• Federer gets off to winning start in Madrid

    5/11/10 6:18 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer gets off to winning start in Madrid Roger Federer wins his Madrid opener on Tuesday, beating Benjamin Becker in straight sets. Federer awaits either Leonardo Mayer or fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in round three.

    Roger Federer showed signs of ending his recent slump with a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over Benjamin Becker in his opening match at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open on Tuesday evening. Federer struck 35 winners and never faced a break point, advancing to the third round after one hour and 21 minutes of play.

    Coming off early losses in his last four tournaments, including clay-court setbacks against Ernests Gulbis in Rome and Albert Montanes in Estoril, Federer turned things around right away against Becker. The top-seeded Swiss broke immediately for 2-0 when Becker netted a backhand at ad-out. Federer extended the lead to 3-0 without any trouble before his opponent held his next two service games. Closing out the set in style, Federer added a routine break at 5-2 as Becker dumped a forehand in the net.

    Neither man could break serve throughout the second frame of play, although Federer had two opportunities at 1-0 and another at 4-3. Becker managed to stay competitive by serving at 75 percent during set two while striking seven aces against no double-faults.

    Federer had two chances to finish off Becker at 6-5 and avoid going to a tiebreaker. On the first match point, Becker tried a horrible drop-shot but Federer somehow netted a sitting forehand right on top of the net. The underdog German came up with a big forehand on his opponent's next opportunity and he forced a decider two points later.

    After three points on serve to start the 'breaker, Becker struck for the first mini-break at 2-1 when Federer sent a forehand just past the baseline. Federer, however, won the next five points, seizing his first mini-break when Becker sprayed a volley and adding another at 3-3 with a sensational backhand return. Two points later, the defending champion converted his fourth match point as Becker missed a backhand pass wide.

    Federer played one of his cleanest matches in months, making only 17 unforced errors to go along with his 35 winners. Becker, who hammered Carlos Moya on Tuesday, finished with a strong ratio of 25 winners and 23 mistakes. Next up for Federer is either Leonardo Mayer or good friend and countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.

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Alas 35 winners to 17 UE.

chr18 , 5/11/10 7:31 PM

so much beterer federer! Keep it up and keep moving forward match by match! We love you roger! C'moon!

maxi , 5/11/10 7:56 PM


Still needs to improve on the forehand, noticed not so many flowing, clean winners..but few UE's and more winners! waytogo Fed!

Fleur , 5/11/10 8:05 PM

Wow. Like night and day from just a few days ago.

He should get past Wawrinka playing like this. He barely broke a sweat. Even in the 2nd set tiebreak, it looked like he was just playing very effortlessly.


Arvis , 5/11/10 9:32 PM

C'MON !!

fedexfan , 5/12/10 6:26 AM

Current ATP-rankings

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