Federer Survives Millman Test in 2015 Opener

Well that was a little more complicated than expected but in the end another fantastic mental performance from the GOAT. There was clearly some rust at the beginning but Millman was on fire himself with the Aussie crown behind him. Millman already had a match behind him of course so that helped his case. Roger was looking a bit sluggish from the start so I guess it wasn’t a surprise when he got broken while serving to stay in the first set at 4-5. I expected Roger to steady the ship so when he got broken to trail 1-3 in the second set I thought it would probably be a good idea to break right back, which he did. He then went down 0-40 on his serve in the next game at which point I was face palming again. But this is Roger 5.0 the mental giant so he saved all the break points and also broke again in the next game. In fact he won four straight games to effectively turn the match around and won the second set 6-4.

Even though there was a momentum swing going into the third set Millman was not letting up as he continued to play some inspired tennis. With a ranking of #153 it shows you the depth in the men’s game because had it not been for some very clutch play from Roger, Millman could have easily won. Roger was slowly taking control of the match though and he came up with the shot of the match at 2-2 in the third. He broke Millman at 3-3, held serve, and broke again to win the final set 6-3. For a while there after the first set and at the beginning of the second set I was having some doubts. Like I said before it’s a new year and you are never quite sure what to expect. After such a great year in 2014 I didn’t exclude the possibility that Roger could slump again in 2015. But fortunately he just picked up where he left off in 2014 with another mentally impressive performance.

Roger plays another lowish ranked Aussie now called Duckworth who is slightly higher than Millman at #125. I expect it to be smoother sailing after getting through today but of course you can never be sure. Tomorrow is quarter finals day and there will be some good matches. Dimitrov plays Klizan which should be a good one and if Roger wins he will play the winner of those two. The Tomic/Nishikori match should be interesting too because Tomic plays well in Australia and can actually cause an upset. Finally Raonic will battle another Aussie Groth who ousted Hewitt in the first round. In Chennai Stan easily took care of cocky youngster Coric which was nice to see after Abu Dhabi, while Djokovic is still stomping on opponents in Doha when he defeated Stakhovsky 6-2, 6-1. Well it was nice to see the GOAT back and that he still seems to be on a mission. See you tomorrow!

Highlights: 

Hotshot: 

Australian Open Outfit:

 

What do you think? I like it a lot especially the shoes and jacket!

Posted in ATP 250, Brisbane.

10 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an. Quick and great post. Thanks for that. If this was 2013 we would be all worried. But to be honest after 2014 Roger needs these kind of matches more. To find a way against players who really have nothing to lose (Millman played great by the way). And like Roger said, he is here to win, not to just play matches before AO.
    And you can bet that Roger did the math himself too. 4 matches and he will have won Brisbane and a 1000 matches. HE IS GOING FOR THAT. Will not be easy, but he will go for it. 3 more to go.
    Go Roger :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes it doesn’t hurt to have big milestones in sight Katyani. Just a little extra motivation.

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  2. Ouch, that guy reminded me a bit of Berdych, hitting big and flat. Those courts look nice and quick, I always like that crisp sound of the ball striking. I didn’t see the 1st two sets, it would be interesting to see how bad Federer was playing, or if the other guy just outhit him and made him play passively. I did see him miss an awkward lunge volley early in the 3rd and he touched his back briefly but hopefully it was just to adjust his shirt or something like that…

    anyway I think he will be sharper in the next match.

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  3. Hi Ru-an, long time no see. Happy new year all!

    Yes, it was great to see Federer fight his way through this one. Millman was playing inspired tennis and Federer was surely a bit rusty during his first competitive match in almost a month and a half. But mentally he was a rock, he just stayed steady, kept attacking (I remember he managed to save 3 BP in a row in the third set by coming to net) and eventually turned it around. It was important that he won because he needs at least a few matches before heading into Melbourne.

    It augurs well for 2015. I hope he manages to raise his game. Last year he was a bit lacking in consistency when it came to finals, this year I hope he can be a bit more consistent and make a few more finals here and there.

    As for Djokovic and Nadal’s early losses, I wouldn’t read too much into it. They’re sure to be back in full force for AO. Especially Nadal, who has a lengthy history of malingering and sandbagging his opponents with “injury” excuses.

    Hopefully our man can win in Brisbane after being denied last year and then use that as a springboard for Melbourne. The sky’s the limit! Go Roger!

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    Vily Reply:

    Yes! Winning a trophy prior to a Grand Slam always helps! Hopefully it works out! It will be great to see how Roger is faring against somewhat tough opposition this early in the year..

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well judging from this match he is exactly where he was at the end of last year aside from the bit of rust so you’d expect him to win the tourney if everything goes according to plan.

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  4. Wow! That brisk little practice session barely broke the forty-minute mark! Unlike yesterday, he made sure to convert on his first break point in the first game and then it was all Federer from there.

    Duckworth had no chance to catch his breath and reverse the momentum and Federer didn’t allow him any respite, attacking the net, mixing it up, and serving with pinpoint precision to summarily dispatch the Australian. After shaking off the rust and working the kinks out of his game in the last match, it was a peRFect time to play a masterclass so he could save energy for the business end of the tournament, and that’s exactly what he did.

    From now on, the level of the opposition will be significantly higher–Dimitrov awaits in the semis, then a top ten opponent in the winner of Raonic-Nishikori should he make the final. Hope he can lift this trophy for the first time!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Steve. He needs to finish Dimi off asap, because he will need all his energy against Nishikori.
    Nishi is my darkhorse for this year. Watch out for him. But I am glad that Roger is not underestimating Nishi. He said in his presser that Nishikori is dangerous. But somehow, I think Roger will go all out to reach 1000 matches. He knows the importance of that and he wants it too. Watch out Dimi and watch out Nishi. Goat is coming :-)

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