Montreal final preview and prediction: Federer vs. Zverev

Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev will be facing each other for the fourth time in their careers and for the second time this season when they battle for the Rogers Cup title on Sunday.

Federer is leading the head-to-head series 2-0, including 1-0 in ATP finals. They most recently faced each other in the Halle championship match a few months ago, when the veteran Swiss got the job done 6-1, 6-3. A pair of 2016 encounters were split, with Federer prevailing 6-3, 7-5 on the red clay of Rome before Zverev scored a 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-3 upset in Halle.

On the heels of up-and-down 2016 campaigns for both men, they have shot up the charts this season. In fact, this is a potential preview of a World Tour Finals showdown–and at this rate perhaps even the final match of 2017. Federer has a beat on the year-end No. 1 ranking with two Grand Slam titles (Australian Open and Wimbledon) already under his belt, while Zverev will be third in the race to London on Monday.

The 20-year-old German has looked strong the whole way in 2017 and he is especially fine form at the moment. He boasts a 45-13 record and has won nine in a row dating back to the beginning of his run to the Washington, D.C. winner’s trophy last week. Making a quick turnaround in Montreal, Zverev’s campaign at this Masters 1000 tournament almost never got off the ground. He faced a match point against Richard Gasquet in his opener, saved it with an amazing 49-ball rally, and eventually survived 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3). The world No. 8 has since made more routine work of Nick Kyrgios, Kevin Anderson, and Denis Shapovalov.

Speaking of match points, Federer has held them in all 37 of his matches this year. He is 35-2 with losses only to Evgeny Donskoy and Tommy Haas in a pair of respective thrillers (Dubai and Stuttgart). There has been no such competition to speak of dating back to Wimbledon. Federer rolled to the title there without dropping a single set and so far this week only David Ferrer has managed to snag one. The No. 2 seed recovered to win that contest in three, with additional victories over Peter Polansky, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Robin Haase to propel him into his sixth final of 2017.

“I think he’s definitely the favorite,” Zverev said of Federer. “He’s been playing amazing tennis. He pretty much won every single big tournament he played this year. I feel like I’m playing well. I know that I have to serve a lot better tomorrow than I did today. That was I think the thing that I struggled the most with today.

“I (have) played in five finals this year. I won four; the one that I lost was against Roger. There’s a reason for it.”

And there is a reason Federer should triumph once again. Zverev may finally be running on fumes and he is running into an opponent who will play aggressive, take the ball early, and put the youngster on the run. Just as Shapovalov’s amazing hot streak came to an end on Saturday, so too should Zverev’s in this one.

Pick: Federer in 2

87 Comments on Montreal final preview and prediction: Federer vs. Zverev

  1. Something wrong with Rogers knee and/or back. Just look when he serves. He’s clearly under physical distress. Even the commentators commented on it

  2. Doesn’t look like Zverev is going to lose his grip here. 4-3 now. I must say Fed has looked lacklustre this week. I mean, I haven’t seen the same spirit and fire he has been carrying this year.

    • OMG Nny,

      He’s got his 2nd Masters title! So happy for him 😀 I picked him to win Montreal too hahahahaha

      Fed should skip Cincy — he’s not looking good.

      • rc,

        Yes, congratulations to Sascha! You picked him! Good for you!

        Something was wrong with Fed for sure. The ESPN commies picked up on it in the middle of the second set.

        Fed seemed to be trying not to make whatever it is worse. Hope he’s okay.

        • Nny,

          Yeah, I hope he’s okay too but will he do the right thing and skip Cincy?

          Sascha is very impressive right now but I’m no sure about him in the 5 set format — I still think he is a ways from his first GS.

          • On one hand I can see Zverev losing early if he gets a tough draw because of what happened in French Open after winning in Rome. On the other hand, this is the best he’s played heading into a slam and probably the best he’s played ever at this point and the draw is obviously a lot more wide open this year for many reasons of course. I predict at least one unseeded quarterfinalist.

  3. Eh we’ll see if he can break back but doubtful. Olly you were actually right lol!! I’m glad Roger fought hard enough to make the final this week but he clearly wasn’t playing that great all week. Can’t expect him to bring a super high level week in week out all season. Zverev totally deserves this match if he gets it though. Crazy to think Gasquet should’ve beaten him in round two!! But the injury comments are worrying me not gonna lie.

  4. Yeah Roger does look hampered by something. Might be wise to pull out of Cincy. And I know Rafans want that!! ?

  5. Federer looking like he doesn’t want to play anymore. Not moving on serve, trying to muscle it in, not moving on points, not putting weight on lower body. Most likely injured.

    Congrats Sascha!

    The first set was mind-blowing. The second set left me unsatisified.

    Hopefully, Nadal will be able to take advantage of this in Cincinnati
    Zverev will be tired, Federer looking in bad shape

  6. I hope it’s solely some fatigue or something or a really minor thing that he doesn’t want to make worse in order to keep his chances high at the Open. He definitely wasn’t moving that well but that’s hardcore execution by Zverev. Bashing the ball out there!! ?? ?? congrats Zverev fans!!

    • Sascha playing exceptionally might’ve been an explanation’s for RF’s inability to move during rallies, but that’s no reason for him to not serving normally. He was clearly uncomfortable hitting his serves, trying to swing it in.

  7. Federer serve motion is weird, he carries an injury. Backhand is different. And he stopped to fight through pain, rushing trough games

  8. Congrats to Zverev! I absolutely think Fed should consider pulling out of Cinci. I can’t imagine him ever having enough energy at US Open if he plays Cinci. He should let Rafa get to #1 first. He will have plenty of time to get to #1 himself in the rest of the season if he’s meant to get there.

    • I agree! Fed doesn’t look like someone who is brimming with energy. He risks fatigue if he plays Cincy and goes deep there.

    • Skipping Cinci or not depends mostly on his health and his spirit. Now, I feel like he might take some rest next week.

  9. Zverev has proven he’s the real deal in best-of-three. He hasn’t done squat in the majors, though. If he doesn’t go deep at US Open, or at very least AO 2018, it will be extremely disappointing.

      • Yes, Sascha’s played a lot of tennis. He might do well to skip Cincy and be ready for the USO.

        • I think if Sascha plays Cincy, he loses early in Flushing. Roger’s chances are greater in US Open if he skips Cincy unless he is actually just tired and goes through Cincy without dropping a set which is highly unlikely.

  10. Wow. Zverev could be favorite for the US Open. Nadal still a question mark outside of clay. Fed, Novak, Andy injured.

  11. Great performance from Zverev! He is growing into mentally strong and confident player! With his huge serve he will do wonders!

    I guess I was wrong to expect that Fed at his 60% would beat the future No1! I did foresee Fed would get tired at some point from overplay…he should have played only Cincy which is his forte…we shall see how it works out for him but he definitely did not look himself at this tourney…he still made it to the final which deserves all respect!

  12. This is so exciting that finally a young gun is making a statement. Seeing Sasha vs Denis yesterday somewhat reminder me of Fed vs Nadal 12 years ago. Maybe that could be a great next rivalry.

  13. Congrats to Zverev on his 2nd masters title and an incredible performance! He was dominant in 1st set and didn’t ‘let up in 2nd. A lot of people are asking about possible Federer injury/fatigue. I hope it’s not injury, of course, but if it’s not, that’s the closest I’ve seen to Federer giving up in the 2nd set. Very disappointing as a fan.

    Here’s my take on the 2nd set. Fed came out playing in just the right way, imo. He realized that he wasn’t going to out-bash Zverev, so he gave him some different looks, returned the 2nd serve from far back, rushed the net, etc. And it almost worked: Fed had three break points in Zverev’s first service game, his only ones of the match, I believe. As it happened, Alex saved them all, hit three winners, two huge serves and a FH. Good for him, that was clutch. But Roger should have kept trying those tactics! He didn’t, and to my eye he almost gave up. The game he got broken was pretty pathetic in terms of lack of intensity. Again, maybe he’s really injured. But by the end he was looking pretty old and tired; if he isn’t injured, I think he could have showed a bit more pep.

    Again, all credit to Zverev, who had a great game plan and executed it to a T. Well done!

    • I’d say that’s a good description of what I saw 2nd match, Joe.

      And he wasn’t terribly crushed to lose his chance at Montreal but he was not willing to fight through 3 sets today. I’m sorry for your loss.

          • He is pretty, angelic, and handsome. I just threw the first pick I saw up. I’ll try to find Montreal trophy pic. I think he’s too young in that one.

            • rc,

              Oh that avatar pic of Sascha! He does look like girl! He’s a pretty boy anyway.

              It would be great if you could get him with the trophy at Montreal!

            • I can’t find one from Montreal with the trophy

              There will be one soon.

              It’s hard to find one that isn’t angelic and pretty, even with a mad face and stringy hair, lol

      • Thanks, RC, though I’m fine with it. By the end I was pulling for Zverev because I thought he deserved the win for such a great performance! We’ll soon see if Roger is actually injured, but my guess is not. He wasn’t comfortable here all week -along with some other players!- and just wasn’t willing to gut it out, it seems. Of course, it might not have worked out anyway, given how Sascha was crushing the ball!

        • I hope you’re right Joe. He did seem kinda annoyed in general today, getting mad at that one bad bounce early in the second and little things like that. I think he was just annoyed with his serving being less than par especially with how he served so much better against Haase. In the end there could be some factors that hurt Roger but I think in the end it was just all about Zverev today. That guy is just so damn good. Well deserved for Zverev. I really hope he can finally start playing like this at the slams too!! I also really hope Fed isn’t injured!! And if so not a big injury and one that he can recover by the US Open.

          • Yeah, though I think he frequently looks like that when he’s losing. Same with Rafa; these guys really don’t like to lose!

            And yes, Zverev was just too good today. Like I say below, when a guy his size is feeling it, both on serve and in the rallies (and ROS, which I thought was terrific), they’re pretty hard to beat by anyone.

            • Do you guys think he should skip Cinci or not? I mean he could build some momentum and play there; on the other hand he could lose too much energy or be eliminated before SF and lose some confidence before US Open.

    • Maybe his vibes in Montreal are worse LOL. He just knew he was doomed in trying to win Montreal from the start ? I would love that to be the case because then he would be fine in Cincy. Knowing Roger, he will only play Cincy if healthy. If there is any risk he will withdraw. I think if we see him in Cincy, that means he is fine physically. If he withdraws, it is likely a minor injury he needs to deal with or just straight up fatigue that will cause him to rest up before New York.

  14. I think this match was fixed by the bookies! Millions of dollars came in on Federer and he was handsomely paid off MORE THAN the 1ST prize winning amount of $894.585.00 US Dollars! This way BOTH Federer is Happy and the bookies are Happy! This is the RUMOR!

    The Unofficial information from the Las Vegas bookies is that even Venus Williams threw away the match to Garbarine Mugurza @ the 2017 Wimbly finals after being being more than the prize money by the bookies who still pocket a huge sum of our bet money after paying off Venus then and Roger now! Shame on these top players(Venus, Roger etc.) for cheating their fans and the betting fans of 1000’s of their hard earned money in high profile matches whenever HUUUUUUGE bet money (in millions or billions) comes in on them!

    Federer plays for money and not for his fans! That is just too bad! This is cheating! That is the reason federer played like stupidly like that…hitting many simple shots into the net or hitting outside the court…and lose purposefully! When Shapovalov and other players could handle Handsome’s serve why not Federer who is one of the best returners in the World!?

    • Roger, that is totally absurd. Do you know how much Federer earns in endorsements each year? It dwarfs the amount he earns in prize money; in fact, in two years he earns more in endorsements than he has in his whole career in prize money.

      What do you think would happen to that endorsement money if people found out he was on the take? It would make Tiger Woods seem like a choir boy. Federer has less incentive than any other professional athlete to throw a match.

      Now, if you tell me it’s Floyd Mayweather, that’s a different story…

    • The likelihood of Fed match fixing is the likelihood of Tomic giving his all in more than two matches he plays in a season.

    • This is just utter nonsense! I can’t sit here and read something like this and not respond!

      Hey, here’s a clue! If you bet, then you need to be prepared to take some losses!

        • Benny,

          In this instance we are on the same side! I may not be a fan of Fed, but I am not going to let anyone make those kinds of accusations against him. I do respect him.

          I am not a bettng person, but I have no problem with those who do. If you want your bet on tennis, then do so. But understand that you are taking a risk. You have to be prepared for the possibility of losses. So accept that and refrain from taking cheap shots at a player because you lost a bet.

          • Same here NNY. I absolutely hate when stupid accusations are made by people that Rafa did steroids and stupid shit like that. Makes me mad. Nadal is one of the fairest on and off the court so it is silly when people say things like this.

            • Benny G AUGUST says AT 12:45 AM: “I absolutely hate when stupid accusations are made by people that Rafa did steroids…”
              Let me remind you that these stupid accusations against Rafa have been made by your comrades, Fedfans. They have fabricated stories about Rafa since he started to beat their beloved one. 👿

  15. In some ways this match reminded me of Fed’s loss to Cilic at USO 2014. When a guy that size is feeling it, hitting it in with full power, including on serve, they’re almost impossible to beat. I think the only way is by mixing things up, but that’s so hard to do consistently and is itself almost an admission that you can’t beat the big guy with your usual game, so psychologically hard to swallow as well. But that might be a bit of what happened today.

  16. Federer was flat all week because its his first tournament after his huge Wimby win. The Canadian Open is like that for a lot of players who’ve had their first break after a long clay and grass seasons.
    I’m not surprised Zverev won like this even over a fresh Federer,but I’m surprised he still had enough left in the tank .Surely he’ll pull out of Cinci.

    • Yeah Zverev has enough momentum now lol. He and Roger should withdraw in my opinion. Unless Roger isn’t actually injured at all and was just tired or something. Even then I think it would be wise for Fed to pull out.

      • If he’s fit, I don’t see why Roger should pull out of Cinci. It would be his last match practise to get some confidence back before the US, and with Cilic,Murray and Djokovic not there, he has a great chance.

        • Agree, I don’t think Roger will pull out of Cinci unless he is injured. His goal -after winning USO- is clearly to get to #1. Even if gets to the Cinci final, he still has a bit of time to rest before USO.

  17. An indirect proof of the bookie’s “MATCH FIXING” this match is given below….

    They FREEZED the LIVE BETTING page on at the same time so that the betting public CANNOT LIVE BET Handsome and cover up the PRE-BET loss ON FEDERER!…This is DOUBLE CHEATING by the BOOKIES! Hope one day all the bookies go under loss (and bettors win all the money) and file for bankruptcy!lol

    I trird so many tricks to make the LIVE BET page work and LIVE BET Zverev, but it just did not work.

    After Federer lost the match, the LIVE BETTING screen is working perfectly fine NOW. I just now did a live bet on a Baseball game. While Zverev and federer were playing my LIVE BET screens just froze and I could NOT bet on any other match as they FROZE the entire LIVE BETTING website itself.

    I do not know how many bookies worked together to pull off this BETTING HEIST (cheating of bettors money in millions)!

    Is this also just a COINCIDENCE? HELL NO!

    My friends who work at the Las Vegas bookies Office reporting that the big bosses there partying and discussing their heist after Federer lost, is not a coincidence! They knew about this only after the match ended and after the partying by the big bosses started!

    Damn…after the MATCH FIXING of the Venus Match, I should have learnt a lesson and bet big on Zverev instead of Federer…expecting the Match Fixing here also! What a fool, I am!

    • I’m sorry for your loss, Roger. But if the bookies wanted to collude and prevent live-betting on Zverev when it looked clear that he was going to win, they could have done that without any help from Federer.

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if bookies did something shady to further their bottom line. It would surprise me a lot if Federer would risk biting the golden endorsement hand that feeds him so well.

      • Top players have been accused of that before, but surely not the GOAT.
        Like his new beard BTW …or did he just forget to shave?

  18. Uwaaaa!!<<<That's a yawn guys and not crying ok?..Just got up and saw this…Really?I mean REALLY??…Hmmh!…no wonder i can see rc's drool even from this distance!…Hey rc!…your arm is okay?No harm done when you're celebrating?And i think you win the Bracket??Woohoooo!!!…Err sorry Big Al…rc promised to smack my head with her cast if i didn't do that…

    Btw…My honest commiserations to ALL Fedfans on here…Joe,Big Al,Eugene,Benny and other's whom i forgot their name atm k?

    • Yeah, thanks, I could have won the whole bracket if Fed won.Bit disappointed, at least I got the finalists right.But,Zverevs one player I don’t mind Roger losing to,at all.Happy for him.

    • Mira Andi, finally I find your reply to me from last night! LOL, I knew you would stick something on me (drooling over Sascha) No! It’s not like that! hahahaha smack you with my cast if I could. You know I love you!! You are a gem of happiness in the world!

      Anyway….you’ll never see this post but I had to come check it and sure enough 😀

  19. I didn’t watch the match (was asleep). I’m surprised that Fed lost; seriously I don’t expect Zverev to win after playing so many matches already.

    Is he playing that well, or is Fed having an off day like Rafa had the other day? It looks like the ball and the court at Montreal favor the hard hitters; no wonder Zverev and Shapo both do well here (Fedal don’t whack the ball the way these youngsters do).

    • Lucky,

      I think it was a bit of both. Zverev played brilliant tennis. Just flawless. Fed couldn’t do much. But the ESPN commies seemed convinced that something was wrong with Fed. They even showed video in slow motion comparing his serve motion earlier in the match to how he was serving in the second set. PMac said Fed was side arming his serve. He seemed to not be moving as well. They were speculating that he may have had a problem with his back or the knee.

      It was an easy victory for Zverev. I remember you saying that Fed didn’t look that good this week. He seemed fatigued. Hopefully it’s not an injury. But you were correct in your observations about Fed.

      • Thanks NNY for the info.

        I think Fed might have a stiff back or something, not an injury. The ball in Montreal seems to be a problem ( when Fedal complained about the ball, I think there’s really something not great about the ball they used here).

        They both said it’s hard to control the ball here (no wonder Fed didn’t look good the whole tournament even though he reached the final). Rafa looked nervous I guess because he felt he couldn’t control the ball ( and he ended up with lots of mishitting).

        Like I said, unless you bash the ball hard, you would have difficulty controlling the ball; Zverev and Shapo seemed fine with the ball due to the way they hit the ball I guess.

        Well done to Zverev, not to take away any credit from him, he played well vs all his opponents including saving MPs vs Gasquet.

    • Fed wasn’t serving too well and it might have swayed the match if he had served well. But I guess that’s. What if scenario and really in the end it was simply Zverev’s day.

      • Uh oh, this does sound like Fed’s back problem may have cropped up at a bad time. Fed needs to serve well – and usually does. Well, I expect he’ll take care of it if so. He’s got time before the USO. I’ll never know why he played Montreal this year.

  20. Atp world tour website just released article that says Roger said he had some “aches and pains” that hampered his performance and that coming back from a layoff and practicing after vacation is always “a bit of a shock to the body.” So I don’t think it’s actually an injury which is all I’m concerned about. Honestly don’t mind the loss. I think if he makes the Montreal final and is fit for Cincy and decides to play and goes and wins Cincy, that will be more than enough confidence heading into the Open. I mean Zverev is awesome and deserved the win completely so it’s nice to see the hard working badass get another title. That guy has a lot of class too. He’s growing on me. I was always just kind of neutral with him but he is just so good and carries himself really well out there. Such a great player already at 20 years old. One thing he could do is improve his net game but that seemed better than usual this week, probably because he was playing with so much confidence.

    • Now that he has made a deep run to the final of one of the pre-US Open masters, I honestly believe it would be in Federer’s best interest to pull out of Cinci. There really is no shame in that at 36 years old. His age actually kind of showed itself for the first time this season in that final. I feel like if he has aches and pains now preventing him from being able to give his best, how bad will it get if he were to make it to the semis or final of Cinci? Obviously he would get more than a week’s rest after Cinci before the Open, so maybe it actually won’t hurt his chances too much to play Cinci? I guess the way I see it, overall, is that the only reason he should play Cinci is if he is absolutely dead-set on getting to #1 as soon as possible. If getting to number 1 is important, but not as important as winning US Open, I think it makes more sense for him to pull out of Cinci. Before Montreal started, he said himself that he hoped Rafa got to #1 in Montreal because he thinks Rafa deserves it, which I fully agree with. He also knows that Rafa getting to #1 doesn’t necessarily mean that he himself can’t get to #1 later in season. So I guess if I were Fed’s advisor, I would say wake up tomorrow and see how the body feels. If it’s just a little sore/tired and will clearly feel normal in a couple days, and Cinci is important to him, then go for it! If he wakes up in a couple days and he still feels tired and in pain, absolutely pull out of the tournament! Personally, I would love to see both Rafa and Fed get to #1 at some point this season. With all they’ve been through and how much they have accomplished this season, I think they are both thoroughly deserving of the top spot! I know that the people who are either pro-Rafa or pro-Fed strictly want their guy to be #1 at all costs, whatever it takes. I have the luxury of not giving a shit which one is #1, so I would truly love to see both of them get there.

      What’s would be your call in regard to Fed, Benny? Do you think he should pull out of Cinci and concede the #1 race to Rafa, no matter how ok he claims to feel in the next couple days? Or do you think, if he feels up to it, he should go forward with playing Cinci?

      • Sorry I never responded to this Kevin. I know he already withdrew but yeah I thought he should to take precaution. I think his chances at the US Open are still very good now. But if he played Cincy it could be quite shaky.

    • yeah but it was apparent he was somewhat hampered. Perhaps it was just a stiff back. If it were only down to the fact that his body couldn’t adjust after being out of action for a while, it won’t be a bad idea to play Cincy and get some match play. He should be cautious not to overdo anything and be fit 100%. I believe both Zverev and Kyrigos (if they really turn up) can be a real threat to Roger.

    • It has to be a reason why his UE surpassed his winners and his serve was poor and the entire game. Maybe he was not ‘feeling’ it…one of those days. In this case I’m happy he is healthy and has almost 3 weeks to prepare for the final grand slam of the year.
      We, Fedfans have to realize he won 2 slams this year. And that’s already more than enough. Everything else is a bonus. I think Fedal will have to fight very hard to rich superior stages at USO. Although 3-4 big names will not play, the nature always finds a way to balance things. You never know what Thiem, Zverev, Kyrgios or Cilic are up to…

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