Roger Federer is through to Round 3 in Miami after defeating Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. It ended up being a straight forward match with mostly no rhythm since Karlovic’s style doesn’t allow much rallies. The entire match took just 74 minutes.
Set 1 started with Ivo serving first. He was up 40-0 before a double fault, an error and a winner from Roger got the Croat to deuce. Another error gave the Maestro break point and a 2nd double fault sealed the break. Then I blinked once and that was all it took for Roger to hold to love and consolidate the break, 2-0*. Galvanized by the Swiss’ great serving from across the net, Ivo rose to the challenge with a love hold of his own. This was met with yet another love hold by our champ to go up 3-1*. Ivo held next to 15 and what followed after were fantastic display of serves from both players. Neither let the other get a peak in. It continued in that vein all the way till the very last game when Roger finally dropped his first point on serve. No matter however, as he safely served it out; 6-4 in 29 minutes. Here are the stats.Onto Set 2 and Ivo was in trouble again but this time he managed to hold on and get on the board. Roger continued in the same imperious form as in the previous set by holding to love again. A hold from Ivo to 15 was followed by yet another love hold from the Swiss, this one in 45 seconds and that’s without a single ace too, there were short rallies in all 4 points 😀 A hold to 15 by Ivo, then a love hold by Roger, followed by a hold to 15 again by Ivo took the score to 4-3*. In that Ivo service game Roger produced a wonderful bit of magic and the Hot Shot of the day! Serving to go up to 4 all Roger dropped his second point on serve for the entire match but of course, he still held. In Ivo’s next service game, he offered Roger two break points before saving them both and taking the game with some great serving. This was followed by yet another love hold for the Swiss to get the score to 5 all. Federer pushed Ivo in his next service game but the Croat ultimately held, leaving Roger to serve to take the set to a tie-break. A love hold from the Swiss (yes another one) ensured just that.
In the tie-break, Roger got a mini-break immediately to go up 2*-0 but then gave it right back for the score to be 2-1* and back on serve. But then Ivo gave the Maestro another mini-break to go down 1*-3. Serving at 3*-2, Roger held his serves to go up 5-2* and the pressure was back on Ivo. Ivo then held as well; he kept the tie-break to just one mini-break down at 4-5* and put the onus back on the Swiss to serve it out. This time there was no hesitation, Roger held on and took the tie-break 7-4. Here are the match stats.The Maestro gave a big roar when he won. He seemed to have enjoyed the match and said in the presser that he liked playing Karlovic.
“I quite like it. It’s just uncomfortable at times when it comes to the crunch of the sets and you know this is probably your only chance in the set [to see a break point]. So it can be quite difficult or overwhelming. But if you’re in the right mindset mentally, it can also be enjoyable. That’s how I approach the match, anyway.”
We don’t know yet how his performance will be against the baseline grinders but with Ivo Karlovic, he had the best game plan which he executed beautifully. Roger kept his own service games clean and pin point accurate. While Ivo can move forward to the net, his lateral, side to side movement is practically non-existent. And Federer precisely picked on that weakness. Time after time, Ivo just watched shots pass him by on either wing. In fact, other than possibly converting those two break points in the second set (and let’s be honest, this was Ivo serving) there is not much Roger could have done to make this a more peRFect match. Pure genius on full display.
Next he plays Thiemo de Bakker, who upset 28th seed Verdasco in his Round 2 match. Their H2H is 2-0 in favor of the Swiss with the latest win coming last year in Rotterdam. If Roger continues to serve the way he has been, this match will hopefully not be a problem. But for now, he gets a day off which is probably why he went to the Miami Heat game last night 😀 Good to see him enjoying other sports too! Meanwhile I leave you with his presser video where he was asked about his hair because honestly, aren’t those FedCurls the best ever!?! No? Well I have provided photographic evidence below, so judge for yourself! 😉