Thursday, 2 August 2012

Federer vs Delpotro (Olympics 2012 Semi-Final Preview)

Only 4 Nations stand now, and only 3 of them will be standing on the medal podium. 3 of the 4 standing are the members of the BIG 4, while the one outsider is the none other than 2009 U.S Open champion, Delpotro.

Djokovic and Murray will be battling it out for a spot in the gold-medal match, while Federer and Delpotro will be fighting each other for a chance to play for the elusive gold.

Federer walks into the semi-final against Delpotro for a spot in the gold medal match, the last it happened was in 2000, but Federer lost in the semi-finals and ultimately fell short in the bronze medal match as well. Del Potro has made it into the semi-finals of the Olympics on his debut here and will be keen to go one step further.

Description Federer Delpotro
Match record this year   50-6   44-10
H2H    12      2
H2H on grass     1      0

Federer has won 12 of the pair's 14 encounters, including their lone meeting on grass in the lawns of Wimbledon in 2007 in the second round, that was the pair's first meeting and the only meeting on grass to date. However, they will meet for the second time on grass in the semi-finals.

Federer with his win over Isner completed half a century of victories during 2012. Delpotro walks into the match on the heels of his win over inspired Nishikori.

Delpotro has already been beaten 5 times by Federer this year, the most recent coming in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros, where Federer battled after loosing the first 2 sets to win the match.

Let us have a look at the performance of the players so far in the tournament.

DescriptionFederer Delpotro
Aces 5 5
Double Faults 1 2
First Serve 65% 66%
Points won on first serve 76% 73%
Points won on second serve 57% 60%
Receiving points won on first serve 31% 35%
Receiving points won on second serve 58% 56%
Break points 45% 56%
Winners 29 19
Unforced errors 17 18

There is not much that separates the two if we look at the serve and return stats of the two.

Federer has won 3% more points behind his first serve, whereas Delpotro has won 3% more points behind his second serve.
Delpotro has won 4% more points while returning the first serve, while Federer has won 2% more points while returning the second serve.
Delpotro has been able to convert 56% of his break point chances as against 45% by Federer.

However, there are 2 things that do separate the two.
- Federr has been playing way cleaner matches as compared to Delpotro. Federer has a winners-unforced errors differential of +12 as compared to only +1 of Delpotro.
-  Federer so far has faced 12 break points, saving 8 of them, and being broken 4 times. However, he faced 6 of those in his first round win over Falla, and his serve was broken 3 times in his first match. He has face only 6 break points in his last 3 matches, saving 5 of them. Delpotro on the other hand has faced 20 break points and saved 15 of them, getting broken on 5 occasions, 3 of them occurring in his quarter-final win over Nishikori.

It will all come down to the players serves and nerves. Both Federer and Delpotro will be keen to win the match to have a chance at the gold medal. However, for Federer, there is more than gold medal on the line, the top spot in the world. Federer will have to go all the way to retain the top spot, if Djokovic wins his semi-final, while Federer will have to win at least silver if Djokovic fails to win his semi-final match.

Recent form combined with the fact that grass is not Delpotro's favourite surface make Federer the favourite.

Pick: Federer in 3 sets.

Who will you be rooting for and who do you think will win the match?


  1. Fed 6-4, 7-5. Although I could totally see a 4-6 set in there too... Should be a great match. I also see Djokovic beating Murray in 3.

  2. Charles Lauller I hope Federer can win in straight sets and conserve energy for the final. Yes, agreed with you about Djokovic, but if Djokovic lets the crowd get to him, he will be in trouble.