2019 in Review: Roger Federer's most dominant victories


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2019 in Review: Roger Federer's most dominant victories

At the age of 38, Roger Federer is well-capable of producing thrilling tennis and fighting for the big titles. The Swiss maestro finished the season only behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, claiming four ATP titles for the fifth straight year and still chasing Jimmy Connors' record of 109 trophies.

2019 brought some terrible losses but also incredible victories for the 20-time Major champion who was a point away from lifting another title at Wimbledon, losing to Novak Djokovic in one of the best finals at the All England Club ever.

In this article, we will examine Roger's most dominant triumphs of the season, considering the number of points he won in comparison to the opponent. Three of those victories came at Wimbledon and the US Open, saving the other two for Miami and Basel, two events where he went all the way.

In New York, Roger needed only 80 minutes to dismiss Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the third round, producing masterclass tennis to storm over the Briton from start to finish. Federer lost 14 points in 12 service games, dropping serve once and stealing 60% of the return points to control the pace and seal the deal in no time at all.

In the very next match, Federer demolished David Goffin 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in 79 minutes, advancing into the quarter-final as the fourth-oldest player at the US Open after Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall and Jimmy Connors. It was the ninth victory for the Swiss over the Belgian in ten encounters, dominating on both serve and return to leave David far behind and notch one of his fastest triumphs at the US Open.

Federer lost 19 points behind the initial shot and suffered two breaks from seven chances offered to the Belgian, something we barely noticed after an incredible performance on the return that drove him towards 66% of the points and eight breaks from nine opportunities, racing towards the finish line and into the last eight.

Roger hit 34 winners and 17 unforced errors, having the upper hand from start to finish and staying on the course for the first title in New York since 2008. They traded breaks in games three and four, still seeking their shots in the opening stage before Roger grabbed 16 of the last 18 points for 6-2 thanks to breaks in games six and eight.

David managed to pull the break back in the fifth game of the second set but that was all we saw from him, allowing Federer to rattle off nine straight games and seal the deal in no time at all, delivering breaks in games six and eight just like in the opener and storming over the opponent in set number three for a bagel and a perfect day at the office.

In the fourth round at Wimbledon, Roger needed 73 minutes to dismantle one of the most successful players on grass this season (title in Stuttgart and the semi-final in Halle) Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 and advance into the quarters.

Federer secured his 17th appearance in the last eight at Wimbledon and the 55th overall at Majors, becoming the first competitor with 99 wins at a single Major event. Playing a lot of matches in the last couple of weeks and that marathon with Diego Schwartzman in the previous round, the Italian had nothing in the tank for such a strong opponent, serving at 45% and never standing as a real challenger on the court.

On the other hand, Roger delivered a textbook attacking tennis, firing from all cylinders and outplaying the opponent on both serve and return for a perfect day at the office. The Swiss lost 11 points behind the initial shot, fending off the only break point to keep serve intact and blasting 23 winners and only five unforced errors to sweep the rival from the court.

Firing only three aces, Matteo dropped half of the points in his games and got broken six times from seven chances offered to Roger, unable to deliver better performance in his games or to prolong the action. Federer was off to a perfect start, losing one point on serve in the entire first set and securing breaks in games four and six for a 6-1 in no time at all.

Nothing changed in set number two, with Roger delivering one good hold after another and stealing rival's serve in games three and seven for a 6-1, 6-2 in less than 50 minutes! With nothing working in his favor, Berrettini suffered two breaks in the early stages of the third set, pushing Roger towards the finish line when the Swiss held at love at 5-2 for one of the best performances here in recent five or six years.

After losing in the final at Indian Wells, Roger bounced back in Miami, claiming his 28th Masters 1000 crown and the fourth in Florida. In the title match, Federer took down the defending champion John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in 63 minutes after a one-sided affair, ruling on both serve and return against the rival who barely managed to finish the match due to a left foot injury.

Isner reached the final without losing the set but was forced to play nine tie breaks in ten sets, winning them all but having nothing left in the tank for the title clash against the strongest possible rival, losing 43% of the points behind the initial shot and suffering four breaks overall.

On the other hand, Roger finished the match with 17 winners and just seven unforced errors, controlling every segment and delivering five holds at love to drop only three points in his games! Federer broke Isner three times in the opener to wrap it up in under 25 minutes, reading rival's serve beautifully and building the momentum before set number two.

There, John stayed in touch in the opening eight games, managing to bring home four service games before that foot injury that bothered him a lot, barely being able to move in the last ten minutes. The medical timeout couldn't help the American and Roger broke him at 5-4 to seal the deal and close a perfect Miami campaign with the title, the 11th at Masters 1000 level after turning 30!

Another impressive triumph for Roger in 2019 came at home in Basel, toppling Radu Albot 6-0, 6-3 in 62 minutes. The Moldovan played well against Roger in Miami but stood no chance in Basel, winning only ten points on the return and wasting two break opportunities while he was already 3-0 down in the opener.

On the other hand, Federer was flawless from start to finish, moving around the court like the 25-year-old player and producing stunning shots to give the crowd something to cheer about. The opening set lasted for just over 20 minutes and Roger was the only player on the court, facing two break points and taking all six games for a bagel.

Albot wasted two game points in the first game and lost serve after a backhand error, allowing Federer to open up a 3-0 advantage with a forehand winner. The Swiss had to repel those two break chances in the next game, delivering another break with a deep return at 4-0 to extend the advantage and closing the opener with a hold at love after a service winner, hoping for more of the same in set number two.

Roger converted the fourth break chance at the beginning of the second set, picking up an incredible volley in game two to extend the advantage with a forehand winner two games later for a 3-1 lead, moving closer and closer to the finish line.

Albot erased a break point in the fifth game to stay within one break deficit before Federer sealed the deal with a break at 5-3 to race into the quarter-final, the 13th in a row in the hometown, setting the clash against the compatriot and friend Stan Wawrinka.