Roger Federer is through to the quarter-final round of the Rome Masters 1000 event, where he will meet Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych for a spot in the final four of the tournament. Of their 19 previous contests, Federer holds a 13-6 head to head lead over Berdych.
The second seed at this year’s tournament furthered his campaign for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title, one of the two ATP World Tour events that the 17-time Grand Slam champion has not won, with a straight sets victory against Kevin Anderson. He won the match 6-3, 7-5 in a contest that started great yet hit some turbulence at the latter stages.
“I had to adjust and react differently in today’s match than yesterday’s match,” said Federer. It was so different, because it’s Kevin and his amazing serve. There’s only so much you can do on the return games. The first thing was not to get frustrated, because I was not seeing where he was serving.
“But thankfully, I got off to a really good start in both sets. From then on, I could relax almost. I was able to break him four times, which was a really good effort in the quick conditions here in Rome.”
Federer will encounter Berdych in the quarter-final round after the Czech edged Fabio Fognini 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2) to secure the win. Berdych struck 10 aces, won 70% of his first service points and saved eight break points to secure the win.
The two competitors have previously met on 19 different occasions on the professional circuit, with Federer winning 13 of those matches dating back to his first victory at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Given that Federer has only improved over the course of this season, he will likely be able to secure the victory with relative ease since he is 3-0 against the Czech on clay and won their most recent set with a bagel.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets