Another total cruise match for Roger here against Mikhail Youzhny, as I predicted it was a straight sets victory and he extended the H2H to 12-0.
Youzhny caused little trouble and the match was done and dusted in 69 minutes. Fed broke early in both sets and never looked like letting his advantage slip.
There was a brief period towards the end of the second set where Youzhny started to string some points together and got his adrenaline going but it was all too little too late. Roger was moving great and serving well so the Russian had no chance.
I thought on my serve I was doing many of the right things,” reflected Federer. “It’s quick out there, so you got to be really focussed. He was obviously taking a lot chances for one set and a half. Maybe his energy wasn’t quite up. At the end he really got pumped up a bit, but it was almost too late for him.
It’s really quite difficult to get anyway takeaways from a match like this – Roger is playing well and that’s all there is to it. You can argue he hasn’t played anyone great yet, but he’s beaten what’s in front of him and that’s all he can do.
Predictions vs. Del Potro
Next up for Federer is the guy he beat in Rotterdam 2 weeks ago – Juan Martin Del Potro, after he beat Tsonga convincingly in straight sets.
I think this match will be a lot tougher than the one in Rotterdam, mainly because the surface is much faster, and because it’s outdoors the ball bounces much higher. Del Potro is coming off the back of a tournament victory in Marseille and is really starting to pick up his game after a tough 2 years with injury.
I believe this one could go either way, on courts this fast Del Potro is a real danger, especially if Roger gives him any kind of half court balls. Fed will have to hit with impeccable length off the backhand side to make sure he doesn’t start getting pushed around from the back of the court.
The slice is usually a great weapon against Del Petro but I haven’t really seen him use it in his matches so far, mainly because he’s been comfortable just hitting the top spin drive, so I’m unsure on how effective a shot it will be.
My prediction is that whoever wins the first set wins the match. Allez les suisse!