'Just outrageous': Roger Federer stuns with rarely-seen shot

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Roger Federer keeps managing to find ways to stun the tennis world.

The 20-time grand slam champion was back in action at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday - his first match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

The Swiss Maestro was in oppressive form, racing through the first set against Juan Ignacio Londero in just 21 minutes.

However it was one shot in the second set that had the tennis world frothing.

Moving in towards the net as Londero returned the ball, Federer produced a rare two-handed drop-volley for a perfect winner.

Roger Federer played a rare two-handed drop-volley. Image: Tennis TV

It didn’t look particularly special at the time, but replays showed how Federer kept both hands on the racquet to perfect the shot - a rarity in today’s game.

“That’s just outrageous,” one TV commentator said.

Another added: “How many times have we seen Federer hit a two-handed volley? Maybe never.”

Players hardly ever use two hands when playing a drop volley, and the tennis world certainly noticed Federer’s wizardry, labelling it ‘elusive’ and ‘nifty’.

Federer went on to win 6-3, 6-4 in just 61 minutes.

The 38-year-old stormed out of the blocks against Londero on Tuesday, racing out to a 3-0 lead after just seven minutes.

Londero – more comfortable on clay – stepped it up in the second set before rain arrived to halt proceedings, with the score level at 2-2.

After almost an hour off court, Federer returned in merciless fashion, breaking immediately as he cruised into the third round.

Djokovic cruises as well

World No.1 Djokovic began his campaign as the reigning Cincinnati Masters champion with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Sam Querrey.

He is aiming for a 34th Masters title at the US Open warm-up event to chase Rafael Nadal's record haul of 35, which the Spaniard extended at the Rogers Cup on Sunday, before pulling out of Cincinnati with fatigue.

Djokovic made a poor start on serve as he made three double-faults to concede an early break.

Querrey opened up a 3-1 gap with a quick ace but Djokovic was soon back on level terms with Querrey folding his serve to even out the match at 3-3.

Roger Federer in action. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 45th-ranked American made more nervous errors at 6-5 and gifted Djokovic the first set with a long forehand return, which saw the Serbian roar in celebration after overcoming a tough start to his title defence.

The 16-time grand slam winner exploded with more emotion after he outlasted Querrey to break for 3-1, which fired him up to earn a commanding position and serve for the match at 5-1.

Djokovic, who is the only man to win all nine Masters titles, rounded off the win with an ace in 78 minutes to advance to the next round, where he will play either another American in John Isner or Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.

Earlier Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka battled back from a set down to defeat Grigor Dimitrov 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-4) for a fifth straight win over the Bulgarian and a place in the second round.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in his first Masters final at the Rogers Cup, bested Britain's Kyle Edmund to face Frenchman Benoit Paire, who advanced after Fernando Verdasco retired at 6-4.

But Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut is through following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 win over Poland's Hubert Hurkacz to face American Frances Tiafoe, who dismissed France's Gael Monfils 7-6 (9-7) 6-3.

with agencies