Hopman CupRoger Federer

Zverev Defeats Federer at Hopman Cup

Roger Federer's 2017 winning streak came to an end as he went down 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) in 150 minutes against Alexander Zverev.

A close match that the Swiss could have won after serving for the opener at 5-3 but Zverev came up with some huge ball striking, and 200 km/h + serves to find his way through in three tiebreaks.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Zverev Perth 2017

Federer won the toss and elected to serve, hitting two aces en route to a love hold. Zverev held to 30 all in his opener, but game six saw the Swiss draw first blood to lead 4-2.

At 5-3 Roger served for the set but was broken to 30. A tie-break ensued, and a two double faults in the opening exchanges set the tone with Roger losing it 7-1.

Momentum was now with Zverev, but it was Federer who mustered two break points in the first game of set two. He couldn't convert, and neither player got another look at one as the set went to another tie-break.

Again Roger went down an early mini break but was able to recover and lead 4-2 at the change of ends. Zverev won both points on his serve to trail 4-5, but the Swiss came up with the goods to take it 7-4 and force a decider.

Set three was more of the same, this time Zverev failing to convert two break points at 1-1 and a further chance at four games all. Like the two sets previous the third resulted in a tiebreak and again it was Federer having to play catch up, slipping to 2-5. The Swiss won both points on serve for 4-5, the second after a 32 shot lung buster of a rally but Zverev reeled off two good serves to take it 7-4 in the decider.

Match Stats

Roger Federer Alexander Zverev
Aces 9 17
Double Faults 4 5
1st Serve % 64% 66%
1st Serve Points Won 61/81 (75%) 55/75 (73%)
2nd Serve Points Won 24/43 (56%) 28/40 (70%)
Break Points Won 1/4 (25%) 1/7 (14%)
Winners 43 43
Unforced Errors 44 28
Net Points Won 20/28 (71%) 13/23 (57%)
Total Points Won 117 122
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Fed Hopman Cup Germany

It's tough to enjoy a loss whatever the circumstance but as far as defeats go this is one of the better ones as it was a good workout.

Zverev was the better player on the big points today and never allowed Federer to dictate play. He moves well for a big guy and hits with a lot of power. Tough for Fed who managed to get him on the run plenty of times, but Zverev can get back to neutral or offence thanks to his long reach very easily.

We didn't see as much variety from Roger today which in hindsight may have helped, but it's tough to say. I'm not sure the slice takes that well on this type of surface (may explain why Djoker is so good on it as he loves above waist high balls) so you can't say with any real conviction it would have worked if he's mixed up the pace or come in more. Zverev seems pretty comfortably hitting all types of balls.

The positives for Roger are he wasn't far off winning, was only broken once in 3 sets and got the toughest workout he'll have had for a while. He's no doubt being practising points and sets hard in Dubai, but there's no way you can replicate a three setter like today. Both players took it seriously enough and it will serve as a good marker for where Fed thinks his game is at ahead of Melbourne.

Predictions vs. Gasquet


Next up is Gasquet who made it two wins out of two by defeating Dan Evans in the day match. A good start from the Frenchman who took out Zverev in his first match in straight sets. I didn't see the encounter to know how Zverev played but for Gasquet to win 77 to 55 points probably indicates Fed isn't quite at the races yet.

Based on that you'd say Gasquet could be the favourite going in, but it's a matchup that does suit Federer. Gasquet has flashy strokes, a decent enough serve but his forehand isn't great, and he doesn't do too much that can trouble Fed so I'll pick Roger in 2 assuming he's not feeling the effects of today's 2 hours 30-minute battle.


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. Often seconds separate the winner, so if you hit submit and the server doesn’t respond as quickly then who knows.

      Tbh I think if you’re in the UK and you hit submit at the same time as someone in the US, you’d win 🙂

      1. I’m still looking for an eight hour delay. Then I’d have a chance….usually sleeping when the write up is posted.

    2. I only watched the end of the second set and the first 8 games of the third, Roger saved a few break points and looked a bit rusty on the return. But like Jon said, this match was a physical test (more than the first one) ’cause the magic is still there and he needs more matches to feel really comfortable in competition matches.


  1. To bad Federer lost, especially with this score , I really wanted him to win. But looking to the bright side, he did had a good fight, and this still an exo match. I hope this will be a good preparation for AO :D.

    1. Yeah it’s not a bad loss. It does show what we can expect if he runs into players with big weapons. Struggled to get Sascha on the back foot all match, hits a good fh, boom Zverev long reach and he’s back to neutral.

  2. Isn’t it comforting to see Roger’s already back at normal levels – for break-point conversion, at least 🙁

  3. Did anyone see the video in which federer is playing the drums.That video made my day!
    Federer played nice today and it was a great practise for him.

  4. “It’s tough to enjoy a loss whatever the circumstance” Not really when it’s an exhibition match and Federer being friendly with his opponent. Federer didn’t need to win this match. Fed fans need to move on from this “match”.

    1. Haha I said when it was announced it was only an exhibition and isn’t fully competitive. Only for you to chime in disagreement that is was competitive and proper.

      Now I say losses are never fun and you’re here reminding us all that it’s an exho and not a proper “match” 😆

      1. No. My point is that Fed fans are so desperate for Federer to prove a point, that fans needed Federer to win this match. Also this whole Bencic thing reminds of Stan. Federer is a big “meany” for getting so much attention.

      2. Karen, as loving fans we always want our hero to win. Desparately? Nono. We enjoy his performance, win or lose, but we like wins more. And the more attention Fed gets, the better for fans, I should think. Bencic is a cute and happy player and an enourmous talent. Roger – and many others – distinctly acknowledged her talent. She also behaves so sympathetically natural and she will surely get her due attention. No way similar to Stan, who tends to insufficient confidence and therefore has to compensate/overdo sometimes. I, and IMO many others may get to great fanship of Bencic in a short while. – By the way, I felt some romantic jesting Sasha/ her…does any other agree?

      3. This whole Bencic outshines Federer came about after what happened when the gentleman who interviewed Bencic on court after beating Andrea P. mostly asked questions about Federer. Then when Switzerland won the Davis Cup in 2014, everyone was falling over themselves to give Stan all the credit. Federer not winning thrusted Bencic into the spotlight.

      4. The whole Bencic outshines Federer thing came about because she did. Crushed Petko and was key to winning mixed doubles. Fed even tweeted saved by ?inda. I don’t see how somehow manage to spin it into some anti Federer plot. I knew Obama Care was bad but I didn’t know they were giving out class A’s for free.

      5. About key winning mixt:I think they for sure had some good teamwork – credit to Bencic of course for brilliant hits – but I several times heard Roger say “out” (don’t take that ball) and so his experience gave benefit to this and probably also other choices…
        (How is status today? I know Fed defeated Gasquet, but the other matches vs FR?)

      6. Ah well I now learnt that Bencic just lost her single – thought it all over long time ago…
        wellwellwell now comes the decider!!!

  5. Fed didn’t play bad today, considering his 6-7 months absence. He could have beaten Zverev today, if he used more variety to his game. (drop shots, more SABR…) Modern tennis players aren’t creative, and their technique is quite dumb. They can’t read Fed’s surprise shots. Anyway, it’s an exhibition tournament, so I guess it’s a nice preparation for Fed.

    1. Drop shot works but you need time to actually play it, Zverev gave him very little. I think slice sits up on this court as well a bit.

      Needed to return better, Bencic returned his serve better than Fed!

  6. OK, fine, moving on… No problem, no alarms and no surprises. We can’t expect it to be all victories, not anymore.
    Eat some ice-cream, enjoy the day and the next match.
    All is cool.

    PS: I laugh my @$$ out when I read that Fedsey 2014-2015 and possibly 2017 was/will be at his best form ever.
    Phony baloney. 2004-2007 Fed would run over 2015 Fed like a locomotive. Might be a little bewildered by the new tricks, but it would last 2 games maximum.

    1. It’s true, but the match won’t be that humiliating as you would think. OFC, Fed 2004-2007 will beat current Fed. I said that Fed can be CLOSE to his peak, but not his peak. Close because if you look at his current age and performance, the performance is still there. Just look at how Federer will fare in 2017 thread, I have written my theory. He still reaches SF in slams. So he is maybe peak for 36. That doesn’t mean he is in his total peak because peak 36 is different than peak 25-26.

      1. If Fed before was able to reach SF in slams, and he can do it now, so why not assume he is close to peak? For him reaching SF before was way easier than now. Doesn’t mean he ain’t good. He declined, but his level has not went down that drastically. Let’s compare 2004-2006 and 2012,2014-2015. 2004-2006, Fed reached 11 SF in slams these seasons. (2004 to 2006 total) 2012-2014-2015, Fed reached 8 SF in slams these seasons. (2012,2014 and 2015 total) Not bad considering his age.

        Here is my theory in short.

      2. Now I will divert a bit towards the proper naming of things: Federer has only 1 Grand Slam, due to the fact that he won RG only once.
        Djokovic (1 RG title) and Nadal (1 AO title), too.
        The 17 things Federer won are *major tournaments*, not “Grand Slams”, because: “Grand Slam” = 1 win in each of 4 major tourments.

      3. Finally someone who understands me!!! Yes, no cigar. Totally agree.
        Don’t agree with grand slam stuff, though. Grand slams are grand slams. They are also called majors…

      4. Winning slams at 26 is a different matter, compared at 36. We are not watching slams won, better watching consistency… SF is an excellent base for stats because if you arrived there you are mostly a good player, and you have won all of your matches from your start. Slams won are 50/50 luck and skill. Maybe that day you will be tired, or unlucky… Isn’t really good to compare slams won…

  7. I’m actually very encouraged by his too matches so far, seems to be cracking the groundstrokes pretty flat relative to last couple of years which I’m very pleased to see

      1. Dunno, can’t say I really noticed it myself. Fed can pretty much hit as flat or as spinny as he wants though with his FH grip.

  8. Hey Jonathan, have you planned to go to a tournament this year? I am waiting impatiently to read a new fan story… 😀

  9. Looking at first serve winning of just 56% makes you wonder if it was the rust from time away or Fed was just taking it easy on his serves. It might be just an exho, but hate watching anyone win against Fed.

  10. Ah, tennis has finally returned. It’s nice. These last 6 months showed me what to expect post-federer, and I don’t like it.

  11. Well, speaking for myself, I didn’t expect such quality from Hopman Cup so kudos to both guys. Not fun to see Fed DF in tiebreaks again, first serve needs some way to go. I too was wondering about the variety aspect. Alex was standing deep on the baseline and opened up the door for Fed to come in but this is probably the most practice he’s going to get rally wise before Melbourne so could’ve opted to test out his strokes. Does anyone have the stats for points won/lost above 10 shots? Most important thing is Fed’s fitness. Minimum 3 sets in AusOpen so this was a really positive to see despite the outcome.

    How fun was the mixed doubles?! Bongo Cam has got to be the dumbest yet most dorkiest thing Fed has participated in. Good stuff Perth!

    1. Yeah me either, it was a HQ match.

      Pretty much zero stats for Hopman around. Fed won the longest rally of 32 shots but over 10 ones? Not sure, I’d say fairly even.

  12. I watched an interview the other day. Fed was asked what was his most memorial match and he said 2001 Wimbledon against Sampras.
    So, I believe, all these players having a chance to beat their idol Federer is a dream come true. Everyone seems to up their game against him.
    I thought Zverev was very respectful speaking about Roger in the presser. I saw him play a couple of times at IW and am impressed with his game and attitude. He is only a teenager.

    I did watch the mixed doubles and Bencic was the star by a mile. Entertaining match. Bencic said she was playing against Zverev since they were six years old so she knew where he would serve. Lots of fun.

    Good luck Roger against Richard. Hope your knee is holding up.

  13. A tad dissapointed considering he was serving for 1st set and lost the plot after a few DFs during breaker. Not too bad that he managed to hold serve throughout last 2 sets. However cant say much about his return game, practically got outshine by Bencic during mix dubs. Guess he needs more matches to tune his game better.

  14. I always wonder how seriously players take events like this. Federer has been out of the game for half a year, would he really push himself for an exhibition event? Especially in a match where (as shown in this tie) his personal result might not matter.

    I wouldn’t blame him. If I’d been out for a long time with injury and had Father Time looming over my shoulder, I’d be reluctant to go all out for all but the biggest matches. It will be interesting to see how Federer looks in Melbourne.

    1. Who knows if he went absolute hammer and tong, but it was definitely competitive and both guys wanted to win. Guessing you didn’t watch to really raise that question?

      1. No matter how much these players have accomplished, no one likes to lose, not even in charity events…

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