Federer vs Dent Breakdown at Sony Ericsson Miami
by Richard Vach | March 30th, 2009, 12:23 pm
  • 59 Comments

Roger Federer will be the overwhelming favorite in his fourth round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami when he meets American qualifier Taylor Dent. On the other hand, Dent is one of the few players who play the type of game that Federer himself says is bothersome — attacking all the time.


Federer advanced on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 28 seed Nicolas Kiefer 6-4, 6-1 of Germany, while Dent took down No. 15-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain 7-5, 6-3.

“It’s great to see him back,” Federer said of Dent. “He was always a dangerous player because he was aggressive. It’s going to be interesting to see how he plays.”

The two have never faced each other on tour, but Dent was the winner when the two met on grass in the juniors prior to turning pro.

Federer said that if he ever had to play himself, he would relentlessly attack the net, try and take his timing away. Good advice, but in this current era of super racquets and super-charged strings, there are few players (Radek Stepanek, Andy Roddick come to mind) gutsy enough to consistently charge the net when faced with an opponent with superior baseline skills.

“I don’t see anyone with a big enough weapon to hurt him,” Pete Sampras said of Federer, consequently when Dent was sidelined and potentially out of the game with a back injury. “They’re just staying back and Roger is able to dictate well enough. You just have to serve well and attack him…The art of the serve-and-volley game is pretty much extinct. Basically everybody stays back and trades groundies. I miss the contrast of one guy coming in and the other guy defending.”

Welcome back the contrast.

Dent will hope to provide his best tennis tomorrow, when he matches strength to strength and weakness to weakness with Federer. The Swiss’ backhand was at times abysmal in his last event at Indian Wells, and Dent’s backhand is also the weaker side. Federer’s forehand is the strength off the ground, and Dent says his forehand has been on fire in Miami.

“Roger needs his rematch from our juniors,” Dent joked after defeating Robredo. “It all comes down to execution. It doesn’t matter if you think that Federer has a weak whatever. If you can’t execute and exploit that, it doesn’t really matter.”

Someone give Pete, Pat Rafter, Rod Laver, Stefan Edberg and the entertaining net-plyers of the past a call. Tell him to flip on the TV Tuesday, let them know there will be some good old-fashioned net crashing going on in Miami.


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59 Comments for Federer vs Dent Breakdown at Sony Ericsson Miami

I like tennis bullies Says:

I hope the american fatboy wins but Im not holding my breath


Shan Says:

Federer vs Dent…lol don’t make me laugh, as if there’s any chance in hell for dear Mr. Dent.


vmw Says:

i hope Dent wins but he’s fatter than Fat Dave


tenisbebe Says:

Shan Says: “Federer vs Dent…lol don’t make me laugh, as if there’s any chance in hell for dear Mr. Dent.” I believe you are missing the point – they haven’t played since juniors so no one knows for sure what the matchup will look like however most are looking forward to seeing the SERVE AND VOLLEY game of Taylor’s vs Fed’s.


FoT Says:

You wrote:

“Federer said that if he ever had to play himself, he would relentlessly attack the net, try and take his timing away. Good advice, but in this current era of super racquets and super-charged strings, there are few players (Radek Stepanek, Andy Roddick come to mind) gutsy enough to consistently charge the net when faced with an opponent with superior baseline skills.”

OK. I grant it that Stepanek comes to the net all the time but RODDICK? Please! Roddick gets passed more times just about anyone who comes to the net. You really could have left Roddick’s name off that list. I don’t consider Roddick a great net rusher. Far from it. But to each his own. lol!

I just hope Roger comes out to play tomorrow and win this match against Dent. Like Dent said – Roger needs to get the H2H back even – lol!


tenisbebe Says:

FoT Says: “OK. I grant it that Stepanek comes to the net all the time but RODDICK? Please! Roddick gets passed more times just about anyone who comes to the net. You really could have left Roddick’s name off that list. I don’t consider Roddick a great net rusher.”

Yes, he gets passed 50 percent of the time it seems; however he IS coming to net more recently (past year) – but that doesn’t mean that he should…..


Andrew Miller Says:

I like Taylor Dent. He seems like a decent fellow. If he takes Fed out – I would be impressed. I actually hope he beats Federer so Federer finds it necessary to get a top flight coach!


Shan Says:

tennisbebe – good point, I see the story now that I realize they’ve never played each other


Vincent Says:

If Federer said that, then he’s delusional. The best way to beat him is not to come to the net, but to defend and to retrieve everything. Canas, Nadal, Murray have demonstrated it. Or perhaps he spoke only about clean players.


fedster Says:

Andrew, If Taylor Dents Federer, I won’t be crying either ! ;-) However I’m very much hopeful of Fed facing Roddick, in which case I think we’d be on for a good match ! I have always liked the Roddick serve and offence v. Federer return and defence !


Colin Says:

“Or perhaps he spoke only about clean players”. What exactly is that supposed to mean?


MMT Says:

Federer Dent should be a fascinating match – to me Dent is like the last samurai – a dying breed whose art requires more skill and variety than the modern game encourages.

I reitterate here my belief that the game would be much more interesting, and much more comparable to past eras if they were still using wood racquets. It’s a pipe dream, I know, but it would be nice to see more variety in the styles of play.

Oh well…


jane Says:

What’s up with these Floridians? The stands are almost completely empty for Berdych/Djokovic, and the stands in the main court, for Tsonga and Simon aren’t even quite full, though they do look considerably fuller. I guess people have to work, even in sunny Florida. I wonder how Novak will do? It looks warm but breezy. Berdych is a tough customer with a lot of talent / power.

Same with Tsonga and Simon: could go either way, though I am inclined to pick Tsonga. Simon doesn’t go away easily but he’s not been playing his best, so I suspect Tsonga in straights.


jane Says:

Novak played a very good match, mixing the pace, hitting clean winners, making less errors, overall staying focused. He might’ve served a tad better, but it was enough! YAY! Berdych has so much talent but he is so error prone – kind of collapsed at the end of the match, even though he came out fighting. Well Djokovic will need to play like that and better against whomever comes out of the Simon vs. Tsonga, which looks like it’s going three at this point.


Duro Says:

Janie, are you pleased? I am, but he can do better!


sar Says:

Bravo Nole! Just popped in to say congrats.
Waiting for Roddick/Fed.


Duro Says:

Thank you, Sar! Pope any time you want!


Duro Says:

Von, where are you? May be your “enforcement unit” didn’t let you watch the mach?


jane Says:

I am pleased, Duro – and the good thing is that, as you say, he can do better. He’ll need to lift his game a notch, especially the serving, for whomever he meets in the quarters.But otherwise that was a huge step in the right direction. And Novak looks so good in that blue.

I am off to work, but will try to pop in for the Roddick vs. Monfils match providing students stay away during office hours….


jane Says:

I guess Novak will have to face his nemesis Tsonga, who has won all of their recent meetings; I wonder if Novak can turn it around? Hmmm… will be very tough.


fedster Says:

One thing’s for sure, Murray’s hit some enjoyable forehands in the match upto now. Calculative and aggressive play in right proportion by the Scot. The backhand’s also working ok today,
so nothing much to panick the Murray fans.


Muzza Says:

My guy not doing bad.


jane Says:

margot – not heart palpitations today I suppose! Murray is looking formidable.


margot Says:

jane: how ironic! I’ve been out, just got in, checked score, read your comments and obviously missed Andy playing WELL! Perhaps he’s deliberately giving me the heeby jeebies by making a meal of it when I watch?


vmw Says:

Murray won but Troicki is number 50? Come on. Hardly an opponent. Wait until Hot Sauce gets hold of him.


jane Says:

Von where are you? Roddick got the break back! First set tiebreak. Very nerve wracking, but it’s a good sign that he didn’t lose his cool and Monfils lost his nerve/serve. Momentum swings left and right, so typical of Monfils, isn’t it? Be difficult to root for the guy on a regular basis; he really would give heat palpitations.


tenisbebe Says:

Von – are there?? Assume you are watching Roddick/Monfils. 1st set Andy but he is living dangerously imo.

vmw – in the end, a win is a win, particualrly when you win 6-1, 6-0 – Muffa will take it I’m sure. And Troika beat Nalbandian.


Skorocel Says:

Vincent said: “Or perhaps he spoke only about clean players.”

LOL :)


tenisbebe Says:

MMT says: “Says: Federer Dent should be a fascinating match – to me Dent is like the last samurai – a dying breed whose art requires more skill and variety than the modern game encourages.” Makes me miss Patrick Rafter all the more. Isn’t serve-and-volley a much more risky, exacting style of play?

Also, speaking of the new equipment, I don’t know if you play MMT but I am having a racquet strung with the new Wilson Hollow Core synthetic gut – it’s triangular shaped and is suppose to give a player more control & touch. Can’t wait to try it out.


jane Says:

Monfils is out-acing Andy but he has 5 double faults to go with them, so they kind of cancel each other out! Andy has done a good job today handling the momentum swing, which went his way as soon as he got the break back. I knew at that point he’d win the tiebreak.


tenisbebe Says:

Yeah, after Andy got broke in that sloppy game at 5-all in the first & broke back, the momentum was all his. Glad he didn’t lose focus in that last game when he went down 15-30. All-in-all a good win for Andy against a dangerous opponent.


jane Says:

I agree tenisbebe; a good win for Andy. Wow, it took a long time for Federer to hold for 3-2 in this first set – a combination of Dent upsetting his rhythm and his own errors. 8 break points gone for Dent. I assume Fed will win in straights anyhow. But that was interesting.


jane Says:

Dent is way too out of shape. I realize he’s coming back from injury, but still. He can’t move as well as he needs to in order to back those volleys and do some retrieving.He’s got a nice arsenal of shots though, power and touch.

Looks like it’ll be a repeat of last year’s quarter final – Andy vs. Roger.


grendel Says:

Dent was terrific in the first set. He’s a very, very talented player. Of course he’s out of shape – been off for two and half years, one of them virtually in bed. I gather he’s going to take the clay season off to try and get into reasonable shape for Wimbledon. That first set was very, very enjoyable, and largely because of Dent’s wonderful serve and volley game – it has, to my eye, much more of the old s and v style than, say, Stepanek. Dent reminds me of old style Americans like Tim Mayotte – although he’s better. I wonder if it’s his Aussie blood coming to the fore.

Meanwhile, Federer’s forehand was sensational. Really back to the old groove. Maybe after all, he’s going to have the last laugh at Wimbledon.


sar Says:

I would like Azarenka to take this because she is capable of beating Kuzzy. In my opinion Kuzzy cannot beat a Williams but Vika might. I am not a Williams fan. LOL


jane Says:

grendel fed’s forehand looked good against Murray at IW also. Fed will need to serve better, imo, to win Wimbledon – esp. if he’s to face either Rafa or Murray in the final or something. They also know how to exploit the weaker wing. Dent didn’t do a lot of that today as he simply tried to end points quickly.


tennismonger Says:

Too bad Dent couldn’t have made a bigger impression – I too am glad to see a true serve & volleyer back on the tour. I recall a match he played @ USOpen a few years back that was absolutely spectacular – I’m not even sure if he won but I remember it that way because his points won @ the net were so amazing.

I hope he gets into shape & gets to Wimby SF’s @ least…


Giner Says:

Federer, Roddick Ready For Miami Rematch

…..

In a repeat of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open quarter-finals, Federer will take on Andy Roddick after the fifth-seeded American edged past France’s Gael Monfils 7-6(2), 6-4. Roddick’s victory over Federer in the quarter-finals last year stemmed the flow of 11 straight wins for Federer against the American. However, Federer has since defeated Roddick in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and takes a 16-2 career lead into the encounter.

“I love playing against him,” said Federer of Roddick. “I played him at the Australian Open and played well against him there. He’s seems like he’s changed a couple of thing in his game, so should be a good match, I’m sure. I think on the big occasions I just have that extra gear that not many players have. So I feel like that’s an advantage, because of my talent, because of my experience. But in a match, best of three against a guy like Andy, it’s all to play for really. He’s always been dangerous. I’ve always respected him a huge amount.”


tennismonger Says:

tenisbebe says: Also, speaking of the new equipment, I don’t know if you play MMT but I am having a racquet strung with the new Wilson Hollow Core synthetic gut – it’s triangular shaped and is suppose to give a player more control & touch. Can’t wait to try it out.

I tried some string like that (shape anyway) several years ago – I got it on closeout & once I began to string my racket I realized why – the sharp edges of the string actually cut tiny perforations into the main strings as I pulled the cross strings through – ouch! Talk about planned obsolescence! Maybe the Wilson stuff is tougher – I hope so! Let us know how it turns out…


tenisbebe Says:

Hi all – now that was some beautiful & fun tennis in the first set! I am very impressed with Taylor, everyone had written him off with that horrific back injury and here he is playing some good tennis against Fed. Sigh..let’s all hope that Taylor can get in a little better shape and stay healthy so we can see him at Wimbledon.

I had to take a break b/w matches so reason for my delayed post. Hope some will be here for the Rafa match.


tenisbebe Says:

tennismonger – I will let you know how it works out. Jeez, no wonder that was on closeout – this string came out the end of ’08. You obviously string your own racquets – I need to start doing that! Buy a machine on e-bay or something.


Ezorra Says:

With this kind of performance, I don’t think Nadal can outdo Verdasco or even Del Potro in q-final and s-final (if he manages to beat Wawrinka – which is not an easy task at all!) This court is built for attackers, not defensive players like him. However, I do believe that his chances against Murray on this court is 60 – 40 (60 to Nadal) because from my observation, I would say that Nadal’s offensive-defensive scale is 40-60 whereas Murray’s offensive-defensive range is 30-70, so to me, better chance for Nadal.


jane Says:

Wawrinka is playing a great match against Rafa; might Fed have fed him some hints? Anyhow, very close this one, could still go either way. Rafa is making more errors than usual though.


fedster Says:

Grendel, as regards the last laugh of Federer at AELTC, I think there are two guys who can deny that to him. Nadal with his power shots and ball-chasing can do it in 2009 as he did in 2008; Murray with his exquisite shots and retrieving is 2nd dangerman.


jane Says:

I think Rafa’s serve, while improved, faster, is still exploitable on hardcourts: this match reminds me of the one against Nalby. It sure isn’t coming easy for Rafa. And at IW Roddick was in a lot of Rafa’s service games. Murray I think lost his focus in that final, but I think he could do better against Rafa here. Anyhow, Rafa would still have to survive this one. There is no doubt Stan can play well; he has pushed a lot of top players. I wonder if he can win this? I’m inclined to go with Rafa, of course, even though he’s struggling and rattled a bit and not looking himself. But you know, he doesn’t really seem to ever get demoralized, or down; it’s more like he gets angry. Or else he hides it well?


tenisbebe Says:

Rafa has kicked it up a notch when Stanz had the momentum. Back on serve. Seems he stayed back a bit for those 2 games before, deciding not to come to net as much. C’mon Stanz – want to see 3 sets!


Ezorra Says:

Jane, congratulation! Your man is back…

Where is Von? Is she ill or something? Hopefully she’s fine… BTW, congrats Von, your man won too!

Back to the match… 7 breakpoint opportunities and converts none? That sounds so not Nadal! I hope I can say “it’s ok if he losses the match so that he can get prepared for the clay season earlier than the rests of other top players and; faster hard court doesn’t suit him too” but unfortunately I cannot due to the fact that he’s the former finalist here – twice (which means supposedly he’s able to win the match) and also his aim to prove to the world that he can play on all type of courts. Defeat might agitate him mentally and affects his confidence level as well.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – Rafa was very grumpy there for a few games, but as we knew he would, he was able to work through it and turn it into a positive.


tenisbebe Says:

YES – nice save for love-40.


tenisbebe Says:

I mean “from love-40″. Rafa’s getting crabby again – hmmmmmm.


tenisbebe Says:

My, my…what a match so far!! Other players should watch this as an example of how to play a top player with heart & courage. Course a solid all-court game doesn’t hurt either :-)


Ezorra Says:

Eventually…


jane Says:

Ezorra, that was a tight one, but Rafa came through and now you can relax! He fought so hard tonight, had to find the inner warrior; Stan made it really difficult for him.

I wouldn’t say Djoko is “back” but he did look better the last couple of matches, closer to making his trademark shots; however, I don’t have much hope for him against Tsonga given their recent matches. So there is a good chance, if Djoko loses and Murray wins, Djoko will lose #3. Sigh. Oh well, if he does, he’s losing it to one of the best players at the moment. Maybe Novak can pick up a few extra points on clay, say, in Serbia? I don’t know, he has a lot to defend until Wimbledon really. I am looking forward to seeing how Murray does on clay this year. He’ll have more to defend post-Wimbledon.

Ah well, enough tennis for today I reckon. Night all.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – why, oh why do we have Roddick and Djoko facing their respective nemesis in the quarters? Sigh is right. What a bummer. We have to send them both positive vibes (or chi as Andy said). Cross the fingers…


blah Says:

Pity to see Wawrinka dropped in straights- his level of play really didn’t fall off throughout the whole match and he also had enough heart to fight in the second set after dropping such a well-played first, and put on a even higher level in the second set. He also saved five or six match points including three from down 0-40. I was rooting for the upset but the better player won both tie breaks.

Great effort though, I’ve never seen Wawrinka as a guy that’s capable of beating the top four, but maybe he can build upon this and become a threat along with Tsonga and crew.


grendel Says:

“grendel fed’s forehand looked good against Murray at IW also. Fed will need to serve better, imo, to win Wimbledon – esp. if he’s to face either Rafa or Murray in the final or something” (jane).

Well, there’s good and good. I thought Fed’s forehand a couple of notches up from IW.
Generally, people say that when the serve is going well, so does the rest of the game – and vica versa. I wonder if it is the other way round with Fed. After all, he has been known to serve wonderfully whilst otherwise his game is mediocre. I thought yesterday, towards the end, his serve was notably more fluent. So if the forehand is finally coming back into its own, I suspect the serve will take care of itself. I gather he doesn’t actually practice it very much, relative to other aspects of the game. This suggests a deep underlying confidence in it. But that confidence itself explodes onto the surface if his other main weapon, the forehand, is functioning smoothly.

Of course, Federer hasn’t been tested yet. It remains to be seen whether a new found confidence in his main weapons can withstand urgent scrutiny from the very best.


jane Says:

I guess the forehand was more consistent yesterday than against Murray at IW, and perhaps better because the surface is faster in Miami? But I think, to some degree anyhow, Murray just doesn’t let Federer play it as much and nor does Rafa. Dent gave Fed some opportunities to let it fly for a passer. At least, what’s noticable to me, is he’s not shanking as many forehands these days.

Your point about game/serve thing being reversed with Fed is interesting; maybe true. I’d have to keep tabs to see if that holds.

In any case, Fed is in with a shot at winning this event. Murray and Rafa are both on the other side.


fedster Says:

Jane and the rest of the Nole fans can be a bit more happier now from what I’m seeing of Nole!

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ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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