Fourth seed Federer, a five-time former champion, defeated Lukas Rosol, contesting their first meeting, 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes. He now takes a 16-15 lead over top seed and four-time titlist Novak Djokovic into Friday’s clash. Novak Djokovic had a rest today when opponent Mikhail Youzhny became ill and withdrew from their quarterfinal. Djokovic will be attempting to register the 550th match win of his career.
Looking ahead to the semi-finals, Federer said, "We know each other very well, and we've played each other everywhere and on all the surfaces, you name it. I think we always play the match-up actually very good, because we play explosive, aggressive tennis, so there is always some shot-making going on. I'm looking forward to the match. One match, best of three sets on a court like this, it's a bit of ‘let's see what happens’, anyway. We both know that."
''He is in the semis, he's already played two matches, he's been here long enough for preparing, and he's fit enough for anything anyway,'' Federer said of Djokovic having a quarterfinal walkover. ''Every match you can get away from is a good one.
''For me, it was important also probably not to be out there for three hours. Then it would have been a disadvantage. But I think we're back on even terms for tomorrow.''
Federer bounced back from an 0-2 deficit against Rosol in the first set, which lasted 28 minutes, to lose just six points in the next six games. Federer broke Rosol to love in the third game of the second set and didn't looks back.
"When you play someone for the first time, you never quite know what his best level is or his normal level is," admitted Federer, when asked how he felt when Rosol took a 2-0 lead. "That's why you kind of keep pushing on, and that's also why I guess the score came out the way it did, because I never let go. I always kept making returns, made sure he had to work hard.
"Yesterday against Radek Stepanek, I think I actually played okay. I just didn't serve well. Maybe I could argue that Radek is a better return player than Rosol is and all these things, but still I did serve much more clutch today when I needed to, which didn't work at all yesterday."
Date: 27th February 2014, Source: ATP and AP