Federer, Caro­line ad­vance into semis in Rogers Cup

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TORONTO: Roger Federer reached the Rogers Cup semi-fi­nals on Fri­day af­ter com­ing to the net early and of­ten in a straight sets vic­tory over Roberto Bautista Agut on a windy day in Montreal.

World No 3 Federer, who faces Dutch­man Robin Haase in the last four, was never se­ri­ously pushed by Spain’s Bautista Agut, who is win­less in seven matches against the Swiss mae­stro.

“I think it pays off play­ing ag­gres­sive here in Montreal,” Federer said in a court­side in­ter­view af­ter his 6-4 6-4 win over the 12th seed.

“Plus I feel com­fort­able at the net so why not spend some time up there in­stead of slug­ging it out from the base­line?”

Federer opened the sec­ond set with a break and cruised through the rest of the match, which lasted just over an hour.

With world No 2 Rafael Nadal elim­i­nated on Thurs­day by 18-year-old Cana­dian De­nis Shapo­valov and world No 1 Andy Mur­ray side­lined by a rib in­jury, Federer has an op­por­tu­nity to re­gain his world num­ber one rank­ing.

He would need to win the Rogers Cup and have an equal or bet­ter fin­ish than Nadal at the Western & South­ern Open in Cincinnati next week to be­come the world num­ber one on Aug. 21.

“Now that Rafa is out I know I can make big strides, es­pe­cially if I was to go fur­ther than the semis here. But it’s all con­nected to great play,” said the Aus­tralian Open and Wim­ble­don cham­pion.

In the other quar­ter-fi­nals, Shapo­valov came from a set down to beat Adrian Man­nar­ino of France 2-6 6-3 6-4, and Ger­many’s Alexan­der Zverev dis­missed South Africa’s Kevin An­der­son in straight sets, 7-5 6-4.

Ear­lier, Haase re­cov­ered to de­feat Ar­gen­tine Diego Schwartz­man 4-6 6-3 6-3 in their quar­ter-fi­nal.

Mean­while Caro­line Woz­ni­acki de­feated world No 1 Karolina Pliskova 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 in a marathon Rogers Cup quar­ter­fi­nals match in Toronto marred by four rain de­lays on Fri­day.

The de­lays, which all came dur­ing the first set, ap­peared to boost the sixth-seeded Dane, who was trail­ing 3-0 when the match was in­ter­rupted.

Caro­line ap­peared re­laxed dur­ing the breaks, which gave her time to con­sult with her fa­ther and long­time coach Piotr Woz­ni­acki, be­fore she won five straight games and ul­ti­mately took the first set.

The de­lays and Caro­line’s solid al­laround game ap­peared to throw off the big-serv­ing Karolina, who was play­ing in her first tour­na­ment since be­com­ing the world num­ber one.

The vic­tory marks Caro­line’s first ca­reer win against a world num­ber one and gives the 27-year-old a 6-2 ad­van­tage in headto-head matches with Karolina.

Caro­line next faces Sloane Stephens af­ter the Amer­i­can beat Czech Lu­cie Sa­farova 6-2 1-6 7-5. Reuters

AFP PIC

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki (right) beat Karolina Pliskova in the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Fri­day.

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