Wow. Just when you think you have seen it all Evgeny Donskoy ranked at 116 in the world comes up with something unbelievable to see off Roger Federer.
The Australian Open champion looked set to be on route to another win in Dubai after taking the first 6-3 against the Russian and the cement was nearly set when the former world number one had three match points but somehow he turned it around!
To recover from this position is mad especially against Federer. 45 minutes later the Swiss number two led by 5-1 in the third set tie-break and I remember the commentator on Sky Sports saying “that should be that now” and well tennis once again produced one of those way moments. Beautiful backhand winners and forehand service returns and before you know it back level at 5-5 and then sealed it at 7-5 where as five minutes before whilst serving for the match Donskoy hit two double faults on route to being broken!
Something that impressed me from the beginning of the match was he got to grips with Federer’s serve which was surprising. Already spoken about that leaning forehand winner which he produced not once but twice but even though we saw the usual big serve net play from Federer and his stats were good one Donskoy got a good return he was in the rally immediately.
Looking at the picture above. There are a few questions I had…
Why not try to kick serve out wide?
Why not follow the serve?
Could there be more bounce on the ball?
This serve is comfortable for Donskoy to react to. Good height, not too deep and Federer’s body position at this point opens up the backhand cross court as his body weight is all going forward.