Roger Federer made a winning start to 2014 as he comfortably beat World No. 39 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in straight sets, 6-2 6-4. Roger now has a 14 – 0 record over the Finn, and was comfortable throughout the match. Forehands were flowing off of his new larger racquet and his movement seemed as good as ever. These are ominous signs for the rest of the pack, as an in-form Federer is still the hardest player to play against. Here are the match statistics –
Excellent serving from Roger with 9 aces and no double faults, and a very decent 61% first serves in. He also won 79% of points on first serve and 64% points on his second serve, which was very good to see. The best statistic, however, is the break points – 100% saved and 75% converted. When you can bring your A-game on the break points, you usually win games, and that is what Federer did today – a brilliant way to start off the new year.
Federer plays doubles tomorrow when he pairs up with Nicolas Mahut against Jeremy Chardy of France and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. His next singles match will be the quarterfinal on Friday, when he plays World No. 55 Marinko Matosevic of Australia. The two have never met before, and Matosevic beat American Sam Querrey in three sets (5-7, 7-6, 6-4) to advance to the last eight. It will be an interesting match-up as Federer has always said that he likes playing against the hometown boys, and will be a test of Federer’s eye for gauging opponents. That being said, however, I fully expect Federer to come through this test in straight sets as he has too much variety and firepower to be troubled. This is especially true now that he has a solid straight-sets victory under his belt with his new racquet.
You can catch the match highlights (1st Round, vs Nieminen) here: