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.
|Roger Federer||Ruben Bemelmans|
|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)|
|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)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
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.