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ATP Montreal: Roger Federer tops Bautista Agut to reach the semis

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by Jovica Ilic

World number 3 Roger Federer improved his score in 2017 to 34-2 after a solid 6-4 6-4 triumph over Roberto Bautista Agut in an hour and 8 minutes, advancing to his 7th semi-final at the Canada Open, and the first in Montreal since 2007! This was their 7th meeting and Swiss scored as many wins, never losing a set against the Spaniard.

Unlike yesterday, when he played a very poor match against David Ferrer, making almost 50 unforced errors and losing a set for the first time since Stuttgart, Roger looked much better today, controlling the points and attacking his rival at the right moments to impose his shots and keep the rallies on his racquet.

Thus, Roger advanced to his 59th Masters 1000 semi-final, and he is only the second 36-year-old who reached that round at this rank of competition, after Andre Agassi in 2006. Federer returned well, winning almost 40% of the points on Bautista Agut's serve, breaking Spaniard 3 times from 6 opportunities.

On the other hand, his serve was also effective, despite serving at 51%, he lost just 12 points in 10 service games, saving 2 out of 3 break points to cross the finish line without any kind of troubles. Swiss player finished the match with 24 winners and 25 unforced errors (he started to make more mistakes in the second set), much better than Roberto's negative 8-15 ratio.

Also, Federer had the advantage in the longer points, and without that Spaniard didn't stand any chance in this match. In the semis, Roger will face Robin Haase, who reached his first ever Masters 1000 semi-final. It was clear right from the start that Roger feels much better on the court than against Ferrer, and he found the range on his serve immediately, losing just 3 points in 5 service games, keeping all the pressure on Bautista Agut.

Both players held with ease in the opening 6 games and it was Roger who started to attack more and more as the set approached the closing stages. He earned 2 deuces on the return in game 7 before Roberto closed the game with a serve&forehand combo to remain in front.

Still, a costly double fault in game 9 forced Bautista Agut to surrender his game, and Federer served for the opener in the next game. He did that in style, with his famous under-minute game, firing 3 service winner and one from volley to wrap up the set by 6-4 in just 33 minutes.

Roger had 13 winners and 8 unforced errors while Roberto couldn't expect the better result with 4 winners and 8 errors. Interestingly, Spaniard was a little bit better in the shortest points but Federer outplayed him in the longer rallies by 18-3, which was a huge difference.

The second set was decided in the first 3 games when we saw 3 breaks, Federer scored 2 to stay in the driving seat throughout the set. His serve percentages were not as good as in the first set but he managed to save 2 out of 3 break points and avoid further struggle.

Roberto had a nice chance to get back on the scoreboard in game 6, missing 2 break points, and he probably regrets that second one a lot, as he netted an easy backhand. Swiss served for the win in game 10 and he delivered a solid one, finishing the job with a good forehand attack to reach the last 4 and grab more valuable points in the chase for the number 1 spot.

Quarter-final results:

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ALSO READ: ITF World Junior Tennis Finals: Spain to play Switzerland in the final

RANK #3
Roger
FEDERER
RANK #35
Robin
HAASE
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