Kohlschreiber is not a pushover and Fed knows that.

    Fed will be a bit tight today and Kohlschreiber has nothing to lose.

    I think it will be a three-setter and maybe a tie-break in the third with Fed prevailing of course.

  15. One more thought since on twitter many fans are lamenting the loss last year to Donskoy at Dubai. Who knows, if he had gone on to win the tournament, or gone deep, Federer might not have been fresh enough to win both IW and Miami, the Sunshine Double. After the AusOpen 2017 Federer was not in great shape from so many 5 set heart attack inducing wins. This is why I believe Fed lost to Donskoy, he was mentally and physically still wiped out from the herculean effort to win AO17.

    We all see how difficult it is now to come back from a long hiatus. Stan, Kei, Djokovic are all experiencing this transition with great difficulty.
    And it just proves how smart and miraculous Roger’s comeback of the last 12+ months has been. Yay!

    1. My impression was that he hadn’t recovered emotionally – was still up in the mountains with Norman somewhere rather than on court 🙂

  16. Great start for Fed. great analysis again Jonathan. Federers’ movement was so hard to crack and it was really really fast since he can create different shots in different angle. He just wow!!! THAT IS WHY I LOVE HIM!!! 🙂

  17. Sometimes Fed does have these inexplicable losses. To be honest all champions do. Look at Djokovic losing to Istomin at the Australian Open in 2017. Or Fed losing to Goffin at the WTFs. I am sure you are right that the effect of winning the A Open, including beating his nemesis in the final contributed to his loss to Donskoy.

    Still all clouds have a silver lining. The early loss in Dubai meant he was fresh for the sunshine double, the loss(gift) to Haas set him up for the win in Halle. I think Kohlschreiber’s experience played quite a part in his last round win. He hung in there and refused to go away. A very well fought match from both. However the only way Fed loses tonight is if he is injured. Certainly no signs of that yesterday ?

    1. One crazy “pattern” I have seen in Federer is that when he plays old veterans on their farewell tours he seems to let up a little. I remember when Roddick announced his retirement and played Fed in an exhibition which Rod won, and then in a tournament Rod won again..all this having a huge disadvantage in head to heads beforehand. So losing to Haas his very good friend was not too shocking to me.

  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOpx02_9pX0

    watch this interview. He was so relax.. 🙂 so honest but maintaining his confidence. he was so relax playing this days.

    I agree to other. he wanted to teach other guys to not be afraid going in especially to the young guys. he wanted to be challenge with other players. that’s why he still improving years by years.. love this guy…

  19. Let’s hope not!Some Fed fans(not on this forum)seem freaked out by Donkey.But Fed himself has said that he can’t
    win them all?I think that Fed is absolutely determined to get the number one.Plus he is(hopefully)doing it in his own way and time without killing himself by playing everything in sight,a la Murray and Nadal.
    I read somewhere that there was a hint he might play Dubai,presumably if he goes out early in Rotterdam.Time will tell I guess.

    1. Already did this quizz yesterday in fact, there are no trick questions I scored full marks. But it focuses on the more well known records so everybody should enjoy it. I am useless at quiz’s but this was straight forward even for someone as terrible as me. The “Gurantee you won’t get 20/20 quiz on the same website” was much harder I only scored a miserable 13/20 on interesting facts about tennis players. I spend my life watching tennis and reading about it, I am astonished at my lack of knowledge about a subject that is my total passion. I’m not a GOAT in this area that’s for sure.

  20. Though a few years ago I was quizzed about 20ger the Gr8at and had to identify 5 ladies singles players by grunts on the BBC I got them all right. To this day people think I am an expert on the great man. I decided to keep my mouth shut and not tell them the truth.

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