ATP ANALYSIS: Roger Federer cracks Roddick's forehand to win Canada 2004

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ATP ANALYSIS: Roger Federer cracks Roddick's forehand to win Canada 2004

2004 was the first dominant season in Roger Federer's career, winning 74 out of 80 matches and spending almost the entire season on the ATP throne. Roger claimed 11 titles, including three Majors and three Masters 1000 crowns, standing in the league of his own and setting up his domination that would last until the summer of 2008. Tim Henman, Rafael Nadal, Albert Costa and Gustavo Kuerten were the only players who had managed to defeat Roger before the summer and he was the dominant figure after the clay season, winning Halle, Wimbledon and Gstaad before heading to Toronto for the start of the North American hardcourt swing.

Federer was the player to beat at Canada Masters, losing serve thrice in six matches and ousting world number 2 Andy Roddick 7-5 6-3 in the title match for his fourth Masters 1000 crown and the 23rd straight win! This was already their eighth match and the seventh win for Roger who celebrated in the final of Wimbledon a few weeks earlier as well.

The encounter lasted an hour and 25 minutes and the Swiss fends off all four break points to keep the pressure on Roddick who failed to endure it, losing the ground from his forehand wing and not doing enough with his serve either in order to stay in touch with world number 1.

The American had a great chance to conquer the opening set, creating three break points in the ninth game of the opening set before Roger saved them all in style with three aces. They both raised the level in set number two and it was Roger who crossed the finish line with a single break in game eight for his maiden title in Canada.

The second serve was one of the key elements of the match, with Federer taking 19 out of 27 points to save every break point he had faced, and he won almost 40% of the return points to create nine break chances and convert one in each set to seal the deal in less than 90 minutes.

The other segment that ruined Andy's chances was his forehand, spraying 16 unforced errors from that wing and many of those in the pivotal moments of the match that could have turned the scoreboard into his favor or at least allowed him to stay on the court longer.

The third fundamental advantage that Roger gained was reflected in the service winners department where Roddick failed to follow the rival's pace, especially in the second set when Federer returned all but three serves of his opponent to take the free points away from him, forcing him to work hard for every point from the field.

Roger was 24-15 in front in unreturned serves, hitting 12 in each set while Roddick got reduced from 12 to three, which wasn't enough to keep him in contention. The Swiss had an almost identical number of winners from his forehand, backhand and volley, finishing with 19 direct points from the field that overpowered Andy's 17, seven from his volley.

Overall, Federer had 43 winners and Roddick stayed on 32, having to tame his groundstrokes in the best possible way to overcome that deficit, which never happened. Andy sprayed 25 unforced errors, 11 more than Roger, and he erased that deficit in the forced errors department, staying on five while Roger counted to 15.

All in all, the Swiss completed the match with 43 winners and 30 mistakes and the American had 32 winners and errors, not enough to earn the more positive result. Roger won 15 of the 26 longest points while Andy had a slim edge in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight shots, 20-19.

Thanks to those service winners, Federer toppled Roddick 41-31 in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, and that was another segment of his triumph. Point by point result and the number of shots in the rallies:


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