Federer Passes Schwartzman Test to Make French Open Third Round

Hello, guys! Sorry for the late post but I left you a comment to let you know yesterday was my first day at my new job, and it was way too hectic to make a post. Today I got off early so I thought I’d try to fit in a quick post before Roger’s match this afternoon. I will make a proper post after Roger’s match with Tursunov, so this one will be shortened. Roger defeated Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday and I was happy to be able to watch. It was the first time I saw Schwartzman and I was quite impressed. He is a short guy, but I quite liked his game. Roger won each set by a break, broke serve four times, and was broken once himself. He was 4/10 on break points and probably could have won this match more convincingly as was the case in the first round. Roger’s unforced errors also outnumbered his winners again(34-29).

On serve, Roger was good as usual, making 63% first serves, hitting 9 aces, and making 2 doubles faults. In the forecourt, Roger had a pretty decent day winning 13/18 in that area. It was another performance from Roger that was not overly convincing, but he did what needed to be done and I don’t see why anyone would criticize him. Especially after a lack of matches since Monte Carlo. As far as I’m concerned he is right on a track to make a deep run. That said Gulbis is a potential danger after a pretty impressive straight set win over Bagnis. He now plays Stepanek who he is expected to beat. Probably a whole score of Fedfans are already worried about Gulbis. But we are not even there yet. There is no reason to look any further than the next round. The most important thing is that Roger raises his level against Tursunov and puts in a convincing performance.

A study of concentration

He has two matches under his belt now and the rust should be shaken off. The negative people will say Roger is in for a tough time against Tursunov, but if he raises his level as I expect it should be another straight set win. You never know when Roger could have a bad day, but I’d like to believe that before he could play Gulbis he will raise his level. As far as the head-to-head go Roger is 4-0 against Tursunov and has only dropped one set. Tursunov is potentially a dangerous player, but if Roger plays anything close to his best it should be a comfortable win. Elsewhere in the draw both Djokovic and Nadal had convincing wins again in the second round. Djokovic disposed of Chardy in impressive fashion winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, while Nadal sent very promising youngster Thiem packing 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

I was fortunate enough to watch both matches and no doubt these two looks to be on course for another final meeting. No one is currently on their level. Ferrer is the only player left in Nadal’s path to the final who can challenge him, but I don’t see him beating Nadal at all. Then Murray is still in it as well and looked good in the second round, but there is no way he is beating Nadal. As for Djokovic, I don’t see anyone who could beat him either. Roger could potentially make life difficult for him, but that is about it. Djokovic clearly has a tougher draw than Nadal though, which is not necessarily a disadvantage. If Tsonga catches fire he could potentially make life difficult for Djokovic, and if Raonic plays like he did in Rome he could too. But I think people who think Djokovic can be beaten before the final are slightly delusional.

Not to mention those who think anyone can go through Djokovic AND Nadal here…

Highlights:

Presser: http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/media/2014-05-28/9ij9urnd7bpyr8zirfiuupxn9jyg_k39.html

Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

27 Comments

  1. Wish I hadn’t set my alarm to wake up early for this one. Our guy is playing pathetic tennis out there against an injured mediocre opponent. Just terrible unforced errors, spraying forehands, weak approach shots, weak and hanging slice service returns, blowing countless break points. Sad. And don’t let the aces or winners stats fool you. For a good stretch tursenov wasn’t even running for anything not hit directly at him. If roger doesn’t step it up he’s going to get humiliated out there in one of the next 2 rounds and not even get to see the Djoker.

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  2. I don’t speak French so I don’t know what he said but seemed to me like he might have a bit of a cold. Either way, even though he got the W, bad day at the office for Fed.

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  3. Very sorry to hear that Eric. I didn’t see the match but I was hoping that Tursonov was bringing another gear out of Roger after the second set. Roger almost won that set with a break in the final game (as he did in the first), but then lost the tie break – I was hoping that might have been because Roger was tired after trying too hard to get that break.

    Did Roger start playing better after the second set? Or would you say that he’s still playing himself into shape? I wouldn’t want any sugar-coating of course.

    Anyway I heard that a Croat took a set from a Serb today, so the matches seem to be growing more difficult for others in general too.

    And I’m still hoping that Roger can play some inspired tennis….

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  4. Hi Joe. No, sorry to say, Fed didn’t step it up in the 3rd at all. Tursenov injured his hip, took a medical time out and came back barely playing. Should have been two bagels or breadsticks from that point on. I got up early because I too really wanted to see Fed taking it up a notch in this match. I’m concerned for him. I gave Siam a hard time last week but one thing he said is really resonating with me right now. Fed looked like a very average guy out there. Anyway, not to be dismal, he did manage to get the win and now has a chance to put in some practice and hopefully find his game. Gulbis has been on fire lately and will dish out a beating if Roger doesn’t pick it up fast. I’m gonna see if I can catch a quick hour of sleep before work.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I think you are a tad too critical Eric. I missed the part where Tursunov took a MTO but from what I saw Tursunov played an inspired match and Roger did the necessary yet again. Yes the bp conversion rate of 4/21 was dismal but his serving was top notch again, serving 15 aces, 1 DF, and making 68% 1st serves. Personally I can’t criticize Roger. If anything he showed mental strength again and won ugly despite not being on top form. I can’t ask for more.

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    Veronica Reply:

    His serve bailed him out again like the last match. Great to see it working well but if the rest of his game doesn’t pick up, he’s going out to Gulbis or Berdych if he meets them. Yet, I do agree with you, Ru-an, he was mentally very stable today, didn’t get disheartened missing all those bp and did the necessary to get the win. But then I can’t help thinking too if Tursonov was not injured, the outcome maybe different. I don’t know. I hope he does not have a cold as Eric said. Can’t afford even the slightest disadvantage. He and Djoko got the toughest draw now and there is really no more time now to play himself into tournament. He’s gotta bring it on now to Gulbis who’s been solid this year and is very driven to make it to top 10. Plus Gulbis has no respect for Roger; it’s gonna be a tough match. Djoko was playing some passive tennis there. Nadal’s draw is a joke.

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  5. I don’t think so Ru-an. You know I don’t want to be negative, but as I mentioned, those serving stats don’t really count. For example, the game right after the MTO, Tursenov couldn’t move and Roger got 4 easy aces in that game alone. Then 2 more in his next service game. That’s practically half his aces for the match right there. Yes, he didn’t get overly discouraged and fall apart, but his victory was pretty much guaranteed after the break. Giving up 4 games in the last set was awful. Regardless, he got lucky on a bad day and moved on, which is all that matters. But he’s really gonna need another gear for the next round.

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  6. Worrying form from Roger today. Dropping energy needlessly by losing that set in the tiebreak. Not to mention, isnt the maestro supposed to be the king of the tiebreak :-( ? Lost tiebreaks this year have cost him the AO semi vs Nadal, Indian Wells final vs Djoker and Monte Carlo final vs Stan…. Djoker also looked upsettable today, and we need him in case Dull is still overstaying his welcome by semi final day :-( so annoying that idiots like tursunov and cilic will step up their games for roger and novak, yet we know that anyone in Nadals path will fold like a cheap tent after a few games… So depressing….

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  7. “I don’t want to show all my cards, but I have a game plan,” Gulbis said. “I know how I’m going to play him. You don’t need to be scared to do certain things against him. Most players go on the court and they have lost the match before it has started. I can tell you that’s not gonna be the case with me. I’m not scared. Favourite? Who cares? You walk on court, you play.”

    Our guy better be ready for this one. Is it Sunday?

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    Killian Reply:

    I think so. Gulbis is a dangerous player. Roger will need to play very well to get it done in straights. If he is to win the french open then he needs to conserve energy and not drop sets before semis/final if possible

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  8. Yes Roger’s not in JesusFed mode, but he’s doing what he needs to do. I watched the first three sets before Eurosport decided to switch to Novak’s match, and I thought he was solid all things considering. The tiebreak Roger lost was down to Tursunov’s good play not Roger’s misses really. Didn’t panic when the set was lost just kept on going and he got the job done. Although I admit I missed the fourth set, what’s not to like? He’s got a great chance to make a deep run here. And Fed being in the business end of majors again is pretty darn groovy.
    I also had no idea some were worried about Gulbis… putting it as mildly as I can… HE IS A CLOWN FOLKS. No discipline, no hard work whatsoever, he thinks he’s above it. He’s Safin except he doesn’t walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Roger in straights hands down. And I’m sure he knows he’ll have to up his game as well, he’s only played 58 consecutive majors and has 4 kids! He stares demands and expectations in the face on a daily basis.
    Wow I had no idea I was capable of ranting ha good thing I don’t have a blog!
    Take care everyone.

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    elizabeth Reply:

    Gulbis, dangerous and good player, but if talking wins matches then Fed has lost! Don’t know if it’s the weather but for me the F.O has been a little dull, so c’mon Roger light it up for us!

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    Jiten Reply:

    Cannot agree more Tom. I think we have been a little harsh on Fed. Sometimes we press the panic button too early. I strongly believe Fed needs matches like this to prepare himself for the tough matches ahead. Many a times we have seen him cruising along very easily in the earlier rounds and then faltering in the next. Remember 2009 French open? There also he had quite a tough passage in the earlier rounds. If I remember correctly he had a four setter in an earlier round against Paul Henri Mathieu of France as well. I also feel that Fed played very well and Dimtri pressed too hard in order to exert more than what he is capable of and played the penalty by injuring himself. And onto Gulbis, does anyone remember what happened to him against Ferrer in ATP 1000 Rome this year? This guy is known for talking tall; he even declared Federer a boring personality openly two years back. I think Fed will be ready for it; he must have gathered enough information on himself from the past three rounds on what more his game needs. Come on Fed!

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  9. Gulbis may be a joke of a guy, but he’s no joke when it comes to crushing tennis balls. Neither is Tursenov, I just meant he was mediocre AFTER getting hurt. Had he not, he might have beaten Roger today. But they are all nothing compared to the level that Novak and Rafa are playing at. Fed played ok in the beginning. He’s so talented that in ten years he may still be able to invite top 50 guys over to his house and beat them. All I’m saying is this is now the fourth round of the French Open. A much higher level of tennis is waiting for him. Time to step it up or Sayonara.

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    Aravindhan Reply:

    Well Eric,

    The BP conversion thing was sooo overblown,for the STATS don’t lie.
    Gulbis vs Stepenek
    BP conversion 4/12(30%)out of 8 games of BP oppurtunities.
    Also saving lonley BP he faced

    Winners:Unforced errors 45/30(+15)

    Federer Vs Tursunnov
    BP conversion 4/21(~20%)out of 8 games of BP oppurtunities.

    Fed saved 2 BP he faced.

    Winners :Unforced errors 56/39(+17)

    Djokovic Vs Cilic
    BP conversion 7/22(32%)out of 11 games of BP oppurtunities.

    Djoker saved 8/11 BP he faced so Cilic broke his serve 3 times in the Match!!

    Winners :Unforced errors 30/37(-7)

    Hence Djoker is the one who should be worried

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    Aravindhan Reply:

    CORRECTION: opportunities was misspelt “U” instead of “O”

    Commenting after more than a year has effects, I guess?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Aravindhan. Stats are just a general guideline anyway. It doesn’t tell the whole story.

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  10. Hey Eric,

    Well it’s good to hear from someone who knows about the game and doesn’t hide from the truth. Not that Ruan would let us hide from the truth anyway! :-) (Can I get a shout out from you on that Ruan?)

    I love to watch and play the game of tennis, but I’m not very knowledgeable about it. However, in this post, I’m going to try to look on the bright side of this match a little bit, and I’m asking that you let me know if I’m too optimistic.

    I’ll start by saying there’s no reason it can’t be both – i.e. Roger stepping up his game and still having to say sayonara – as difficult as things are going to become in a round or two. So I hope my optimism is tempered by … well, something like objectivity anyway. :-)

    But Roger said, and I think others have said, that Tursonov is an excellent server, and Ruan himself said that Tursonov played an inspired match.

    So… regarding the break points missed, is it possible that Roger may have done quite well by keeping the pressure up, and by generating a lot of break point chances, even if he didn’t convert so many? Is it possible that Tursonov brought his inspired best out when he was backed into a corner by Roger’s defensive pressure, at least some of the time, and came up with some big serves when he needed the most? Maybe even when Roger was generating break points in the first place, he had to do that against some excellent serving? It seems possible that Tursonov’s injury may have impeded his lateral movement, as Roger said, without impairing his serve too much…

    And as others have said, Roger also served well, in this match and earlier ones. If his serve holds up, then he may have a good result at RG. He does look stronger and a little leaner as well, and in spite of a possible cold I think the last two matches were good for him. He got to practice out of his comfort zone, play himself into shape, and rely on a champion’s mindset too.

    Ok it’s Friday, and that’s the best I can do right now. :-) I really do want to hear (from anyone not just Eric) if any of this sounds plausible, even though we’ll know soon enough how good his game is.

    Take it easy, and don’t hold back!
    Joe

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    Eric Reply:

    I actually think that’s very reasonable, Joe.

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  11. Thanks Eric,

    But now I think you’re just humoring me! :-) Maybe someone else will be the devil’s advocate on this one… Ruan?

    On another note, I want to acknowledge that a healthy Djokovic is a monster, but that I wonder if a couple of difficult matches might cause his wrist to flare up again. He struggled against Cilic today, which I’m actually not too happy about since he’s my second favorite player at the moment.

    Nadal’s health and results often drop off sharply in the summer (as in Wimbledon last year) but he always seems to maintain his health throughout the RG time frame. I’m starting to hope that Murray can play some inspired tennis! He came close recently (wasn’t it at MC?) but even though beating Nadal might be too much to ask, maybe Murray could tire him out? I suppose that sounds like a pretty tall order too… but maybe someone else will step up and provide a nice surprise.

    Come on Roger! Come on, Katanyi Factor!
    :-)

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  12. Wow! So many explanations! He won but at what cost? Energy! Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Roger running and defending so much within a tournament. He is an offensive player for goodness sake! All that running; it just ain’t right! Haha! Bottom line, guys, there are lots of positives to the match (Roger mentally keeping it together, serving really well, winning ugly) but there are ALSO negatives. It’s not about being panicky or negative. It’s not about judging Roger harshly after all he has already done and given or about his growing family. What Eric and many fans, including myself, are concerned about is whether Roger will be able to bring it up a notch come danger times which begins now; that’s all! If Roger ups it from now onwards; well and good! So let’s not tip toe around and be afraid to call it for what it is. We can’t ignore the concerns in Roger’s game even as we look for the positives. But well done winning in all his matches while coming in cold, playing on his least dominant surface, and twins keeping him awake(!) He worked so hard to get to where he is now. I hope he can keep the momentum going by making at least semis; which means stepping it up big time now!! He can then continue the momentum into Wimby and maybe even winning it! And Jiten maybe right. Sometimes getting tested early sets Roger up to bring on his best tennis as easy routing of early opponents can be deceiving! All right, let’s take care of the Latvian first! C’mon Roger!

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  13. I hereby nominate Veronica to do all my talking for me from here on. I get too emotional but what she said is exactly how I feel. Go Roger!!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    No problems, bro! I applaud you for being emotional. But I would rather call it being real. I don’t know about others but I LOVE your first comment where you wear your heart out on your sleeve. From that comment, I feel I know you a little better! Haha! We can’t all be logical, sane and reasonable all the time (leave that to our Ru-an, haha! He is our big daddy, he has responsibility to keep us sane and hold things together. As for the rest of us, we can let down our hair a bit more. I think it can only add an attractive element to this already very compelling blog) Heck, we are not robots but flesh and blood! If this blog is all straight faced, I don’t think I wanna stay here. It’s great to read free flow comments, especially fresh off a just finished match, where emotions are raw and high and we just wanna express ourselves. How can any fan not have strong feelings about their fav player’s performance? How can any fan not doubt and feel frustrated sometimes? The day I stop feeling and expressing these feelings, I’m not much of a fan anymore! Ok, Roger, let’s keep it short and sweet for the Latvian, yah?!! C’mon!!

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