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Roger Federer Keeps Rolling at Miami Masters, Faces Denis Shapovalov Of Canada Next

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after defeating Kevin Anderson of South Africa during their men’s quarterfinals match at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Miami, Florida, USA, 28 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES



Federer keeps rolling at Miami Masters, gets Shapovalov next in semifinals


By Ricky Dimon


In typical Roger Federer fashion, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has taken full flight since surviving a scare in his opening match. Federer, who held off Radu Albot in three sets during second-round action at the Miami Open, picked up his third consecutive straight-set win and punched a ticket to the semifinals by thrashing Kevin Anderson 6-0, 6-4 on Thursday night.


The 37-year-old Swiss broke Anderson five times on 13 break points while advancing in one hour and 25 minutes.


Next up for Federer is an opponent at the other end of the professional career spectrum in 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov.


This is not, however, uncharted territory for the Canadian. He reached the Montreal Masters semifinals in 2017 (upset Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafael Nadal before losing to Alexander Zverev) and accomplished the same feat last season in Madrid (also fell to Zverev). He generally thrives on the big stage and this fortnight has been no different, engineering defeats of Daniel Evans, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Frances Tiafoe.


Federer is through to the final four following victories over Albot, Filip Krajinovic, Daniil Medvedev, and Anderson. The world No. 5 is a stellar 16-2 in 2019 with a title in Dubai and a runner-up performance in Indian Wells, making him 13-1 in his last 14 matches.


“I try to put on some tennis sunglasses so I don’t see him; so I see blurry or something, or I see someone else on the other side,” Shapovalov joked about facing Federer. “No, honestly, I’m going to try to go about it the same way. And I’m really happy with how the week’s gone so far, so I’m just going to go out there, enjoy myself, just have a good time on the court and give it my all. You know, that’s all I can ask at this point.”


“I practiced with Denis way back when when he was…I remember (Stefan) Edberg was with me on the court and I was warming up–I think he warmed me up for a match in Toronto,” Federer reflected. “He might have been 16, 17, and, you know, similar to today, he was just hitting big. I was, like, ‘Wow, it’s unbelievable. How old is he? How good is he gonna get?’


“But he was very impressive; same with the serve–he has that beautiful swinger going…. I’m very excited playing against Denis, because I think he’s a great guy and he’s one of the great shot makers. I still remember watching his game in Montreal against Rafa when he crushed forehand down-the-line winner after forehand down-the-line winner. It was unbelievable. Yeah, (I’m a) big fan of his game, so it’s going to be tough tomorrow.”


But it will be even tougher for Shapovalov. Whereas Federer has been cruising, the youngster has need three sets on three occasions already in Miami, coming back from a set down in each of those victories. Even his straight-setter against Rublev was a battle, especially in a tiebreak second set.


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

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