Top-seeded and world number three Roger Federer pleased home fans on Saturday at the Swiss Indoors Basel as he cruised past 23-year-old Jack Sock with ease in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted a mere 63 minutes as the Swiss number one showed why he is still one of the best players in the world.
The world number three kept his title defense hopes alive as he is chasing a seventh title in his beloved home tournament. Coming into the match, the Swiss maestro held a 1-0 head-to-head advantage against the American, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the round of 16 at this year's Indian Wells Masters. With the victory, the world number three brought his head-to-head to 2-0.
Federer fired five aces and posted an impressive 87 percent 1st serve points won. The dominant Swiss kept his young opponent on his heels as he mixed up his serve and continually deployed serve and volley tactics. The world number 29 looked out of energy throughout the match as he only picked up his level of play towards the end of the match. The American has had his best season of his career, including a 1st ATP singles title and reaching a career high of 27. He was unable to bring his increased confidence to the match against the home favorite. The difference would be the Swiss converting three of six break point opportunities compared to one of two for Sock as Federer took immediate control of the match
As the semifinal matchup got underway, Federer started out the match on serve. In front of his home fans, he managed to get off to a positive start with a hold of serve for 1-0. The 23-year-old then held to even the match at one apiece. The 1st seed then began to display graceful tennis as he put variety on his serve and employed a successful serve and volley to hold at love for a 2-1 lead.
In the next game, the inexperienced American went under immediate pressure on serve as he faced a 15-40 deficit. A break of serve was in order, thanks to big shots into sock's forehand. The American's errors led to an early 1-3 deficit. One break of serve would be all that Federer needed as he continued dominating on serve with impressive serving to go up 5-2. On the changeover, the world number 29 received treatment on his knee after a slide on the hard court surface of Basel. Eventually, the set was wrapped up 6-3 as the Swiss displayed an efficient mindset. The 1st set lasted a mere 30 minutes.
Sock Runs Out Of Gas
The 2nd set got underway with an easy hold of serve for the American. Federer then locked in and went on an impressive run. A streak of five straight games gave the Swiss a 5-1 upper hand, including two breaks of serve. The American's low energy display during the match then quickly changed at the very end. A tricky drop shot gave Sock the hold to go to 2-5 on the changeover. Off of a blistering forehand winner down the line, the home favorite neared the finish line with a 30-15 advantage on serve.
Out of nowhere, the world number 29 picked his level of play up to hit three straight winners directly off the serve of the 6'1'' Swiss, wrapping up the break at 30. The American then held off a smash winner to make the veteran close it out again. This time, Federer had enough as he hit winners and won on his 1st match point opportunity after a good body serve to close out the match.
Federer sets Nadal final
After the victory, Swiss Roger Federer sets a monumental matchup against his longtime rival Rafael Nadal. Looking to overturn a five match losing skid to the Spaniard, the Swiss looks to use the indoor hard courts and home court advantage to his benefit.