Friday, June 10, 2016

Roger Federer moves into semis at Mercedes Open in Stuttgart plays Thiem next

Roger Federer moved to second place in the Open Era match wins list on Friday when he booked a spot in the Mercedes Cup semi-finals. The Swiss passed Ivan Lendl for 1,072 match wins with a 7-6(2), 7-6(1) victory over qualifier Florian Mayer in Stuttgart. Only Jimmy Connors (1,256) has won more career matches.

"I think it was a good match really, with long rallies," said Federer. "I thought that I played much better. I'm not sure if the stats showed it, but I felt [that] I served better. I'm really pleased how I felt this morning, my shoulder is a little sore having served a lot against [Taylor] Fritz. But that's exactly the kind of thing I need to feel having gotten back onto the match courts."

Federer improved to 7-0 lifetime against Mayer, who saved one set point at 5-6, 30/40 in the first set. Federer also recovered from 15/40 and saved three set points at 5-6 in the second set.

Top seed Federer will play the newest member in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, No. 7-ranked Dominic Thiem, in Saturday's semi-finals. "I'm now really excited about the semi-final against Thiem, who has had a great run this year," said Federer. "It will be a tough match, but I hope my experience will help me."

Third seed Thiem improved to 43-11 on the year, which includes three ATP World Tour titles, after he defeated 2002 champion Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 51 minutes.

"It was my best match on grass so far, against a very good and experienced player on this surface," said Thiem. "It was a very close match and it would have gone in any direction. [Looking ahead] it's tough to play Roger on any surface, but especially on grass."

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