Matosevic Manages Two Breadsticks in His First Meeting with Federer

Well not much to see here as Roger destroyed the local favorite 6-1, 6-1 in less than an hour. But it looked like it would be anything but a destruction after Roger went down 0-40 in the opening game on his serve. For a moment there I thought the 2013 version of Roger was back, and that the new player we were seeing was just an illusion. But after Roger saved that game it was a pretty flawless performance from there on. Roger broke right away in the next game after a double fault from Matosevic. Definitely Matosevic’s serve is nothing special. It looks manufactured and awkward and he served 5 double faults as opposed to 3 aces, with a first serve percentage of 56. Roger on the other hand has a natural, fluent service motion and like in his previous match he served 9 doubles and made 61% first serves.

This time he served one double fault, but still very good serving from him. At 0-5 Matosevic served an ace to avoid the bagel, as he raised his hands sarcastically for finally getting on the board. Roger then held serve with an ace in the next game to wrap up the 1st set. Matosevic then held serve in the opening game of the 2nd set, but that was as far as he got. Roger reeled of the next 6 games for the double breadstick. It was a vintage performance from Roger and I dare say JesusFed is back. The serve was as dominating as I said and so was the forehand which he stroke with a very nice rhythm for winner after winner. There were some very nice passing shots and Roger did the fake where he lines up for the drop shot and goes deep as well. He just looked utterly in control out there and made Matosevic look like a futures level player.

Roger even converted more than 50% of his break points(5/9), and he saved all 3 break points against him. I guess Matosevic’s first two rounds took quite a bit out of him, but was he fully rested I doubt things would have been very different. He was just dominated by the far superior player. I can see that Roger means business. The first match of the season is always going to be difficult to draw many conclusions from, but seeing how he has gone about the doubles and now the second singles I can’t help but feel there may be something special in store again this season. Remember what I said: A great high is preceded by a great low. That is just how nature works. From this perspective failure is a blessing, because it leads to success. 2013 was a wretched old season but if it leads to Fed 4.0 it would have been worth it.

That new racquet is starting to look very comfortable in his hand…

Roger will now play Chardy who defeated Groth in straight sets today. As was the case with Matosevic, these two have never met before. I find this quite surprising. Roger did play him in the doubles though and he will have an idea of what he is up against. Chardy is a guy with a pretty big serve and ground strokes. Your typical French shot maker who can be quite destructive, but he is pretty inconsistent as well. Given how Roger has been playing I can’t see him troubling Roger much. There is always the possibility of a drop in form from Roger but he has just looked on a different mission this year so far. In fact I’d be surprised if Roger doesn’t win the title. If he wins he will play the winner of Hewitt and Nishikori in the final. Nice to see the 32-year old Hewitt still going strong and it would be pretty special if we have a Federer/Hewitt final.

I think Nishikori is a slight favorite in that match though. Nishikori would probably be a better test for Roger at this point too. It does indeed look like these courts are pretty fast and you can see what difference it makes to Roger’s game and success. Now if only they would speed up more courts, and hopefully Rod Laver arena will be faster as well. There have been many rumors that the courts at Melbourne will be faster, but if all the courts are faster except Rod Laver arena it doesn’t help Roger. In Doha today Nadal was pushed to 3 sets for a second time this week by a German called Gojowczyk. I was pretty impressed with the German. I think he could make a breakthrough this year. He has a nice game. Nadal will play Monfils in the final whose only two wins over Nadal came in Doha.

So who knows, there may even be another upset tomorrow. I have predicted that Nadal will slump this season and although he is in the final and could well win the title, he has looked slightly vulnerable already. If the courts in Melbourne are sped up and especially if the bounce is lower it will be very hard for Nadal to win the title. Remember how Djokovic manhandled Nadal in Beijing with the low bounce? But it’s always dangerous to write Nadal off. Besides he can still have a good time of it in Melbourne and slump during the remainder of the year. I just think the past has shown that Roger and Nadal peak at different times and it does look like Roger is starting to peak again, in which case it would make sense for Nadal to slump again. It’s ridiculous how much physical effort goes into his tennis anyway.

Fed 4.0 says hello

It therefor only makes sense that he must go through slumps so that his body can recover. I mean no human being can keep playing like that and peak all the time. As for Roger I like what I am seeing a lot but I will just take it one match at a time. If the courts are faster in Melbourne he could do very well there but there is still Djokovic and Nadal to deal with. Tomorrow Hewitt and Nishikori will play first followed by Roger and Chardy. Then Roger will play doubles following his singles. Roger’s match is a bit earlier this time but I will definitely get up for it. I will probably catch the doubles afterwards as well. It is weekend after all and if you can’t get up to watch Roger I feel sorry for you. Well lets hope Roger can win both his matches tomorrow and give us two more matches to watch on Sunday!

Highlights:

Posted in Uncategorized.

26 Comments

  1. The only thing I am happy about for now is that Roger is getting a few much needed wins with the new racket and is looking pretty comfortable at handling it. However, this surface is very fast and low bouncing. Perfect conditions for Roger’s game. Most hard courts are slow however and high bouncing. I guess maybe the best we can hope for is that fed can win it on the grass of Wimbledon again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok you are taking the conservative approach. Fair enough. We will just have to see how it plays out.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    Roger has my curiosity. If he wins the title, he’ll have my attention! :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I bet Roger saw your comment and he is now extremely motivated to win the title! :-)

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Ru-an, I have said it before. AO 2014 will be won by Novak or Roger. Preferably Roger of course. Rafa will not win it at all. I thought Andy might have a chance, but he seems not to be totally 100%. BUT deep deep deep respect for Andy that he is playing. He could have “chosen” the “Rafa-way” and only come back when he is unplayable. But deep respect he played as soon as he could. Oh and I am calling it: Janowics will shine at AO.

    If Roger wins today (!!!) he will play 4 matches in 2 days. Can you imagine the warning it will sent to the others?? Not only is Roger back and won two titles, but he is dangerous with his new magic wand !!!
    BUT…. not getting ahead of myself. Winning both singles and doubles at Brisbane would be perfect, BUT still….. taking it one match at the time, one point at the time.

    [Reply]

  3. Happy New Year!! I did get up to watch Roger play this morning at 3:00 AM. How much earlier will he play in the morning? I am from the USA and in the Central Time Zone. What time will he play in Austrailia? It was just luck that I heard the time for this morning. I probably should just not go to sleep.

    [Reply]

  4. I found schedule and it should be 11:00pm my time tonight on Tennis Channel. This is better than 3:00am. The 16 hr difference is tough. The Tennis Channel plays too many Women Tennis matches.

    [Reply]

  5. Anyone watching the game? Roger is good! Wish he had changed racket earlier, his backhand is solid again!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    He did change his racquet earlier.

    [Reply]

  6. Now how scary was that Ru-an??? Roger fighting through and beeing saved by his aces and serves.
    Is it true, like 19 aces??? But…. if his serve was not clicking as well, could he still have won??
    Now, hope that Rafa loses his and Roger wins his final !!!

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Oh and…. Roger can be mean sometimes. He really likes to give us scares and little heartattacks….

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Roger scared the hell out of me too, Katyani. Watching the second and third set, I honestly thought he was gonna lose that match.

    [Reply]

    Katyani Reply:

    Actually Wilfried, I knew he would win the third set (hoped actually he would have won the second in TB), but it was so nervous !!! Me, I just hoped that he would not lose the first game (something he like always does in the decider). Did not know how, what I did know he would win. But…. he really had to fight for it. Man, 20 aces???
    Tomorrow, he has to win. Did you see Rafa win Doha?

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Katyani, I watched part of the Nadal-Gulbis match but couldn’t watch the final against Gael Monfils.
    I missed the first set of today’s final between Federer and Leyton Hewitt as well.
    I gotta leave and go to my mam’s place to do this core as some branches of her beautiful cedar broke off by the storm a few days ago and fell into her neighbours garden. Gotta cut them off completely and clean up that mess.

    [Reply]

  7. Happy New Year everyone! Ru-an, I hope your preparations for Thailand are going well.

    It’s indeed a time of big changes for our man, and you called it on his teaming up with Edberg.

    It’s remarkable how Federer has managed to integrate his home life into his career, I don’t think too many players have succeeded in bringing their family along with them on tour. It’s not just a question of money, it requires endless patience and energy. It certainly helps that he has a supportive and dedicated partner in Mirka. They have to protect their family’s privacy from the media and try to ensure their kids have something approximating a normal childhood, which they seem to have done admirably.

    A third child (or maybe even a fourth–what are the chances of their having twins again?) will certainly be a big change, but this time he and Mirka have more experience and are likely to be able to deal with it more readily than they did the first time around.

    Watching Federer play his first match of the year was a wonderful way to start the new year and he certainly looked very good. The ball-striking from both men was extremely high-quality and it was not easy for Federer despite the straightforward scoreline. Federer was finishing many of the points in five or six shots and he was hitting the ball very cleanly and placing it very precisely and using all his variety.

    The match against Matosevic was of lower caliber; he seemed out of gas from his previous matches and after Federer saved break points in the opening game he never faced serious resistance. Matosevic got desperate and just started going for broke on every shot and the errors piled up. Federer played well but he wasn’t really pushed to raise his level.

    The larger racket face allows him to generate more power without shanking. He can hit through the court more easily and his slice has more bite on it. It doesn’t appear to have adversely affected his touch shots or his precision serving.

    With the bigger racket it seems he has changed his tactics to try to shorten the points, since he can maneuver his opponents around more easily during the rallies and quickly force them off-balance with the increased power. However, this could partly be due to the quicker surface and on a slower court he’ll probably still have to work the rallies a bit more.

    Things are looking up and Federer is clearly eager, motivated, and well-rested. I think it’s going to be a great season for him. C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

  8. Ai ai ai, Roger and Mahut just lost the doubles. Beaten by two guys I think most of us never even heard of…. I guess he was tired. Playing in less than an hour after the singles. But kudos to Roger. He may have been tired, but he did not give up or cancel the match… So…. focussing on Roger vs Hewitt…. Also of course congrats to the winners..

    [Reply]

  9. Matosevic wasn’t much of a test. Chardy was and I think Roger could take home a lot of positive experience from that. Most importantly, I think the fact that he got out of the mental box he confined him self to lately. He changed his approach, he regained his composure and all of a sudden he was back to be the Federer. It was lovely to watch. 3rd set, 2-3. That was the game me where it all turned. I love how he serves with the new racquet.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Jarek, can you tell me what happened at 2-3 in the 3rd? I missed it and there is no highlights for it.

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Jarek and Ruan,
    With all respect for your opinion, but honestly I didn’t notice much change in Roger’s tactical approach during the entire match against Chardy.
    Watching it, I had more Katyani’s overall feeling: it was scary(ing), and in my view Roger may be happy that he passed that Chardy-test.
    Roger dominated his service games against Jeremy Chardy easily, but was dominated by him in the return games, and if Chardy would not have choked in the third set (Jeremy Chardy made 4 consecutive unforced errors in his third service game of the third set of which two double faults, handing Roger the break to lead with 5-3 and serve for the set.) Roger could have lost that match.
    Chardy served a lot to Roger’s BH who kept chipping the ball back often to the middle of the court, sometimes to the baseline or the sidelines, but always definitely asking for being punished by Chardy’s FH. Because Chardy would take these slow floating returns with ease and would run around his BH each time to return them with his powerful FH and making winners.
    No, Roger impressed me with great service games, but deceived me with his shaky return games and his incessantly chipping the returns on the BH-side. I’d like to see him going more over the ball instead of chipping them all the time.
    Just my view at the moment, perhaps not what you’d like to hear or read, buttrying to be objective without being a chearleader.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘buttrying to be objective without being a chearleader.’

    That is what this blog is all about Wilfried, so don’t worry. It is the reason why I had 1 million blog views after 5 years and not 10 million. I am not a cheerleader. I want honest and objective tennis discussion, and it is just too much for some people to stomach. Anyway I can’t make a post before I know what happened at 2-3 in the 3rd set, so hopefully someone comes along and tells me.

    [Reply]

    jarek Reply:

    Two things. Chardy started to express negative emotions and Roger stopped. 3rd set started along the same theme as second set ended, Chardy taking a big cut of every ball and making practically all. Roger tried to respond in kind. Then that stopped. It was about when Roger took 3 small steps back when returning a second serve and sliced a BH DTL (1-0, 0-40). Chardy continues to make great shots but Roger is cool even when he looses. Earlier in the match he was dropping his shoulders and head. I think Chardy broke down because even when he was playing above and beyond, Roger wouldn’t let him break his serve. Eventually, that got to him. Thought Roger would break to 4-2 but he caught the frame on the FH instead.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok so you are saying things changed because Roger failed to take his break point at 3-2?

    [Reply]

    Jarek Reply:

    No, clearly they changed much earlier but we mere mortals won’t notice until there is something which can force a reaction.
    When somebody posts the full match I maybe able to find the moments that indicated a change of mind in both Roger and Chardy.
    The mistakes that Chardy made when serving at 4-3 were not just bad luck. He succumbed to pressure and those emotions were becoming visible much earlier.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    What I can make out from the highlights is that Chardy went up 40-15 on his own serve at 2-3. So it doesn’t look like there was a break point. I think Chardy basically just threw it away at 3-4 with a string of UE’s like Wilfried said. A win is a win though.

    [Reply]

    Vily Reply:

    I got up to watch the Chardy match yesterday because like I said I became curious to see what the deal is with Roger and his new racquet.

    I’ll reserve my final judgement for tomorrow because I believe (and Roger believes it as well) that winning this title is of paramount importance.

    Even though it’s ATP 250 Series it’s very important for Roger to win it for numerous reasons:

    1. Starting the year with a Title (and already tying his 2013 Title Record)

    2. Winning his first title with the new racquet.

    3. Boosting his confidence for Australia.

    BTW the Chardy match was a test, I’ll give you that. The fact they had never played before is good because it means that Roger was able to adapt to the Gonzo strike tennis of Chardy. Chardy is not a pushover we must remember that he took out Del Potro last year at the AO so he is for real at least in Australia.

    For now, I am happy that Roger reached the final but that’s not enough and he knows it. Hewitt will fight for this do Roger has to come out all-guns blazing to take him out. No let-down, please, Roger! This is important!

    The doubles loss is discounted due to the 3-setter and it might be blessing in disguise. I’d rather see Roger win the Singles Title and lose in the semis in the Doubles than reach both finals and lose both.

    Djokovic won Abu-Dhabi. Nadal won Doha. Roger must win Brisbane. It’s simple!

    Hopefully it happens. I see no reason why it won’t. :-) )

    [Reply]

    jarek Reply:

    Now I see. I wrote that it changed at 3-2. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that. Sorry for the confusion. Hope my comment above clears that up.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *