French OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Sprightly Federer Moves into Second Week at Roland Garros

The Swiss marched into the 4th round with a 6-3 6-1 7-6 (10-8) win over Casper Ruud

Roger Federer is into the second week of the French Open after comfortably seeing off Casper Ruud 6-3 6-1 7-6 (10-8) in 2 hours and 11 minutes.

It was another sharp performance from the Swiss on the clay courts of Roland Garros which marked his 400th match at Grand Slam level, more than any other player in the history of the sport.

The records don't stop there either as he also became the oldest man to make the fourth round in Paris since Italy's Nicola Pietrangeli in 1972.

The 2009 champion will next face Leonardo Mayer in the last 16 after the Argentine defeated surprise package Nicolas Mahut in four sets.

Quick Match Recap

federer fo 3R 2019

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. The Swiss quickly had half a chance at 15-30 but Ruud found two big forehands en route to holding for 1-0.

A love hold saw Roger level at 1-1 and the pair exchanged comfortable holds as Ruud moved into a 3-2 lead.

From game five Federer began to get to work, throwing in a serve and volley to level at 3-3 and then utilising the short slice to get Ruud moving forward as he broke for 4-3.

With the new balls flying the Norwegian had a chance to break back at 30-40 but he couldn't make the return and Roger held for 5-3.

The trend from game seven then continued with Roger using the slice then injecting pace on his forehand to cause Ruud problems as he sealed the set 6-3.

Into set two and Roger maintained his streak of games won with a hold from 0-30 to lead 1-0.

With Ruud in desperate need of a hold, he couldn't find it as he dropped serve from 30-15 up. A love hold saw Roger consolidate the break for 3-0 and he was able to keep Ruud under the cosh with a double break for 4-0. 

Another quick hold put the Swiss up 5-0 and he'd won 9 games in a row in the blink of an eye. Ruud was finally able to get on the board at 1-5 but Roger served out the set, saving a break point at 30-40 after some casual play to take it 6-1.

Into the third and it was Ruud's task to try to avoid a completely one-sided scoreline and to his credit he got off to the ideal start, breaking for 2-0 after a flat game from Roger.

Unfortunately for him, he couldn't consolidate as Roger took advantage of a couple of short balls to get back on serve. A hold to thirty then put the Swiss back on level terms at 2-2.

However, Ruud didn't let his head drop and he managed to up his level, holding from 0-30 for 3-2, saving two break points for 4-3 and holding a break point chance at 30-40 4-4.

With the Norwegian now making a fist of it from the baseline he forced the tie break. Into the breaker and Roger fashioned the early mini-break for 3-1, but he slipped up on his own serve, going wide with a forehand for 3-3.

The Swiss held his next serve for 4-3 and then got his second mini-break for 5-3. A slick 1+2 punch gave him two match points at 6-4 with a serve to come but a netted backhand saw the first pass him by.

Ruud then held both service points to have set point 7-6. A serve and volley followed by an ace put Roger 8-7 in front and at 8-8 a costly Ruud double fault gave Roger match point which he converted in style with a beautifully worked point that had the Nadal Academy man covering every part of the court.

Match Stats

  Casper Ruud Roger Federer
Aces 2 11
Double Faults 6 3
1st Serve 73/107 (68%) 60/97 (61%)
1st Serve Points Won 49/73 (67%) 48/60 (80%)
2nd Serve Points Won 11/34 (32%) 19/37 (51%)
Net Points Won 6/13 (46%) 21/27 (77%)
Break Points Converted 1/5 (20%) 5/12 (41%)
Return Points Won 30/97 (31%) 47/107 (44%)
Winners 28 52
Unforced Errors 26 36
Total Points Won 90 114


Thoughts on the Match

federer ruud french open 2019

I enjoyed the match. I thought it was tough, even though I had a good run there for a while. And that also is very important for me to know, as well, that I can run through a set and a half and just take care of business and gives me confidence for the next match. That’s for sure. Federer on his victory over Casper Ruud

Another crisp performance here from Roger and he's through to the second week without dropping a set. The first two sets today were sublime and the third highly competitive but ultimately Fed had too much in the locker.

It's crazy to think that a guy who is almost 38 can move better than a 20-year-old but that was the case today as Roger showed off some slick court coverage when required and for the vast majority of the match, he was 1 or 2 moves ahead of his opponent.

After a competitive first few games, Roger used the Henman-esque short slice to bring Ruud in, then used his racquet head speed to inject pace and cause the Norwegian all sorts of problems. That run of 9 games was top class and when Fed is in full flight he's difficult to stop.

However, the third set did show that if Roger loses bit of springiness in the legs and you can keep him out there on the slower surfaces then you'll have chances. I thought he lost just a touch of intensity in the third, (which is hard to prevent in any match but it's more of a leveller on clay) and that allowed Ruud to find some rhythm and feel better about his game. Luckily Fed had the clutch serve, the experience and skills to not get drawn into a longer match than necessary.

As for Ruud, the scoreline in the second set was slightly harsh and I think he put in a decent performance, certainly showing some mettle to not let the loss of 9 games in a row throw him off completely. There's plenty upside to his game and I think he'll be a factor on clay in the future. Perhaps he doesn't move as well as some of the other guys in his generation but with no real weaknesses, a big forehand and Nadal on hand to practice with then good things are bound to rub off, the top 50 awaits.

It was nice to see him hang in there, I thought the first set also was tough, even though that was, it ended up, I think, double break maybe or 6-3. I can see why he’s going to be good in the future. He’s got a great attitude, very calm, very quiet, maybe very Norwegian, But it’s nice to see that he’s very focused, he’s got good energy. Even though he is maybe more on the calm side, also very fair, and no grunting and all that stuff. It’s just nice to play against a guy like that, to be quite honest. Federer on Ruud

Predictions vs. Mayer

federer shanghai

Next up is Leonardo Mayer who defeated Nicolas Mahut in four sets. Mahut pulled off two surprise wins against Cecchinato and Kohlschreiber to make the third round but couldn't set an all 37-year-old fourth round as the Argentine was a step too far.

In a way I'm glad as Mahut was massaging his glute with a tennis ball during changeovers so was clearly feeling the effects of playing singles which he's barely done this year. Had he progressed then 4th Round could have been a virtual walkover.

Instead, Roger gets Mayer who's a solid ball striker and on his day can be dangerous. His problem is that he's wildly inconsistent so it depends which Mayer turns up. If it's the one who took a set off Nadal in Barcelona earlier this year then he will ask Federer some questions, but it's rare for him to play at a high level over 3 or 5 sets.

I'm sure all Fed fans remember his match against Federer in Shanghai 😆 so it could be interesting but I think Roger has too much in his repertoire as he's shown in their last two meetings which were both straight sets.

What did you guys think of the match against Ruud? Predictions against Mayer? Let me know 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. Oh, I think he’ll win next one too. Seems to be solid and having solid fun. Is he sliding a little more too? I read that he likes sliding – well who wouldn’t?

  2. Sliding into the right position looks difficult but Fed managed it gracefully. I was not nervoso during the first two sets, even managed to enjoy them but was very nervoso during the third as we have seen that sort of THING before. He seems to be enjoying the tennis and of course that seems to be the secret. Mayer next.

  3. Weird body position on the title pic of the post. Looks like trying hard to keep body balance. Definitely not sliding but heel striking before hitting.

  4. Hey, Roger into second week! I haven’t seen the highlights yet, but it’s crazy how he has played against Ruud’s grand-grand-son after having played against Ruud’s grand son, son, himself, his father and also Mr. UoghUogh, a famous mamouth hunter who lived at around 20000 BC.
    Let’s just hope that Mayer does not get a match point where the ball sits for 2 minutes on the net cord wondering about the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

  5. Thanks for an excellent write-up. It is my first time to watch Ruud play and again, he is very decent player. Rog did well to hang in there in the third set 🙂 . Yes, I watched the Shanghai match, in which Mayer was unbelievable, painting the lines and Rog did the most catching up, until the end. At the net, poor Mayer was in tears 🙂 .
    Allez Rog!

  6. I thought Feds movement was incredible in the first two sets.
    However the third set was a change in tempo and Fed was throwing in what seemed like a lot of unforced errors.
    However he played a solid tie break and got the job done in style-that last point!
    As others have said,a nerve wracking tie break as if it had gone to four lots of danger signs,including time on court.
    Still he got it done in three in just over 2 hours.
    Better than Nadal😎

    1. Yeah, but Nadal did play someone, who has some name in tennis unlike the one from the country, well known for high level tennis 😉
      BTW – 2 hours on clay for Fed is far more, than 3 hours for Rafa.

      1. Or could be the negative meaning is opposite – that Fed gets more tired of this than Rafa of that – but that might be a too stupid guess 🥳

    2. @Thinker
      You may not agree, but it’s obvious for me.
      1. The age – I assume, Fed gets tired easier than Nadal, on every surface.
      2. The surface – Nadal is more used to play and move on clay, sliding better a.s.o. For some reason Nadal is King of Clay, not Fed. Clay is physically more demanding, Fed’s footwork rather gard/grass-oriented
      3. Nadal’s matches/rallies are typically longer for many reasons.

      Is my way of thinking exotic? Or not logic? Offensive against Fed?

      1. I think I was just trying to sort out in my own head what you meant by “more” in this context – more what? More tiring? More important?

        I’m not convinced Federer’s age translates quite as directly to tiring more easily (as other players); we know he specifically prioritizes care of his body in ways to minimize that. On the other hand I agree with you that Rafa is supremely adapted for clay, and obviously the 5 years’ difference between them is not nothing.

      2. Fed’s age doesn’t necessarily mean tires more easily. But it means he recovers slower. So time spent on the court is a big factor.

      1. Be careful guys:
        => 7 more entries on PRF’s blacklist !!!

  7. Only saw 1st 2 sets but lively, variety loving Fed had too much for young Ruud who has great potential I think.

    Mayer next, straight sets methinks unless Mayer serves out of his skin, and nicks a TB.

    I see both Stef and Stan want a go at Fed on clay…. tbh I wld like to avoid Stan. Thinking Stef more weary..

    Anyway, let’s get thru Mayer and keep saving energy

    1. Stan was not so solid on his ground strokes today, so he shifted his focus to the service, which was firing on all cylinders and granted him a 2 sets (both tie breakers) lead over Dimitri Grigorov. If boy-Fed improves his return game tomorrow he might push this to at least 4 sets.
      Good night, folks!

  8. Pretty much everything you said Jonathan. I wasn’t sure if Rog lost a half step in set 3, or if Ruud maybe started getting more accustomed to playing him – seemed as though Ruud wrong – footed the Fed a ciuple times when in the first two sets his anticipation was on fire.

    Ruud actually got himself a set point in the TB which he’s got to be proud of, but glad Fed pulled it out in 3.

    And oh, that quote about “no grunting and all that stuff” … the SHADE!!!

    Yeah that Mayer match in Shanghai… woof. Still this time Roger’s had several matches to get used to conditions. I think it’s a good step up for his next match. And we haven’t had any indication that Mayer’s got that kind of level in his back pocket. Of course he might just be saving it for Roger.

  9. Wuhooo Rog is into 2nd week, so happy but at same time a bit cautious against Mayer. I hope it’s a sunny day with quick conditions. Cmon Rog!!!

      1. Yep. I confirm. Very hot in Paris today and tomorrow. Then it will be cooler.

  10. He was cruising 5-0 in the second set until I joined the chat, thinking nice to watch stress-free match, then…I jinxed? With some tense clutch moments, though it was a great competitive 3rd set and what a MP! Agreed on Ruud will be a top 50 player not long. As for the next, hope for a easier match than
    Shanghai. Excellent post as always, thanks and have a good weekend, Jonathan.

  11. I do wonder though why two excellent matches had to be stopped because they have no lights.
    We are in the 21st century after all.I do think they need to look at the third set without tie break rule also.

    1. There are many solutions available but every tournament has also some tradition.

      21 century or not, tennis courts have still the same dimensions since ages.
      Wimbledon is conservative re white outfits.
      On RG they end matches at 22.00. Of course they have lights. It would not be possible to play without lights after 20.00.

      Even if it may be uncomfortable for spectators (on the stadium or home at TV), this rule on RG is set for players.’ they need time for rest, sleep and recovery. I think, it’s better to let them finish the match next day than let them play until the finish, maybe 2-3 hours after midnight.

      Even in countries, in which it’s an habit to start the “social life” late (Spain, Italy …), they should remember, most of players are not Spaniards or Italians.

      IMO it’s OK to stop playing at 22.00 and let continue (never as first matches of the day) next day.

    2. “On RG they end matches at 22.00. Of course, they have lights. It would not be possible to play without lights after 20.00.”

      Wrong. No lights.

      1. And you can conceivably play at Wimbledon until 9.30-odd, so something similar must be possible in Paris.

    3. Unless they fit lights on the stadiums there is no way around, of course. No can see ball, no can hit ball.
      There is always the “risk” that in a large tournament with a lot of matches scheduled for the same day, some may not be completed in a single journey. All players are fine with that, give or take a few cases where a shift in momentum was happening at the time of the interruption. But that’s circumstantial.
      You can play on the safe side and do not schedule any matches to start after, say, 16:00.
      You can also righteously argue that in a “rich” tournament there is no excuse to not have lights on the courts. On the other side some other may argue that “tradition” says this and that. Wrong. Tradition says nothing. People do. And intelligent people can change their opinion.

      1. Absolutely.I have always thought the all white rule at Wimbledon was a bit silly.
        And the awful shirts and blazers the poor line judges have to wear .Ridiculous.

      2. I like the all white. The sports companies are coming up with such garish designs these days, it’s nice to get a break from that. And I do like the blazers, purple and green ties, etc. Feels refreshing after the dirty clay season.
        Maybe it’s because I’m from the new country. 🙂

      3. I like all white, but I liked it better in the days when you could have more trim color.

  12. The program for tomorrow has just fallen : Fed vs Mayer in 2nd match after ladies. In the heat of the afternoon, consequently.

  13. Meanwhile,Struff has the honour of playing Djoker after a five set battle with Coric,and Sascha ensnared in another five
    setter but comes through to play Fognini next round.

    1. Struff had a great week so far, but I don’t see him surprise the Djoker, who seems bound to another Nole Slam.
      He will face some heavyweights in QF and SF but after gruelling battles between them, I wonder how much will be left in their tanks.
      I don’t think Rafa is in his finest form. I can see him record his first RUP finish in RG against Novak.

  14. I suppose we have to look for the ones coming through in straits.
    I tend to think Del Potro is a big threat to Djoker,but first he has to get past Khachanov and then either Monfils or
    Thiem,but if they go to five sets……

  15. Hey all… here we go again… only 4 more matches to go. Still impossible but also still doable.

    I read Roger hit his 11.000 th ace. He won his 400 th match at a GS. Played his 1465 th match and won his 1202 th match. Just like… wow… unbelievable… but that is the Goat for you 🙂 Go Roger, I really believe you can do this 🙂 Love you Goat 🙂

    Ps: I loved the 3rd set. Casper Ruud was playing really good, but Roger was not in the mood for a 4th set 🙂

      1. I read he has won against players from 58 different countries. And has played someone from every letter of the alphabet except X. I guess Xavier Malisse doesn’t count.
        Pray to the tennis gods for the sprightly, classy Fed to saunter into the next round. 🙂

      2. It was his 400th match in a major tournament according to the Eurosport commentator. It sounds like a bit of a stretch. It’s an average of ~20 a year, 5 per tournament if he had played all. It’s crazy. Are the numbers correct?

      3. Well there have been around 80 of them and he won 20 of them, and was RUP in many others so that might have done most of it? How many matches all in 80 – -around 560? More? Less? Actually I don’t think his playing the record 400 was published, if it wasn’t correct?

      4. Rui, it’s quite simple:
        Finals – 30*7=210 (matches played, not only wins)
        SFs – (43-30)*6=78
        QFs – (53-43)*5=50

        That alone is 338 matches.
        Roger is currently playing his 76 GS. He already added 4 matches to that tally.
        Make it 342. If you drop the 53 GS I’ve counted and this one, you get another 22 slams.
        59 matches in 22 slams means somewhere between a third round to a second round exit.
        Makes sense. He was kicked from plenty of openers until 2003.

      5. Oops… sorry… got wayyyy too excited…. not 400 matches at a GS won, but played 🙂

    1. Hi Katyani, Remember your old friend, Dolores? Am with you 100%….it’s one match at a time….Roger can win this! BELIEVE!

      1. Hi my sweet Dolores…. how can I forget Roger’s biggest and oldest fan in the entire world 🙂
        Yep. I love the dude, but you are his number 1 fan. Veronica and I both come second 🙂
        I miss Ronny…

        Love, Katyani.

        Ps: I know that on 27 July you will celebrate your…. let me be very polite…. 49th birthday 🙂
        Or is it your… ahem…. 19th birthday? 🙂

  16. Well, here’s my predicted QFs, just for the sake of writing it and then have you guys lough when it’s all wrong 😉
    1) Djokovic-Fognini
    Djoker- pretty simple. Fognini – I see him take Zverev as he did in Monte-Carlo. Zverev just can’t keep his concentration to close out best of five matches. Therefore, he’s playing a lot of 5 setters in slams.
    2) Thiem-Khachanov
    This is the toughest one to predict. La Monf looks great so far and Domi not so much. However, I don’t think Gael had a tough opposition so far, and Domi has a 4-0 lead in the H2H. I’d say it’s a close one and won’t be less than 4 sets, but I give the edge to Thiem.
    Khachanov over Delpo isn’t a given as well. I go with KK just because he’s younger and seems to have found his rhythm in Paris. Del Potro leads the H2H 3-0. It could easily be Monfils-Del Potro in the QF.
    3) Tsitsipas-Federer
    The greek plays like a top 5 player this year, and I think he has a slight edge over comeback-Stan.
    If Mayer goes past Roger it would be a hugh upset. Roger looks far better than he did last year, so I don’t see a Millman repeat here.
    4) Paire-Nadal
    Inchikori is the favourite and should pass, but maybe Paire is feeling it this time. I don’t think he can maintain a high level for a whole match. But he’s got the lightest of the possible ranked players, so this might be his best chance.
    Nadal is a given. If Londero beats him it’s the upset of the year.

    1. I have no idea how the O sneaked to that *laugh*.
      Maybe for the excitement of Roger finally beating a guy with a surname that begins in O.

    2. Loved your predictions😊
      1.Definately Djoker but I am going with Zverev over Fognini.
      For the completely facile reason that he is so handsome!
      2.I am going with Monfils/Del Poto.However totally agree this is a tough one to call.
      3.Stan/Roger.The Stan /tsisy match will be great (at least it should be) but I just have a gut feeling about
      Stan at this tournament.
      4 Agree about Paire/Nadal.When Paire is ‘on’ he is very good indeed.Injikori is always a let down,though a
      fine player and a very nice man.
      As for Nadal/Londero-never heard of him or Moutet,the one he beat to get there.
      So plenty of breadsticks and bagels upcoming there methinks.

      1. You were right, Annie. Weird ending though–after looking like the better player for most of the 5th set, Tsitsipas made a couple of errors to hand Wawrinka match point, then got burned by a slice pass from Wawrinka that looked like a total desperation shot. The ump had to double-check the mark to rule it in–and I’m still not sure it was actually in!

        It’s experience made the difference; Tsitsipas failed to press his advantage when he had it. So many BPs, he didn’t convert…and he ran out of time. Couple more years on tour, I think he won’t lose matches that way anymore.

      2. It definitely was in – I’ve seen 3 replays from different angles! Stunning shot, even if it was total desperation. Sometimes such circumstances can bring out great shots – as we know to our (or Roger’s) cost.

  17. Last eight without a set dropped…he’s taken care of business, taken advantage of the draw, and advanced quietly and smoothly without wasting energy. I’m with Katyani and Dolores–he is playing well enough to take this title, no matter his opponent.

    Tsitsipas-Wawrinka looks like it could go the distance, which is good for our man…but even so, the difficulty level goes way, way up in the next round. But he’s ready. C’mon Roger!

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