It was another brilliant and comfortable display from Roger Federer as he cruised into the semifinals of the Brisbane International with a comfortable straight sets win 6-1, 6-1 over Marinko Matosevic of Australia. Here are the match stats:
Federer started slowly, and was immediately down three break points. He saved all of them though, with good serving but largely due to Matosevic not being able to capitalize on his opportunities. This set the ball rolling for Federer as he gained in confidence and broke Matosevic in the very next game. He then held his next serve to 15 to take a 3-0 lead, hitting two beautiful kick serve aces along the way; the second one was one his second serve! He broke again and then held his own serve to take a 5-0 lead in the set. Matosevic fought back, however, and as he got on the board with an ace, he raised his hands to gather the appreciation of the humored crowd. There was no stopping Federer, however, as he comfortably held his next service game to take the set 6-1 in 27 minutes.
Matosevic started the second set better and held his first game without facing a break point. Federer also started well by holding his service game to make it 1-1. The third game of the second set was a particularly long one with four deuces, and Federer continued to prod away at his opponent’s serve; finally, it proved too much as Matosevic put an easily forehand volley wide to hand Federer the break and the initiative in the second set. Federer immediately consolidated the break to make it 3-1 in the second. He then broke his opponent again to make it 4-1 and by this time, the match was already won. A service hold to love made it 5-1 and another break meant Federer had won the second set 6-1 and was through to the final four.
The highlights of the game from Federer were the depth of his groundstrokes and the accuracy of his serves. He was hitting his backhand topspin groundstrokes very adeptly, and certainly, there was a bit more power in them. He also read his opponent’s serves well, and was frequently anticipating serves correctly. This is remarkable since this was his first encounter against Matosevic. Even though Matosevic’s attempted drop shots were nowhere near as accurate as they needed to be, Federer’s movement to chase these down both sideways on the court and up-and-down seemed excellent – a very optimistic sign for all his fans. A lot of things went right for Federer today, but he was helped by Matosevic’s poor display – he seemed physically tired after two gruelling three-setters against Benneteau and Querrey and hit way too many unforced errors to ever stand a chance.
Federer next faces World No. 34 Jeremy Chardy of France tomorrow. Strangely, the two have never met on the ATP circuit. Chardy won his Round 1 match against Adrian Mannarino in straight sets; he then won a very tightly contested three-setter against Nicolas Mahut in Round 2, and had a relatively comfortable time in the quarter-final earlier today when he disposed of wildcard Samuel Groth in straight sets. It will be an interesting contest, but first, Federer will play his doubles semi-final against Cabral and Farah tomorrow.
Match highlights will be posted here as soon as available.