Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fish no contest for Roger Federer who moves to Cincinnati semis

World No. 1 Roger Federer defeated 10th seed Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6(4) on Friday evening at the Western & Southern Open to set a semi-final clash with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.

The top seed won 88 per cent of his first serve points and did not face a break point en route to beating the American for the eighth time in nine meetings. He has now reached the semi-finals or better at 12 of the 13 tournaments he’s played this season.

“It was a great atmosphere. I think it was sellout crowd,” said Federer. “That always makes it exciting. Playing an American here in America, it's always special. It was pretty straightforward. Whoever was going to be more aggressive, serve more consistent, and then play maybe a tiny bit better from the baseline was probably going to win. I'm happy I was that guy tonight.”

Federer is seeking his fifth trophy at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. He was victorious in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The 31 year old is bidding to win a record-equalling 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week. He holds a 10-1 record against Wawrinka, having won their past eight meetings.

“I have a tough matchup with him. It's going to be a difficult one,” Federer said. “It seems like he's playing really well. I'm just excited for him and for me [that] two Swiss guys can make it to the semis here in Cincinnati. It's great.”

Wawrinka advanced to the semi-finals when he overcame 19th-ranked Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes.

“This week I'm playing great tennis,” said Wawrinka. “I had a tough last two months. It was not easy, especially after the French Open. I played a great French Open, but then I lost [in the] first round at Wimbledon, Gstaad [and the] Olympics.

“It was not easy, but I'm really happy to be back on the hard courts. Since the beginning of the tournament, I'm focussed on what I'm doing and I'm happy to be in the semi-final here.”

Meeting for the first time, Wawrinka trailed 2-4 in the second set tie-break before rallying to even the match. After converting his lone break point opportunity early in the third set, Wawrinka saved two break points at 4-3 before closing out the hard-fought encounter in his next service game.

Wawrinka is through to the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the first time since 2009, when he reached the last four at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Djokovic). The Swiss is seeking his first trophy of the season, with his latest triumph coming in Chennai last year.

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