While many were hoping that Rafael Nadal would reach the semi-final and set up classic match-up against his long-time rival, we will instead be offered an intriguing meeting between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic to determine who will advance to the tournament final. This marks the tenth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head to head series 8-1.
In one of his best performances of the season, Roger Federer produced a dominant display of inspired tennis to thrash Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0 in the quarter-final stage of the tournament. While the first set was a competitive one, Federer pounded on every opportunity in the second set, while Berdych faltered and added to his growing unforced errors count. In the second set alone, Federer struck 21 winners and won 88% of his first service points to close out the match in 68 minutes.
“I think I really played well off the baseline,” said Federer. “Because I was serving well and moving well, so maybe there is not going to be that many chances for him on the return as it is. But at least he could have stayed with me longer, and as the match goes on maybe he would have also found his groove better.
Federer will come up against the No. 1 Canadian, who earned an inspired victory over world No. 3 Rafael Nadal to advance to his semi-final showdown. After dropping the opening set, Raonic went toe-to-toe with Nadal in the second set and beat him 12-10 in the tiebreak to force a decider. There, he broke in the decisive eleventh game to secure the win.
“At the moments when I was playing those match points, it didn’t really feel like match points,” said Raonic. “It was just like another point that I was trying to get through… [I was] just sort of going through the paces at that moment of what do I need to do now, not really signifying it as a match point.”
While Federer leads the overall head-to-head series 9-1, Raonic will be riding an immense wave of confidence after toppling world No. 3 Rafael Nadal. It will be interesting to see if he can summon the evergy to complete another potential three-setter and set up a final against another member of the Big Four. Therefore, given Federer’s energy conservation over the past few days, he will likely have the advantage against the Canadian on Saturday.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets
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