Federer cruises into Rogers Cup final, to meet Tsonga

Second seed Roger Federer reached the Rogers Cup final for the fifth time after a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Feliciano Lopez on Saturday evening at the Rexall Centre.

The Swiss No. 1 qualified for his 37th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and 120th overall and will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his bid for a 22nd Masters 1000 crown (80th overall).

Should Federer lift the trophy on Sunday, he would become the first player in history to record 300 wins at the Masters 1000 level.

Against Lopez, the two-time Rogers Cup champion (2004, '06) won 77 per cent of his first-serve points during the battle lasting one hour and 22 minutes, and broke twice in 11 attempts. Federer, who turned 33 on Friday, improved to 11-0 in ATP Head to Head meetings against the left-handed Spaniard.

"From my standpoint, I think I served well," said Federer. "I was aggressive, and I was able to really play the way I wanted to play tonight. I'm very happy."

Entering tonight's semi-final, Lopez had saved 27 of 29 break points faced this year in Toronto, including nine in one game in his quarter-final upset of home favourite Milos Raonic. While serving 2-1 in the first set against Federer, the World No. 25 looked on track for another roller coaster display, saving seven break points, but sailed a ball long to concede the lead.

"I think Lopez was probably mentally a bit tired this week. He's played a lot of good guys in the spell of a short period of time. He played one more match than I did, and back-to-back three setters the last couple of nights," Federer added. "He was probably feeling it there."

Federer would break once more, in the first game of the second set, to book his clash with Tsonga on Sunday. Federer holds an 11-4 advantage over the Frenchman, including triumphs this season in Melbourne and Monte-Carlo.

Tsonga beat his third straight higher-seeded opponent, topping seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3. The 13th-seeded Frenchman beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday and eighth-seeded Andy Murray on Friday.

"I think it was a matter of time that he got it all together again, especially in terms of confidence," said the second seeded Swiss, who is looking for his third title of the season.

"So for him to beat Murray and Djokovic... it's a really good effort for him and it's going to give him loads of confidence going into the finals.

"Tsonga can overpower guys, serve up a storm and then play really aggressive with his forehand and also be solid in his backhand," Federer noted. "You think you're in a safe place in the rally, and he takes one step and just hits it and the point is over. That's why he's been in the Top 10 for so long.

"The final will be exciting, Jo has been playing well. I know what's ahead of me, I have my work cut out if I want to win the trophy," said Federer.

''I'm more consistent and it's good because it helped me beat three guys in the top 10,'' Tsonga said. ''I didn't do that for a couple of years now and it gives me hope for the rest of the year.

''When you play against Roger, it's always special,'' Tsonga said. ''First, because you play in a big area, in a big stadium anyway. And every time the crowd is for him, so it's quite a good sensation. It's quite a good feeling when you win against 10,000 people.''

It will be Tsonga's first appearance in a Masters 1000 final since he lost to Federer three years ago at the BNP Paribas Masters. Tsonga's only Masters 1000 title came in Paris in 2008.

Date: 10th August 2014, Source: ATP, AP, AFP and Reuters


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