MONTREAL – Second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer coasted into the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal with a 6-4, 6-4 victory on Friday over Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut.
Although the 12th-seeded Spaniard managed to make the score of both sets respectable, Federer was much sharper than in his Thursday round-of-16 match against Spain’s David Ferrer and never appeared threatened throughout the one-hour, eight-minute contest.
The 36-year-old, whose titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon – the 18th and 19th of his legendary career – have made him the story of the 2017 tennis season, squandered a service-break lead early in the second set when he was broken for the lone time in the match.
But he broke Bautista-Agut’s serve in the ensuing game and never looked back.
“I struggled against Ferrer early on, so today was better. I was more committed and a step further in, adjusting my position slightly realizing the ball does fly a lot,” Federer was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour’s Web site.
Next up for Federer on Saturday will be surprise semifinalist Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who rallied to defeat diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a battle of unseeded players.
In Thursday night round-of-16 action, 18-year-old Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov stunned world No. 2 Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) and stymied the Spaniard’s hopes of regaining the No. 1 ranking this week.
Either Nadal or the third-ranked Federer will take over the top spot in the rankings from Scotland’s Andy Murray on Aug. 21, following the conclusion of next week’s hard-court event in Cincinnati.
Murray has withdrawn from Cincinnati with a lingering hip injury.
Both the Rogers Cup and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati are tune-up events for the final Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar, the US Open, which gets under way on Aug. 28.