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Roger Federer’s first match of 2013 – Round 1 of the Australian Open

4 Comments

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/galleries/2013-01-15/201301151358228667556.html

From the Australian Open website gallery

I was ridiculously nervous before Roger Federer’s first match, almost unreasonably so. I think the fact that he hadn’t played in a while just kept nagging me. Although I did keep telling myself that it’s almost guaranteed Paire will just suddenly lose focus and start flailing on and off throughout, which should, hopefully, allow Federer to put a death-vice on the match. But I knew that in order for me to truly calm down, I would have to watch him play. And within the first game, when he broke Benoit, my heart rate came back down to normal levels of adrenaline.

It is probably too early to say that his decision to come into the Australian Open cold was a wise decision; the next few matches (hopefully the next 6!) will tell us that. But for today, Roger looked sharp, his backhand, that single-handed winged beauty of a shot, looked glorious. His forehands were lethal and accurate and first serve percentage for the match was 64% with 3 aces and he won 84% of his first serve points. The Maestro had 25 winners to 18 unforced errors, won 25 of 31 i.e. 81% of his net points and a total of 95 points.

Overall, at least for the first 2 sets, Benoit decided to try and play, and make a match of it. This resulted in quite a bit of pretty tennis for the fans to enjoy; lots of shots from both players that made one go ‘oooh!’. In the third set, Paire quickly unraveled mentally and then his game followed suit. Federer won 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour 23 minutes and hardly broke a sweat. The match stats are given below.

AOStats1

One feels for Benoit but only just; he could’ve showed more fight in the 3rd set to a full Rod Laver Arena crowd who had paid good money to watch two players give their all. Paire certainly has some focus issues and unless he can get a handle on them, my personal feeling is he could switch to becoming a doubles player. He just won the Chennai Open in doubles with Stan Wawrinka and when he loses focus, as he did in the Chennai SFs, Stan picked up the slack and helped him refocus. They certainly seemed to enjoy playing with each other so I think both should give some thought to making this a more regular occurrence.

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/galleries/2013-01-15/201301151358228667556.html

From the Australian Open website gallery

Next up for Federer will be the winner of the Davydenko-Sela match and I know most Federer fans will be rooting for Dudi to come through since Davydenko is never an easy customer. He was the runner-up in Doha; although he did have injury/strain issues towards the end of that match and Gasquet ultimately triumphed over him to lift the trophy. However Federer’s H2H with Davydenko is 17-2 so based on that alone, this shouldn’t be impossible for Roger. Federer’s Round 2 match will be on Thursday, January 17th. Till then, I hope the Swiss gets to relax a bit, enjoy his first win and then get ready to hit the courts again for practice because the journey’s just begun.

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4 thoughts on “Roger Federer’s first match of 2013 – Round 1 of the Australian Open

  1. Loved to see him back on court again. He looked sharp, focused and confident. I don’t think everything went his way (seemed a bit frustrated in the 2nd set sometimes) but overall I thought The Maestro was back on court and there def were a few jaw-dropping shots again I thought. The practice time definitely did him good. The match wasn’t the toughest, obviously, but a 1st match is never easy for it being the 1st match alone… Paire tried. I felt sorry for him at times and sometimes I wondered why he didn’t try harder. One of our commies called it a Masterclass and I do think at times it certainly was that for Paire. I read Paire later said that he couldn’t read Fed’s game at all and that’s no doubt why he played how he played… I did think he had a sense of humor in the end 😉

    We’ll have to see about Davy. H2H is 17-2 and Davy’s wins were never at a GS. Nonetheless, he does play well and Fed no doubt will have to move it up a gear and play even better. I’m looking forward to it!

    Oh and of course, really liked the on court interview and did you see the ESPN one? Very nice too 🙂

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    • Thanks for commenting! And I agree with you on most points. I think Round 1 matches are never easy for any player and on top of that, he was coming into it cold. So in retrospect this was a very good match for him in my opinion. Wasn’t too tough and as he said to Courier, once he was up he could ‘try a few things’ and experimented a bit. I was also quite happy with his serve, especially the high-kick 2nd serve. And I agree Paire did have a sense of humor but I almost wanted him to be a bit more serious instead. This is a Grand Slam, there’s only 4 of them a year and players fight tooth and nail in the qualies to get to the main draw. and then the chance to play at RLA against Roger… I don’t know, I felt he should’ve taken it more seriously. But at the end of the day, as long as Roger’s through I don’t care how it happens!

      I am worried about Davy (I’m always worried about any of Roger’s matches anyway) and am sure it won’t be a walk in the park like it was with Paire. Davy is serious, intense and focused so he’ll give Roger a fight. I’ll say cautiously that Roger will take it in 3 straight tough sets, or at most he’ll drop a set. That’s my prediction, hope I don’t jinx him!

      Oh and yes I saw the ESPN one too! I love Federer interviews, I always feel they’re too short! Of course the second question was about Rafa… haha… I think even when they interview him for his 75th birthday the 2nd question will be about Rafa and how he’s doing as he’s about to turn 70 ;-).

      Thanks again for the comments and for reading the post of course! Keeping fingers crossed for tomorrow, heard it’s going to be a scorcher of a day in Melbourne so hope the training sessions in the Dubai heat will pay off!

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  2. I need to make a confession here too 😉 I am worried about Davy too… Worried about all of his matches, just like you. Because what happens if he has a bad day and that’s early in the tournament? It can happen to the best… And then he’s out and I feel bad for him and all the press comes to say ‘see I told you so’ and that’ll get me upset (and all of us) etc etc
    But the reason I hardly ever express that, is cause most of the time I feel like I am jinxing it then… So just like you actually, but in a different way… But I thought it was okay now, to say it (just once) Btw, I honestly do believe he will win it, probably in 3 tough sets, máybe in 4… But that doesn’t mean I’m not worried and expecting raised blood pressure tomorrow morning and a lot of ‘plz Rog’, make the point’ and ‘1st serve in, plz’ and ‘focus’ etc etc… I really do say all these things to my tv…

    Luckily he has the night session against Davy. Very pleased. For him mainly and a bit for myself, cause it means I don’t have to get up at stupid o’clock to go and see him from my sofa… (although that really was fun on Tuesday)

    ps
    and did you really think Paire wasn’t taking it seriously or was that more a question of lack of belief he could actually put himself on the board? Don’t know myself, just interested what you think….

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  3. Well it’s post the Davy match and thank goodness right? I actually thought it would be tighter to be honest. As for Paire, I think he did take it seriously till the end, when he realized that he might not be able to do anything more, that’s when I feel that he figured there’s really no point in trying and just gave up which then led to “might as well try to enjoy it the best I can”. Obviously he was just overawed by the whole situation and coped with it this way. Actually if you compare this with Ryan Harrison vs. Djokovic I think the difference is clear, Ryan fought till the very end even when the result was obvious. I appreciated that more. Anyway, enough of my ranting! Thanks for the comments!

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