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Federer Crushes Raonic in Melbourne

Federer Crushes Raonic in Melbourne

Well how about that folks? An absolute clinic from Roger as he dispatched Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2 in 1h 45 minutes.

It was a JesusFed like display from start to finish and the Canadian never had a look in as Roger was far superior in all departments including the all important serve as he coasted over the line without really having to break into a sweat.

Before the match a few fans were worried that Raonic might be able to cause Roger a ton of problems with his serve. I guess that was justified seen as though their previous 3 encounters were all decided by a close 3rd set tie break but today it was anything but close.

First Set – Federer Starts Fast

Federer in Control

It’s always a joy as a Fed fan when he gets out of the blocks at lightspeed and that’s exactly what happened today.

He came out all guns blazing, the serve was deadly, the reflexes were sharp which was essential for returning the Raonic serve and just his all round play was spot on from the get go.

Roger created 3 break points at 3-2 but Raonic managed to bail himself out with some of his trademark big serves. You didn’t really feel like it was a missed opportunity for Fed though as there’s nothing he could have done differently. It felt more like a sign of things to come and that’s exactly what happened at 5-4 as once again he piled the pressure on Raonic winning all of the rallies that went above 3 shots. Two missed forehands and a Raonic double fault for the 3rd time in the match gave Federer another set point which he sealed when Raonic netted a fairly makeable volley off a backhand pass.

Second Set – JesusFed Personified

FedGOAT

The first set was done in just a mere 33 minutes and the second wasn’t much different. Again this set boiled down purely to serve and who could find that little extra something at the business end of it.

Federer cruised through his service games with consumate ease, dropping only 2 points the entire set and serving 4 love holds that gave Raonic plenty to think about. To his credit Raonic tightened up his own serve in the second set and really dropped some bombs to hold his end up but he just couldn’t get it together on the return or from the back of the court.

The set, as most fans expected at least one set would do, resulted in a tie break. Raonic is dangerous in breakers but as we’ve seen with Roger when he’s played the likes of Karlovic, Isner and Philippoussis he’s able to conjure something up when it really matters. At 3-3 Raonic came in behind a half baked approach shot and a whipped pass gave Federer the all important mini break.

From that point on there was no looking back for Roger; 2 service holds and then another net approach from Raonic saw Federer come up with a sweet passing shot that gave him a 2 set lead.

Stats from the second set just prove that when the Federer game clicks into place he’s extremely difficult to stop. Making 91% of first serves and hitting 14 winners to just 3 unforced errors. GOAT like.

Set Three – Raonic Crumbles

Federer Celebrates his Routine Victory

Much like the Tomic match on Saturday evening, Raonic completely crumbled in the third set and Roger just maintained his level to dominate.

The only chance Raonic had was to hold serve and come good in the tie break as there was no way he was coming up with the goods to break Roger tonight. Unfortunately for him he handed over a break in the very first game of the third set, game over. The key break soon became a double break and from there it was just up to Roger to coast across the finish line. He lapsed in concentration for a moment as he got pegged back to deuce but his impeccable serve was soon back to finding the lines as he sealed the deal 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2. GOAT.

On Court Interview with Courier

Final Thoughts on the Match

Like I said this was an absolute clinic from Roger tonight, he excelled in all areas and while I don’t think Raonic played particularly well Roger never really allowed him too. The Swiss dominated on serve, manoeuvred his opponent around the court at will and managed to block back the Raonic serve back like it was nothing.

It’s tough to say exactly what Raonic could have done differently other than return better. He served quite well overall it’s just he was broken down in the big moments. It was the peRFect example of how to approach a match against a big serving opponent and play smart tennis. There’s no doubting this is the sort of matchup that favours Roger but that’s purely because he has an innate ability to nullify guys with big serves and use his strengths to capitalise on their weaknesses.

In Raonic’s case his movement (or lack of), his predictable forehand and his general lack of tactics or variety were his downfall tonight and you required the full package to get past Federer. Put simply if you don’t have great defense and retrieval skills or the ability to hit huge off the ground for 5 sets you’re not going to come out on top against the GOAT even at age 31.

Whilst writing this I heard Raonic has come out in his press conference and said he wasn’t sure if he’d even play the match today due to an injured metatarsal. That’s fair enough, maybe he wasn’t at full fitness and that hampered him tonight but as far as I’m concerned if you step on court you do so with the mindset you will be able to play for 5 sets if you have to. Maybe he was injured or not at full fitness, would it have made a difference? Who knows. He started the match so that’s all there is to it

Ultimately Roger was just a class above tonight and after what looked like a really tough draw on paper he’s made serene progress into the Quarter Finals without dropping or a set or being broken in 57 games where he will will now meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Predictions vs. Tsonga

Federer vs. Tsonga

Next up for Roger is Tsonga who beat Gasquet in 4 sets. I expected a little more from Gasquet considering he won Doha but yet again he fails to produce when it matters. He no doubt played the match from 10 feet behind the baseline and gave Tsonga all the time in the world to tee off with his forehand and step into the court.

Anyway, back to Fed vs Tsonga, these two guys have quite a bit of history, Roger has dominated the Frenchman in many matches previously but everyone always casts their minds back to when Tsonga came back from 2 sets to love down to win in 5 at Wimbledon in 2011. That was a weird match from Roger, one that signified his Grand Slam slump really where he wasn’t quite able to win tight matches. I think he’s a different player now though, Roger 3.0 if you will, so I think he’s taking Tsonga down in straight sets.

Roger leads the H2H 8-3 and has won their last 4 encounters. He also gave Tsonga a serious beat down in Melbourne back in 2010, that was a Goderer like match akin to the beating he gave Del Potro on Rod Laver a year earlier. We got it all that day; ridiculous half volleys, back hand smashes, you name it, he came up with it.

Maybe expecting a Goderer like performance in two days is a bit optimistic but I can’t really see what Tsonga can do to really beat Fed the way he’s been playing in his 4 matches so far. He’d literally have to return like an animal and then be able to hit through the court off his ground strokes to really be in with the a chance.

Of course Tsonga is able to play in the zone for 5 sets a la Wimbledon 2011 but I think Roger 3.0 is a different kettle of fish these days and possesses too much variety and court awareness to be drawn into a slugging match. If Roger is able to get into a nice riddum rhythm on serve and use his forehand to dictate play then he should progress to the semi finals where he will no doubt meet Andy Murray who has had a cake walk draw so far as he faces Jeremy Chardy in the other Quarter Final.

He is a good guy with a great game, he is a great shot maker and a great character for the game, we didn’t play each other last year I don’t think and the year before we played three times in 10 days. We just came from a trip in South America, played a couple of exhibition matches against each other which was a lot of fun and now we’re going to try to bring it here to centre court and I am really looking forward to that. It should be exciting.

Anyway my prediction is look for Roger to serve well, hit the inside out forehand sweetly and use his variety to drag Tsonga outside the court as frequently as possible en route to a 6-2 7-5 6-4 victory. Allez les suisse!

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

71 comments

  1. ‘GODERER’ – awesome! Federer’s thesaurus needs to be extended!

  2. There was a lot of talk before the match about the tight matches Fed and Raonic had but if you look at those meetings all of them came early on in tournaments. Madrid was Fed’s first clay court match in 2012, Halle was his first on grass and remember he was a little ill in the 2nd round of Indian Wells. But this was a Federer with 3 matches under his belt at a grand slam. He was super sharp and he looked hungry and determined.

    Favourite stat of mine is Roger has only faced 4 break points at this Open so far. And 3 of them came against Paire. When Roger is serving well he is hard to stop as we all know. Bodes well I feel!

  3. I was quite impressed by Fed today! I believe Tsonga is the next straight sets victim: 7-6 6-4 6-3. Federer controlled the Raonic serve and served like the GOAT! I think he’ll have tons of momentum going into the Murray match! Only Djokovic is stopping Federer and Federerer is the only one beating Djokovic. Fed always plays his best when it’s crunch time and I expect home to make the finals!

    Ps: Fed hasn’t dropped a set or serve yet. Fed’s the only one who can make GOAT History. He can, although nearly impossible, cream all his opponents and be the first ever to win a major without being broken! Bon chance!

  4. did you actually misspell rhythm that badly ? :)

  5. Fantastic Fed!! Tsonga is done and dusted if he can keep up that mode tomorow. What’re your thoughts on murray? will he get to the semis rested, or will his lack of decent opponents not give a warm up before fed?
    I also saw some guys on facebook say he was injured? anyone hear of that as well?

    Cheers!

    • Not seen a lot of Murray, he’s cruised so far though. But had a bunch of clown opponents so far. Might as well be playing WTA players. See what Chardy can do, not holding out much hope for him but you never know.

  6. Remarkably few unforced errors in this match (just 12) and even in the previous match against Tomic. Seems to me that Fed is taking a bit more time setting up his points. I have always thought he would be even more effective if he dialled down his level of aggression just a little bit. He has lost too many matches in recent years through the sheer number of unforced errors.

    • Hey Arif,

      Yeah maybe a little, although he played pretty aggressive in all his matches I thought. Today he was going for the forehand when he could step into the court.

      Jonathan

  7. Great Match for Federer! What a performance! Roger kept his cool and was able to produce the goods needed. That dropshot return was GENIUS! I don’t know what to expect from the quarterfinal match between Roger and Tsonga but I hope for another straight set win. Waiting anxiously for the next match to enfold. Congrats to the man for 35 consecutive quarterfinals.

    • Yeah 35 straight Quarter Finals is just like a joke stat. Doubt it will ever be replicated. I’m thinking he will see off Tsonga. I’ve not seen much of his play though now he has Roger Rasheed as his coach, but he couldn’t help Clownfils so who knows…

  8. Satisfaction in my heart!!! GODERER – I like it more then JesusFed!! :D Anyway, why is Roger wearing that white shirt under the t-shirt? Is it cold a little bit there?

  9. Wow, the match report’s out already?! Well done, Jonathan.

    JesusFed, indeed. He was razor sharp yet patient, it was a strong performance from him. Not impressed by Roanic, injured or not, he was disappointing as I hoped he could make Roger play some crazy/magic shots to beat him.

    Not been broken so far…he’s making the toughest draw look so easy. I agree, he’ll reach the semi with another straight win!

    Haha… Loved his dorky side in the interview with Courier.

  10. absolute GOAT personified. I was really worried after watching Madrid/Halle but today Roger put up a clinic.
    I just wanted to say if it were Roger who said after the match that he had injury / MRI blah blah the media would have piled on him and say he’s making excuses (see Wimbledon 2010 when he lost to Berdshit). But now Raonic came out and said he’s injured AFTER he lost and that’s ok?
    Not trying to give a hard time to Raonic but you see the double standards people have!

    • Hey,

      Yeah that’s true. Maybe Raonic was injured, but he stepped on court so Fed only beats what it is in front of him.

      No biggie anyway, routine win and onto the Quarters. Allez!

  11. Hey all! Roger is demonstrated on the example of how to play against a player with dreadful service! Masterful!!! The draw for me is very difficult for Roger, if he wants to win the title will need to beat approximately the best tennis players on the Tour! Murray can stroll through to the semi finals! But Roger is the best!
    And did you seen that crazy drop shot after the service of Raonić in third set – AMAZING! GO ROGER!!!

  12. Not fair guys! I haven’t seen Fed – Raocic yet, but happy to learn that he won in convincing fashion. If I keep recording instead of staying up late, I’ve got to stay away from the blog until I watch the match! I definitely don’t want to know before hand with Tsonga, Murray, and the joker. I think the joker is going down this tournament. If Fed keeps playing at this level, he’ll get him. I think that Fed’s decision to take a rest and not play so many matches before the Aussie, has been really smart, and paid off. He seems as sharpe or even sharper than at the end of 2012 when He took back the number 1 ranking. Roll on Fed express!

    • Sharp as a razor, most definitely!

    • Hey Tim,

      You going to have to start staying up late! I have to do it when it’s US Open so it’s only fair :)

      Have to say Djokovic looks like he is playing on another level right now after today, Wawrinka match has given him a lot of confidence. Hopefully Fed fulfills his end of the bargain and makes the final! Allez!

      Jonathan

  13. Well, the Maestro was definitely on court tonight and in the zone. Did everything what he was supposed to do and more. Raonic just did’t have the answers to it. And if that was because he was injured? Don’t know. We’ll never know. I think he’d have a hard time with Fed’s form today no matter what condition he would be in for many reasons. The Maestro had a plan tonight and that developed more and more during the match and it was brilliantly executed.

    And about Tsonga: well, if Fed continues to play this way (serve especially) or better, then it’ll be one hell of a job for Jo to take a set (or two), let alone win. No matter how quietly Jo has moved along in this AO with great results. It’s Fed’s serve that will (probably) hurt him the most, I think.

    On an ‘post match note’: think this JC interview was the best of the 3 so far. Everyone keeps talking about the ‘muscle bit’, which was really funny I thought, but there was also Fed who suddenly thought it might be fun to try and play 7 5-setters during a GS and see how that would go… Loved that bit ;)

    • Hey Natasja,

      Yeah I can’t see Tsonga winning, he would have to play out of his mind / in the zone for an extended period. Anything is possible but that’s unlikely!

      Courier does some cool interviews, I wasn’t a huge fan of his really but he’s not a bad commentator and I think he is a genuine Fed fan. Some fans seem to think he’s a bit disrespectful towards Roger but I don’t really see it.

      Jonathan

  14. This is a gem (from the press con):

    Q. Regarding big muscles, we saw Djokovic ripping his shirt. What goes through your mind when you see a guy do this? Could you do this?
    ROGER FEDERER: That’s exactly what I won’t do. Other guys do other things. I’m happy that we’re not all the same.
    I’m definitely not going to do that, especially with my little left arm. It would be a bit embarrassing to do that (laughter).

  15. The good thing about this tournament has been the fact that Federer has had to play quality opposition early on, which should hopefully prevent a US Open Berdych situation. I’m taking Friday off work if he makes it to the semis and plays Murray in a night match! COME ON ROGER!

  16. Fed fought off another dangerous player. Would have liked to see Djoko and Murray play these guys.Have to say of the top 3 Roger is playing the best tennis so far.Keep rolling Roger!!!

  17. Milos was somewhere else. This was not the best Milos we have seen.

    Federer needs two games close to 3 hours now or (depending on if he makes the final), he will not be conditioned. The rest won’t help. He needs to face some tough match situations. That’s my main worry.

  18. Hi Jonathan… So far ur predictions and analysis hav been spot on. I believe Roger if he plays like this he can defo go all the way. I was worried cos of the last matches with Raonic they were all close. But i will go with ur scoreline against Tsonga. P.s has anybody got the highlights of raonic match.. I would much appreiciate if anyone has a you tube vid link.
    Again i enjoyed reading ur thoughts than the same old bbc/mainstream dribble that they write. Its always the same style of writing!
    Thanks for ur post. Cheers. Come on Roger!!!

  19. And the streak continues, Allez Roger! 35 and counting! And also yet to be broken, loving it!

    Definitely a FedJesus or Goderer as you put it performance from start to finish. He totally destroyed Raonic out there, and Milos’ face just told the deflation he felt, I’m not sure if it was as to his injury or whatever but mainly I think he was surprised at how Federer broke down his serve! But then again, Federer always has a good record against big servers. This match reminded me of Tomic especially in the third after they both crumbled to the GOAT on the other side of their net.

    After last night’s performance I think it’s fair to say that he has been JesusFed for the last four matches and I’m not liking Tsonga or Murray’s chances. The thing about Novak is if he gets to finals he gets an extra day on Fed to rest up if he has to slug it out with Murray… which brings me up to yesterday’s match which I thought was so hilarious that Murray played soooo poorly against a tanked out Simon, will be an interesting match against Chardy that’s for sure.

    Last thing, that DROP SHOT RETURN=GENIUS and was it just me or did Fed and hawkeye seem to be getting along yesterday haha!

    The Great One is on a roll, hoping it’s straight sets against Tsonga!

    • Hey Alysha,

      Yeah Djoker is looking a lock for the final now after todays win. Ferrer is a warrior but I can’t see him breaking down his game, he has no weapons.

      I’ve not seen much of Murray, but he’s winning, guess that’s all that matters. Interesting to see what Chardy can do, if anything!

      Allez Roger! Hoping for straights, I think Tsonga gets one set at best.

      Jonathan

  20. Good performance by Roger – I liked that he didn’t go for too much with from the baseline and he tried to be aggressive with Raonic’s 2nd serve. He played a good tactical game and waiting patiently for the right time to pounce. Tsonga will be another tough opponent for Roger, its making me nervous. Can’t wait for your prediction though.

  21. I don’t know guys. I kind of don’t like the Goderer, and JesusFed nicknames. I’m not religious, but I think that Rogers image of himself, and they way we like to think about him has more humility, and class. Like him not ripping his shirt off. I think that Djokovich goes to far for my taste. I think all of us love Fed not just for his talent, but because he is down to earth, and the kind of guy who cries getting the trophy from Rod Laver. That’s why we were all so happy he took down Tomic. The guy has a big mouth. So, my vote is to keep it a little more down to earth. What does everyone else think? I’m looking forward to the Tsonga match, can’t wait.

    • I agree with you, tim. I don’t care for the nicknames myself. Although in fairness to Jonathan (and I love his blog!) I think I know what he is trying to suggest by those nicknames. There are some matches in which the Fed comes on and his level of play and shot-making are so unbelievable that they seem almost divinely inspired!

    • Hey Tim,

      Yeah I’m not religious in the slightest either. The names are more to do with him playing out of this world tennis. It’s the best descriptor I can think of when he comes up with sublime performances or plays shots that nobody else on the tour is capable of.

      So I’m not trying to align Roger with Christianity or anything like that. Just a way of saying he is in the zone but more specific to his own unique level of play that’s hard to replicate.

      Jonathan

  22. The way Roger has been playing through his first four matches, he looks unstoppable. He’s played four guys with four different styles and he’s managed to beat them all fairly easily. His serve and movement are both top notch and I think it’ll take a monumental effort to beat him this tournament – even from Djokovic.

    • I agree, I think this is the best I’ve seen Fed play in a long time. I like how he is playing more of a controlled agression, and going for more spin and net clearance when needed. He also seems to be really enjoying himself, his tennis and his family. I think that everything is in alignment for another slam! I’m stoked!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        I feel that controlled aggression is a characteristic he exhibits only against the likes of Raonic, because he knows putting a serve back may be hard, so he tries to play high percentage. Raonic doesn’t have any weapons to hurt him, and is not able to handle passing shots that well.

        He cannot do that against Djokovic or Murray. Djokovic will hurt him if he plays high percentage tennis with him. He has to do what Stan did, be on the offense.

        It does seem aligned but we have been down this path before. I have my fingers crossed! :)

      • Yeah if he plays Murray or Djoker he’s going to have to dominate all the points and that takes serious aggression. Any sort of passiveness or sustained rallies and it doesn’t end well for him.

    • Totally agree, when there’s no pressure on his service games, everything just works for him. Novak has looked shakey but he looked pretty good against Berdshit and he is going to crush Ferrer who credit came back after Almagro choked, a very weird match…but Federer/Murray, is that going to impact his chances on Sunday against Novak? Murray is pretty fresh himself so Federer is going to have to pull a very clean performance to sweep Murray of the court in at least 3 sets in slow conditions and probably long rallies.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Almagro tried to be a hero in the third set serving for the match and tried a couple of Wawrinka-like down the line backhands when he should’ve just focused on shot making. Paid the price. Deserves it.

        But now, it looks like Djoker is going to slow roll Ferrer.

      • Ferrer the old war horse coming back from the brink!

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Alysha, do you feel the conditions are slow? They seem quite fast compared to last year.

      • Sid, they are only a little bit faster, and on RLA I still believe they are slow especially in the night, this is evident in Djokovic/Wawrinka match, Novak only got out of that one because of his defensive skills through getting every single point back, making the opponent play the extra ball and then an error.That’s why Federer will really need to be aggressive and not get into long rallies with both Murray and Djokovic, they just reutrn everything. Court speed looks marginal like Fed said, and I agree, conditions favour Andy and Novak and Roger will need to play better than Wawrinka to beat Novak if that is even possible haha. First things first though, Tsonga…

    • Other way round man I think now, it’ll take a monumental effort from Roger to beat Djokovic. He is the favourite like I said all along. I thought maybe he looked vulnerable after Stepanek match as he wasn’t that clinical but now he’s zoning in. If they meet in the final it could be pretty epic.

      • Djokovic will be the favourite if they meet but with the way Roger is playing, he’ll have a great chance to win, so long as he doesn’t go 5 hours with Murray, haha.

  23. Hey Jonathon, just to let you know, it wasn’t a criticism about your blog. I like it a lot. Just wanted to get my opinion out about the nicknames. You’re doing a great job, keep it up! Tim

    • Hey Tim,

      No worries, all opinions are welcome on the blog. Unless they are anti-Federer!

      Jonathan

    • Hi Tim, I agree with you. But I have to say, since I heard the term “JesusFed”, I have loved it !!!
      It is such a nice and funny nickname for Roger.
      I do have to say that I am not that fond of the nickname “Goderer”. Somehow it does not sound right.

      Katyani

  24. And then there were three left to beat, Jo-Wilfried, Andy and Novak !!!
    I just saw the Raonic match on Youtube. Wow. Raonic was not that bad, but Roger was good.
    When will I stop underestimating him? I thought he would win in four or five sets.
    Not that I am underestimating him, but I just don’t want and can see him lose.
    It hurts me. But against Jo he will win, not in straight sets, but in four or five.
    Like I already wrote, Jo always loses to Roger, except when he plays him in a QF/SF. Then he suddenly remembers that he is a very good player. Also, this has to be said too, he is playing really good and does not seemed to be injured. I have to work tomorrow, but I will keep track of the results.

    Go Roger go, three more to win.

    Ps: I saw some parts of Novak vs Berdych. He does not seem to be in the winning mood or something.
    I can’t explain it. He won, but it was like Mats Wilander said, it was just a day at the office.
    I know he will be in the final, but does he really want to go for the history win??
    I don’t know how to explain it, but he was not in his own mood (see how good I am, how tired I am, but that I can still win from rested opponents). Something like that.

    Katyani

  25. Djokovich did a classy thing in giving Berdich another 1st serve when a fan yelled out. Too bad Berdich doesn’t have the same sort of class. I’ve seen him cheat a couple of times. Once was really obvious. He went after a drop shot from Fed, didn’t get it on one bounce, and didn’t call it on himself. Fed asked the umpire ” if he got it why did the ball have top spin coming over”? The umpire didn’t answer him. The replay showed obvious foreward rotation. As most of us experienced tennis players know, the ball always has some topspin on it after it bounces. The only time it doesn’t is when it goes over the net on a fly. Berdich is also a whiner. I’m really glad Joker got him. I’m still at 75% on my predictions, but a long way from winning. I don’t care as long as Fed wins. Anybody else on this blog playing the Aussie open pool?

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