Roger Federer was meant to breeze in this edition of the ATP500 in Halle after all the top players crashed out in the first rounds. In fact, with Zverev, Thiem, and Nishikori out it seemed as there was no one up to the challenge of beating the Swiss in Germany.
In his 2nd round, Federer had to play an erratic Benoit Paire strong of a record 5-0 against the Frenchman with the Swiss conceding no sets in any of their encounters.
This time in Halle, things were not so smooth for Roger. In fact, after winning the opener 6-3, the Maestro found himself 0-4 down in the second set after playing horrible tennis on his serve.
Eventually, the contest went to the decider. Roger didn’t manage to convert 2 match points when he was 6-5 40-15 on Paire’s serve because Benoit saved them both with 2 bombs on his first serve.
Later, the decider went to the tiebreak that was full of drama. In fact, after Roger grabbed a strong 3-1 lead, he lost the following 4 points (3-5). Roger recovered (5-5), but he had to save 2 match points when he was 5-6 and 6-7 down. The second match point saved was pretty dramatic as Federer had to attack Paire with a “trembling” forehand that landed just on the line.
Finally, Federer found the solution to win the match 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7) in 1 hour and 59 minutes.
With Federer not playing at his stellar levels, the key of the match was the ability of Roger to find Paire’s big weakness in the important moments: his forehand on low balls.
Why it was tough. FEDERER
After the match, Roger explained what happened to say
“It was a tough match. I played at a good level actually. I think he served well and had a good mix and a good variety. It was hard to break. So, naturally, it was always going to be tight. And at the end, it was just extremely close. So, I’m fortunate to have made it today.”
Talking about the second set, Roger added
“I created quite a few opportunities, but maybe I was a bit tentative at times. I was disappointed with my serve in the second set, being broken twice. That is not allowed to happen. I need to clean that up”.
Next vs. Ebden
Roger will face the world no. 60 Mathew Ebden in the quarters. They have never played each other so far. The world no.1 will be much more focus this time.
|THAT WAS TOUGH!!!!
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