17-time Grand Slam great Roger Federer is through to another final in 2015, his first on clay this season, at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open. He will complete his first-time campaign in Turkey against Pablo Cuevas, who also had a solid week in the Mediterranean. This marks the first time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour.
Federer secured his spot in the final of the tournament when he rallied from a set down to defeat Diego Schwartzman 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. He struck six aces and secured three break point to close out the match in one hour and 55 minutes. Overall, it was a valiant effort against an inspired opponent.
“I think what was important in the third set was to keep working hard,” said Federer. “I needed to put in a lot of effort to stay with Diego.
“Cuevas is playing very, very well… I think it’s going to be a tough match. Cuevas has obviously played a lot on clay.”
In one of the bigger surprises of the day, Pablo Cuevas thrashed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to oust the Bulgarian and secure his spot in the final of the tournament. He managed to secure five of six break points to close out the match 6-2, 6-4 in 65 minutes.
“I come from a small country, and I’m used to having the crowd against me,” said Cuevas. “Playing Roger tomorrow will be like playing Roger in his hometown.”
This is the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, yet it is still one that will likely favour the vastly more experienced Federer. The Grand Slam great is poised to secure another title for his collection but will need to topple a player who is a perfect 3-0 in ATP World Tour finals.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets