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Roger Federer Wins Again @ABN AMRO Rotterdam

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during their second round match of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 15 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Two down. One to go.

 

Roger Federer scored his second of the week at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Thursday night, advancing to the quarterfinals thanks to a 7-6(8), 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber. Federer, who will become No. 1 in the world next week if he reaches the semifinals, fought past Kohlschreiber in one hour and 41 minutes.

 

This was a very different match than the one Federer played on Wednesday against Ruben Bemelmans, whom he thrashed 6-1, 6-2 in 47 minutes. A much tougher Kohlschreiber made the first set longer than Federer’s entire opening match. The underdog German even held leads of 5-2 and 6-4 in the first-set tiebreaker, but Federer battled back both times. The top seed fought off one set point with a clutch serve and saved another thanks to a perfect backhand service return.

 

Kohlschreiber remained competitive despite his hiccup at the end of the opening set. Once again, though, the 34-year-old faltered when it mattered most–this time before getting to another ‘breaker. Having previously not double-faulted once, Kohlschreiber doubled twice while serving to stay alive at 5-6 in the second set–including on match point.

 

“It was extremely complicated tonight,” said Federer, who recorded 11 aces and no double-faults. “I couldn’t find my range or my rhythm. I think Philipp did that to me; it was a struggle. Today when the score was close, I couldn’t release my shots. So it was a battle…. It was quite the relief at the end.

 

“I was preparing for the second set, being down one set. I don’t care how positive a person you are. You just see negativity flying all around you; I am down 4-6 (in the tiebreaker), I messed up, I should have done this, I should have done that. I’m at the mercy of my opponent. It’s a bad feeling, but when you do come back and snatch the set, it’s such a key moment in the match and I was able to utilize that.”

 

Next up for the 36-year-old is Robin Haase, who trails the head-to-head series 2-0. Federer cruised 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in a 2012 clay-court Davis Cup tie in the Netherlands and he also got the job done 6-3, 7-6(5) in the Montreal semifinals last summer.

 

Haase is coming off Rotterdam wins over fellow Dutchmen Thiemo De Bakker and Tallon Griekspoor.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium during their first round match of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 14 February 2018. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

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