Federer beats Murray, plays Raonic in Cincinnati semi-final

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The most awaited of the Cincinnati Masters 2014 quarter-finals was played between the five-time titlist Roger Federer and Andy Murray who lifted the trophy on two occasions. The eighth-seeded British hero struggled from the very beginning as he rescued six break points in the opening two service games before imminently dropping a serve at 2-2. He produced a break back point in the subsequent game, but wasted his chance and allowed FedEx to make it 4-2. Serving to stay in the opener in the game nine, the Scotsman fell 0-40 behind and could only save the first set point with a service winner before sending a forehand long to fall one set behind.

He recovered expressly, though, to break The Swiss Maestro in the third game of the second set and got an even stronger foothold in the match by stealing the rival’s serve once more to escape to 4-1. However, Roger had a few aces up his sleeve as he reeled off four successive games to neutralize the double break deficit. Murray regained some confidence with a quick hold to remain in the clash, but second seed Swiss was determined to seize his semi-final ticket before the tie-break. He returned from 0-30 on Andy’s serve and earned a match point after a wonderfully constructed rally which went his way after a delicate finish at the net. Federer then took advantage of the rival’s mistake to complete a spectacular second set comeback to win 6-3, 7-5 and tie up their head-to-head record at 11 ATP victories apiece.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic turned in an astonishing performance against Fabio Fognini of Italy who could only get on the board in the fifth game of the opener despite creating more break point chances than the opponent during fifty-seven minutes of tennis. The Canadian kept his nerves to convert in all six attempts and fend off seven break points by the fifteenth-seed San Remo native. Raonic added insult to the Italian’s injury by delivering him a second set bagel to secure an extraordinary 6-1, 6-0 triumph. He has lost all five career matches versus Federer, the last of them in the semi-final of Wimbledon a month and a half ago.

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