Federer Scores 200th Clay Win Over Nieminen in Istanbul

  • Federer vs Nieminen

So Roger notched up his 200th career win on clay today with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Nieminen in the second round of the inaugural Istanbul Open. I watched and although it was not an awfully exciting match at least Roger got another win on clay under his belt after the Monte Carlo blunder. With a head-to-head of 14-0 between the two Nieminen was never gonna trouble Roger, but at least he put up better resistance in the second set and made Roger work a little harder.

Nieminen has about as many weapons as Wozniacki which means he provides Roger with a good practice hit basically. As far as Roger’s game goes he served well with 63% first serves and 9 aces, but he made too many unforced errors off the ground. Fortunately for him it was just Nieminen so he didn’t pay for it. Roger will play Gimeno-Traver in the quarterfinals who he has never played before and who is just about your standard Spanish dirt baller.

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The Spaniard has never won an ATP title in his life and sits at #62 in the rankings. Roger’s draw is now even easier on paper than it was at the outset because Gimeno-Traver defeated the 6th seed Kukushkin with ease. It looks like Roger will stroll to the title here which he should do if he wants to become a factor in the clay court season. The most difficult opponent he can face is Dimitrov who has had a pretty pathetic season so far. I won’t even be surprised if he loses before the final.

  • The Young Guns

As far as the youngsters go this week Alexander Zverev had a first round win over Becker but then lost to Kohschreiber. Kyrgios also won his first round in Estoril in the third set tie-break and just defeated his second round opponent too. Coric also won his first round in Estoril against 6th seed Chardy but plays his second round tomorrow. Finally, Thiem survived his first round in Munich by the skin of his teeth as he defeated Pospisil 9-7 in the third set tie-break. He plays Fognini tomorrow which should be very interesting.

The youngsters are coming!

Highlights:

Stats:

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The  is in your court.

Posted in ATP 250, Istanbul.

9 Comments

  1. Great post Ru-an. Judging by the highlights, the court seems to play fast. Do you reckon too?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you Gargantouas. Yes, the clay doesn’t look very slow or anything.

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  2. Good morning, Ru-an! Now that is what I call a PROPER pic, Ru-an! Yeah, you’re right, I can’t deal with another Serbian fist pump in my face, especially in the morning, Ru-an! hehehe! Thank you! Couldn’t watch the match but so glad Roger won. About Madrid over Rome, what I meant was that Roger is confirmed to play Madrid but he is not sure about Rome. My observation is that Rome plays more similar to RG and therefore better prep for RG. And Dolores, I totally agree, it is a SIN to cut his locks! He hasn’t won significant titles since losing his locks!! His locks are his trademark and his lucky charm!! Can’t even recognise him sometimes with his combed up hair, ugh!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good morning, Veronica. I’m glad you like the pic but it won’t stay that way so enjoy it while it lasts! I think Roger should play both Madrid and Rome but that’s just me.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yeah I think he should play both; especially if he doesn’t go deep. He said he wasn’t sure about Rome. Im thinking if he had to choose between Madrid and Rome, the latter would be a better choice as it’s more similar to RG. Many people have commented about the fast Istanbul courts, that it is not quite playing like clay. If that is true, Roger would not be getting much clay practice, (as he specifically said he is not comfortable and need to play more on clay) because Istanbul and Madrid may not be the best prep for RG.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, three weeks in a row is quite a lot but then it depends on how deep he goes in Madrid. This is the reason he plays Madrid, because he’d like to play both Madrid and Rome but if he goes all the way in Madrid then he may feel the need to skip Rome. Anyway, if Roger doesn’t play Rome he will still have like two weeks to prepare in Paris so he should be fine.

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  3. A much less straightforward match today for Federer. He returned poorly and shanked on a lot of key points. Somehow he lost the second set despite winning eight more points than Gimeno-Traver, but he regrouped for the third and finished strong, showing considerable mental toughness. He needs these kinds of matches to get rhythm on the clay. Hopefully, he’ll be able to clean it up for the next couple matches.

    Wouldn’t count out Dimitrov. He got his first win over Djokovic on clay (after being a set and 5-2 down!), so he can play very well on the surface. If he’s in the final, it won’t be easy for Federer (although of course Federer has to win one more match to make the final as well).

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  4. I didn’t see the match today, any comments on it? Was Traver playing nothing to lose tennis, or was Federer a bit sloppy? The danger of course is getting too tired after a 2 hour match.

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  5. The blog looks great !! Btw Federer got the most difficult draw I have ever seen for a Masters 1000. Krygios, Isner, Berdych, Nadal, Nishikori/Raonic/Monfils/Murray. The only saving grace is that Djokovic is not gonna be in a final if it comes to that.

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