Match report

Roger Federer ©
1st round
2/15/12 1 2 Tot
ch  Roger Federer 6 6 2
fr  Nicolas Mahut 4 4 0
Nicolas Mahut ©
  • Federer breezes through Rotterdam opener

    2/15/12 9:00 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Top seed Roger Federer cruised through to a straight-sets victory over France’s Nicolas Mahut late Wednesday. The Swiss closed the match in just 67 minutes, 6-4, 6-4.

    World No. 3 Roger Federer made a successful return in Rotterdam, having ousted Frenchman Nicolas Mahut on Wednesday. The 30-year-old held 10 consecutive service games without facing a break point.

    Federer broke at 1-1 in the opening set, then followed with a key break at 4-4 in set two. After missing his first match point at 5-4, he converted the second on a forehand winner. Federer ended the night with a trio of aces and 28 of 34 first-service points won.

    He is scheduled to meet former world No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny in the round of 16. The Russian held on to defeat compatriot Igor Kunitsyn in the first round, 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-0.

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Youzhny already WDed. Federer is in thee quarters.

RickyDimon , 2/16/12 2:57 AM

It's interesting that Fed is competing here.He won this tournament a long time ago and didn't play again.It's as if he's a regular tour player trying to build up points at smaller events.I guess he just loves to play.

stratocast51 , 2/16/12 3:23 AM

I've a feeling Fed is quietly building up points, and if Rafa and Nole destroy each other when they meet, Fed would stand a chance to take over the lead. It's similar to the end of last year, where Nole was 'destroyed' after his USO win over Rafa; Rafa wasn't playing great after that either, saved for those four DC matches on clay. Fed OTOH, was well rested and reaped the reward after that, when both Rafa and Nole faltered.

luckystar , 2/16/12 5:50 AM

Fed can only count so many 500 points in the rankings so I'm not sure how this will help him move up in the rankings.

Kreicheck is always after Roger and Rafa to play in Rotterdam, he even persuaded Rafa to play injured with blisters on his foot and knee injury in 2009 and flew him by private plane from Mallorca. I think that's why Rafa announced that he was taking February off to fend off anyone trying to put pressure on him to play.

Roger will most probably win this on, although it's not a given should he meet Berdy in the final.

nadline , 2/16/12 8:34 AM

I never forgot how Rafa played at Rotterdam a week after he won marathon back-to-back matches to win the AO. I thought it was sheer insanity. Rafa was hurting even in the final. He didn't come out of the AO in good shape.

I know that he was always pressured to by Kreicheck to play Rotterdam. I have always believed that playing in that tournament so soon after the AO, set in motion the knee tendinitis that would cost him RG and Wimbledon and the second half of the year.

I remember saying that if he never played Rotterdam again, that would be fine with me. He hasn't played it since and thank goodness for that! I am really happy that he has taken this time off to get his body completely healthy and work on his game.

Fed can have it and win it for all I care. I do agree that if he meets Berdy in the final it could be very interesting.

Nativenewyorker , 2/16/12 8:56 AM

Yes, Fed can gain points here. He'll most likely skip MC this year, losing 180 points, but he'll get points from the Olympics; so he'll have four 500 events this year: Rotterdam, Dubai, Olympics and Basel. If he does well at IW/Miami, and Rafa not doing well there, he will gain some points against Rafa. Also Fed can gain points at Rome too, where he is defending only 90 points. Rafa has many points to defend from IW onwards; if Fed can overtake Rafa and become no.2 before the FO, there's a chance of a Rafa/Nole semifinal at the FO, and Fed would stand to gain if he reaches the final and awaits a tired Rafa or Nole there.

I believe Fed and his team is somewhat smart in planning all his moves. Nole is also smart in his scheduling starting last year. Rafa and his team have to learn things the hard way, only when Rafa gets injured time and again then they finally learn a lesson. Rafa is playing at Barcelona this year, so I'm not sure is he still playing five clay tournaments this year, despite this being an Olympics year.

luckystar , 2/16/12 9:05 AM

luckystar, there we go again with your ifs and buts. All your ifs and buts are that Rafa will lose points and Fed will gain points. How do you know that Roger will gain points at the olympics or any other tournaments. You go on about Rafa having points to lose but he also has points to gain, Nole is the one who doesn't have any points to gain for a while.

So fed is smart is his scheduling by playing whilst Rafa isn't by resting.

nadline , 2/16/12 10:06 AM

Am I not entitled to my opinions? Or maybe that's how Fed and his team are thinking? If they're not taking any action then how is Fed going to have a chance of getting to no.1 again? Whether Rafa will lose points or not depends on how he plays, what Fed can do is just to get ready to pounce when the opportunities present themselves. Isn't that logical thinking?

luckystar , 2/16/12 10:24 AM

hopefully Nadal will get "injured" for Madrid

RickyDimon , 2/16/12 4:37 PM

It is my opinion that I do believe Novak will lose the No.1 ranking later this year/early next year due to the fact he has to defend them all, and as everyone knows, in tennis that is very difficult to replicate previous years success.

Ultimately, that is what irks me about the ATP ranking as opposed to any other sporting league, where the points are reset each year (giving everyone team a chance to be the number 1 team). But again, that's a team sport as opposed to an individual one. The big four have many points to defend, and are constantly being chased by the rest of the tour.

aegis , 2/16/12 5:13 PM

lucky, you speak of Roger as if he was a healthy 20-year old tennis player ready to play all the tournaments without getting tired...c'mon...if Fed's team wants him to play all these tourneys and if Fed by chance does well on clay, which means he would have to beat either Rafa or Nole or both on his way to the trophy, he will most likely be wasted by the time FO starts and I don't call that smart scheduling...

Rafa may not play Madrid, though...he indicated a while ago that he may decide not to play...but Toni says Rafa will play DC quarterfinal...

natashao , 2/16/12 5:24 PM

natashao, you're answering your own question, isn't it? If Rafa is not playing Madrid, Fed would have the chance to reach the final, if not winning it; that's at least a 1,110 points swing in Fed's favor. Fed is trying to gain some hard court points in the 500 events, have a good five weeks rest before playing at Madrid and Rome. I believe that's enough time for him to recover from any fatigue before playing on clay. His game is still most effective on the hard courts, so I believe that's why he chooses to play more hard court events over clay ones.

luckystar , 2/16/12 5:54 PM

Sorry, that's not 1,110 points but 840 points swing, as Fed made the semi last year at Madrid. He also has a good chance of gaining points at Rome, where he only managed 90 points last year.

luckystar , 2/16/12 5:59 PM

luckystar, of course you are entitled to your opinion depressing though they might be for a Rafan.

nadline , 2/16/12 6:04 PM

Nadline - If you think Luckystar is entitled to an opinion then don't attack he/she for it! Just because these opinions are depressing for Rafa fans doesn't change the validity of them. I personally agree, but only because Rafa reached many, many finals last year, whereas Federer didn't reach many, so he has a much better chance of gaining points whereas there is alot of pressure on Rafa to gain points, not to mention the fact that he will likely have to beat Djokovic in order to do so. Something which he hasn't managed to do since the world tour finals in 2010.

rbennett , 2/16/12 6:20 PM

rbennett, when did luckystar appoint you as her advocate. A Fedfan agrees with her so I rest my case that she expresses all doom and gloom for Rafa and the sun shining out of Roger.

nadline , 2/16/12 6:31 PM

Anyway, Rafa's prospects do not depend on what luckystar thinks, so I hope he disappoints her and all his detractors.

nadline , 2/16/12 6:35 PM

Who's talking about doom and gloom? I'm just guessing why Fed is playing so many tournaments at this part of the year, and comes out with some reasoning. What's so negative about that? If Rafa and his team is smart enough, they should know why Fed is doing all these, and all the more he has to work harder so that Fed won't be able to leapfrog him. There's a Chinese saying: know your enernies as well as knowing yourself, and you'll win your every battle.

luckystar , 2/16/12 6:43 PM

Nobody is talking about murray ..he has zero point to defend from Dubai/IW/Miami.

mani4Tennis , 2/16/12 7:18 PM

mani4tennis, I will, I will *waves hand.* For the past two years Andy has had an awful let down after the AO, so it will be very interesting to see how he performs this year with Mr Lendl at the helm.

deuce , 2/16/12 7:54 PM

Yes Deuce, I sure hope he can stop the Djokovic freight train at the two US Masters

vmk1 , 2/16/12 8:54 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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