Berdych vs. Federer
|Date & Time||Thursday January 19, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych meet in the third round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Roger Federer is coming off a straight sets win over Noah Rubin that took 34 games to decide. In the victory, Federer won 82 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Federer did have 41 unforced errors in his second round match and needed a third set tiebreak, but overall he’s looked sharp for a guy who missed a ton of time, and he’s finished both of his first two matches without much of an issue. There’s no doubt that Federer has it in him to make another run at a grand slam title, it simply comes down to endurance and keeping matches short so the 35-year-old will have enough in the tank for the later rounds. So far, so good if you’re a Federer supporter. Federer hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the sixth straight appearance. Federer has won 10 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
Tomas Berdych is coming off a straight sets win over Ryan Harrison that took 30 games to decide. In the victory, Berdych won 90 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Berdych has won 51 of 58 first serve points in his first two matches and has hit 44 winners. Berdych has been really sharp in grand slam play the last couple of years and has to love the form he has heading into this match. Berdych has 49 career victories over top-10 players and five of those have come since the 2015 season. Berdych hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the ninth straight appearance. Berdych has won five of his last six matches on hard court.
These two have played 22 times and Federer has won 16 of those meetings. The most recent match was in last years Australian Open, a match Federer won in straight sets. Federer has won his last five matches against Berdych, and his last loss was in Dubai in 2013.
Federer was my pick to win this Australian Open, and I’ve seen nothing yet that makes me want to change my mind. Berdych is playing fabulous tennis as of late, but this is an obvious step up in competition and Federer has owned him throughout the years. Look for Federer to get off to a strong start and doubt will start to creep in for Berdych, all but ending the match.
I’ll take Federer to win this match in three tight sets.