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Federer Too Good for Tomic in Australian Open 3rd Round

Federer Too Good for Tomic in Australian Open 3rd Round

Wow, well matches that come with a boat load of hype rarely live up to it but I thought this one was pretty special as Roger showed yet again his class defeating Bernard Tomic 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 to move into the 4th round at the Australian Open.

The Australian press had been hyping this match up all week and with Tomic talking up his chances it was definitely the talk of the town on Day 6 of the Australian Open.

Pre match, I wasn’t sure what to expect, I thought it’d be closer than last year but I figured Roger would want to stamp is authority here and show everyone what he’s made of. I ended up predicting the scoreline pretty closely ( 6-4 7-6(5) 6-4 was my call) but the match was actually quite a lot closer than that. Let’s take a look:

First Set – peRFect Start

Federer utilising the chip return against Tomic

Roger is one of the best, if not the best, front runners in the game so when he broke Tomic in the very first game it was a dream start. As usual he came out the blocks pretty fast and his timing looked to be on song right away. His first serve found accuracy early and he was soon closing out the first set 6-4 without really facing any trouble on his own serve.

Tomic hit some nice shots but Roger just came up with the goods when it mattered. The Aussie did well to save 3 set points on his own serve to make Federer serve for the set though and that was a sign of things to come.

Second Set – Tomic Fights

Tomic Forehand

After winning the all important first set (Roger is 59-2 I believe when he wins the first set in Melbourne) I fully expected Fed to pull away and start toying with Tomic but it was the Aussie who found his feet on Rod Laver.

To be honest I’ve not seen a lot of Tomic, just the 3 matches he’s played against Fed and a couple from Wimbledon back in 2011 but his second set performance impressed to me tonight. He absorbed everything Roger threw at him, saving 6 break points with some huge clutch serving and firing back with his own power that actually saw him dominate quite a lot of the rallies.

If it wasn’t for Roger’s magnificent defense and own mental prowess then this set could have been very different. Whilst watching it felt like Roger was wasting break point after break point which was becoming a little frustrating. Time and time again Tomic came up with a big serve then hammered a forehand winner off Roger’s chip return to stay alive. I thought Roger played a little passive on the returns but Tomic was really playing without fear despite the intensity and pressure. Something that bodes well for the rest of his career.

With a bunch of wasted opportunities and Tomic leading 6-5 I felt like it could be one of those Fedal like sets where Roger creates a ton of chances and then loses it at the end. He held comfortably to make the breaker though but soon found himself a mini break and 4-1 down.

With Tomic serving well he could have easily streaked clear but Roger used all his years of experience to steady the ship and got the mini break back when Tomic hit wide after an absorbing 28 stroke rally. Two serves later and Federer had set point at 6-5 which he converted at the first time of asking.

I’d have to say this was probably the best set of the tournament so far, it was intense especially for a match so early in the tournament, it had almost a second week feel to it. Tomic wouldn’t back down and it’s probably the most aggressive I’ve seen him play. He showed that he could push Roger back and make him the guy who has to defend but the Federer serve yet again made all the difference when he needed it to.

Third Set – The GOAT has the final say

Federer & Tomic at the Net

After such a close second set it was impossible to call the third set, could Tomic keep up the pace or did Federer have another gear to find?

I was slightly concerned when Roger put on vest under his polo, as it brought back memories of back problems at Wimbledon, especially considering it was over 20 degrees but I needn’t have worried as he showed his GOAT credentials yet again saving a break point in his opening service game and then pulled away to lead 3-0 and with that the match was done.

Tomic’s resolve had been broken and he lost serve again to fall behind 5-1 and Roger served it out with aplomb. GOAT.

Overall we both played a great match, Bernard has had a great run and he really got the best out of me tonight, so I hope he can keep it up, I really wish him the best, you’ve got to expect the unexpected and Bernard’s got the tools to do that. The court was playing a tough faster when we played last year so it allows him to play a bit more aggressive and he’s a big guy with a powerful serve.

Federer yet again shows his mettle

Federer Mettle

For me this was almost another Roger 3.0 type match, he wasn’t playing at an unbelievable level throughout but he held firm, didn’t drop serve and came up with 5 or 6 moments of genius including two of the sweetest backhand half volleys you will ever see.

After a tentative opening I thought Tomic really showed that playing aggressive tennis can pay off and it nearly won him a set. I figured he’d be passive like always tonight and that’d cost him big time but he went toe to toe with Roger and definitely gave him something to think about. In the end though resistance against the GOAT is futile and Roger’s skills and mental strength proved too much.

Roger showed in the tie break why he has the best record in them of all time fighting his way back from 4-1 down and somehow finding the right shot at the right time to silence Tomic and take an unassailable lead which was very pleasing to see.

In terms of raw numbers it makes good reading with Federer hitting 46 winners to 20 unforced errors, 11 aces, along with making 69% of first serves and winning 26/30 points at the net.

He also showed that his defense is right up there with the likes of Djokovic and that kept him in so many points. The squash shot forehand is such an effective shot that and he used it to frustrate Tomic throughout the course of the match. Time and time again the Aussie was bossing the rallies only to find himself backed up again with Roger turning defense into attack.

I thought it was a good match overall. I thought the intensity was good. We had tough rallies. The crowds were great. So I really enjoyed myself out there.

Obviously, the result is something I was hoping for, but not sure going into it. So I’m just really pleased that the outcome is what I was hoping for. I’m happy also with my playing. I thought I played really good today. That’s obviously important looking ahead.

With the win Federer now has 250 ATP Grand Slams wins and behind him sit Connors on 233, Agassi 224, Lendl 222, Sampras 204. How awesome would it be if he made 300 before he retires! Epic.

Predictions vs Raonic

This could be a tough one, Raonic has made good progress so far to say he had a poor start to the year in his warm up events. He has a huge serve, probably the biggest on tour right now so it’s essential that Roger returns well and is able to capitalise on break points better than he did tonight.

It’s a little bit like playing Karlovic this one and Roger usually comes out on top in those type of matches. Raonic has more off the ground than Big Ivo though so it’s tougher but I think Federer will take confidence from tonight and make light weight of the young Canadian.

They’ve had close matches before in Madrid, Halle and Indian Wells but those were all best of 3. Over 5 I fancy Roger due to his patience, overall fitness and awareness of how to play matches like this.

It could go the distance but I’ll opt for a 6-2 6-4 7-6(8) victory for Roger. 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.

41 comments

  1. Hey Jonathan! ANOTHER GREAT MATCH FOR ROGER! But, I was little bit surprised with Tomić game! I think there is a bright future ahead of him! Also, Roger show great defense game and some wonderful shots like always! Next is Miloš Raonić (another player from former Yugoslavia) and good server, like Karlović, Ivanišević… And it will be a more difficult match for Roger definitely! But, I hope he win!!! I love pink shoes! :-)

  2. I couldn’t watch the match (Friday night out. Came home around 5 am), but hopefully Eurosport reruns it later today.
    From the few highlights I saw, the match was great and full of special moments. Best of luck for the next match against Raonić.

    • Hey Leon,

      Yeah there’s some highlights floating around so try check them out, was a very good match from both guys really. Tomic resistance ended after the breaker though and Fed just kept moving forward.

      Jonathan

  3. Hi Jonathan! Great match indeed with a dream start. The first couple of games you could see Tomic going ‘okay, this is going to be a bit different than I thought’ and the 1st set all went relatively easy. From the 2nd set on I thought he made Fed work for it more with that blood pressure raising tiebreak… But even though there were a few ‘bad for your heart moments’ along the way (incl the awful bp conversion that maybe never change), there was also this plan that you see Fed has when he’s in good form and the match progress… As someone else called it today ‘method in his madness’. Thought that was a nice description… And the plan was to teach Tomic some more lessons. And he took them. I did think Tomic played well. A difference from previous matches. But there was and will be for some time to come a class difference :)

    Don’t know anything about Raonic, but have been advised on which matches I should catch up with… From what I hear and read, about his serve, especially, it’s gonna be tough but I think it’ll still happen for Fed. Maybe this time in 4 and not in straights. But who knows; his bp conversion might miraculously change and that’ll raise his level even more… There are still goals to achieve for the Maestro ;)

    Oh btw, Tomic’s presser indicated he might come to Rotterdam. Don’t know if he was just saying that or that it’s a serious plan. I sincerely hope that’s not happening… I thought he played well, but seeing him live is nót on my wish list thb…

    • Hey Natasja,

      Yeah I enjoyed the match today, was quite close for few moments but the better man one comofortably in the end.

      Raonic is a threat, got a big serve and him and Fed usually go close. Although they have all been best of 3 matches not 5 which is a different ball game.

      Ah he may do I guess, he’s based in Monaco somewhere so not a huge journey for him. He hasn’t played well outside of Australia minus Wimbledon in 2011 so doubt you will see him!

      Jonathan

      • Just saw that his “I might go to Rotterdam” is actually more or less a certainty, cause he’s on the list (see below).
        I’m debating whether or not to get tickets for the semis too btw, but that’s still the semis and with it being outside Australia and this list of players… http://www.abnamrowtt.nl/spelers I think you are right and I won’t see him…

      • Hey,

        Ah right, we’ll see how Tomug performs on an indoor court then!

        Jonathan

  4. Great match from both players, two aspect of his game will be key for Roger towards later stages – his movement to his right is a little off but he manage to recover this during crucial points. Return game, I think he needs to be bit more aggressive instead of just chipping it back especially during BP points. Though his draw is tough but Roger is improving at each round. I think he will peak just in time for semis against Murray and perhaps final against Djoker.

    • Hey Dippy,

      Yeah I agree, movement was good but a little sluggish on the forehands on the run from time to time. Lucky he has the squash shot forehand in his repertoire.

      Agreed on the BP points too, I’d like to see him go for more, especially at love 40, he should take risks there. Will be tough against Raonic so be interesting to see how he returns.

      Jonathan

  5. I overall found this a MUCH better match then against Davy. Federer is starting to find his rhythm and those shots really good, loved the backhand today, especially those backhand passes which landed right in tomic’s feet, love them!! He’s got to work on those break point conversions though… otherwise, great match! And holy sh*t has Tomic improved! Can’t stand his personality, but his game is forming up nicely!!

    • Well it was more entertaining! I’d say he played a similar type of level. Different types of players are Tomic and Kolya.

      Bit loose on the BP conversion but he turned up the heat when it mattered. Would have been nice if the second didn’t go to a breaker but Tomic probably deserved it with the way he kept fighting back to hold serve.

      Jonathan

  6. Fed 3.0 like you said! At least he brought that arrogant Tomic down to earth! Fed truly has the hardest draw but has lots of momentum also, which will come in handy against Murray and Djokovic. Still, Djokers gonna win but Fed’s doing great for a 31 year old time and again! Even the Aussi fanatics gave Fed tons of standing ovations!

    For Raonic, I’d say 4… that’s nothing to be ashamed of! I think 6-7(5) 7-5 6-3 6-3.

    • Yeah, I wasn’t too offended by what Tomug said. He’s kinda funny and as Roger pointed out he’s kinda been lured into spouting off by the press.

      It ain’t Djoker’s title yet mate. He looking good but Stepanek showed he still has some weaknesses!

      Jonathan

  7. Hey Jonathan! What an entertaining match! Your analysis reflects my feelings throughout. Tomic definitely gave us all something to think about but Roger’s experience was key! I liked that he seemed to be more selective in which shots he would “run down” and those he would “let go”, so to speak. You have to have a lot of confidence to be able to manage that and it bodes well for conserving energy and not allowing things to spin out of control. Roger didn’t panic nor did we see any flicker of doubt or resignation that has crept in, in some of those Fedal matches you referenced. Of course, those are a different ball game altogether. And we are all concerned about his BP conversion but what’s new? In spite of it, he got it done and I’m looking forward to the Raonic match!

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thanks :) I thought it was an enjoyable match and Roger played pretty intense over all 3 sets. Wasn’t JesusFed level perhaps but pretty close and still looked like he had plenty in the tank. Was very good on serve too. Only the 1 BP he faced and he served 2 double faults in that very game.

      Raonic match will be interesting too, gonna be all about the serve. I think Roger has returned well so far this week. Hopefully more of the same to come.

      Jonathan

  8. I enjoyed the match. Great intensity and quick pace with some spectacular shots from both players. Fed’s movement was awesome, pin-point accuracy of the services and some of BHs today were just breathtaking.

    But yes what about his BP conversion? Too many wastes. I have to ask you, Jonathan. Why? Why do you think he couldn’t be agressive and returns the service on those BP chances, especially in the ad court and the second services? Because he has to deal with one handed bh? He does with run around fh return, though I didn’t see today. Or maybe Tomic just served very well today…..?

    I’m actually quite impressed by Tomic’s play, though some of his shots were peculiar and stunning at the same time. I cannot say I like his style of game but it looked certainly different from others and doesn’t look easy to play him. I also watched and read his press afterward and thought he wasn’t so Tomug, it’s a great nickname btw, Jonathan! Roger is his idle after all. So in the end it was another great day for all of us!

    Now Delpo is out so Murray is laughing for sure. Two more challenges for Roger but he should be there to meet him. Allez Roger!

    • Hey,

      The thing about BP conversion is that it’s only on a given day. Tomic was clutch on a few of them, Roger perhaps a tad too defensive or careful. But the main thing is he created a lot of chances. Raonic is a different type of match, break points will be few and far between so it’ll be different I think.

      Tomic was graceful in defeat in his presser. He’s good, can probably win slams if he carries on improving. He has a better temperament than Dimitrov I think.

      Del Joketro is ridiculous, can’t believe he keeps losing regulation matches!

      Jonathan

  9. The highest quality match of the year so far in my opinion! Tomic played his heart out and still lost in straight sets. Federer’s defense was so of the best I have seen for a long time, particularly in the long intense rallies where he was in the back foot, playing squash shots, running everyway and still winning the points. Shows how well he can still play even at 31 years of age. Recovery from 4-1 in the tiebreaker shows why Roger is the GOAT! I knew Tomic’s performance would buckle when Roger won the tiebreaker, predicted a bagel or a breadstick and it did happen. Raonic will be tough, its the first time they’ve met in a GS. Raonic doesn’t really have a chance of breaking Roger in his own service game, but I still think he will win a set in a tiebreaker, so its 7-5 6-4 6-7 6-4!

    • Yeah been my favourite of the tournament so far. Althogh Fiasco vs Anderchoke was good too.

      Roger’s defense was awesome. Broke Tomic’s resolve after a while.

      As for Raonic match, it’ll be interesting. Fed has to take care of his own service games and hopefully create chances on the return.

      Jonathan

  10. P.S. Who else can hit a half-volley topspin backhand (in front of the service line)to the baseline as an approach shot, and then finish it off with a touch drop volley? Vintage Fed!

  11. Great review of this hyped match. Tomic pushed Fed for the first two sets, what a great performance from both players, certainly a match of high quality tennis. I couldn’t believe Bernie dropped serve in the first game, after not being broken for 76 straight games since Sydney! Roger and Novak remain as the only two players to hold serve (dejavu in Cincinnati anyone?) I was very impressed with Tomic’s agressive style of play, he was really taking it to Fed but then again it just proved what a GOAT fed was, such good returning, defensive style and I didn’t really notice until yesterday how well he SLIDES! Novak always gets credit for that, I think a final between these two would be excellent right now. Tomic was obviously mentally out after he lost that second set, I really thought he had it being 5-3 up but JesusFed appeared at that moment, vintage shots to get that one.

    I agree Roger couldn’t have played any better but he needs to work on three things:
    – Break point conversion, this will be crucial in the match against Raonic! He really wasted his chances against Tomic last night, could have been a much routine affair had he broken in the second but credit to Bernard who played clutch in those moments.
    – Second serve as Tim mentioned above, gotta win more points on that thing.
    – Keep serving the way he is, he only gave Tomic one opportunity but then again he isn’t a good returned like Raonic so if Fed holds on to his serve he just needs to focus on getting the ball back into play against Raonic’s serve and push him beyond the baseline.

    Fed was genius tonight, got the job done under 2 hours, I’m liking his chances as he goes deeper. I think they are playing a day session on Monday so quicker conditions, advantage to Raonic but Fed’s form has been amazing so four sets looks likely, probably resulting in breakers or one exchange of serve and that’ll do it.

    Murray got pushed yesterday, even though he won i straights, but his road will get easier now that Chardy upset Delpo which was a shocker, his form just dropped out of nowhere and Simon’s battle with Monfils in that crazy crazy bad but good match, will make him have 0 chance against Andy… BTW Chardy was wearing the same pink trainers as Fed, might be good luck I think!

    Allez Roger!

    • Also one last thing, did any one notice, Roger put a undershirt I think at the beginning of the third…would that be because of his back, I heard it was breezy down there last night and that irritates his back, hope it’s not too much of concern

    • Hey Alysha,

      42 of 42 service holds for Fed. Long may it continue!

      Raonic doesn’t have the greatest return of serve either so I think Roger should be able to keep firing down holds to love and 15. That way he keeps the pressure on his opponent.

      Wawrinka testing Djokovic early on now but looks to be all over. Stan served for the second set but choked it as usual. Poor.

      Jonathan

  12. Sid TheCookieThief

    Oh my goodness me! Did anyone watch Stan-Djoker? Unbelievable! Stan almost pulled it out.

    This gives me a lot of hope for Roger, that is, if he can make it to the final.

    • Yeah, i thought stan was amazing that match and alot of holes were exposed in djokovic’s game today. First we have to focus on raonic! Should be good match and hopefully roger shouldn’t have too much trouble getting into the quarters. Allez Roger!

    • Stan choked I think. He should have won. Can’t really make excuses for him. Pretty gutted for him though as he played really well.

  13. Hi All, agree with most here. Roger will most likely win in straight sets or four sets. What seems certain though is that one of those sets will be very tight if not lost altogether. Raonic, in my view, is THE best of the nine upcoming youngsters ( Raonic, Tomic, Nishikori, Berankis, Dolgopolov, Janovic, Harrison, Dmitrov and Lacko ). These are the ( current ) rising youngsters of the sport, and all more than capable of Top 20 over the next few years. The best three, who will definitely make it to Top 10 and beyond are Raonic, Tomic and Nishikori. Roger has never been beaten by any of them – yet – but this will change, probably in the next year or so.In the meantime, here’s to Roger putting Raonic in his place and extending his record grand slam quarter final sequence to a breathtaking 35 consecutive quarters …

  14. Jonathan, what is wrong with you? Another perfect prediction? Wow! You are spooky man!

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