Bit of a surprise result here as Milos Raonic defeated Roger for the first time in 7 meetings at the Quarter Finals of the BNP Paribas Masters in Bercy. An impressive display from the Canadian who served fantastically well throughout to come through 7-6(5) 7-5 to book a mouthwatering semi final clash with Parisian crowd favourite Tomas Berdych. Jokes aside it was a very solid display from Raonic who didn't ever look like dropping serve and came up with some line finding bombs on the big points late in the second set when Fed applied some pressure.
Not Federer's sharpest display on the return but I don't think he can go home too disappointed, he looked flat vs. Chardy, cruised vs. Pouille and then ran into a red hot Raonic who served exceptionally well. I don't think Roger really tested him too much but that's because he didn't get enough balls in play and when he did get himself in front he let Raonic back in the breaker. The second was a similar story, 1 real chance not taken and then a sub par service game at 5-5 to hand Raonic virtual match points.
Quick Match Recap
Raonic won the toss and elected to serve; firing down a love hold to start things off. Roger got pegged to deuce in his opening game but held and then both players traded holds in games that lasted a matter of seconds.
At 4 games a piece Botnic had only lost 1 point behind his first serve and Roger wasn't too far behind. Aside from the break point Raonic held at 3-2 there was little else to go at and the best Roger could muster was a 30 all chance at 5 all.
The lack of return points available meant a tie break and Fed got off to perfect start with a mini break on the first point. However he lost both his service points and Raonic capitalised, not dropping another point on serve as he closed it out 7-5.
Into the second and it was a virtual mirror image of the first with both guys looking completely untroubled on serve. In fact the only real chance came at 5-4 when Roger had his first break point (set point) of the match but Raonic served his way out of it.
The sole set point was ultimately Roger's only chance to get back in the match as he played an uninspired service game to get broken before Raonic closed it out to 15.
|M. Raonic||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||67%||62%|
|1st Serve Points Won||40/47 (85%)||38/43 (88%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||15/23 (65%)||14/26 (54%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/1 (100%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|1st Return Points Won||5/43 (12%)||7/47 (15%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||12/26 (46%)||8/23 (35%)|
|Break Points Won||1/2 (50%)||0/1 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Net Points Won||6||14/20|
|Total Service Points Won||55/70 (79%)||52/69 (75%)|
|Total Return Points Won||17/69 (25%)||15/70 (21%)|
|Total Points Won||72/139 (52%)||67/139 (48%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Bien sûr j'aurais voulu gagner ici mais maintenant j'ai 9 journées sans match donc je peux gérer mes 2 derniers objectifs
Interesting one this as it's obviously a surprise loss but not really a tough one one to swallow. Raonic played a very solid match and Fed looked similar to the Cilic match at the US Open; a little low on energy and not at his sharpest. I can't really say Fed played badly as his stats are near perfect, it was just a classic case of neither player having many opportunities to break and a few points here and there that went the way of Raonic; who on balance deserved the win as he came up with the right shots when he needed to.
I'm guessing Fed won't be too disheartened by the loss either as his winning streak had to come to and end at some point and in terms of timing this was near perfect. It gives him ample rest for the World Tour Finals and then the Davis Cup Final that follows shortly after. Fed's played a packed schedule since the US Open and has played the maximum amount of matches in his last 2 tournaments so a rest here could be a blessing for his chances in London.
As for the Number #1 scenario I doubt Roger really gave much thought to it. It was always a case of win his matches and see what happens as it is ultimately out of his hands. Roger knows better than anyone that the press need headlines and people want something to talk about so the race for Number #1 is perfect fodder.
Next stop London for the GOAT where his first goal is to qualify from whatever group he's in. Raonic has a shot at qualifying after his win so we may get a rematch there where I fully expect normal service to resume 🙂