Roger Federer is into the Gerry Weber Open semi-finals after coming through another test this time at the hands of in-form Matthew Ebden in Friday's last eight clash.
Less than 24 hours after digging deep to see off Benoit Paire the Swiss again was made to work hard, recovering from 3-5 down in the second set to prevail 7-6(2), 7-5 in 88 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Ebden won the toss and elected to serve, holding to love to kick things off before Federer matched him to level at 1-1. From there both players began to roll through their service games, Federer in particular holding routinely. In game seven Roger fashioned his first break point but Ebden came up with the goods to hold. The Aussie then fought off another deuce game and we were soon into a tie-break.
Into the breaker and Roger came up with a sick return to get an immediate mini-break en route to establishing a 3-0 lead. Ebden won his next two service points to stay in touch but Roger moved through the gears, taking advantage of a double fault at 5-2 to rip another backhand return on set point to take it 7-2.
Roger started set two with a love hold and immediately had two break points. Ebden erased them both and a third later in the game to hold for 1-1. In game three the Swiss slipped to 15-40 and although he was able to save the first, a 25 shot rally went the way of Ebden as he broke for 2-1. A sweetly timely pass in the next game allowed Fed to set up two break points back and he converted the second to get back on level terms. However, after holding to fifteen for 3-2 and a failed SABR in game six Roger again dropped serve, handing Ebden the break with two wild forehands and then losing the breakpoint by failing to put away two overheads. The current world number 60 then held for 5-3 but couldn't get the job done at 5-4 as Roger went for broke on his return to break to 15. A 65-second game then put Fed up 6-5 and he won four points in a row in game twelve to break and move into the semi-finals.
|Roger Federer||Matthew Ebden|
|1st Serve Points Won||83%(30/36)||69%(33/48)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||66%(19/29)||45%(15/33)|
|Break Points Saved||50%(2/4)||63%(5/8)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|1st Serve Return Points Won||31%(15/48)||17%(6/36)|
|2nd Serve Return Points Won||55%(18/33)||34%(10/29)|
|Break Points Converted||38%(3/8)||50%(2/4)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Net Points Won||75% (8/12)||52% (23/44)|
|Service Points Won||75%(49/65)||59%(48/81)|
|Return Points Won||41%(33/81)||25%(16/65)|
|Total Points Won||56%(82/146)||44%(64/146)|
Shot of the Match
Thoughts on the Match
I felt like I had to push myself a little bit in the match today, it didn't come as easy as it does as other days. Potentially you get a little bit more frustrated when you feel a bit tired but at the end of the day I think I can take a lot of positives out today's match the semi-finals. Once you reach the semi's you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that the tournament is coming to an end which helps find that bit of extra energy.
A workmanlike performance here from Roger against an in-form opponent who had already played 13 matches on grass this season before taking to the court today. Ebden's game translates nicely to the green stuff and he showed some great net skills to ask Roger a lot of questions throughout both sets.
The first set was close but you always felt like Ebden was the one having to work harder to hold serve throughout so Fed deservedly bagged the tie-break. The second saw Roger's level drop a touch and Ebden didn't let up and could have easily taken it three. But I liked Fed's response after dropping serve at 4-5, rather than look like the world was conspiring against him he summoned a bit of extra energy and hit over every backhand return to break. Nothing spectacular and he said in the press conference he felt a little tired but it was just another hard working match where his quality shines through when required which is why he's into the semifinals.
Predictions vs. Kudla
Next up is the qualifier Denis Kudla who beat Sugita in straight sets after coming from 2-5 down in the second. The grass is undoubtedly this guys best surface, he won the Ilkley challenger a few years back and has a Wimbledon 4th Round to his name so he's another competent opponent. Federer leads the H2H 1-0 from their match six years ago in Indian Wells. I remember that match well as it was a test for Federer who had a pretty bad cold at the time but he ground it out, hitting that ridiculous drop shot at the end of a long rally which gets included all the tribute videos 😀
Based on his two previous matches I would guess Kudla will test Federer again tomorrow but he's much more of a baseliner than Ebden so I think Fed handles him in straights assuming he's not feeling too leggy from playing quite a few matches over the last two weeks.
What are your predictions for the Kudla match? Let me know in the comments 🙂