I hope Federer but I am not impressed by his two matches. Davy on the other hand has really picked it up here after a disastrous start to the year. I wouldnt really mind if he wins today tbh...
It's hard to see Mr. Federer losing this. His recent play vs. Mr. Davydenko has been good. In their most recent match in Doha this year, Federer just floored him in 54 minutes - 6-2, 6-2. He kept him going side to side behind the baseline for most of the match, and when Davydenko changed tactics to come in, Federer passed him.
In Rotterdam, the court conditions are adequate for Mr. Federer. It's playing close to medium-fast, but more importantly, the bounce is not too high and it is consistent, allowing him to successfully play aggressively.
"It was good to have a tough match today because I got a walkover in the second round",
said Federer. So Mr. Federer will only profit from last night's match vs. Nieminen. He won 79% of his service points (86% of his first serves - 69% of second) and never had a break point against him. He raised his game and broke Nieminen when he needed to in the first set, and threatened him at other times, but Nieminen fought well and held off Federer.
"I have to give Jarrko credit too. He played aggressive on both the forehand and backhand."
They both played aggressively and well, going for winners and short points. Naturally, this caused them to hit a few more unforced errors. They were going for lines and missed some. Federer had a couple of outright awful shots when he was obviously too casual, but these only served to push him harder.
The most positive part of the match was his focused tiebreaker to win the second set and the match, I think the two super tiebreakers he played on his "off" night the day before helped him. "We both did really well on our on service games, which made it difficult on the return," assessed Federer. "But I played a good breaker."
Mr. Davydenko upped his game yesterday vs. Richard Gasquet and is probably playing his best tennis of the year, but still, Gasquet was playing too passively on the surface and Davydenko took advantage of that. He won't get that luxury with Mr. Federer. The key for Mr. Davydenko will be to hope that Mr. Federer serves at less than 60% and then put pressure Mr. Federer's second serve when he gets a chance, and to be good on his own second serve, and force Mr. Federer to hit more shots than he wants to hit. But this is easier said than done. Mr. Davydenko has to try to remember and play like his only indoor victory over Federer (1 of 2
H2H victories out of 18
) at the 2009 WTF.
If Federer avoids a major brain lapse and serves as well as he did against Nieminen, he should take it in straight sets. Otherwise, it's in 3.
If he serves poorly and gives Davydenko too many second serves and thus too much confidence, then it's possible he could lose it in 3.