toronto08kiefer_simon

Points won by each set: [ 38-45, 26-20, 52-46 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
24 % Kiefer – 30 of 121
18 % Simon – 20 of 106

The 22-year-old Kiefer [37] reached No. 4 in 1999, and it seemed a matter of time when he would play at the final stages of the biggest events. A sudden slump in 2000 brutally verified those expectations though, and the gifted German had to wait long time to play his only Grand Slam semifinal (Aussie Open 2006 – nine years after first major quarterfinal) as well as the only Masters 1K final (Toronto 2008 – nine years after first semifinal at that level) – in both cases the biggest results of his career were proceeded by dramatic, marathon wins over the Frenchmen (Grosjean in Melbourne & Simon in Toronto). Simon [22], for whom it was a breakthrough event (had shockingly defeated Federer in 2R), trailed 4:5* (deuce) in the opener, but came back for the second time in the set from a break down to capture the tie-break 7/4. The only break of the 2nd set occurred at 2:1 for Kiefer (no deuce in that set). Kiefer established his superiority and almost won another set with similar ease – he led 4:2* (40/30) as he played a tentative forehand down the line which allowed Simon to take the momentum, and a couple of minutes later the Frenchman led 5:4* (15-all) having an easy put away overhead – netted. In the decisive tie-break, Simon – playing well – cut the lead from *2:5 to 5-all, but being two points away from victory he taped Kiefer’s serve. After three hours, the German converted the first match point with a dropshot-lob combination, forcing Simon’s backhand-overhead error.

Serve & volley: Kiefer 2/3, Simon 0

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