Unfortunately for the Canadian crowd in attendance, they will not have one of their own in the final four of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, as Milos Raonic was knocked out of the tournament, leaving room for a berth between Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez. Although it has the making to be a compelling encounter, Federer holds a remarkably dominant – and undefeated – 10-0 head-to-head record against Lopez.
Playing the final match of the day on his 33rd birthday, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was forced to contest a close three-set battle with David Ferrer, which ended 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 after 1 hour and 53 minutes of court time. It was a match that highlighted the best and worst of Federer’s current game but he was able to take command of the match in the final set and closed out the win to the delight of the crowd in attendance.
“I was able to find energy and really serve better at the very end, which was key against David because he was doing a really good job on my second serve to put me under pressure,” said Federer.
Feliciano Lopez produced one of the upsets of the day on Stadium Court when he dispatched hometown favourite Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in 1 hour and 57 minutes.
The opening set saw Lopez threaten on serve repeatedly before finally converting on his third opportunity to take the lead in the set. Facing little trouble on his serve, he closed out the set 6-4 minutes later, much to Raonic’s frustration. The difference was in the serves, as Lopez was more consistent on his second serve (60% to 33%) and faced no break points through six service games to grab the set in just over half an hour.
The second set was a tighter affair and a nerve-racking one for the Canadian crowd as they anxiously awaited the Ontario-native to level the match and restore order on Stadium court. While that did not come in the form of a break, Raonic recovered from a mini break down in the tiebreaker to send the contest to a decider. Raonic in particular played a far better second set, as he hit 8 aces and won 80% of his second service points and faced no break points on his serve.
The third set was certainly the most bizarre, as Raonic once again began unleashing a torrent of unforced errors off his racquet, and eventually allowed Lopez to get the break of serve and close out the match in anti-climatic fashion.
Following the conclusion of Federer’s match, which was the last of the evening’s matches, it was revealed that this marked the first time since the Open Era that all four quarter-final matches go to three sets.
This marks the 11th time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head-to-head series 10-0. They have not met in over two years and Lopez has not taken a set off the Swiss No. 1 since the Madrid Masters in 2011. Although Federer has looked shaky late in the second set in his last two matches, maybe this is the time to blast into the final.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets