Brisbane Singles Quarter Final – Federer def. Matosevic 6-1, 6-1

Federer beat Matosevic to progress to the semifinal of the Brisbane International. He will face Jeremy Chardy of France

Federer beat Matosevic to progress to the semifinal of the Brisbane International. He will face Jeremy Chardy of France

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:

Statistic for Roger's Singles Victory over Marinko Matosevic in the Quarters of Brisbane

Statistic for Roger’s Singles Victory over Marinko Matosevic in the Quarters of Brisbane

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.

 

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Brisbane Doubles Quarter Final – Federer-Mahut defeat Chardy-Dimitrov 7-6, 6-7, 11-9

Federer and Mahut beat Chardy and Dimitrov to advance to the semifinals of the Brisbane International.

Federer and Mahut beat Chardy and Dimitrov to advance to the semifinals of the Brisbane International.

In a very tight affair, the duo of Roger Federer and Nicolas Mahut beat Jeremy Chardy and Grigor Dimitrov 11-9 in the tiebreaker, after the first two sets were also won on tiebreaks. In the entire match, only a single break was obtained by both teams, and it was an extremely tight affair in the tiebreak as well, with the match being anybody’s game uptil 9-9. Federer-Mahut held their nerve better, however, and won the match. Here are the match stats –

Statistics for Roger’s doubles victory in the Quarter Final of the Brisbane 250 Tournament

Statistics for Roger’s doubles victory in the Quarter Final of the Brisbane 250 Tournament

Roger explained his reason for playing doubles in Brisbane as getting matches under his belt, as that was of prime importance. It has worked out well so far – he’s playing a match everyday in conditions that are very similar to those that will be found in Melbourne, so the hours that he is putting in this tournament will go a long way in Australia. Add to that the confidence that comes with winning matches, and Roger’s start to the season simply could not have been better. He will next play Marinko Matosevic of Australia tomorrow, and will look to seal a semifinal spot.

You can catch the match highlights here:

By the way, I would like to applaud the work of the Web Development Team of the Brisbane International Tournament – they provide us with stats and highlights very quickly. Kudos, you’re doing great!

Roger Federer’s 2014 Schedule Out

Roger Federer released his tentative schedule for 2014 on his website, which is given below. You can see the official post here.

The recently released schedule for Roger Federer's 2014 Tennis Season.

The recently released schedule for Roger Federer’s 2014 Tennis Season.

Comparing his schedule to that for last year, we find that he has dropped Rotterdam from it, but has included Miami. This was quite a surprise as Jonathan had pointed out to me that he may no longer take part in IMG events, and he had dropped Mubadla because of the same reason. I felt that he had dropped an exhibition tournament to recuperate after a gruelling injury-ridden year. Hamburg and Gstaad are also out, and these changes were always expected to happen – Federer himself admitted that these were mistakes. Overall, nice, tidy schedule! Allez Roger!

Fedberg Confirmed & “I Will Play with the Larger Racquet in 2014”, says Federer in an interview

Federer Latest

In a telephonic interview with Andreas W. Schmidt published on BazOnline (click here for the full article, in German), Roger Federer spoke about the baby on the way, his fitness and his thoughts on 2014. The full article is in German; the following report summarizes what he had to say.

He started off by confirming the news that Mirka, his wife, is pregnant once again, and they are expecting a third child. He hoped for her well being and a smooth pregnancy. He also remarked that if any complications were to arise (let’s all hope they don’t), he can reschedule his tennis calendar by adding and subtracting a few tournaments, like he did last season when he spontaneously made the decision to play Hamburg and Gstaad. He rounded it off by saying that this does not impact his tennis much, but rather makes him happy as a father and enables him to play better.

He talked about his week of training with Stefan Edberg, one of his childhood idols. He said that they spent a few days together, where he received valuable input from Edberg; it was a new experience for Edberg himself, as he had little prior coaching experience. He further went on to say that it was not yet decided whether Edberg would become his permanent coach, but if there was a way, he would be happy if Edberg joined his coaching team on some weeks during the tour – he couldn’t be a permanent part of his team as it required a lot of travel. He further affirmed that his current coaching team remains the same – Severin Luthi (coach), Pierre Pagnini (fitness trainer) and Stephane Vivier (physiotherapist).

The interviewer then asked him if meeting with Edberg meant that he was tuning his game to be more offensive, but Federer dismissed it as a misconception, saying that if he trained with Thomas Muster, it would not mean that he would start playing two-three meters behind the baseline. He said he was simply happy to have received valuable inputs from Edberg. He felt that he was an interesting player to coach, and held the volleying skills of Stefan Edberg in the highest regard.

Jokingly, Federer said that he was too late to strike up a deal with Boris Becker (“he was already taken!”).  Federer went on to say he was ‘as surprised as everyone’ with the decision, as taking up a full-time coaching role meant staying away from one’s family and having to travel so much. The interviewer asked him to remark about the recent trend where players are hiring players from the 80’s-90’s to be their coach. He said that he can only speak for himself, and that he had a great time with Stefan Edberg. He also said that gaining the perspective of these greats was very good for him, and apart from Peter Lundgren, he has never worked with a player from this generation.

Roger Federer tried this larger racquet frame in Gstaad and Hamburg, but was unsuccessful. He has confirmed he will play with a tweaked version of this racquet at the Australian Open.

Roger Federer tried this larger racquet frame in Gstaad and Hamburg, but was unsuccessful. He has confirmed he will play with a tweaked version of this racquet at the Australian Open.

Federer then confirmed that he will play in the Australian Open with the larger 98 sq. in. racquet. He further went on to say that he wanted to play with it right after the US Open, but could not because he had to ‘sort his game out a bit’. Now, he has had more time and has tweaked the racquet more to his liking by collaborating with Wilson. He said the change was inevitable with the direction tennis was headed. He said that he has practiced with the racquet for two and a half weeks now, and is feeling very confident. He said the racquet suits him very well, but the real test would be in Australia.

For 2014, Federer said that he was feeling very optimistic and felt that he would be in top form come March or April. He wanted to turn it around after the US Open itself, but could not due to the back problem, and hence, he felt restrained. He said that now he will play more freely having shaken off the back problem.

He said that he was very proud of the fact that he had never retired from a match in progress, and out of respect for the opponent, did not cite his back problem as the reason for his defeats in 2013. This just shows his class as an athlete and as a person. He said that he only talked about it freely when it had persisted for quite a while.

Lastly, Federer was asked about whether he would play the Davis Cup in 2014, to which Federer did not give a straight-forward answer but it seemed as though Federer was not going to play Davis Cup next year. He said that it was unlikely that he would play since it costs him a lot of strength and effort, and in the end, it became a question of how much he wanted it.


We came to know three important things from this interview –

  1. That he will play with his new racquet in 2014 (I have previously also written about how much this was necessary)
  2. That he will most likely not play Davis Cup in 2014 (It would have cost him unnecessary energy)
  3. That he will start 2014 injury-free (This was essential; playing with even a small-ish nagging injury is very tough)

The biggest news of this hour is that Federer has confirmed on Facebook (see post below) that Stefan Edberg will join his team!

Great news!

Great news!