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By Gokul Pillai
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Aged at 30, Federer has been questioned a lot about his productivity on court and his ability to pull out victories on major stages. He has had a quarterfinal defeat at Wimbledon, a final loss at the French Open and semi-final defeats at the Australian and the US Open. He displayed a confident game against Potito Starace in the first round of this event as he defeated the Italian in straight sets to set up a clash against Nieminen. He will be trying to fetch a title before the season ending ATP world tour finals.
Nieminen has been consistent this year at the ITF Challengers but then has not been able to attain wins on the ATP Tour this year. He rose to decent form in the later part of the year as he snatched a quarterfinal spot and then managed to spring to the final in Stockholm. The Fin then again recorded a second round defeat in Vienna. He managed to fight out Thomaz Bellucci in a three set battle in the first round in order to book a second round date with Federer. He will have to bring his top form to the court in order to dismantle the Swiss Legend.
Both the players have met eleven times before and the head-to-head count stands at 11-0 in Federer’s favour. The last time they met was last year at Halle where Federer won in straight sets. Federer has a tactical serve and one of the best backhands and volleys in the sport. Nieminen can angle forehands and can put in sharp serves at great pace. Federer should be able to win this one in straight sets.
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