Roger Federer edges Stan Wawrinka in Cincinnati thriller

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka played two tight sets in Cincinnati 2018

by Jovica Ilic
Roger Federer edges Stan Wawrinka in Cincinnati thriller
© Rob Carr / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Roger Federer came to Cincinnati 2018 as world no. 2 and a seven-time champion. Roger played well at one of his favorite tournaments, advancing to his sixth ATP semi-final that year. Federer overpowered his compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes for a place in the last four.

It was their first meeting since Indian Wells 2017, and Roger earned his 21st win from 24 duels against his friend. Federer lost the opener and survived a tight second-set tie break before dominating the decider and staying on the title course.

Roger lost 18 points in his games, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on Stan, who stayed unbroken until the deciding set. Federer broke the rival's resistance with two return games, emerging at the top and still dreaming about Cincinnati crown no.

8! Wawrinka was the lowest-ranked quarter-finalist in Cincinnati since 1993. However, despite a great effort, he failed to make one extra step and reach the semi-final. The overall numbers could have been better for both players.

Federer fired 31 winners and 48 errors and toppled Stan's 21-41 ratio, having the upper hand in the shortest and longest exchanges to earn the win fair and square.

Roger Federer toppled Stan Wawrinka in three sets in Cincinnati 2018.

Both players served under 50% in the opening set, but no one could notice that in Roger's games.

He dropped one point in each service game and mounted the pressure on the other side. Stan fended off two break chances at 2-3 and had to pass the ultimate test in the 12th game when Roger created two set points. The younger Swiss saved them and earned momentum before the tie break, winning all four service points with winners.

On the other hand, Roger suffered three mini-breaks to lose the breaker 7-2 after Stan's backhand down the line return winner. Wawrinka still served under 50% in the second set but had to play against only one break chance.

On the other hand, Roger was yet to put a foot wrong behind the initial shot, dropping five points in total and facing no issues. Wawrinka saved a break chance at 5-5 with a service winner before losing the opening point of the tie break after Federer's great crosscourt backhand that forced the rival's volley error.

Serving for the set at 6-4, Roger sent a forehand outside the stadium, and Stan was back in the game, leveling the score at 6-6 and standing two points away from the finish line. Nonetheless, his forehand went wide in the 13th point, and Federer clinched the set after Wawrinka's backhand error, arranging a decider after just over 100 minutes.

They had to stop due to flashes of lightning before resuming 20 minutes later, with Roger holding at love. Stan saved a break point with a backhand winner in game four, but Roger found a way to break him two games later and open up a 4-2 gap.

A hold at love propelled Federer 5-2 in front, and he sealed the deal with another break in game eight after Wawrinka's weak forehand. A seven-time winner rattled off the encounter's last nine points, beating his compatriot for the 16th time in as many hard-court encounters!

Roger Federer Stan Wawrinka