Birthday boy Federer beats Ferrer for Toronto semi-final spot

Roger Federer withstood the game of fifth seed David Ferrer, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals in Toronto on Friday evening to claim yet another victory on his birthday.

The World No. 3 broke his Spanish opponent five times and won 80 per cent of his first-serve points in the battle lasting one hour and 53 minutes. Federer saved three of six break points and did not drop serve in the final set.

"I was able to find energy and really serve better at the very end, which was key against David because he was doing a really good job on my second serve to put me under pressure," said Federer.

The crowd at the Rexall Centre, aware of the day's occasion, serenaded the second seed with the "Happy Birthday" song after the first game of the second set.

"It's very much appreciated," expressed Federer. "It's so nice seeing so many people care for you and wishing you all the best and all that."

"At 33 it's a dream to be playing tennis at this level," said Federer, who lost his first set to Ferrer since 2010 as the Spanish fifth seed took the match into a deciding third set after losing ten previous sets in a row against the Swiss.

"I really enjoyed the match, it's always a challenge against David. My goals now are to stay injury-free and try and go out on my terms.

"I have two titles this year and I hope to win more, It all starts again tomorrow on the court."

Federer, who turned 33 years old today, improved to a 4-0 record when playing on his birthday, also winning in Montreal in 2003 (d. Mirnyi) and 2007 (d. Karlovic) and in Toronto in 2006 (d. Mathieu). The Swiss No. 1 also extended his perfect record in ATP Head to Head meetings against Ferrer, to 15-0.

In his 51st semi-final at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, Federer will face another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez.

Federer boasts an unblemished 10-0 record against Lopez, which began 11 years ago.

Sixth seed Milos Raonic fell in a close three-set battle against the unseeded Lopez 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the evening's first quarter-final.

Raonic had reached semi-finals in nine of 11 previous events and was coming off a title last week in Washington.

Date: 9th August 2014, Source: ATP and AFP


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