We are in the first final of 2015! Which also happens to be Roger Federer’s 125th career final too! I honestly thought the SF match was going to be tougher than it turned out to be. Thankfully for us, Roger was in no mood to dillydally and Grigor didn’t play his best. The result was a nice 6-2, 6-2 win for our champ in 53 minutes.
Roger won the toss and elected to receive maybe because he thought he could put Grigor on pressure right away. Wouldn’t you know it, the Maestro was right. He broke Grigor right away and then quickly consolidated with a love hold to go up 2-0*in just 3 minutes. Dimitrov composed himself and held the next game to love only for Roger to hold as well. Serving at 1*-3, Grigor got pushed to 30 all and then this amazing shot from Roger gave him a breakpoint. An error from the Bulgarian into the net gave Roger the double-break. Roger held to 15 in a quick game that included a wonderful smash and thus 16 minutes into the set, Roger was now up 5-1*. Dimitrov finally got a bit of his feel back and held comfortably for once and it was up to Roger to serve for the set. Roger dropped just one point and then took the set 6-2 in 21 minutes.
The second set started with Grigor looking much more determined and he held to 30 to get on the board right away. Roger played a beautiful game with creative shots to hold as well and it was 1 all. In Grigor’s next game, Roger kept rushing and pushing even more pressure on the Bulgarian, pummeling his second serves and coming to the net often. The unrelenting assault finally gave Roger a breakpoint chance. Grigor saved that one but then his next shot went long which gave the Swiss another breakpoint. This time Roger didn’t even have to do anything as Dimitrov double faulted and gave Roger the break.
Some clinical serving saw Roger hold to 15 and he led 3-1*. In the next game, Roger made two easy errors that ultimately helped Grigor hold even though it looked like he was about to get broken again. Serving at 3*-2, Roger held easily and the score was now 2*-4 with Grigor to serve. By then Grigor looked a bit dazed and wouldn’t you know it, Roger broke him again to get the double-break and it was now 5*-2.
Serving for the match, you would think it would be routine for the Maestro by now but then out of the blue, Dimitrov suddenly had 2 breakpoints! I don’t know if Roger lost his concentration for a bit or whether he got too casual or the opposite and he got a bit of nerves instead. In any case, being down 15-40 woke him up and he saved the breakpoints to get to deuce. Then he unbelievably hit his first double fault of the match to give Grigor his third breakpoint but then quickly saved it again with a forehand down the line. Another strange error from the Swiss and Grigor had a 4th breakpoint! What was happening in Roger’s head I wonder! An error from Dimitrov brought it back to deuce and then Roger had his first match point. But then he hit a shot long and it was back to deuce. Finally, it was match point number 2 and this time Roger did not miss. Here are the match stats.Roger played very well indeed. He was aggressive from the beginning and came to the net with authority, especially on Dimitrov’s second serves. He served very well himself except for the last game; before that game Grigor didn’t have any breakpoints. He returned well and won 15 out of 19 net points. He didn’t spend too much energy, only 53 minutes on court so hopefully he will be fresh for tomorrow’s match. In his presser and on-court interview he didn’t mention that he was feeling tired which is great considering he had said that earlier after his first 2 matches. Here are the highlights of the match.
Up next is another young player, Canadian Milos Raonic, ranked #8 in the world. The two of them had played twice at the end of last year with Milos getting his first win over Roger in Bercy and then Roger defeating Milos at the O2 a week later. Their H2H is 7-1 in Roger’s favour but Milos has been looking leaner and meaner this year and his serve has been lethal in the faster courts of Brisbane. Roger will not only have to serve well himself but he will need to mix it up and keep Milos guessing and moving. It will be great if he can sneak in a break instead of having to settle each set with a tie-break. Not because Roger can’t handle tie-breaks, but because I find them stressful 😉 Here’s hoping for a good and quick win for our champ! Good luck Roger!