Federer Cruises Into Another Masters 1000 Semi-Final


68 minutes was all that was needed for Roger Federer to cruise into his third Masters 1000 semi-final of the 2017 season. Federer had 24 winners and won 20 of 26 points at the net to dispatch 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4.

Federer, the second seed in the tournament, played better than in his three set win yesterday against David Ferrer although there were still some chinks in his armour. Federer’s first serve percentage was just 51 percent and he made 25 unforced errors. Over the past two matches he has made 36 errors on the backhand side.

The two players both held serve for the first eight games of the match before Federer hit a jumping overhead for a winner that appeared almost be behind him when he made contact. Bautista Agut double faulted to give his opponent the break and then Federer served out the set at Love.

In the second set, a backhand which the Spaniard couldn’t contain at the net gave Federer another break in the opening game  and then after getting back on serve to make it 1-1, Bautista Agut gave his serve away again in the third game. From that point forward it was all Federer and he cruised to the finish line.

“I believe I served better earlier in the match,” said the 19-time Grand Slam champion. “But I still believed Bautista Agut didn’t return as well as Ferrer. Both things combined, two major factors in a beginning of a match, I was able to get into the match better. Of course, it was tough until 4-All. But my game plan worked better against Bautista Agut than against Ferrer. I believe it’s because today I was more aggressive coming to the net. It was more possible today. I was aggressive yesterday, but I couldn’t carry it out because Ferrer had better momentum from the baseline.”

After winning his 17th straight match against Ferrer yesterday, Federer improved to 7-0 in his career against Bautista Agut He has never dropped a set in any of their matches.

He will play Robin Haase in one of the semi-finals tomorrow. Haas dropped the first set but rallied to win the next two in his quarter final against Diego Schwartzman. Federer and Haase have met just once before. That coming in a Davis Cup playoff in 2012. Federer won that match in straight sets in their best of five encounter.

Federer has won the Rogers Cup tournament twice in the past but both wins came in Toronto. He has never won in Montreal a place which he calls one of his favourite tournaments.

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