Unfortunately this will be a short post. And it’s a pity because this was the best match Roger Federer has playedso far this year at Indian Wells. But the crazy time zone issues I have with US tourneys means not only am I getting just 3 hours of sleep per night, but also, in today’s case, I have less than 16 hours before Roger plays again so it’s not enough time for me to gather detailed information in my usual way and write my match report. As such, I give you the abridged version 😦
What I CAN do however, is at least give you the good news. Roger defeated Tommy Haas in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 24 minutes and reached the QFs of Indian Wells for a record 9th time. Set 1 started off with both players holding serve in the first four games. At 2 all, Roger broke Tommy partially aided by a double fault from the German. However, serving to consolidate, Roger in turn got broken back immediately and the men were back on serve at 3 all. The drama didn’t end there however as for the 3rd successive game, there was another break of serve. Tommy offered quite a few break point opportunities and saved them all but the last one and Roger was up a break again at 4*-3. This time the Maestro made no mistakes in consolidating the break to go up 5-3*. Tommy held and made Roger serve for the set which he thankfully did, with a love hold no less. Here are the stats from Set 1.Set 2 went along the same way as Set 1 did. At 2 all Tommy got broken again. But unlike Set 1, this time Roger consolidated the break right away and did not offer a single break point to the German the entire set. Even though Tommy held his next two service games and pushed Roger in his games too, at the end of the day the Swiss was just too clinical and he finished the match with an ace. When they came to the net to shake hands Tommy said “too good” and I think we all agreed, he really was! Here is the post-match interview and here are the stats for the match.Except for a slightly low stat in second serve points won, there is absolutely nothing to complain about Roger’s stats in the match. He was better than Haas in every aspect of the game. The drama of serving for the set/match that we are by now used to, did not happen. Plus Tommy wasn’t allowed a whiff of a possible tie-break. The win was comprehensive against a formidable opponent. Tommy wasn’t at his absolute best but he wasn’t far off, and certainly played and moved better than his previous matches. This hot-shot will give you an idea of how well Tommy played. He just couldn’t sustain his level for the entire duration.
The match should leave our champ feeling confident about his form. He will need to be at his peak when he squares off against the tall South African, Kevin Anderson, who took out Wawrinka in 3 sets. They have only played once before, just last year in Bercy, where Roger won in straight sets. But Kevin has had a really good start to the year and is coming into the QF red-hot. It will be up to Roger to execute his game plan in order to come away with a win. The QF will be at 7pm local time today. Here is what Roger said of Kevin,
“I know how tough he is. He’s the best here usually in the States, outdoors on the hard courts. That’s when he’s had his biggest success. I’m aware that this is not going to be an easy match just because he’s not ranked in the Top 10.”
Two additional pieces of information: 1. Roger also won his doubles match with Wawrinka against the veteran doubles pair Paes/Stepanek. So he is in the SFs of the doubles as well; though thankfully he won’t have to do double duty today, the doubles will be on tomorrow. 2. This match was his 940th career match win! That’s a lot of matches let alone match wins! 😀 Good luck for today champ!