This one was as one sided as they get. That’s generally the norm with Federer matches at this stage of any tournament. Tobias never really had a chance from the word go. Let’s see what made this match such an express for the Fed. The match highlights are here.
1.) The Serve: Nobody builds their game around the serve and yet draws your attention away from its importance, the way Federer does. He has without question one of the most overlooked, underrated and deadliest deliveries of all time. His placement and variation of pace and spin on that stroke is nothing short of phenomenal and he used it to good effect in this match. Kamke unfortunately, did not have a very good serving or returning day. That was in part, due to Federer’s serving, which set up the rest of the game.
2.) Constricting Time: This was said about Federer’s game, early on in his career and it still rings true in his twilight years. He just takes time away from his opponents with his quick strike rallying technique and his uncanny ability to take the ball early and on the rise. Kamke on the other hand, has a bit of an elaborate and big swing (particularly on the forehand side). This means he is definitely capable of taking big cuts at the ball… if you give him the time. Federer didn’t.
3.) The Return: Yes there was an attempted Saber (Sabre), but Kamke faulted and so we could not witness it. Saber or no Saber though, it is clear Federer’s return (break game) has improved recently. He takes more cuts at the ball, especially with the backhand, than he did during his golden years. The advantage of this return style is it prevents you from being in a defensive position, at the start of the rally. Andre Agassi was a master of the full swinging return. Federer brought it back in this match and the results speak for themselves.
Extrapolating from this match, Tobias Kamke, definitely needs a weapon. He lacks a point ending shot and that has probably cost him his entire career (he’s 29). However, if Wawrinka is anything to go by, it is not too late to start retooling something. As for Federer, one could not have asked for a better start. However, a stiffer test comes next. Dimitrov. Judging by their performances in this match, I’ll go with Federer on that one.